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Managing Anxiety & Living Outside of Your Comfort Zone

This isn’t an article featuring recommendations on handling nervousness, more a private musing alone nervousness and truthful warning too, it’s fairly long, though I hope not too rambling!

Although I’m pretty adventurous I’ve an exaggerated nervousness response, even to seemingly delicate stressors. Issues I’m good at, issues I take pleasure in, things I’ve achieved time and again, typically nonetheless fill me with nervousness.

Just over 20 years ago, as well as suffering from melancholy, I used to be additionally recognized with Free Floating Anxiety. Fairly than the diagnostic labels empowering me nevertheless, I felt like they trapped me.

After a couple of years of dwelling a much smaller life, I realised I had a choice to make and that diagnoses or not, my psychological well being was just about up to me to take control of and that there were no magic cures (although at that time treatment did supply me some aid, however I by no means saw it as a long-term answer) so that’s once I started on my lengthy journey back to taking control of my psychological health and getting off meds for good.

Although I’m now medication-free and largely secure and nicely, I do still have that extremely exaggerated nervousness response, and typically it could overwhelm me.

Brereton Heath Nature Reserve in Cheshire

What Anxiety Is Like for Me

Nerves earlier than doing issues that we perceive as traumatic are of course regular, however for one cause or one other (maybe by now, the well-worn neural pathways I’ve created over greater than 2 many years aren’t helping), I still feel that I’ve an unusually extreme nervousness response, although my GP has been highly dismissive.

Unable to concentrate, my stomach churning and in knots, shaking, irritable, unable to eat, sleep or even go to the toilet – symptoms I’m positive many with nervousness will have the ability to determine with.

As an alternative of delicate nervous pleasure and butterflies, I can discover myself feeling wired and jittery as cortisol programs by way of me. Unable to concentrate, my abdomen churning and in knots, shaking, irritable, unable to eat, sleep and even go to the toilet – signs I’m positive many with nervousness will be capable of determine with.

Outdoors walking path

The tips I discovered during CBT mixed with meditation assist me just a little, but solely to some extent. I’m now capable of determine how I’m feeling at the very least, which may stop me spiralling right into a full-on meltdown, nevertheless it doesn’t really ease the nervousness and no amount of rationalising or logical self-talk appears to stop that unwelcome jittery cortisol rush and churning sick feeling of dread that for me, can last for days or even weeks on finish.

My pure want to disrupt and stay life in full colour, combined with my stubborn streak compels me in the direction of anxiety-inducing conditions like a moth to a flame.

You may assume then that understanding I react this approach to certain things, I’d try and minimise my exposure to the situations I do know can make me anxious. Fairly the other is true though.

I’m unsure I ever really left behind my teenage rebellious part, however my pure want to disrupt and stay life in full colour, combined with my cussed streak compels me in the direction of anxiety-inducing conditions like a moth to a flame.

Avoidance As A Coping Mechanism Isn’t For Me

I actually consider that avoidance isn’t a very wholesome or finally rewarding coping mechanism, Indeed I appear to ascribe to a “feel the crippling, gut-wrenching fear but like a massive idiot, go and do it anyway” sort of considering, so I persist in doing issues that I know are more likely to trigger me nervousness, as conquering them looks like a bit of private victory, despite the times of hell I’m going by means of beforehand.

It seems like I’m wresting again management, telling my mind to shut up, confirming to myself that if I need to do one thing, I jolly properly will, regardless of the nervousness it’ll inevitably trigger me. I appear to actively hunt down conditions that cause me to really feel this manner, like some sort of twisted masochist.

Is this fixed battle a ‘healthy’ method of dealing with nervousness? Is it good for helping me build confidence that may assist to minimise my nervousness sooner or later? That I really don’t know, however the different choice of not doing stuff as a result of my nervousness tells me to not doesn’t actually really feel like an choice at all to me.

I don’t need worry to hold me back, I would like my life to be as huge and rich as attainable and for that to occur, as an alternative of retreating and waving a white flag, I merely need to face my nervousness head on.

Our Comfort Zones Are All Very Totally different

Take for instance once I started this blog virtually 5 years in the past, and I made a pledge to say “yes” to things my nervousness repeatedly tells me to say an enormous resounding “no” to, which has result in me being in numerous situations which have left me with insomnia, feeling sick, physically shaking, unable to assume straight and with horrendous IBS flares.

