How Anxiety Can Motivate You

by Marie Miguel

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Anxiety can be an uncomfortable feeling. Some people may feel antsy, nervous, or experience a racing heart. Other individuals experience chronic worrying. They can seem to stop ruminating about things. It’s a painful feeling when your thoughts are racing, and you can’t seem to stop them. You’d rather not worry about things, but it feels out of your control. Anxiety can make people feel like they’re “going crazy” or unable to manage their lives.

It can feel chaotic and even scary at times. People try all sorts of remedies and treatments to rid themselves of anxiety. Anxiety may be challenging to deal with, but it’s not all bad. Sometimes you can use the energy from anxiety to motivate you. It may surprise you to hear that, but it’s true. Here’s how feeling anxious can result in positive things in your life.

Why are you anxious?

It’s important to analyze why you’re feeling anxious. You could be experiencing anxiety because you’re angry at a friend or loved one, and you’re pumping yourself up to confront them. It’s natural to feel that way before expressing anger or hurt feelings. In this case, you can use that nervous energy to motivate yourself. Remember that after you have that talk with them, you’ll likely feel relieved. Remember the result. Perhaps you’re worried about a project that you need to complete. The deadline is tomorrow, and you’re anxious about getting it done.

That’s an example of a situation where anxiety can motivate you. Use your excess energy and work to start working on the project. You may be thinking, “it’s so hard to begin. I feel overwhelmed.” That’s a natural feeling, but there’s no easy way to start something. It’s like ripping a bandaid off; do it. Take one step towards starting the project. Your first move could be to get out a pen and paper. Go step-by-step, and before you know it, your anxiety has helped you get it done.

Anxiety feels bad, and that’s normal!

Anxiety (in its nature) is uncomfortable. If your mind can’t stop worrying, you’re in a constant state of fear, which is painful. People experience pain and suffering when they expect it to be different from that. Just because it feels terrible to be anxious doesn’t mean you can’t get things done. In fact, the longer you procrastinate, the more anxious you’re probably going to feel. Even though you feel awful, it’s important to remember that it’s normal to feel bad when you’re anxious. If you liked anxiety, that would be strange. Nobody wants to feel panicky, but you can take that excess adrenaline and translate it into productivity. Despite your anxiety, you’ll likely feel proud when you start accomplishing tasks.

Remember the end result.

It’s natural to let anxiety paralyze you. You may be dreading something so much that it’s hard to get going. When you’re anxious, you might find yourself frozen. You want to get things done, but it feels overwhelming. When you find you’re having trouble getting started on a task, remember the end result. It’s important to remind yourself that you’ll have a completed project or task soon, and you’re going to be rid of that pesky anxiety. That can be highly motivating when you’re panicking about getting things done. 

What can you do when your anxiety is taking over?

If you find that your anxiety is out of control, take a moment, stop and breathe. Your breath is something you can always come back to no matter what’s going on at any given moment. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Breathing is a grounding force. Feel your feet on the ground, and name five things you hear, see, smell, feel or taste. This exercise can help you get back to a place where you’re feeling more centered and calm. If you find that you’re having frequent anxiety or panic attacks, it’s crucial not to stay silent. When you keep anxiety to yourself, it can torture you. It can make you feel isolated and alone. Remember that there is help out there. When you find that anxiety is unmanageable, make sure to reach out to a mental health professional for help.

Talk about anxiety in therapy.

A therapist is an excellent person to talk to about anxiety. They know the struggles of managing it. You can discuss what triggers your anxiety and the symptoms you experience. You can talk about the ways that anxiety holds you back. A mental health professional can help you develop positive coping strategies when you’re feeling anxious. That individual can support you in finding ways to get things done despite your anxiety. You don’t have to cope with these emotions alone. Reach out to a therapist online or in your local city or town. It can help to have a person who is trained in mental health to support you when you’re struggling with panic or anxiety.


About the writer:

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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