Anxiety Can Be Conquered
anonymous Asks ...
I cannot pee in a urinal. I can be naked at the gym and be OK with it but if I am at a urinal and another person comes up I just pretend I am done and wait until the person leaves and go back to try again. This is embarrassing. I know this is not totally uncommon but I am not really comfortable discussing this with my friends. How do I overcome this problem?
David Johnson Says ...
I feel for your embarrassment about this issue. I'm glad you found a way to ask for help. The good news is that anxiety can be dealt with, but it will take persistence and work on focusing your mind. The most beneficial approach is to develop a mindfulness and/or meditation practice. Anxiety problems are driven by our reactions to the triggering event and the resulting anxiety. Managing your thoughts and soothing your reactions while they happen will enable you to wait at the urinal until you can finish your business. Leaving and coming back is the wrong tactic. The more you walk away, your anxiety will be worse the next time. You want to find a way to relax to manage your anxiety and quiet your mind. Mindfulness skills with improve many things in your life, such as your test taking skills, your ability to manage a conflict, and public speaking skills. Anyone, but especially someone with an anxiety problem, should have a regular mindfulness practice.
You will find classes available in local counseling centers and perhaps even in community education classes. You can also purchase CDs with mindfulness exercises and work at it on your own. Work on your ability to relax yourself and quiet your mind on demand. Then when you are confident with your new skills, persist at the urinal until you're done. It will not be easy, but eventually you will succeed.