Truth be told, I'm not completely free of anxiety myself. There are times during performing therapy, for instance, that the "what if's" come to me like an eagle swooping down to claw up its prey. "What if I panic and have to leave the room?" or "what if I go blank and can't think of anything to say?" Yes, I still experience anxiety on occasion. One of the reasons: toxic anxiety can be a bully!
The next way anxiety steps outside of its boundary as protector is by pushing you around. And like any bully, it can't take your lack of attention with honor and just walk away. In my case, it will often creep into the cracks in my life somehow just to see if it can consume me again. Though, I've learned to not engage. Similar to a puppy who always wants to play with me, I simply grin (and think "poor puppy has no idea that, even though I love him, I hate playing with dogs.") and go back to what I was doing. Toxic anxiety is ill-educated at best on it's role in your life. It actually believes its in competition with you…haaa. The truth is, there is no war or competition going on. No one wins or looses. In fact, on this playing field the only sounds you should hear are the chirping of crickets.
This is truly an attitude shift, I know. Because for years you may have felt that anxiety was winning. Shifting from win/lose to accept it/it backs off is a big change, I know. Over time, though, I've learned that the more we fight or resist anxiety, the more it entraps us. The less we engage it, like the puppy, the less it takes over our lives.
makes no since to Compete With Anxiety
Anxiety is meant to protect from harm, not cause the harm. Competing with a protector is a category confusion. It's like competing with a police officer when he/she says "fasten your seat belt!" Creating a competition with the officer will only create a polarity between you and them that causes opposing tensions to result in you not being protected.
So next time anxiety starts to push you around, do like I tell my son when there's a potential fight coming with another kid at school. "The best way to win a fight, is to never get into one." Anxiety is real. It is really uncomfortable. But, you can learn to lessen the tension between the both of you. When anxiety says, "Game On." You say, "What Game?"
I hope this helps...
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