I feel like I was going to hurt us in the car
I panic that something’s going to happen
Anxiety is always triggered by predictions of terrible things happening. Think about the predictions and ask yourself how true these predictions are, have you any evidence of this and how likely this is to happen?
Have you ever hurt anyone in the car and why are you panicking about something that’s very unlikely to happen?
I hate hearing how sad people feel, the good news is that you’re not stuck with anxiety, it just takes a bit of work. Anxiety is exhausting, it’s normal to feel tired.
Physical sensations and reactions
What you do when you feel anxious often helps to maintain anxiety. Fidgeting and messing with your face may make you feel a little less anxious at the time, but it helps to keep you stuck in an anxious loop. Anything you do as a result of anxiety, we call ‘safety behaviour,’ it’s what you do about feeling anxious that you think makes you safer.
Another example of safety behaviour may be to always check the doors are locked before you leave home. I know you’ll do this to reduce your anxiety and feel like it makes leaving easier. The problem with safety behaviour is that it increases your focus on anxiety. Your brain starts to think that this is what you have to do, and you may feel that the safety behaviour has to become more intense to be effective. It may start at checking doors and increase to checking all doors, windows and that plugs are turned off.
The interesting thing about safety behaviour is that anxious people never learn from safety behaviour. You know the fear is unnecessary because nothing terrible has ever happened, but you feel that checking the house is locked, is the thing that stops something terrible from happening.
You can read in this example that she absolutely knows that nothing is going to happen but is stuck in the anxious loop and the way to do this is to balance her thoughts about it.
Alternative/more realistic perspective
This is great balancing of the catastrophic thinking.
What’s the best response
This is another great response. The secret is all about challenging the catastrophic thoughts and changing your behaviour to cut out the safety behaviour. Using this form is a great way to reinforce doing things differently.