Anxiety and Worry
Another look at anxiety: beyond worry, anxiety, and self-doubt there is a quiet space where calm, confidence, and common sense are available to you; all the time. Anxiety can be seen as a signal to slow down, and take a deep breath, to walk away from the situation at hand because we are too involve, and can’t see things clearly.
Each year in the United States alone; millions of individuals are impacted by worry and anxiety disorders. The fear and avoidance can be life-impairing and disabling. It all starts with innocently “worrying” about something.
Worry: to agonize, to dwell on, to be concerned about something. An idea that enters your mind and gets caught in a mental loop; and does not find a satisfactory resolution.
Often the best solution is letting go of the issue for a while, but the mind keeps going over and over; trying to figure out what to do, then the system gets overwhelmed, and anxiety kicks in.
Looking at it from that direction; anxiety is a signal! A call out!
What if anxiety wasn’t “a thing” we have to fear, or fight? What if anxiety was a signal to stop, or to slow down, to take a deep breath, and return to center?
Just like the “check engine light” in a car warns you there is an area in your car that needs your attention, the first anxiety symptoms are a signal that we are caught in a repetitive, vicious mental loop, and it is not wise to proceed that way. It is an invitation to slow down, stop, talk to someone, or ask for help if needed.
Anxiety is not a thing that we have to cope with, try to manage, or try to get rid of it. Anxiety is a cluster (bundle) of physical, and psychological (mental) sensations we experience when an idea keeps bouncing around between our ears without a satisfactory resolution. Anxiety’s physical sensations are the body’s way of letting us know that our mind has been stuck in a negative, repetitive mental loop for longer than what the system has been designed for.
When the idea has been percolating in your system for a while without a satisfactory resolution, your physical system starts to show symptoms that indicate you need to stop, take a break from this mental activity, recharge and relax your system before proceeding with this matter.
When we don’t listen to the body’s warning system, we experience anxiety: physical and psychological unwanted symptoms caused by unresolved mental loops.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is defined as: excessive and inappropriate worrying that is persistent, and not restricted to particular circumstances. Individuals experience anxiety physical symptoms, and anxiety psychological symptoms.
- Excessive anxiety and worry over a number of everyday concerns: school, social, work, performance
- Individuals find it difficult to control the worrying: intrusive, repetitive mental traffic
- Restlessness, feeling on edge
- Easily fatigued
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleep disturbance: trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, or restless sleep
- Muscle tension
- Anxiety causes observable distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning
- generalized anxiety disorder,
- panic disorder (fear of having an expected or unexpected panic attack
- panic attacks (abrupt, unexpected periods of intense fear or discomfort with multiple physical or psychological anxiety symptoms, often peaking by 10 minutes, and lasting from 30 to 45 minutes),
- agoraphobia (fear of having a panic attack in places or situations from which escape might be difficult, or where help may not be available,
- social anxiety (persistent, and unreasonable fear of being negatively evaluated by others),
- specific phobias: fear of height, fear of dogs, fear of needles, fear of foreigners (persistent and apparently unreasonable fear of certain things)
- illness anxiety disorder (excessive, or disproportionate preoccupation with having, or acquiring a serious illness),
- separation anxiety (fear or anxiety concerning separation from those to whom an individual is attached).
Beyond fear and doubt, beyond worry and anxiety, there is mental health, confidence, common sense, and wisdom. I’m inviting you to look in that direction, and for a moment to look away from worry, you can always return to it. But for now, look in this direction, and see the health and wisdom within you.
We are beautifully designed for success, our bodies and mental systems are resilient (we bounce back), it does not matter how dark and agitated our mind gets, it always returns to center.
Have you noticed that no matter how agitated life gets, during the day, from time to time, you experience moments of peace and quiet; even in the middle of difficult situations?
In the midst of the thought storm; at your core (within your being), there is a quiet place where calm, confidence and wisdom are available to you all the time… if you are able to stop and look in that direction.
If you have not been able to return to center by yourself, reach out and talk to someone, call your doctor, mentor, faith leader, talk to someone you trust, and ask for help before the fear and avoidance that anxiety causes become life-impairing and disabling.
That is the beginning of self-acceptance…and it includes accepting that you are designed to successfully experience this life cycle, even when that means reaching out to your support system.
Until next time, yours…
J Enrique Roman