Different Anxieties

God met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears                                                                              Psalm 34:4

I spoke with a client recently who suffers from anxiety. The discussion led to the difference between generalized anxiety and performance anxiety. He said that the difference for him is that performance anxiety actually gives him energy. The excitement he feels, while partly uncomfortable, is also somewhat of a spur to him to do his best.

Everyday anxieties are draining and sap him of energy. That anxiety is not productive, while performance anxiety can actually be a motivator to do our best. Both types of anxiety can be very annoying and frustrating, but it is beneficial to try to distinguish between the two.

Performance anxiety is situational, whereas generalized anxiety is pervasive. Performance anxiety can energize and motivate us. Generalized anxiety saps our energy and decreases productivity.

So, not all anxiety is the same. For my client, the discussion about the types of anxiety proved to be helpful and normalizing. His self-awareness was a way for him to feel some control over the anxiety. As I have said in this blog often, control is the antidote for anxiety- we just need to determine what we CAN control and what we CANNOT control.

 I hope this little piece can be helpful for you as well!

Prayer: Lord, help us gain awareness of what we can control, and what we cannot, Amen.

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