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5 Ways Anxiety Scams You

 

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Anxiety is a pretty loaded word these days. 

Like other mental health issues, it has transformed to an umbrella for general anxiousness, being nervous, or scared when we really need to stop confusing having having nerves with having anxiety. It’s okay. We’ve all been guilty of this.

Anxiety isn’t a fleeing emotion. It’s a clinical condition of persistent worry, apprehension, and nervousness to the point of cognitive or physical impairment. It is a physiological process + a daily struggle.

That being said, both emotional states deserve attention due to the negative impact each can bring. Now that we know the distinction between the two, I’m going to tightrope this post to cover the spectrum: both high anxiousness + anxiety, because at the end of the day both can scam you and get away with affecting your performance.

How are you?

 

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Ha. How much time do you have? What a Loaded question, right? While it’s generally asked in good faith, if you’re dealing with a lot of worry and stress or anxiety, responding with: “Well I feel like the walls are closing in on me” isn’t exactly dinner party conversation. 

All we are, are our stories. We are in a society where you must speak your narrative or we don't really know who you are and what your contribution is. If your story is filtered with worry or anxiety, what does that say for the conversation and connection we seek to make as humans?

A lot of us are dealing with feelings and thoughts that we can’t always define and worry/anxiety is often at the root. As an extrovert, a lot of outside and external processing takes place before I can reel it in to make sense cognitively. But- there are phases where even the external processing fails because ultimately, I've been scammed.

Worry & Stress: The ultimate scammers.

 

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They lead you to believe: 

  1. You are unable- after multiple failed attempts, it’s time to just concede with the fact that you will never win.
  2. You are unlovable- and that people are going to leave you.
  3. You are undeserving- and that it will soon be uncovered that you are a fraud. 
  4. You need to isolate- because it’s too much for you to deal with, so God knows no one else can help. 
  5. This feeling is permanent- you will never get better and it will never get easier.

Relatable? If any of these sound familiar check out the list below for ways to fight back.

 

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Positive Distraction of The Week

Below is a list of tips and tricks to combat your worry. No matter your place on the anxiousness spectrum, each are designed to help you cope and ultimately improve your day-to-day functioning. 

  1. Figure out your tell.

“Change is the only constant. Your ability to navigate and tolerate change and its painful uncomfortableness directly correlates to your happiness and general well-being.” -Amy Poehler

I gauge my mental health status with my ability to bounce back. When events that take place, I would normally laugh off but somehow find myself becoming extremely reactive to, I know it's time to scale back and get my ducks in a row. IE: if you're crying over what you would normally post in a groupchat, think about what that means. Don't worry; there's beauty in the breakdown. You tend to find out your tell usually when you've hit that rock bottom.

2. Get a better understanding of your body.

Spell out your self-care strategies and follow them religiously. Grab the notes section of your mobile and type out your habits, mood, and mental health symptoms: sad, low, worry, anxious, irritated, reactive, etc. Type out your nutrition, water intake, physical activity, headaches, cycles, etc. Layout your routines and record your daily terrain. Visually see where your pitfalls are and what you need to edit. A bullet journal is really really helpful in this process. I track my mood each day and write notes about what helped me succeed. I also dedicated an entire post to self care apps you can download straight to your phone or tablet.

3. Spirituality.

Attachments leads to expectations & expectations leads to disappointments. A lot of what affects us, we will never understand or have an answer for (at least not when we think we need to know it). If it applies, lean into your higher power to help combat the negative thinking and use your resources to help cope during the tougher times. This may include creating a list of terms or phrases to help you through. This is a favorite of mine:

"Young men, in the same way, submit yourselves to your elders. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, so that in due time he may exalt you. Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." -Peter 5:5

4. L-Theanine.

The biochemical changes from herbal remedies are superior and I'm learning more and more each day #currentlyobsessed.  I've talked before about the olfactory impact on stress and well-being and wanted to list the benefits of L-Theanine. It's no secret I'm a major tea-lover but did you know that you can extract the calming benefits of tea into an isolated remedy? YES. L-Theanine is plant based, neutralizes the speedy and jagged movements of anxiousness and anxiety, and promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and improve sleep. You can read more about it here and find it in capsule or powder form. Please remember site disclaimer

5. Count your blessings + Stop Comparing.

A lot of anxiety comes from things you once asked for. Counting your blessings, literally - talking out-loud or jotting down notes of how things could have been can be really helpful when you feel overwhelmed. Reflecting on what you're grateful for is literally thinking positively.  At the height of anxiousness, when all you can think of is the negative, take some time to reflect on what you’ve done right. Also: stop comparing yourself with other people. Stay in your own lane and run your own race. Your journey is tough enough without the introduction of other people's highlight reel.

6. Complete a task.

A lot of worry stems from over contemplation of things you can’t control. A way to fight back is to complete a task and seeing something to completion. This is why I personally enjoy: skincare. I can see an ending to something I’m doing and it’s an intentional time for me during the week. Cooking is also an example of completing a task. Starting a recipe from start to finish and seeing a direct outcome of your actions is rewarding; especially when so little of our day-to-day allows us to see a finished product.

7. Take the path of least resistance.

Otherwise known as: get out of your own damn way. Ask for help when you need it and seek out the appropriate professionals when your way just isn't working. Winston Churchill once said, why stand when you can sit? I ask you the same: why struggle when you can get help?

Takeaway: Regardless of your direction to healing, you need to get intentional about improving your wellness. Berne Brown says: if you’re not failing, you’re not showing up. Take heed and show up for yourself this week: one bite-sized idea at a time.

Thanks so much for checking in this week. Share this post with a friend and bring one to next Sunday's session. Thanks so much for following up!

Best, Dr. Dyce