I know many of you will have noticed how anxiety has this way of bleeding in to every part of our lives and before we know it we are avoiding things that might trigger our anxiety. It feels counter intuitive, but gently ‘leaning in’ to those things with compassion for ourselves, may help us work through it.
There is a careful balance between cruelly forcing yourself and kindly encouraging yourself. A past client found attending lectures crippling, she avoided them but knew she was missing out. We slowly worked up a plan so she was able to go if she could and reward herself even if she tried but was unable to stay the whole lecture. By gently ‘leaning in’ to what was uncomfortable she was able to attend a few lectures and challenge her anxiety.
I am a huge fan of gently noticing when something feels fearful and uncomfortable and gently encouraging myself. By listening to ourselves we become more aware that anxiety is just another feeling and does not need to be overwhelming. I often feel quite anxious when i drive in new places, I am a new driver and still learning, so I just let myself do new drives in bite sized chunks and stop when I need to, without beating myself up.
Learning to lean in with compassion and encouragement is such a great way to be conscious with our anxiety but not be managed by it, so important in building our resilience in life.