When Abuse Makes You Forget How to Talk About Yourself

When Abuse Makes You Forget How to Talk About Yourself


Communication as we all know is incredibly important in any relationship, but when we’ve been involved with narcissists, even the most skilled communicators can feel helpless and handicapped when it comes to being understood – narcissists will inevitably refuse to understand us, especially when what we’re saying is not something like “OMG, you’re so amazing.”

For example, try telling a narcissist exactly how you feel about the way they belittle and invalidate you – and watch how they twist the conversation around. In some of the most extreme cases, you will end up apologizing for not thinking they’re perfect and for having the nerve to even suggest otherwise.

And, when we go through years of this, not to mention that narcissists often isolate their victims from others who might actually offer some support, we sort of forget HOW to communicate – in a way. We stop feeling like we can (or even should) talk about OURSELVES, and we stop trying to make valuable contributions to conversations, in part because we’ve been conditioned to believe that we have nothing of value to say and nothing to offer.

We believe that we’re not good enough and that no one wants to hear what we have to say anyway. When we do speak up, we tend to keep it short and to the point when it relates to ourselves or our own opinions or beliefs.

There was a time in my life when, if you asked me a question about myself, I might not even know WHAT to say, or even if I did, I’d feel awkward saying it and wanted to get the attention off me as soon as possible.

This was because I had been conditioned to think that nothing about me was interesting or even worth hearing about.

When we go through narcissistic abuse, we might find ourselves dealing with depression.

We might also develop other issues – various compulsive behaviors, or an eating disorder or substance abuse problem, because sometimes, we try to sort of  ‘self-medicate” to deal with our issues.

We could have flashbacks or panic attacks, and we will most definitely deal with a certain amount of self-doubt. Some of us experience suicidal thoughts – and in the worst cases, some people find themselves seeking or even carrying out the abuse they experienced as a child. On the flip side of that, you may go so far in the other direction that you are a different kind of unhealthy – for example, an abused child who grows up to be a doormat parent (as in, allowing your kids to become spoiled and run the show). It’s a fine line, isn’t it?

But back to communication.

There are certain issues that can directly affect our ability to communicate after this kind of abuse – and as always, I’m going to tell you that I believe knowledge is power – and the first step to power is to realize there’s a problem. We’ve got to first discover it and then admit it if we’re ever going to heal.

So, after abuse, the issues that might affect your ability to communicate are multifaceted. The first one I’d like to outline is our heightened reactions to various common relationship issues – we may become triggered over something small, such as an innocently-used phrase that used to mean something awful. Example from one of my clients: her narcissist would always say “Who are you trying to impress?” So when she was later in a healthy relationship, this same phrase uttered by her new partner triggered her and caused her to revert for a moment to her “former self,” the abused self.

This leads to my next point: emotionally-fueled disagreements. When we’re healing, we don’t always know how to deal with conflict and we may get overly emotional when we don’t mean to. Going back to the client I just mentioned, in that situation, her trigger led her to an emotionally-fueled discussion with her new guy – but in his healthy state, he actually calmed her down by validating her and reminding her that it was okay to be emotional sometimes, and then by comforting her and HEARING her (IMAGINE!).

We may also withdraw and become unresponsive when triggered by our old issues, which obviously affects our ability to communicate, and we almost always feel a serious aversion to conflict. This can lead to an inability to talk through our issues especially if we feel judged or like the person we’re communicating with is somehow not on our side.

We may always have a lingering doubt about how our partners in the future feel about us and sometimes doubt their faithfulness, especially when our narcissists include romantic partners in the past.

And thanks to the fact that many of us have never felt loved unconditionally, we often find ourselves having difficulty accepting any love at all – we are suspicious of people who try to offer it to us and we often need repeated reassurance of the fact that someone cares about us.

This of course can push people away from us and isolate us even further, which will make communication even harder.

So how can we get over this? What can we do to improve our ability to communicate after abuse?

First of all, you have to let go of the fear and start with the basics. Let me ask you a few questions.

Do you dread talking to strangers or those you barely know? Some people seem to be born with the gift of gab. They talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime, about anything. By understanding a few strategies and putting in a little practice, you can talk to anyone with ease, too. You don’t have to be mesmerizing. You just have to convince the other person they are.


A successful social conversation puts the emphasis on your conversation partner. It’s also a highly effective way to sell products and services.

