This can be one of the hardest parts of dealing with anxiety, but you really need to learn how to stop avoiding the anxiety. It can be tempting to pretend it doesn’t exist and just push all those thoughts and fears down, but they are going to come back up, and often in worse ways than if you dealt with it.
Why Avoidance is Hurting You
If you suffer from anxiety, you are more than familiar with avoidance. This is when you start avoiding people or situations that make your anxiety worse. While it can seem like you are just protecting yourself, you might be self-sabotaging instead.
The more you avoid due to the anxious feelings you get, the more you get comfortable with this habit. You start becoming more isolated, which can actually make your anxiety worse, not better. While you don’t have to get into terrifying situations, there is a balance between avoidance and acceptance, but continuing to step out of your comfort zone.
What to do Instead
Avoidance can be a hard habit to break, but soon you will understand what it’s like to feel your anxiety, and still move forward with your life.
You can start small by slowly getting out of your comfort zone. Take one situation that you tend to avoid, but one of the more minor ones. Say for example, when you get coffee in the morning, you always use the drive-thru because it causes less worry than if you go inside surrounded by people.
Choose one morning when it is less crowded and go inside to get your coffee. Get used to less people, then slowly start going inside more often to become accustomed to being around people instead of constantly avoiding it with the drive-thru.
This small change over time becomes something you get used to, where your anxiety isn’t gone, but you are more accepting of it.
Learning to Accept Your Anxiety
Accepting your anxiety does not mean that you are avoiding it or even that you are curing it. You want to get to a point where you understand and acknowledge that it is a part of you and who you are. You will continue working toward reducing your anxiety, but you also understand that it will never be gone completely.
Instead, you accept your anxious thoughts, and try to move beyond them where they no longer have the same control over you.
This article is of a general nature only. We are not medical professionals and don’t give medical advice.