As someone who knows the importance of taking small steps to get through my anxiety, I also know that there are many people who don’t understand the methods that I find helpful. I’ve had people question the steps I take and ask how they can possibly make sense. This line of questioning can be very frustrating. For one thing, it’s irritating because usually the person does not ask simply out of kind curiosity, but rather because they are mocking me or implying that I’m being silly. The thing is though that, really, it doesn’t matter what others think of the methods you use to get through your feelings of anxiety, as long as the methods aren’t harmful to yourself or others. As long as the methods are helpful to you, it doesn’t matter if others don’t understand how they help.
Exposure Therapy example
Take for example, the exposure therapy exercise I’ve started. I was recently asked why I would practice something that doesn’t make me anxious if I don’t have a problem with it. My response was that I needed to start showing myself what I didn’t have issues with and practice with those things and then slowly work up to more anxiety-provoking situations. However, the individual I explained this to could not understand this and made me feel like I was being unreasonable and absurd.
It’s not a good feeling when someone belittles you and your methods. It makes you feel small and idiotic. However, the anxiety that you suffer with that is exactly that, your anxiety. With this being said, different methods work for different people. Some people start at the smallest steps possible and go from there, while others are able to take bigger steps each time.
Take the steps that work for you
The point is that your steps don’t have to make sense to others. The steps you take only have to make sense to you as they are there to help you. Just because someone else cannot understand how your method is helpful, does not make it wrong or stupid. In addition, just because you might struggle with something different from someone else, does not make your issue any less serious or real. We are all unique and all have different challenges, so it only makes sense that we have different ways of going about overcoming our challenges. So next time someone makes you feel silly about the way you go about getting through your anxiety or other issues, remind yourself that you are doing what is best for yourself and that if the method helps you and is beneficial, then you can’t go wrong!