What is Anxiety?

In the fast pace world of modern society, you are faced with many demands, often pulling you in opposite directions. You have deadlines to meet, family relationships to build, and personal responsibilities to attend to. Sometimes the demands of life are overwhelming, sometimes you develop fear questioning whether you will come out on top, whether you’ll succeed, if everything really will be okay.

This fear is a normal part of life, however, if left unrestrained, develops into what is known as anxiety. Anxiety is rooted in fear, regardless of what your fear might be. The good news, however, is that anxiety is a psychological issue, meaning that it is in your control to conquer it, and in turn, this means that medication is not the answer.

So, exactly what is anxiety?

Anxiety is a type of stress that directly results from the assumed or actual loss of something that you value. For example, if you are afraid that you will get in a car accident, then the anxiety you experience while driving is caused by your fear of losing your car, your health, your safety, or all of the above. If you have been in a car accident, and maybe lost some health or your confidence in the safety of the drive, then your anxiety is linked to a specific memory of loss, creating a fear of losing that security again. Despite what you have lost or fear losing, anxiety cannot strive without a constant meditation of the past and future. If you allow past experience to dictate your present experience, you will always be in fear that what happened to you once will happen again. I know this seems logical, but in reality, it isn’t.

Likewise, when you constantly worry about the future, you allow yourself to suffer over an existence that you cannot touch, and therefore do not immediately control. Focus on what you can do today, and let yourself handle tomorrow, tomorrow.

Anxiety is like a plague, and will infect every part of your physiology. Our brains are amazingly adept at building bridges and networks based on previous memories, experiences, and reactions. If anxiety is left to flourish, and no action is taken against it, it will begin to develop negative networks in your brain, and ultimately change your brain chemistry, often leading to depression, memory loss, and other mental disorders. Anxiety can cause you to lose weight, develop high blood pressure, and create headaches and dizziness, all as a response to fear and lack of action.

Anxiety affects everyone, and understanding that your anxiety can be passed to your children, cause problems with your spouse, inhibit your success at work, and ultimately lower your quality of life, can create incentive to override your fears and step out into a situation, embracing it with all of its potential risks, and living freely in it.

Know that life is uncertain, and that sometimes even the most perfect plans fail. This is not an excuse to fail to plan, or to give up, but rather, an excuse to live with necessary risk. What you can control, control flawlessly, and what you can’t control, release from your grasp, your mind, and your consciousness.

You must learn to become comfortable with the unknown, and there are a few ways you can ease into this. Start with something small like riding the bus to work, moving on to bigger things like letting your spouse control the evening, choose a movie, or drive around. This will allow you to embrace being in a situation that you do not control comfortably, and will build confidence for those unexpected things in life.

The core idea to understand is that you are taking this one day at a time. Walk around the block, and enjoy the breeze, smell the aromas, and take second looks at the things around you. Live in the present moment by being present and receptive to all five senses. When you do this, your worries about everything else will be drowned out.

Anxiety is something you can manage. You are in control of your decisions, thoughts, and actions, so choose to be brave, and have courage in the face of your anxieties. You can overcome, you are capable of achieving everything you want, and your brain will follow your direction, once you begin to lead it.

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