Understanding and Escaping Anxiety
Anxiety exists as part of the human condition, just like love, fear, anger, hurt, pity, happiness, and so many other emotions.
(Anxiety is an emotion.)
Everyone knows the feeling of anxiety, whether it’s anxiety attacks, or so-called anxiety disorder, or the occasional bouts of angst that we all feel from time to time.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking there’s something wrong with you just because you have anxiety. It’s not just you.
Anxiety compares to the oil warning light on the dashboard of your car. It’s flashing for a reason.
While everyone feels anxiety, most would rather ignore it, hoping it goes away. Others choose to simply put off dealing with it until some unspecified date in the future. Many eventually turn to drinking alcohol or taking a pill to ‘make it go away’.
Taking a pill for anxiety is like applying a band-aid to cover up the oil warning light when it lights up in your car.
Anxiety continues to spread even when you hide the symptoms with a pill.
There’s so much chaos, so much confusion, and so much unknown in the world today. These conditions of ambiguity offer a perfect breeding ground for anxiety to take root and then grow.
Left unchallenged, anxiety becomes stronger and stronger, and harder to ignore. At this point, when the anxiety stands in your face, many turn to drugs or alcohol.
Not because they’re bad or wrong, but because the symptoms of anxiety become intolerable. And because they just can’t answer the question of what is anxiety?.
The first step to escaping anxiety lies in understanding exactly what it is.
Anxiety comes from five separate and distinct causes.
1. Anxiety precipitates from undefined hurt, anger, fear or pity.
When you suppress your anger, when you shut down your hurt, when you hide your fear, and when you deny your pity, these actions cause anxiety. But…
hurt embarrasses you…
anger confronts you…
fear frightens you…
and pity? It’s just too pathetic.
Nobody wants to see you expressing these emotions. So you stuff them down.
And who has time to ‘process’ them out, even if they knew how? It’s so much easier to ‘put them aside’ or ‘put it behind you’ or to ‘get over it’.
But shuffling these emotions around so they can’t be seen doesn’t make them disappear.
Emotions are real.
They need to be dealt with. When you suppress or repress these four emotions, it creates many problems, not the least of which is anxiety.
If you don’t release the pity, anger, hurt and fear that come up in the day-to-day living of your life, you will experience anxiety.
2. The second cause of anxiety lies with expectation of error.
Few people want to admit – even to themselves – that they might mess things up. So often we want to pretend things are gonna work out when deep down inside we really expect to screw up.
By not being honest with ourselves, rather than taking the necessary steps to actually reduce the chances of making a mistake, we create anxiety.
3. The third cause of anxiety comes from the anticipation of humiliation, rejection, abandonment, and/or betrayal.
It’s not so much the actual humiliation that causes anxiety, but rather the anticipation of it. Usually this originates from childhood.
One single traumatic event can trigger the development of a pattern that continues today.
Some sort of unseen connection exists, like a thread, between the first anxiety-producing event and all the other ones that have followed.
It will continue into the future unless you take conscious, deliberate steps to end it. (You need to find that first event and release its energy. Like a chain-reaction, the anxiety you feel now will dissipate.)
4. The fourth cause of anxiety comes from unprecedented happiness, fun and joy.
Have you noticed? Nobody can deal with constant happiness.
It’s not just you! Nobody can have fun for very long. It’s too threatening.
When everything goes great, it produces more anxiety than when everything goes wrong. (Obviously, this cause of anxiety rarely appears!)
5. The fifth cause of anxiety lies with inappropriate trust.
When you choose to trust an untrustworthy person, that causes anxiety.
When you have blind trust, when you don’t take the time to evaluate the situation, that can cause anxiety.
When you attempt to trust, but the conditions of trust are not present, that too can cause anxiety.
Anxiety comes from one or more of these five causes. Whenever you feel true anxiety (as opposed to fear, panic, dread, worry, etc.) it will be caused by one of these five situations.
When you feel anxiety, go down the list and determine what’s causing this anxiety. Then work to correct that underlying cause.
Remember, anxiety left unattended always grows.
That’s why it’s so important to be proactive. I almost feel guilty because my life has become so enjoyable and so easy. Especially since I remember how miserable I used to be.
Basically it comes down to making one slight shift in what you do everyday, and you can watch in amazement as your life slowly begins to start working out in almost every way.
It’s such an important change that I’ve written a complete e-book about it. And I’d like to give you a copy for free. All you have to do is write your first name and primary email address into the space below, and you’ll be receiving a link to download the e-book right away.