In my last blog you read about Anxiety and learned it is an emotion that results from fearful thoughts. (if you missed the last blog check it out HERE). I promised not to let the conversation end there so let’s chat more about dealing with the underlying fear that produces anxious thoughts and symptoms.
Think of Anxiety like a loud banging noise in your car.
Imagine with me, you are driving down the highway and suddenly, your car starts making a horribly loud banging noise. What would you do? Would you start stocking your car with earplugs? Would you keep your radio tuned to a louder volume?
Let’s say a few days later the banging continues and now you notice you can’t make right turns. What would you do? Only go places that require a left turn? Change your route so you don’t have to go right?
The banging noise and not being able to make right turns are indications that there is something more going on with your car. Anxiety is an indication that there is something more going on emotionally.
Ignoring the signs that there is a problem will only make the problem worse. The problem won’t go away on its own and the longer you ignore it, the worse it will get.
All too often people go to extraordinary lengths to mask the symptoms of their Anxiety. Not going places with large crowds, avoiding certain topics or situations, staying in toxic relationships, filling their lives with distractions, relying on other people to calm down, busing themselves to the point of exhaustion, spending money they don’t have, etc. The list could go on and on. Many times, the attempts to manage the symptoms of anxiety will have to become more and more extreme because the problem underneath is getting worse and worse.
You wouldn’t go to extremes to ignore a problem with your car, so why do it to yourself?
When we talk about Anxiety the underlying issue causing the symptoms is fear. Just like with your loud car, you have look for the problem to be able to solve it. You have to look for what is causing the loud banging noise. So, with Anxiety, you have to explore within yourself to find out what it is you’re afraid of.
Once the underlying fear is exposed you can face it and lessen the hold it has on you and your life. When you explore the fear and you put time and energy into facing it rather than time and energy into running from it, that is how you solve the real problem.
Easier said then done. Trust me, I get it! Don’t worry there’s hope!
Use the car idea again, if you have an issue with your car and you don’t know how to diagnose what’s wrong or maybe you know what’s wrong, but you are not able to fix it on your own… what do you do?!
You take it to someone who can help, a mechanic, a friend who knows how to work on cars, an uncle that is mechanically inclined.
You seek help.
You can seek help for your anxiety too.
If you are struggling to figure out the underlying fears or you know what they are, but you don’t know what do with them, find someone who can help.
Find a friend who you feel safe talking to, seek the wisdom of a trusted family member or mentor.
If you don’t feel comfortable exploring these fears with a friend or family member or you’ve reached out to them but need additional help then reach out to a Therapist or Counselor, someone who is trained and has the tools to help you.
You’d pay attention to the symptoms of a major issue with your car, right?
You owe it to yourself to pay attention to what your anxiety symptoms are trying to tell you.