Perhaps you have learned that no matter how hard you try, your anxious unwanted intrusive thoughts are not going away. That is because anxiety is a paradox, meaning the harder you try, the more persistent the thoughts become. You no doubt have heard the phrase “What you resist persists.”

That is how OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) thoughts operate.

anxiety is a paradox

My favorite analogy for this is the simple Chinese finger trap, a toy children used to get at parties back before birthday parties became competitions to see which parent could outdo the other on gift bags and swag. Hate me if you must for pointing that out, but then I digress.

The Chinese finger trap is a simple puzzle woven from bamboo in which children put their fingers and then try to pull them apart to “escape.” They instinctively pull, when all they need to do to escape is relax the fingers and push in to free themselves. They behave in a way that is the opposite of their goal–they pull when they need to push.

That is exactly how anxiety operates in your mind. It makes you want to ‘pull’ when you need to accept and allow. Notice I did not say to relax and let go. Don’t you hate it when you are upset and someone tells you “Hey, just relax and it will be alright”?

In that same vein, there are many tips and coping skills that people are urged to try, all with good intentions, but that just don’t work, at least not in any kind of lasting manner. All are usually delivered with good intent, they just don’t teach you how to manage the anxiety, merely temporarily stave it off.

If you want to learn how to tame your anxiety, how to manage it on a lasting basis, shoot me and email, or go to my contact page. I am here in your neighborhood and ready to help.