We often blame anxiety on society and believe the world must change before we can be calm. If you wait for the world to reach into your brain and soothe you, life will pass you by. Remember that monkeys had the same anxieties we have 50 million years ago. They had in-group and out-group politics and they groomed other monkeys who didn’t groom them back. Social anxiety is part of being a mammal. When you’re safe from physical threats, your mammal brain focuses on social threats. It has always been this way, so don’t expect the world to change in a way that fixes it for you. Listen to the song "Don’t Wait Too Long" every time you’re tempted to fall back on your old circuits and you will succeed at re-wiring yourself.
The French have a great word for someone who manages well in a crisis: debrouillard. It means a person who can unscramble. So when life gives you scrambled eggs, trust your ability to unscramble them. Focus on steps that meet your needs because this stimulates dopamine. The great feeling of dopamine relieves the bad cortisol feeling fast, because that’s how our brain is designed to work.
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