A few blog posts ago, I wrote about being lighthearted and carefree.
Here, I am going to talk about how that relates to my struggle with anxiety and overcoming that by taking more risks.
For those of you who know me, you know that jet skiing on a random weekend isn’t my typical mode of operation. I’m more of a chill-at-home type of girl, who enjoys safety and predictability.
This is partly because I’m a homebody by nature but also because I’ve struggled with anxiety for a large portion of my life.
Anxiety says: “Anything can happen! You don’t want to take that chance. Are you ready to deal with the consequences if you fail? Bla bla bla….”
So if you struggle with anxiety, you already know that my brain was calculating a million excuses to bail on plans.
And this behavior could really spill over to anything; confronting a friend about a situation, speaking up at work, or at this moment – a water sport (lol).
However, I am now learning that chronic “what ifs” can roadblock us from experiencing life in new ways that would ultimately give us the opportunity to grow.
And oddly enough it’s that very overly cautious behavior you think is protecting you that ends up being the most harmful in the long run.
“What if I fall?” Oh but my darling, What if you fly?”
– Erin Hanson
As I have learned from life-changing sessions with my psychologist; avoidance behavior begins with overly cautious “what ifs” that eventually spiral into chronic postponing, and inevitably results in shutting out an entire part of yourself and new opportunities.
Sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and dive in, to really rid yourself of anxiety.
Retraining My Brain
There’s a ton of medical research that backs up the idea of leaving your comfort zone and confronting your fears to cure anxiety.
Consistently reinforcing positive behaviors in your brain builds psychological resilience over time.
And, I find that to be quite true. It’s really about taking control of your fears and not allowing them to control you. Now, situations that used to make me shake like a leaf, don’t anymore.
Because it turns out that challenging my brain to experience that same adrenaline rush with a positive mindset rather than the negative flight-or-fight response
… allows my brain to associate those chemicals with excitement rather than terror overtime.
Remember: Whatever you feed, will grow
So, what will you grow heading into the end of 2020? I’m challenging myself to grow fond of being uncomfortable, tackling my fears, and laughing at myself along the way.
Stay organically opulent,
Ps: I want to thank my brother-in-law for dragging me out on his jetskis this weekend and my husband for withstanding my piercing shrieks in the middle of the Florida Gulf that day, you both are the best!