When I go out in my home-town I find that my anxiety stays at a manageable level, it isn’t until I venture out further that I find it starts to kick up and become a noticeable problem. I guess you could correlate this to being out of my comfort zone.
I’ve not really travelled much and sometimes wonder whether this is a contributing factor as to why I feel more anxious when I’m in places that I’m not familiar with. Don’t get me wrong, I get SO excited to go out and see new places and experience new things, but my anxiety does play a big part in the enjoyment and experience. If I don’t make a sort of continuity plan, then it isn’t unlike my anxiety to run riot.
I find that reassuring myself before the trip out helps; going through the possible types/feelings of anxiety I commonly experience almost prepares me for what I could experience. If I’ve already thought that it might happen then in my head it makes it easier to deal with. This might all sound slightly bizarre to you, but it’s my way of managing ‘what’s to come’. If I reassure myself that millions of other people go where I’m going, experience the things I’m about to experience then it makes it less daunting and anxiety provoking for me. If lots of other people are able to manage it, then why can I not?
Going out with anxiety can be interpreted in many ways. I am going out with anxiety all the time, it’s part of my life, it’s almost like I’m in a relationship with anxiety. I’m going out with anxiety, and that’s okay. As long as I concentrate on what matters the most and do things that fill me with reassurance then my relationship with anxiety can be turned into a positive one.
Experiencing anxiety doesn’t have to be negative. If we are able to work on managing our relationship with anxiety then we can come to an ‘agreement’ with it, being anxious isn’t always a negative thing. It’s how we practice mindfulness and keep our relationship with anxiety under control, because at the end of the day, ultimately, we are the ones in control. Harness it!