“All of us at anxietycentre.com have experienced debilitating anxiety. But we’ve also overcome it and returned to normal and lasting health. Because we know the hardship anxiety unwellness can cause, we are committed to helping others, with over 30 years of service.” - Jim Folk, President, anxietycentre.com

Can thinking anxiously turn into a habit and become a part of your personality?

Marilyn Folk BScN medical reviewer
Written by: Jim Folk.
Medically reviewed by: Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Updated: May 11, 2019

can thinking anxiously become a habit

Yes, on both counts. In fact, that’s exactly why we behave overly anxiously:

  • We learn to cope with adversity, uncertainty, and risk in an overly apprehensive manner.
  • We cope in this manner so often it becomes a habit, and therefore, automatic.
  • Coping in an overly apprehensive manner for an extended period of time begins to ‘feel’ right.
  • This aspect of our behavior shapes our personality - the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character.

Learned behavior that is reinforced through repetition and reinforcement is how anxiety disorder develops! This is evidenced by the fact that we NEVER see people come to us for help who have learned healthy ways of coping. Because they have learned to cope with adversity, uncertainty, and risk in healthy ways, they don’t develop issues with anxiety. This fact alone precludes other causes of anxiety disorder.

This is also the reason those who make healthy behavioral change overcome anxiety disorder, including anxiety attacks and panic attacks. It’s all about identifying and exchanging unhealthy coping behaviors with healthy coping behaviors. That’s it!

This is not to suggest that overcoming anxiety disorder is easy or quick. But success can be attained by getting the right information, getting the right help, doing the right work, and applying the necessary effort. Those that do this work, succeed![1]

If you are finding your anxiety habit intolerable, you can make healthy change. It’s within your ability. All of us at anxietycentre.com have done this, a great many people we’ve worked with have done this, and so can you![2]

Anxiety disorder is not a life sentence. It’s a temporary circumstance caused by unhealthy ways of coping. Making healthy behavioral change makes all the difference, including eliminating issues with anxiety, anxiety symptoms, and its consequences.

[1]"CBT can be recommended as a gold standard in the psychotherapeutic treatment of patients with anxiety disorders." - Otte, Christian. "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Anxiety Disorders: Current State of the Evidence." Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. Les Laboratoires Servier, Dec. 2011. Web. 14 Sept. 2016.

[2]DISCLAIMER: Because each body is somewhat chemically unique, and because each person will have a unique mix of symptoms and underlying factors, recovery results may vary. Variances can occur for many reasons, including due to the severity of the condition, the ability of the person to apply the recovery concepts, and the commitment to making behavioral change.

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.

Additional Resources:

Return to our Anxiety Frequent Questions page.

anxietycentre.com: Information, support, and coaching/counseling/therapy for problematic anxiety and its sensations and symptoms.