The One Question That Increases With My Anxiety
Anxiety increases a lot of things, such as your heartbeat and thoughts. Your heartbeat increasing is an obvious effect from anxiety. Thoughts increasing is basically why heartbeats start to race in the first place, when discussing anxiety. What else increases with anxiety? It took me a long time to realize this question was also an effect of my anxiety.
Are you mad at me?
That is the one question I start to repeatedly ask when I’m feeling anxious. It doesn’t even matter if I just had a fun day with the person, the moment I feel anxious I start to assume it’s because they’re mad at me because I did something wrong. If you ask my husband how many times I’ve asked him this question, I bet he’ll say in the hundreds. The majority of the times I do ask this question he responds by saying something like, “No. Why would I be mad at you?” Depending on the level of my anxiety I can either come up with a reason, but most of the times I just say something like, “I’m not sure. I just feel like you are.” HELLO, EARTH TO KRISTINA... what do you think this feeling is called??
(Let me give you a hint.... it starts with an A and ends with nxiety!)
With other people who aren’t my husband, I ask myself this same question in my head (Are they mad at me?) and then just assume that they are without ever asking if they are. These types of thoughts and conclusions increase my anxiety even more. Having these types of assumptions in my head, closes me off to developing deeper relationships with people. It also closes me off to having a better relationship with myself.
I’m not really sure why I want to ask this question multiple times, but I do it A LOT. No matter how many times someone tells me they’re not mad at me, a part of me doesn’t believe them. This part of me cannot let go of this question until I figure out why that person is mad at me, even if there is really no reason. That part of me is anxiety. That part of me is not logical (most of the time).
Anxiety likes to worry about something. When I have nothing to worry about, it can actually feel terrifying. This is how I used to feel all the time before I learned in therapy that I don’t have to always have something to worry about.
I believe this question stems from my belief that I need to be worried about something at all times. Where this thought came from in the first place... I’m not sure, but when I analyze it now I think I try to use it as my shield. I think I try to be prepared for anything that may happen in the future, such as someone being mad or disappointed at me. It also probably stems from depression and those (incorrect) thoughts that no one cares about me. Or when my anxiety assumes people’s thoughts about me. These made up thoughts are almost always negative, such as “they don’t like me”, “they don’t want to be friends with me”, etc..
Even though I am aware that this question is usually coming from my anxiety, I still sometimes ask it anyways. Because it’s been a habit, for who knows how long. However, now that I am aware that my anxiety likes to ask this question it allows me to question where this question is coming from and if it’s logical to be asking it.
Anxiety is always looking for something to go wrong, which is why it hopes that someone is mad at you. However, that doesn’t mean someone is really mad at you! I’m not sure how many people have this same exact question pop up frequently, but I’m sure anyone with anxiety has a frequent question or comment pop up. There’s not always a way to stop these comments or questions, but you can question if this thought is coming from a good or logical place. If it’s coming from your anxiety, it’s most likely not coming from a good or logical place! Instead of getting stuck on these thoughts, fight against them and keep living in what’s actually going on.