But the danger we perceive doesn’t actually have to be there. We just have to think that it is.
Whether the danger is real or imagined, our automatic survival mechanisms will kick in and we will try to escape or avoid the danger.
We might avoid certain people or places. We might refuse to go out. Perhaps we’ll only go out with someone else present and then leave early.
Whilst our coping behaviours get us through the perceived danger, they actually keep our anxiety going. As long as we depend on them to cope, we don’t give ourselves the opportunity for the anxiety to go away on its own.
Learning to confront our anxiety might be uncomfortable in the short term, but it helps us take control and feel better in the long term.
If you feel anxiety starting to overwhelm you, ask yourself if you have any proof that what you fear is actually going to happen. What is the worst that could happen and how would you cope with it if it did? Imagine it is six months from now. How important will this feel then?
Just because you feel bad, doesn’t mean things really are bad. Imagine yourself coping with this situation. If you can handle it in your imagination, you can handle it in reality.
via Inner Child Healing.