Anxiety may drive us to want to have a plan, develop strong boundaries, and work to create structure to mitigate chaos. While all these things can be healthy, sometimes excessive structure and rigid boundaries can prolong the anxiety and make the symptoms stronger.
Boundaries and structure are imperative to creating a balanced life style and the ability to be loving and kind within those boundaries.
When we begin to notice that we have rigid structures in place in our life, it can be helpful to look at the purpose they serve. Many of us like to feel prepared and have our co-workers or boss send us an email at the most convenient time for us or when we are least stressed. We would all love “feedback” to go according to how we think it should go.
However, when we get lost in blaming others’ timing or what insecurities arose when given that feedback, we forget to look at how our own belief system may be influencing our interpretation of an event.
Many times we miss the self-reflection step and jump to creating structure or putting the responsibility on someone else to avoid the uncomfortable emotion. Unfortunately, it is our responsibility to set healthy yet flexible boundaries, understand the perspective of others, and begin to observe our own emotions.
The ability to observe our rigid behaviors allows us to become curious about what is going on underneath this rigidity.
It can be helpful to explore what the rigidity helps us to experience or protects us from experiencing. On the other side, we must also evaluate the cost that we experience from these behaviors.
One of the most beneficial parts of therapy is being able to explore how we live out our belief system in daily life and then being able to non-judgmentally look in the mirror and decide if we want to be controlled by these beliefs. If you find yourself wanting to explore your own belief system and behaviors, contact one of our therapists today.
Written by: Chelsey Beauchamp