I do know a diverse range of individuals and am lucky to have a big group of associates. Some of whom also endure from nervousness and other associated issues. Some are medicated, some are usually not. Some seize it by the horns and do the scary things anyway, others don’t.

mountainsThe mountains, the place I’m all the time at my happiest

Nerves and apprehension, of course, are normal and natural, a physical and psychological response to one thing perceived as a stressor. So now, moderately than operating by means of countless worst-case situations and dwelling on them, I attempt not to take a look at things in phrases of success or failure.

I’m OK with simply ‘doing’ and I attempt not to concentrate on the potential outcomes. I’ve stopped operating countless nightmare situations by means of my head and now cause with an inner shrug that whatever I’m dealing with “It’ll be fine” and I typically think about “what’s the worst that can happen?” too, which may have an instantly calming effect once I realise truly, it’s really no massive deal and this type of rationalisation actually does assist.

This acceptance seems to rob the anxious ideas of their potency

As an alternative of making an attempt to completely ignore the ideas that trigger my nervousness to spike, I sit with them and to some extent settle for that I really feel that means.

This acceptance seems to rob the anxious thoughts of their potency and I can typically let the anxious ‘what if’ situations float away from me. My forthcoming solo snowboarding holiday is making me feel anxious in a means that’s threatening to engulf the standard pre-holiday pleasure I often feel though and that’s because my typical “what’s the worst that can happen?” method of considering is definitely making issues worse fairly than better.

Blackcomb MountainMy favourite place to snowboard, Whistler in Canada

What’s The Worst That Can Occur?

For those who’re anxious about say a job interview, once you apply that logical reasoning to the state of affairs the reply is “I might not get the job” or “I might say something stupid”, neither of which are more likely to have any lasting impression aside from you feeling a bit annoyed, or a bit silly for some time. However given my earlier expertise of being within the mountains and having had medical emergencies, “what’s the worst that can happen?” takes on a far scarier life of its own.

I’m fortunate to be part of an exquisite group of outside bloggers; some like strolling round and exploring cities and parks, some are triathletes or run marathons, some like long distance hikes and a few are full-on adventure fiends, participating in jungle expeditions and even scaling the heights of some critical mountains like Kathmandu.

As someone who camps, does a bit of walking, kayaking, snowboarding and likes the odd adrenaline rush, imposter syndrome can typically be robust once I examine myself to these I regard as hardcore adventurers. However then I have other buddies who assume I’m loopy/brave/silly for performing some of the things that I do, and would never think about doing something like that themselves.

There’s an Artwork to Not Letting Worry Hold You Back

This leads me to my forthcoming solo snowboarding vacation and the way it’s very much taking me out of my comfort zone.

Now in my early forties, I’ve been snowboarding since my mid-twenties and have snowboarded in locations like Morzine, La Thuille, Cervinia, Sestriere, Fernie and my favourite, Whistler in Canada.

I’m truly a reasonably respectable snowboarder, just not great. I still get flummoxed by dreaded flat bits and nonetheless sometimes get off chair lifts and fall into a heap. Despite this, I’m proficient on black runs and even breaking my back snowboarding a couple of years ago hasn’t put me off, although it has slowed me down slightly.

I’ve been overseas to locations like Morocco, Egypt and to Europe alone, and I’ve also incessantly hung out in locations like Scotland and Cornwall alone, however snowboarding alone is totally new and I’d be lying if I stated I wasn’t massively apprehensive about it.

Camping & Outdoors Influencer, Shell Robshaw-Bryan

I’m not one to take risks in the mountains, however regardless of this, I’ve discovered myself in a couple of sticky situations the place I was very grateful not to be alone at the time.

Regardless of my greatest efforts I’m not sensible at mountain navigation, which is one of the explanation why prior to now I’ve tended to return multiple occasions to the identical ski resorts as I’ve received to know the mountains there, Whistler in Canada for instance I know extremely properly, and know all my favorite runs, which different runs lead off them, which chair lifts to get back up and so forth.

Movement is that pretty, typically elusive state you will discover your self in when doing something utterly absorbing and/or pleasurable.

I’ve contemplated over why my mountain navigation expertise aren’t nice and consider the rationale partially at the very least, is that once I’m snowboarding I’m experiencing that fantastic feeling of circulate.

Circulate is that pretty, typically elusive state yow will discover your self in when doing something utterly absorbing and/or pleasurable. We’re immersed there within the present second, absolutely having fun with it with none of the standard ideas and worries of a busy thoughts that may so simply distract us.

Once I’m in this state, completely absorbed by the physicality of snowboarding, the sheer pleasure of being within the mountains, it’s like half of my acutely aware brain switches off, I’m on a excessive, and having to interact my logical mind to determine what to do once I instantly discover the run I’m on is about to separate into 3 and I can’t see any clear signs or piste markers, isn’t something I’m nice at.

