Keeping Anxiety in Check with Numbers
A very specific strategy to help you interpret whether your worries are anxiety is to step out of yourself and assign them a number based on intensity. While this may sound like a very logical strategy in a very emotional situation, it can help to keep your worries in perspective.
For example, when I am worrying about an issue in my life, I try to assign a number to it as if I was looking at it from the outside. Running late to an important meeting would usually be about a 5 in my opinion. I would give it a 3-5 on the stress scale because it will not be the end of the world, I will issue an apology or let the person know I am on my way.
However, it does cause one to feel overwhelmed. The problem in this situation is my anxiety can make it feel like an 8-10. I can waste more time and more energy for my day by getting more worried over something I currently have no control over. In this moment, I would try to say to myself: “You are on your way, and doing your best to get there as soon as possible. This should probably be about a 4, and there is no point in getting myself worked up to it feeling like a 10. Everything will work out.”
Having this dialogue with yourself can help to put the situation into perspective and not let your anxiety run your life. You are using the number to take the power back from the intensifying effect our anxiety has on the worry. This is one of many simple strategies to help you when you are in a state of worry.