How To Deal With The Anxious Feeling That Things Are Going A Little *Too* Well

How To Deal With The Anxious Feeling That Things Are Going A Little *Too* Well iStock

There comes a time in every woman’s life when everything seems to be falling perfectly into place, and that can be stressful as hell. It may sound ridiculous, but sometimes when things in life start going a bit too well, you’re left feeling anxious instead of happy. A little voice in your head starts trying to freak you out, whispering that it’s definitely only a matter of time before everything goes wrong. Screw that! You deserve to have good things happen to you — and to enjoy them when they do. Here are some ways to do just that.

  1. Give yourself permission to be happy. Sometimes we get so used to putting out fires in life that when everything is going smoothly, we’re immediately suspicious. Where this impulse comes from varies depending the person, but often it’s rooted in a deep-seated belief that we don’t necessarily deserve to be happy. That’s ridiculous! It’s okay to want and to experience nice things. Embrace those things when they come your way.
  2. Practice mindfulness. Sure, this sounds a bit new agey, but it’s a life-changing habit that will make everything so much better. Whenever you catch yourself succumbing to pessimism or anxiety, take a moment to bring yourself back to the present. Take a few deep breaths and think about what’s causing your feelings. The more often you check in with yourself, the easier it will be to stay in a more optimistic frame of mind.
  3. Keep a gratitude journal. Maintaining a gratitude journal can seriously work wonders in warding off anxiety. It’s so easy to take the smallest things for granted — it happens to the best of us. However, journaling about the things you’re grateful for, from your health and your job to even little things like a day off of work or the run you did this morning, reminds us just how fortunate we are to be alive. Doing this will help change your thought patterns from anxiety about things being too good to gratitude for the amazing things and people in your life.
  4. Avoid comparing your life to everyone else’s. Imposter syndrome is all too real. If you’re ahead of your peers in a particular area, you might start to feel like something must be up that you’re not struggling like them. For instance, if you’re the only girl in your crew who’s in a serious relationship or who is in a senior position at your company, you might wonder if everything is going to come crumbling down in your life. Nix comparison in the bud and pat yourself on the back. You’ve worked hard to get where you are and you deserve it. Your journey is your own.
  5. Seek therapy or counseling. There’s no shame in admitting that your anxious thoughts surrounding things going too well (or about anything at all!) are overwhelming and something you can’t master on your own. That’s what professionals are there for. Working with a licensed therapist can help you find the causes of your anxiety as well as giving you coping techniques for how to deal with it.
  6. Develop healthy self-talk. Self-affirmation and self-validation are wonderful things. They’re also wholly necessary if you’re going to embrace all the wonderful things in your life. Whenever you feel the tide of anxiety rising, remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments. Healthy self-talk will nurture and empower you in your relationship with yourself, and as a result, you’ll find yourself drifting further away from the doomsday mentality.
  7. Have a contingency plan, but don’t overdo it. It’s completely okay to have a plan B or even a plan C in case things go wrong. It’s smart, even. However, there is such a thing as going too overboard to the point that failure becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s good to know what you’ll do if such and such situation doesn’t work out, but remember that you have every reason to believe that it will. Focus on that more than the alternative.
  8. Do things that bring you joy. Anxiety can be crippling, but sometimes one of the best ways to combat it is by distracting yourself and instead dedicating your time and energy to something that makes you feel whole and happy. Do something that you really love doing, whether it’s reading, writing, going to the gym, watching TV, whatever. The more you fill your cup, the greater your overall sense of happiness will be.
  9. Rely on your support circle. This is literally what your girls (and guys!) are there for. Sharing the anxious thoughts and feelings you get when things seem to be going well in your life reduces their power. Plus, your friends will be there to remind you that you’re being nutso and that you’re actually incredible and deserve nice things. An objective perspective is much-needed and can be super helpful.
  10. Celebrate your wins — yes, even the small ones. Instead of being hypercritical of the good things in your life, celebrate them! Even the small wins matter and are worth being excited for. Develop a practice of being excited for and proud of the good stuff. Soon enough, there won’t be any room for anxious thoughts in your mind (at least that’s the idea).
Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill