Approximately 30 percent of Americans suffer from anxiety disorders—with social anxiety being the 2nd most commonly diagnosed.
That’s a pretty startling statistic, don’t you think? And what’s more—many of these sufferers are either incorrectly diagnosed, don’t seek help, or don’t even realize they have a disorder!
Have you ever felt like your anxiety was holding you back?
Maybe you’ve always wanted to take a solo trip to another country. See the Galápagos Islands, for example. Well, I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t let your anxiety win and keep you from doing what you love.
Check it out: You can absolutely still do the things you love or the things that you’ve always dreamt of (like finally seeing the Galápagos) when you have anxiety.
Because, after all, when you break it down, anxiety is just the anticipation or expectation of dangers we think might occur in a certain situation. Read: that we think might occur. Not what actually does.
I’ll preface this, of course, by saying that I’m not a medical professional. Far from it, actually. I’m just a 26-year-old writer who has let anxiety win long enough to know that it’s held me back. From having rewarding life experiences, meeting new people, professional success…you name it. And I don’t want other people to feel hindered by their anxiety like I have been.
So, how can you overcome your anxieties, you ask?
The key lies in the following four words:
Expose yourself to them.
If you spend your entire life avoiding everything that makes you anxious, you’ll never make it past them. Your anxieties will own you. They’ll drag you down like quicksand and you won’t be able to free yourself…no matter how hard you try. And it will keep you up at night. It’ll probably make you miserable, too.
The next time you find yourself worrying and feeling anxious about what you think might occur during a certain situation, don’t let those thoughts drag you down. Worrying about going out somewhere in public alone? Feeling like everyone’s going to zero in on and you notice that you’re all alone like the lonely loner you are? Don’t waste any more of your precious time on such thoughts.
Go. Do the things you want to do. The ones you love and have spent years dreaming of.
Sure, it’ll probably seem absolutely terrifying at first, but I assure you, conquering your fears and anxieties will get easier in time. And if you never challenge yourself, how do you expect to grow? You won’t.
Stop letting your anxiety hold you back and just get out there and do what you want to. After all, what’s the worst that could happen?