4 Lies Anxiety Tells You (and How Not to Listen)
Anxiety is sneaky in the way it affects our internal dialogue. One of the problems with anxiety is that it’s so exhausting, we take these lies seriously. Because we’re so tired from trying to cope, when anxiety whispers in our ear we listen to it.
Here are some lies anxiety might tell you, and why you shouldn’t listen.
Lie #1: There is something wrong with you.
Once anxiety has our attention it quickly tries to show us evidence to support its lies.
A useful tip Susan Jeffers talks about in her book, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway,” is to write on a piece of card “I can handle it.” She recommends keeping that card within your sight.
Get used to questioning anxiety’s lies. Don’t just accept them. Look for evidence that you are OK. Think of the last time you felt OK and think about what you can do right now to help yourself feel calm and in control.
Lie #2: You will always feel this way.
No one always feels anything.
This is one of anxiety’s favorite tricks. To freeze us in bad feelings and minimize our happier moments.
Negative thoughts often derive their power from being generalizations.
Pay attention to your internal dialogue and look out for statements featuring words like: always and every. For example: it’s always like this, or every time…
Getting specific with these generalizations helps contain them and bring them down to scale. Once they have lost their drama you can start to look at ways to address them.
Practice noticing the times when you feel OK. Sketch those times, or note them in a journal. Practice being present.
Lie #3: Nothing works.
Look at the success stories of others with a curious and open mind. Keep trying and find what works for you.
Pick one technique and try it every day for two weeks. Make it a game — draw 14 boxes for the next 14 days and make sure you tick each box. Or get a streaks app and make it your goal to do something every day and don’t break the chain.
Recommended techniques for increased resistance to anxiety’s lies:
- The long exhale practice for minimum five minutes a day.
- EFT tapping for anxiety symptoms.
- Guided relaxation or breathing practice.
Lie #4: You are losing your mind.
Your mind may be disturbed, but it can be supported. You are not your body and you are not your mind. You’ll be OK.
For more anxiety-reducing tips, visit Anxiety Slayer.
Listen to the podcast below for detailed support on how to handle the lies anxiety tries to tell you: