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Why developing self-trust can help reduce your anxiety long-term.

One question I like to ask my clients is, “Do you trust yourself?” most of the time, they respond with uncertainty or ask what I mean, so I like to give them a brief scenario to think about. Imagine you’re somewhere you don’t know, you’ve gotten lost, it’s approximately 7 p.m., so it’s either becoming dark or already dark, your phone is at 7% battery, you’re alone, and you have no one to rely on except yourself right now. Do you trust that you can get yourself home and through that situation, and what qualities of yours lead you to believe that you can? Typically, the purpose of this question is for my client to focus on their strengths and consider why those might help them to get through a difficult situation.

Reflecting on this, as well as on previous real-life circumstances they’ve actually had to cope with, allows them to discover abilities and attributes that they don’t always acknowledge and consciously rely on. This enables people to make the intentional decision to rely on their abilities in future when necessary.

 

Control

A variety of factors can cause anxiety, but one thing I’ve noticed is that it is very common for people to deal with it by controlling certain aspects of their lives because, deep down, they don’t believe they are capable of overcoming the challenges that life may throw at them, so their coping mechanism becomes controlling things as a precaution. “If I control things as much as I can, they don’t become a problem or get out of control.” This then becomes an involuntary coping mechanism, creating a vicious cycle in which you have anxiety and worry over control. When things don’t go as planned and are beyond your control, you experience even more stress.

 

Back to the scenario

Ultimately, reflecting on this scenario and wondering if you can get yourself through a stressful situation like this one does more than just make you aware of your strengths because the funny thing is that most of the clients believe that they will be able to get themselves through that situation, even if they are unsure why. My point is that a lack of self-trust leads us to assume that we are incapable of overcoming obstacles because we frequently deny ourselves the opportunity even to attempt.

We frequently develop habits of controlling certain things to avoid being thrown curveballs, and when life does toss one at us because it’s part of life, we may worry as if we’re incapable of coping with it. Actually, when we take a step back and consider what makes us capable, we can quickly come up with reasons why we can handle difficult situations. 

 

Try breaking this habit. 

Breaking habits are easier said than done, but at the end of the day, that is what this is. You may have developed coping mechanisms to handle your feelings of anxiety regarding life, and now it’s more like a habit that you can’t break and maybe never even realise you needed to. The next time you find yourself panicking about an upcoming event that is making you feel seriously anxious, attempt not to try to control external factors. If negative thoughts arise about why you might struggle in that situation, practise self-trust and remind yourself of all the reasons why you don’t need to control external factors and why you CAN do it.

Practising self-trust can help reduce anxiety because it teaches you not to rely on external factors to determine whether you will be able to handle a situation because you trust yourself and believe that you will be able to get yourself through difficult situations regardless of the situation. Getting to that point may be a tough and time-consuming process, and anxiety can be challenging to manage and may have an impact on your daily life. Having a safe environment to discuss this aloud with a therapist may be the support you need until you gain more confidence in yourself. 

Call us at 0115 648 7912 or email us at info @ mysolutionwellbeing.com to connect with one of our professional adult counsellors who can guide you through this.

You may also find my other blog, ” The Battle Between My Mind and Body“, a great resource

You can update yourself on tips for maintaining a healthy mind on our social media platforms.

 

 

 

Written By Eva Domingos, a counsellor In Nottingham at My Solution Well-being. 

Nottingham@mysolutionwellbeing.com T: 0115 648 7912

 

 

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By MSWB Team on 03/04/2024 in Wellbeing

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