If anxiety has a grip on you, you may feel flustered and frustrated. Learn your anxiety style and start managing it effectively.
When you recognize your anxiety style, you’ll understand yourself and your reactions better. In addition, you’ll be able to implement transformative strategies and improve relationships.
Go from flustered to flourishing
Are you ready to go from flustered to flourishing? Whether you’ve had anxiety in your life or you know someone who has, there are certain styles of anxiety that result in how people react to, and experience, anxiety. Likewise, there are certain strategies that you can practice at the moment and apply to your daily life to better navigate anxiety. By applying the strategies, you can avoid spiraling out of control, damaging relationships, or hurting other people as a result of your anxiety building.
Much of the work Amber Trublood does is about helping you understand your motivational style and your super sense. What visceral sense are you most attuned to? When you understand that, you can better match your strategies for navigating anxiety and life in general. What is your anxiety style, what really drives you and your reactions?
Ask yourself, what reactions aren’t serving you, for example, when anxiety is building, and what do you feel when you are flourishing? Much like having two sides of a coin, you have an anxiety style and superhero traits.
Different anxiety styles for different people
You are attuned to different things in a different way than somebody with a different anxiety style. Where can you celebrate those differences and your uniqueness? Let’s acknowledge and celebrate the amazing things about you. For example, if you are good at being tuned into the present moment, celebrate your ability to do so. Because not everyone can do it.
Or, another example, some people are super tuned into the needs of others, or super focused on planning and organizing and can collect a lot of details in their heads. Note what skills and abilities you have that maybe other people don’t have and celebrate those. Maybe through this process, you can elicit a little bit more compassion.
Not only have compassion for other people in your life who maybe aren’t skilled in those ways but have more compassion for yourself.
Amber believes that when you spend a lot of time in self-judgment and shame and being unkind to yourself, it’s a waste of your time.
Understanding your specific anxiety style and what may be contributed to that, can help you elicit some self-kindness.
The 5 Anxiety Styles
The five styles of anxiety are based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Four of the styles directly correlate with the needs.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is fundamental needs we have as humans. Everyone has different needs and experiences life and triggers differently. Even siblings have different responses to how they were raised or the experiences surrounding their needs being met. One sibling may be more deeply and profoundly influenced by experiences than another sibling.
Similarly, everyone is their own person. Therefore, you’re the best judge of your own self-care and what’s going to work for you. And often, you know, more about yourself and your needs than you give yourself credit for.
Recognizing your anxiety style and implementing strategies to navigate it
Once you recognize your anxiety style, implement one strategy at a time to manage it and build from there. Also, know that you may have one primary anxiety style and a secondary style. Understanding the five anxiety styles will help you feel more connected and compassionate toward others.
The Dynamo Anxiety Style
Someone with the dynamo anxiety style is very connected with, and driven by, a sense of achievement, a sense of acknowledgment.
In addition, they are doers. And they like to get things done right. You might be a dynamo if you have a to-do list, but not only that, you add something to your to-do list just so that you can check it off. Doing so gives you a sense of satisfaction and a little adrenaline rush, dopamine high from checking the item off the list.
But if you are a dynamo, you truly feed off the sense of acknowledgment, appreciation, and achievement. Not only from within but from the outside, from others. In some ways, this has served you well in life. And in other ways, it may be hindering you. Acknowledging and celebrating where it’s serving you instead of only focusing on the negative, will help you navigate the emotions that accompany the anxiety.
Recognize where it isn’t serving you
Also important is to notice where this is not serving you and what you can do to release that and move through it into a healthier environment. As a dynamo, it is important that you feel valued as a human regardless of your accomplishments.
You are always gonna be somebody who accomplishes a lot because it’s fun and you enjoy it. However, it is important to know deep in your soul, in your heart, that you’re enough already without doing the next thing, without writing the next book. This is a process and won’t change overnight.
Dynamos are also more in their heads than in their hearts or their guts. Amber shared that this is something that she personally works on a lot. She’s always thinking, planning, and deciding. She spends time on her thoughts in the future. And that doesn’t always serve her. It doesn’t always serve relationships, connection with other people in her life, or her ability to find joy in the present moment.
When this happens, pull your thoughts back to the present and allow yourself to feel gratitude in the moment, for the little things you have or that are going on in the moment.
The Lover Anxiety Style
Lovers are people who are very driven by their relationships with the people in their life, their loved ones. They need to feel wanted, they need a sense of belonging, and they want to be appreciated by people in their life.
In addition, lovers tend to be more in their hearts, obviously and in the present moment, or in the past more than in the future. So that’s another differentiating factor. They make decisions based on feelings instead of a logical sequence of pluses and minuses and things.
