“Do one thing every day that scares you.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Is there something in your life right now that’s causing you anxiety? Maybe you’re meeting up with a friend you haven’t seen for years and you’re feeling shy. Perhaps you have to give a presentation in front of business associates who intimidate you. It’s possible you’re going on a job interview for a position you believe you’d be perfect for, and your making a good impression is vital.
So, what comes up? Racing thoughts? Sweaty palms? Rapid heartbeat? Faintness? A queasy stomach?
I don’t know about you, but I’m not wild about those sensations. In fact, there’s a part of me that wants to avoid the whole situation in order to not go through the unpleasant feelings. Yet I’m keenly aware that avoidance paves the path to a painfully narrow and unsatisfactory existence.
What’s a person to do?
An effective approach to anxiety can be scheduling it into one’s life on a regular basis. Seriously. Please hear me out on this one.
One of anxiety’s most distressing facets is that it seems to happen outside of our control. So, if you choose to do something on a daily basis that provokes fear, you’re basically telling your anxiety to come out and play, rather than your nerves running the show.
In addition, if you acquaint yourself with feelings of anxiety each day, then you’ll learn through experience that such sensations won’t kill you.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you set out to perform destructive acts, but there are probably a number of things you’ve been putting off doing, due to uneasiness about the difficulty or discomfort of the task. So, make a list of these items, be they major or minor, number them, starting with “1” as the least intimidating.
Then, make it your daily mission to confront one of these anxiety-provoking tasks, starting at the top of your list, in order to experience anxiety and live to tell about it. The point is not how “well” you conduct the actual task, but that you did it. Period. After awhile, you’re likely to find that your most dreaded fear-based sensations will lose their power over you.