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A Guide to Bringing Control Back to Your Anxiety
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Present day might be considered “The Second Age of Anxiety.” Clinical statistics and surveys show that anxiety levels are at an all-time high, surpassing even those seen immediately after World War II, when W. H. Auden’s renowned poem “The Age of Anxiety” was first published.
In this second Age of Anxiety, young people are particularly vulnerable due to the prevalence of risks and the lack of certainty around their own futures. While males are not immune to the effects of toxic anxiety, women are disproportionately affected because of the breadth and depth of their concerns for the well-being of others.
The mammalian alarm system triggers the feeling of anxiety initially. This behaviour is universal across animals and indicates danger, lack of resources, or sexual failure. It may also be an indication of probable desertion or isolation in social animals. It also means the person has fallen in social standing among people.
Types of Anxiety
- A certain predisposition to worry is part of the temperamental tone that everyone of us is born with.
- Situational: driving tests, public performances, job interviews, first dates
- Related to other causes: Disarray of feelings, pressure, and loss of energy (tired, hungry, ill).
Anxiety is a necessary emotion, but only in limited quantities. We can’t handle life’s crucial responsibilities without it. If we tried to cross the street, we’d be dead in no time. Anxiety is triggered by any kind of transition in one’s surroundings, whether it’s real or imagined. Anxiety alerts us to the possibility of a negative event occurring. It blocks out most distractions so that we may concentrate on the next shift.
Fear of starting a fire causes us to forget about our plans for lunch in favour of more pressing matters, such as making sure the gas is off, the iron is unplugged, and the furnace has been serviced.
Among anxiety’s beneficial signals are those that tell us to improve…:
- Self-acceptance, when we’re too self-critical.
- Self-care, when we need to sleep, eat well, exercise, and practice self-compassion.
- Relationships, when they need attention and repair.
When worry is seen as a warning to halt, rather than a signal to proceed with care, we miss out on its advantages. The drive for better health, well-being, safety, and relationships that worry signals is diminished when it is seen as a red light instead of a yellow one.
All warnings in issue anxiety are seen as signs that something awful is about to happen and that we will either not be able to deal with it or that the effort required to do so will be too large.
Characteristics of Problem Anxiety
Simply said, scanning entails taking in a great deal of information quickly and superficially, which makes it harder to concentrate and more likely that mistakes will be made.
- rushing ideas that happen too quickly for the brain to check against reality.
- Looping one’s thoughts; again going over the same mental ground.
- Insecurity, the fear of being evaluated negatively by others.
- Being constantly on the lookout for faults or passing judgement on others is called vigilance.
People who suffer from anxiety often exert authority without any malice or intention to dominate. They go to great lengths to ensure that their immediate surroundings do not cause them to feel “out of control.” Ignore the fact that being dominated is very frustrating for most individuals. Attempts to calm one’s nerves by changing one’s surroundings only serve to heighten one’s awareness and anxiousness.
Anxiety vs. Fear
First, let’s distinguish between anxiety and its cousin fear so we can talk about how to control it. Anxiety management, but not fear suppression, is our goal.
Fear developed in all living things as a defence mechanism. For example, when people believe that
- Experiencing or being susceptible to immediate danger.
- Potential environmental hazards.
- potential pain, disappointment, and loss.
- Peril lurking inside you (a lack of abilities, talents, skills, lovability, etc.).
Fear is automatic, felt physically, and has a high degree of accuracy in identifying danger. Anxiety is mostly internal (based on our own perceptions), leading to erroneous assessments of the world that are grounded on possibility rather than likelihood.
Regulating Problem Anxiety
Even the best alarm systems can falsely alert you. Do not install a smoke alarm that only sounds when the whole home is on fire. You just shrug it off when folks are cooking or smoking and it goes off.
The central nervous system would rather be incorrect one hundred times in a row about your spouse being a saber-tooth tiger than incorrect once in a lifetime about your husband being a saber-tooth tiger. We are not descended from people who play down the severity of threats.
Anxiety is a signal about potential reality, not reality itself, and we must acknowledge this. You should investigate the noise, but the smoke detector is not the fire. It’s usually a symptom of being cautious rather than in danger.
Thoughts that race and repeat themselves need solutions in order to forge new synapses in the brain. Never let a worried idea pass without a probability-based response.
Here’s the Anxiety Formula:
Anxiety = Importance x Unknown x Perceived ability to cope
Most of us would experience extreme anxiety if we were to enter a cage full of lions, which is the classic illustration of the anxiety formula. It’s a matter of life and death, yet we have no idea how to avoid being eaten by lions. However, lion tamers find the same conditions to be thrilling. It’s crucial, so they need to be cautious, but they have the necessary knowledge and experience to handle the lions properly while still getting the job done.
The best method to reap the advantages of anxiety without succumbing to its drawbacks is to train yourself to respond positively to feelings of worry by creating a conditioned reaction that arises automatically in response to anxiety-arousal. Developing this kind of expertise requires time and effort.
Rather of focusing on the immediate threat posed by the situation, we should question, “How significant is it?” How closely does it reflect my beliefs? A lot of the things we stress about are inconsequential and only affronts to our pride. Worries may be lessened by more knowledge. Preparing for potential outcomes improves our confidence in our capacity to deal with them.
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