You have good intentions, you only want to feel better, calmer, and decrease anxiety.
But, you may be unintentionally causing yourself to feel more anxious without even realizing it.
Anxiety is uncomfortable and seems uncontrollable at times. Your body’s fight or flight response is activated, causing you to experience racing thoughts, shortness of breath, muscle tension, stomach discomfort, difficulty focusing, and a myriad of uncomfortable symptoms.
Sometimes you just want it to stop. You want to turn off the worrying, panic attacks, and fear.
The problem isn’t that you are doomed to feel anxious forever.
The problem is that you don’t know the right way to decrease your anxiety, and you may be making one of the following mistakes…
The Top 5 Mistakes People Make When Trying To Feel Less Anxious:
1. Trying To Stop The Anxiety
It may sound counter-intuitive, but trying to stop your anxiety is one of the number one mistakes that will make your anxiety worse. This is usually the first thing most people will try to do, and you won’t even realize that it’s keeping your anxiety sticking around longer than it has to.
The problem with trying to stop your anxiety is that you are creating more resistance and negative thinking.
Anxiety is an emotion, and just like any other emotion, the best way to move past it is to move through it by acknowledging and accepting it.
Therefore, instead of trying to stop your anxiety, try acknowledging and accepting your anxiety by telling yourself, “I’m feeling anxious right now and that’s okay.”
2. Fearing That It Will Last Forever
Another big mistake people make when trying to decrease anxiety is fearing that the anxiety will never end- that it will last forever.
This is a common fear, and it’s scary to think that you will feel this afraid and anxious forever. Because this is another fear and worry, this creates even more anxious feelings.
The reality is that nothing lasts forever. The only constant in life is change, and part of battling this mistake is to remind yourself of this concept.
You will feel better and less anxious. I promise these feelings won’t last forever.
3. Continuing The Worry Cycle By Overthinking Your Worries
It can be tempting to try and think your way out of your problems. You might try to mentally prepare for each and every possible outcome by trying to problem-solve things that have no solution.
Overthinking and trying to solve your worries are common symptoms of anxiety. This is a common mistake and trap that people get caught up in.
Overthinking your worries creates a vicious cycle that magnifies your anxious feelings. It makes you feel as though you have some sense of control over the chaos- when in reality you don’t!
Try to catch yourself before you get caught up in worrying and overthinking to prevent your anxiety from getting worse.
4. Forgetting About Physical Relaxation
When you are feeling anxious it’s easy to forget about your body. It’s easy to get too much in your head and not realize what is happening physically: your heart rate increases, muscles tense, teeth clench, etc.
The thing is that one of the most effective ways to cope with anxiety in the moment is to relax your body physically. This calms down the fight or flight response that has been activated in your body.
When it’s hard to stop the overthinking, the lack of focus and concentration, the irritability, and the worrying, try some relaxation techniques to help calm yourself down.
5. Shaming Yourself For Feeling Anxious
Nobody wants to feel anxious. It’s not a desirable emotional state.
It can be easy to shame yourself and put yourself down for feeling anxious:
- “I shouldn’t feel this way.”
- “Why do I always have to be anxious?”
- “I should be over this by now.”
This “tough love” only makes you feel worse. When you shame yourself you are preventing yourself from acknowledging and accepting your emotions, causing them to stick around longer.
Additionally, you are creating more negative thoughts on top of already feeling pretty miserable. This doubles down on your difficult emotions and makes it even harder to feel better.
Decreasing Your Anxiety Is Possible
Anxiety is already difficult and you may have not been taught the best ways to cope with it. That doesn’t mean that you are doomed to feel more anxious.
Are you guilty of making any of these mistakes? Now that you know more about them, it can help you prevent your anxiety from getting worse.
Looking to decrease your anxiety and create more calm in your life? Download my free guide to daily calm with my top 5 tips to help you decrease your anxiety, stress, and overwhelm.