F**k your fears – Anxiety & Self-Talk
Anxiety is real and self-talk is a really great way to have a better response to danger or perceived danger. When your amygdala senses danger because you have told yourself there is some, it sets off an alarm. Your body produces adrenaline and so begins “fight or flight” mode. A great way to cope with this is positive or soothing self-talk, the “flight” isn’t always the most productive response.
Positive self-talk to reduce stress in relationships.
I have been cheated on. I have had people very close to me hurt me which has slowed my development of trust. Have you ever seen a phone number on your significant other’s call history that made you suspicious? Have you ever had to confront someone you love about substance use? Have you ever made yourself crazy thinking about these things because your self-talk triggered protection recall from your amygdala, forcing you to have an anxiety-filled physical reaction to a scenario that isn’t even real? Talk yourself through it.
Positive self-talk can help with fears of flying.
Flying is a necessary evil. Personally, even though I am an Air Force veteran, I am scared to fly. When we take off a drop a few feet, encounter turbulence mid-air, or hear a sound that I have never heard before, I feel it. My belly gets filled with butterflies, sometimes I get a pain in my neck, and I am anxiously watching the flight attends to see if they remain calm in my uncertainty (I must have an aisle seat because of my having to nervous pee). Talk yourself through it.
Some ideas for soothing self-talk:
I can handle this…”
“This is uncomfortable but worth it…”
“Assume positive intent until proven wrong…”
“He is not my ex…”
“I am worthy…”
“My mother will be better because I talked to her about the use of …”
It is completely okay to be nervous about scenarios and potential outcomes but do it anyway. Force yourself to be uncomfortable, this is where personal growth happens. Understanding what makes you feel uncomfortable about the situation and acknowledging that there is worry associated with the feeling, is the first step to coping with this stress.
If you have the ability to regain control of your life or the situation, you can tell yourself what you will feel and then determine that it is okay. For example, “It is perfectly fine that I am nervous about flying, it is totally okay for me to be scared right now. I realize that I am not in control of the airplane and when turbulence occurs, that it is like a car encountering a bump in the road, and I will survive and be in Florida soon.”
What happens if you avoid situations that make you uncomfortable? Your loved one continues to use thinking that no one cares. You miss out on that amazing vacation because you were scared to fly. You push away your significant other because you are constantly accusing he or she of things.
What does this all mean? You lose. There is no winning here. Winning is looking your anxiety in the face and telling it to screw off, f**k your fears.