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How Anxiety Can Impair Communication

Victoria LeBlanc, MS, LCPC
How Anxiety Can Impair Communication

Communication between two or more people involves a lot of different mental mechanisms. One part of your brain is controlling your listening ability. Another part of your brain is deciphering what the other person is saying. Another part is formulating what to respond with, and another part of your brain is used to share the response.

It takes a lot of mental energy to hold a conversation, even if it doesn't seem like it. So it should come as little surprise that when your mind is overwhelmed with anxiety it can impair your ability to communicate.

Ways Anxiety Impairs Communication

Every type of anxiety has the potential to impair communication. Some may find their anxiety only affects them in social situations while others may find it affects them all the time. 

There is no single issue that impairs communication when you have anxiety. Rather, there is a host of potential issues that can make it difficult to communicate. Some examples include:

While all types of anxiety can impair communication, different issues may come up based on the type of anxiety you experience. 

Quick Treatment for Trouble Communicating

Because different issues are at play, there are also different methods that you can use to help ensure that you communicate a bit better, and to ensure that you don't allow your communication issues to cause further anxiety. Consider the following:

If you're in the middle of a panic attack or you're experiencing a loss of reality, you'll need to address those issues first. Hyperventilation can be reduced by controlled, slow breathing, and some people find that putting their hands under cool water can help bring them back to the present.

If your anxiety is interfering with your ability to communicate with others then the above tips may help but they won’t completely fix the problem. Only by addressing the reason for your anxiety will you find relief and become truly comfortable with communicating with others.

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