It is important not to pay too much attention to your “feelings”, when it comes to anxiety. This includes mental feelings such as dread, as well as physical feelings such as shaky legs.
It has been widely publicized that we allow our feelings to be there, talk through our problems, and feel no shame. And I agree with all of that. It is good to be AWARE of our feelings. It is good to think about issues that are affecting our lives. It is good to have some introspection sometimes and look at the way our bodies and minds are reacting to the stress in our lives and make positive adjustments as necessary. But what is NOT necessary, is to let our feelings dominate our lives and become the thing that we focus on the most.
Our brains are very complex and very simple at the same time. The simple side is what those of us with anxiety disorders need to focus on.
And one of the very simple reasons humans have feelings is to give us a “heads up” of what issues are currently the strongest in our lives. It is sort of how we have a running “status update” on the inner workings of our minds and bodies. If we are feeling tired, we need sleep. If we are feeling scared, we need to protect ourselves. If we feel physical pain, we have a wound that needs tending. If we feel overwhelmed, we need to slow down and start saying “No”. Sometimes, we are feeling things that we don’t understand and that is when therapists and counselors and medical doctors come in to help us figure out what our feelings are trying to tell us.
But once we understand the message our brains and bodies are trying to give us, it’s time to stop focusing on how those things make us “feel”, and start focusing on a plan to start making things better if that is what is called for.
Too much time focusing on your feelings is only going to keep you inside your head. Too much time inside your head tends to over-complicate things and magnify negative and “weird” feelings. Focusing too much on how you feel gives you a good excuse to hang on to the negativity and avoid making changes that could actually change your life. It keeps you in victim mode, and that is the mode you need to get OUT of.
I understand that the feelings of anxiety are very strong and powerful and uncomfortable. But the more you focus on them, the more you condition yourself to be aware of them and the more of a “habit” they become. Focusing on your symptoms…complaining about your symptoms….worrying about your thoughts and feelings……it is a complete waste of time. For anxiety recovery to happen, your mind needs to be focused AWAY from those things.
Don’t give your uncomfortable feelings the power to control you. Don’t let yourself become enmeshed with them. Be grateful for the message they are sending you, then recognize that they are no longer needed and focus on sending them right out out of your life.
This is 100% me. I have become completely conditioned to focus on my feelings and irrational fears 24/7. My mind is dominated by the “what if’s” and “why do I feel weird or off”, “what does that mean?”, “am I going crazy because I feel off today?”. I am constantly scanning and analyzing every feeling and it’s exhausting. My question is- how do you convince yourself that you’re “safe” and that you don’t need to over-analyze every feeling and thought. I have gotten into the mindset that if I don’t vigilantly examine every feeling, than I might not catch myself going crazy.