Anxiety. What does that word bring to mind?
A racing heartbeat, tight chest, the inability to focus your thoughts? Most of us have dealt with spells of anxiety. In fact, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America states that anxiety disorders are the most common mental health illness in the U.S. Yet, only 37% of those struggling with anxiety are being treated. Whether you are currently receiving treatment or don’t think you have a problem with it, here are four common sources.
Knowing them will increase your awareness and your ability to overcome anxiety in daily life.
1. Fear of bad things happening
Anxiety oftentimes sprouts up when a person who has every good intention to prepare themselves for a worst-case scenario, instead becomes obsessed with it. Beginning down this trail of thought can be so natural and even seem like wisdom. But, it can quickly become a trap. Obsessing over the bad things that can happern causes the brain unnecessary suffering.
Instead, when a feeling of dread comes upon you or when you start to feel overwhelmed, take a step back. Ask yourself in what ways your thoughts are guided more by the negative than by the positive. Begin to think of other alternatives. What could be a positive conclusion to this situation?
2. Fear of what others think
When you receive negative feedback, remember that this can be an opportunity to grow. Don’t let it affect the confidence you have in your value. Take a deep breath. This is not the end of the world. Shift your focus to the solution or the change you want to make.
3. Fear that you are not good enough
This can manifest itself in many ways. The third root to anxiety is self-doubt. When an anxious person receives criticism they use these questions to process it: “How come I said that?”, “I shouldn’t have acted that way!”, “I am always doing something wrong!”. They are so afraid of judgement that they overanalyze their behavior.
Growing in confidence means growing in boldness to be yourself. It is recognizing that you, just like everyone else, have flaws. Accept where you are today. Be brave to be a wonderful you.
4. Fear of making the wrong decision
As an anxious person overanalyzes their choices, and they often get stuck in paralysis. Self-doubt feeds into the fear of doing something wrong, which raises the level of anxiety and makes it more difficult to make an unclouded decision.
Sometimes you have to just go for it. Sometimes some action is better than no action. If you find yourself getting stuck and are spending all your time thinking, write a list of pros and cons to help clear your mind. Then pick a choice and run with it. Just see where it will take you. This will give you better knowledge the next time you have to make a similar decision.
Anxiety is caused by deep-seated fear. Begin to identify which fear you are falling prey to.
Ask for help from supportive friends and family and start living from courage.