Anxiety doesn’t have to rule your life

Feb 21, 2024 | Wellness


Feeling anxious about certain things and feeling anxious most of the time are not the same thing.

The majority of us will feel anxious at points in our lives about specific things, like starting something new, going for a job interview and giving birth.

For me, it’s the dentist. I don’t like going to the dentist. It’s not that my current dentist is not nice or has ever caused me pain. I just get anxious.

I know that I am starting to get anxious because it usually starts the night before. I often don’t sleep the night before my dentist appointment. Then on the day, I can’t stop thinking about the fact that I have a dentist appointment.

If I’m lucky I may accidentally get distracted by something. However, this doesn’t last for long.

mum to be, judging, decisions

Physically, I get an uncomfortable feeling in my tummy and I lose my appetite.

Bizarrely, I know that once I’ve seen the dentist I will be fine!

Does this sound familiar?

What do you get anxious about?

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are many ways to manage this type of anxiety.

Get curious

My dentist anxiety started when I was very young. I remember the appointment that was the trigger for these feelings. I had to have two molars pulled out, although I thought it was only one.

I have this terrifying image of the dentist standing over me with pliers. First going in to pull out one. And then going in a second time. I thought he’d broken the tooth and was going in to pull out the other half.

I was traumatised.

Since that time I have never liked going to the dentist.

Over the years, this anxiousness has gotten worse as my unconscious reminds me of how horrible the event was.

The point I’m trying to make is, that it’s helpful to know the trigger for the anxiety. Knowing the trigger will help with dealing with the anxiety.

What’s your trigger point?

Reframe your anxiousness

Every time I go to the dentist, I focus on the fact that something bad is going to happen, although in reality I know it will be okay. However, telling myself everything will be okay is not the answer.

Reframing my experience is.

The truth is, my teeth needed to be pulled out on that occasion otherwise it would have been a lot worse. The dentist knew what he was doing and his actions saved me from feeling immense pain later on.

What’s your reframe?

Focus on the other side

Rather than focusing on the pain point, focus on what will happen after that point. 

If you get anxious about flying, for example, focus on what awaits you when you reach your destination. A wonderful holiday, catching up with friends or returning to your loving family.

It’s about refocusing your attention away from what is negative and makes you feel sad towards what is good and makes you feel happy.

What are you focusing on?


Visualise the outcome you want

We are great at creating all these scenarios that end up making us feel worse.

Use that energy instead to create a vision of what you want. Use all of your senses to create a compelling picture of what you want to see.

Then continue to be in that vision which over time will lessen the grip your anxiety has on you.

What does your vision look like?

You don’t have to let being anxious rule your life. There are ways in which you can take control of the situation. It’s about taking small consistent steps to move you to where you want to go and who you want to be. It’s about practising the habits that will help you.

Are you ready to shed the anxiety?


You might also like to read, Life will get better when you stop getting in the way: 5 proven tips to get you started


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