Anxiety is Your Protector

My family used to have this great dog called Shadow.He was a cross between a Collie and black Labrador (see below).He used to sit there all day long in the front room of our house waiting for anyone to come to the front door.When someone would finally arrive he would go absolutely berserk!

Until…we invited that person in.If we did not invite the person in, (for example a door to door sales man), he would bounce off the walls barking loudly with all the hair standing on his back.

No matter how hard you tried to tell him to stop barking he simply would not listen.

His reasoning was that

“I am the guard of this house and if my owner does not invite a person in, then that person is a threat.

I sometimes used to keep friends standing at the door for a few minutes and then let them in (if they were brave enough), just to see Shadow’s dramatic change of reaction.

It was the same every time. He would immediately stop barking and sit back down on his seat once I let the person in.

Anxiety is just like a guard dog.

It is your protector.It is your fight or flight response activated by the emotional part of your brain designed to keep you from harm.

It needs you the owner (your rational brain) to reassure it that the unusual bodily sensations that pay you a visit are not a real threat and that all is well.

But just saying ‘everything is okay’ does not cut it. Just like Shadow, it needs to see your actions. You need to mentally invite the anxiety in.”

If you keep your door closed your emotional brain thinks that the threat is real.

When you invite anxious sensations in and allow them to be through your acceptance of them, your emotional brain (your guard dog) backs off and calms down.

So don’t keep anxious bodily sensations waiting outside.

Accept them fully and watch as your guard dog settles back down.

Shadow keeping guard at 17 years of age (81 dog years)


Anxiety is Your Protector

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