It can be incredibly difficult to talk about your anxiety, but it is so important. Discussing anxiety is important for your well-being as well as keeping those you love informed of your struggles. Here are a few reasons why talking about your anxiety is beneficial for you.
Talking About Anxiety Decreases It
Now, this may sound backward, but talking about your anxiety will decrease your anxiety. Maybe not initially because you may be anxious to talk about it – but how often are you anxious because your family has no clue what you’re feeling? Worsening your anxiety when you’re around your loved ones numerous times is much worse than being anxious once and getting it out in the open.
Our initial instinct is to hide our anxiety from everyone. This is most likely due to the negative stigma around anxiety. The idea that experiencing anxiety is weak or just an excuse to get out of a prior commitment has caused many of us to feel ashamed of our anxiety. These stereotypes and criticisms cannot be further from the truth. Anxiety is not shameful or weak. Anxiety is a normal brain function that is there to protect you from harm.
After talking about your anxiety, you won’t be as worried about offending a loved one if you decide that you can exit a situation. They can at least be aware of your experience and choose to respect it. In that case, they could even help you find an exit strategy.
Opening Up About Anxiety Increases Your Support System
If you always hold in your anxiety, if you never tell anyone, then no one can be there for you. You may think you don’t need help, but everyone needs help once in a while. Telling your friends or family about your anxiety can give them the opportunity to be there for you in different ways. They can be there for you emotionally, providing an ear to listen to you or someone you can cry with.
Loved ones can be there for you logically too. By letting them in on how you are feeling in certain situations, they can provide logical thinking when you can’t always think clearly. If you need an exit strategy, they can help you develop that. When you need someone to talk your anxiety down, your loved one can be there with logical reasoning.
You Can’t Cope With Your Anxiety if You Don’t Know What Helps
How can you ease your anxiety if you have never talked it out with someone? Self-soothing can only go so far as a coping strategy. Having a support group is important. Trying to push through it on your own will only result in suppressing your emotions and creating a habit of unhealthy thinking. By talking about your anxiety with someone else, you are allowing them to become your support.
Once you have a support system, you can work with them and use them to find mechanisms for soothing your anxiety. Does a hug help when you’re anxious? Communicate that with your support system. Without a support system, you can quickly turn to unhealthy coping like self-isolation. Don’t let yourself run away from your anxiety and your triggers.
Finding out what coping skills works for you requires you to be honest about what you’re going through. You cannot find healthy ways to manage your anxiety without being totally honest. If you find yourself wanting to hide or lie about your anxiety to others, what do your think that says about how you feel about your anxiety? Maybe you hold shame for yourself because of your anxiety. No matter the case, honesty is needed for you to healthily cope.
Consider Talking to a Therapist
It’s okay if talking to your loved ones is too hard for you right now. Talking it out first with a therapist can be just as beneficial as telling your loved ones. Having even just one person in your support system is the difference between self-isolation and healthy coping.
You will want to set your goal to tell your loved ones in due time, though. A therapist or counselor can help you find out why you feel the need to hide your anxiety from your loved ones or why you hesitate. You can work with your therapist to work up to telling your friends and family about your anxiety. Building trust with them along the way, you will develop healthy ways to start the conversation with your loved ones and ease your way into a less stressful lifestyle.
It may take more time than you anticipate before you’re ready to tell your family. That’s okay! This conversation is big and important – it wouldn’t be this hard if it wasn’t. Remind yourself that you are capable.
At Mindfuli, we know how hard it can be to approach your loved ones about your anxiety. By talking to a mental health professional, you can strategize ways to bring up the topic with your family and friends. In a nonjudgmental environment, you can learn how to accept your anxiety. You don’t have to struggle alone. Feeling anxiety is normal, and a therapist can help you understand how it functions and how to overcome it. Telling your family doesn’t have to be scary as long as you have a support system to help you through it. You are capable. Find your support system with Mindfuli. Call us today at (866) 973-4415 to learn more.