For many people who suffer from anxiety the thought of having to communicate can feel very daunting. More often than not we’re unable to pinpoint exactly what causes our anxiety, the possibilities of what’s really going on in our mind can seem endless. Now add in the pressure of having to have a conversation with another person that actually makes sense and you can trigger a multitude of responses in your mind and body all feeding into your anxiety.
Then it starts, the internal dialect you tell yourself of why its almost impossible to articulate your thoughts in a way that going to make sense to someone else. The fear rises up of being judged, your words being taken the wrong way, losing your train of thought, or your mind going completely blank. Lets not forget about what anxiety does to your body. The shaking, sweating, chest tightening, and my personal favourite having my throat close up so that nothing comes out.
When you are finally able to spit out something it can go horribly wrong. You can find yourself getting irritated or defensive because you’re feeling like you’re being attacked, then you project all your personal fears on to the person your trying to communicate with and your insecurities start running away on you. All of this is very frustrating to the person who suffers from anxiety as well as the person that you are trying to communicate with.
There’s so many types of communication we could dive into here but I would really like to address the kind of communication I feel is probably one hardest and biggest triggers of anxiety. The need to express and communicate what we are feeling and what we are needing, this is the most difficult for me anyway. The reasoning behind why it is so difficult can be from a variety of different experiences or reasonings. The important aspect to remember here is finding the ability to communicate what it is your feeling and what you are needing clearly to the other party. The cause of most breakdowns in communication happens when one or both parties do not understand the feelings or needs of the other. Sometimes we don’t even know what it is that we’re feeling or needing, if this is the case its important for you to take the time you need to figure it out. If you don’t know how your feeling or what you’re needing how is anyone else supposed to know?
I find that writing down your thoughts and keeping your notes handy can help to reduce the anxiety that can occur when having to articulate your feelings and needs to another. This also helps if your mind happens to go blank every time you start to open up about your feelings. Be honest about your struggles to communicate and how your anxiety affects you, most people are very understanding. I also believe that is very important to ask for clarity from the person you trying to communicate with, ask them what they heard you say. This is a great way to make sure that you were able to communicate effectively.
I hope this article helped to clarify why communicating can feel so daunting and gave you some useful tips.
For more great strategies on how to bust through stress and anxiety click the link below!