Pretend you’re at a pool party and for some magical reason all your anxious thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations are a beach ball. And you’re not the only one with a beach ball; there was a huge sale at Walmart so we all have one.
Now, what do you do with your beach ball when it feels troublesome? Do you bring it right up to your face and analyze the heck out of it? What do you notice when you bring it up close to your face? Probably that it’s pretty tough to see anything else and engage in this glorious pool party – we end up missing out on the hot dogs, swimming, games, and oh so much more. Or do you try to avoid the beach ball by pushing it away under water? How does that go? I don't know about you, but usually that beach ball comes flying up out of the water and hits me square in the face. And then I’m left tired from all the energy I just spent trying to defy the laws of physics to push that beach ball underwater.
My personal preference has always been to analyze the beach ball, but I’m no stranger to trying to push the beach ball underwater too. As you’re reading this, you may be waking up to your personal beach ball today. You also may be thinking “Okay, well what the heck do I do with this beach ball then?” To which I’d say: "There’s not much to do; it’s just a beach ball!" I know, frustratingly simple, but by no means easy!
Want to hear more about the beach ball and anxiety metaphor? Check out Episode #144 of the Not Another Anxiety Show podcast in iTunes!