Dr. David Burns finds that about 80% of people with anxiety have a hidden emotion/desire that they don't feel like they should have. The moment they sweep this feeling/desire under the rug, anxiety manifests.
I've found this to be true in my practice. You may relate if you find yourself avoiding conflict, wanting to be nice to protect other's feelings at your expense, and holding in resentment, anger, feelings of being taken advantaged of.
Some examples you may relate to include:
♦️You're upset with your husband, resentful that he doesn't pitch in enough, and you develop constantly overworrying about your health or his health.
♦️ You are upset at your boss for changing your schedule, but you avoid confrontation at all costs, so you develop panic attacks while at work. The panic attacks give you a voice stating that something at work is driving you crazy, and it's also a good reason to leave that environment.
♦️ You don't want to breastfeed but feel like a good mother "should," and you develop contamination phobia/OCD, constantly cleaning and protecting your baby from getting sick.
♦️ You are dissatisfied in your relationship with your partner, feeling like they don't care about you. You develop hypochondriasis and constantly fear a terminal illness that could kill you any moment.
♦️ You don't want to go back to work but you feel pressure to do in order to help your partner financially, so you feel panicked and and suffocated thinking about work or making daycare plans.
There are so many more examples along these lines. Often, the problem bothering you is not at the forefront of your mind because it feels safer to avoid it.
💖 What do you do to discover your hidden emotion?
✨ Ask yourself a couple of times a day, "Is there something bothering me in a relationship or in my career that I'm not giving a voice to?"
✨ It is often in the here-and-now, typically an "elephant in the room," but it feels safer to not acknowledge the elephant at this time.
✨ Once you figure out what that thing is that is bothering you, you have to do something about it for your anxiety to drastically decrease or go away.
✨ This could include having that difficult conversation, sharing your resentment and hurt and working to resolve that relationship conflict, changing jobs, going back to work, giving yourself permission to change feeding methods, etc. It means you have to face some anxiety-provoking step to give yourself a voice. It is often a bit scary, but also worth it for the peace.
This is only 1 of 4 treatment models for anxiety in TEAM-CBT. Stay tuned for more!
For more tips and techniques to feel like yourself again, click here for exclusive access to my free guide and 4-day e-course for overcoming postpartum depression and anxiety.
Hi, I'm Thai-An. I'm a postpartum therapist and mother who is passionate about helping pregnant and postpartum parents overcome depression and anxiety so they can feel like themselves again and enjoy life with their baby and family. After overcoming my own battle with postpartum depression and anxiety, I opened Lasting Change Therapy, LLC in South Oklahoma City to dedicate my counseling practice to helping families have postpartum recovery and wellness, and I truly love it!