Living with anxiety is no joke. It feels like you are dying. And in reality, this is what your body thinks is happening. People have various symptoms like:
- Heart beating really fast
- Excessive sweating
- Sleepless nights
- Racing mind
- Ringing in ears
…just to name a few
Needless to say, it’s not a fun thing to live with anxiety.
Millions of people live with anxiety and yet there are so many things that are misunderstood about anxiety. Here are a few myths debunked.
Before I go into the myth, there is one thing that needs to be clear. Everyone has anxiety. It is a normal bodily reaction to danger. There are different degrees of its severity, but everyone feels anxious. It’s our body’s way to signal a danger and have you react, so you can do what you need to do, to get to safety. It’s completely normal. What is not normal is when anxiety keeps you from doing the things you want to do, like speak at a presentation or go to a social event, or in severe cases, keeps you from living!
Myth #1: Anxiety can be easily brushed off
Have you heard comments like:
“Just grow some ticker skin”
“Just be more confident”
“Just stop worrying!”
“There’s nothing to worry about”
“It could always be worse!”
When your body is feeling anxious, there is no amount of reasoning that is going to make you feel better. On the contrary. When you hear comments like the ones above, it makes you feel like there is something wrong with you.
I’m here to tell you that there is nothing wrong with you. Feeling anxious is a bodily reaction and to help yourself “fix” it, you need to find a bodily solution – not a “head” solution. This means, you need to find calm in your body before you can start to reason with yourself and understand that you are safe.
Myth #2: Anxiety is just another word for “worried”
Ahhh… not really. Feeling anxious is a bit more that “just being worried”. Depending on the degree of anxiety, it can literally feel like you are dying. That is very different from feeling worried.
And to tell you the truth, it doesn’t really matter whether you are feeling worried or anxious, because if it feels terrible to you, then that’s all that matters. Nobody else can tell you how you feel.
Myth #3: Simply avoid your trigger
If you go about life trying to avoid the things that triggers you, you may need to lock yourself into an empty room and never come out… or maybe that would trigger you as well?
Actually dealing with your triggers and helping yourself heal is a much better and smarter approach. You deserve to live life, not avoid living.
Myth #4: Exercise and healthy eating will cure your anxiety
Although living healthier will definitely help you, it will not cure your anxiety. I’ve heard many doctors tell patients to go to the gym to treat their anxiety and I am shocked.
When you are feeling anxious, your entire body is on alert and at full speed. When you work out, your body does the same thing. Increasing your heart rate just accentuates your anxiety and makes it worse. What you need is not to increase your speed, but rather to slow it down.
That said, it is always a good idea to have a regular exercise routine. But there is no way going for a run is going to cure your anxiety – unless you are a regular runner, that is.
Myth #5. The best medicine is… medicine
I do believe medication has its place. However, I know far too many people who are on antidepressants or anxiety calming medication but without any other forms of intervention.
If you are unwell enough to have to take medication to get through life, then you must complement it with some form of therapy. Be it coaching, psychotherapy or any other form – it doesn’t matter. But do something.
That said, anxiety (depending on its severity, of course) can definitely be helped without medication – if you know how.
I have created a PDF that will help you with your anxiety. It explains the 3R model that helps you calm your nerves. You can click here to download it.
Now, that we have debunked these myths and know that when people say things like “just get over it”, they dont know what they are talking about. I hope that makes you feel better.
If you want help to calm your anxiety, find out more about my anxiety program here.