To be anxious in a quiet zone can create an unbearable, uncomfortable silence. Anxiety, especially social anxiety, can flare when we’re in a room full of people. Noisy chatter, clanking objects, clacking shoes, clicking doors, and all other background noise is amplified by anxiety. In turn, anxiety revs up, and all of this commotion can make us tense, shaky, dizzy, and fearful that we’re doing something wrong. As miserable as a noisy room can make the anxiety-sufferer, when things go quiet and silence descends, it is often then that anxiety spirals out of control. Being anxious in a quiet zone and agonizing through uncomfortable silence is common in social anxiety, but it doesn’t have to forever plague us. Keep reading »

Living with anxiety can mean a life full of challenges, and the challenges of living with with anxiety can be significant. Anxiety can range from mild to debilitating; further, it comes in many forms and types of anxiety disorders. Despite the differences in degrees of severity and the way anxiety is experienced, there is a common thread: anxiety can make life difficult. Add to this the fact that the experience of anxiety can be hard for “outsiders” to understand, and the frustration level skyrockets. Indeed, the challenges of living with anxiety can be daunting, but we all have the power to overcome them.  Keep reading »

To reason with anxiety and the anxious thoughts that accompany it can seem not only ridiculous but downright impossible. Picture a toddler in the throes of a spirited temper tantrum. Said toddler is, at that moment, irrational and emotional and not quite capable of discussing the matter at hand over a cup of tea. Anxiety can be like that toddler. The difference between anxiety and a toddler, though, is that a toddler isn’t developmentally capable of reasoning. We, on the other hand, are capable of rationalizing; by default, we can reason with anxiety because it’s (temporarily) part of us. As far-fetched as it may seem, it is quite possible to reason away our anxiety and anxious thoughts.  Keep reading »

Unconditional positive regard is something that can reduce anxiety. Regarding ourselves positively and unconditionally involves, simply, treating ourselves nicely and with kind respect. When we live with anxiety (social anxiety disorder, in particular, but really any form of anxiety), we tend to magnify what we perceive to be our faults, shortcomings, and penchant for making mistakes. We also tend to focus on these and berate ourselves for them. When we stop beating ourselves up and, instead, treat ourselves with unconditional positive regard, we can actually reduce anxiety.  Keep reading »

Paralyzing anxiety is a very descriptive term. Anxiety can be paralyzing, almost completely shutting us down. Any type of anxiety can insidiously take over our thoughts, increasing our fears to the point where we want to shut down and hole up. Worries can make us feel as though we are stuck and can’t go on. However, there are ways we can move despite this paralyzing anxiety. Keep reading »

The causes or the effects of anxiety: which came first: the chicken or the egg? Anxiety has both causes and effects. It seems straightforward, but to those of us who have experienced it, it’s not always so clear which comes first, the causes or the effects of anxiety. It can be a frustrating chicken-and-egg conundrum. Keep reading »

It’s not surprising that a great number of human beings fear change and experience significant anxiety when it comes to the unknown. It makes sense, actually. From  infancy to old age, people need predictable routines in order to thrive. We strive to create routines so we feel safe and secure, organized, in control, and confident in who and what is in our lives. Isn’t it annoying and anxiety-provoking when change comes along and messes with us? While we won’t be able to stop change from happening throughout our lives, happily we can do something about how we handle it. There are surprising ways to decrease the fear of change and quiet anxiety of the unknown.  Keep reading »

Existential anxiety is an all-encompassing form of anxiety and stress that is present in a nagging way when we try to make meaning in life simply because, as humans, we exist. That’s a fun concept, isn’t it? We experience anxiety, stress, strife, worry, and even panic simply because we are alive. Being alive is certainly a wonderful thing, but existential anxiety can put a damper on it (this might be an understatement). Why does mere existence cause us dissonance and different kinds of stress, and can it go away? Can we make meaning in our lives despite this existential anxiety and stress? Keep reading »

Anxiety can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to picture yourself free from anxiety. However, sometimes picturing ourselves free from anxiety is exactly what will help get rid of it. Keep reading »

It has been a year since I came on board as one of the anxiety bloggers for HealthyPlace. In that time, I have met many people and made online friends I will almost certainly like, tag, and comment on forever. I met Tanya Peterson, who has been an incredible blog partner. I worked with the incomparable Natasha Tracy and learned more about the inner workings of blogging than I ever thought possible. These reasons, and so many others, are why it is so difficult to say goodbye.

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