Do you have it?
Is it contagious?
Is there a cure?
There are many questions about the experience of anxiety that come into my office daily. I welcome them and prefer them to the proclamations that some people lead with as a point of entry. The questions indicate a desire to know, to learn, to explore as though you don’t yet understand. This is healthy.
Anxiety is, quite simply, a serious lack of trust…..of oneself.
There are all sorts of ways to describe it but most often it is a free floating weirdness, a discomfort, a certain queezy restlessness, a kind of fear and all of which makes a person feel sick and icky and often sweaty and nervous. It is the kind of thing that makes it tough to think clearly or trust your own perceptions.
Anxiety is pretty awful — when it is full blown and out of control.
However, there is a flip side as well. A little anxiety is more likened to a feeling of apprehension, nothing traumatizing but just kind of unsettling and yet also motivating. Most people have it before they walk out on stage to give a talk or do a performance. Athletes have it before an event. The good news is that it gives you a boost of chemicals into your body that push you a bit and get you eager, eager to overcome, eager to demonstrate your confidence and competence.
When it is out of control, however, it produces a feeling of being overwhelmed and helpless. Those feelings stem from a void in the belief in self, the inner beauty of the self, and the strength within that can propel you in a positive manner through anything and everything that life delivers.
Anxiety can indeed be contagious, much the way that fear is in a movie. We share the anticipation and the flutters of excitement as the actors on the screen walk down the hallway where we know the bad guy is going to grab them — we scream with anxiety as an audience — “get out of there”. Someone recounting a story about a horrific dental procedure in minute detail can put even the most courageous person on the edge of their chair. However, we then recover and so the infection is not long lived. People in close proximity can make one another very anxious by sharing their negative stories and energy; most of us have experienced this. Over time, a healthy person will avoid someone who induces their angst.
What is the solution?
1. There are times when it makes perfect sense to get pharmaceuticals to take the edge off. Talk to your physician.
2. Allowing time for you to learn basic relaxation of the mind through specific exercises is essential. Explore this site.
3. Learning to refocus and rewrite your life story and circumstances is life altering and positive.
4. Commit to your own best life by loving your self enough to take these steps, you will find your trust of self blossom.
5. Practice, practice, practice……everything takes time. It took time to arrive where you are, it takes time to unravel.