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Anxiety Illustration: Spectrum of Anxiety Coping

Everyone has a different “default” way of coping with anxiety – and many of us will experience a shift from one extreme of the spectrum to the other at least once during our lifetime. While our culture praises the “brave” approach and shames the avoidant, the extremes of both approaches are equally harmful ways of avoiding the discomfort of being present to the tension of the middle ground. In this middle space – where we feel our fear but choose to tolerate some discomfort in order to grow – we inhabit our bodies, we have self-compassion for ourselves, and let ourselves experience the emotions inherent in doing things that are really, really hard.

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