4 common mistakes people make trying to manage anxiety: and how to beat them!

4 common mistakes people make trying to manage anxiety: and how to beat them!

It’s hard to be happy if you’re worrying all the time.

Stress and anxiety can eat away at positive emotions, such as happiness, and although those suffering often try their best to cope they also often make a number of common mistakes.

So if you have a tendency toward anxiety, but you’d like to enjoy more calm and happiness, then keep reading…

via Business Insider by Alice Boyes

  • Small, everyday mistakes tend to worsen the emotional effects of anxiety. 
  • These patterns are common and simple to fix, and by changing them the negative impact of anxiety can be lessened.
  • Overlooking the value of self-care is a frequent oversight, and may prevent you from taking control of your anxiety. 

I recently wrote an article about five mistakes people with depression make. That post was well-received, so I decided to write a version about anxiety.

Here are well-intentioned ways people respond to or think about their anxiety,  that actually cause unnecessary suffering or get in the way of doing more fulfilling/enjoyable things.

If you’ve made these mistakes, there’s no need to be self-critical. These are common, understandable, and easily fixable patterns.

1. Spending too much time and effort attempting to lower your anxiety

Less is more when it comes to anxiety management. I’ve been anxiety-prone since I was a child, and even with all the strategies I know for lowering anxiety, my usual modus operandi for dealing the anxiety is to do something productive while I wait for my anxious thoughts and physical overarousal to pass on their own.

Think of it like when you take a pot of boiling liquid off a stove. When you remove the heat, it keeps boiling awhile and then gradually cools.  Many of the ways people respond to anxiety backfire and are like keeping the pot on the stove, or even inadvertently turning the temperature up.

If I don’t feel like doing something productive when I’m feeling anxious, I’ll do a quiet, enjoyable activity (like watch Netflix or listen to an audiobook).

If I need to reduce anxiety in situations like leading up to an interview, I just do slow breathing.  Calming physiological arousal naturally calms thoughts.

It’s a good idea to spend a few months learning and practicing anxiety strategies so that you have some favorites at your disposal when needed, and feel comfortable using them. However, most of the time you won’t need to do anything to spot-treat your anxiety, beyond getting out of your own way.

However, if you’re more of an extrovert than I am, you might prefer a more social strategy…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE