Anxiety control freak: Is Your Anxiety Turning You Into a Control Freak?

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Is Your Anxiety Turning You Into a Control Freak?

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When you suffer from anxiety it can seem like nothing is under your control. The more fearful you feel of not being in control, the more you try to structure your world to feel safe. Perhaps you had previous experience with feeling powerless and you never wish to feel that way again. One way you may deal with feeling anxiety is to overcompensate by exerting great control over your current environment including the people around you. The people in your life may call you a “control freak” and resent your attempts to create structure and order. Yet when you don’t exert your control you feel great anxiety.

So what can be done? Chances are that if you have been labeled as a control freak by others, you may see no reason to change your ways because this is how you manage some of your anxiety. You may not even be conscious that you are doing it. Hopefully this post will help you to become aware if you do have this issue or will promote understanding if you have someone in your life that is controlling.

Three Hypothetical Cases

Hypothetical Case Number One: Mary had a rough childhood where she was the victim of sexual abuse from a neighbor. Her family did not believe her when she talked about the abuse and so she lived in both shame and fear. Years later she did marry and had two children, a boy and a girl. She allowed the boy great freedom but Mary could not allow the same freedoms to her daughter. She would not permit her daughter to go anywhere alone. She did not allow her daughter to go to any after school activities, nor did she allow her to go on sleepovers. Every activity or outing was carefully monitored. The daughter, unaware of her mother’s past, simply grew more and more resentful of her mother’s control. In her teen years the daughter became rebellious, causing Mary to feel extreme anxiety.

Hypothetical Case Number Two: George grew up in the inner city with parents who struggled to keep afloat financially. His father worked a couple of menial labor jobs and one was being the janitor at George’s school. George was embarrassed by this and didn’t let any of the other kids know that his dad was the janitor. His mother struggled as well and found jobs where she could at the grocery store or beauty parlor washing hair. She would come home and tell George that things wouldn’t be this way if only his dad would have gone to school. George took this to heart and got good grades. He won a scholarship and went to an Ivy League college. But he always felt inferior somehow. He felt he had to prove himself that much more.

After college, he married and had children. George pushed the children early on and made sure that they got into the best schools and academic programs. Starting in elementary school, the children did three hours of homework every night which was monitored by George. The children had no time for fun because George was using every bit of their time to prepare them for school. As the children became resentful, George reasoned that he was simply giving his kids the best chance for a good future.

Hypothetical Case Number Three: Cindy met the love of her life in high school and they married early on. Things were very happy until the day her husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Although Cindy researched and tried to do everything to save her husband, he died anyway. Cindy was devastated by his death and felt guilty that she didn’t do enough even though everyone around her and including doctors told her that there was nothing anybody could do. Cindy married again ten years later. Her new husband was aware of her first marriage and what happened, but had no idea of the extent of Cindy’s unresolved grief and feelings of guilt.

When her new husband would show any signs of illness, including a cold, Cindy would grow very anxious. She would deal with the situation by constantly hovering over him, asking if he was okay and providing far too much care, like taking him to the doctor when he really didn’t need to go. Her super vigilance over his health was becoming a terrible strain on their relationship. It came to the point where her new husband feared telling her any time he was sick and hid his symptoms when he was ill. This secrecy made Cindy that much more anxious.

I am sure we have all seen such hypothetical examples being played out in real life. The mother who tries to control her daughter’s eating habits battled an eating disorder when she was a teen. The little girl who was picked on by bullies grows up to be a boss who micromanages her employees. The nurse who cannot stop smoking is bossy and controlling with her patients.

How to change controlling behavior

If you are feeling the need to overly control your environment and others, your anxiety may be an influential factor.

The first step is to be aware that you are doing it. Listen to loved ones, friends, and co-workers who tell you that you are crossing the boundaries of exerting your personal control. When you are overly controlling with others, the result is almost always resentment and rebellion and frayed relationships. In order to prevent such damage, it is imperative to make some changes.

Here are some ways to make a change:

  1. Listen to others if they tell you that you are being overly controlling.

  2. Figure out the possible cause of your behavior. What is causing you to fear not being in control over certain situations? What do you predict is the worst case scenario for letting go of some of that control?

  3. Talk to someone (a trusted friend, a counselor, or a therapist) about your fears and anxiety.

Remember that micromanaging or attempting to overly control situations in your life which arouse fear is not likely to work in the end. At some point you will have to deal with your fear head on and take risks. Progress is when you accept your powerlessness over some situations and life events. It is ironic that when you do reach that point of acceptance and letting go of what you cannot control, you will feel more powerful and in control.

Meet Our Writer

Anne Windermere

These articles were written by a longtime HealthCentral community member who shared valuable insights from her experience living with multiple chronic health conditions. She used the pen name “Merely Me.”

How to Live or Work With a Control Freak – Cleveland Clinic

If you live with a control
freak, you love them despite their constant need to make sure that everything goes
their way.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

If you work with one, you tolerate them because you like your job, you have bills to pay — and prison orange isn’t your color.

You can’t avoid all the control
freaks of the world, so you have to find a way to peacefully coexist with them.
It’s tough, but believe it or not, it can be done. Let’s start by understanding
the psychology behind the behavior.

What makes a control
freak tick?

Control freaks tend to have a psychological need to be in charge of things and people around them. This often includes circumstances that cannot be changed or even controlled. The need for control can stem from deeper psychological issues such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety disorders or personality disorders.

“People who try to dominate you can be exhausting and suffocating. They make you feel like you can’t breathe and you are trapped in their ways,” says psychologist Susan Albers, PsyD.

“Unfortunately, we all have control freaks of different degrees in our lives.  Sometimes it is a boss or friend.  It’s particularly difficult when it is a family member which creates a toxic and tricky world to navigate.  You often can’t just cut them out — you have to learn how to skillfully navigate their nature,” Dr. Albers explains.

Control freaks are always aware of what they’re doing, right?

Not necessarily. It might seem like they have agendas to take over our lives and the world, but that’s not the case. Dr. Albers says fear is often a motivator in their desire to control. Anxiety is another reason for their behavior.

“People
who have control issues experience a lot of anxiety. They try to control things
to reduce their anxiety level. Finding other positive ways to reduce their
anxiety can help divert or shut down their need to control others.”

Changing your perspective can make them a little easier to deal with

The term “control freak” is a pretty charged one when you think about it. ” ‘Control freak’ can be a negative term that makes you automatically feel angry and indicates that people are abnormal,” says Dr. Albers. She recommends reframing the term by saying that people with control issues “like to take charge of things.” That can help take your negative association with these individuals down a notch.

Bullying is never the way to go

People with control issues may
tap dance on your last nerve, but don’t take the low road when interacting with
them.

“Remember that it is never okay to bully them. Sometimes control freaks genuinely don’t realize that their behavior is coming across that way.  Labeling it as such can sometimes shine a different light on it for the controller,” says Dr. Albers. She also recommends not hurling insults at people who struggle with control issues. 

“With
these individuals, it’s important to get to the root of what is driving the
need for control. If it’s due to a psychological disorder, telling the person
that they’re acting like a jerk isn’t going to fix the problem.”

How to stay calm when dealing with someone with control issues 

In a work situation, you have a glimmer of hope because you don’t have to spend your days and nights with the source of your frustration. Living with someone who has control issues might be more of a challenge. Thankfully, Dr. Albers has some pointers for both scenarios.

How to handle a controlling coworker or
boss

It’s in our nature to be polite
or to try to keep the peace at work. We’re with our coworkers 40 or more hours
a week. The last thing we want is a tense or tumultuous work environment. On
the other hand, it’s not fair for you to be on edge every day because you have
to interact with a controlling officemate.

There’s a fine balance to coexisting with a control freak in the workplace — and it doesn’t mean that you always have to be the sacrificial lamb.

Dr. Albers suggests taking this route.

“When someone with control issues tries to take over at work, calmly point out how it makes you feel in the moment at the exact moment when it’s happening. Don’t let it fester so you explode later. It helps to connect the feeling and the event clearly.  For example, you could say something like, ‘Right now you are telling me how I should run the meeting tomorrow.  I feel like you don’t trust me to do a good job.’ ”

If your coworker or boss is allergic to the word “no,” Dr. Albers suggests using “gentle nos.”  This means, instead of telling the person “no” with a little bass and a lot of “get out of my face” behind it, try saying something along the lines of, “What I am going to do is…” or “Another way of doing this is…” 

With a controlling person, Dr. Albers says that a firm “no” can escalate the situation. “The word “no” can be very triggering and fighting words for someone who has control issues.”

How to
handle a loved one with control issues

To be clear, we’re not referring to a situation where someone is extremely controlling or abusive. If you are in a situation like that, please know there is help, and we encourage you to seek it for your safety and sanity.

In
this case, we’re referring to someone who might be a little too particular or
peculiar about the little things. They could be a partner, a friend or even a
family member.

When dealing with loved ones with control issues, Dr. Albers recommends picking your battles. Some things are worth holding your ground and doing them your way. She encourages you to know your limits and be very clear about them. Don’t ask the person for their opinion when you’re planning something or even doing the simplest tasks.

“Don’t invite opinions. Instead of saying, ‘What do you think about…’ say, ‘I am doing this,’ ” adds Dr. Albers.

If
you spend a lot of time with a person who has control issues, shave that time
down a little to make things less stressful. And when you talk to them, only
give high-level details about what’s going on in your personal or professional
life. This way, they won’t have the opportunity to critique your decisions.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Some things aren’t worth the time or energy. When it comes to minor tasks or things that really aren’t relevant, don’t argue. “Sometimes it is just easier to allow people with control issues to do things their way. For instance, if it doesn’t truly matter where you eat lunch or dinner, let them decide,” says Dr. Albers.  “But giving them complete control across the board is not good for you or your relationship. This will only cause resentment and anger.”

You can make things more manageable by giving your coworker or loved one positive and constructive ways to challenge their controlling nature. Give them tasks that you aren’t enthusiastic about. This doesn’t mean punishing them with horrible projects. You can assign them mundane tasks that they really enjoy doing. And once they complete those projects, thank them for “taking charge.” (Wink, wink.) 

Surround yourself with
supportive people

It can be overwhelming when you have to deal with a control freak on a daily basis. That’s why you need a supportive network of people who will back you up and allow you to vent.

“Be sure to talk to others. A controlling person knows how to make you feel guilty, or feel like you are doing something wrong or unwise if you don’t follow their advice. That’s why it’s always good to check in with a neutral party or another family member to reinforce that your opinion matters and is valid,” says Dr. Albers.

 

The 5 Biggest Problems Control Freaks Create for Themselves

As a psychotherapist, I’d estimate about 25 percent of people who enter my office aren’t actually looking to change themselves. Instead, they’re seeking support in their efforts to fix someone else.

One woman came into my office asking, “How do I get my husband to stop eating so much junk food?” Her husband had been diagnosed with several health conditions, including high cholesterol. Yet, he refused to change his diet.

So she constantly nagged him about all the junk food he ate. She lectured him about his health and sometimes, she threw away his snacks when he wasn’t looking.

Although her intentions were good, she was treating her husband like a child. And that was doing more harm than good. Rather than change his eating habits, her husband was starting to sneak food. And they were fighting more than ever.

My work with her wasn’t about changing her husband. Instead, it was about teaching her how to control her anxiety. She had to accept that she could change her behavior and influence her husband, but she couldn’t force him to change if he didn’t want to.

Of course, not all control freaks try to change people. Some simply want absolute control over external circumstances. And that can cause many problems too.

Here are five big problems control freaks experience:

1. Increased anxiety.

Many control freaks experience constant worry. But rather than controlling their inner turmoil, they insist on trying to control the events around them. This approach backfires since they can’t control everything all the time–and ultimately, they end up causing themselves to feel even more anxious.

2. Troubled relationships.

If you’ve ever worked for a boss who micromanaged everything you did or you had a parent who was a control freak, you’ll know firsthand how difficult it is to be around a control freak. Trying to control other people damages relationships and is the root of much family dysfunction.

3. Severe self-criticism.

Control freaks believe they are 100 percent in control of their success. They deny that luck or timing play any significant role. So whenever things don’t go as expected, they excessively blame themselves. They call themselves names and beat themselves up on a regular basis.

4. Harsh judgment of others.

Control freaks lack faith in other people’s abilities, which makes them less likely to delegate tasks or ask for help. And since they believe success stems solely from a person’s effort, they have little compassion for other people’s shortcomings and failure.

5. Wasted time and energy.

Control freaks waste their finite resources (like time and energy) on things they can’t control. It drains their mental strength and makes them less productive.

How to Stop Focusing on Things You Can’t Control

It’s important to distinguish between the things you can control and the things you have no control over. Sometimes, you have to accept that the only things you can control are your effort and your attitude. But when you stop trying to be a control freak–and you put your energy into the things you can control–you’ll see much better results.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

7 Signs of a Control Freak

Source: StockLite/Shutterstock

Many people who enter my therapy office with depression, anxiety, and stress-related issues have one thing in common: They spend a lot of time focusing on things they can’t control.

They worry about what other people think, or they waste time trying to convince their partners to change. They’re busy, but they don’t feel effective, and that’s because they’re putting their energy into the wrong places. Rather than controlling their emotions, they’re always trying to control the environment — and the people in it.

Here are seven telltale signs that you invest too much time, mental energy, and physical effort into things you have no control over:

1. You aren’t a good team player.

Joining a team means you have to give up some control. After all, you can’t orchestrate everything that happens when you are only responsible for 10 percent of the outcome. Many control freaks prefer to be a lone wolf, so when they must be part of a team, they quickly try to dictate everyone’s behavior.

2. You believe you are 100 percent responsible for your success.

Control freaks believe that, with enough effort and skill, they can accomplish anything. They don’t believe in timing or luck. They often say things like, “Failure isn’t an option,” and they’re overly critical of themselves when things don’t go as planned.

3. You invest a lot of time into trying to convince other people to change.

Most control freaks believe they know what is best for everyone, and try to convince other people to do things differently. Whether they lecture, become aggressive, or manipulate things behind the scenes, the goal is to make other people act a certain way.

4. You have trouble maintaining meaningful relationships.

No one ever says, “You know what I like about her? She’s a control freak.” Control freaks repel people with demands and unsolicited advice. Consequently, they struggle to maintain healthy personal and professional relationships.

5. You spend a lot of energy trying to prevent bad things from happening.

Rather than prepare themselves for the storm, control freaks try to prevent the storm from coming — even when they can’t. They waste time and energy hoping bad things won’t happen because they doubt their ability to deal with hardship.

6. You don’t delegate.

A control freak firmly believes if you want something done right, you’d better do it yourself. They refuse to delegate tasks because they’re convinced that doing so will ultimately require more of their time since they’ll have to fix whatever mistakes someone else makes. If they do delegate, they insist on micromanaging every step of the way.

7. You lack compassion for people who make mistakes.

Since control freaks believe success stems solely from talent and effort, they lack compassion for those who struggle. They view mistakes as signs of laziness or stupidity, and they think everyone should succeed, regardless of their circumstances.

How to Give Up a Bit of That Control

Control freaks experience consequences ranging from constant irritability to uncontrollable anger. In addition to wreaking havoc on your mental health, being a control freak also wastes time and energy, both of which are finite resources.

To build mental strength, practice controlling your emotions, rather than controlling everything around you. Build confidence in your ability to deal with discomfort — and practice accepting that not everything will go as planned.

With a concerted effort, you can regain control over yourself. And that can help you gain the inner peace you’ve been attempting to achieve by trying to control your environment.

Want to know how to give up the bad habits that rob you of mental strength? Pick up a copy of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.

Histrionic Personality Disorder Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

 

Histrionic personality disorder is one of a group of conditions called “Cluster B” or “dramatic” personality disorders. People with these disorders have intense, unstable emotions and distorted self-images. For people with histrionic personality disorder, their self-esteem depends on the approval of others and does not arise from a true feeling of self-worth. They have an overwhelming desire to be noticed, and often behave dramatically or inappropriately to get attention. The word histrionic means “dramatic or theatrical.”

This disorder is more common in women than in men and usually is evident by adolescence or early adulthood.

What Are the Symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorder?

In many cases, people with histrionic personality disorder have good social skills; however, they tend to use these skills to manipulate others so that they can be the center of attention.

A person with this disorder might also:

  • Be uncomfortable unless they are the center of attention
  • Dress provocatively and/or exhibit inappropriately seductive or flirtatious behavior
  • Shift emotions rapidly
  • Act very dramatically, as though performing before an audience, with exaggerated emotions and expressions, yet appears to lack sincerity
  • Be overly concerned with physical appearance
  • Constantly seek reassurance or approval
  • Be gullible and easily influenced by others
  • Be excessively sensitive to criticism or disapproval
  • Have a low tolerance for frustration and be easily bored by routine, often beginning projects without finishing them or skipping from one event to another
  • Not think before acting
  • Make rash decisions
  • Be self-centered and rarely show concern for others
  • Have difficulty maintaining relationships, often seeming fake or shallow in their dealings with others
  • Threaten or attempt suicide to get attention

 

What Causes Histrionic Personality Disorder?

The exact cause of histrionic personality disorder is not known, but many mental health professionals believe that both learned and inherited factors play a role in its development. For example, the tendency for histrionic personality disorder to run in families suggests that a genetic susceptibility for the disorder might be inherited. However, the child of a parent with this disorder might simply be repeating learned behavior. Other environmental factors that might be involved include a lack of criticism or punishment as a child, positive reinforcement that is given only when a child completes certain approved behaviors, and unpredictable attention given to a child by their parent(s), all leading to confusion about what types of behavior earn parental approval. Personality disorders also usually develop in relation to individual temperament and psychological styles and ways people learn to cope with stress while growing up.

How Is Histrionic Personality Disorder Diagnosed?

If signs of this personality disorder are present, the doctor will begin an evaluation by performing a complete medical and psychiatric history. If physical symptoms are present, a physical exam and laboratory tests (such as neuroimaging studies or blood tests) may also be recommended to assure that a physical illness is not causing any symptoms that may be present.

If the doctor finds no physical reason for the symptoms, they might refer the person to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other licensed behavioral health professional who may use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate a person for a personality disorder.

How Is Histrionic Personality Disorder Treated?

In general, people with histrionic personality disorder do not believe they need therapy. They also tend to exaggerate their feelings and to dislike routine, which makes following a treatment plan difficult. However, they might seek help if depression — possibly associated with a loss or a failed relationship — or another problem caused by their actions causes them distress.

Psychotherapy (a type of counseling) is generally the treatment of choice for histrionic personality disorder. The goal of treatment is to help the individual uncover the motivations and fears associated with their thoughts and behavior, and to help the person learn to relate to others in a more positive way.

Medication might sometimes be used as  treatment for other conditions that might also be present with this disorder, such as depression and anxiety.

What Complications Are Associated With Histrionic Personality Disorder?

Histrionic personality disorder can affect a person’s social, professional, or romantic relationships and how they react to losses or failures. People with this disorder are also at higher risk than the general population to suffer from depression.

What Is the Outlook for People With Histrionic Personality Disorder?

Many people with this disorder are able to function well socially and at work. Those with severe cases, however, might experience significant problems in their daily lives

Can Histrionic Personality Disorder Be Prevented?

Although prevention of the histrionic personality disorder might not be possible, treatment can allow a person who is prone to this disorder to learn more productive ways of dealing with situations.

 

Warning Signs of Domestic Violence, Why Victims Stay, How to Get Help

They’re not always as obvious as you might think. That’s because domestic abuse is about controlling someone’s mind and emotions as much as hurting their body. Being abused can leave you scared and confused. It can be hard for you to see your partner’s actions for what they really are.

Usually, physical abuse isn’t what comes first. The abuse can creep up slowly. A putdown here or there. An odd excuse to keep you away from family or friends. The violence often ramps up once you’ve been cut off from other people. By then, you feel trapped.

Signs of Abuse

If you’re afraid of your partner, that’s a big red flag. You may be scared to say what you think, to bring up certain topics, or to say no to sex. No matter the reason, fear has no place in a healthy relationship.

If you feel like you’re being abused, there’s a good chance you may be, and it’s worth getting help. Keep that in mind as you think about these signs:

Your partner bullies, threatens, or controls you:

  • Accuses you of having an affair
  • Blames you for abuse
  • Criticizes you
  • Tells you what to wear and how you should look
  • Threatens to kill you or someone close to you
  • Throws things or punches walls when angry
  • Yells at you and makes you feel small

Your partner controls your money:

  • Keeps cash and credit cards from you
  • Puts you on an allowance and makes you explain every dollar you spend
  • Keeps you from working whatever job you want
  • Steals money from you or your friends
  • Won’t let you have money for basic needs like food and clothes

Your partner cuts you off from family and friends:

  • Keeps close tabs on where you go and whom you go with
  • Makes you ask for an OK to see friends and family
  • Embarrasses you in front of others, and it makes you want to avoid people

Your partner physically abuses you:

  • Abandons you in a place you don’t know
  • Attacks you with weapons
  • Keeps you from eating, sleeping, or getting medical care
  • Locks you in or out of your house
  • Punches, pushes, kicks, bites, pulls hair

Your partner sexually abuses you:

  • Forces you to have sex
  • Makes you dress in a sexual way
  • Makes you feel like you owe them sex
  • Tries to give you an STD
  • Won’t use condoms or other birth control

Signs Someone You Know Is Being Abused

Keep an eye out for things like:

  • Excuses for injuries
  • Personality changes, like low self-esteem in someone who was always confident
  • Constantly checking in with their partner
  • Never having money on hand
  • Overly worried about pleasing their partner
  • Skipping out on work, school, or social outings for no clear reason
  • Wearing clothes that don’t fit the season, like long sleeves in summer to cover bruises

Are the Signs Different for Men?

They’re often the same. And that’s true whether the abusive partner is a woman or another man. It may be emotional or verbal, like taking away keys, medicines, or other essentials. Or things like constantly putting you down in public or on social media.

And, it can be physical. To make up for differences in strength, abusive partners may try to attack you in your sleep, by surprise, or with weapons and other objects. They may also abuse your children or pets.

Are the Signs Different for the LGBTQ Community?

Again, there’s a lot in common, but the abuse may also target sexual orientation or gender identity. Your abuser may:

  • Make excuses for abuse, like it’s just how men are or that you wanted it to happen
  • Tell you that police or others won’t help because of your gender or orientation
  • Tell you that you’re not really how you identify
  • Threaten to out you to family, friends, and others

What to Do if You’re Being Abused

First, know that you deserve better and that this isn’t your fault. If you’re in an emergency, call 911.

It can be hard to decide whether to stay or leave. That’s why it may help to start with a call to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233). Call from a friend’s house or somewhere else where you feel safe.

You can also turn to friends, family, neighbors, your doctor, or your spiritual community.

Also make sure you have an emergency escape plan:

  • Hide a set of car keys.
  • Pack a bag with keys, extra clothes, important papers, money, and medicines. You might keep it at a friend’s house.
  • Have a plan for calling the police in an emergency. You might have a code word so your kids, family, friends, or co-workers know you’re in danger.
  • Know where you’ll go and how you’ll get there.

What to Do if You Think Someone Is Being Abused

Say something. You might have your doubts. But if you’re thinking about it, there’s usually a reason. Someone’s life could be in danger.

When you talk to the person, you can:

  • Ask if anything is wrong
  • Talk specifically about what concerns you
  • Listen carefully
  • Let the person know you’re always there to talk and that your conversations are always private
  • Offer to help
  • Support the person’s choices

How to Stop Being a Control Freak

Last autumn, horrific wildfires raged near our home. People we knew were losing their houses left and right. In the midst of disaster, I had to leave town for work.

To make myself feel better, I typed up three single-spaced pages of detailed instructions for what my family should do in case of fire or earthquake. Which I then laminated. And posted in each of my kids’ bedrooms.

I then made my family practice an emergency evacuation. Tanner, age 15, volunteered to take care of the family heirlooms. I drilled him, dead serious: “Which are the high-priority photo albums?” Molly, 14, was drawing on her ankle with a ballpoint pen. “Molly! Pay attention! When you get Buster into the car, what else do you need to make sure you have with you?”

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My husband rolled his eyes.

Until recently, I’d thought that I’d more or less conquered perfectionism. Perfectionism, I’d become fond of saying, is a particular form of unhappiness. I’d thank GOD I wasn’t a perfectionist anymore.

Hah.

While it is true that I am no longer as afraid of making mistakes or disappointing others as I was in my youth, I have obviously not yet rid myself of perfectionism. I’ve just turned it outward, to the world, and especially to others. How am I trying to solve this problem of mine? Read on.

Inner turbulence, outer control

The more turbulent I am inside, the more I try to control what’s happening outside. Some people look away when chaos reigns; I dig in. I boss people around. I am aggressive about what I think is right.

Feeling like I am right, like I know what to do, delivers a hit of certainty in a world of unending and catastrophic natural disasters, in a country where mass shootings are commonplace and our hot-headed president brags about his ability to start a nuclear war.

But every time I try to control anything other than my own thoughts—the weather, my husband, my children—I’m sending a message to the world and the people around me that they are not good enough. This absolutely is perfectionism, and indeed, it is a particular form of unhappiness—one that spreads like wildfire.

This control freakish-ness indicates that I have problem with what researchers call “other-oriented perfectionism.”

I’m not alone. A new study published in Psychological Bulletin demonstrates that perfectionism is increasing over time: Today’s youth are more demanding of others, and they are more demanding of themselves. They also feel like other people (e.g., parents like me) are more demanding of them.

Like its close cousins “self-oriented perfectionism” and “socially prescribed perfectionism,” other-oriented perfectionism leads to nothing good. Although we often think that perfectionism is a cause of success—“I’m a bit of a perfectionist” is a socially acceptable humble-brag—research clearly demonstrates that perfectionism is often debilitating. A well-studied phenomenon, perfectionism is clearly associated with serious depression, chronic anxiety, and myriad health problems.

And “other-oriented perfectionism” comes with additional drawbacks: In intimate relationships, it is linked with “greater conflict and lower sexual satisfaction.” When I get bossy and controlling, the people around me feel defensive, or they feel wrong, or they feel a lack of control—nothing anyone ever wants to feel.

Being controlling is like a sugar rush: It might bring me a quick hit of tense certainty, but never lasting peace. This is because all control is false. Temporary at best. Life is inherently uncertain; we might hate that, but it’s true. We can be sure of only one thing: We will die. And we are usually not even in control of that.

How to surrender

Given this, why do I so consistently and diligently resist uncertainty by trying to get the world to do things my way? And what can I do instead of retreating back into perfectionism?

The opposite of perfectionism is acceptance. Not resignation, but surrender…to whatever is happening in the present moment. I know, I know: That sounds terrible to my fellow control freaks. Bear with me.

You may have heard the truism that what we resist, persists. This teaches us that we often prolong pain and difficulty through resistance. Perfectionism is a form of resistance to whatever is actually happening in the present moment. At its foundation, it is a rejection of the current reality.

Research by Kristin Neff and others shows that resistance increases our suffering, while acceptance—particularly self-acceptance—is one of the lesser-known secrets to happiness.

But this idea that we do better when we don’t resist difficulty is very counterintuitive. How do we even begin to stop resisting what hurts or what scares us?

Behavioral science and great wisdom traditions both point us towards acceptance. It is strangely effective to simply accept that which we cannot control, especially if we are in a difficult or painful situation. To do this, we accept the situation, and also our emotions about the situation.

Instead of laminating instructions for exactly what to do during a disaster (because, you know, when the house is on fire that’s just what everyone needs), I could have let myself accept reality: We could, at some point, lose our home in a fire. And then I could just let myself feel the fear and anxiety I was actually already feeling.

This approach requires trust. Trust that if I’m still here, still breathing, everything is okay. Trust that even if I don’t give specific instructions, if I back off from trying to control everyone and everything, life will continue to unfold just as it’s meant to. Trust that even if it all goes to hell, even if other people make mistakes or do things differently than I would do them, that I can deal with the outcome, no matter what it is. Trust that I can handle all the difficult emotions that come up in response to what does or does not happen. Trust that I can handle loss and grief should it come.

“You know what to do now, in a fire or an earthquake?” I asked the kids a few weeks later.

“Pretty much,” Molly answered, looking up.

“What?” I asked.

“Depends what we’re dealing with. I’m in charge of Buster. I’ll get him to the meeting place.”

This is a good-enough plan…even though it does not account for some critical details.

Weirdly, this trust and acceptance thing works. When we suppress or deny our emotions (or distract ourselves from them by writing and laminating instruction manuals), they don’t actually go away. In fact, they tend to generate an even bigger physiological response, which makes us more, not less, anxious. But when we let ourselves feel what we feel, we can process what is happening for us. We don’t feel fewer challenging emotions, but we do feel them for less time.

For example, we might have a particularly difficult relationship with a neighbor or in-law. We can accept this as our reality, and also that we feel frustrated and saddened by the situation. This doesn’t mean that the situation will never get better; acceptance is not the same as resignation. We can work to make the relationship less difficult (or to be reasonably prepared in the event of a disaster), while at the same time accepting the reality that the relationship is very difficult. Maybe it will get better—and maybe it won’t.

Accepting the reality of a difficult or scary situation and our limited control allows us to soften. And this softening opens the door to our own compassion and wisdom.

And in this crazy and uncertain life, we human beings need those things.

How anxiety distorts the perception of reality

  • Bobby Azarian
  • BBC Future

Photo Credit, Thinkstock

Anxiety can have a profound effect on how we perceive the world. BBC Future columnist wondered if the new treatment would help alleviate persistent anxiety.

You have a variety of disturbing thoughts rushing about in your head, your pulse quickens and your breathing stops.Worry gives way to fear, and then you suddenly become panic-stricken.

You feel confused and overexcited. If these symptoms are familiar to you, then know that you are not alone.

Actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone, musician Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and singer Taylor Swift, artist Vincent van Gogh and poet Emily Dickinson suffered from paralyzing anxiety attacks.

Everyone knows that anxiety affects the emotional state of a person and prevents him from interacting with the world around him.

However, few people know how anxiety affects our attention in everyday life. Because of it, the priorities of attention are shifted, which entails a change in the information entering the brain and, consequently, in our perception of reality.

This could have far-reaching consequences. By influencing attention, anxiety can shape a person’s worldview and value system in a certain and predictable way. It can also influence our beliefs without our knowledge.

To avoid distortion of reality caused by anxiety, you first need to understand the mechanisms that regulate attention and how to manage them.

In a metaphor inspired by the work of the talented and progressive 19th century American psychologist William James, our visual attention system is in many ways like a searchlight that “scans” the world around us.

This spotlight is a limited area of ​​space that is in the spotlight at a given moment.What gets into it, the brain consciously processes, but what remains outside it – no.

Looking at the world around, a person focuses attention on the subject that he would like to see better. Our brains are unable to process an object, text, or environment in detail if they are not in the spotlight.

Photo author, iStock

Photo caption,

Our mind works like a spotlight, helping us to notice important details

To understand how this works, you can use the example of a person reading a book in a crowded train car.His gaze moves across the page from left to right, line by line. In this case, the “spotlight of attention” moves from word to word.

The word on which a person focuses his attention is clearly perceived by his consciousness, while the words that lie outside the “spotlight of attention” seem blurred and mostly illegible.

Such localization is necessary because the simultaneous perception of all visual information about the environment would lead to an “overload” of the brain, which is a system with limited resources, like a computer.

“Spotlight” allows the brain to concentrate only on the important, ignoring all unnecessary information. Thanks to this, we are able to perceive the reality around us.

In most cases, we consciously choose where to focus our attention, but this process is not always under our voluntary control.

At the same time, not all objects and phenomena around us are perceived by us in the same way. So, for example, a bright flash of light or a sharp movement where it should not be, automatically attracts our attention, and it moves to the point where they arose.

Few people like it when something dramatically distracts their attention, but this does not happen by accident. An involuntary shift in attention is needed in order to immediately alert a person of what is vital to his survival.

For an ancient man, the reason for automatic switching of attention could be a prey running by or, if less lucky, an approaching danger – a predator or a dangerous enemy, for example.

Photo creditor, iStock

Photo caption,

Without the spotlight, we would not be able to read, because it allows us to concentrate on a few words, ignoring the rest

Thanks to evolution, our visual attention system automatically responds to various types of hazards.

Snakes, spiders, angry or frightening faces, threatening poses and weapons-like objects – all of these objects can grab our attention. It can be said that visual attention prioritizes threats in the interest of self-defense.

Undoubtedly, this function helps a person to survive, but anxiety can make the system of rapid and effective threat detection hypersensitive, as a result of which the “attention spotlight” begins to work to the detriment of the person.

So, for example, you can partially lose control over your own attention, because it focuses too quickly on what the brain perceives as danger, regardless of whether it really is so or not.

And when a person focuses only on danger, negative information takes over his consciousness.

To understand how anxiety can completely change a person’s perception of the world by changing attention priorities, think about what it would be like for a person with high levels of anxiety to travel by train through a densely populated metropolitan area.

Imagine standing on a crowded subway platform, gazing out into the crowd around you. Your attention is automatically drawn to people with unfriendly facial expressions, while you simply ignore cheerful faces.

As a result, it seems to you that everyone around you is a little upset, and your mood is spoiled.

While returning home by train, you are waiting for your stop when you suddenly notice that a large man in a sweatshirt with a hood, sitting next to you, sharply puts his hand in his pocket, as if trying to get a weapon.

Luckily, he pulls a cell phone out of his pocket, but this whole situation makes you wonder what would happen if it were a gun.

As a result, you become even more convinced that the subway is a dangerous place full of questionable characters and irritated people.

Photo author, iStock

Photo caption,

In the process of evolution, we have developed the ability to notice potentially dangerous objects in the environment – for example, spiders, which can be poisonous

Now imagine that this happens all the time. Due to the fact that the threat is a priority, we weed out all the good and only perceive the bad. The cognitive system is overwhelmed with excitement and fear.

This causes anxiety to have an overly strong influence on how we evaluate our environment.In fact, to anxious people, the world literally feels like a frightening and dysfunctional place.

These radical changes in perception can shape a person’s worldview, including their political and ideological convictions.

For example, a 2009 study showed that anxiety can affect a person’s attention in such a way that all people from the Middle East begin to seem dangerous to him. This undoubtedly influences his political views on immigration.

As part of the experiment, scientists asked participants from Western countries with different levels of anxiety to take a computer test. It consisted of pressing a key in response to visual stimuli that appeared on the screen.

First, the subjects saw a word flashing on the screen, and then two faces – an Arab and a European, on each of which a dot from the sight could appear.

The results showed that people with increased anxiety responded more quickly to dots appearing on the faces of people with an Arab appearance, if they were presented with a terrorism-related word – for example, “bomb”.

This means that when the anxious person was forced to think about terrorism, the faces of the Middle East were in the center of his visual attention, indicating an expectation of danger.

Scientists’ findings explain why people with high levels of anxiety often side with politicians who promise to protect the country by banning immigration and imposing tough national security measures.

This is supported by the results of another study conducted in 2012 by a group of scientists from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

They found that people who pay more attention to negative images tend to gravitate towards the right politically.

In one experiment, researchers showed participants with liberal and conservative views computer collages, consisting of pictures with positive and negative connotations.

At the same time, they tracked the subjects’ eye movements in order to understand what they were paying attention to.

Photo author, iStock

Photo caption,

If a person is prone to anxiety, the whole world may seem dangerous to him

They found that those whose attention was immediately and permanently attracted by unpleasant and repulsive images – for example, traffic accidents, the dead bodies and open wounds – more often considered themselves to be conservatives.

The study’s authors find it logical that people who are more attentive and susceptible to threats often support center-right politicians who promise to protect society from external threats, strengthening military power and national security, imposing harsher penalties for criminals and discouraging immigration.

At its extreme, anxiety can have a serious negative impact on human health, but you can change the situation by training your attention.

Moreover, today it can be done using convenient computer programs and even applications for smartphones.

The most popular training method is Attention Bias Modification Training (ABMT), also commonly known as Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM).

It can include different tasks, united by one goal. In standard training, patients see pictures with positive and negative images on a computer screen.As a rule, these are happy and gloomy faces, replacing each other hundreds of times.

Since anxiety is associated with focusing on negative stimuli, patients are asked to select positive images by pressing a key or screen.

As they do this over and over again, ideally for days or weeks in a row, they get into the habit of paying attention not to the threat and negative information, but to the positive.

Photo Credit, iStock

Photo Caption,

Can we find a way to correct this distorted threat perception and get rid of anxiety?

Dozens of studies have confirmed the effectiveness of this method.Of particular interest is one published in the journal of the Association for Psychological Sciences Clinical Psychological Science.

It has shown that a 25-45 minute session of ABMT therapy in the form of a game on a mobile phone can reduce the level of attention to threats, subjective anxiety and observed sensitivity to stress.

Patients suffering from anxiety disorders but unable to receive treatment at the clinic can now also receive psychological assistance, spending just a few minutes of exciting mobile games on the way to work.

However, some scientists are skeptical about ABMT. Some recent studies have questioned the effectiveness of this therapy.

Scientists have shown that one-off ABMT sessions are no more beneficial than other cognitive-based treatments for anxiety disorders, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, and in some cases even a placebo.

Scientist, professor and licensed psychologist Per Karlbring of Stockholm University admits that this criticism is valid, but notes that attention training should not be completely abandoned.

He explains that, according to meta-analysis data, attention priority adjustment gives very good results in the treatment of patients under 37 years of age, especially if it is carried out in a clinic or laboratory, rather than remotely.

Carlbring noted that anxiety levels did not decrease with ABMT only if they were unable to adjust the hazard-related attention priorities.

Therefore, to improve the effectiveness of this method of treatment, he suggested using more dynamic tasks with realistic stimuli.

Carlbring set out to improve the reliability of this treatment and received a grant to develop and test a new method for training attention using virtual reality. This method works in a more natural and immersive way.

“I feel like putting our workout in more real-world conditions can take us to a whole new level,” says Carlbring. “I wouldn’t be surprised if attention training becomes commonplace by 2020.”

By doing exercises that help us get rid of the constant search for threats and being aware of the impact of anxiety on our attention, we can avoid the consequences of anxiety, such as distortion of reality, constant feelings of fear and changes in belief systems.

How to deal with anxiety: 7 ways that will help

Anxiety is an emotional state caused by the expectation of danger or threat. While fear is a basic human emotion associated with the instinct of self-preservation, and appears immediately at the moment of danger.

The terms “fear” and “anxiety” are not synonymous, but they can be used interchangeably when it comes to situational anxiety (state at a given time).

In a normal state, the self-preservation function encourages action, but there are also moments of apathy when anxiety intensifies.

We will tell you how to cope with anxiety on your own and determine its level.


Read more: “9 proven ways to beat procrastination”


How to measure anxiety level

American psychologist Charles Spielberger studied over 117 signs of human anxiety and created a scale to determine its level.His “assessment of the level of anxiety” is divided into situational and personal. The situational is responsible for the state at a given moment in time and the influence of external circumstances – for example, self-isolation. Personal – the character of a person.

To determine “your level” of anxiety, you can take a test of 40 short questions.

What causes anxiety

The main factors that provoke increased anxiety in us: loneliness, problems at work, problems in relationships, health, environment and all kinds of conflicts.

Our way of life also has a great influence. For example, we are more likely to experience anxiety if we constantly hang on the phone or watch the news on TV. Digital progress has certainly made our life faster and better, but we pay for this comfort with an additional level of stress, new fears and complexes due to the large flow of news.

Try to minimize the number of hours spent on the Internet. Walk in the fresh air, read, do yoga, cook, knit a cross, build LEGO – there are many more options than you might think.

Stages of anxiety

– Waiting alarm. People who foresee the most unfavorable of all possible situations suffer. Such anxiety can appear at certain moments or haunt a person constantly.

– Anxiety in the form of phobias is associated with certain situations and objects. For example, fear of loneliness, spiders or darkness. It can be a clinical case if it is expressed in the form of panic attacks.

– Neurotic anxiety. This form of anxiety is the most serious and occurs in many psychological diseases: hysterical, schizoid. There is a pathological level of fear here that destroys a person’s mental health.

Right now the entire planet is in fear of waiting due to the incessant flow of news and uncertainty. “Fear of waiting” or “free fear” is formed due to the flow of information in which we are constantly immersed. The following will describe tools that help to cope with situational anxiety, which has no connection with clinical cases.

False Alarms

Feelings of fear are easily confused, so before we talk about how to get rid of anxiety, we’ll learn how to identify it.

There are situations when we do not distinguish between emotions, therefore the so-called “false alarm” is formed. In this case, the first thing that psychologists can advise is to learn how to separate anxiety from a large stream of other emotions. Observe yourself – in what situations you are overwhelmed by anxiety. Divide these situations into those in which the anxiety is justified and those where it is not.

For example, you are on a bus and when you approach a bus stop, you are overtaken by a feeling of anxiety. On the one hand, it can be caused by fear that you will miss your stop, or by a feeling of shame, as it is embarrassing to ask the driver to stop the car.

Or another example – you want to ask the teacher a question in class, but you are afraid to raise your hand. This fear can arise from self-doubt and the expectation that classmates will laugh at you.

Sometimes anxiety arises from other feelings, such as shame or insecurity.Realizing this and overcoming, you no longer have a reason for concern, and with it the state of anxiety disappears.


Read more: How to stop being shy and get rid of the language barrier


How to deal with anxiety

Detail

Anxiety often arises from feelings of uncertainty in action. First, try to figure out what is causing the concern.For example, you are worried that you might be fired from your job. Before you panic, look at the facts: look at the state of the market and the area in which your company operates, estimate the workload at work now and predict the plan of tasks for the next month. And this applies not only to work, but to any area in which you feel anxiety.

Typically, this exercise will help you see the true picture. If you understand that while everything is under control, you can exhale; if not, proceed to your detailing.Describe a detailed plan of action that will help you avoid uncertainty and tell you how to act in any situation:

  1. Describe what skills you have and where they can come in handy. For example, possession of an illustrator or photoshop, a driver’s license and a car, copywriting skills, etc.
  2. Edit your resume and prepare some cover letters to the employer about yourself.
  3. Form a range of services for yourself, starting with the most preferred activities to the least interesting.
  4. From leave a list of potential employers to whom you can offer your services. The bigger, the better.
  5. Write to them!

The work done will help you feel more confident and have a plan for getting out of a crisis.

Sometimes anxiety arises from the belief that we will not cope with this or that action. A visual picture of your skills will always help you to believe in yourself. When you read your list, you will realize that much can be achieved, no matter the circumstances.


Read more: “4 points in the resume that will help the employer choose you”


Use exposure therapy

A complex combination of words with a simple meaning – meeting your problem “head-on “. It is important to understand that this is NOT a fight against a problem. The point is to acknowledge the existence of anxiety, not completely get rid of it.

Don’t ignore what makes you feel anxious.For example, to move up the career ladder, you need to learn English, but you haven’t opened a textbook for three days and constantly scold yourself for it. This lowers your self-esteem and heightens anxiety about your success at work and in life.

Give yourself a full day of rest without worry or self-criticism. Imagine this is an official vacation or vacation. And then gradually get down to business: you can start with one page of English text a day or a five-minute video. Gradually, you will accustom your body to the stress and develop a habit.

Observe your sleep schedule

It is during sleep that growth hormone is produced, which is responsible for the restoration of our body, including the nervous system. Especially if we go to bed before 12 o’clock at night.

The BBC Television Program “Trust Me I’m a Doctor” in cooperation with the University of Oxford conducted a small experiment on the effect of sleep on our psychological state. The study involved people who have “sound sleep”. During the experiment, the participants were given conditions: in the first three nights they had to sleep 8 hours, which is the norm, and the next three nights – 4 hours.Each day, subjects answered questions that helped identify changes in their psychological state, behavior and emotions. The results showed that after two nights of lack of sleep, negative emotions began to prevail in the subjects, as well as an increase in distrust of others and aggression.

The study also says that insomnia is not always a consequence of mental disorders, sometimes it is the lack of sleep that provokes the appearance of psychological problems.

Switch

It is important to periodically switch from one activity to another — for example, from physical activity to mental activity.So, when you go in for sports, the brain functions are restored due to the supply of oxygen. And with mental stress, the muscular system is restored by improving blood flow in the muscles.

A simple alternation of work and study with a small amount of physical activity will improve the work of the body’s metabolic processes, and at the same time accelerate the recovery of the nervous system, contributing to its strengthening.

Meditate and breathe

Meditation and breathing are faithful helpers in overcoming psychological instability.A study by Johns Hopkins University found an association between meditation practice and a reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety. The team of researchers found that the effect of meditation is comparable to that of depressants – in this case, being a more useful solution to the problem, since it does not cause side effects. Also, meditation helps to switch the work of the brain and focus on yourself, and not on the “noise” around.

Breathing techniques are just as beneficial: they improve blood circulation and accelerate the general metabolism.Also, the technique of deep breathing in combination with relaxation exercises is good at reducing nervous tension.

Avoid

Routine helps reduce anxiety. Engage in a hobby, watch movies, get out, play sports – try to periodically disconnect from the news stream and take time for yourself and your body.


Read more: “How to keep your child busy at home at any age”


If your anxiety persists, see a doctor – so, you can quickly understand yourself and solve internal problems! Do not forget that your health is the most valuable thing and referring to a specialist is an act that you do first of all for yourself.90,011 90,000 Five Steps to Deal with Exam Anxiety – News – HSE – National Research University Higher School of Economics

Students will soon begin their session, defending their term papers and graduation papers is always a difficult period for many, and in the new circumstances to which we are adapting, anxiety can increase. CPC psychologist Dina Zafesova shared some tips on how to deal with this.

Each of us has at least once faced excitement on the eve of some significant event – before a speech, an answer to a seminar, an exam, an interview, when talking with someone we like, etc. This often causes a variety of unpleasant sensations.

We quite often experience anxiety in our life, but we rarely think that it is completely natural and normal. Anxiety arises in situations where we need to orient ourselves, gain understanding and support, it denotes the significance of the event, helps to see our needs and prepare for overcoming difficulties.

In this situation, it is important to understand what exactly is happening to us, to accept and help ourselves in this. If we mark something inside as abnormal, bad, then, as a result, we try to suppress it in ourselves. This behavior does not help us deal with anxiety. It is important to acknowledge that what is happening to you is normal. This carries some important information for you, tells you what to do in the current situation.

In anxiety, our attention shifts from the present to the past or future.We remember bad experiences, regret something, scold ourselves, think “but if I were at that moment …”. We draw in our imaginations gloomy pictures of the development of future events, we are worried that something undesirable for us will happen, which does not fit into the desired scenario.

Lost support, self-confidence, doubts arise, a feeling that some kind of threat is impending. Uncertainty is difficult for us – we are knocked out of a rut by the inability to predict how and how the disturbing experience will end.There is a feeling of loss of control, the impossibility of influencing what is frightening. Thoughts either disappear altogether, or spin in the same circle. Sometimes we cannot even understand why we are anxious, and sometimes we know very precisely why we are in anxiety.

Anxiety cannot disappear altogether: normally this state goes away only when the stress factor disappears. The main goal is to help yourself cope with this condition and reduce anxiety as much as possible.

How to deal with anxiety

1. Record that you are in anxiety and direct your attention to it. You need to tell yourself that this is normal – this is your state, which indicates something in which you need to help yourself.

2. Ask yourself what exactly do you feel when you are anxious? What are your feelings, thoughts, feelings, what do you start to do? Gather information about yourself to identify points of help.

3. What exactly are you worried about? What are the reasons for your condition?

For example, you have to take an exam remotely.You worry about how things will go, how you will look, and whether you can answer all the questions. Perhaps you feel that the channels of information that are important for you will be limited about how the teacher reacts to you – his facial expressions, postures, gestures, non-verbal reactions. Or you know that you have gaps in your knowledge, you have missed classes and are afraid that the teacher will be unhappy. In such a situation, you can feel anxiety, fear, guilt, regret, disappointment, insecurity. Thoughts revolve around not getting the grade you want or failing.This is how you procrastinate, avoid preparation, get annoyed.

Also read

Why we procrastinate and how to deal with this feeling – says the CPC psychologist Dina Zafesova

4. Highlight help points for yourself and write them down.

For example:

New circumstances for me.

Worry about not doing enough, waiting for criticism.

Physical state – bodily sensations, tension in the body.

Scary pictures of the development of events.

State of uncertainty, self-doubt, lack of support and loss of control, fear.

Inability to prepare better due to my condition.

5. Think about what will help you cope or reduce your anxiety for each item.

In new circumstances, we need to get guidelines, to increase the predictability of the situation.You can question others, read descriptions, organize preliminary training re-enactments of the event. Your goal is to obtain as much information as possible about the alarming event from all possible sources and actions.

When we know we did something wrong, we can feel guilty. This is where we take responsibility and look for redemption scenarios: admit mistakes and do something to make up for the harm. This can manifest itself in agreeing and accepting a well-deserved reduction in the grade, or in directing efforts to remedy the situation, if possible.

Physical exercise to relieve anxiety

In anxiety, ways of helping yourself through the body are very effective, since our psychological state is connected with our physical. Anxiety is a state of stress that activates the production of certain hormones in the body. By influencing their content in the body, you can help yourself.

Find yourself physical activities that include stretching, relaxing. Your goal is to learn how to release tension from yourself, to relax.Breathing exercises with an emphasis on exhaling or holding the breath are very helpful to reduce the oxygen content in the blood and, as a result, the production of adrenaline, which maintains anxiety.

You can do, for example, an exercise like this. Sit on a chair, close your eyes, turn your attention to your breathing, inhale for 3 counts, exhale for 7. Simultaneously with inhalation, squeeze your toes tightly, hold this state during inhalation, then relax them with exhalation.You will feel the tension leave your feet. Repeat on the muscles in your calves, thighs, buttocks, arms, abs, and other parts of your body.

Anxious thoughts appear in anxiety. Switch yourself from these thoughts to something else, bring yourself back to the present moment. For example, by directing your attention to what surrounds you.

Perform the following exercise: catch your gaze on any object: bag, zipper, telephone, banner, etc. You need to concentrate on this thing, examine it in detail, note the color, shape, composition, think how it ended up in this place …Dedicate at least 5 minutes to this activity.

You can also use slow counting to 10, 100, 1000, successive subtraction from one number to another.

