How I Give Myself Grace When I Struggle with Anxiety

November 7, 2018 Jenny Capper

By learning to give myself grace, I've been able to fight back anxiety and move forward. Learn how I give myself grace at HealthyPlace.

It's so important to give yourself grace and be gentle with yourself when you struggle with anxiety. I tend to get angry with myself when anxiety takes over. Running from my responsibilities and hiding is my first reaction to a stressful situation. I get behind and then berate myself for not being stronger and overcoming it.

It's easy to think that you can handle anything when you're not anxious. You feel like you can take on the world and that you have everything together. Then something comes along that you weren't expecting. The anxiety begins to build and you have to choose whether to fight it or run and hide.

Many times, it just feels right to hide.

Anxiety Makes Me Hide From Stressful Situations

When I get overwhelmed, I forget to give myself grace. Instead, a knot starts to form in my stomach. There's this hot tingle that runs up my spine, my neck, and lastly my ears. My heart rate goes up and my hands become clammy. I begin to make excuses why I can't do what needs to be done, searching for anything to justify not having to face my fears, I'll bury my face in pillows and pull a blanket over my head. I'll find any reason not to take on what's making me anxious. 

When this happens, I get behind on many of my tasks. When the anxiety has subsided, I start to go down because I'm so frustrated with myself for getting behind. Sometimes, there's a pile of responsibilities that have built up. That's when the anxiety starts over.

I need to remind myself that my anxiety is not my fault. While it's something that I can learn to cope with, I shouldn't be angry with myself. 

The important thing is to pick myself up and push forward: to give myself grace.

The key to doing this is to take everything one step at a time.

How I Give Myself Grace When I'm Feeling Overwhelmed

After anxiety prevents me from taking on my tasks, I'll have a huge to-do list. Rather than looking at the list as a whole, I just focus on one item. I tell myself I have to finish that one thing before moving on to the next.

If I'm still overwhelmed by looking at the list, I'll pick the easiest thing to do first. When I finish it, I have a sense of accomplishment and I'm able to tackle the other tasks with more confidence.

For larger to-do items, I'll break them down into smaller tasks. When I use baby steps, it doesn't seem as daunting.

When you get backed up because of anxiety, don't become angry with yourself and tell yourself you can't do it. Take it slowly and do the best you can. Focus on one thing at a time

Anxiety makes it hard to follow through. Remember, if you're having trouble doing what you need to do, step back and give yourself grace. Tell yourself it's going to be okay. Pick up where you left off. Once you start going, it will be much easier to keep up the momentum.

APA Reference
Capper, J. (2018, November 7). How I Give Myself Grace When I Struggle with Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 23 from

Author: Jenny Capper

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