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How Do You Deal with Anxiety?

Have you been lucky enough to have never dealt with anxiety disorders? Or, even worse, depression? If this is the case, you may not understand what it means to be in such a situation of psychological distress.

Nevertheless, if you experienced anxiety, you may have faced some difficulties with your relatives, or also circle of friends.  Out of fear or ignorance of what anxiety and depression are, they prefer to adopt a superficial judgement or criticism rather than offering you real support.

They may argue that you are suffering because you are not strong enough or determined enough to react to this temporary sadness to get out of it.  In addition, they may say that you have a dream life, with a good job, beautiful family to rely on, and that thinking about what you have should be enough to be well again.

But, and unfortunately, no one chooses to be anxious, and no one can magically put an end to such suffering only by their own willingness. Of course, if you could simply decide to live well in tranquillity and serenity, you would not need to read further this article or look for medical advice.

Why if you suffer from anxiety you wouldn’t like to speak about it

People who suffer from anxiety or depression are not as easily spotted. Many victims of anxiety and depression often wear a mask of confidence and apparent happiness, that is sometimes unconscious. They put this mask on precisely to hide their status that is very difficult to live with. They feel the constant apprehension of revealing to their loved ones the anxiety or depression they are consumed by.

Moreover, they may be afraid of causing additional worries that could be difficult for those around them to deal with. The same entourage that often is there to judge the situation in an inadequate and unrealistic way.

Therefore, it could be difficult for your family, friends, and colleagues to spot anxiety disorders, even though these often affect everyday life and the basic behaviour of the person who is suffering.

However, if you care about each other, at any certain moment in time you can gradually shed light on their true condition.  At this stage, it is important, even essential, to provide appropriate support without being involved.

Dialogue, emotional presence, and referral to health professionals such as a psychotherapist to identify the basic problem and treat it. This is one of the first steps towards healing.

There is also a very simple technique to use if you feel a bit anxious about something.

Take a few moments to focus on one (or more) events that give you some anxiety or worries.

Try to understand your feelings using the third person “he/she,” but also using your own name. Let’s say for example that your name is Paula. You would ask yourself, “Why is Paula feeling this way? What are the reasons for her to feel like that?” If you begin to see the event in your mind, try to watch through the eyes of a distanced, third-party observer, rather than through your own eyes.

The goal here is not to avoid or separate from your feelings, but to analyse them from a clearer and more helpful point of view. Spend three minutes reflecting in this way, writing down your thoughts if you feel like to.

Although it may seem unnatural to talk to yourself in the third person, it can help you confront difficult emotions or feelings without becoming overwhelmed by them. Eventually, you might be able to use this kind of self-talk during difficult events as they’re unfolding, such as a stressful task at work or a particularly challenging social situation.

You can practise this technique in any stressful moment that may happen to you, it takes only 5 minutes!

What do you think about it? Would you give it a try?

You can find more on dealing with anxiety here.

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15 thoughts on “How Do You Deal with Anxiety?

  1. I love this technique, Cristiana. I think by identifying the feelings you’re validating them, which is important. But by doing so as if speaking to a third party, the issue may be put into perspective. Seeing it from a more rational or objective light. I will certainly give this a try!

  2. This was a very insightful read. I found the technique you described quite interesting. Having been a person who has suffered from anxiety for many years now, I will have to definitely give this one a try! Thank you very much for sharing this post.

  3. This reminds me of a meditation technique where you talk to yourself as if you were talking to your best friend. As you point out, it helps to analyze things from a different point of view. Great suggestion, Cristiana!

  4. That technique is an interesting idea, Cristiana. I have not used it before, but I think I may try it.

    One thing I have done in the past to help with anxiety is breathing exercises. Actually I have a short post coming up about one of those.

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  5. I haven’t tried this technique per se, but have found that trying to look at myself or my situation objectively really helps me to defuse my anxiety or negative emotions, because looking at a bigger picture than what I’m feeling in the immediate moment is very helpful.
    good advice!

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