While anxiety may, in theory, sound better than depression, it’s just as debilitating. Men are more apt to say they have anxiety than depression–perhaps it sounds less emasculating? The names for these things though are less important than finding a way to feel better. And feeling better may be by feeling your anxiety.
There are some great ways to cope with anxiety. I’ve written about some of them and there are a ton of workbooks, self-help books, blog posts that can teach you skills for this.
Experiment with them and do what works for you.
But if anxiety is not completely taking over your life, you may still be actively trying to avoid feeling anxiety. This means that while you don’t “look” anxious, your anxiety is coming out as
All of those manifestations can feel pretty bad. In fact, I’d say they are often worse than feeling anxiety itself.
Feel It to Get Through It
You’ve heard the saying, “the coverup was worse than the crime”? That applies to a whole slew of mental health issues.
And definitely for feeling anxiety.
So try it out. I’m not necessarily speaking to those of you who are regularly having panic attacks or major attacks of anxiety. Finding some coping skills first may be more important and you may want to work with a professional for a bit regarding this, but those of us who seek to avoid it–try to feel the anxiety.
Or try one of the 5 strategies below:
- Note where it is in your body. Breathe into that body part.
- Sit with it without trying to “fix” it (I know–that’s a difficult one).
- Talk to someone about it.
- Write about it.
- Draw it.
It may pass by sooner than you think. Or it may lead you to focus more on the issue that you’re avoiding. If it’s a procrastinating problem it might lead you to just make that phone call that you’ve been putting off.
Stop running away from our basic emotions. That gives them control over us instead of allowing us to learn from them.
Originally published on Park Slope Therapist
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