15 Ways To Conquer Ruminating Thoughts If You Have High-Functioning Anxiety

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There are many types of anxiety, and all of them have different symptoms. But they tend to have one thing in common, and that's repetitive anxious thoughts. If you have anxiety, you might catch yourself ruminating on all the "what-ifs" of life, or zeroing in on worst case scenarios.

This, of course, happens without your permission, as your brain runs away with you, overanalyzes, and focuses on stressful events. "[Repetitive anxious thoughts] can range from negative feelings about oneself to fearful thoughts about possible disaster or illness," Claire Bidwell-Smith, LCPC, grief therapist and author of Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief, tells Bustle. “Even high-functioning people can experience these thoughts while going about their normal days and tasks." If your anxiety symptoms are mild, these unwanted thoughts can still bring you down — and make your life far more stressful than it needs to be.

There is hope, however. "The good news is that it is absolutely possible to overcome repetitive thoughts," Bidwell-Smith says. "Using a combination of basic cognitive-behavioral exercises, mindfulness, and meditation, it is very possible to break, and eventually eliminate, the cycle of receptive thoughts." Here are a few tips and tricks for overcoming them and feeling better in the moment, according to experts.