In this brief guide, we will discuss what the opposite of anxiety means.
What is the opposite of anxiety?
The Opposite of anxiety, worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome can be found in the following antonyms:
calmness, calm, unconcern, assurance, cool, coolness, equanimity, imperturbability, peace, peacefulness, collectedness, composure, confidence, sangfroid, security, tranquillity, tranquility, ease, equilibrium, poise, serenity, sureness, belief, certainty, contentment, faith, relief, self-possession, trust, happiness, bravery, relaxation, comfort, courage, nonchalance, understanding, knowledge, encouragement, reassurance, negligence, ignorance, boldness, valor, pluck, certitude, conviction, surety, fearlessness, misunderstanding, welcoming, flatness, want, inapprehension, doubtlessness, calm down.
In addition, thepowerthesaurus.org also suggests the opposite of anxiety is:
No worries, Happy place, Patience, Indifference, Quietness, Carelessness, Complacency, Consolation, Immobility, Placidity, quiet, quietude, imperturbability, carefreeness, Ataraxia, No pressure, No stress, Satisfaction, Stillness, Tranquil, Bland, Mild, Serene, Joy, Repose, solace, sureness, light-heartedness, sereneness, collectedness, phlegm, advantage, convenience, conveniences, refuge, sedation, appeasement, pacification, propitiation, rest, impassiveness, impassivity, insouciance, breeziness, impassibility, dispassion, immovability, complacence, placability, rejoice, emotional stability, emotional health, smell of success, sweet smell of success, golden opportunity, good chance, great potential, excellent opportunity, big opportunity, chance of a lifetime, rare opportunity, golden ticket, Awesome city, blanket of indifference, sleight, no doubt, self-control, benevolence, alleviate, anticipation, relaxation, pleasure, sober, stilly, dispassionate.
Is it normal to be anxious?
If you have an Anxiety disorder, such as panic disorder, agoraphobia or generalized anxiety disorder to name a few, your natural response would be to avoid or relieve the feeling of being anxious or afraid.
This is a normal and expected reaction since we, as human beings, look for safety and comfort.
However, this approach is not helpful at all because when we avoid the source of our anxiety, it makes things worse.
Subsequently, doing the opposite of anxiety is the way to go but it can be very difficult since we must face our fear while we ignore our innate survival instinct telling us to run or fight.
Understanding and embracing the “opposite strategy” can help to propel you forward when all other factors in your life are pulling you backward.
What is the opposite of anxiety?
It is simple, try to think about what you want to do, especially when you are feeling bad and try doing the exact opposite of what makes you anxious.
For instance, if you arranged to get together with a friend for lunch, don’t cancel. Go, no matter how you feel.
We know sometimes it is easier to stay in bed and hide under the covers, don’t do it. Get up, take a shower and get dressed.
There are times when you’d like to run back home because you feel like you are having a panic attack at any moment and you start worrying excessively over it.
Stay, even if the panic attack manifests. Don’t leave.
If you feel compelled to check your pulse or google your symptoms to see if you are sick or dying, don’t do it.
Do exactly the opposite, keep your hands and your mind busy (off your computer).
Embrace how you feel and try to breathe.
By staying in the situation even feeling uncomfortable, you can train your body to stop thinking about that situation, object or person being dangerous.
This needs to be done gradually though.
Most of the times we are compelled to complain about how people are not understanding enough or they don’t seem to care about how you feel.
Just don’t complain. Do the opposite!
Adopt a different perspective, put yourself in other people’s shoes and take a look at the bigger picture, your behaviors, and thoughts.
Try to see through their eyes and think about how they think about why they seem to have a hard time understanding why you wouldn’t want to leave home or go to your relative’s bday.
Also, we are always looking for validation from other people, especially from those who seem to understand us or those who suffer from the same disorder.
Don’t do it. Do the opposite!
Look for people that can encourage you and empower you to keep going, to be better, to control your anxiety.
Seek inspiration from those that seem to be making changes and progress and are ahead of you.
Seek success stories and let them show you the way forward.
Training is key
Following the tips mentioned previously is not an easy task and they are not followed automatically.
In fact, it requires a lot of cognitive resources and effort to even take the first step.
Try not to be discouraged if it is taking a while to practice and succeed.
The strategy we mentioned is very helpful and it works but there are some things you need to consider when implementing it:
- Feeling uncomfortable is part of the process.
- Being very scared or afraid in the beginning is normal, eventually, you will feel better as you progress.
- Doing the opposite of what you normally do is key. Unless you are really ill or have an actual injury, there are no excuses to avoid or retreat. That won’t actually help you do the opposite of anxiety.
