How do I know if I am being reasonably anxious about something, or overreacting?
Last Updated: 05/11/2020 at 4:35am
Raifiel Cyril, Masters in Applied Psychology
Everyone needs a little support from time to time to take the next step. I am here to listen and help you achieve what your heart desires.
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Try to think about the worst possible result that could possibly come from the thing you are anxious about. Go ahead and go big at first, doom and disaster and end of the world. Decide if that's a logical or likely outcome, even if things go really wrong. Start whittling down your worst possible outcome till you've got something with a reasonable likelihood of actually happening if things go badly. Looking at that outcome, is it dire enough to justify the amount of time you have spent worrying about it? And if it is that dire, has the energy you've expended on worrying about it made the outcome less likely? Reasonable anxiety is the sort that spurs you to take greater care and make sure you're doing everything possible to avoid the bad outcome. When anxiety moves beyond that, it's probably time to start taking steps to manage your anxiety.
You need to know what triggers your anxiety, once you do, you need to find ways to cope with it. If you get anxiety symptoms like sweating, shaking and your muscles get tense and even nausea over some unfamiliar situations that people don't find.. stressful, it doesn't particularly mean you're overreacting. Some people are more sensitive than others, so it would never define it as overreacting, it's just how you, yourself react to it. And you can have control over those situations again but you need the right support and guidance from your close friends or family. If very severe, professional help.
I turn to the “the big 5”. These are questions you ask yourself about your anxieties. Think of your situation and ask yourself, 1) what are the chances of that happening? 2) What is the worst thing that can happen? 3) Am I right to think that? 4) The 5 year rule. When I look back on this moment in 5 years time, will it matter anymore. Will it be significant or will I have forgotten all about it? 5) What is this worth? Is it worth worrying over? After you’ve thought about these questions your mind will be clearer and you should be able to assess your situation and see whether you were overreacting or not.
- Ask yourself "is this my Logical Mind speaking or is this my Anxiety speaking?" - Validate your own feelings by saying "No matter what the reality is, my feelings are still valid. I have a right to feel this way, no matter what. My feelings are mine, and no one else can tell me how I should feel." - Make a three column chart. In the three columns write: 1) What is the WORST that can happen? 2) What is the BEST that can happen? 3) What is MOST LIKELY going to happen? - Do a grounding exercise to make sure that you are in a state called "wise mind" when you make your judgement. - Try asking a trusted friend or family member to evaluate the situation for you.
if the situation is to be judged and you are doing efforts to understand it but it is making you reacting instead of responding then you are being anxious.
You don't. That's the hardest part. You may think it's reasonable or that you're overreacting, but the point is: it's different for everyone. A breakup can be as triggering as the passing of a loved one. If it affects your life negatively: you should do something about it. As little or big as the problem may be. Anxiety doesn't go away by itself, it takes some courage to recognize and accept that it affects you, and to take action.
It's a very tough question and I'm still struggling with it but what I try to do is try to view a situation "objectively" by thinking of another person in the same situation with the same things happened to him/her and evaluate whether or not that person should feel anxious. I know it sounds a bit dull but it helps me to disconnect mysel from the equation. Also, if you have friends you trust you can always ask them if you are overreacting.
There may be some signs of anxiety. Trembling, twitching, shaking, etc. some signs of overreacting could be seen as someone who you usually arent and act differently.
There's a reason you're feeling that way. Follow that feeling and explore it. Question why you have that feeling and talk to someone you trust.
The solution to the question is simple:If the worry pertains to the pending goal and the steps planned for it's accomplishment is reasonable, then it's reasonably anxious otherwise overreacting .
In all of my life, I have relied on the comfort level in a situation, my instincts I suppose you'd call it. The moment I start to feel I am not comfortable with the conversation I take a pause and relay what is being said. In terms of possibly overeacting again I would seek a second opinion and go through what is being said that is worrying me.
If you obsessively dwell on a specific matter and its taking over a lot of your thoughts, calm down
I think how you feel is the most important thing and if you are feeling anxious then it doesn't really matter if you're overreacting-the feeling is real for you
When it comes to mental health it is very rarely an "overreaction". We fear certain things and play them out in our heads-- worst case scenario, best case scenario, impossible things that couldn't happen in a million years. It's often because we desire preparation should we ever be faced with one of those situations in reality. It helps to have coping methods so that you don't get overly anxious and do yourself harm, like deep breathing or memorizing lyrics or poetry to take your mind off it.
To do that you must analyse yourself. Ask yourself why are you axioms about this thing? How does it affects you, what's the probability of it happening (from logic not hunch), then take care to keep your evaluation well rounded, for eg for each support you must look for a negative remark and vice verca. At the end of the day, you will find that being anxious isn't the solution even if it is reasonable to be so unless you are an extremely lazy person who needs suitable pressure to move. But being calm and cool helps a lot.
If you are feeling those legitimate feelings, you are never overreacting. Don't worry about how much you are reacting to something, but instead work on techniques to manage those reactions when it impacts your day-to-day life.
The best way to figure that out is to talk it out with someone who is objective and can help you step outside your bias and emotions that are causing the anxiety. It is also helpful to ask yourself if the symptoms of the anxiety are justified to the event or situation causing the anxiety. An example would be that everyone would feel anxious about an upcoming exam, but would that anxiety prevent you from being able to study is something you need to consider in full
Generally, when the anxiety is causing more harm than help, it's not reasonable anymore. That's a pin point I use all the time anyway c:
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