Anxiety and the Comfort of Law and Order

lawandorderFear of change is why we tell ourselves lies. Anxiety means we let fear be in charge and squelch our choices. Anxiety is the problem that presents in my office most often. We live in a fear-driven culture where the media portrays a snowstorm as life-threatening days before it arrives. The reality of unemployment, a foreclosed home & owing a trillion dollars to China is scary. The good thing about anxiety is that it is totally possible to turn it around. The sad thing about anxiety is that people who struggle with it keep their world too small and avoid risks. People with anxiety avoid being uncomfortable which is why they like the steady product of what Law & Order offers.
It’s television where 95% of the time the episode is wrapped up in a single show & there is no messiness of the detectives’ personal lives. The messiness is all about problem solving and this can be very soothing to the audience. It is a show that’s extremely popular in these anxious times and very available in reruns.
Anxiety is like having your own private “Boston Strangler”. Getting overwhelmed and stuck because of fear is ordinary. Hospital ER costs are increased because of anxiety. People interrupt their lives because of fear. The research shows that the most important thing you can do when you have anxiety is to face your fears. Use thinking to interrupt your fear full feelings instead of letting fear run the show. Feelings are not the lynchpin to the universe. Feelings can be tricky, devilish and total b.s..
Think through your fears and ask yourself what is the worst that can happen. Learn to believe that anything worth doing is worth doing badly. Embrace uncertainty because it is a massive part of life. Let yourself practice making discomfort both ordinary and more bearable. Courage is the opposite of anxiety. Ask yourself if you had more courage what would you do differently in your life. Anxious people are often people pleasers and you might find the courage to more honestly disagree. Take some small new actions and be willing to find out what happens. I always learned more from failure than success. Remember that fear and excitement always travel together. Excitement is about making your world bigger and more vital.

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