According to a therapist, 5 signs that white-knuckles are making your anxiety worse and 3 ways to regain control

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the U.S., affecting about one in five Americans each year.

joshua fletcherAnxietyJosh Online is a UK-based psychiatrist who specializes in anxiety disorders and author of the upcoming book “And how does it make you feel?,, Business Insider described them as having “fear of anxiety” and said that certain behaviors known as “white-knuckles” can make anxiety worse. But a simple change in mindset can help a lot, he said.

White-knuckles can make anxiety worse

“White-knuckles is an old phrase to describe the tension we feel when we hold on to something,” Fletcher said. “If you’re a nervous passenger in a car, you can ‘white-knuckle’ and grab the side or grab the seat.” Think of the phrase “white-knuckle-riding.”

There’s actually nothing wrong with grinding your teeth during stressful or unpleasant situations like getting a flu shot. But it turns out white in the psychological sense It must be a dangerous situation when someone is counting down the time to get out of there, rather than immersing themselves in it and focusing on it. He said, he is focused on this.

If you’re afraid to do things you know you want or need to do on a regular basis, such as attending social events or giving presentations, and find that even if you do, you continue to do them. But it seems difficult and anxiety-provoking, then you’ he said, you’re probably white-knuckled.

5 symptoms of white knuckles:

  • constantly checking the clock

  • count how much time you have left

  • position yourself near the door

  • Only do something if you have a “safe person” or thing with you

  • Using alcohol to attend certain social events

“When we’re white-knuckle, we’re appeasing the flight side of our fight or flight response,” he said, referring to the body’s automatic stress response. So every time we count down until we leave a situation, we are almost confirming to our brain that there is danger and we should run away, he said.

The presence of safe objects or people also means we don’t give ourselves credit for tolerating situations that are difficult for us, she said, which means we remain white-collar.

Reinforcing the idea that the situation is scary for the brain People can be prevented from recovering from anxiety disorders, she said, and that’s why these activities continue to seem fear-inducing, despite the fact that we do them over and over again.

Fletcher used to be white-knuckle himself, but as a former anxiety sufferer, he knows it is possible to overcome the condition and some life-limiting behaviors.

Three Steps to Control Your Anxiety

The first step to overcoming white-knuckles is to identify where the problem lies, Fletcher said. This could be leaving the house or using public transport.

Once you’ve identified the area where you’re struggling, you can work to develop a new way of responding to it. Ideally, when anxious feelings arise, you want to “let loose” and “do nothing,” Fletcher said, “that’s the way to go.”

He said, “Keep doing what you were doing. When you act out of fear, you reinforce the fear in your brain.” Over time, he said, you can retrain your brain to not react to anxiety, which will help it go away more quickly.

This is known as exposure therapy, which is a common anxiety treatment. Where a person rationally perceives things as safe their threat response, the amygdala in the brain, tells them that it is dangerous.

“It’s about tolerating the symptoms of that threat response without trying to respond with compulsions or safety behaviors such as white-knuckles,” Fletcher said.

But all the exposure therapy counts, so it’s OK if you find yourself going white-knuckle. That said, it’s best to be very kind to yourself and focus on what’s happening around you.

As long as it’s cleared by a medical professional, any type of exposure is safe, he said.

Finally, Fletcher suggests reading up on the psychology behind the body’s threat response so you can understand what’s happening when you feel anxious. He found it empowering during his recovery.

If you want more in-depth help, which usually makes the process faster, he said, find a cognitive behavioral therapist or from a trained doctor Acceptance and Commitment TherapyWho can help you deal with specific difficulties.

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Image Source : www.businessinsider.com

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