We’re being tricked by anxiety. A day trip to the National Space Centre proved just how much.
As I sat comfortably in the cinema waiting for the film to come on a picture of stars and planets suddenly filled the dark room. (If you’ve been to the Space Centre in Leicester you’ll know the cinema isn’t just a flat screen - it’s a 360 degree screen that completely covers the ceiling.)
As the film played the stars and planets started to move backwards, which gave me the sensation that I was literally travelling through space.
It reminded me of when I used to struggle with the supermarket. I could be standing in the supermarket when all of sudden the floor would feel as though it was swallowing me up, and the aisles would close in on me (a form of agoraphobia).
Or in social situations, where I could be in the company of friends minding my own business when a panic attack would come from nowhere, consuming me and making me want to run to the nearest exit (social anxiety).
Why Anxiety is Tricking Us
Going back to the cinema - it was the film that tricked my mind into thinking I was travelling through space. Anxiety does the same thing. It tricks your mind into believing things are happening that aren’t real.
The supermarket floor isn’t swallowing you up.
The aisles aren’t closing in on you.
Uncomfortable social environments are all made up in the mind.
It’s only when I became more comfortable with my environment I was able to stop allowing anxiety to trick me. With time and practice it stopped trying (it probably got bored), and the fear of the supermarket (agoraphobia) and social anxiety became a distant memory.
When anxiety tries it’s trickery on me now (it does with everyone) I’m well placed to know it’s all just a con.
ABOUT CARL VERNON
Carl Vernon is a best-selling author & speaker, talking and writing about all things anxiety, stress, success & well-being.