DISCLAIMER :This article is purely for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for any medical diagnosis or treatment. Please speak to a professional health care professional should you need help.
Have you ever felt like you may have overestimated a situation a bit more than you previously thought? Or that you spent too much time thinking about something that wasn’t worth your time? Or that you always think that something bad is going to happen and you overthink it? You may have struggled with anxiety disorders and still do. You have racing thoughts that don’t want to stop or get out of your head. Anxiety and it’s lies make you more anxious. It can make the most rational and calm person lose touch with reality. It is rooted in fear and strengthens its hold on you by feeding you lies and making you afraid and doubtful and then you overthink and feel anxious, like running on a hamster wheel and getting nowhere. See if you can recognize any of these common lies that anxiety tells.
- “You’re Not Good Enough Or Good For Anything”
When they do something wrong, people with anxiety will consider themselves defective and not just mistaken, as is normal. They feel like they can’t do anything right and that they will amount to nothing because of how they just do things wrong. This lie makes it hard to start or end something that you need or want to do and it keeps you believing that you have no peak to reach or goals that you are deserving of reaching. Komal Mishra, a counseling psychologist at Kaleidoscope says that “just because your mind is lying to you over and over again, doesn’t make it true…you’re good enough. “
2. “You’re Unsafe.”
The amygdala situated in the brain is in charge of the fight-flight-freeze-fawn response in the body to ensure our survival. However, when you’re an anxious person, your amygdala is overactive and you struggle with recognizing actual danger. You blow things out of proportion. Anxiety tells you that you are constantly in danger with no safe places to go and that threats are everywhere. You are told that every panic and anxiety attack and pain that you have is how you will die at that moment or the beginning of suffering. You might even perform repetitive tasks that make you feel safe like checking if the car is locked 3 times… only to doubt a few hours later if you actually set the car alarm.
3. “You’re Weak”
Anxiety lives to attack your self-esteem by making you doubt yourself and everything around you. It tells you that you’re unworthy of love, weak, unattractive, untalented and pathetic. It tells you that you’re small and inconsequential; you couldn’t make a difference if you tried because you’re incapable of it. Anxiety is rooted in fear and it has little faith in your abilities and capabilities. Even if you do succeed, it’s still doubtful of you.
4.”You’ll Never Get Better”
Anxiety definitely comes with a restlessness to it that you wish would just end. You feel like you’ll be anxious and sick like this forever. “There is no way of getting out of this one”, it says. The misery is forever and that’s a long time. It feels like you can’t move forward in life and you find yourself questioning everything around you and your entire life and you can feel hopeless and trapped in a never ending loop of doubts and fears.
5.“You Don’t Deserve Nice Things”
Celebrating the good things in your life when you have anxiety is short-lived and sometimes nonexistent. You have a voice taunting you, saying that you don’t deserve all these nice things. You don’t deserve your wonderful family, friends, colleagues and partner. That holiday you booked? You don’t really deserve it. A luxury lifestyle? Why work towards that, it’s not for you. That raise you got at work? That was a fluke. You’re buying new sports and hobby equipment? You’re taking away from other deserving people. It enjoys telling you in different ways that you’re not worthy of good things.
6. “Worrying Changes Things”
With anxiety disorders, worrying and overthinking can become so normal that when you find yourself relaxed and not overthinking, that can make you more suspicious than not. Even though you know that the endless extreme concern isn’t helping anything logically, you can’t really stop. Worrying is an attempt to control things that are out of your control. It makes you feel safe but you know that you can’t control everything. It’s like that meme where Anxiety says that what if something bad happens and you say it won’t and then Anxiety says but what if it does?. That line is usually the finisher of all calm and rational thinking. Anxious people usually struggle with a healthy sense of control.
7. “The Past Never Ends”
Another annoying lie that anxiety tells you is that you are stuck in the past and that it continues today. Every mistake you made and every unfortunate thing that happened to you is with you forever. It puts you back in the loop of mental suffering and tells you that your pain and suffering and blunders are not over and will never end because that’s just how it is.*shrugs.*
8.“You Can’t Speak Up Because You Will Bother Someone.”
If you grew up anxious, when the teacher was marking the class register, you were not excited about that and you spent a few minutes preparing yourself to say “present” and then you judged yourself for how you said it. You can feel uncomfortable with speaking. You don’t like asking for things that you want or need, no matter how small. You fear that you’ll be judged, rejected and people’s perception of you if you do speak up and ask. You feel like you are a burden to your friends, family and co-workers.
Anxiety is a big old liar that makes you believe that all the lies are real and it’s difficult to recognize that because it plays on the fear of the unknown. It plays tricks on you and affects your view of reality. That’s why the first step of identifying the statements as lies is an important one for removing anxiety, the second being challenging them. With time, practice and professional help, you can get back to the driver’s seat of your mind and emotions and see true danger from illusions.
See you soon.
*Ambrose , N. (2021, July 15). Lies Anxiety Tells You and Ways to Overcome Them. Google. Retrieved December 7, 2021, from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bayviewtherapy.com/amp/lies-Anxiety-Tells-You-and-Ways-to-Overcome-them.
*Bhardwaj, N. (2021, April 29). Anxiety can make you believe these 7 lies. here’s how you can deal with it. Google. Retrieved December 7, 2021, from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.healthshots.com/mind/mental-health/7-lies-anxiety-keeps-telling-you-and-how-to-deal-with-them/amp.
*Peterson , T. J. (2016, April 14). 12 Lies Anxiety Tells You That Keep You Anxious and Fearful. HealthyPlace. Retrieved December 7, 2021, from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2016/04/twelve-lies-anxiety-tells-you-2.
*Waranch, B. (2021, November 24). 5 lies anxiety tells you. Instagram. Retrieved December 7, 2021 from https://www.instagram.com/p/CWqwEpjP5D4/?utm_medium=copy_link.