Why Resisting Anxiety Makes It Worse!

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Do you know the difference between “social” and “general” anxiety?

The Social Anxiety Institute describes “social” anxiety as “the fear of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people, leading to feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, self-consciousness, embarrassment, humiliation, and depression“.

People suffering from “general” anxiety worry about a range of topics, such as life issues, finances, family or health issues.

When we feel anxious, there are sensations in the body in the form of:

  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Throat Tightness
  • Feeling Hot
  • Freezing / Mind Going Blank
  • Blushing
  • Feeling Nauseated
  • Heart Beating Rapidly

It’s scary!

When we feel anxious, there are several unhealthy ways to cover it up such as drinking, taking drugs, eating, or playing computer games.

Resisting Makes Things Worse!

Instead of allowing anxiety and letting it flow through the body, we resist it by trying to remove the feeling quickly.

Resisting makes it even worse, hence the quote by Carl Jung “What we resist persists”.

When you are in the middle of an anxiety attack, instead of avoiding the sensation by engaging in other activities, try feeling uncomfortable for a few minutes and describe the sensation and let it pass through.

“You need to allow yourself to be anxious and you don’t need to know why you are anxious.” I know it sounds counter intuitive, but when you actually move toward your anxiety and just allow yourself to experience it, without trying to flee the situation or reason your way out of it, those yucky anxiety feelings and bodily sensations tend to dissipate” according to ADAA.org.

If we let the sensation move though us, it disappears and we haven’t resorted to destructive behavior and we can remember it for next time.

Once we can live with being uncomfortable and pass through it, we grow and become stronger.

When you feel anxious your primitive brain is telling you that something has gone wrong, yet nothing has gone wrong or needs fixing.

It’s just a wake-up call for you to allow yourself to experience it so you can be free of it.

It’s not easy, but if we make a habit of staying with thoughts that make us anxious, we can retrain our brains to be less reactive.

How do you handle anxiety?

Please leave a comment!

TOPIC: Why Resisting Anxiety Makes It Worse!

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