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How to Overcome Being Anxious About Being Anxious

By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.
Associate Editor

How to Overcome Being Anxious About Being AnxiousDo the physical twinges of anxiety make you even more anxious? For instance, for some people, even though the sweaty palms, racing heartbeat and shaky limbs are a result of exercise — and not an impending panic attack — they still experience intense anxiety about their anxiety.

This is called anxiety sensitivity. According to authors and clinical psychologists Margo C. Watt, Ph.D, and Sherry H. Stewart, Ph.D, in their excellent book Overcoming the Fear of Fear: How to Reduce Anxiety Sensitivity, anxiety sensitivity is “the tendency to respond fearfully to bodily sensations associated with fear and anxiety.” Put simply, it’s “the fear of fear.”

People who are prone to anxiety sensitivity tend to catastrophize, or automatically assume that the worst will happen. For instance, you might fear that your trembling might catch the attention of others or a racing heart might mean a heart attack.

2 Comments to
How to Overcome Being Anxious About Being Anxious

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  1. i jog when i have the time, and i expose myself to things to ease my anxiety

  2. I despise the feeling, of being fearful of becoming
    overly anxious which most of the time will turn into a full-blown panic attack. I’m aware that it’s
    easy to develop Agoraphobia: afraid of leaving the comfort and safety of your home.

    My mother felt like a prisoner to Agoraphobia.. She
    never left the house. At first my dad thought it was all in her mind, but, after my mother showed my
    dad just how sweaty her palms were it was something
    he couldn’t foo foo off as “mind over matter.”

    I don’t want to be like my mother.

  3. I find the dualistic talk about “having” a body to be bizarre. A body is not something you have. It is something you ARE.

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