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Three Little-Known Facts About Anxiety

February 19, 2015 Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC

There are many facts about anxiety that we can use to our advantage. Anxiety has become a household word in our society, and for good reason; together, the anxiety disorders are the most common of all mental illnesses. Indeed, in the United States alone, approximately 40 million Americans live with an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. Anxiety facts are important for these millions of us to know.

Researchers continue to discover new insights into this condition that wreaks havoc on our lives. There are myriad anxiety resources available to us so we can learn about, and ultimately overcome, it. Still, anxiety can be difficult to understand, and there are facts about anxiety that aren't widely known. These little-known anxiety facts are important to know as they can assist in recovery from anxiety.

Three Little-Known Anxiety Facts

Anxiety Fact #1: Anxiety is a Liar

Plain and simple, anxiety is full of hot air. It insidiously works its way into the brain, creating an anxious brain. It whispers—no, it shouts—thoughts at us that aren’t true. When we’re gripped by anxiety, we can’t trust our own anxious thoughts.

There are facts about anxiety you might not know. Discover little-known anxiety facts and learn how you can make these anxiety facts work for you.

Performance anxiety tells us we can’t do it. It’s a liar; we have strengths, knowledge, and skills to draw on that truthfully say we can. Social anxiety tells us that people hate us, judge us, and that we are worthless. That’s a lie; like all humans, we have unique traits to bring to social interactions with people, and we are valuable enough to share them. Panic disorder tells us that we can’t go places or do things without having more panic attacks. When we break free of the lies, we can begin to reduce the frequency and intensity of panic attacks until they’re gone.

Know this little-known fact about anxiety: What it tells you is nothing but a lie. When we start to look for the evidence to prove to ourselves that anxiety is lying to us, we can finally shout, “Liar, liar, pants on fire,” and walk away.

Anxiety Fact #2: You Can Beat Anxiety at Its Own Game

One of the deceits that anxiety throws at us is the “what-if” scenarios. Anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder in particular, makes our mind race with worry and fear. It can nearly paralyze us with these horrible doubts.

A little-known fact about anxiety is that because it’s just bluffing in its attempt to control us, we can beat it at its own game. Turn around those “what-ifs” and use them to pick yourself up rather than letting anxiety knock you to the floor. For example, anxiety’s “What if I fail?” becomes, “What if I succeed?”

Some tips to make this one the most effective: keep the wording positive (rather than “What if I don’t fail?” think, “What if I succeed?”) because words are powerful and what you speak/think/write is what you focus on; also, be specific (what does success look like for you, what will it feel like, how will you know when you achieve the first step?).

Anxiety Fact #3: You Can Kill Anxiety with Kindness

It’s true (unlike anxiety, I don’t lie). This is an anxiety fact that many people don’t know because it doesn’t always come naturally. Of course, anxiety is awful. Of course, we hate it. It can make us miserable and limited and we want to destroy it or sometimes even destroy ourselves if it won’t go away.

Think about the emotions associated with the above words and thoughts. They invoke stress and tension and they close us off from the world around us and even from our true selves. By hating anxiety and focusing on all of the negatives associated with it, we are inadvertently hanging onto it. Again, what we speak/think/write is what we focus on, and what we focus on becomes our reality.

Experiment with the positive. Notice, for example, when you’re cursing anxiety for keeping you at home or perhaps going to work but spending day after day in sheer fear of being judged and condemned as inadequate. Then, switch to kindness—to both anxiety and yourself. You might say, “Anxiety, I know you want me to do well and be liked. Thank you for that. I’m going to do well today, so you don’t have to work so hard.” (Okay, that’s really cheesy, but hopefully it expresses the idea. Tailor it to your own needs and personality.) And be kind to yourself. Remind yourself of your strengths, gifts, and talents, and plan how you will use them each day or even each hour.

Learning Facts About Anxiety Takes Away Its Power and Gives Power Back to You

The more we know, the better we do. That’s part of the human experience. It applies as much to anxiety as it does to everything else.

When we learn these little-known facts about anxiety, we can use them to take back our lives.

You can also connect with Tanya J. Peterson on her website, Google+, Facebook,Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest.

APA Reference
NCC, T. (2015, February 19). Three Little-Known Facts About Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 18 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2015/02/three-little-known-facts-about-anxiety



Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC

Tanya J. Peterson is the author of The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety, The Mindfulness Workbook for Anxiety, Break Free: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in 3 steps, and five critically-acclaimed, award-winning novels about mental health challenges. She speaks nationally about mental health, and she has a curriculum for middle and high schools. Find her on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Dr Musli Ferati
says:
March, 5 2015 at 12:28 am
Hello Ms. Peterson,
I'm glad to see your benevolent feed-back on my observation to anxiety, as direct answer to mindful and practical suggestions toward this common emotional disturbance. There are many faces of anxiety, which ones deserve substantial and brainly analysis. Your contribute is welcomed !
Dr Musli Ferati
says:
March, 4 2015 at 1:00 am
The most appropriate recommendation on anxiety as insidious and unavoidable emotional disorder is this psychosocial skill: it ought to face successfully with this unkind impression through global life functioning. Positive approach to daily difficulties indicates first and useful aspect on perpetuate confront with anxiety. Yours thee Little-Facts on on anxiety go along with above mention statement. Furthermore, it should find out the opportunity and favors of life problems, in order to soften the repercussions of emotional troubles. Anyhow, it ought to undertake some kind and happy activities alongside dark episode of emotional discharge. In a word, it is advisable to balance personal needs with environment conditions and to evaluate in adequate manner personal wishes in front of real possibilities. However, these and many others psychosocial skills didn't except the necessity of psychiatric treatment of different forms of anxiety disorders, especially when they compromise global life functioning or respective person.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 4 2015 at 12:08 pm
Hello Dr. Ferati,
Thank your for your wise insights. I agree that anxiety disorders, when they negatively impact life functioning, should be addressed in multiple ways. Psychiatric care is indeed important, as is the balance you mention between personal needs and desires and realistic life circumstances. And when there is a positive approach to this, there's a very good chance that anxiety will be replaced with happiness and healthy functioning. Anxiety can be overcome.
Bethann
says:
February, 26 2015 at 12:24 am
Well I sincerely liked reading it. This article offered by you is very constructive for correct planning.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

February, 26 2015 at 3:34 pm
Hello Bethann,
Thank you for you feedback. Planning is important in overcoming anxiety (and anything else, for that matter). I'm glad that this could be helpful.
Sheila Bergquist
says:
February, 19 2015 at 2:56 am
I had to laugh at what you thought was cheesy in your kindness speech to anxiety. I literally say to my anxiety "Thanks for trying to help me, but it's a false alarm. You can go back to sleep." So I think your message was great!
I really enjoy and appreciate your posts. Thank you.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

February, 19 2015 at 11:17 am
Hello Sheila!
Thanks for making my day! I'm glad I made you laugh. I laughed when I wrote it! :) I love what you say to your anxiety. Cheesy or not, it's part of what works! I appreciate your feedback about my posts. Take charge of your moments today and make great ones!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Nicole
says:
February, 22 2015 at 3:21 am
I thought it was rather cute when I read it, and had to smile at the cheesy bit, because that made me anxious over saying it to myself. Thankfully, I read it internally the first time so it rather is a fun way of going about it, that I might now remember in the future because of the way it was presented.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

February, 22 2015 at 10:43 am
Hi Nicole,
Thank you for your feedback! You raise a great point: fun is important when dealing with anxiety. And saying things internally is perfectly okay. :)

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