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Turning Anxiety Into A Superpower?!

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is an intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.

It’s an emotion marked by tension, negative thoughts and many physical symptoms.

Physical Symptoms Include:

  • Fast Heart Rate: Feeling fearful, anxious or stressed your heart rate goes up.
  • Sweating: Feeling anxious causes nervous sweating.
  • Feeling Tired: Having anxiety can be physically and mentally tiring.
  • Restlessness: Being unable to relax is a common anxiety symptom.
  • Shaking: Shaking and trembling can happen when anxiety gets out of hand.
  • Feeling Nervous, Tense or Fearful: These are feelings that happen with impending doom caused by anxiety.

What Is An Anxiety Disorder?

An anxiety disorder is a chronic condition marked by overly excessive worry and tension about future events.

Anxiety Disorders Include:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Severe, ongoing anxiety that interferes with daily activities. The symptoms are similar to panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other types of anxiety.
  • Social Anxiety: A form of anxiety caused irrational fear, embarrassment and self consciousness brought on by social interactions.
  • Phobia: An extreme fear of irrational fear of something.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): A disorder that leads to repetitive compulsive behaviors.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A disorder that causes anxiety and flashbacks triggered by a past traumatic event.

How Anxiety Can Be Your Superpower?

There are many people that live with anxiety disorders that have different brains.

Different Brain

Someone with chronic anxiety has a brain that functions differently than someone who doesn’t have it. They have an overactive amygdala, which is a region of the brain involved with regulating emotions.

An overactive amygdala explains why someone with chronic anxiety over generalizes and overthinks.

Different Perspective

People with chronic anxiety tend to see the world from a different perspective. This is due to overgeneralization, along with having abilities that someone without an anxiety disorder is less likely to have. 

These Abilities Include:

  • Increased Empathy: Anxiety causes you to recognize another person’s emotional state.
  • Creativity: Anxiety disorders can lead to creativity. There are artists, actors and writers who suffer from anxiety issues. The artist Edvard Munch had an anxiety disorder. An anxiety episode drove him to paint “The Scream”.
  • Higher IQ: Many people with anxiety disorders tend to have higher IQ’s. A symptom of anxiety is compulsive thinking and tendencies to compulsively analyze those thoughts.
  • Ability To Read Other People’s Vibes: Someone with an anxiety disorder is able to sense the energetic balance of those around them. Anxiety disorders lead to a preoccupation with negative outcomes. This makes it worse to be around someone who gives off a negative vibe.
  • Easily Pick Up On Lies: Negative self-talk that defines chronic anxiety can enhance your ability to detect dishonesty.
  • Has A Sixth Sense: A sixth sense is a natural ability to keep one step ahead. It allows warning signals to quickly reach the regions of your brain that help you take action.

My Personal Experience With Living With An Anxiety Disorder

All of my life I’ve had ADHD. It’s a disorder that can occur alongside bipolar disorder. 

ADHD symptoms include impulsiveness, trouble with focusing on tasks, being hyperactive and restless and having trouble with regulating emotions.

Over time my symptoms started changing, as young as 11 years old I started having panic attacks.

I also had problems with negative self-talk and overgeneralization.

Overgeneralization refers to viewing a single event as a set rule. I would fail at finishing one task and it led to an endless pattern of defeat in all tasks. It started off as a negative emotion that came with a setback. It convinced me that no one liked me and I couldn’t do anything right. 

My changing symptoms included worsening anxiety that led to a nervous breakdown.

Change In Perception

How I perceived the world and myself was affected by overgeneralization. However, I learned to challenge my thoughts with reframing.

What Is Reframing?

Reframing is a process where negative and unhelpful thoughts are identified and replaced with positive and empowering ones.

Learn how to see anxiety as a picture. When you make a picture either bigger or smaller it can change how you perceive it.

Anxiety is your natural alarm system. Most people see it as an unpleasant emotion, because of uncomfortable bodily sensations, especially if you have an anxiety disorder.

