Improving My Self-Awareness When I Feel Anxious

November 20, 2023 Martha Lueck

Self-awareness matters when dealing with anxiety. In the midst of anxiety, my mind creates a mess of thoughts. I cannot figure out when they started, how they began, or how to end them. This struggle sometimes leads to unhealthy temptations and behaviors. After nine years of anxiety treatment, I learned a very helpful skill to understand and change my thoughts and my behaviors when I'm anxious: self-awareness. In this post, I discuss four ways that my self-awareness around anxiety has improved.

4 Methods to Enhance My Self-Awareness and Soothe Anxiety

  1. I realize that anxiety is a common emotion. Sometimes, my anxiety attacks make me feel embarrassed, especially in public. For instance, when I failed a philosophy test in college, I cried in the middle of the lecture hall. I automatically assumed that I would fail the class, which then tempted me to drop out. Some of my classmates noticed my breakdown. It turned out that they found the class and the test difficult, too. They were anxious about the upcoming material, too. It wasn't just me. So, we all formed a study group. After that, I got a B on the following test. It was nice to know that I wasn't alone.
  2. I briefly distract myself with positive music. Turning on upbeat music helps me to recharge during stressful times. One day before a date, my thoughts were loud and negative. So, I put on an energetic playlist with positive lyrics. Listening to the repetitive affirmations and focusing on the volume and fun beat helped me feel more confident. After I took my headphones off and went on the date, it went well. The conversation with my date flowed nicely, and I didn't overthink everything. I now have the self-awareness to turn on music to fight anxiety.
  3. I write about my anxiety. Another thing that helps is to lay out my triggers, thoughts, and responses on paper. For instance, when I was crossing a road at the end of my lunch break, a driver almost hit me. I was angry because I had the right of way. Instead of brushing off the occurrence, I cursed at the driver. When I got home from work that night, the incident was still on my mind. I felt guilty for my reaction. So, after I wrote about it, I realized that I couldn't control what the driver did. But the most important thing was that I was still alive. From then on, I decided to chew gum to ease my anxiety while crossing the road. Writing for anxiety brings self-awareness.
  4. I discuss my anxiety with my therapist. There have been many times when anxiety would lead to certain behaviors that I did not recognize. For instance, during a busy work day a few years ago, I became very impatient with a customer who had a large order to ring up. When my therapist asked how I reacted to this customer, I remembered rolling my eyes at the person. That is not something I should have done as a cashier. My therapist helped me to realize that I needed to be aware of my facial expressions and body language at work. She suggested taking three deep breaths before ringing up large orders. Then, she recommended that I visualize myself in a calm place. My therapist's ideas helped me improve my attitude, work performance, and stress level.

I will continue to implement these strategies moving forward. If you are struggling with anxiety and self-awareness, I hope some of these tips help you. Do you have any of your own insights on self-awareness? If so, please share them in the comments.

APA Reference
Lueck, M. (2023, November 20). Improving My Self-Awareness When I Feel Anxious, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Author: Martha Lueck

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