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12 Phrases People With Anxiety Are Totally Fed Up With

12 Phrases People With Anxiety Are Totally Fed Up With

Anxiety is a terrible disease. Not only do those who suffer from it live in a constant state of worry and panic, but they also have to deal with those who don’t truly understand the nature of the disease. Although friends of those with anxiety are, for the most part, attempting to be sympathetic, sometimes their “words of advice” end up doing more harm than good. Even if you are trying to help, you should never catch yourself saying the following to a person suffering from anxiety.

1. “Stop being so negative!”

People with anxiety wish they could stop focusing on the possibility of bad things happening, but they can’t. Their minds are full of what-if scenarios, and will unwittingly latch on to the worst-case outcomes as if they’re 100% guaranteed. For people with anxiety, pessimism and realism are one in the same.

2. “You just like being miserable.”

We’ve all heard people say “you’re just not happy unless you have something to complain about,” but to a person with anxiety, this simply isn’t the case. They don’t like being miserable, but for many of them, it’s the only way they know how to live.

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3. “You’re so dramatic.”

Life isn’t a TV show. People with anxiety don’t sit around writing their lives out in a script in an attempt to make every situation they face as dramatic as possible. They don’t thrive off of the panicky feelings they get, and they certainly aren’t entertained by them. They know they’re dramatic, and would give anything to not be.

4. “You’re being ridiculous.”

Along with knowing they’re dramatic at times, people with anxiety often know their feelings and intuitions are ridiculous, but they can’t help feeling them. Also, by saying this, you put a label on a friend because of an illness that they can’t help. Do you really think that will help at all?

5. “Try not to think about it.”

This is like saying “Stop thinking of purple elephants.” If you tell someone, especially a person with anxiety, to stop thinking about something, all they’re going to do is think abut it (no matter what “it” is). As a friend, the best thing you can do is steer clear of talking about “it” altogether, and bring up just about anything else to the person’s mind.

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6. “Get over yourself.”

Those who don’t understand anxiety might think the sufferer is just throwing a pity-party. If anything, though, it’s the complete opposite. People suffering from anxiety hate being in the spotlight and don’t want to be the center of attention. They’re not making a huge scene because they want people to feel bad for them; they truly cannot help themselves.

7. “What do you have to worry about?”

A person who truly suffers from anxiety will probably answer this question with “everything and nothing all at once.” They know that, for the most part, there really is nothing to worry about, but since they can’t stop worrying about something (usually an intangible, unreachable something), they tend to worry even more. And insinuating they don’t have anything to worry about, of course, only exacerbates the issue.

8. “You just need to try harder.”

Though anxiety obviously creates observable reactions from those who suffer from it, it’s an internal disease of the mind that can’t be seen by others. Saying that a sufferer needs to “try harder” to deal with their issues makes it clear that you have no idea how much they are struggling to keep it together at any and all times.

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9. “It must be horrible being you.”

File this one under “Gee, thanks.” While you might think such a statement is a sympathetic way of saying “I feel your pain,” a person with anxiety is just going to hear “Sucks to be you.” They really can’t imagine what it’s like to not suffer from anxiety, but would do absolutely anything to live life free of chronic worry. They know it’s horrible; they don’t need you to reinforce that.

10. “Everyone feels that way sometimes.”

Again, this is a vain attempt to commiserate with an anxious individual, but all it does is minimize everything the person is going through. Sure, everyone feels uneasy every once in a while, but the definition of anxiety is a chronic feeling of uneasiness. By definition, unless you feel anxious all the time, you have no idea how a person with true anxiety feels.

11. “You’re just lazy.”

At least the rest of the items on this list are attempts at being sympathetic; this one’s just straight-up mean. It goes along with “you need to try harder,” as if a person with anxiety deserves to have to put extra effort into beating their disease. And, again, just because you can’t see how hard they’re trying doesn’t mean they’re not.

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12. “It could be worse.”

Of course it could be worse. But then, once you say that, all an anxious person is going to think about is how much worse it could be. As I said before, those suffering from anxiety tend to extrapolate and predict chains of occurrences that will lead to even worse scenarios. Saying “it could be worse” might be an attempt to let a friend know they don’t have it that bad, but all it really does is lead to them coming up with hundreds of what-if scenarios leading to pain and suffering.

Featured photo credit: Anxiety / Diane Northman via farm9.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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