Challenge Your Anxiety and Change Your Life 30-Day Anxiety Challenge
Most likely, you won’t get rid of all of your anxiety in a month, but you can take baby steps that put you on the road to making a difference in your world.
Most people see a lot of progress within 30 days. The only item you need is commitment. This list will provide you with a few ideas. Put your creative thinking cap on, and you’ll develop a few of your own ideas for challenges that will make a positive difference in your life.
5 Intriguing Ways to Challenge Your Anxiety:
- Notice your negative thoughts. For 30 days try to take note of what you are saying to yourself. If you struggle with social anxiety, notice when you are telling yourself “they think I’m weird” or “They probably hate me” Can you remember to do it? Do you have a bad habit of thinking negatively? Ask yourself where that came from. Do you still need to do it or has your situation changed? Are you still a bullied little kid? Reality-testing these negative thoughts can make a huge difference in your social anxiety.
- Avoid catastrophizing. Many of us spend a lot of time thinking about what could go wrong in a given situation. It is a way of feeling safe and planning ahead. However, this becomes harmful when we stop thinking that the catastrophe is just one of the many things that could happen and we become convinced that it is the only thing that could happen. It’s important to catch yourself early in the process, and there will be plenty of times you’ll have to catch yourself. For the next 30 days for every catastrophic thought generate another idea of what could happen. What if everything goes fine? Try generating some other more positive ideas of what might happen instead of the disaster. After all, anxious people waste a lot of time worrying about things that never actually happen. Maybe it’s because they have great imaginations.
- Let it all hang out. When you are feeling anxious disclose it. Talking to someone you trust about what’s making you anxious could be a relief. It may be that just having someone listen to you and show they care can help in itself. They may even commiserate. You are not alone in being anxious. Play it by ear. If you aren’t able to open up to someone close to you a therapist who specializes in anxiety may be able to help you. Anxiety is the most common mental health issue but it is also the most treatable.
- Journal for 30 days. In your journal make a note of what thoughts and situations trigger your anxiety or panic attacks. This can help you spot the early signs and intervene. Don’t forget to include what is going well in your life. People with anxiety think a lot about things that worry them or are hard to do. It’s important to be kind to yourself and notice the good things too. Devise some baby steps. If you have developed anxiety around certain situations or places you don’t have to plunge right into the full experience devise some small steps and ease yourself back into doing them.
- You can create your own exposure hierarchy or ladder. Exposure hierarchies are a CBT tool for people who have begun to avoid certain situations because of anxiety. It is used to introduce clients to feared stimuli in a gradual, stepwise fashion. So, if you have become uncomfortable in crowds, start small, possibly taking a walk in a quiet park, and repeat until you are no longer anxious in that setting, and then move on to a slightly more challenging setting. Don’t take on too much too soon. That can just reinforce anxious feelings.
What ideas do you have for a 30-day anxiety challenge? Healthy living goals? Mindfulness practice? Visualize how great you’ll feel if you can make just a couple of worthwhile changes over the next month. Your life will be moving toward new possibilities. You can change your habits in 30 days. Let’s get started!