Can Thinking Anxiously Turn Into A Habit?

Written by Jim Folk
Last updated March 27, 2021

Question

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


Answer

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, an unconscious automatic behavior.
  • Coping in an overly apprehensive manner for an extended period begins to “feel” normal.
  • This aspect of our behavior shapes our personality - the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character.

Anxiety disorder develops via learned behavior that is reinforced through repetition and reinforcement over time! 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 for the development of anxiety disorder.

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

This is not to suggest that overcoming anxiety disorder is easy or quick. But that 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 behavioral change. It’s within your ability.

All of us at anxietycentre.com have overcome our unhealthy anxiety habits, as well as have a great many people we’ve worked with. We believe you can, too![![2]

Anxiety disorder doesn't have to be a life sentence. It’s a temporary circumstance caused by unhealthy behavior. Making healthy behavioral change makes all the difference, including eliminating issues with anxiety, anxiety symptoms, and its consequences.

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to address anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed – which we call the underlying factors of anxiety – a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to address problematic anxiety.

Additional Resources

Return to our Anxiety Articles page.

anxietycentre.com: Information, support, and therapy for anxiety disorder and its symptoms, including Can Thinking Anxiously Turn Into A Habit And Become Part Of Your Personality?

References

[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.