5 Mental Health Mistakes That Could Be Causing You Unnecessary Anxiety

Life can be very challenging. We are constantly facing stressful situations at work, home, school, in the car…you name it. In many cases, our reactions to these situations can make things worse. If we let our thoughts and emotions get the best of us, we can negatively impact both our mental and physical wellbeing. Uncontrolled thoughts and emotions run rampant through the brain, creating neurochemical chaos that can make us anxious, affecting our ability to think clearly and process information. This is one of the major roadblocks to success, and can allow other toxic thinking habits and mental health issues to take root.

So what are some of the major mental health mistakes that may be making your life harder, and what can you do about it?

  1. Spending too much time defining the problem and not enough time on formulating and executing a solid plan of action. When it comes to any situation we face, we often spend too much time focusing on the problem, and too little time focusing on the solution. Essentially, we can be quite good at recognizing what we need to change, but not the how, what and when. People often tell me in depth what they are going through, with but I rarely hear a plan of action. You do not need to have the answers all figured out, but too much talk and not enough action will not solve a problem. In fact, if we spend too much time ruminating on the problem we can get caught up in the emotions associated with the toxic thinking pattern, which can lead to emotional burnout, mental fatigue, and increased anxiety. When dealing with a situation, or just life in general, it is best to spend a limited amount of time of defining what the issue is, and focus more time on a plan of action. It is also important to be open minded about changing the plan as you go along, as life can be unpredictable! Think of different ways a situation can work to your benefit, so you don’t get stuck if one possibility doesn’t work out (I call this the “possibility mindset”). I personally try to stick with a “one third plan” when it comes to dealing with a negative thinking pattern or a stressful situation: one third of my time I use to define and talk about the issue, one third to plan the solution, and one third to transform the solution into some kind of positive action.

Mental health expert. I have spent the last 30+ years researching ways to help people manage mental health issues in school, work, and life: drleaf.com

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