Finding the good

Clearly anxiety is not a fun result to deal with. It's challenging, because you see your problems differently than before. It's kind of like looking at a photograph and struggling to "unsee" it again.

Anxiety is not genetic. It is not caused by a chemical change or drug. I've even read an article linking blood type to people that are more at risk at developing anxiety, but I don't think you develop anxiety-I believe you develop a mindset.

The core of anxiety is thought. Everything you fear is not the fear itself, but the thought you have about it. This doesn't make it easy to "shut down" because when you're afraid, rationality defenestrates (goes out the window). But it can be reversed. A big boobytrap in anxiety is habit, continuing the same thought processes and not challenging them (in fear the scenario will come to pass) and that's probably the hardest part about redirecting that mindset.

A few good things that help, particularly with symptoms, is to "float" with them. You may be asking yourself, "why don't I feel normal? This isn't normal. If I don't feel physically normal it must indicate something is legitimately wrong!" That's a fun roller coaster to hop on. But what anxiety is, is the fight or flight response, which has the adrenal glands secrete stress hormones into your blood stream (usually cortisol). This, in turn, does all sorts of funky stuff; elevates blood pressure, turns blood away from the digestive tract, shuts down rationality, tightens abdominal muscles, raises blood sugar, increases heart rate, dial ages pupils, etc. and for people with anxiety, this happens a lot. It's kind of like becoming a human YoYO. And it takes much more time for these harmonies to chill than it takes for them to flood the system. And that's for one time. But with anxiety, it happens again and again. I mean if you think of it in a physiological way, no wonder you don't feel on top of things. This is how that cycle of something wrong goes over and over again because a lot of us don't realize how just worry can affect one physically. (I'm struggling to believe it, even after having read a lot of information).

Anyway, there are some empowering things I've done that helps.

-SAY YAY TO EVERYTHING YOU DO. Now this may seem pointless, but it's not. Positive self talk is awesome. Positive self talk is empowering, whereas negative self talk is crippling. You feel anxious somewhere, pat yourself on the back and say, "wow, I got this far. Next time, I'll get farther. Good job, me." Doesn't matter how small it is, there is no small victory.


Now what I mean by this is not to write about how bad you feel, but write in terms of believing you are going to one day give this or show this material to someone else dealing with anxiety. This is also empowering because as you know, mental visuals are very strong. So if you imagine yourself anxiety free and helping someone else, it gives your current state even more purpose and actually makes you almost glad to be currently enduring it. Or at least, it does for me.


Okay, so you know when you're worrying over something and you picture it in your head and you get panicky and start down the long and endless list of what-ifs? Yeah, that's when you "flick" the image away. On your phone to scroll through images, you swipe. So do that with your negative thoughts. Pause. Take a breath. And tell yourself this isn't helpful and mentally swipe it away to something happy. I really like the visual terms for this like "floating" I mentioned earlier because you know exactly what it means.


Now this is hard. Very hard. But realize that you DO have a choice in whether to react fearfully to a thought. I am behing hypocritical because I do this all the time, but it's empowering to know that when I freak out, it's me doing it, not something that's being done to me.


This. Is. So. Beneficial. And I'm getting better at it. And it does lessen anxiety but it takes practice. So, when you're afraid and imagining the worst (crystal clear images and everything), for a second, visualize it all going okay. Visualize the relief at knowing nothing bad happens. Visualize walking out of some place with pride knowing what you just accomplished. I swear, this is awesome. It's hard and may take multiple times and you may even feel uncomfortable. Why? Well that's my own theory. I have a theory that worry is not only a habit, but a reaction to control the improbable scenarios we conjure. Worry is a way to "brace" for that what-if in case it ever were to happen. But worry is an illusion of control.


In no scenario (except healthy wariness) is worry beneficial. Physically, psychologically, physiologically, etc. and only spurts off that stress response like a water gun. So when you panic, ask yourself that: "will this worry help me in ANY way?"

I hope this helped some and I just really what people with anxiety to feel empowered and to know anxiety is not forever and that there are ways to overcome it. And just think, after you do, what won't you be able to do?

2 Replies

  • That was a great post! What really struck is using worry as a form of control. That is so true with me I feel like if I ease up that's when shit will hit the fan it's like if I stay worried and anxious then things will be ok but many many people don't live like this and everything is fine it's just a horrible way to think and live. I wish I could change this and looking back I've always been that way.

  • And that's what got me with the worry thing! That's why it takes practice-it doesn't matter if you've had that thought process since childhood. The hardest time is the first time. You just have to do it once and then the next time, you'll think "it worked last time" and it'll actually help you. Just try the positive visualization once!

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