Did you ever notice that many people refer to anxiety as a “struggle” or “battle”? Why is that? And could it be doing more harm than good?
I know from personal experience that anxiety can absolutely feel like you are fighting a war and the bullets just keep flying. You are constantly trying to dodge them so they won’t hit you but, every once in awhile they find their target anyway.
You may think that fighting the battle makes you stronger, especially when you successfully move a few steps forward.
And, in a sense, it does. Butterflies can only fly because the struggle to get out of the cocoon strengthens their wings.
But…here’s the problem.
Every time you think you can’t achieve something because you have to battle your anxiety, you reinforce that belief.
Every time you use anxiety as an excuse, you reinforce that belief.
And…the more you reinforce it, the stronger it becomes.
Your underlying beliefs have now become “truths”.
So, what can you do? You can’t change the truth. Or, can you?
I’m not suggesting that you can ignore or forget previous events that produced the anxiety in the first place. The fact is, the experience happened and it is part of your history. You cannot change something that already took place.
What I am saying is that you can stop reinforcing the belief to move past the battle and the struggle. You absolutely can change how you feel and react to the anxiety.
When you struggle against quicksand, you sink deeper.
When you pull on Chinese handcuffs your fingers become more tightly trapped.
When you try to push a big rock up a hill, your arms get tired and you never make it to the top.
The way to actually move forward is to let go! Stop struggling, stop fighting and change what you are doing. Change the way you look at it. If the struggle or the battle has not relieved your anxiety, then why would you continue to do it?
When you continue to believe that you are fighting a battle, you stay in “flight or fight” mode and your stress level stays on high. You continue to see yourself as a victim of circumstances beyond your control.
So…you can give up and remain in a constant state of anxiety, or…you can relax and let go of the struggle, reframe how you view yourself and the situation and renew your options for a brighter future.
Learn more by visiting my website cherylefreedman.com