An example of a Dynamo is when you see a post on social media and all of your friends or colleagues are together at a place near your home. But you weren’t invited. And instead of experiencing a very natural response of disappointment or confusion, Lovers tend to take it to a much deeper level. A lover might ask herself, oh my gosh, is she mad at me? Or, did I say something to offend her?
From there, the lover thinks I can’t stand her. I don’t wanna be around her. The lover’s brain spirals to the worst-case scenario.
One of the strategies for people who are lovers or who have lovers close in their lives, which I would say almost everybody does, is to explain your trigger and ask them to tell you when they might have to work late, or are going out, etc.
Ultimately, it’s about explaining in a little bit more detail. Could be two more sentences. But the expectations change and the lover isn’t frustrated or hurt and you can connect and have an enjoyable time together.
The Fighter Anxiety Style
Fighters tend to be the people in your life who, when there is conflict or injustice, even if it has nothing to do with them, will move toward it. They will get involved and have a propensity, or urge, to help the underdog.
Lovers see something that’s unfair, it could be in the house, could be in school, it could be in their community, or it could be in the political arena. But they move toward it. Fighters are very comfortable in conflict. They’re very accustomed to chaos and challenge and see themselves as survivors.
In addition, they wear it as a badge of honor. This is a sense of pride. The downside of this is that it comes from having had a lot of trauma or conflict in their childhood where they didn’t feel safe, where there weren’t caring adults that came in to protect them.
Do you have a lot of conflict in your life?
Unfortunately, a lot of fighters have a lot of conflict in their life. They have a lot of ups and downs. And their relationships are tumultuous relationships, not only with people, but with money, or health. They experience a lot of ups and downs.
Fighters are comfortable in the chaos. Something interesting about fighters is that their triggers tend to be almost the opposite of other people’s triggers. When everything seems calm, everything’s going really smoothly, they are happy in their relationships, they often feel uncomfortable, because they do not want to put their guard down out of fear.
How can fighters feel safe in the happy and the calm while still experiencing the adrenaline surge of challenges in their lives?
You might know you’re a fighter if people in your life often say things like why do you keep getting involved with things that have nothing to do with you or your family? Or don’t you have enough problems to worry about?
Strategies for fighters include deep inner child meditations and reparenting. In addition, instead of jumping right in, ask if you have the bandwidth for it. You get to choose not to add more to your plate.
The Executive Anxiety Style
Executives are people who are amazing and tend to do a lot of planning, and organizing. So their goal is to feel emotionally safe and the mechanism they utilize for that is, control and structure.
Executives want to know what’s coming so that they can prepare for it. Once they know, they prepare. People often approach executives to help them plan.
An example of an executive is someone who carries a first aid kit wherever they go.
Executives feel more emotionally safe when they have a sense of control and knowledge. An example of an executive in a relationship with a lover is this, the lover comes home and says, oh my gosh, you’re not gonna believe this. My boss just gave us his beach house for the weekend. The lover will be excited and ready to go. The executive will need a minute to process the change of plans.
Understanding yourself and your own triggers will help you communicate and you can work with others to prepare and make the best plans that work for everyone.
Executives are similar to dynamos. They are in their heads, they are thinking about the future. In addition, they are driven by the need to feel safe, protected, and cared for.
The Visionary Anxiety Style
Visionaries are focused on a grand vision, a grand dream, and a future. They feel a deep sense of purpose for something big. Visionaries who’ve figured out what their grand vision or purpose is, and who have clarity can feel very energized, very focused, and have a hard time slowing down. In addition, they may have a hard time connecting with people who don’t have plans as grand as their own.
Visionaries may not have the attention to detail that dynamos have, likely because they are in a hurry to achieve their grand vision. However, they need attention to detail to make the big dream happen. But they are all over the place, they lack focus.
They might make decisions more from their heart and their gut as opposed to being super regimented and planning out strategies. But they are future and achievement-oriented like dynamos. In some ways, the two are very similar, but their process might be very different.
Visionaries may need to be reminded to allow others into their life as they follow their big dreams and goals. To have mutual respect and acceptance, which will ultimately help them achieve their visions. Having strong relationships may not make sense to them.
Visionaries, however, who haven’t figured out what their dream or grand vision is can feel very frustrated and flustered. They recognize that they are meant for more, but the don’t know what that is yet.
That can be extremely excruciatingly frustrating for visionaries.
The 5 Anxiety Styles Framework
Amber’s framework came from a desire to help people have more insight and self-awareness so that they can be more compassionate with themselves, which ultimately means being more compassionate with others.
The Grace to Do It
This framework is so critical to really dive into it but give yourself the grace to try one thing at a time. The more you adapt the better you will be able to shift the the pattern of negative relationships for yourself and others.
About Amber Trublood
Amber is a licensed therapist and mom of four boys. She is also a writer and author. Amber coaches moms and helps them with overwhelm and anxiety. Through her coaching, she provides practical strategies that people can use both in the moment and when needed.