Picking Your Battles With Anxiety

Published in Mental Health - 2 mins to read

I’ve been thinking about anxiety a lot recently, as I’ve noticed that I’ve stopped pushing my boundaries with it now I am a bit more settled in to London. There are still plenty of things it stops me doing though, and I feel like now I am more in a routine, it flares up more when anything disrupts that routine.

I am also just really sick of it. It has an attritional quality that grinds you down over years and years, and I just want it to stop. I want to be “normal”, even though I know that that means nothing, and is also a waste of my energy to wish for. I’m sure it’s never going to go away, but I am still hopeful that I can get better at managing it, and it’s something I want to have a plan to actively work on in the next few months. One of the things that I think I already do reasonably well when it comes to anxiety is picking my battles, something I learned to do at some point amidst all the therapy sessions I’ve had over the years. There are a lot of small things that aren’t worth the anxiety - eg getting lunch from somewhere different, where I’d have to talk to a real human being, vs buying it from somewhere with a self checkout. Conversely there are lots of small things that are worth it - like striking up a conversation with someone new at the running club or climbing gym. The same obviously applies to big things - if you have a lot of anxiety about it, make sure that it’s really worth doing. And if it is, if you’ve saved up a bunch of emotional energy from not doing all of the small-anxiety-things, then you can usually close your eyes, grit your teeth and get through the big, important stuff. Just make sure that once you’ve decided that you definitely are going to it, you act as soon as possible, to prevent the overthinking setting in.