The Two Sides of Anticipation

Excitedly looking forward to a long-awaited trip – oh, the anticipation!

There are many things we anticipate – vacations, weddings, summer break, Fridays…

However, there is a flip side to this coin as well. Those with anxiety might equate anticipation with fear. Something as simple as an upcoming meeting, the type she has participated in a thousand times before, becomes something to dread. She feels like she won’t be able to breathe or return to her normal life until the event is over.

Almost any event can be the source of this negative anticipation. It may be a lunch with friends (will they see how unfocused and anxious I am? What if I say something stupid or embarrass myself?) or simply a phone call that needs to be made.

There is no logical reason for all this; it’s the anxiety talking.

If this is your norm, realize this is not something you should just live with. Some things to try:

  • Breathing or other relaxation techniques.
  • Talk it over with loved ones and friends.
  • Use positive self-affirmations. (Sounds a little corny, but it can help! Negative talk can come much too easily – this can counter that and change your thinking patterns over time.)
  • Regular exercise. (This seems to be the advice for everything, doesn’t it? Wish this one was easier for me to stick with.)
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Don’t be resistant to seeking professional help if you need it.

This is still a work in progress for me, but I do see the improvements and feel the difference.

Take care of yourself.

Anticipate

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