Anxiety and Evasiveness: Is There a Point?
Anxiety feeds evasiveness, meaning anxiety has a way of shooting down the point to everything you want to do. We may want to do something but anxiety makes us see everything as an uncomfortable activity. In our imagination, it seems unpleasant, unenjoyable. We think and we say that we don't want to go. Anxiety makes us feel like there is no point. No point to trying because it is too uncomfortable, or no point because we won't succeed anyway.
This is an excuse, it is us rationalizing that we do not care that we cannot do anything, or go anywhere. We think, "I don't want to do that." And insist, "I don't feel like it," when someone asks. When our loved one asks "Why not?" we don't have an answer.
Evasiveness: A Sign of Anxiety
The evasiveness is a telltale sign anxiety might be present. It is easier to think you don't want to, than accept anxiety is not letting you. But is this the truth? Do we really not want to go? Is there really no point?
If we ask ourselves, would we want to do it if we did not have the anxiety, would that answer be different? If someone could imagine it without anxiety, the answer is often "yes!"
Find a Point And Your Evasiveness Caused By Anxiety Disappears
When Anxiety is present, comfort becomes our top priority. The point to everything else pales in comparison. This is the most important thing ever . We think we will be ready to overcome our anxiety when we feel comfortable. But we can wait forever for this.
We need to find a point to do what we are doing. We need to find something more important than anxiety. Something to motivate us, take priority to "remaining comfortable" and then nothing will keep us from doing it.
Then we do it, not fully comfortable, and realize that we can do it! The next time it becomes easier, I promise (Resisting Anxiety In Restaurants).
I know someone who is afraid to drive on the express way. We decided to practice together as part of exposure therapy. Before doing this I asked her.
"If one of your children was in the hospital and you were trying to get to him, would you drive on the express way if it was the fastest way?"
She said yes. She would have a strong priority, a strong point to doing it and anxiety wouldn't stop her.
There is a point to doing things, some very important points: happiness and fun.
What is your two cents? I would love to hear your comments below!
Lobozzo, J. (2012, July 25). Anxiety and Evasiveness: Is There a Point?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, February 25 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2012/07/is-there-a-point
Author: Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R
[...] you fed up? Since there is no point to Anxiety, let it go! Sometimes it is scary to heal, we know this way of being, what if healing feels worse? [...]
Thank you for this lesson on anxiety. My excuse is usually "I can't do that. I'm just not able to". So my anxiety comes out in the form of my inability and that I'm just not smart enough.
This makes intuitive sense to me. I think of all the times I haven't done something because "I didn't want to"; maybe I really was just full of social anxiety or generalized anxiety. I will try to remember this the next time I say, "I don't want to go" or "I don't want to do that." Thanks, Jodi!
You are so welcome, Tina! I hope the insight helps! Maybe then you'd make a different choice and lose out on any fun!
During the war, mainly at the age of 13, the only thing that helped me fight anxiety was to do something, that was always something dangerous. In fact no one could stop me from doing what I wanted to do. I used to feel I was dying even when in the shelter, so I used instead to be the volunteer to go out of the shelter and bring bread and water for others. If I was to die, i would die doing something, helping someone not hiding in a corner. Maybe it doesn't make sense in the context of this post, but I made the link, as it was the only thing that used to help the anxiety.
Nikky, I can only imagine the horrors that you have lived through. I can understand the need to be busy when you were full of anxiety and everyone around you was feeling the same. <3
I totally get it Nikky and often think about life threatening situations this way, too. It is our agency that helps us. Knowing we can act, even if we can keep ourselves from dying, that we make some kind of difference in the meantime. Such a blessed soul you are!