6. How Often Do You Speak Your Fear?
How catching this habit can help your recovery progress.
I often talk and write about being mindful of your habits when it comes to talking about your anxiety.
There are some anxious people that default to silence. They withdraw, isolate, and never talk about how they feel. My experience tells me that they are in the minority, or at least that the nature of building an online community based on anxiety disorders self-selects for people more likely to want to talk about all of this.
If you’re reading this email, I’m guessing that you want to talk about how you feel. You want to tell people how you feel. You want to ask if anyone else feels that way. You may want to ask me why you feel that way and what you can do about it. You may find yourself talking about this most of the time. This does seem logical since you’re probably also thinking about this most of the time. If you’re thinking about it, you’re going to want to talk about it. It makes sense.
The problem here is that talking about how you feel all the time is not terribly productive. When we’re hyper focused on the sensations of anxiety and the thoughts that come with it, talking about them in an effort to solve them, stop them, or otherwise soothe them has the opposite effect.
We become fixated even more intently on them. That’s not even the worst part. The worst part is that when we talk about our anxiety constantly, we make it the most important thing in the room all the time.
Recovery is about NOT making anxiety the most important thing, even when it is screaming at you to pay attention to it. We learn to detach from it and let it be. Recovery is about learning that you can be capable and functional even while anxious because anxiety does not have to be the center of the universe at all times.
This means we have to catch ourselves when we fall into the habit of speaking our fears out loud repeatedly, or talking continuously about how we feel. This is not easy, but part of recovery is learning to change our habit of anxious words.
Remaining silent when our fear tells us to speak so that we may be saved is so difficult, but it is an important part of moving forward.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about the difference between repeated speaking of fear, and expressing yourself in a healthy way.