Stress is like an avocado. It’s natural, and best digested in moderation. Too much stress can harm a body and mind, just like too many avocados can lead to weight gain. But we all need stress just like we need the healthy fats that are found in every ripe, green avocado.
And just like we can associate stress with avocados, we can similarly compare first dates to kale. Neither of the two are appetizing in the moment, but they can surely be rewarding in the aftermath— unless, of course, the date proves to be disastrous.
Now, there are few things more nerve-wracking than a first date going horribly, horribly wrong. Some of the most intimidating factors include but are not limited to:
1) You look in the mirror of the bathroom at the movie theatre and realize you should really start flossing.
2) You try to leave a comfortable amount of distance in between the two of you at the movie theatre, but instead knock over the bag of popcorn while adjusting your legs.
3) He tells you that you have beautiful eyes and all you can think of is the first time a boy told you that, only to break your heart eight months into your so-called tenth grade “relationship.”
While all of these previously mentioned moments might seem trivial or insignificant to someone who dates regularly, they are pretty intense for someone with high stress and crippling anxiety.
But let’s go back to the avocado for a second. When you buy a bushel, you need to make sure that the skin is unbruised.
The same goes for social situations for someone struggling with excess stress and anxiety. We need to choose which places will make us feel safe and keep our frame of mind intact.
Now back to first dates and kale. Not many people love the taste of kale, and it can be pretty overpowering in large amounts, leaving you with a bitter taste.
But kale is phenomenal for your body, providing you with rich iron, supporting muscle and heart health. So yes, it might taste like you’re eating tree bark, but it’s good for you, in the aftermath of it all.
And, we can apply this scenario to anxiety, similarly. By beginning to understand the reasons that many people experience anxiety and stress in common situations, we can further see how both are very similar.
While we can typically avoid eating avocados and kale, finding other healthy foods, we cannot escape stress and anxiety.
You choose to eat kale. Good for you. But almost always, people do not choose to send themselves into a spiraling anxiety attack.
Take the example of a first date again. You choose to go on a date with someone, but you have no control over the things he will say, how you will react, or if you even find him compelling enough to be this overwhelmed by.
And since no one really enjoys hyperventilating during a date, listed below are some ways to curb that anxiety before you become too overwhelmed:
1) Wear something that you feel most comfortable in, something that boosts your confidence and erases all self-doubt in your head.
2) Take five deep breaths before you open the door and greet your potential future partner.
3) Smile as much as you can, even if it’s forced. It will trick your brain into feeling happy and soon enough you will actually feel at ease.
Overall, we need to understand that anxiety is caused by too much future and not enough presence. We obsess over “what ifs” and often forget about what is.
It’s definitely hard to ignore the thoughts floating around in our heads, but we can certainly try.
When your mind is racing constantly, you often have trouble focusing on the present. Instead, you might be dwelling on the past, or terrified for the future.
You could be asking yourself a slew of questions, all the while missing what’s going on right in front of you.
It’s all a matter of understanding that these feelings are natural, and while they might seem dangerous in the beginning, they aren’t the type of danger that will harm us.
We aren’t eating fifteen avocados in a sitting, nor are we being forced to eat raw kale. But stress and anxiety can certainly make us feel like we are, tenfold.
Edited by Jody SmithRead more in Being HER