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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rocking Chairs

"Anxiety’s like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you very far." ~ Jodi Picoult

If there is one thing that anxiety is good for, it's giving you something to do.   Let's be real, all that worry sure will keep you busy.  When you stop to consider all of the "what if" possibilities, all of the worst case scenarios, there's a seemingly endless supply of material.  What if I get lost on my way to the job interview?  What if I'm late for the interview?  What if they don't hire me?  What if I don't get a job offer for over a month?  A year?  What if I never get a job offer?  What if I run out of money, and I lose my home, and I become homeless?!?  All of these worries are not only time consuming, but exhausting.

The paradox is that although worry will keep you busy, it doesn't necessarily lead to productivity.  If you have been diagnosed with an anxiety problem, (Generalized Anxiety, for example), then your excessive anxiety doesn't shift into effective problem solving.   Anxiety can leave you feeling very much frozen, paralyzed, and stuck.

With some anxiety problems, it helps to shift from thinking to doing.  What worries are completely within your control, where you can exercise agency and enact change?  What worries are outside of your control, which create worry for the sake of worry? What is within your power to mange, and how can you act on it?  What steps can you take to get out of the rocking chair?

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