Today, like every Monday, my wonderful boyfriend volunteers 3 hours with a mentally handicapped child. Today, like every Monday, I panicked at the thought of not being able to reach him for 3 hours.
My fear of irrational things like not being able to call/text Darren for 3 hours or my extreme fear of doing poorly on the MCAT is actually anxiety.
My anxiety causes me fear but the source of danger is inadequate to account for my symptoms. Anxiety is something I deal with on a daily basis. It’s something I’m working on improving, and re-framing really helps. Re-framing works by taking the source of your anxiety and framing it in a more positive way in order to reduce your anxiety. I’ll do a few examples, so you can see how it works.
1. I am afraid of doing poorly on the MCAT. Then, I won’t be able to get into medical school, and I won’t become a doctor.
Re-framed: I am afraid of doing poorly on the MCAT. However, I have an entire month off school to prepare. I have a supportive boyfriend and family to help me along the way. If I do poorly on the MCAT this January, I still have time to retake it this spring or summer. Also, worrying about the MCAT now is not going to help me perform better on the test, so I’m just wasting my emotions.
2. I am afraid of not being able to balance a career and a family.
Re-framed: If I need to take a few years off work or even just work part-time, to raise children, I will probably be able to do so as long as Darren is employed. Also, if I love my career, I don’t HAVE to have children. And lastly, I don’t have to deal with this for quite a long time. I have neither a career nor children at the moment, so there is no use in worrying about them!
3. I am afraid when I can’t contact Darren. I’m afraid something terrible will happen to him or me and I won’t be able to reach him. I’m afraid of having a break down and no one will be here to help me.
Re-framed: If something terrible happens or if I start feeling panicky I have great friends here to support me. Also, I have a family that is just a phone call away. Also, there is no use in fearing something bad will happen BEFORE it even happens!
Re-framing really allows me to think more logically about a situation. My first reaction to anything that scares me is complete panic. Panicking is completely unproductive though because it keeps me from finding a solution and it’s terrible for my body (so many stress hormones!)
What gives you anxiety?
Do you think a “re-framing” approach might help you deal with it?