You can become an excellent conversationalist, even after narcissistic abuse. Try these tips.

1. Make a good first impression. People make a lot of conclusions about you before you ever open your mouth. Conveying the message that you’re friendly, confident, and relevant provides a huge advantage. People will naturally want to engage with you and will listen to what you have to say.

  • * Stand or sit up straight. Put on your best confident smile. Look them in the eye.

2. Pay attention. Everyone wants to matter. By giving your conversation partner your full attention, you can accomplish that with ease. Avoid looking at your watch, your phone, or scanning the room. Keep your attention on the other person.

3. Avoid worrying about what you’ll say next. This could easily fall under the previous point, but deserves specific attention. Are you one of those people that’s viewed as socially awkward? That’s because you’re worried about what you’re going to say next. You’re not listening intently to the other person.

  • * When your mind is furiously working to think of something to say, you become fidgety, your eye contact wavers, and your anxiety is obvious. It makes others uncomfortable. Just listen, and the other person will give you plenty of material to move the conversation forward.

4. Turn the spotlight on the other person. You’ll find that your most successful conversations will be about the other person. People love it when you show an interest in them. Keep turning the conversation toward the other person, their interests, and opinions. Your new friend will greatly enjoy the conversation.

5. Worried about running out of things to say? Repeat the last few words of your conversation partner.

  • * “So, you went scuba diving on the great barrier reef?” Then just sit back and relax.

6. Always have something interesting to say. You will have to contribute something interesting to the conversation on occasion. Be prepared. You wouldn’t blindly reach into a dark closet and wear the first thing your hand touched. There’s no reason to blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. Be prepared.

  • * Watch the news before you head out the door and be aware of the latest global and local happenings.
  • * Have a story or two prepared.

7. Expect success. Your expectations and results match more often than not. Expect to have a good conversation. Believe that you’re a great conversationalist. Visualize conversational success.

8. Give one sincere compliment. Avoid making a direct compliment, because it can be potentially awkward and begs for a response.

  • * “You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen” is too much.
  • * “Wow, you obviously work out. What type of exercise do you do?” is very complimentary without going too far.
  • * One sincere compliment is enough.
  • Even after abuse, you can learn conversation skills – or re-learn them. 
ADHD, Anxiety and Narcissistic Abuse: How are they connected?

ADHD, Anxiety and Narcissistic Abuse: How are they connected?

If you have ever been in a relationship with a narcissist, you know that one of the side-effects is a crippling kind of anxiety – one that makes you stop talking to the people you once felt closest to and focus only on the narcissist’s needs/wants/manipulative games. This level of anxiety is often one of many symptoms of C-PTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder), which is often seen in narcissistic abuse survivors. BUT did you know that anxiety can also affect your attention span? And, researchers say, it’s possible that your C-PTSD might just be the cause of your ADHD (attention hyperactivity deficit disorder).

What is ADHD? 

According to Healthilne.com, “Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that can cause above-normal levels of hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. People with ADHD may also have trouble focusing their attention on a single task or sitting still for long periods of time.”

What is C-PTSD?

Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) is a serious mental health condition affecting a large percentage of victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse. This disorder can take years to treat and many professionals misdiagnose it. That’s partly due to the fact that many aren’t familiar with the symptoms of C-PTSD.

In some cases, therapists and social workers have been known to victim-blame when they aren’t familiar with the subtle tricks of a narcissist. Unfortunately, it can be a lifelong condition, but it can be managed with mindfulness and behavior modification, among other therapies and modalities.

What is Narcissistic Abuse?

Narcissistic abuse means psychological, emotional, and in some cases, physical abuse in toxic relationships. Narcissistic abuse in a toxic relationship can involve a spouse, a parent or other family member, a friend, a coworker or manager, or even a neighbor or acquaintance – anyone with whom you have any type of relationship. Narcissistic abuse involves subtle manipulation, pervasive control tactics, gaslighting, and emotional and psychological abuse.  Many narcissistic abusers might be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder – if they actually go to a psychologist for diagnosis, but this rarely happens as narcissists don’t feel that there’s anything with them. They may be overtly narcissistic, or they may be more of a covert narcissist. In either case, anyone in a close relationship with one of these toxic people will be used as a form of narcissistic supply and not treated like an actual person. Sadly, even the most intelligent and educated people can be manipulated and abused by a narcissist.

What’s the connection between ADHD and toxic-relationship-induced C-PTSD?

