Captain Obvious? Fertile Ground for Anxiety.

anxiety by thoughts not situations.jpg

This may sound like Captain Obvious but it actually might not be. You be the judge. Here it is:

Constant anxiety is not directly caused by events, situations and behaviors. It’s a result of our thoughts about those things. 

Two people can experience the same event or situation but interpret it differently and therefore have different results. One person might think of worst-case-scenario thoughts of failure (resulting in anxiety) and another may see it as an opportunity to improve (not resulting in anxiety). Same situation different outcomes. 

If anxiety is something you’ve experienced over a period of time or for as long as you can remember, chances are high that it’s not situational. Chances are it’s the result of how, over time, you've interpreted, predicted and repeated thinking about things. They usually include envisioning worst-case scenarios in your mind, thinking you’re going to be exposed as ‘not good enough’ and reflecting on what you did or said as stupid. Or some version of those.

Over time, without realizing it, we create a fertile and inviting place for anxiety to take root and grow. Without this fertile ground made possible by the way we interpret and think about things, many of those situations and events would just fade into the background.

This also goes for how we interpret feelings in our body. 

Is this oversimplified? I’d love to hear about your experience and thoughts below.