There are so many manifestations of anxiety and so many reasons why we suffer with ‘bad’ anxiety, that they couldn’t possibly all be listed in one go and without a great deal of research and surveying amongst anxiety sufferers. But one thing I do know, is my own experiences with manifestations which have been attributed to anxiety (mistakenly or otherwise).
You see, other people, people who do not suffer, may not accept that the way our anxieties transpire and if how we act or react can be used as a feasible explanation. Rather, some people see it as an excuse. Maybe it is? Maybe it isn’t. Maybe it is who we have been conditioned to be because of our experience with life so far. Maybe it has made us resort to negative expectations and thus our defence barriers erect on autopilot, without us being consciously aware? Maybe we gradually become aware of our reactions but by the time we realise, we have already started to believe what we have subconsciously decided on and so we roll with it. We act it out. We carry it on. And on. Because hey, that is what we believe, at that moment in time, to be true, however irrational or illogical. Complicated, huh?!
It is. And that’s a fact. Anxiety is complicated. It is mayhem! It’s bedlam in the anxiety brain! An ever-protruding thorn in our side! But that doesn’t make it OK. Because our manifestations hurt ourselves. And they hurt the people we love in ways that have the potential to pave our future in an unexpected way.
Now, trust me, I do not say this lightly, nor to make you feel bad.
This is not your fault. This is not my fault. You didn’t ask for this. I didn’t ask for this. But if we do not make a real, conscious, genuine effort to over-rule these intrusive thought patterns and behaviours, then we risk giving and receiving a soul-destroyer!
Some of my manifestations came from past relationships. Some came from the way I saw myself and what my anxiety brain made me believe I’m worth. Some were to pass the book to make my loved one carry some of the load. And that was wrong of me. It was MY anxiety. Mine. And I should’ve nipped it in the bud long before I did. But I didn’t know how. I needed my 'lightbulb' moment!
One of my many manifestations was low self-esteem. Outwardly, I didn’t look like the ‘widely perceived stereotypical’ person with low self-esteem. Hunched over and fearful of looking people in the eye. I carried myself well. I always made an effort with my appearance. I still wore bright red lipstick for goodness sake! I still laughed.
Inwardly, I was worried. I mean really worried. Did people think I was fat? Not pretty enough? Too short? Too boring? Did my personality come across as inferior? Did my husband compare me to other women? Was he constantly on the lookout for someone better? My answers to these questions were, you guessed it, negative. Why wouldn’t people think I wasn’t pretty enough? I mean, I didn’t. Why wouldn’t people think I was boring? I thought I was, so they must too! Why wouldn’t my husband be looking for someone better? I mean, he could do better, right?! My anxiety manifested this way. Low self-esteem equated to low self-worth. So I acted like it. Because I couldn’t see a way to be who I really am. Who I should be. Who I was born to be and who all of the people around me loved me as such. In my anxious mind, it wasn’t good enough because I wasn’t good enough. I was suspicious and analytical. I still am. But I’m trying really hard not to be. Remember the Self-fulfilling Prophecy post?
Paranoia stemmed from low self esteem. I have ruined relationships because I was paranoid. I did not value myself so why the hell would anyone else value me? But why didn’t I value myself? Why didn’t I see what everyone else saw. What my husband saw? I’d get an idea in my head and defend myself because of it. And all the while anxiety is whispering in my ear, “just in case it happens!” I would essentially DEVALUE others thoughts and opinions of me, instantly. Without real cause and without their knowledge.
This is not OK. It is not good enough for us to live this way. It is not good for relationships, for friendships or for family life. It is not good enough to feel not good enough!!
Listen up, the power to defeat some of the manifestations of anxiety is within us. It’s not easy to retrain your brain to stop yourself from thinking intrusive, self-damaging thoughts, but it can be done with perseverance, determination and consistency.
Small steps to recovery are necessary. Ever heard the saying “don’t run before you can walk”?
Start with affirming to yourself on a daily basis that you are good enough. You are worthy. You are beautiful inside and out. You are kind and caring and deserving of all things great. You could use temporal tapping as a tool. You could write down or think of 3 things you are proud of yourself for and repeat them to yourself throughout the day. You can practice being mindful. Do some meditation perhaps? You could distract yourself with hobbies such as baking, drawing, crafting or painting. Outdoor pursuits maybe?
There are many, many positive distraction methods which can all contribute to changing your mindset, believing in yourself and beating the living daylights out of anxiety!
Here are a few links to some suggestions.
A sweary colouring book! Go F*** Yourself, I'm Colouring - https://amzn.to/2zzcsCQ Clour your anger/anxiety away
Another adult colouring book - 100 Amazing Patterns - https://amzn.to/37qDRmQ
The Big Activity Book For Anxious People - https://amzn.to/37p8pW8
A gorgeous painting by numbers for adults - https://amzn.to/2UFXXV0
Or something a little more traditional - https://amzn.to/2XWlZgz
The Mind Illuminated paper back book - https://amzn.to/2MWaRtW
Meditation cushion - https://amzn.to/2BYbd0E
For mindfulness and to promote feelings of accomplishment and wellbeing, try my free printable 21 day challenge that you can stick to the fridge and tick off day by day.
Negative manifestations can be laid to rest when we believe in our true potential as a human being. The mind is a powerful thing. It’s time to surrender the anxiety we do not need to the outer realms of the universe! It’s time to use our mind for what is was intended for. Manifesting a brighter, more positive, beautiful future. It’s not too late.
Lotsa love & no more mayhem
PS. These are a tiny fraction of some manifestations that can occur. I will be posting about the different forms anxiety takes on at various points throughout the blog. If there are any topics you would like me to talk about, please sign up to interact with the posts. It’s free.
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