The first step you need to take is to stop what you were doing as soon as you feel anxious. This may be difficult because you are stressed out already and need to finish a specific task, but take a moment to pause and identify precisely when you started feeling anxious.
To discover the causes for anxiety you suffer, you have to recognize the onset of anxiety. Often people do not know they are feeling anxious until the emotion is severely impeding their functions. You have to develop an ability to recognize the feeling right when it starts sprouting. This will take time and practice. Next time you are feeling anxious, try to think of when it started. Slowly, you will be able to catch it earlier and soon enough you will know exactly when that dreadful feeling is threatening to pop up.
As you get accustomed to pausing and identifying your anxiety, you should try writing down what you are thinking, feeling and the reason you think you are experiencing anxiety. As you start this exercise, you may not be getting to the root causes for anxiety, simply because you don’t have the ability to stop and identify anxiety at its beginning, but practice will allow you to get there eventually.
Now it’s time to re-read what you have written. When you were anxious, what were you thinking and feeling at that time and what is the reason you believe you felt anxiety? Slowly, a pattern will begin to emerge and allow you to focus on the original causes for anxiety.
There are many reasons that can be to blame for your anxiety. You should have some knowledge of these ideas, so you know what patterns to look for when reviewing your anxiety journals. Anxiety can be situational. Perhaps your anxiety is brought on by circumstances that surround you, like being at a party with unfamiliar people. Your anxiety may also be caused by your thinking process. You may be engaging in negative self-talk or have unrealistic expectations of yourself.
Once you recognize the pattern that is causing you to be anxious, you will be able work on solving those issues and start feeling less anxious.