Nervous people see a lot of danger in the world, especially in our own lives. Yet through my Recovery training I've learned a valuable lesson: Most, if not all, of what I fear is distressing but not dangerous. When I equate my uncomfortable feelings with danger, my symptoms worsen and can develop into a full-blown panic.
Dr. Abraham A. Low said we must continually "spot" our distressing feelings, recognizing them for what they are and not consider them dangerous—doing so only makes us more miserable. In fact, he encouraged us nervous people to recognize our "frightening inner experiences as being nothing but silly emotionalism or inane rationalizations."(1)
I've definitely recognized the value of this concept, but putting it to work has not been as easy. Yet I've been assured by my fellow Recovery members that practicing this constant spotting leads to results. So I'm marching forward with this "will to bear discomfort" and avoiding the highway to the danger zone.
1. Low AA. Mental Health Through Will-Training. Glencoe, Ill.: Willett Publishing Co.; 1997;190.