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.
Spend less time caught up in the clutter and more focusing on what is truly important.