An Anxious Inspector Calls: When to Listen to Your Anxiety
I like to think of anxiety as a little jobs worthy inspector. Someone who takes their job very seriously and points out any (perceived) danger along your path.
You and your anxiety inspector in the car might look something like this:
Woah have you seen that car approaching, oh my god what if thunder strikes, yikes the tires are skidding, mmm are the breaks working properly, AARRGGHHH we are running out of petrol!
Despite his best efforts, he is actually often not very helpful!
It is great that he is there and we need him otherwise we could be driving the car on a 100mile road trip with our tail lights out, nearly flat tire and no breakdown recovery.
But we don’t need him to take the wheel and drive (home probably!).
Our jobs worthy inspector is great at pointing out perceived danger so that we can then choose what to do with that information.
Knowing when to listen to our anxiety and when to park it is one of the keys to managing it.
Maybe there is thunder but is that going to affect your trip? No? Let it go.
The tires are skidding, is that because the roads are wet or because they are very old and in dire need of repair?
Our anxiety can flood us with negative thoughts about something and convince us that the car really is on the brink of breaking down.
We need to use our rational brain to problem solve our way through the situation.
Now doing this for a car in a storm might be a little easier than perhaps something a lot more complex such as a relationship.
In a relationship, we can trigger old patterns of behaviour that perhaps don’t suit us at that time.
If we were cheated on previously, seeing our new partner chat to someone else can unearth the same wound.
If our partner likes their distance and we thrive on intimacy we can be thrown into a state of anxiety as it feels we are being abandoned.
We need to remain rational but also listen to our anxiety as we work our way through the situation.
Perhaps we observe the red flags and make a note but not take action until we are more sure.
This could look like noticing your partner texting another girl late at night and letting it go but not forgetting about it. So if it becomes a regular habit you are aware and able to deal with the situation. You also don’t come across as irrational for blowing up over what could be an innocent exchange of messages.
Each time your little jobs worthy inspector rears his ugly head, thank him. Notice if it is something you need to deal with now, park it or let it go.
And then take the wheel and drive with your inspector in the back.
If you think your jobs worthy inspector might be in the driving seat and want help moving him over then get in touch today at firstname.lastname@example.org