Escaping your comfort zone: Taking advantage of chaos
Put simply, our comfort zone is a behavioural space where our activities and behaviours become part of our routines. This helps to lower risk and stress, giving us a natural state of mind in which we can function and perform our routines habits on a daily basis.
The problem is that, when we do try to leave our comfort zones, we face uncertainty, which manifests as anxiety and worry. Anyone who has ever done anything new or pushed themselves to live up to the challenge knows that it can be hard work.
Structuring your chaos
So, how can we find a balance? How do we escape our comfort zones and learn something new whilst also maintaining structure and order? As we age and become more settled in our ways, we have formed our belief systems and simultaneously learned our place within the world as we slowly begin to accept and reinforce our identity within the structure of society (our status).
We begin to become ordered, less chaotic. This becomes the comfort zone. We develop our frameworks to live within, daily habits that allow us to function. What do we need to happen to allow us to escape our comfort zones and learn something new? We may indeed need that little bit of chaos to take us from our order and routine.
In 1908 (The Yerkes-Dodson Law) psychologists studied anxiety levels and performance, and found that a small amount of anxiety is actually a positive thing for your performance. It has been further proven within studies ever since.
Small amounts of threat keeps up engaged and performing optimally
Believe it or not, the anxiety we are almost always trying to avoid can actually be helpful (in small, appropriate doses). If there is no loss that we can conceive, if there is no threat to run away from, then how can we be motivated to ever make a change or escape our comfort zones and challenge ourselves?
Keeping some chaos in your life is absolutely critical to your growth. You must give yourself a structure to work with. This “chaos” could simply be one small change to break up your routine, that could completely change the way you live your life.
Don’t forget to keep to remember to maintain the structure of your life and ensure that your lifestyle is stable and healthy. I should not have to mention that too much chaos can bring with it large amounts of anxiety, which can manifest themselves into many disorders such as panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, PTSD and many other personality disorders.
Create a balance. One foot in the structure, one foot in chaos. A healthy and stable lifestyle with the ability to adapt, journey through new experience, learn new skills and continue to grow as an individual. You should try to push yourself to new limits, challenge yourself to take on new opportunities and make positive, impactful changes. Get in touch with a professional hypnotherapist if you want to speak about making a change within your life.
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About Stuart Downing
Stuart Downing, DMH DHyp, DNLP, EMDR Dip, MNACP, working from clinics in Warwickshire, Birmingham and Harley Street, London.
Extensive client experience of successfully treating addictions - drug, alcohol, gambling and the associated anxiety and stress which is often present.