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Anticipatory Anxiety

You can cultivate a positive outlook without also creating expectations that cause anxiety. Have you ever felt so worried about something that you couldn't focus on your family, friends, or work? For me, the answer is certainly yes -- especially when I'm thinking about something I really want to happen. I've found myself thinking a lot about expectations, specifically how my expectations increase my anxiety and make it harder for me to focus on the present. For graduate school, I have a lot of expectations for myself, involving grades, developing research, and cultivating relationships. And although in some ways it is beneficial to have expectations, ultimately, they engender a narrow perspective that ignores a host of positive outcomes. 
What is anticipatory anxiety? If you’re struggling with anxiety over the anticipation of an upcoming situation, you’re experiencing anticipatory anxiety and you're not alone. Most of us face anxiety about future events at some point or another. Sometimes it’s mild and other times it may feel downright debilitating. I’ll share with you some key steps I take to cope with anticipatory anxiety.
Limiting beliefs and thoughts are often at the root of social anxiety. If we trust these limiting beliefs, we give our thoughts undue power. Cognitive restructuring is one technique used in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to treat social anxiety.
Nearly all of us with anxiety disorders have a specific fear or phobia that sends our anxiety into overdrive. For some people, it may be a fear of public speaking. For others, the specific fear or phobia may be the subway or dentist appointments. Whatever it is, the fear sends our hearts racing and this specific fear or phobia makes managing our everyday levels of anxiety that much harder.
Everyone gets overwhelmed. We all have times when life is stressful or we’ve signed up for--or been given--more than we can easily handle. For those of us with anxiety, however, feeling overwhelmed can quickly transform into outright terror. But you can battle the anxiety that comes from feeling overwhelmed with these stress relief tips.
Anxiety is a constant companion that catastrophizes everything and makes even the smallest worries seem insurmountable. So what happens when a major event or trauma arises? How do we manage anxiety levels that – in the face of actual disaster – quickly could become crippling? 
Managing our anxiety about terrorist attacks is hard. It's so abhorrent and baffling that it's difficult to get our minds around it. It's extremely upsetting. Terrorist attacks in Western countries like France and the United States are a very recent phenomenon. Here in the West, we're still adjusting to the fact that terrorism has become part of our experience, too. It's no longer something that only happens in far-away places that we've never heard of, or know very little about. As we're managing our own anxiety about terrorist attacks, we're also having to learn how to discuss war and terrorism with our children.
Feel free to question my emotional competence but I'm not insane. For that matter, most people with mental illness are not insane. This may be obvious but for many it's not. Anyway, how many times have you thought, 'oh goodness, I must be really losing it this time' during the course of mental health difficulties? It's a common concern that can dramatically increase the amount of anxiety a person experiences. It may also inhibit their ability to trust, and to ask for help.
On acceptance, anxiety and guilt Life with mental illness isn't always fun. Not just because I have a real illness, and that real illness really does affect my life but because some folks have trouble accepting this. I'm not entirely sure why except they don't like the thought that someone with mental illness can "zomg, look just like them," and still be quite unwell. That's the thing about invisible illness: Once revealed, people around you may feel conned, manipulated, lied to. Even though you've done nothing wrong. Yeah, I'm guilty of being unwell in the general vicinity, of having mental health issues and having a life anyway. Sorry about that. Next time I'll wear my "mentally interesting" t-shirt so you can detect the crazy, before it gets in your Coke. *passes the tin-foil hat*
I come up against this wall plenty, in treating anxiety: Combating the sense of hopelessness, of powerlessness, that only too often accompanies the worst symptoms of anxiety disorders. How do I not get stuck when simply feeling things seems way above my pay grade? "If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself." -The Art of War