These emotions can be reframed to be seen as having an important purpose.

Anxiety tells us when some kind of danger is near, but it can also tell us that opportunity is near. For example having a sixth sense gives you the power of perception. It’s a natural ability to know about things before other people.

Having a sixth sense can tell you that a setback is around the corner. However it can be reframed to tell you that there’s a silver lining to your setback and that it’s an opportunity to move into something better.

How Do You Handle Your Negative Thoughts?

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If you liked this post please click on the button below and learn some Tips For Improving Your Self-Perception:

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety-symptoms

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961

https://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/d/d_04/d_04_cr/d_04_cr_peu/d_04_cr_peu.html

https://culturacolectiva.com/technology/anxiety-is-a-superpower

https://www.verywellmind.com/reframing-defined-2610419

https://www.mentalhelp.net/self-esteem/changing-negative-thoughts/

https://www.verywellmind.com/the-purpose-of-anxiety-2797497

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Tips For Improving Your Self-Perception

Today’s post is a follow up of a blog post I wrote about “Turning Anxiety Into a Super Power”. I mentioned that change in my self-perception was one of the changes I made in my life to overcome the worst of my mental health issues.

If you want to read the post I just mentioned click on the link below:

What is Perception?

Perception is how we view ourselves and how we view others.

Your perception of something is the way you think about it or how you feel about it. For example how you perceive the world and everything around you has a direct effect on your thoughts, actions and behavior.

Also, your thoughts, actions and behavior are directly affected by how you perceive yourself. 

What Is Self-Perception?

Self-Perception gives you an idea of who you are or who you think you are.

When you perceive yourself in a healthy way when you’re able to assess your strengths, weakness, talents and potential. Also, you have the ability to be honest with yourself, be true to who you are and take responsibility for your choices and action.

However, when you perceive yourself in an unhealthy way you may think you know yourself; you’re unsure of yourself and you tend to lie to yourself that everything is fine. 

What Problems Occur Due To Unhealthy Self-Perception?

Numerous problems occur due to unhealthy self-perception including:

  • Distorted Self-Esteem: Self esteem refers to self-worth or self-respect. When you perceive yourself in an unhealthy way you can have low self esteem that causes you to feel defeated and depressed, along with failing to live up to your full potential.
  • Anxiety: Unhealthy self perception leads to an anxious mindset that warps the way you view the world and reality. Symptoms of anxiety include feeling nervous and always have feelings of impending doom. Anxiety is an alarm for triggering your fight-or-flight response.
  • Guilt: When you perceive yourself in an unhealthy way you feel an unhealthy amount of guilt. This includes anything are beyond your control, such as feeling guilty about someone’s low opinion of you.
  • Negative Self-Talk: Negative self-talk is any inner self talk and it’s best known as your inner critic. It can cause you to have limiting beliefs about your abilities and it reduces your ability to make positive changes in your life or your confidence in yourself to do so.

How Do You Improve Your Self-Perception?

It’s important look at why you perceive yourself in an unhealthy way. Factors such as stressful life events such as divorce or illness, past trauma or abuse, half baked goals or mental health problems play a role in our self-perception. 

It is possible to face these problems and transform how you perceive yourself.

Tips For Improving Self-Perception

Here are Tips for Improving your self-perception:

  • Identify Your Perceptions: You can identify your perceptions by asking yourself certain questions. You’ll notice certain thoughts come to the surface that feel familiar or true to you. For example you can ask yourself a question such as “What do I always say about myself ?” thoughts pertaining to your self perception comes to the surface such as “I’m an a@#h&le”. Then it’s important to examine that perception you’ve identified and ask why it’s justified and why you think that way about yourself.
  • Listen To Your Inner Critic: It gets worse if you ignore or suppress your inner critic. Instead you should listen to your inner critic and take note of what it’s trying to tell you. At that point you have the opportunity to judge what your inner critic is trying to tell you, maybe it’s telling you to take the action you need to take.
  • Stop Ruminating: Rumination means to go over a negative thought or problem over and over. It’s important to keep your mind occupied if you start ruminating, along with learning about your triggers and question your thoughts.
  • Boost Your Self Esteem: There are a lot of ways to boost your self esteem. These include learning a new skill, challenging your limiting beliefs and stand at the edge of your comfort zone.
  • Get Outside Your Comfort Zone: Getting outside your comfort zone creates enough good stress to ramp up your focus, creativity and drive. It helps you to respond to life’s stresses when unexpected things happen.