As it turns out, you might even have developed a case of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It’s true – researchers have found that there is a link between the two conditions. They say that if you have anxiety, then you’re more likely to have attention disorders. Researchers believe there is a brain connection between ADHD and C-PTSD. Initial studies on teens reveal that they’re more likely to have both issues together.

If you have anxiety or trouble concentrating, it might be a direct result of your relationship with a toxic narcissist. I’ll fill you in on the research and explain the connection in this video.

Video Sources & References

Other Anxiety and Concentration Connections to Consider

If you have anxiety or trouble concentrating, consider these discoveries:

1. The link between anxiety and attention.

  • Researchers at the University of Texas discovered that your anxiety and attention span are linked.
  • They found that teens who have anxiety are also more likely to perform worse in school because of attention issues.
  • They also saw a connection between anxiety and other mental health issues like depression and suicide.
  • Researchers shared that in some cases anxiety appeared first while in other cases attention span issues appeared first.
  • Recognizing the first issue can help families deal with the second one.
  • Teens who had issues concentrating were also more likely to have anxiety.
  • Experts believe there is a deeper reason for this in the brain.

2. Unconscious anxiety.

Medical experts believe unconscious anxiety can explain some cases of attention deficit disorders.

  • Unconscious anxiety occurs when you don’t recognize you’re actually suffering from worry and concern.
  • You have trouble concentrating, so you blame it on your poor attention span. However, in reality, your unconscious anxiety is actually preventing you from being able to focus.
  • The root of this anxiety can be buried among deeper emotional issues.

3. Overlapping symptoms.

The symptoms of anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can overlap.

  • The shared symptoms can include having trouble concentrating and focusing on one task.
  • They can also include not having control over your impulses, being irritable, feeling scared, and being afraid to try new things.
  • It’s not always easy to tell anxiety and attention disorders apart.

4. Treatment and help.

If you or someone you care about has anxiety and attention issues, seeking help may bring real benefits.

  • Treatment options can include medication to control anxiety and help attention spans.
  • Another treatment option is therapy, counseling, or coaching that helps you learn how to adjust your behavior.
  • Meditation and relaxation are also commonly used to help with both disorders.

5. The role of learning disabilities.

It’s important to avoid overlooking learning disabilities that can exacerbate anxiety and attention issues. Researchers have noticed that all three issues can occur together.

  • In some cases, learning disabilities are not caught right away as a child starts school. Children are sometimes able to compensate for their learning disabilities, so the issues go undiagnosed.
  • However, anxiety and attention disorders can be worse in children with learning disabilities.
  • By focusing on the learning issues, these kids have the chance to succeed in school and reduce their anxiety.
  • A child with a learning disability can feel anxious before every test or quiz in school and try to avoid classes. In addition, the same child can be so stressed out that they’re unable to concentrate on the simplest tasks. The learning disability makes these issues stronger and more difficult to treat.
  • It’s important to note that kids aren’t the only ones who suffer from all three conditions. Adults can spend years being misdiagnosed or not getting the proper treatments.

Resources That Might Help You

Ways to Get Support

Why Narcissists Are Often Misdiagnosed With Bipolar Disorder

Why Narcissists Are Often Misdiagnosed With Bipolar Disorder

Today, in response to a question from one of my narcissistic abuse recovery coaching clients, I’m covering the differences – and similarities – between narcissistic personality disorder and bipolar disorder – and why psychologists and other medical professionals often confuse the two.

I’ve been writing and talking about narcissism, narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and narcissistic abuse recovery for years, and one of the questions that I hear over and over again is actually related to another major issue – bipolar disorder.

The question: What are the differences between bi-polar disorder and NPD?

For example, one client told me her ex-narc has been diagnosed by a psychologist as bi-polar, but that she doesn’t believe this to be the case – and no one will listen to her. While I haven’t experienced this exactly, I can certainly relate to her pain – how about you?

Why Are Narcissists Are Often Misdiagnosed by Psychotherapists?

Narcissists tend to be misread by many therapists, and generally in one of two ways – either the therapist doesn’t see an issue, or they are diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Why does this happen? Well, there are a few reasons, so let’s talk about that.

Psychology schools haven’t taught about NPD.

First, many schools didn’t teach psychologists a lot about narcissistic personality disorder, so a lot of therapists aren’t educated on NPD at all. Others just don’t even recognize it as a possible diagnosis. One of my clients told me that she mentioned gaslighting during a therapy session, and her therapist told her that he not only hadn’t heard of it but asked her how to SPELL it. No, I’m not kidding.

