Whether you get physical panic attacks or mental mayhem, heart palpitations or cognitive chaos. If you feel isolated or watched, terrified of a crowd or of interacting with one person at a time, your anxiety is a part of you. But it doesn’t have to define you.
It makes it seem more of a human and less of a monster. When you feel your anxiety building up, when it starts to take over, imagine it as a thing separate from you.
Give it a personality and accept that you’ll always have some kind of relationship with it. But also accept that you can name your own terms. You control how much attention you give it. You don’t need to get trapped in your upside down with anxiety.
When you wake up, there she is, anxiety.
Her name is “Martha”, all you hear is Martha’s frantic, high-pitched screams.
You don’t even know what she was freaking out about.
So you ask her.
Martha says “What are you doing? You have work in four hours.
Everyone knows you’re still new. Your co-workers hate you. You’re so annoying when you ask them questions all the time.
You’re gonna make a huge mistake someday. You are stupid. You will be sacked. you will end up homeless and die!”
Martha is irrational with NO evidence to back up any of her fears.
She focuses on your fears. You are rational. Instead of wondering why you’re emotional, ask Martha what is going on.
Figure out why she is here, what triggered her. Was it something you saw, heard or read.
Understand that Martha is there because she is scared, but it is an irrational fear.
Giving that little, negative voice in your head a name, an identity will help you to take back the control.
It’s like talking back to your thoughts in a patronizing way—with an eye roll instead of giving it your full attention.
So basically, rather than being anxious, naming your anxiety allows you to recognise you have anxiety and that your anxiety is separate from you.
Naming your anxiety can allow you to stand up to your anxiety and show it who is boss.
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June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019