Worrying, irrational thoughts are one of the commonest symptoms of anxiety and also one that can be most disturbing. It's as if your mind is betraying you, playing tricks on you. It can lead you to worry about your mental health, It is as if you are not thinking your own thoughts, you can start to think in a new disturbing way that isn't at all like the 'normal' you.
Worrying irrational thoughts like this are just one of the side effects of an anxiety disorder. When you suffer from an anxiety disorder you can become very introvert and introspective, checking in on your emotions all the time, repeatedly asking what you are feeling, are you anxious, thinking back on what you have done, looking back at how the day have gone. This checking in or over-thinking is a well documented symptom of anxiety.
And this is what causes the irrational, worrying unfounded thoughts. Constant thinking develops into a habit if we have an anxiety disorder, we over-think and magnify every situation, thinking through endless what-if scenarios, working ourselves into an even more anxious frame of mind by imagining the worst possible outcomes for every possible situation.
How To Stop Irrational Thoughts
And although it is maddening and you can't seem to understand how your mind can do these things, just accept that anxiety and worrying thoughts, anxiety and irrational thoughts just go together. It is simply a symptom of your anxiety. Irrational thoughts are completely normal when you suffer from general anxiety. I describe them as the what if scenarios. Every little worry gets magnified as you constantly ask yourself what if, time and time again. It can feel as if you are determined to come up with the worst outcome to any situations.
When you have an anxiety disorder, every worry seems to be a problem. A simple headache can start you worrying about a brain tumour, an upset stomach can be a burst appendix, palpitations caused by anxiety are the signs of a heart attack, a simple reminder letter about a missed credit card payment will be a sign of impending bankruptcy.
Your rational sane self tells you to stop thinking like this but your anxious side just continues to do it over and over again.
It is important with irrational worrying troublesome thoughts that you recognise them for exactly what they are; they are simply thoughts that have nothing to do with reality. They are just our normal thoughts magnified out of all proportion by our anxiety.
Accept these thoughts for what they are and instead of stopping yourself from thinking them, allow the thoughts in, think through the various scenarios and recognise the thoughts as irrational and without foundation. By accepting that anxiety causes irrational thinking and by understanding that your thinking is a symptom of that anxiety, you take away the power of the irrational thoughts, putting everything back into perspective Stop telling yourself not to think like this. The more you try to stop yourself from doing something the themore importance you attach to it. Just try thinking a worrying thought through to the end, deliberately looking at all the outcomes. The end effect is that you can make the worrying thoughts seem ridiculous and laughable, taking away their power as you do.
Next time your mind tries to go down that avenue of thought, you can tell yourself of this and recognise these thoughts for what they are.
Your mind took a long time to develop anxiety and coping with the symptoms can take some time as well.
Remember that anxious worrying irrational thinking is just one of the symptoms of anxiety. Accept that idea, embrace it and you will take the first step towards overcoming worrying thoughts and getting your old self back.