Anxiety is a Mental Storm with False Forecasts

By

Anxiety is a Mental Storm with False Forecasts
Similar to hurricanes in the real world, anxiety creates a mental storm from which escape is elusive

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the Worry Train, a mental locomotive that holds so many of us captive during waking hours.  Perhaps we find it so alluring because sometimes a little worry can be helpful.  Predictions about Frankenstorm prompted some of my neighbors to prepare generators for duty, while others stocked up on bottled water and non-perishable food.  Most of us have flashlights and extra batteries handy.  And if our worry is not excessive - meaning we haven't stepped on the Worry Train - we go back to enjoying life with the electrical power we possess in the present moment...


When worry becomes excessive, anxiety often becomes our constant companion, and our lives change.  Similar to hurricanes in the real world, anxiety creates a mental storm from which escape is elusive.  The mental storm gains power as erroneous weather reports forecast warnings at high volume about our safety and security.  Anxiety huffs and puffs and we experience its effects in body, mind, and behavior.  So the forecasts of our mental storm feel truly real in our experience...

 


But here's the kicker: anxiety's forecasts are notoriously false.  Anxiety convinces some of us that the standards to join any group are super high, while the criteria to get booted out are pretty low.  So we avoid most social interactions based on a false forecast.  For others, anxiety daily fills our minds with intrusive worrisome chatter predicting troubling outcomes for us and those we love.  This false forecast is mental noise, but we treat it as an accurate signal.  Sometimes anxiety sets up strict rules for us to follow:  we have to check the  door lock 10 times before we can go to bed at night.  This false forecast suggests that something terrible will happen if we don't keep the rule.  Other times anxiety convinces us that we're having a heart attack, or that we'll stop breathing; then at the ER, we learn that we've had a panic attack.  This false forecast predicted a life and death event that never occurred.


As I look out my window right now, the wind is picking up and trees are swaying.  We can't control Frankenstorm, but what about our mental storms?  A first step towards dealing with them may be to think of anxiety as a mental storm with false forecasts.  A second step may be to contact a therapist who can help us find healthy ways to deal with anxiety.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by

Gina Binder

Counselor/Therapist

Gina Binder is a Resident in Counseling who helps couples and individuals find the change they need to live the life they desire.  She practices under the clinical supervision of Katherine Rosemond, LPC.  If you're in Northern Virginia, contact Gina for a free 15-minute phone consultation - to see what's possible for you or your relationship.   

To jumpstart change in your relationship, grab Gina's FREE report, How to Make Your Relationship Work When Something's Wrong.     

Location: Manassas, VA
Credentials: MA
Other Articles/News by Gina Binder:

3 Ways Your Deal Breakers Make You Unlucky In Love

By

After counseling for 3 years, and 27 years in the relationship trenches of marriage, I have to say, couples have the concept of deal breakers all wrong. It's not that having relationship deal breakers is bad, but our approach to upholding them is flawed.  Here are 3 misconceptions about deal breakers we need to clear up right away:   ... Read more

What To Do When Your Guy Acts Like A Big Bratty Baby

By

On the surface he seems like the man of your dreams. He's absolutely charming when you head out for a date ... until he pitches a hissy fit at the restaurant when there's a 15-minute wait for your favorite table. Suddenly, your delight evaporates. You live in the same metro area and rush hour traffic is an unpleasant part of the "urban ... Read more

Is Porn Addiction Real?

By

Is porn addiction real? I guess the answer truly depends on who you ask. Clinical psychologist, Dr. David Ley argues that it's not. He claims that few research articles describe compulsive porn use as an actual addiction, and few connect it with either ED or brain changes associated with a chemical addiction. But a Cambridge University study recently found ... Read more

See More

 
PARTNER POSTS
Latest Expert Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Must-see Videos
SEE MORE VIDEOS
Most Popular