Does anxiety cause procrastination or is it the act of procrastinating that brings about anxiety?
Procrastination, the act of delaying or postponing something is essentially the avoidance of action because a part of you believes that carrying out the act will cause some sort of pain or negative result. This belief may be thought subconsciously, but it is nevertheless a protection mechanism to keep you safe from your perceived fear. Every procrastination tactic comes about as the part of our mind responsible for survival (the primitive emotional brain) perceives some sort of threat and so that part of the mind steps in to protect us.
Procrastination can be a common problem if you suffer from anxiety or tend to be a chronic worrier. All those ‘what if’ thoughts or negative beliefs about the end results can keep you from accomplishing your goals or completing certain responsibilities. For example, you may avoid applying for a particular job because you fear rejection and perceive this as failure. Or perhaps you put off talking to your doctor about a certain issue because you are nervous about the outcome.
Anxiety and worry does cause us to procrastinate. However, the more we put things off the more anxious we begin to feel about those things. Let’s say, for instance, you put off having what you perceive to be a difficult conversation with a friend or work colleague because you are worried about their response and have forecast a negative result. During the time that you are avoiding this action your mind continues to ruminate over the outcome and the longer you delay the more your imagination takes hold. If we don’t know something for certain our mind will make it up and then believe this to be true. This prolonged negative forecasting creates anxiety.
There is no doubt that anxiety and procrastination are very much interlinked, one brings about the other. The common underlying link is the negative beliefs we hold in our mind.
If you are struggling with anxiety or need some support to accomplish your goals, hypnotherapy can help. I work with Solution Focused Hypnotherapy which helps an individual to change their way of thinking, to regain control of their mind and to make positive changes in their life.
To find out more or to book an initial consultation call 07514 931 096 or email me using the contact form.