Anxiety sufferers feel something that normal people don’t even know exists.
I often say that anxiety has different painful tastes and flavors.
This fear poses in front of you in different life situations. Many of those situations are simply unavoidable. That is the reason we need to be able to control anxiety in these situations.
An important thing to understand is that you do not always observe every situation that invites anxiety. Some situations pass so fast that they keep out of your notice but the anxiety they cause is noticed prominently.
In this post, I want to discuss a few such hidden situations that cause anxiety and how you can avoid them.
1.When you remember something important and you forget it
You probably have experienced that many times you remember something that is important or something that you want to do. Amidst other thoughts, you forget that thing within a few moments. You try to remember that thing but it does not flash. The harder you try to think and remember you cannot recall what exactly was the thing you were thinking. This makes you anxious and you suspect that whether you will remember it or not. You feel a kind of regret that you have lost something forever. This is especially bothersome because many times you feel that what you strongly feel was very important!
This is a typical thing that happens with all kinds of anxiety sufferers. They become overly anxious about the forgotten things and this does not let them get peace of mind.
2. When you have high expectations from the self
It is necessary to have goals in life but when you set high goals and strive very hard to accomplish them it can be very stressful for you. I have experienced that in my teens when I wanted to compete with everybody and be on the top. This “a must” invites bouts of anxiety. When you stay in such condition for a prolonged period you can start having panic attacks very easily and become one of the regular anxiety sufferers. Note that this stress is because of two things. The first is the “need to excel or achieve” and the second is the unconscious jealousy of your peers and everybody else. You want to be better than everyone else.
What can you do to get over the fear from this kind of thinking
Giving up the “dire need to excel” is essential to get over this kind of anxiety and you will never feel the same way again!
3. When you understand your limitations but still you want to do things
Many times, you are up to something that is necessary for you to do. Not that you are doing an unneeded task. Only the thing is that you are not able to complete the task because you do not have the necessary skill to do it. Once I was trying to fix a cupboard door by ignoring the fact that I didn’t have the necessary set tools for that. I needed a good pair of screwdrivers and a drill. But, I still tried to fix it with whatever I had at hand. It was not getting fixed and that was stressful. Gradually, I grew anxious. Later, I realized that I was trying to accomplish a thing even though there was some limitation. I was just determined to complete the task take credit for it.
Understanding our limitations while doing anything is essential for all anxiety sufferers. Trying hard to do or achieve the impossible despite knowing that you cannot do it invites anxiety.
4. When you see others in anxiety or suffering panic attacks
Do you remember the time when you witnessed someone shaking on the stage because of stage fright?
You panic just by looking at the scene on the stage. So much so that you cannot stand there. Once I saw a woman shaking on the stage while giving a small talk. She was a very good example of stage fright. Her shaking voice and panicky face made me super anxious. I walked out of the room after some time because witnessing her anxiety finally became unbearable for me.
We often come across such situations when we have panic attacks by watching others in panic. Learning to tolerate anxiety is necessary if you want to get over such situational fears. Anxiety sufferers are very sensitive to nervous arousal and people suffering from panic attacks are already scared of panic attacks. So, exposure practice is necessary if you want to get desensitized to this fear.
5. When you see high competition for a certain thing
Once, I got a very unique and out of the box advice from a fortune 500 businessman. It was not that obvious. I’m revealing it below. . .
Competition creates stress because it creates a race among individuals to attain something that is limited and only allowable to a handful of people. When you try to compete with others you naturally take more stress. It can be ranking in the school or cracking a job interview or getting the limited edition watch from the store, etc. The regular competition stress makes us anxious but on the normal levels that can be useful. But, when competing becomes an obsession with big things it invites anxiety and panic attacks. Many people have panic attacks when they are highly stressed in some competitive task.
The advice was by Peter Thiel, the founder of PayPal. In his book Zero to One, he explains that competition is a disaster and monopoly is a bliss. When you try to compete with others you have very low or no chances of success but if you accept yourself, find your uniqueness, and try to create a future you are a monopoly and there is nobody to compete with you. This is the greatest ever secret to understand for anxiety sufferers. You have high chances of success this way.
6. When you visualize yourself performing a task
Remember how you feel when the thought of doing or performing something hits your mind. Not that it is a surprise or some unknown thing. When you think of doing that task you grow anxious. It can be anything, literally anything. a tough job interview, an important phone call, or just sweeping the floor of your room or going to the washroom. When you are in the anxious mind frame you can grow anxious for anything.
Before we do anything it flashes in our mind. We remember it and it appears like a blueprint in our mind. Every time this blueprint flashes in front of our eyes, it makes us anxious. This is the biggest reason anxious people procrastinate. It feels that thing is troublesome or tiresome. Not that we are lazy but it feels that way. Whenever we begin to take up some task your body feels like it is a thousand pounds heavy.
You can get over this misery by getting over the habit of procrastination. Procrastination is the number one enemy of anxiety sufferers. Trying hard and feeling the resistance while doing that thing will help you get over it after some time. Avoiding that thing and procrastinating will reinforce that response(avoidance) at the neural level.
7. Doing what you love, but in front of others
Showing what you have accomplished to others especially in front of a group really invites anxiety for you. Imagine you are learning guitar. Sometime in between some people, guests or your friends and they ask you to play something for them. You instantly feel a punch in your belly and a bout of anxiety follows. Not that you cannot play guitar properly but you feel very anxious to play in front of them. You don’t understand why you are scared so much but it is very real. Finally, you need to play the guitar anyway.
Situations like these are faced by anxiety sufferers every day. The above-stated situation is a unique example of shyness induced fear. This kind of fear is not because of incompetence. You can play the guitar well but you are not confident that you will get a positive evaluation from the people you are playing in front of. In fact, if you think that you will get a negative evaluation from others and that is the root cause of this fear. You can get past this fear by changing your philosophy of “I must be upset if people laugh at me.” If that twists your mind think about it again.
Summary of the post:
- Do not get anxious if you forget things. Carry on the tasks at hand. Your flash memory will help you remember it again later.
- Have big dreams but have realistic ambitions. Do not get anxious if plans don’t work out. Change your aspirations to cooperate with the inevitable.
- Know your limitations and then think of pushing the limits. Don’t tie ego with performance. Be willing to fail every once in a while.
- Don’t get anxious by watching others in anxiety. Try to tolerate the regret and the restlessness you feel by watching others getting anxious.
- Try to compete but don’t set your life success on winning things. No victory can make you happy. Think about that.
- Visualize yourself performing things but do them on time. Procrastination with just imagining things invites anxiety and panic attacks.
- When you do a thing that you are expert at in front of others, do not judge yourself from the eye of others. Never expect positive evaluation from others.
These essential tips can bring a lot of relief for anxiety sufferers. These modified behaviors can prevent anxiety and make you feel good.
These tips have helped me a lot!
I am 100% sure they will help you too. . .
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