Worrying About What Others Think and Dealing with Anxiety
Whether you admit it or not, hearing negative opinions and experiencing unpleasant behaviour towards you can feel uneasy. A lot of us pretend that we don’t care about what other people say and think about us, but the truth is, we do.
Other people’s opinions can cause anxiety. And this response is normal. There are reasons why anxiety happens and there are ways to manage it by arming yourself with tools.
All these were discussed in the second part of The Brain Deep Dive, where we were once again joined by Dr. Diane Harner. She explained the scientific reasons behind anxiety and shared ways to deal with it.
Why Do We Even Care?
People do care about what others think, and studies have backed that up. The human brain develops more effectively when we share a good connection with the people in the same community. As our brain evolves, we learn that having a good relationship with others and worrying about what they think is linked to our survival.
Knowing that people around us have positive views towards us makes us feel safe. It gives us the a sense of belonging and security. On the other hand, the feeling of not being part of a group makes us feel that our lives could be in danger.
How to Handle Negativity
We would normally want to see ourselves in a positive perspective. Knowing that others think differently challenges that thought and creates quite an impact in our lives. Reflecting helps us deal with this matter. We have to check how we really feel about it to understand why we care about what others think and feel.
Key factors to keep in mind:
A lot of individuals experience anxiety but are not aware of it. According to Dr. Diane Harner, the first thing we have to do is to know the difference between anxiety and anxiety disorder. Anxiety is our body’s natural reaction to stressful events, and we need to learn how to respond properly to such situations.
A part of our brain called the Amygdala triggers our fight, flight, or fright response to threatening situations, and then goes back to our normal emotional state when the threat disappears. People who having challenges in returning to a normal state once the threat has passed are the ones experiencing an anxiety disorder. This can be caused by different reasons such as chemical imbalance, mental illness, or their surroundings.
There are two ways to manage anxiety, the first one is the top-down approach, which is more about managing the way we think. This requires regulating our thoughts. The other one is the bottom-up approach, which is more about relaxation through activities like yoga, meditation, etc.
Everyone desires to be accepted. Earning the respect and trust of the people around us is part of our nature. There is nothing wrong with caring about what others think because pretending that you don’t can make you feel anxious. It would be safe to say that communication is helpful in dealing and resolving these matters.
Feel free to open up to people who don’t have good things to say about you and be willing to listen to them as well. Don’t be afraid to talk about the things that make you anxious as it could also help prevent experiencing an anxiety disorder.
Catch our 3-part #SplashofColour Brain Deep Dive podcast with Dr. Diane Harner on iTunes and Spotify or click below to watch it on YouTube.
Mental health has long been a topic not everyone is comfortable talking about. However, in this day and age, discussing this subject is becoming increasingly important. With the number of suicide cases rising exponentially, it’s high time that we break the taboo and raise mental health awareness.
Mental Health Spectrum
It’s important to recognize that mental health lies along a spectrum. It’s not only about mental conditions, such as depression and anxiety. If there are struggling and coping, there’s also achieving wellness. We all got mental health, and at some point in our lives, we might struggle with a mental health issue. It’s just that it’s more natural for women than for men to be more vocal about it. This is why awareness, understanding, and connection in a deeper level and a more innovative way are needed in today’s society.
Thanks to our recent podcast guests, Daniel Allen and Edward Ross, we learned valuable insights about mental health from a male perspective. They are the founders of Trademutt, an Australian social enterprise workwear brand that not only makes tradies and workers look and feel great. In partnership with their foundation, TIACS (This is a conversation starter), they also aim to help boost awareness on men’s mental health and reduce male suicide rate in Australia.
Not only women can form and get support from their tribe. Men can also reach out and get help from their fellow blokes and even female pals! With these three ‘Es,’ we can unlock the ‘M’ word and promote better mental health for both women and men.
The standard image of masculinity may equal toughness, but that doesn’t mean men can’t be soft, sensitive, and empathetic. Sure, most men are not comfortable to talk about their feelings. However, showing even a little empathy can make a lot of difference. By understanding and sharing the feelings of your male friend, you are helping him cope with whatever mental health problem he’s struggling with.
It is one of the keys to taking down the barrier and establishing a communication line with him. Knowing that someone cares and shares the same emotions or is in a similar situation could help him open up, start a conversation, and take that first step toward mental wellness.
We can't emphasize enough the importance of having a tribe. Be part of that tribe that supports and encourages a loved one or friend dealing with mental health issues. Once he starts to communicate and share his thoughts and feelings, be a good listener. Give him encouraging and uplifting words.
It’s important to acknowledge, though, that you are not the only one who can help and motivate him. Encourage him to talk to and socialize with his mates, too. Support him with his interests and the things that make him happy. Your understanding, openness, and encouragement will push him to be better.
If there’s such a thing as women’s empowerment, men’s empowerment should also exist and be promoted. Men can also start movements, forge groups, and launch services that provide knowledge, tools, and help for overcoming mental health problems.
Men can empower each other to create growth and positive change. Sometimes all it takes is hearing one man talk about mental health. That can start a simple conversation that will eventually lead to the creation and growth of a culture where men are empowered. Seeing somebody struggling move forward and make himself better is so inspiring that others would want to follow suit.
It’s about time that we crush the stigma of mental health illnesses and suicide and recognize and boost efforts that promote mental health awareness and wellness. Like Daniel and Edward, we can all help change the face of mental health. Through empathy, encouragement, and empowerment, you can make a positive difference in the lives of others.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health problem, don’t hesitate to seek help. Talk to somebody you trust. Start a conversation with your tribe. With support from the right people, achieving mental wellness is possible.
Listen to our full podcast with Daniel and Edward on Spotify or catch it on YouTube.
Spend less time caught up in the clutter and more focusing on what is truly important.