Bi-polar and NPD symptoms overlap.

Another reason this happens is that so many of the symptoms overlap between these two disorders.

So, to put it in clinical terms, let me share this with you from a 2008 study published by the US Department of Health and Human Services, entitled Commonalities and differences in characteristics of persons at risk for narcissism and mania, written by
Daniel Fulford,* Sheri L. Johnson, and Charles S. Carver.

“Clinicians have long noted overlap in some of the key features of narcissism and bipolar disorder, including excessively high goals and impulsivity. In addition, empirical findings consistently document high levels of comorbidity between the two conditions. To better understand the similarities and differences in psychological qualities associated with mania- and narcissism-related vulnerabilities, we administered to 233 undergraduates a broad range of measures pertaining to goals and affects (both their experience and their dysregulation) and impulsivity. As hypothesized, tendencies toward both narcissism and hypomania related to elevations on measures of affective and goal dysregulation. In addition, hypomania tendencies were related to higher impulsivity, but that association did not appear for narcissistic tendencies. Results highlight key commonalities and differences between those at risk for mania versus narcissism. Future research should examine these relationships in clinically diagnosed samples.”

Putting it in layman’s terms, both someone with NPD and someone with bipolar disorder will present with grandiose perceptions of themselves sometimes, and both will have unrealistic fantasies of power or success – plus, both may also feel a heightened sense of their own abilities or accomplishments.

This is most commonly misdiagnosed when a therapist believes that the person is experiencing mild hypomania – an elevated mood that hasn’t reached the full manic level yet – due to bipolar disorder. Of course, based on these symptoms alone, even a well-trained professional may misdiagnose their patient.

Psychologist on Bi-Polar and NPD Diagnosis Confusion

Now, as you know, I’m a certified life coach, NOT a psychologist – so I figured I’d bring some advice from a psychologist who IS qualified to offer it here.

According to psychiatrist Michael Peterson, who’s also an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health‘s school of psychiatry, one major distinguishing feature is the timing.

Peterson adds: “Personality disorders are pervasive patterns of relating to others and situations that are long-standing. In bipolar, manic or depressed periods typically last weeks to months, but are not always present.”

Of course, as I said, these symptoms can definitely overlap, and Peterson advises that other factors could play a part in the confusion.

He says: “Many of the core symptoms of bipolar can be confused with normal variability in mood, changes associated with personality disorders — including narcissistic or borderline personality disorder — or changes associated with alcohol or drug use.

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms Vs NPD Symptoms

Let’s cover the basics here – bipolar disorder is mostly characterized by dramatic and overwhelming shifts in mood or energy – the bipolar person may hit the highest highs and the lowest lows, and these will alternate, often in a pattern. During the manic period, they’ll have lots of energy and be much more extroverted – while when the “down” side hits, they’ll find themselves exhausted, withdrawn, and generally in despair.

Another big marker for bipolar disorder: those who are most seriously affected sometimes can’t function in normal day-to-day life. They can’t keep jobs or relationships due to their disorder. Of course, when it comes to NPD, you’re dealing with someone who is self-absorbed to an unhealthy point, and who does not experience real empathy for the people around them.

So, in order to correctly diagnose or differentiate between the two disorders, psychologists must pay attention to the patterns in the lives of the disorder and be aware of the specific phases, if they believe the patient is bipolar.

Cluster B and Bi-Polar Can Be Co-Morbid Conditions

Sometimes the two CAN coexist: A recent study found that cluster B (which includes borderline, narcissistic, antisocial, and histrionic personality disorders) features were evident in about one-third of bipolar patients, with possible associations to childhood emotional and/or physical abuse.

NPD SYMPTOMS:

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, the official list of symptoms is as follows.

  • Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
  • Exaggerating your achievements and talents
  • Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
  • Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
  • Requiring constant admiration
  • Having a sense of entitlement
  • Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
  • Taking advantage of others to get what you want
  • Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
  • Being envious of others and believing others envy you
  • Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

According to the DSM – 5, these are the basic symptoms for bipolar disorder – and please note this is a VERY high overview – bipolar disorder is far more complex than you’d expect.