Have You Ever Felt Like Your Self-Perception Affects Your Life?

Please Like And Comment!

If you’re suffering from anxiety please click on the button below to download your free anxiety expert guide:

Sources:

https://www.essentiallifeskills.net/self-concept.html

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-self-esteem-2795868

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20160928-how-anxiety-warps-your-perception

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961

https://www.thefix.com/living-sober/toxic-guilt

https://www.verywellmind.com/negative-self-talk-and-how-it-affects-us-4161304

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Overcoming Limiting Beliefs

Limiting beliefs was the topic of my previous blog post. They’re assumptions or perceptions about ourselves and the world around us that constrain us in some way. They shape our lives and they cause problems for our mental health, but we can overcome limiting beliefs.

How Are Limiting Beliefs Shaped?

These Include:

  • Past Trauma
  • Family Belief Systems
  • Relationships With Friends or Significant Others

It was past trauma caused by bullying and betrayal while growing up. However, I took steps to overcome that limiting belief.

Identifying The Limiting Belief

The first step I took was to identify a limiting belief that wasn’t serving me, “I can’t be my real self or I’ll be judged”. When I was growing up it was a struggled to fit in when I was in school.

The long-term effects of bullying include experiencing a wide range of emotions. These include feeling angry, bitterness, vulnerable, helplessness, frustrated, lonely and being isolated from your peers. The longer you’re bullied the odds of being depressed and anxious increases. Also, you develop self-esteem issues and can lead to social anxiety.

I wrote a post about how to overcome social anxiety. If you like to view it please click on the button below. This post describes social anxiety in more detail and on a deeper level.

Challenge The Limited Belief

The next step was to challenge my limiting belief. I started to become aware that it was not factual, I just believed it was factual. For example I believed that a friendship would fall apart just like when I was in school.

I examined the so-called facts and found that I blew them out of proportion and shaped them to form a false narrative.

When this happened I started to overcome social anxiety by questioning that false narrative.

Replace The Limiting Belief

The next step is to replace your old limiting belief with a new one. I’m using my own experience as an example. I identified and challenged my belief, “I can’t be my self or I’ll be judged”, and replaced it with, “It isn’t my job to please other people”. By doing this you’ll feel like a different person, however it’s important to strengthen your new belief.

How To Strengthen Your New Empowering Belief?

Our beliefs shape our identities and our behaviors. Also, our habits as well.

When you’re transitioning into your new belief you may feel fear and resistance. This may trigger an automatic urge to do an old habit. For example, if the transition is difficult you may find yourself engaging in negative self-talk such as “This is impossible” or “What’s the point” and then give up.

It’s interesting to note that giving up is not a habit. However, you may not be aware that you’re giving up because of habits such as fear of failure, underestimating yourself or others, procrastination or laziness.

When you become aware of these habits it’s important to identify them, challenge them and replace them. For example if you’re underestimating yourself it’s best to look into why you see yourself in that way. Then take action toward changing this habit by assessing your strengths, weaknesses and talents that make you more aware of your abilities or skill up your abilities.

Conclusion

It’s important to identify, challenge and replace a limiting belief. Also, change the bad habits that get in the way of your new empowering belief.

If you’re suffering from anxiety please click on the button below and download my free anxiety expert guide:

Sources: 

https://personalexcellence.co/blog/limiting-beliefs/

https://www.verywellfamily.com/bullying-impact-4157338

https://www.fastcompany.com/3058647/5-habits-to-get-over-self-limiting-beliefs