When Anxiety Affects Your Feelings of Self-Worth
Over the years, I have been able to cope with my anxiety much more effectively than I did when I was younger; however, there are still plenty of times when my anxiety has affected my self-worth.
What does this look like for me? Recently, I have been fortunate enough to have been granted opportunities that I feel very blessed to have and am very grateful for. However, even with that sense of gratitude, I also sometimes don't feel I am worthy of them. As a matter of fact, I will purposely identify reasons that I think I am not worthy.
Why Anxiety Lowers Your Self-Worth
I've learned that sometimes questioning your self-worth might be related to things that have happened in the past, to high expectations you've set for yourself and then weren't able to reach, or just simply due to constant questioning of choices that you've made. I've also learned that even though logically, I know it is not reasonable to try to convince myself that I am a failure of any sort and that I actually do deserve good things in life, my anxious brain sometimes speaks to me in a different way. It ruminates and perseverates on mistakes that I've made and "what-ifs" and second-guessing actions that I've taken. And this starts to get in the way of the self-confidence I try to build for myself.
As is usually characteristic of anxiety, I'll often find myself living in the past or convincing myself that I'll make a poor choice in the future. I neglect to focus on the present and the things I do have control over. So once I've focused on those mistakes that I've made, I've then convinced myself that those mistakes define my self-worth.
How to Increase Your Feelings of Self-Worth When You're Anxious
One thing I've learned from processing this with my therapist is that I have a tendency to focus on how I feel about a situation more than the facts, which can sometimes lead me to ruminate on those feelings. Since they are often anxious feelings, this then leads me to elevated anxiety. So, I've learned that it is important for me to focus on the facts of a situation rather than my worries, fears, and other negative thoughts.
A key strategy for this is using mindfulness. I've found that mindfulness meditation is effective in helping me practice this. Reciting self-affirmations for myself every day has also been helpful for me to counteract negative self-talk. Reframing negative self-talk has also been important. This takes practice; however, I've found that the more I do practice doing this, the more I have been able to use this technique over the years.
Lastly, I think it is important to have a strong emotional support system that can help not only validate your feelings but help to remind you that you are deserving of the wonderful things in life.
Are there strategies you use to help boost your feelings of self-worth? Share them in the comments below.
Bermio-Gonzalez, R. (2022, August 16). When Anxiety Affects Your Feelings of Self-Worth, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 3 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/treatinganxiety/2022/8/when-anxiety-affects-your-feelings-of-self-worth