Have you ever had a guest drop by unexpectedly and you don’t want to be rude and tell them that you are too busy or that you really would prefer your own company to theirs?
And so, you let them in and then they stay, and don’t want to leave but you are too polite or too embarrassed to get rid of them. So they stay for a bit longer, or a lot longer while you stare at the clock and make subtle hints about your busy schedule.
Anxiety is just like that guest – it often drops in unexpectedly and it stays.
Well it stays for as long as you entertain it.
So, back to your visitor – imagine somebody comes over and you say to them, “I see that you wanted to come and visit but actually, as much as I appreciate it, I have other things to do. Have a good day!”
Anxiety comes for a visit – imagine this:
Recognise the anxiety “hello anxiety – I know it’s you because you have been a frequent/frustrating/difficult visitor. I know these feelings – my heart feels like it is going to explode, I really can’t breathe, I feel weak, I’m shaking and I feel out of control but guess what? I know that these feeling cannot kill me so I’ll have the feelings but I will not let them get me down and I will not let them stay!”
Anxiety does not deserve to stay all day.
It will arrive (because that is what it does) but if you recognise it for what it is, it goes away much faster. But if you choose to let the symptoms cause you distress, the anxiety is only going to get worse. Don’t give it all the attention that it wants.
If you have survived anxiety or panic attacks before, then the chances are very good that you will survive again.
Nobody has ever died from anxiety and I really doubt that you are going to be the first.
The same way that you wouldn’t offer a 3 course meal to a casual by passer (well I don’t think you would), don’t offer anxiety any more either.
It’s there, it’s horrible, it’s nasty but you can still be amazing despite it.