A common theme I have noticed while working with individual female clients who have some degree of anxiety, is that they tend to put themselves in the back seat.
What does that mean? Their anxiety becomes the forefront of every aspect in their life. Most of the time, they do not notice it, and oftentimes it is caused because they are concerned about others and how something they said or did may have affected someone else.
Anxiety is not the best personal feature to carry around with us. I speak, not only as a person practicing in this field or as a graduate student who has studied a ton about anxiety, but also as someone who has anxious tendencies herself. Anxiety is like a lingering shadow. Sometimes it is hidden and we cannot see it, and other times it is visible though we cannot always control when it decides to reveal itself. It often feels like it is always following us and just a step behind. Anxiety has the tendency to create negative thoughts, such as an all-or-nothing way of thinking and in the absolutes of “should” and “must.” These come out in various ways, such as “I should have said this to X…” or “Maybe I should not have said that….”
Where does it say there is a ‘should or shouldn’t’ in most instances? When our anxiety decides to reveal itself, it can cause many distorted thoughts, and we tend to not even think of ourselves. Instead, the energy is placed on those anxieties and in doing so we neglect ourselves. It becomes a concern and our mind battles in thinking of “what I did or said” that may have affected others, or our partners in our romantic relationships.
It is essential to watch for the telltale signs before your anxiety peaks. Did you know that when you know something is coming up, your body tends to get tense and anxious? Watching how your body reacts to when this is happening can provide you with valuable information to let you know that you are getting anxious. Though if you take a moment each day to prioritize yourself, this will inevitably help your personal development as a whole, resulting in a positive effect in your relationship with others and your life in general. Prioritizing yourself also includes being able to express yourself to others without being anxious about how they might perceive it. If you are doing it respectfully and calmly, chances are they would be more open to your suggestions and clarify your concerns. Here are some of the ways you could prioritize yourself:
- Taking some me-time (it doesn’t matter if it’s taking a bath or getting a Big Mac or both).
- Positive Affirmations (Today is a new day to restart!).
- Carve out time to do an activity with the people you love and want to spend time with (going to Lincoln Park Zoo or dinner at RPM).
- Journal (keep track of your thought and feeling patterns).
- Attend therapy (there are different types of therapy —find the one that works best for you).
There is much more involved when it comes to being anxious, but rather this is glimpse towards what anxiety is and how it can affect you. The question is, how will you prioritize yourself starting form today? If you would like to reach out to me and work towards kicking anxiety to the backseat, please feel free to reach me 312.600.8912.