It is important to understand that the overwhelming feelings you experience, the worrying and the physical symptoms that occur have a name: ANXIETY
- Anxiety is normal and adaptive as it helps us prepare for danger
- Anxiety can become a problem when our body tells us that there is danger when there really is no real danger.
- Almost everyone experiences anxiety, and you are most certainly not the only one who feels this way.
What is social anxiety?
- Sometimes we are afraid of being around other people or talking in front of others. These situations can make us feel like we are on “stage”, and we worry that we might do something embarrassing or that others will think badly of us.
- Please know that social anxiety is fairly common, and you are not the only one who feels this way.
ADHD and Anxiety:
- As ADHDers we usually have problems controlling our emotions and thoughts making our minds a perfect storm for anxiety to linger and grow.
- Due to our memory issues we tend to have fears that we might forget something and therefore disappointing someone.
- Even our impulsive nature can put us in dangerous situations that can add to our stress and anxiety levels.
- As ADDers we say such terrible things to ourselves that if we said these things to others they probably would never speak to us again…
- It’s great that we now know about anxiety but what to do about it.
- Well it’s time to start identifying those negative thoughts and then replacing them with more realistic thinking.
First: I want you to get a rubber band and put it on your wrist (make sure it isn’t too tight) and wear it all the time.
Second: whenever anxiety or in other words unrealistic thinking occurs I want you to snap that rubber band (not too hard we are not aiming to torture).
Thirdly: Challenge your thoughts with all or any of the following statements:
- Is this negative thinking and anxiety?
- Where is the evidence that this thought is true?
- Where is the evidence that this thought is untrue?
- Am I 100% sure that _____________ will happen?
- Am I 100% sure that _____________ won’t happen?
- Am I confusing possibility with probability? It may be possible but is it likely?
- Is _______ so important that my future depends on it?
- What would I tell a friend in the same situation or if he/she had the same thought?
- How many times has _____ happened?
- Do I have to please everyone? Is that even possible?
- Does _____ ‘s opinion reflect everyone else’s?
- What is the worse that could happen?
- Is this a hassle or a horror?
- If this did happen, what can I do to cope with it?
I kept a copy of this list in my wallet for a year and wore my rubber band for almost 2 years. I now know the list by heart, can identify my negative thinking and challenge it.
I invite you to try the same while keeping in mind that changing takes time but I believe in you.