- If you really want to succeed you need to persist, especially during those “bad days” where we don’t seem to have the determination or the energy to persist.
- Make sure to let the people around you what you are doing and what your goal is. If you get frustrated due to their lack of support or understanding in your life, showing an effort can go a very long way toward building that personal support base we all need.
- There is no need or rush to go from one extreme to the other overnight. It takes time and taking baby steps can help you achieve your goal faster than you think.
In the search for the opposite of anxiety
If you want to know more about what the opposite of anxiety is, check the recommended reading section to check out the book titled “the opposite of worry”.
According to Meg Selig from Psychology Today, “Needless to say, I checked out the book to find the answer to author Lawrence J. Cohen’s thought-provoking riddle. In the process, I learned a few techniques to take the edge off excessive worry for both children and adults. You’ll find some of these specific techniques in an upcoming blog post. But for now, join me in my search for the opposite of worry.”
All emotions have an established purpose, this lets us express and communicate with others but in the right amounts.
Here we are “worry” as a synonym for anxiety. For instance, when we are anxious, our body reacts and prepares to face danger or a potentially harmful situation.
However, when we are excessively anxious, it can be very overwhelming, paralyzing and we can get panic attacks.
What are the things we usually do that do not work? Well here are a few:
- Denial, telling ourselves that there is really nothing to worry about.
- Avoidance, meaning, we tend to avoid the situations that are scary and we tell ourselves how we don’t need to face our fears.
- Repression, suppressing our emotions since we believe they don’t make any sense but we don’t even try to identify or understand them.
- Obsession, we think that there will be a magical solution or everything will be fine if we don’t do anything.
Instead, according to Meg Selig from Psychology Today, “Cohen offers three powerful antidotes to worry:
1. Being held in loving arms. When anxiety is at its highest, words may be inadequate, especially for children.
They need a strong sense of internal safety that they cannot yet provide for themselves.
This sense of inner safety comes from “being held in safe, loving arms” of caring adults.
Adults, too, sometimes need loving arms to alleviate anxiety.
Recent research suggests that just holding a loved one’s hand can lessen both physical and emotional pain.
2. Cultivating a soothing inner voice. This voice, instead of adding fuel to the flames of anxiety, can cool down your anxiety with comforting self-talk, such as, “This is just a temporary mood. You’ll feel better soon” or “Just do the best you can.”
3. Befriending all of your emotions. The opposite of worry is learning to welcome and accept every emotion as it arises.
As Cohen writes, “When you watch your own emotional flow with no effort to change it, you realize you can endure it.”
You also can make way for the next emotion that comes along—whether joy, sadness, or anger—and express it freely and responsibly.
Cohen calls this process “healthy emotional flow.”
In conclusion, the opposite of worry is a group of emotions that help us acknowledge what we are feeling and helps us express those feelings when it is necessary so we can take action if needed, and then take care of the next feeling that manifests.
To sum it up in a word, the opposite of worry is “mindfulness”, living in the here and now.
Why is this blog about the “opposite of anxiety” important?
We keep worrying about things we can control and things that haven’t happened yet.
This only makes us feel even more overwhelmed and anxious.
When we think about doing the opposite of anxiety then we are making our body go through the feeling uncomfortable and facing those situations that makes us feel anxious and fearful.
The key here is to practice and persist, and gradually, we will see results.
Please feel free to comment in the comments section below!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about “opposite of anxiety”
What is the opposite of worrying?
The opposite of worrying is learning to embrace and accept how we are feeling.
What is a synonym for anxious?
Synonyms for anxious according to the Merriam-webster dictionary are aflutter, antsy, atwitter, dithery, edgy, goosey, het up, hinky [slang], hung up, ill at ease, insecure, jittery, jumpy, nervous, nervy, perturbed, queasy (also queazy), tense, troubled, uneasy, unquiet, upset, uptight, worried.
What is the opposite of overwhelmed?
The opposite of overwhelmed is, admit, advertise, avow, betray, confess, disclose, discover, disinter, divulge, exhibit, exhume, expose, lay bare, lay open, make known, reveal, manifest, promulgate, publish, raise, show, tell, uncover, unmask, unveil.
Is worry an emotion?
Worry is an emotion that can be described as excessive overthinking that remains after there are measures taken to safeguard your personal interests and your family.
The same as anxiety and fear, worry is an emotion that manifests when we perceive a threat/ With worry, the threat presents when there is uncertainty about the future.
Why do we smile?
Smiling helps to reduce our stress, almost similar to a good night’s sleep according to some studies.
Smiling helps us to stay positive, this is why we often feel happier when we are around children.
- The Opposite of Worry: The Playful Parenting Approach to Childhood Anxieties and Fears