• Helen Maharaj

Fighting Anxiety - Metaphor

When we feel anxious we have a tendency, to do things, to try to push the anxiety as far away from us as possible. Often these things work, but only when we are actually doing them.

Imagine you are in a swimming pool with a beachball you do not like. To get away from the beachball you try to hold it under the water. This works when you are putting all your effort into it. But when you let go, the beachball pops up. So, you try to push it back down again. You can keep the ball under the water, only when you are actively pushing it down. You cannot enjoy the pool because you are stuck there with the beachball.

Instead you could decide to let the beachball float on the surface while you enjoy the pool. You might bump into the beachball from time to time but you can realise what it is and get on with enjoying the pool instead of getting back into a struggle and fighting it to keep it away.​

Our anxiety is the same, we can spend time fighting it, trying to push it away which will work for a while. But we will be stuck engaging with the anxiety and not enjoying life. Or we can chose to live life according to our values and goals, we might bump into the anxiety occasionally but we do not need to fight it off. Instead, we can realise it is just anxiety and continue to live the way we wish.

Metaphors like this are a key part of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), they help us think about our problems in a different way. CBT can help you understand your anxiety and learn to tolerate the feeling you are having.

If you are having difficulties with anxiety and would like to speak with a therapist about stating CBT in Harpenden please contact us by email to arrange a free initial telephone consultation.

#CBT #Anxiety #Metaphors #Acceptance

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