Anxiety is a loss of control. Since everything around is uncertain, it becomes impossible to control. Take back the ability to manage what you can control: set yourself some specific feasible tasks, make a schedule of your activities, write down what you need to do in the form of simple and understandable steps, break complex tasks into specific actions, think over an action plan in case your fears start to come true.

An alarm is also an unsupported condition. It is necessary to regain the feeling of support, of the ground under your feet. You can literally stand on your feet and feel your feet touching the floor, you can sit down or even lie down to feel more support.

It should always be remembered that intense experiences reduce our cognitive abilities. We forget what we knew, it is difficult for us to remember new information, the ability to think logically is lost. Therefore, first you need to help yourself to calm down and reduce anxiety and only then try to assimilate new material or answer questions.

May 28, 2020


“Tower for insiders” in Telegram

90,000 Read “Very tenacious creature 2 (SI)” – Gamma Am Al – Page 48

– Struck? These are still flowers, – the Unknown has giggled. – I won’t be surprised if he also kisses his shoe.

A shoe did follow the rings, then the second.

– Enough! – The septon muttered with satisfaction, kicked the mustachioed in the muzzle with his boot.- I deserve it, I deserve it! There will be cleansing for you.

Ma’shutsu obsequiously fell to his knees, demonstrating his readiness to fulfill any demands of the four-armed. The ghostly eye above the top of the mustache opened to the eyes of all those present. The crowd of onlookers immediately whispered, fussed about, discussing. From all sides, speculation flew about who could do it, how, and when. The crowd was also interested in the question of what this inanimate flying object with a crimson pupil is capable of. While the temple was buzzing and talking, a ghostly eye over the head of a mustachioed spun around its axis, turned to onlookers.Having closely examined all those present, the revived organ a couple of times drew attention to someone from the crowd, again spun around its axis. Finding in front of him a four-armed, grinning fellow, he froze, looking.

– Vile brat! – the chief of the disease spat in the ghostly eye. The saliva, as expected, flew right through and landed on the woolly scruff of the oversized raccoon. – You don’t have much time left!

The eye did not answer, continuing to stare at the curse. The crimson pupil widened, then narrowed and finally froze, staring fixedly at the septon.Once again spitting on the flying ball and, of course, hitting instead on the scruff of the neck with thorns, the septon menacingly threw up all his hands at once, got ready, announced:

– Let’s start!

The herald immediately jumped out to the center of the temple site. Again. Already safe and sound. Voiced:

– Where is the fan ?! Why doesn’t the smoking burn ?! Food, food to our lord! Before cleansing, the septon needs to eat!

A retinue of cute boys ran worriedly. The Supreme Hexer was instantly surrounded on all sides, savoring intricate berries, bringing glasses of drinks to their lips, dispelling the cool breeze over their gray head.

– Observe silence! Everyone, shut up! Silence !! – the herald shouted again, as soon as the gray-bearded belched hearty.

The secretary’s bony finger pointed to the blue-skinned one, dirty from head to toe:

– Just try to open your mouth!

The shaman, wiping her face and shoulders, only smiled bloodthirsty and said nothing. The herald, not expecting such cold-bloodedness, fearfully ran away from the curse.

– Will they start or not ?! – Imeltida reached for her companion, impatiently tugged at the sleeve.- How much can you really?

– Already started, – the man sighed.

The four-armed boom flooded the surrounding space, the Unknown sighed again, and the people grabbed their heads. For the muttering of the high septon turned out to be so dull that at least go to bed, at least climb into the coffin. Longing is green, in a word.

***

– Begins, – for the first time in six hours the former damnant spoke.

– What? What’s starting ?!

– Nothing happens!

– What time is it the same !!

– The eye above the mustache has not gone anywhere! Nothing changed!! – all those present whispered to the side of the man, stared at the ghostly eye over the head of Oda the Almighty.

“How has it changed?” Unknown chuckled. – Look!

The monitors, which had been nodding up to this point, threw up their hands in unison. A bizarre hologram appeared over the hall, reminiscent of an extensive network of underground tunnels and small rooms. In the center of this tangle, in the very real crypt, an ugly monster has fallen apart – a cross between an overweight old man and a plump caterpillar. Braided from straw and human remains, with blazing eyes, the freak non-stop pulled rotten bones from under the lid of the coffin, stuffed them into his mouth, gnawed greedily.

– Get crazy! – half of the temple breathed out at once. – What kind of creature is this ?!

– Does it see us ?! Imeltida tugged anxiously at the sleeve of her companion.

– No, – the man answered mechanically, cautiously examining the revived picture.

Monitors have improved skills. A couple of images appeared next to the hologram of rat trails: a one-horned succubus lying on the floor of some collector, a well-fed elderly hamster nearby, also unconscious, and separately – the hunched figure of a one-armed scavenger.The latter, squatting, curiously twisted the bog amulets in front of his one eye. At the feet of the one-armed man lay a whole mountain of spiked armor, mud, seaweed and crooked reeds lay around, and a strange black ooze splashed nearby. It seemed that the cripple was at the moment somewhere in the swamps.

– Look, it’s horny! Wow, filthy creatures!

– Look at the tradesman, at the tradesman! It’s all his doing! Here, the vile tribe, again intrigues the Pantheon!

– Yes, they are in collusion, in collusion! I’m telling you exactly! – instantly excited the crowd.

“I’d be surprised if the succubus hadn’t been involved in this business,” Imeltida’s companion muttered under his breath.

Some of the guardsmen, especially those in the front ranks, immediately rushed to the exit. Ima, along with Bazolg, did the same. The information revealed during the ritual was too valuable and needed to be immediately communicated to whoever it should be.

– It’s too early, – commented Unknown, forcing her friends to slow down. – The show is just beginning.

The pale-skinned giant suddenly jerked, jerked, removed the counters from his toothy muzzle.Surprise flashed across the scavenger’s face, and the giant moved his nose to the sides, as if sniffing.

– He knows that he is being watched, – the Unknown frowned again, looking at what was happening, – but continues to sit still. I do not like it.

– Is there something wrong? – asked Bazolg, slowing down.

“It’s not so,” the former damnant replied anxiously. “Voodoo doesn’t eat bones or dig tunnels. And the owner of the doll is a ninth level scavenger. It just can’t be.

In response to the Supreme’s demanding gaze and muttering, two dozen blockers threw up their hands and whispered. A faded veil enveloped the hologram of tunnels and underground passages.

“The septon is blocking the nest,” Unknown explained. – If the garbage man is not a fool, he will try to steal the doll. Will be in time if he hurries.

All those present once again turned their heads towards the one-armed one. The pale giant finally threw the tokens to the ground, its clawed fingers spreading its fingers over the ground.In his lair, voodoo twitched, slid to the floor, and excitedly whirled around the crypt. With triple agility, pushing the scraps of the dead into itself, the vile old caterpillar clearly set out to clean up the crypt to the last bone.

– Thinks for a long time. A critical mistake, ”the former curser chewed his lips.

The protective contour has finally formed around the tunnels, the man waved his hand:

– Late. Now all that remains is to break the control. The voodoo is trapped, and the scavenger himself is about to be tagged.

Confirming the words of the former curse, the Septon’s rangers activated their abilities at once. A point of light appeared above the pale giant’s head.

– What is he waiting for ?! – the companion of Imeltida continued to get nervous. – You need to break control! I don’t understand … Something is wrong here.

Septon from a dull muttering suddenly switched to a menacing muttering, cheered up.

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