We all get anxiety. I get anxiety, you get anxiety and so does everyone else. Anxiety is part of being human. It is a natural defence to alert us to something we need to be concerned about or need to be wary of. For me it is a higher level of alertness to worry. Yet, not as life threatening as fear.
Why do we get anxiety?
As I see it, worry, anxiety and fear are all very closely related and all have a similar function. Which is to alert us to something we need to focus on, when things need our attention, at a slightly higher level than usual. But for different reasons. However, we can over worry or worry about things unnecessarily. Or continue to worry, when there really is no need or evidence to do so. This would also the same for anxiety and fear. We can focus on a situation, event, organism or object and convince our mind there is a real need to be anxious or afraid.
Making sense of anxious thoughts
If we then don’t process this information in a way which helps us make sense of things, the anxiety can increase and spread into other areas of our life. The general level of anxiety can then start to increase, so too the escalation of the number of times we experience it. This will sometimes lead to a panic attack or the fear of anxiety itself and the fear of getting an anxiety episode. This is when people are likely to worry about the anxiety so regularly, that they are considered to have a panic disorder.
The problem with anxiety
The problem with anxiety, is it can just pop into our head, anywhere at any time. Anxiety for some just comes out the blue, a complete surprise. This is especially true when the anxiety appears in a situation which ordinarily has never been an issue. This is enough to throw anyone off balance and the mind works overtime trying to work out what’s going on. Then that little voice starts to make more of an appearance than usual. You know the one, that voice which spends all day with you and throws random thoughts into your head. Thoughts which sometimes are just out there, a bit weird or down right wrong. We all have an inner voice and each one works in its own unique way to accompany us through our daily lives.
How can anxiety be of help?
For many people they will not experience an issue with anxiety. They will realise that anxiety is part and parcel of certain situations. Situations where the anxiety can help. Take an interview for example where there is a need to stay vigilant, keep focussed, stay alert to incoming questions and keep tabs on how we present. The anxiety, if managed productively, will aid us to do all these things. After all, if we go into an interview and we are so relaxed and laid back about the situation, it may seem like we don’t care enough or that bothered. It could mean we take our eye off the ball, so to speak, which could lead to wrong answers or mistakes. No, much better to have something to keep us on edge, alert and focused. Which is what anxiety can do, and do very well.
How do I live with anxiety?
It is a case of understanding anxiety, learning to live with it and manage it. If you are experiencing high levels of anxiety or if you feel your anxiety has got out of your control, then you can do something about it. You can learn to manage your anxiety in a way, which can be more beneficial to you. It’s just a matter of deciding when you are going to choose to do that. When you will decide to talk to someone who can help you, help yourself and free up your mind from unnecessary anxiety, worry or fear.