Can unhelpful emotions cause anxiety?

Himanshu Dani 2 Replies

Can unhelpful emotions cause anxiety?

Image source: lifehacker.com

Humans are the most emotional animals on earth.

Emotions. The most difficult thing to understand this universe.

Humans have wondered for ages on how emotions arise in the mind.

They are so powerful that they have the potential to have big and
long lasting impacts on our lives.

There is a link between anxiety and emotions. Certainly, there is.

Anxiety is an overstimulation of fear responses. It means that it is the more powerful form of the emotion of fear.

We already know that fear is indeed an emotion that is associated with discomfort.

If you are an anxiety sufferer you will admit the fact that emotions affect you in a different way than they did before you had an anxiety disorder.

So roughly there are two ways in which emotions affect anxiety.

One is when powerful emotions strike when you don’t have any anxiety disorder or at least are not in the anxious phase.

The second is when powerful emotions strike when you are in the phase of anxiety. This is specifically when you are already having anxious episodes or at least you are on the edge to get anxiety attacks.

Does it sound true?

I guess yes.  

Even I have experienced this thing when I suffered from anxiety.

The emotions affect you more when you are in the periods of anxiety. They don’t affect that much when you are normal.

You get not emotional turmoil when you are in anxiety episode. But if you take a closer look you will understand that emotion turmoil mostly happens in the anticipatory anxiety.

 Anticipatory anxiety is the worry or concern of panic attacks which happens between two anxiety attacks.

You get very reactive to the disturbing thoughts and sensations that you experience.

You overthink on each and everything that you feel during anxiety. You also think on the things that are not actually related to anxiety.

 I will give a funny example of myself. I used to be more concerned about life after death when I was in anxiety episode. Otherwise I didn’t think on those things that much.

I used to think those things and get more distressed because of them.

Those thoughts made me restless.

I used to remember the violent death of my uncle and imagine how he might have felt while dying! I used to imagine his pain and get upset over the fact that he died so violently and that was so horrible.

That made me panicky and took the hell out of me.

I suffered extreme restlessness.  

This fact is very less discussed that how do anxiety suffers feel during the anticipatory periods.

You go very sensitive to negative remembrances and emotions when you are anxious but you are not that sensitive when you are calm and happy.

What is the reason for this?

It is called anxiety sensitivity:

As we discussed earlier, fear is an emotion.

Worry is the precursor to fear. If we do a close observation, we can understand that worry is the concern for negative outcomes of the event.  

When you fall in the anxious cycle, for a certain period of time, you normally get negative emotions.

They disturb you so much that sometimes it becomes difficult for you to carry on your day.


The reason for this is negative feelings and thoughts are also a symptom of anxiety.

You don’t deliberately choose to think of them.

They pop up automatically and make you more and more anxious.

When your brain switches to the anxious mode, it sees everything through the filter of negativity.

For example, if you are in anxious mode and there are studs playing outside your window making a lot of noise, once in a while you may get a dreadful feeling for a moment that a fight has broken out between them. That is because of the noise.
Actually, they are playing and yelling and having fun. The negative filter of your anxious mind makes you think negatively from the noise you hear. You feel that they have started fighting.

Something like this often happens, right?

What can you do for this?

It sounds difficult at first.

You will say it is very difficult that state of mind and the restlessness does not let you think or do anything.

Consider the following 3 points:

1. These kinds of thoughts are a sign of anxious arousal. When that happens, you need to ground yourself to normal by relaxing. Steady breathing is the key. Belly breathing helps you to calm down fast and return to the normal state where you can resume your normal daily activities.

2. Know that all that is there is only in your head. There is no threat outside that is scaring you. It is the negative mental filter that makes you feel that way.

3. When that happens, it is not just that you feel the dreadful feelings. You also contribute to the condition by overthinking and imagining the worst. You fear the worst in this situation and imagine all that is dreadful. That increases your distress significantly.

What you should do and not do in anxiety for this condition:


  • Keep calm in every situation. Try not to overthink and make yourself miserable.
  • Distract yourself when fearful feelings strike.
  • Develop endurance to the negative emotions and feelings.
  • Develop some personal methods that can give you relief in anxious situations.
  • Keep yourself busy or engaged in your favorite activities. That will keep you away from
    unwanted thoughts.

Don’t Do’s:

  • Do not think on the philosophical aspects of life and death. That really affects you.
  • Make sure you don’t see disturbing things on the internet. Don’t see videos of death, killing, torture, accidents etc. that disturb your mind and push you into thinking on unwanted things.
  • Watch motivational videos.
  • Practice belly breathing.
  • Practice meditation and make it a part of your routine.
  • Educate yourself about anxiety and practice Cognitive Therapy and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy in the self-help form.

The bottom line is:

It is possible to manage and pass through the negative emotional states in anxiety with patience and practice. That is the toughest part and it is definitely not easy. But, that is what is the victory of the panic sufferer. If you want to win over anxiety you got to do these things yourself and make the difference for you and others. The strength of the panic sufferer is that he or she has the guts and motivation to pass through such a turmoil.

Courage and hard work always give rewards.








  1. Arshi

    Thank you himanshu, your articles are helping me a lot in coping with my anxiety disorders… I have been suffering from anxiety neurosis since last 4 months, though after taking homeopathy medicine and awareness about the disorder I have leaned to deal with it to a certain extent but dizziness all day long is what is bothering me the most, I mean the physical symptoms like numbness in the hands and continuing dizziness is disturbing me a lot, kindly help

    1. Himanshu Dani Post author

      Hey Arshi I am glad you liked my work. Remember that the physical symptoms of anxiety are actually the sensations you are feeling because of anxious arousal or continuous tensions. The more you resist these sensations or try to get rid of them with avoidance or by actually fearing the more intense they become. The best way is to learn to tolerate them in the first place. For example, you feel lightheaded in anxiety but understand that anxiety does not cause fainting and that has been proved scientifically. Whenever you are in anxiety you are not in danger. There is no harm to your life. Start practicing cognitive therapy and you will see the difference. All the best.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *