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Reducing anxiety/thoughts

How do you reduce anxious thoughts.
Particularly in relation to disaster happening.
For example, *I know* I have turned the gas hob off but I am carrying around anxiety that I haven't and the flat will burn down, the cat will die a horrible death, and other flats will be affected, and people might be hurt, and it'll be all my fault. And then I go "oh well, doesn't matter" to try and make it go away. Which of course it doesn't.

Telling myself that I know I turned the gas off, That I was in the kitchen after wards and tidying up and in the flat for 2 hours after I had the gas on so it is absolutely turned off, just doesn't work.
I can't seem to fight it with rational thought.
So, any tips about what you do?
 
Action Kills Fear.

So in the example you gave? What can one do? What actions can one take?

With no preparation:

- Go home & check.

Knowing this is a thing/pattern for me:

- give my key to a trusted individual I can call in case of emergency, so if it’s a real fear I can ring them to come check for me

- point a nanny-cam or webcam towards places I get anxious about at home when I’m out & about so I can quick check whilst out & about.

HouseRule : If you throw a tantrum, you don’t get what you want, AND you go on timeout // IE Not encouraging my own crazy

- Limiting WHEN I am allowed to paranoia check (in person, by proxy, or at a distance) to when I’m absolutely calm. Truly calm. Panic subsided. Anxiety subsided. Paranoia subsided. Hypervig subsided. Clear, calm, collected. Tranquila.

- Acchieving ^that^ by all the tricks. Stress management. Grounding & Centering & Blowing off steam. CBT. Distraction. Whatever I need to do to get my symptoms to back their shit dooooooown. Reinforcing the behavior I WANT (clarity, calm, fierce, grace) with the carrot…

🥕 Yay! I can check, now! 🧁

…instead of rewarding losing my shit, and spinning/spiraling out of control.

CAVEAT = If it’s a real & valid fear? No waiting required.

Which serves a double purpose.
- It reinforces/rewards/retrains both my instincts, themselves, as well as being able to trust in them and my own judgment.
- It trains my own ability to recognize when an anxiety monster, or ADHD & anxiety monsters have just teamed up, & have flown/hurtled into my life wreacking havoc, and when it’s a legit Oh Shit! ALERT!!! Go-Go-Go!!! moment.
 
Love @Friday 's. If the alternative is fire and death it's more important than for example, being late to work.

I have the same thing @Movingforward10 , but as it relates to things that have happened in the past, but that I cannot control (eg weather disaters). Idk how to solve that either except to try to enjoy the relief when I am certain there is no imminent fear/ danger.

I think the type of times you've described also comes from being aware of not trusting my own memory.
 
I’ve had a bit of this myself lately. For me I’ve just taken more time and care to THINK about the action so my memory is solid and I can know I’ve done it. Ya know when you’re on autopilot? Doing things and then moving forward and there’s no thought because you’ve done it a million times. I’ve had to come off auto pilot for those things. And take deliberate thoughtful actions so that it’s clear in my memory that I’ve done them. It works for me but none of my anxious things at the moment end in fire and death so they’re not as intense. For me it’s forgetting my pills and then worrying I’ve dropped them in the floor and the pups will get them or that I only washed one arm pit and I will be stinky in front of others.
 
I have the very same issue where fire and my cats are concerned. It is nearly impossible for me to leave them for fear something awful will happen, even though I am super careful.

I both gave a neighbor my key and installed inexpensive cameras. The cameras I have can also be set up to notify me if the smoke alarms go off. They are not perfect solutions, but they have really helped with my anxiety going out. I was even able to do a couple of overnights, with someone stopping by to feed them!
 
And take deliberate thoughtful actions so that it’s clear in my memory that I’ve done them.
Yep! Me too.

If there’s traces of OCD in your genes? Leaning into these sorts of thoughts (okay, I’ll go back and check) doesn’t tend to shut the thoughts up. Brain just comes up with a new idea to obsess over. And it snowballs.

So, no yourself. If this isn’t a thing your brain tends to go to when underlying anxiety is becoming a problem? Go check the hotplates are turned off and get on with your day! But if it tends to be an indication that your anxiety is starting to get out of control? Address the anxiety, rather than the thoughts that are just symptomatic of that.
 
Thanks all . I appreciate the replies and it's food for thought.
Action Kills Fear.
That's helpful.
Yay! I can check, now
Gosh, I admire your self control! I lack that or fail to maintain it so can see that I would then obsess with going over and over it. So self control needs worked on ...
I think the type of times you've described also comes from being aware of not trusting my own memory.
This seems key. Thanks for pointing it out.
Ya know when you’re on autopilot
Yeah. On this occasion I did the checking with the sockets and locking the front door, but wasn't until I was away that I realised I used the hob earlier and didn't check it. Hence disaster fantasties. (I did turn the hob off. The place hadn't burnt down).
It is nearly impossible for me to leave them for fear something awful will happen, even though I am super careful.
I'm sorry it's so hard.
If there’s traces of OCD in your genes?
I think there might be though no one diagnosed.
So, no yourself. If this isn’t a thing your brain tends to go to when underlying anxiety is becoming a problem?
I wonder if this is happening a bit actually and I don't get why. I have just had a breakthrough on therapy so I should be on a roll but I think I am highly anxious. Just noticing I did something today that I haven't done before that I think is a therapy violation and I'm too embarrassed to say what that is and it's prob for another thread or my diary, but that and this yesterday spiking tells me something is going on ....
 
Yep! Me too.

If there’s traces of OCD in your genes? Leaning into these sorts of thoughts (okay, I’ll go back and check) doesn’t tend to shut the thoughts up. Brain just comes up with a new idea to obsess over. And it snowballs.

So, no yourself. If this isn’t a thing your brain tends to go to when underlying anxiety is becoming a problem? Go check the hotplates are turned off and get on with your day! But if it tends to be an indication that your anxiety is starting to get out of control? Address the anxiety, rather than the thoughts that are just symptomatic of that.
Such a helpful thread. I too have anxiety over these kinds of things and I do acknowledge that my anxiety just spins itself and attaches to what it can.

Green tea most days (instead of coffee) helps.
Meditation helps.
Focusing on my body helps.
My cats help.
Self-care helps. 💜
 
Action Kills Fear.
1000% right.......
Part of how I deal with it...is in my response to this question. Mostly because I need to convince myself of things and change patterns of obsessive thought...

 
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