Your Anxiety Is Actually Controlling Your Life

Your Anxiety Is Actually Controlling Your Life

Hello loves, ❤

Anyone who suffers from excess anxiety or an anxiety disorder knows that anxiety is strange in how it manifests in daily life. It’s beyond reason or logic, and just, in general, makes no sense. It is also super sneaky. For those blessed with anxiety like myself, a lot of times it feels more in control than it is until it doesn’t. If we aren’t mindful or aware of how anxiety is affecting us in the present moment, it’s easy for it to kind of work its way onto the main stage and then jump out and yell,”Surprise, I’m here!”

As a recovering agoraphobic, I’ve learned over time that looking for and being aware of warning signs that anxiety is becoming increasingly invasive can spare a lot of distress in the long run. By looking for certain red flags, anxiety controlling thoughts and other feelings can be caught early and reeled in before becoming a bigger problem that starts directing major or even minor life choices. The following 5 signs can be reliable indicators that anxiety is playing more of a part of your life than it needs to:

1. You avoid too many things you know you shouldn’t.

Avoidance is probably the most clear-cut indication that anxiety is playing a large role in your life. Fear induces a fight, flight, or freeze response that – for an individual who doesn’t experience excess anxiety – enhances the ability to cope with a given situation. However, for those of us that do live with excess anxiety, it can paralyze us, cause us to run from a frightening situation, or even cause a panic attack. So you then start avoiding that coffee shop that you and your ex used to frequent. Or you avoid calling your overbearing mother back. Or you avoid checking your email so you don’t have to subject yourself to whatever hell may have broken loose at work. You suddenly realize you avoid a lot of things. You realize your anxiety has gained the power necessary to control where you go and what you do.

2. You worry too much about everything.

Some worry is good. If you didn’t care about anything, you wouldn’t pay your bills, you’d look like complete garbage, and you’d probably starve. It’s important to worry about the right things in the right amounts. But when the worry takes on a mind of its own, things get a little dicier. Anxiety is a funny thing in that it feeds off of itself. The more the worry runs wild, the more out of control it will feel. So when the focus of the worry shifts from normal things in normal amounts to worrying night and day about – for example – whether you’re capable enough or are just a living example of imposter syndrome, or whether you’ll find a stable career that doesn’t suck the soul out of you, or whether you’re actually deserving of the healthy, non-toxic love of another quality human being, the worry just starts to take on a life of its own and become a controlling force in your life.

3. You think about the future too much.

It was the Chinese philosopher Laozi who graced us with the quote, ”If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” When anxiety starts to take control of our thoughts, we start to think more about where we will be tomorrow and less about where are right now. Rather than focusing on the fact that you’re currently on the couch with your significant other and enjoying time together watching your favorite show on Netflix, you’re focusing constantly on what needs to be done to prepare for tomorrow’s meeting, or what laundry still needs to be done, or what you need to do to prepare your breakfast for tomorrow morning. When we start thinking these thoughts all of the time, it exhausts us and keeps us feeling continuously anxious.

4. Your anxiety stops you from chasing what you want.

For those of us with anxiety, our minds seem to throw out a constant stream of what I like to call ”what ifs,” or thoughts that focus on future outcomes of events that haven’t even happened yet. These will make the world seem like a scary place. You want to quit your job and work as a freelance writer? But what if you can’t make enough money and pay your bills? Or you want to take a trip to Thailand but you’d have to go alone since none of your friends can go? But what if something bad were to happen? What if you can’t handle such a substantial adventure and wind up lost and alone somewhere? Catastrophizing is the name of the game with ”what ifs”. These thoughts oftentimes lead to self-sabotage and prevent us from living the life we deep down want to live.

5. You notice your anxiety make you feel like less than you are.

This can be the most draining piece for someone with anxiety. While we know it shouldn’t, anxiety can sometimes cause our self-esteem to take a hit. It makes you doubt whether or not you’re capable of handling whatever you face. It can make the uncertainty of the future feel like it’s working against you. It can make you feel like everyone else has such a handle on life when you subjectively struggle on the daily with trying to keep your fear in check. Most days this intense self-doubt isn’t a problem, but when it starts to appear more and more frequently, it’s a sign that anxiety is not only taking over our thoughts but our self-perception as well. When we start to feel that anxiety defines who we are as a person, that’s a sign that anxiety has taken on a much more dominant role in our lives than it needs to.

Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely day ❤

DYH Signature

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45 thoughts on “Your Anxiety Is Actually Controlling Your Life

  1. “Your anxiety makes you feel less than you are” this. Yes. Everything about this. It is so difficult to shut this down and be the powerful person you know yourself to be when you’re in the throws of this. Your post was so well written, and not on an easy topic to put into words. I love it. Thanks for putting this out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really nice post. My anxiety comes and goes at seemingly the worst times. I’ve been stressing about some things recently trying to decipher if the anxiety is telling me these situations aren’t for me, or is it just a fear generated from the past I need to overcome. It’s always refreshing to come across posts like this, because our in the love world, it’s seems like we don’t discuss enough about these issues. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So true. I think I suffer most from the “what-ifs.” It stops me from taking any chances to make my life better. I have taken chances in the past before and completely flopped, so my anxiety instinctively rears its ugly head whenever I think of doing something with potential risk.

    The question is this: how do you overcome it? It’s all too easy to realize the truth about your anxiety, but very difficult to actually do anything about ridding yourself of it. That’s the struggle I have every day. I know it’s ridiculous to let my anxiety rule my decisions, but I’ve done it for so long it’s a force of habit I guess..

    Great Post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anxiety just wouldn’t be anxiety if we could just throw our nose up at it, or just dismiss it like a bad employee. However!!!
    “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
    1 John 4:4

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Depression vs. Anxiety…… the more I read people’s first hand experiences, the more I think I have both. As I type this I am feeling all those things. I know it’s all in my head – the biggest question is: How do you get out your own head?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In all honesty, I feel that they go hand in hand – you can’t have one without the other. BUT… That is just my opinion, not saying t his is a fact.
      It’s so hard for us to get out of our own head – I do like to SWITCH OFF sometimes & that sort of gets rid of my worries ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for your insight. I also suffer anxiety and could relate to all the symptoms. It is truly helpful knowing others are experiencing the same thing…. I don’t feel so alone in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is so relevant to me just now. I’ve fought my way back from depression but have been procrastinating about travelling for months for exactly the reasons you list. My dream trip to Aus seems to be retreating further into the distance.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I really love this post. I haven’t been properly diagnosed with anxiety but I experience all of these things on a daily basis like worrying about retirement (i’m 25) and avoiding things like calling the doctor or going to certain places. This really helped with knowing what I should look out for in my behavior before it gets out of hand. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The best therapy is learned from others like yourself. You are a blessing for sharing your experience. Some lessons can’t be learned from a book…It’s learned from life experiences. Each one teach one. Your experience is helping me with my situation….So I say thank you again. Blessings onto you….

        Liked by 2 people

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