Living in a pandemic for more than a year has made many people question what the future will look like. However, if your fear of the future impacts your decisions, it may be time to seek help. If you let anticipatory anxiety stop you from living your best life, you are living a life full of limitations where you say “no” more than “yes.”
Signs of Anticipatory Fear
Anticipatory fear is the brain’s way of avoiding adverse outcomes in the future. One sign you may be experiencing anticipatory fear is avoiding an experience you previously experienced out of fear of it happening again. For example, you may want to avoid going to a particular person’s house because of a previous argument that occurred there.
Another sign you may be struggling with anticipatory fear is doing what you can to protect yourself from what you think will happen. You may be afraid to leave the house or only wear the most protective gear to keep yourself safe from germs.
Lastly, another sign you may be struggling with anticipatory fear is the fear that a mistake you made in the past will happen again. An example of this is if you are in recovery from substance use disorder and you are preoccupied with relapsing.
Practicing mindfulness can help you regulate your moods. Mindfulness can help you learn how to be in the present instead of fixating on a future that has yet to happen. With mindfulness, you focus on the sound of your breath, how your body feels, and the voice of your guide if you participate in a guided meditation. If you keep practicing mindfulness, you can grow a better sense of awareness over time.
Write In a Journal
Keeping a journal and writing down your feelings can provide you with an accurate reflection of your thought process. You may think you had control over past events only to discover that there is only so much you can do after writing it down. Since you cannot record the future, your journal only focuses on what happens now.
Seeking Professional Help
Whether your anticipatory fear is based on a past trauma or any other reason, a therapist will have a good understanding of what you are going through. A therapist specializing in anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop a treatment plan for going through life without worrying about the future.
Anticipatory fear is when you have an intense fear of what you believe the worst-case scenarios will be of the future. While it is normal to be worried about the state of the world during a pandemic, this overwhelming fear can stop you from living life to the fullest. At Alta Loma, we understand the importance of treating your anxiety, and we are here to help you. Located in Georgetown, Texas, we can provide you with individualized therapy, a life skills group, therapeutic recreational activities, and more. Call us at (866) 457-3843 for more information about our services.