Why comparison makes anxiety worse

 

Theodore Roosevelt once said: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

In the case of anxiety, comparison can quickly eat away at our self-confidence.

 

Download this episode (right click and save)

 

 

The pitfalls of comparison

Chances are we will fall into one of two traps:

1. Judging ourselves for not being good enough

  • thinking others are braver than us
  • or they cope better
  • or they are more together

 

2. Judging others to justify why they may appear to be doing better

Watch out for phrases that start with "at least they…” or, "it's alright for her because..."

We may bounce from one trap to the next. Feeling bad about ourselves can easily lead us into criticising others.

When we push someone down , we may feel better for a short while. But it won't sustain us . While we are focused on fault finding in others, we are losing the opportunity to better ourselves.

The only comparison we need

Is to ask “How am I doing today, compared to yesterday?”

Ask yourself: What small action can I take today to help me be better than yesterday?

Journal out your thoughts and write down anything you did today to help yourself move away from anxiety.

Take small steps to support yourself everyday and you will feel them grow and lift you up over time.

 
disclaimer

The information provided on the PsyWeb.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of PsyWeb.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

PsyWeb Poll

Are you currently taking or have you ever been prescribed anti-depressants?
Yes
50%
No
50%
Total votes: 3979