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10 Misconceptions People With Anxiety Can’t Wait To Set Straight

10 Misconceptions People With Anxiety Can’t Wait To Set Straight

As human beings, it is entirely normal to experience anxiety. Our brain’s flight or fight response serves as a protector, alerting us to any potential threats to our safety. However, for some of us our flight or fight response becomes activated when we don’t need it to.

When our brain is constantly alerting us to potential threats, as irrational as they may be, we are forced to take notice. This is why anxiety suffers often feel on edge- their brains are constantly tipping them off that something frightening is lurking around the next corner.

Many people experience life in this way but unfortunately, stigma scares many of them out of talking about or even learning more about their anxiety. As a result, many misconceptions surrounding anxiety have emerged.

These misconceptions can be damaging not only to the sufferers themselves but also to their friends and family who are eager to provide their support.

Here are 10 misconceptions that anxiety suffers want the rest of the world to be aware of so that they can better understand what we are going through and how to help.

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1. “Talking it out” won’t always work

When someone is going through a tough time, a popular question to ask is, “Do you want to talk about it?” But for those with anxiety, this isn’t always a helpful method.

When we are in an anxious state, sometimes the last thing we need to do is discuss it in further detail. We do a lot of self-examination in our heads, which can be pretty exhausting on its own; expressing it vocally may drain us even more.

Instead, ask if there is anything you can do to help. We may just want to be alone or we may ask for your support in another way. The experience of anxiety is different for all of us, so it is best to simply ask, “How can I help?”

2. We are rational people who, at times, think illogically (and we know it)

From the outside, we know that our fears can seem pretty silly. But they are all too real on the inside. We try really hard to convince ourselves that in reality, the things we fear pose no threat at all.

This is challenging to do because we are fighting against a number of factors that contribute to this fearful response such as genetics, past experience or trauma. We know when our fears are illogical, but that doesn’t mean we can just make them go away.

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3. Medication is far from a quick fix

If there was a miracle drug for anxiety, we would all be on it and there would be zero trace of anxiety in any of us. Medications do exist to treat symptoms of anxiety but they certainly don’t cure it.

While many have found that these medications provide temporary relief to symptoms, they would agree that their anxiety hasn’t magically vanished entirely.

4. Anxiety can be managed but not controlled

There are a number of methods for managing anxiety, such as exercise, meditation, diet and therapy., which is encouraging for those who feel victim to their anxiety. While there isn’t a cure-all by any means, there are ways to keep symptoms in check.

However, sufferers simply cannot control when or how anxiety will strike. The very best we can do is simply be prepared for when it reels its ugly head.

5. The cause of our anxiety isn’t always an obvious one

Sometimes we experience anxiety and have not a clue as to where it stemmed from. Giving a big work presentation is an obvious reason to feel anxious, but for those who experience anxiety regularly, the cause isn’t always so obvious.

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We will exert a lot of energy in trying to figure out where the anxious feelings are coming from, but we can’t always come up with an answer.

6. It can strike out of nowhere

Things can be going perfectly smooth when all of a sudden a wave of anxiety crashes down. There is no rhyme or reason to anxiety sometimes and it can surprise us just as much as it stuns you.

We know it can be really inconvenient for those around us when anxiety strikes, but know that we are doing everything we can to manage it.

7. Anxiety can affect us both mentally and physically

Anxiety is not only felt mentally but it can also take its toll physically. A common misconception is that anxiety is simply feeling nervous or uneasy, but for many of us, it affects us in a much larger way.

Our brains being in a constant anxious state can cause us to feel extremely fatigued. We may also experience digestive problems, dizziness, and tension headaches.

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8. You may not sense our anxiety, but it is always there

When you’ve experienced anxiety for a significant length of time, you become better at concealing it from others. But this doesn’t mean there isn’t something brewing on the inside. If we feel anxious but aren’t in a position where we feel comfortable expressing it, we will hide it and pretend that everything is absolutely fine.

This is an uncomfortable experience because we are feeling one thing internally but trying to convey something entirely different externally.

9. We may judge and criticize our anxiety, but expect that you won’t

Anxious people can get down on themselves for feeling the way they do (which is why acceptance is so important to us). We will judge and criticize our thoughts, which will lead to more negative thoughts and in turn, create those feelings of anxiety.

It’s something we are working on but ask that while we master being more accepting and less judgmental of our own anxiety, that you do the same. Understand that we are doing the best we can and support us as we tackle any negative judgment or criticism.

10. If becoming less anxious were a choice, we would certainly choose it

We never chose to be this way. Anxiety was never our first choice. For reasons that we may never fully understand, we are anxious people and work extremely hard every day to not let it get in the way of the lives we want to live.

We never signed up for this fight but we know deep down that we are strong enough to win it.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on November 20, 2018

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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2. You put the cart before the horse.

“Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

3. You don’t believe in yourself.

A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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6. You don’t enjoy the process.

Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

7. You’re trying too hard.

Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

8. You don’t track your progress.

Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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9. You have no social support.

It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

10. You know your what but not your why.

The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

  • The more specific you can make your goal,
  • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
  • The more encouraged you’ll be,
  • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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