A June 2013 issue of The Journal of Clinical Psychology revealed a strong link of anxiety, depression, and panic disorder to one common item: uncertainty.
It is common to feel fear and panic before exhilaration before an adrenaline rushing activity, such as bungee jumping, because you are reciting questions out of the fear of the unknown. Will I get hurt? Will the rope hold? Will I hit myself on the bottom? Can I do this? This is especially common if you have never done something before as your questions cannot be answered until you’ve done it. Consequently, on the way to anxiety you pass through uncertainty.
Using questions when feeling anxious will, by definition, increase anxiety. The questions are often unanswerable forcing our brain to race around attempting to find some definitive statement to achieve balance. If you brain can’t achieve this, the brain moves even faster in it’s frantic attempt to latch on to some conclusion. Failure to reach this conclusion generates a false negative that there is no answer (or neurological file) which multiplies the anxiety again. This is what is referred to as Secondary Anxiety: anxiety over anxiety.
In today’s daily life we don’t bungee jump but we do ask questions and lots of them. What will happen if? What would I do if _? What if _? When will_? This results in examine checking, planning and reassurance. Furthermore it is the gateway to rumination and avoidance.
What is the trick? Take some time to Google Bob Newhart’s comedy skit “Just Stop It”. It is unrelated to anxiety (yet funny). We have to stop using questions and firmly and aggressively recite statements. I can do this! Yeah it will be hard, not too hard though. I have done this before. It has always left in the past. First ensure they are true and believable and reference you and not others.