“Why?” and “What if…?”: The Anxious Mind Wants to Know

A lot of situations and experiences can lead to you feeling anxious. However, what you do with the anxious thoughts is what breaks the cycle of anxiety.

Why?      What if…?

When in an anxious state, your mind may be past focused or future focused.

Unfortunately, both are a trap and a form of avoidance! To learn more about anxiety and avoidance, see our blog post about it.

Past focused: Why?

For all the worrying historians out there, you struggle with getting caught in “if only I could figure out why I’m anxious so that I can get out of being anxious.” Focusing on the why pulls you out of the moment and zaps your energy to be able to make changes. 

Future focused: What if…?

For all the nervous planners out there, you feel the need to all of the what if… scenarios. Your mind tells you that if you know the possible outcomes then you will be prepared and won’t need to be anxious anymore. Focusing on the what if… turns into a bottomless pit of scenarios that are emotionally exhausting and often not realistic. This leads to feeling emotional spent and overwhelmed. 

The solution is not in the what if… or the why. 

The important question to ask yourself when feeling anxious is “what now?”

What can you do right now to manage the symptoms of anxiety? Coming back into the here-and-now is actively challenging your anxiety and interrupting the cycle.

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