Although I deal with anxiety, and I choose not to be defined by it, it can be difficult to control because I have autism. Other people’s stories may be different. Anxiety is something I manage.
Maybe you were anxious child who is now an anxious adult, or maybe you’ve been through a bad experience and you developed anxiety later in life. But however, you get to deal with anxiety, it is possible that your mind is now in continual overdrive.
Everything we think and feel is based on our perceptions and attitudes which are centred around anxiety. Anxiety is based on worries that may or may not happen. But when it comes to worry, perhaps you should ask ourselves, what would be the worst thing that could happen, and if it does happen, what will you do?
Although we will all deal with anxiety differently, the biggest issue around anxiety is our inflexible, rigid and concrete mindset. With autism it’s near to impossible to correct that. To help with anxiety, look for exceptions, where scenarios may be all-black or all-white.
We must try to understand each situation in its wider context without our thinking going into overdrive. We mustn’t assume. We must think outside the box.
For example, ‘we assume our best friend isn’t turning up because of something we’ve said, when in fact there may be a problem with work and she’s having to work overtime, or something has cropped up with a family member, but didn’t manage to call.’
We tend to live with assume, but we need to think about the fact that there will always be a logical reason. Nothing should be a worry until we know, and we have something to worry about.
That will help us temporarily overcome how we feel about anxiety, but the key is also in how we learn to handle it.