Do you do one thing a day that scares you?
Are you someone who likes to live life dangerously?
Do you challenge yourself on a daily basis to try something new?
If you answered no to any or all of the proposed questions above, don’t worry. I sure as shit don’t do all of those things, either. But, I’ve been doing some thinking as of late, and the significance of stepping outside of our comfort zones every so often is becoming more and more apparent to me the longer I live with anxiety.
I should note that this post certainly isn’t relevant only for those of us who experience anxiety. It’s relevant for anyone who cares to read it, or anyone who may benefit from it.
I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m currently enrolled in group therapy to allow me to better understand and and control my anxious behaviours and thoughts. Something we’ve started to discuss in group is the concept of exposure, which basically means putting ourselves in a position that makes us uncomfortable.
Perhaps you’re questioning why anyone would want to deliberately give themselves anxiety, which is a perfectly warranted thought. The thing with anxiety, though, is that unless it’s challenged, it likely won’t diminish, hence the importance of exposure.
Say, for example, you’re scared of heights. Rather than allowing our fear to control how we live our life and avoid facing heights in the process, repeated exposure is a means to overcome the fear. Slowly introducing ourselves to heights, or whatever it is we’re afraid of in a controlled manner is one way to push ourselves and gain better control over our fear and the root of the fear itself: anxiety.
I’m certainly not trying to suggest that exposure will work for everyone, nor is it something you should experiment with if you’re unsure about what it is you’re wanting to expose yourself to. But, if exposure is something that’s been suggested to you as a means to navigate a fear or phobia, give it a try.
Stepping outside your comfort zone has never been so beneficial.