If you struggle with anxiety, you probably have a mean streak. That is, you’re probably very mean to yourself. You probably have no problem being harsh and overly critical of your thoughts and behaviors — particularly when you’re having a tough time with anxiety.
You might blame yourself and see yourself as less-than because anxiety follows you everywhere, from home to work to the grocery store.
You also might think in shoulds: I should have more control over my anxiety. I should be a better public speaker by now. I should never be scared of something so silly. I should be ashamed. I should be different.
And you might think that being harsh toward yourself will curb your anxiety and whip you into calmer and cooler shape. Or maybe you think that being self-critical is simply being realistic. That you’re realistically evaluating your shortcomings or weaknesses. Or maybe being self-critical has simply become your default, your automatic response to anxiety (or anything else in your life).
But guess what? This kind of thinking often backfires and actually can boost your anxiety.
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