How to Quite Your Anxiety Alarm

Anxiety is our biological knee jerk reaction to the unknown.  It’s done a wonderful job keeping us alive since the beginning of time.  Instead of ending up a nasty bear’s lunch, your ancestor’s anxious caution kept him alive to eat another day.  The efficient beauty of anxiety is it’s rarely well thought out.  Without the thinking part of your brain getting in the way, this alarm system becomes twice as fast.  As it happens, this is also its worst drawback.  It’s an instinct, not a philosophy.

Anxiety disorders are a whole different order of fear.  Nothing positive is gained. One way of thinking about them is that they are one of those far too sensitive car alarms that can’t handle the slightest vibration.  No one’s trying to steal the car.  It was just the garbage truck half a block away.

This sensitive car alarm can have a lot of causes.  Some people are born on high alert.  Others have been victims of serious abuse.  They’ve had their alarm system cranked up by tragic circumstances.  No matter what the cause, overcoming and mastering anxiety is the same.  It requires a person to develop the heroic quality of courage.

Being willing to courageously challenge anxiety every time it rears its ugly head is the path to freedom but even that’s still not enough.  You can’t struggle against it with brute force. It’s not beaten in a single battle.  The goal, here, is placing yourself in a position to become absolutely and positively bored with whatever is setting off your car alarm in order to recalibrate it.  Your key ally in this fight is time and patience.  Fear of elevators?  Stare at one for a few hours.  When you get bored of that, move in and spend another hour pushing the open button.  Fear of the outside?  You don’t have to go farther than the porch, but stay out there the entire afternoon.  Do it again and again until it’s lost its frightening edge.  Now you know it’s time to walk to the mail box and back for the next four hours.

Yonasan Bender, SW graduated from Hebrew University’s School of Social Work. He has his psychotherapy practice at The Place: The Jerusalem Centre for Emotional Wellbeing. To share your thoughts, experiences, questions, or a different perspective, you can reach Yonasan Bender at 053-808-0435 or email him by clicking HERE. To learn more about him and his work, click HERE.

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The Place is where therapists, individuals and the community connect to create safety, strength and success. At The Place, men and women discover the freedom and safety to move past those issues which are preventing them from living life to its fullest. Our goal is to help each of our clients discover his or her own strengths as powerful tools in the healing process.

The Place is a multi-faceted clinic offering both individual and group therapy, support groups, interactive evenings and lectures, educational classes, and drop-in hours. Our comfortable, confidential, relaxed environment allows clients and their families to explore sensitive issues and create positive change. We believe that the key to mental health and emotional well-being is inside you.

At The Place, male and female therapists work independently or as a team to explore sensitive issues and facilitate positive change for individuals, couples and families from all sectors of the community. Some of our specialties include emotional eating, grief counseling, internet addiction, phobias, anxiety & OCD, childhood challenges, premarital counseling, couples therapy and intimacy issues, postpartum support, personality disorders, psychiatric care, and more. Connect with a caring professional in person at our comfortable Jerusalem offices, or by video, phone, and text. We’re here for you.

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