It's probably an understatement to say our anxiety is at an all-time high these days. I want to share my three-question process I use for myself and with my clients when you feel like your anxiety comes out of nowhere.
1. Where did the thought come from? Anxiety does not come from nowhere. It has an origin. It's the thought you have. What were you doing or thinking before you noticed the anxiety come on strong? Were you scrolling the phone and saw an article? Was it the mounting list of things you need to do? Was it thoughts of what if's and I cant's? Identifying the thought that brought on the anxiety is key.
2. What is the emotion underlying it? Anxiety is an umbrella of a feeling. What is the emotion under the anxiety? Is it fear, anger, frustration, sadness? A combo platter. Knowing the emotion can give you a clearer insight of why you are feeling this. No wonder anxiety is hitting big if you are scared of what is to come or overwhelmed with life right now. When we can get more specific of WHAT we are feeling, it gives us a direction on what to do with it.
3. What can I do about this? If you can do something, do it. Take control. If you cannot, it may be time to accept that you have done your part and work on moving past it. This can look like talking to someone, journaling your thoughts or moving your body. I understand it's easier said than done but it's necessary to take control of the things we can and let go of what we can't.
Try this on next time anxiety comes out of nowhere and let me know how it works for you.