For those burdened with anxiety, every moment of daily life can be a challenge. Not only can you feel overwhelmed by many routine situations, you can also feel as though you’re fighting against yourself just to maintain an even keel.
If you’ve worked through or are currently experiencing anxiety, then you know the biggest battles take place internally. The way you communicate with yourself can make a huge difference in how you manage your stress.
Control Your Self-Talk
Everybody reacts differently to similar problems, so it’s especially important to be vigilant about how you’re communicating with yourself. Your internal monologue defines your reactions in life. To help reduce your feelings of anxiety, identify the negative self-talk and replace it with gentle, flexible thoughts. Speaking from experience, there are four distinct “voices” I’ve grappled with as I’ve worked through my own feelings of anxiety and stress. The “voices” include:
The Worrier — The “worrier” always imagines the worst possible outcomes for challenging situations. To stem these feelings, I’ve found it useful to stop asking the constant, nagging question, “what if,” which inevitably takes me to a negative place. I’ve trained myself to stop, remain in the present and relax. The result — logical, clear thinking prevails, and I don’t take myself to an unhealthy, potentially stressful place.
The Critic — The “critic” is always on the attack against themselves. Rather than telling yourself you are worthless and make too many mistakes, remind yourself that you are an honest and good person who deserves respect. Once you correct your negative self-talk, not only will you feel better about yourself, you’ll begin to see changes in how others perceive you, even during times of extreme stress.
The Victim — The voice of the “victim” is exceptionally challenging. Too often, the victim takes themselves to a place where they convince themselves that their problems have no solutions. The best antidote for this voice: give yourself a break.