PTSD and Anxiety: Narrowing your Window of Time

The aspects of fear are manifold, and I want to take you through one aspect of it.

Fear and anxiety may relate to unexpressed or disowned anger. Healthy expressions of anger such as saying "yes" or "no" when the moment requires it, establishes or maintains an integrated sense of self. When these boundaries have not been respected, for example when you have been abused or because of what you have been taught, you learn to keep it locked inside, which can lead to issues of self-worth, identity and even anxiety disorders.

The Mix of Control, PTSD and Anxiety

When you go through an event or a period in your life that has been very upsetting, it is generally imbued with a set of emotions and one of them will most likely be fear.

When we feel afraid, our instinctive reaction is to seek some sense of order in an attempt to control our anxiety. Part of that process is to imagine something in the future and then try to organize it. Of course, to some extent, this is healthy when it relates to anxieties that might quickly start to spiral out of control. The more insistence there is on controlling circumstances or people, the more we discover that it is impossible, thereby creating more fear and anxiety in the process.

Decreasing Your Window of Time to Manage Anxiety

One way of managing anxiety and the need to seek control is to decrease your window of time.

For example, if you have work responsibilities or have tasks that must be done and you feel overwhelmed by these requirements, or how to approach them, instead of projecting too far into the future, see what you can do this week, but only what is within your scope of ability. If that is still too much, try reducing it to just today. What realistically, can I do today? And if today is too much – what can you oversee and do in the next few hours?

The future and your available energy can look after themselves when the right time arrives. Rather than beating yourself up over what you are not doing, evaluate your capacity and energy and arrange your tasks accordingly, widening the window of time as you are able.

Then take it from there.

How are you struggling with anxiety and how is it expressing itself? Leave your comment below.

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