A discussion on anxiety and how it can affect our day-to-day lives in terms of getting out, being social, remaining productive, and simply just LIVING. Don’t let anxiety rule your life…don’t let it limit your world.
Things spiral out of control pretty quickly when it comes to anxiety. What starts as a small choice to avoid something soon expands to all out limiting of the world around you. When we swear off whole parts of everyday life, food, or activities based on a desire to feel comfortable and abate our worries, we start building walls around ourselves that creep closer and closer.
For example, an agoraphobic might start their struggles with anxiety after a bad experience at a shopping center on a busy Saturday. So maybe they decide not to go that particular store on the weekends anymore. Soon that turns into not shopping at any stores on the weekend, which turns into only shopping at a few select stores on particular days. Eventually you’re uncomfortable walking out your own front door and you world has shrunken to the small path between your bedroom and the bathroom.
But that’s the nature of anxiety. It goes the same way as competition with yourself…enough is never enough. Once you let it in and you give it an inch of control, it takes a mile. It’s adaptable. It’s sneaky. And it thrives on restrictions and limitations. The moment you start limiting your world with black and white thinking, always and nevers, and other polarized thinking, the anxiety wants even more power over your environment. It tightens the reigns, closes your mind, and shrinks your world view.
It’s okay to make decisions that suit your needs and preferences. We are bred for self-preservation and a desire to stay in a state of comfort. It’s all about moderation, though. When you reside in a place of balance and flexibility, you’re in good company. However, the more restrictive you become in your life choices, in following you ‘shoulds’, and with your preferred coping mechanisms, the more alone you become.
And who wants that? Life is about human connection, relationships, experiences….PUTTING YOURSELF OUT THERE. Anxiety is crippling. It’s not a choice to have it…but you can make the choice to fight against it and work on healthy ways to cope with it.
All I want you to take away from this post is that you should not settle. Don’t settle for a life ridden with anxiety that keeps you feeling safe and secure, but also unable to fully enjoy all that life has to offer. You have to step outside of your comfort zone and challenge your fears. It’s something I am working on and it certainly takes time. But it’s doable. And every ounce of freedom I taste as I begin to work against my anxieties makes the struggle worth it.
In what ways do you limit yourself?
Do you ever feel like anxiety is holding you back?
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