Anxiety has many different moods; frustratingly, anxiety isn’t a single, simple concept. No one can count on it to be anything other than disruptive and erratic. Perhaps you’ve experienced an all-too-common situation. You’re working hard to manage anxiety. Youranxiety symptoms have lessened and your life feels less restricted. Then, seemingly without warning, bam. Anxiety strikes again, and this time it feels worse somehow. This is a normal experience for people living with anxiety because anxiety has different moods. What are the different moods of anxiety and how can you tame them?
Different Moods of Anxiety
Anxiety is moody. It varies in intensity, and it varies in symptoms, sometimes from one day to the next. Among the different moods of anxiety:
My-body-is-falling-apart mood – Anxiety can mimic heart attacks. It can act like asthma. Anxiety interferes with digestion and elimination. It can make us tired or wired–or both at once. Anxiety can interfere in every system of the human body (Anxiety in the Body: Physical Side-Effects of Anxiety). We treat it and feel better, until it is in the mood to make another appearance.
I’m-worthless-and-incompetent mood – Anxiety creates severe self-doubt and makes us incredibly hard on ourselves. We tend to beat ourselves up, repeatedly and relentlessly, for so many things. Just when we start to feel confident, anxiety rears up and knocks us back down.
Bad-things-are-going-to-happen mood – Anxiety causes fear and excessive worry. Fears can be addressed and reduced successfully. When anxiety gets moody, however, fear can flare and we find ourselves uneasy, worried, and anxious.
Taming Anxiety’s Moods
The different moods of anxiety and the way they can seem to appear out of nowhere when we’re feeling good, actually puts anxiety at a huge disadvantage. When anxiety is moody, it’s unstable. When it’s unstable, it can be tamed.
You can tame anxiety’s moods by being what anxiety can never be: reliable, consistent, and calm. These suggestions can help:
Don’t impose rules and timelines – Berating yourself because you think you “shouldn’t” be anxious or rushing the healing process puts a lot of pressure on you. It also keeps your focus on your anxiety. Use the rest of these suggestions daily without rules and deadlines.
Choose mindfulness as a lifestyle – Mindfulness can calm anxiety because with mindfulness, you’re living right now, in the present moment. By focusing on your senses and taking action in the moment, you’re turning away from anxiety. When anxiety suddenly appears out of nowhere, maintain your state of mindfulness you’ve cultivated for your life, and you’ll tame any of anxiety’s moods.
Know what you want and why you want it – What is your passion? What is important to you? What do you want your life to be like, and how do you want to be? Spend time answering these questions and use them as your guide in your daily life. When you know your values and live intentionally for them, it’s possible to be true to yourself no matter what anxiety is doing at the moment.
Develop a wellness routine, and live by it – Incorporating regular exercise, proper nutrition, balanced sleep, and deep breathing into your everyday routine will positively affect your brain and the rest of your body. This consistent sense of calm and inner strength will tame anxiety when it flares unexpectedly.
Anxiety has many different moods that can seemingly appear out of nowhere. Incorporate the above suggestions to tame anxiety’s moods.