I have a presentation coming up and one of the biggest things causing my anxiety, is that my former supervisor abusive will be present. The thought of them watching me and judging me is terrifying me at my very core. Despite this, I want to explore releasing that negative energy and moving on so I can achieve to my full potential.
Certain situations in which you were made to feel you had less worth can count as trauma and cause severe anxiety as a result. So, when situation that is similar arises, a person can either fight or flight. Fight being getting anxious and angry then projecting this, whereas flight is running and this could be in the form of shutting down. Either way, trauma and anxiety can effect a situation to the point you may not be able to handle it. While, it’s good to understand why this happens, identifying the causes are only a small part of releasing this fear and anxiety.
Before I go into ways to reduce this anxiety, I want to stress that it takes time to release the initial trauma and even then it may not be completely released. Regardless, what matters is trying, never beat up on yourself for trying. See the growth and embrace it. Trying something new, you’ll definitely feel like crap if it doesn’t go well. But feel proud of yourself, because you’ve taken a massive step! I also want to stress one more thing, that there’s different types of trauma and it isn’t all the same. These techniques are certainly not going to work on all types of trauma and some do require professional help, especially if it affects your day to day life tremendously.
Build a Vault and Lock it Away
Have a box or something you can store your thoughts in. It can be a mental vault or even a physical. You do you basically. If you need something symbolic, write the thoughts down and vanquish them into a literal box. They’re still there, but you don’t have access to them. The important thing to remember with this technique is that you can access them if you absolutely need to. You have the key and if remembering and reflecting will help then do it. But having a barrier there will mean you have to make an effort to access it, and when you remember it, you see this barrier – reminding yourself of the effort you have to go to in order to unlock it.
Give the Invasive Thoughts a Character
Invasive thoughts are not you. Give them a character. Mine is Peeves the Poltergeist from Harry Potter. If he brings up a memory, I simply tell him to ‘piss off’ and he goes. Sometimes he does return but I keep saying it until he doesn’t. It definitely isn’t linear and will take a lot of time but I think it is beneficial. Some character suggestions include: a bitter old man or the stereotypical ‘talk to the manager karen’. Just a character that you really really despise. You might be thinking ‘why would I want a character who I dislike in my head?’. Well, making them responsible for the invasive negative thoughts creates that dissociation that it isn’t you, and it also makes it easier to tell them to go away.
If you Need to Break Down, Then do so
Sometimes to get back up, we need to break down. Cry, scream, by all means have a panic attack if one is coming. But get back up. This anxiety attack is one small moment and it will be over soon. Feeling like shit will end and you can rise back up. Everyone has moments like this but it’s about not letting it consume you.
Know Who You Want to Be
Write a list. Know your core values and base your decisions of that, not emotions. Emotions are fuelled by anxiety and they can influence your decisions, which in turn affects your daily life. If you’ve written them down, you can remind yourself of your values and base your decisions off them.
These are just a few techniques and they are more on a personal level. Everyone experiences life differently, so please try what you feel will help and go with it. Be sure to check out my post on childhood trauma and psychological techniques to manage anxiety, posted on ThatHipsterScientist. While these ones are a part of scientific psychological techniques, I feel it’s best to understand the all encompassing technique and branch down into them with your own.
Thank you so much for reading!