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

First, you cannot self-diagnose bipolar disorder – the DSM5 requires a medical diagnosis. “Mania symptoms include periods of elevated mood or irritability. When experiencing a manic episode, a patient often has high energy levels with reduced need for sleep. Less often, people may experience psychosis. Depression symptoms include feeling sad, low energy, low motivation, or loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities.”

  • Mood: mood swings, sadness, elevated mood, anger, anxiety, apathy, apprehension, euphoria, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, inability to feel pleasure, or loss of interest
  • Behavioral: irritability, risky behavior, disorganized behavior, aggression, agitation, crying, excess desire for sex, hyperactivity, impulsivity, or self-harm
  • Cognitive: unwanted thoughts, delusion, lack of concentration, racing thoughts, slowness in activity, or false belief of superiority
  • Psychological: depression, manic episode, agitated depression, or paranoia
  • Sleep: difficulty falling asleep or excess sleepiness
  • Whole body: fatigue or restlessness
  • Weight: weight gain or weight loss
  • Also common: rapid and frenzied speaking

Bipolar Disorder Has Periods of Remission, NPD Does Not

A final thought on this – while people with bipolar disorder might have episodes of “remission” in which the disorder doesn’t dictate their lives, people with NPD are pretty consistent about their behavior. Sure, there might be varying levels of intensity with the gaslighting and the manipulative behaviors with a narcissist, but it’s a character-type that doesn’t go away – and even when there is some success in treatment (rarely is the disorder even treated), it doesn’t usually go away. That fact, along with the fact that the narcissistic person can’t experience real empathy, are, in my opinion, the two most obvious differences between these disorders.

Now it’s your turn – what do you think? Do you know anyone who seems to be a narcissist but who was diagnosed as bipolar? How do you feel about it and what would you say to my suggestion that the easiest way to detect the difference lies in both the patterns and the empathy factor?

Get help with narcissistic abuse recovery right now.

 

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Narcissistic Abuse Recovery: 9 Ways to Stop a Panic Attack

Narcissistic Abuse Recovery: 9 Ways to Stop a Panic Attack

If you’ve ever been involved in any close relationship with a malignant narcissist, you probably experienced narcissistic abuse. And, if you’re like most survivors of narcissistic abuse, you may have experienced a variety of post-traumatic-stress-related issues, including but not limited to panic attacks.

9 ways to end panic attacksA panic attack can feel terrifying. People who suffer panic attacks often report that they feel as if they’re going to die.

While highly unpleasant, panic attacks are generally harmless – though they can become quite debilitating if you allow it. Here’s a little bit of tough love for you: a panic attack is something you created. So, you also have the power to lessen and eliminate the attack. You feel me? 

9 Ways to Stop Panic Attacks Fast

If panic attacks are controlling your life, you can regain that control. Stop a panic attack quickly and effectively with these techniques:

1. Remind yourself that you’re going to be okay. Your body chemistry is slightly off-kilter when you experience a panic attack. Panicking will only intensify the attack. The sooner you can relax, the more quickly the attack will pass.

2. Focus on deep breathing. Breathing is the only part of human physiology over which we have complete control. Anytime you’re awake, you can choose to breathe faster, slower, deeper, shallower, or hold your breath. Control what you can control. Slow, deep breathing will slow your heart rate, and you’ll begin to feel better.

3. Get a massage. This might not always be practical, but get someone to rub your neck and shoulders. Most importantly, massage your scalp. You can even do this yourself. Massaging your scalp will move a greater volume of blood through your brain and will help to relax the muscles of your head and neck. The effects of a massage can last for days. Try to get a massage regularly. Even a family member can perform the service if the cost of a professional massage is too high.

4. Use your imagination. Imagine something pleasant and relaxing. It might be hard to think of something positive in the moment, so have a few ideas before a panic attack strikes.

5. Get moving. Movement will help to eliminate the chemicals that are creating a feeling of panic. If you’re in a place that makes jazzercise impractical, roll your head, wrists, and ankles. You could also do a few rounds on the company stairwell. Everyone else is using the elevator anyway.

6. Warm your hands. Have you ever noticed that your hands get cold when you’re stressed? Warming your hands can help reverse the biochemical storm happening in your body during a panic attack. Run warm water over your hands or hold a cup of warm coffee in your hands.

7. Listen to music that relaxes you. Few things can change your mood and biochemistry faster than the right music. Create a song list of at least 10 songs that you find comforting and relaxing. Begin listening to your music as soon as a panic attack begins. Take slow, deep breaths.