The Reassuring Security Internet Of Different Individuals & The Position of Our Peer Group

In a gaggle, this isn’t a problem. There’s all the time one of us that is aware of the place we’re going, or somebody to reassure me that yes, this is the ‘right’ means down, but the realisation that mountain navigation can be simply right down to me this time fills me with an nervousness I can’t appear to shake, and despite my greatest efforts I appear to be fixating on the worry of taking a fallacious turn and discovering myself on a black diamond run or comparable.

Once I mentioned this in a Facebook submit, a pal identified that as long as I head down the slope, it’s all good. In fact, considering purely logically that’s completely true, but framed within some of the sketchy experiences I’ve had, it’s not quite so simple as that.

Hazard or Closed – Which Choice Would You Select?

Snowboarding in Cervinia as soon as with my sister, about 2/3 of the best way down the mountain we all of the sudden got here to an abrupt cease in entrance of 2 large signs because the run cut up into 2. In a single path there was an enormous pink signal that stated “CLOSED” in the other path an enormous purple signal stated “DANGER”. We stood baffled, totally alone on the run, making an attempt to work out what the hell to do.

There have been no chair lifts in sight, from the piste map we couldn’t work out where we have been and taking off our boards and strolling back up a slope we’d already spent an excellent 20 minutes boarding down wasn’t an choice. We determined “CLOSED” was our best guess and took off our boards and spent almost an hour strolling down the closed virtually snowless piste to succeed in the underside.


Another time whilst snowboarding in probably the most insane powder I’ve ever come across in Sestriere in Italy, we have been in full white-out circumstances. The type of circumstances which might be completely and completely disorientating.

I veered very slightly off piste on the best way down (with out realising as I couldn’t see), and located myself, only a metre or 2 away from the marked piste but unable to move, up to my waist in snow. It was frankly terrifying, however fortunately my daughter who was boarding shut behind me got here to a cease on the edge of the piste, took off her board and edged her approach in the direction of me. Lying flat and reaching out to help me dig and compact snow around me so I might heave myself out, It took us a very good 20 minutes of arduous work to get me out and we have been both shattered by the top of it.

Add to this a damaged back and breaking several ribs multiple occasions while boarding and having to be stretchered off the mountain, a huge worry of drag lifts as with my back damage they are critically painful for me to make use of, and I assume it’s understandable why I may be somewhat anxious about snowboarding alone on a mountain I don’t know in a rustic the place I can only cobble collectively enough of the language to purchase a meal in a restaurant.

Before reserving, I asked fellow outdoor bloggers whether or not they thought snowboarding alone was harmful or not, and the overall consensus was no, so long as I used to be cautious to go for it. It was fascinating nevertheless once I requested close friends and family the identical query, most of their responses have been the precise reverse, telling me they thought I used to be loopy.

Although snowboarding is enjoyable, the mountains aren’t all the time friendly places. Finding your self alone in dangerous climate with low visibility on a sketchy slope with daylight fading is a significantly sobering experience, one that requires you to swallow down worry, assume logically and concentrate on getting your self off the hill as shortly and as safely as potential.

Despite my fears, this can come as no nice shock, I went forward and booked anyway. After missing the final 3 seasons in a row and with me not getting any youthful, I was decided that no matter what, even when I ended up having to go alone, that I wouldn’t miss a fourth season.

I did so much of analysis earlier than choosing my lodging and the situation. I opted for a chalet reasoning that if one thing did occur to me, the chalet hosts and other visitors would recognise my absence a lot quicker than a lodge would.

To attempt to ease the nervousness I’ve informed myself I only need to stay to some mild runs low down on the mountain, and that when I get to know a couple of runs, I’ll be positive.

Even so, I’ve genuinely never been this nervous about going away alone before, and with nonetheless over every week to go, the physical emotions that my nervousness is causing are pronounced and admittedly exhausting.

I simply hold making an attempt to concentrate on finishing my very first run, the joyful rush of adrenaline combined with aid, which is once I’m hoping all this nervousness will finally melt away and depart me alone so I can loosen up and enjoy the expertise.

Shell snowboarding in WhistlerMe snowboarding in Whistler

How Do You Handle Anxiety?

I’d love to understand how you deal with self-doubt and nervousness.

How do you are feeling about solo travel, have you ever ever executed it, or would you do it given the prospect? If not, why not? Would you ski or snowboard alone, or have you executed it up to now? Maybe you by no means seem to fret about anything much or you experience nervousness in a markedly totally different means? Depart a comment under!

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