Defusion means becoming unstuck from something, in this case, anxiety. Anxiety often looms large. It consumes our thoughts and emotions and it impacts our actions, too. Anxiety sticks to us, and we to it when all of our time and energy, thoughts and feelings, actions or lack of action are fused with anxiety. To reduce anxiety, we need to separate ourselves from anxiety. In acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), this is called defusion. Defusion can really help with anxiety.
How do you stay grounded when the superwoman syndrome or the superman complex make your anxiety soar? It's hard to feel calm and live anxiety-free when you pressure yourself to be perfect in every way, in every situation. Living with the superwoman syndrome or a superman complex can make you feel high-strung yet utterly exhausted. It can cause multiple symptom-types of anxiety: physical, cognitive (thought-based), and emotional. If you feel you have to be Superman or Superwoman, you may find that the idea of letting go actually increases—not decreases—anxiety. That's okay. Getting rid of this kind of anxiety is a process. Read on for tips on how to stay grounded to get rid of the superman complex or superwoman syndrome.
Do you expect yourself to be Superman or Superwoman, a person with powers so great that you can do it all with no side effects like anxiety? If you are, you’re not alone. This pressure to do it all, be everyone to everything, is common enough to have terms attached to them: Superman complex or the Superwoman syndrome. Feeling pressured to live your life in a superhuman way can and does contribute to anxiety. You can use your very human powers to fight the Superwoman syndrome or Superman complex and decrease anxiety.
Sitting through a panic attack without being able to escape is a thought that can inspire a new anxiety attack. Panic attacks can strike seemingly out of the blue, and anxiety attacks hit in response to escalating stress and worry. They often happen at terrible times, times and places when we’re around other people and in situations that we can’t easily escape (which of course makes sense, as these are anxiety-provoking situations). Keep reading to learn four ways to sit through a panic attack when you can’t leave.
Social anxiety and performance anxiety both involve a great deal of fear, worry, and dread. When it comes to anxiety in general, that’s not unique. All types of anxiety disorders involve some type of fear, a whole lot of worry, and an overarching sense of dread. It’s the nature of the anxious thoughts and emotions that define a particular type of anxiety. With social anxiety disorder, the apprehensions largely involve fear of being judged or embarrassed in social situations. In this, social anxiety is a close cousin of another type of anxiety: performance anxiety. Understanding their relationship will help you reduce both social anxiety and performance anxiety.
Step outside to take a walking meditation and reduce anxiety immediately. When we feel anxious, stressed, and tense, walking is good for us, both physically and mentally. When we add mindfulness meditation to the act of moving our bodies, we actively improve our mental health and reduce anxiety right now, in the immediate moment. Walking meditation can definitely reduce anxiety.
The word “anxiety” typically isn’t associated with courage. Quite the opposite, anxiety involves fear. Anxiety and fear can work their way through our entire being and lock us in their vice grip. Our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and relationships are negatively impacted by fear and anxiety. What many people don’t realize is that the presence of fear and anxiety does not mean the absence of courage. Further, the presence of anxiety and fear doesn’t define you. Understanding the nature of anxiety, you, and the meaning of courage will help you see yourself more accurately.
What causes my anxiety? Why am I so anxious? As if anxiety itself weren’t bad enough, not knowing what causes anxiety can make matters even worse. It’s natural to want to know just what is making you feel the worry and fear of generalized anxiety disorder, the dread of people and social situations of social anxiety disorder, the unease of separation anxiety disorder, the frights of phobias, or the death-grip of panic disorder/panic attacks. Knowing what causes any type of anxiety can be an important part of the puzzle and can help you move forward.
Anxiety disorders and mood disorders are two separate experiences. While both involve thoughts, feelings, and actions that are disruptive to life and disproportionate to circumstances, they have different symptoms (they do often occur together, though). Because these are different disorders, anxiety disorders and mood disorders often have different treatment approaches. What should you do, then, when your anxiety behaves like a mood disorder?
If you live with anxiety, chances are pretty good that you’ve heard a well-meaning family member or friend tell you, “Just get over it,” "Just get over anxiety." If it were that easy, no one would have anxiety because we’d all get over it and move on (‘Get Over It’ Is Unhelpful Advice for Mental Illness Sufferers). Unfortunately, the idea of just getting over it doesn’t help anxiety, and being told to do so can make it worse. Why doesn’t hearing “Just get over it,” fail to help anxiety? What can you do about it?