8. Get some magnesium. Magnesium has a profound calming effect on the body. Take a magnesium supplement.

  • Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium and is more fun than swallowing a pill.
  • An Epsom salt bath will also cause your body to absorb high levels of magnesium.

9. Be proactive. If you suffer a panic attack, you were already stressed about something. Calming yourself before the panic attack is much more practical than waiting until you’re having a crisis. Take control before you lose control. Panic attacks are frightening and uncomfortable. The symptoms can include the following.

  • Pounding heart
  • Sweating
  • Shaking arms and legs
  • Difficulty breathing.

Listen, if you choose to, you can control your panic attacks and return to your normal physiology. Obviously, you’ll want to try to prevent panic attacks from occurring in the first place. If a panic attack does strike, try these strategies to help subdue it.

Learn about the A.W.A.R.E. technique for stopping panic attacks in their tracks.

 

A Shockingly Simple Way You Can Eliminate Performance Anxiety

A Shockingly Simple Way You Can Eliminate Performance Anxiety

“Performance Anxiety is what happens when you focus on yourself and your anxiety, rather than your presentation or performance. It stems from a tendency to resist and fight your anxiety, rather than to accept and work with it. It’s the result of thinking of the performance situation as a threat, rather than a challenge.” ~AnxietyCoach.com

A Startling Fact About Performance Anxiety

quote-Anais-Nin-anxiety-is-loves-greatest-killer-it-makes-88899Choking under pressure is a common response whether you’re playing the lead in the third grade Christmas play or giving an important business presentation. Unfortunately, about 90% of people handle stressful situations poorly.

A recent experiment shows that getting excited works better than trying to calm down. During a public singing contest, students were given various instructions. Those who said, “I am excited,” scored an average of 81% compared to 69% for those who said, “I am anxious,” and 53% for those who said, “I am calm.”

Learn how to use anxiety to your advantage when you’re in high stress situations. These tips will help you to perform better even when your palms are sweating.

Encouraging Yourself to Get Excited

  1. Remain fired up. It’s difficult to calm down when your body is on high alert. Excitement is an easier state to capture when you feel anxious and your heart rate is up.

  2. Distract yourself from self-doubts. You may have an interior monologue going on criticizing what you’re saying or how you look. Divert your attention to pleasant mental images or focus on the people around you.
  1. Focus on the positive. Think about what you have to gain in the situation. Focus on entertaining or helping your audience rather than worrying about forgetting your lines or losing your job.

  2. Generate flow. Put aside the outcomes for the moment. Lose yourself in the process. Enjoy what you’re doing for its own sake.

  3. Rename your feelings. Tell yourself you’re excited. Your brain will like that better than being anxious.
  1. Remember the benefits of anxiety. Anxiety has its positive side. It motivates us to take action. Without some anxiety, we would have little incentive to work or do anything challenging.

Additional Tips

  1. Accept your feelings. Realize that anxiety is natural. Everyone experiences uncertainty and wonders what will happen in the future. By some estimates, about 20% of people report that their performance suffers when they feel tense.
  1. Seek long term peace. While it’s difficult to calm down on short notice, serenity is still a worthwhile goal. Your mind and body need time to recover after demanding experiences. Manage stress, get good quality sleep, and make time for relaxation.

  2. Evaluate advice. High anxiety makes people more likely to seek outside advice and less likely to assess it accurately. Think before you follow someone else’s recommendations. Consider how to adapt them to your own circumstances.
  3. Engage in rituals. Even irrational practices can help. Many athletes hold onto lucky bottle caps or wear a certain pair of socks. Find your own good luck charm!

  4. Beware of manipulation. Unfortunately, researchers also found that anxious people were more likely to attract advisors who would deliberately mislead them. Be extra careful if you have any doubts.
  5. Acknowledge genetics. There’s a strong hereditary basis for stress responses. Some people are more physiologically sensitive. But, everyone can learn to become more resilient.

  6. Empathize with yourself and others. Anxiety is often confused with weakness. While you’re learning to manage your emotions, give yourself credit for becoming more adept. Encourage others who are going through similar struggles.

  7. Seek professional advice. If anxiety is interfering with your life, there are effective treatments. Talk with your doctor to see if medication or therapy may be helpful.

You can make anxiety work for you. Just stop calling it anxiety and tap into your excitement. You’ll feel better and enjoy more success.

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