The Ripple Effect of Anxiety

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If our lives were like oceans, spreading over

many years and vast distances, swooping and

swaying according to the waves of change in

the atmosphere around us and interacting with

the people we meet as the ocean flows up and

down the shores –

A small drop of anxiety on just one day can have

a ripple effect that reaches to the depths of the

ocean floor and touches the farthest corners of

our lives.


When we first feel restricted about leaving the

house, there goes a drop.

When we get into a group and start feeling

anxious, there is a drop.

When we think of a job we’d really love to go

after but are too scared to. There it is.

Jobs never applied for. Dates never taken.

Friends never made.

Not only does anxiety prevent us from saying

something we wanted to say – today. Not only

does it make us uncomfortable around other

people – tonight.

But we experience the aftereffects of our initial

anxious experience. Over years of our lives.

These small, daily drops create ripples across

our lives.


When we are uncomfortable leaving the house,

we then feel ashamed that we feel that way. We

wonder if there is something wrong with us. And

so the ripple goes.

When we are in a group of people, say at the mall

shopping, we feel nervous.

We feel isolated by the nervousness. We say to

ourselves: No one understands how hard it is. It’s

painful. Ripple.

The ripples are so subtle at first. But at some

point they begin to span out across our horizon.

Moving through the waves of the current to

saturate every distant cell.


But we may not recognize this vast impact

until we are faced with a similar situation.

What happens when we get a job interview?

What happens when we see someone we

would like to meet? What happens when we

are in a meeting or attending a party function?

The memory is there. The experience

somehow feels familiar. We recognize it.

We don’t like this feeling. We don’t like these


The memory has become our current reality.

Our past becomes our future.

Our lives are effected.


What do you tell yourself about your anxiety

and shyness?

Do you beat yourself up?

Do you feel like there is something wrong with


Do you wonder what is going on inside of you –

that you just can’t seem to control?

Is the idea that past experiences are creating

your future helpful?

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Source by Sarah Malik

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