Tricks and Tactics Of Anxiety: It Likes To Confuse Us
Anxiety has many tricks and tactics it relies on to confuses us into submission. It always gives me a run for my money. When I have conquered one tactic, it tries something new, always keeping me confused so I am not sure which way is up. Anxiety can be very convincing! In the heat of the moment, it leaves me wondering which thoughts in my head are my skills and knowledges and which are lies Anxiety tells me to get me under its spell. Has this ever happened to you?
I am going to list some thoughts I have had, and I invite you try to figure out which is the Anxiety talking and which is me!
1. I can't do this.
2. I always get hurt in relationships.
3. I am different than everyone else.
4. Oh, no I might panic right now.
5. Just get out of bed, you'll feel better.
6. I can't eat.
7. I should take a walk.
9. This is not going to work.
10. I can't go, something bad will happen.
11. I can't handle this, it's not worth even trying.
12. There's Sally, I can stand near her.
13. Oh no, I am going to panic! I have to get out of here.
14. Call Cindy, she will help you feel better.
15. Don't worry about getting it all done, just begin.
16. It is going to be OK.
17. I am not OK!
18. You are weak.
19. You are alone.
20. You are not alone and you have done it before!
It is sort of obvious when it is someone else's thoughts, isn't it? See, said aloud gives you a distance from them. As you can see, sometimes they don't make sense. Anxiety just says them and tries to use crazy things as evidence, but often it doesn't have to bother. Anxiety can be convincing when it evasively tells us that "something bad" will happen.
We can all face adversity and do so everyday.
Anxiety is not you
One of anxieties best tactics is to convince us that it is us. Anxiety is not you. It is not even a part of you. Anxiety is an outside influence–albeit a often powerful one–but it can never fully take over you. I have never met anyone who's anxiety has them 100%. You are always in there somewhere.
Rather than act on impulse, say the Anxiety Thoughts out loud. This is the best way to get rid of the negative voices in your head. Then, listen to them with new ears. Ask yourself if that is true. Anxiety's Tricks and Tactics are not only far less powerful when clearly named, but at times you can see they are even ridiculous, unreasonable, and irrational. You'll be surprised you believed them.
Make a list of who you are and what you know. (i.e., "Jodi's Skills an Knowledges") Read it ten times a day. It will keep them at the tip of your mind. So next time the anxiety comes, they will all be right there, telling the Anxiety who means business!
Over to you? What are the tricks and tactics of anxiety that bother you the most?
By Jodi Lobozzo Aman
I blog here: Heal Now and Forever Be In Peace
and here: Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog,
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Lobozzo, J. (2013, January 2). Tricks and Tactics Of Anxiety: It Likes To Confuse Us, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, April 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2013/01/tricks-and-tactics-of-anxiety
Author: Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R
I feel nervous all the time. I feel like since my divorce my kids like their father better then me. I had a horrible effect on Topamax which I will never take again and scared to try other things. I like another guy but he likes me only when not with his girlfriend. I know I am not respecting myself but don't want to be alone. Afraid no one will want me at over 50. I pace a lot to try to calm down.
[...] It is not logic. Why would you be afraid for seven months of an upcoming trip because you have to be on a plane for a few hours. Would you rather be anxious for seven months or just the few hours you are on the plane? (Actually you can get rid of anxiety of flying, too.) [...]
I have had this weird feeling ever since last week. I was at work, when all of a sudden I had an intense feeling of "loss of reality" and I felt really disconnected from the world- almost like my soul was ripped out of my body. I freaked out which ultimately led into a panic attack. I felt like I had smoked some cannabis. (which I have in the past) I thought this feeling would go away once I slept, but when I woke up the next morning, it was still there. I did some research and came across this blog, and reading your posts have truly helped me immensely. But the feelings soon comeback. Sometimes I feel like myself and then all of a sudden, I'm back to where I was feeling "disconnected". My anxiety gets worse because I always think that I'm going to develop schizophrenia. I really don't know what to do. I feel like I'll never be my normal self again.
I am so glad it helped, but I see that doubt came back. Worry that you'll never feel normal, and worry about schitzphernia feed the anxiety. You can and will return to normal and this is not schitzophrenia. Don't worry. Fear needs you to be afraid. I hope that works.
I experience anxiety a lot like Stanley. I try to recall my coping mechanisms but it's not easy or quick.
Thanks Michelle. I know you have them, write them down, so you don;t forget them for next time! <3 Jodi
If its negative against you, Stanley, it is lying. You can start to see the difference now. Don't forget to remind yourself who you are!
My anxieties include not ever being good enough, feeling unlovable, unworthy, shameful and guilty. These may show up at times when just the opposite is going on. Fear (anxiety) comes along and changes good experiences to bad lying to make me feel the ways I've stated above. When something good happens, anxiety will turn it around on me, sometimes within minutes, making it appear that the good is not real.
This sounds like me. I have to get the anxiety and negativity out and then I can talk myself out of it.
Getting it out leaves tons more room for the good stuff!
To know it is not me I like to acknowledge it's presence by saying to myself -- Oh Look. Anxiety is here. Oh Look. Fear is here. Oh look. Love is here too. So is joy. So is gratitude....
Louise, you say it so well, the words that can help us all!