You were not born afraid of the world, someone or something has taught you to be.
I see anxiety as a psychological repetition or repetition of a traumatic past/events. And for that reason, anxiety is not a bad thing, for one day it could very well save your life. But what about when your survival instincts become overworked and highly sensitive? This when we start using the word “social anxiety” to describe these feelings and fear in public.
Only just recently I have started seeing things differently. To me, anxiety the unseen scar of a warrior who is only trying to protect themselves and their loved ones 24/7. This is exhausting and stressful to keep up with daily, while seemingly having no choice.
In order to lower your levels of anxiety, I had to deactivate the safety net my mind had created in order to protect myself. Why now? Because it’s now safe to turn it off; I simply don’t need it anymore.
I have found that even the small things add up over time, and it wears you down like:
- Worrying what people think of you.
- Watching people when they walk past you.
- Scanning rooms or your environments.
If you are not still suffering from the events that caused you anxiety in the first place, allow yourself to let go of the defense mechanism you call “anxiety.” For once you learn how to be afraid, how to run, and how to fight, your body will remind you how to when the time comes necessary again. To put things into perspective, it’s exactly like when you haven’t ridden a bike in several years. You might think you’ve forgotten, but as soon as you try again it comes right back to you.
Just like you might have not felt the need to run or hide in a long time, when the time comes that you DO need to, it will come straight back. And logically speaking, it’s better off to save that survival energy for when it really counts, right?
“I was harassed and verbally abused in the past and I accept that. But I no longer need to keep my guard up from other people or worry about what they think of me. Because if the past ever does repeat itself, I can survive again just like I did before. I chose to save that perception, adrenaline, and fear for situations which truly warrant them – and refuse to waste those feelings in situations where I am safe and sociable.”
This is why I don’t label my condition social anxiety.
I call it the “warrior mindset,” because often when people suffer from anxiety, it is only their survival instincts trying to protect themselves from suffering the same pain again.
If you are brave enough, allow yourself to let go. Defy your natural instincts to automatically shut off from others. You will be surprised how much peace and how many friendships you’re missing out on.