Sometimes, You Just Have To Tell Your Anxiety To Hush Up
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Health Wellness

Sometimes, You Just Have To Tell Your Anxiety To Hush Up

I've had Generalized Anxiety Disorder for a long time, and this is one of my favorite methods of getting my brain to quit freaking out.

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Sometimes, You Just Have To Tell Your Anxiety To Hush Up

Everyone gets anxiety in their day-to-day life. Whether you're sitting in an office waiting for your interview to your dream job or waiting to pick up your significant other for a first date or waiting for your final exam that determines your grade, anxiety is an ol' chum everyone is familiar with.

I, on the other hand, have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It's a little bit different than just your day-to-day nerves. If you don't have GAD, it feels just like those scenarios above, but literally every waking moment. Waiting for an old friend feels like waiting for a job interview. Your twentieth date gives you nerves like the first. The tiniest quiz feels like a giant exam.

Don't get me started on making a phone call. I'd rather gnaw my leg off than pick up my cell phone and actually dial a number. Please don't sick the baby boomers on me.

As you can probably imagine, being under constant stress about everything is absolutely exhausting. It's not a sustainable way of living at all—being anxious every waking moment is not a way I want to live. Especially since I'm a college kid whose plans for the future include a giant shrug emoji.

So, I decided to talk to my therapist and do a little homework. I found a way to tell my anxiety to calm down. I think this method can work for anyone, whether you have Generalized Anxiety or you're sitting in the classroom before your Chemistry final.

Step one: Personify your anxiety.

For me, I envision my anxiety as a confused, scared little kid riding piggyback.

"Milo! You spilled your bag of chips! You messed up big time!"

"Milo! You left your pencil case at your apartment! You have to ask another student for a pen! You're gonna look so silly!"

"MILO!!! What if this test determines your whole life!? What if you flunk it and you have to drop out of school and live in a cardboard box begging strangers for a shiny nickel your whole life!?"

Maybe you'll envision your anxiety as a backseat driver. Another option is to envision it as your Aunt Carol who's ready to throw down at the Parent Teacher Association Meetings. Anything to get it tangible. When it's tangible, it's manageable.

Step two: Tell it to shush.

Because my personified anxiety is a small kid, I talk to it like I would an actual child.

"Yes, thank you for pointing out I dropped my snack. I can pick it up, not a problem. See?"

"It was a mistake, kiddo. Look, I'm asking for a pen now. That wasn't so hard, was it?"

"It's just a test, don't worry. I studied all week for this. Living in a box is the worst case scenario, and also the scenario least likely to happen. It's time to calm down."

I personally found that getting actually angry at my anxiety just caused me more stress, so that's why I envisioned as a confused little kid. But, if your personified anxiety isn't your pretend child, don't be afraid to put your foot down. Tell your irritating backseat driver to zip it - you know what you're doing. Tell your Aunt Carol to save the attitude for the next PTA meeting.

Stress is tough. Even if you don't have an anxiety disorder, your nerves can ruin your day if you don't handle them properly. This is just one technique for learning how to deal with your anxiety before it becomes overwhelming.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go explain to my anxiety that just because someone hasn't texted me back in a few hours, it doesn't mean that someone took their phone and threw it in the Atlantic Ocean.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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