Anxious thoughts are usually extreme, unbalanced, and overly negative, but they can feel true, especially if it feels familiar to you (maybe because you have told it to yourself thousands of times).
To challenge these thoughts, let your anxious thoughts come and go, then challenge your thoughts and come up with more helpful self-talk. Ignoring or dismissing your anxious thoughts may feel helpful in the moment, but in reality, this method of approaching anxiety can make you feel worse. Sure, you can postpone them for a bit, but the thoughts tend to come back and present even more persistent.
To challenge thoughts and take the first step in your anxiety management journey, start to pay attention to what you say to yourself. This can be difficult because thoughts can be so fleeting and automatic. Lots of people find it helpful to practice writing down their thoughts in a Worry Diary.
Worry Diary exercise: For two weeks, write down your worries as they pop up. By writing them down, you don’t have to “keep track” of your worries in your head anymore. You may find that a lot of worries don’t seem so powerful a few hours later, and especially after a good night’s sleep.