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Creating an Anxiety Script

One of the big problems if you suffer from anxiety is what might be called second-level anxiety, i.e. anxiety about the fact that you get anxious. Likely as not you just want the anxiety to go away. But the more you fight it the worse it tends to become.

One thing that I would recommend you try to do to help to deal with this anxiety about being anxious is to create an anxiety script.

An Anxiety Script is something that you say to yourself to help you deal with anxiety.

I would suggest that your anxiety script is likely to be most helpful when it exemplifies an attitude towards anxiety that is realistic, practical, accepting and not obsessive.

Imagine that your anxiety is like a person that comes to haunt you (which may be how it feels to you) but instead of trying to drive that person away or trying to run away from them, speak calmly and assertively. Accept their presence when they arrive and state calmly that you know that they may stay for a while, indicating how you are going to deal with them in a practical, calm way.

Examples of Anxiety Scripts

You anxiety script is going to be personal to you and your cirucmstances but here are two examples of the sort of thing that you might use in an anxiety script to say to yourself, imagining that anxiety has come to you and you are responding to it:

'You can ty to upset me if you like. I know you're not going to go away. I'm going to speak to you calmly and in a balanced way. I'm not going to let your tricks get to me. I'm going to deal with them in as best a way as I can and then move on. When you come back, I'll deal with them in the same way.'

Another example might be:

'You've been here so many times. I'm not going to let you get to me this time. I know I will experience negative feelings but they will pass. You can be unpleasant but it is an unpleasantness I will deal with in a sensible way. If I do slip up and let you get to me, I'm not going to beat myself up. I'm going to get back on track and start to resume my daily activities step by step, giving myself credit each time I do something positive even if small.'

Training Your Mind

Once you have come up with a particular anxiety script which proves most helpful for you and your situation, repeat it to yourself on a regular basis (ideally several times a day). It may well also be helpful for you to write it down somewhere where you will see it regularly and read it at opportune moments.

The aim is to help prepare yourself for that situation where your anxiety turns up, then when it does, repeat your calming constructive anxiety script to yourself and see if it helps you to deal with and cope with the situation. If it does, even if only a little bit, then continue with it. This is a good first step.

 

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