One Surefire Way To Take Anxiety Down A Notch
Do you want a quick way to take anxiety down a notch? Would you like to undermine the power anxiety has over you by sweeping its feet out from under it? When I feel it intensely, I certainly would! You can take anxiety down a notch before it undermines you!
Take Anxiety Down A Notch Before It Takes You Over
Anxiety is often driven by two things: feelings in our body and thoughts in our head (What Causes Anxiety?). For some people, it is hard to distinguish which comes first. In fact, sometimes one brings the other on. But once we consciously realize we are anxious, it is in the mind (One Anxiety Trigger). Any suffering we have is in the mind. (Have any of you felt anxious in your body, but weren't scared about it, because your mind was observing it but wasn't afraid? This is much easier to tolerate, in fact, it is often a sign anxiety is going away!)
So it is the mind we have to contend with. Anxiety uses many tricks and tactics to manipulate the mind into believing in it. One very common tactic is to be evasive. Anxiety tries to tells us "something awful will happen" or that "you can't handle it" but it stays unspecific and so demanding that it keeps you desperately without wherewithal to question it.
Say Your Fear Out Loud to Take Anxiety Down A Notch
As I have written before, there are many ways to deal with your anxiety and what I am about to share might not take care of it 100%, but it is a surefire way to take it down a notch. Here it is:
Say it out loud.
Speak out loud in words what you are afraid of. Either to a friend or to yourself.
It gets the anxiety out of your head and invites you to be an audience to it. It gives you that bit of distance to hear how it sounds, how ridiculous it might be and allow you empowerment to make a choice.
We often get things stuck in our head and we get afraid if we say it out loud, it would overwhelm us. We fear if we don't hold it all together, that we'd fall off some insanity cliff, n'er to return. But that is just a tactic to keep us powerless. Shame compounds this and keeps us stuck where we are. Silence becomes a rule to hold us together, but really it is us putting ourselves into prison.
There is no insanity cliff. These feelings are temporary. If you say your fears out loud, this will undermine the power that they have over you. You can move, think clearer, take back your decision-making power. Anxiety tells us it will be worse when we say it out loud, but often we feel an immediate relief. We haven't fallen off a cliff. Our capacities are still intact, in fact, more available now. Our friends don't think we are crazy. We survive the telling. We have control again.
Say your fears out loud and you can hear them. In your head, they are almighty, but out in the air, you might recognize them as silly, irrational, or unwarranted. You have your wherewithal back and can do something. Not only is the anxiety down a notch, but you have the energy to counter the rest of it.
How about you? Have you ever said your fears out loud? What happened?
Lobozzo, J. (2013, April 24). One Surefire Way To Take Anxiety Down A Notch, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, August 9 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2013/04/one-surefire-way-to-take-anxiety-down-a-notch
Author: Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R
[...] To get it out. Our fears have much more power on us when they are inside our head. Saying them aloud or writing them down undermines this power right away. It is the proverbial ‘taking the [...]
[...] See, fear makes us forget what we know. And having our skills and knowledges repeated, helps it stay in our mind even when the anxiety comes knocking. And this is a surefire way to get rid of it. [...]
Indeed, your recommendation indicates a way to soften unendurable psychic and somatic pain, whose cases anxiety, as common emotional disorder. On the other hand, this simple kind of shunning of anxiety enhance global welfare. It is value to use it, whenever we feeling as much as disturb daily difficulties. But the effort to combat anxiety are numerous, and anyone must to find out the best way to deal with anxiety. I mean to say that every person has got itself appropriate chose to overcome this trouble emotional experience. Essentially to have active approach toward anxiety, by practicing pleasing things and activities as well. An old Albanian proverb teach us: If you haven't any work, move the door!
I like that proverb!
I have a twenty year old son that suffers from anxiety and it is hell. We don't know what to expect one moment from another. We have tried everything we can think of short of leaving him on the street. I don't know what to do.
Robert, I have a seventeen year old daughter and who suffers from anxiety as well...until now, you are the first other parent that has expressed what I have often felt! HELL,we love her with all our heart but are so tired of the drama and walking on eggshells all the time.
Cori you describe what we deal with daily. I get home from work and i'm afraid to enter the house for fear of what waits for me. Last nite my son started to abuse himself because he wanted more meds and we wouldn't give more then Dr. said to give him. We finally gave him the meds and he settle down. Another sleepless nite hoping for a way out.
Robert, Sound like he controls everything. But also sounds like an addiction is affecting him also. Perhaps looking for help for this addiction would be in order. xo
Desparation has people trying to take power over others when anxiety is felt. Keep trying any way to can to get through to her that it is anxiety and she can get rid of it, instead of having to comply to it. Best, xo
Please add me to your email list. I am a clinicial social worker in Bend, OR and enjoyed your articles.
I have said my fears aloud, but only to a really great friend.
Usually I'll keep them to myself. Anxiety mixed with an over active imagination can produce some pretty random stuff :) Although It does help when others clarify that they to have similar weird fears....Thanks
Fears can be weird and it is when you say them outside you head, you can see that better! :) Thanks, Frank!
"Have any of you felt anxious in your body, but weren't scared about it, because your mind was observing it but wasn't afraid?"
Most of the times. I call them anxiety symptoms. My body feels them, but my mind refuses them. That is what I try to tell doctors about, but none of them seemed to understand?? I tell them, I just need something to calm the physical symptoms of anxiety (heart rate, shaking,fatigue) not something that is supposed to "remove" the anxiety itself. I know there are circumstances when we can't help feeling anxious and I'm OK with it.
That sounds like a good tip. I never really thought of verbalizing those panicky thoughts, but saying it out loud -- especially to a non-judging friend -- sounds like an obvious win.
I guess we kind of do this already, whenever we talk with a loved one or even a therapist about our anxiety. But that tends to be way after the fact. So talking about it AS IT'S HAPPENING...that sounds like it could help immediately.
Thanks for the good tip. I'll have to try it.