The "Right" Way

Is this normal? I feel that I may be too overly cautious about myself. For example, I would feel that the way I am walking is not right and would pay more attention to the way I am walking. Or when I am having a meal, I would feel that the way I am using chopstick or even the way I am having (munching) on food is not right and try to correct it. Perhaps I am afraid to be judge as odd or such. Are my actions normal?

Hello @Cole , thank you for sharing your experiences and how you feel. This experience must have been challenging for you to manage, and I can imagine the fear of being judged by others.

First, what you are experiencing may result from underlying issues that may have happened in the past. These issues may cause you to feel anxious, and be extra careful to avoid going through the same unpleasant experience.

To address this issue, I encourage you to identify and write down the thoughts that cause you to feel anxious and behave cautiously. Then, as you examine these thoughts, see them from a third-person perspective. Seeing the thought from a third-person perspective helps create psychological distance between self and anxiety-inducing situations and enables you to regulate your emotions (1).

Take time and ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is there another way to look at the situation?
  2. What is within my control, and what resources can I adopt?
  3. What is the worst thing that could happen if my fears come true?

Here is a good article to learn more about how you can manage the anxiety and stresses you are experiencing (2). You can also learn more about how you can cope with your emotions in these articles:

  • Healthline: How to control your emotions (3)
  • Healthhub: Care For Ourselves - Managing our Emotions (4)

Lastly, talk to a trusted adult or your school counsellor. Processing with your counsellor can give you different perspectives and ways to cope with the issues better.

  1. What's the worst that can happen? A strategy for dealing with stress - The Modern Parent
  2. Third Person Self-Talk Is An Effective Way To Reduce Anxiety And Regulate Emotions - Cognition Today
  3. How to Control Your Emotions: 11 Strategies to Try
  4. MindSG
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