There is a voice in your head that makes you focus on the dangerousness of a situation, tricks you into avoiding what you really want, and doesn’t let you have peace about matters of importance. This voice is the voice of Anxiety. Anxiety is the most prevalent mental disorder, affecting 40 million U.S. adults. If you keep listening to it’s lies it can make you live a life in black and white and not in HD. It doesn’t have to hold you back and you DON’T have to let anxiety lie to you. The following are 4 tips to stop anxiety lying to you.
Take a moment to Ground Yourself
- Take slow deep breaths (in for 3 seconds out for 5). Repeat this at least 3 times.
- Feel your feet solidly on the floor and take in 5 things you see and 5 sounds you hear around you.
- Use imagery or your creative ability to conquer up times when you felt confident and strong and click yourself into that feeling (or a memory of someone you admire for their confidence or the confident you that you are striving for)
Change the Goal
The goal cannot be to avoid discomfort. This will only lead to depression over time. Then anxiety wins by lying to you that it’s “too much” to face when it is not. It is only challenging and uncomfortable. Make the goal to “face the fear” regardless of the discomfort! This can be done with little steps that lead to big steps. Through the assistance of a self-help workbook or in counseling, you can construct a fear ladder from 1-100 – making a place to start small and go big.
Collect the Data
Your anxiety is telling you the “worst case-scenario” will happen. Either you will be judged harshly, or the danger you will will happen (even though it actually has an incredibly small chance of happening.) Have an alternative hypothesis … one that is Non-catastrophic and test it out. Would you invest all your finances is something that had a very very small chance of turning out? Invest in getting more info and the non catastrophic (more realistic) outcome.
How would you respond to a “frienemy” who was pretending to be your friend and lying to you only to make you hold back in your life and get depressed? Try to put this tough talk in your own words. Some examples are:
“This is anxiety lying to me. This is only uncomfortable. It is worth facing to get stronger!”
“Anxiety, I’m not gonna let you tell me this garbage. Go %$#$%!”
“You’re not gonna control or cripple me anymore. I want to live my life”
Fighting anxiety can be simple in theory – but not easy. It is good to get the help of a licensed and trained Cognitive Behavioral Therapy provider. Results can be relatively quick when you learn and practice tools so you not have to avoid things that are fearful but not actually dangerous and can move toward the more colorful life that you really want and deserve.
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