Only somebody who has lived with anxiety ? as either a sufferer or a carer ? knows how devastating it can be. The affect can be seen and felt across every aspect of your life for years and years.
So how does anxiety make you withdraw from life?
Basically, people with anxiety live their lives defensively, at a level where they are merely 'coping' instead of 'embracing'. They are life's 'passengers', passive in their emotional and physical relationship with the world around them - rather than 'activists' who engage with their surroundings and interact with people.
Now I want to share something with you that will probably ? hopefully! ? shock you.
Have you ever sat down with pen and paper and worked out how much time you spend feeling anxious every day of your life? An hour? Two? Four? Ten?!
If you spend even a single hour a day in anxious mode, that equates to 30 hours a month ? that's two 'waking' days every month where you could be playing with the kids, training for a marathon run, taking up a hobby, visiting old friends? LIVING your life. Instead, you're wasting that valuable time on your anxiety.
At it's worst, I know my anxiety had reached the point where it took over 90% of my waking thoughts. It left me totally exhausted.
Looking back, I now know that by allowing this anxiety to have such a huge stake in my life took real commitment on my behalf!
So, I took control and by doing so, I was rewarded with all this extra time? and all this additional energy with which to fill the hours in a positive way! What a bonus!
I cannot tell you the sense of relief and liberation this sparked in me. And the most wonderful thing is, just as anxiety is a downward spiral that sees you withdraw from life, so this liberation is an uplifting cycle which grows and grows. Once you begin, you can't contain it!
I know that if I hadn't taken control and eliminated my anxiety for good, I'd still be on that downward spiral? getting ever more sucked into the anxiety abyss where your every waking moment is dominated by fear.
So, don't be afraid of the fear, the unknown. Instead, look forward to all the wonderful possibilities that YOUR life has yet to put your way!
Looking at my family, I'm so glad I faced up to my own fear. The answer is never in retreating from life? it's everything to do with defeating anxiety.
Charles Linden specialises in the treatment of anxiety symptoms. Learn how to cure yourself of Anxiety quickly, permanently and get Free access to a valuable interview done with Charles by the BBC visit: http://beatanxiety.amazon-4u.com