Sometimes the things that are best for us are not the most fun things to do. For example; I don’t like to exercise. Sometimes I will force myself to do it and I’m usually glad that I did it afterwards, but I’m not a bubbly person in the morning who slaps on those running shoes and jogs twelve miles. It just isn’t going to happen. However, I KNOW that I need to exercise to keep my weight issue under control and to feel better … so I do it (sometimes).
It’s the same thing when you are working through overcoming anxiety issues. I have heard so many people say that they have certain routines so that they don’t have anxiety trouble. I understand that. It’s the easier thing to do. Heck … I did it for years. Why would you force yourself into unfamiliar circumstances or change things that seem to be working when all that does is bring on anxiety? My answer to that is “because you need to.”
Having routines that keep anxiety minimized is the same as popping a Xanax, it’s just a band-aid on a bigger problem. It’s ignoring the problem and hoping that it will just go away, when exposure therapy and working through the issues are really the answer. Hiding from it just makes it stronger.
So if you eat a bowl of cheerios every morning, then drive the same way to work each day, then sit at a certain angle at your desk while drinking your coffee, then lunch at the same restaurant … just to avoid any circumstances that MIGHT bring on anxiety, then you are only setting yourself up for future failure. Some day that routine is not going to work out just right and then what happens? Will you go into a full blown panic attack? Will you be so upset that you have to leave work? Will your brain be so conditioned to your routine that it shuts down when the routine is gone?
Venture out …. take a chance …. work on it.
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