Although feeling anxious from time to time is a normal part of life, if this is something one suffers from on a regular basis it is likely to mean that something isn’t right. Now, this is not to say that one has to be in a constant state of anxiety for there to be problem; as it could also be something that appears at certain points throughout their day.
In this case, it won’t matter if it is not something they constantly experience as it is still going to have a negative effect on their life. When one experiences more anxiety than they need to, they may wonder what life would be like without it.
But while this might sound like the ideal way to live, it would create another set of problems. Yet, if it is not possible for one to settle down, it will be normal for them to imagine going from one extreme to the other.
If one didn’t have the ability to experience anxiety it would cause them to overlook internal and external feedback. For instance, one may be out late at night and notice something suspicious or they may have an exam to prepare for.
Through experiencing anxiety, one will be able to take evasive action and they will be aware of what they need to go over in order to pass their exam. Without this feedback, one might end up being harmed or even killed and they might not do what they need to do order to pass their exam.
When one experiences anxiety during moments like this, they are not going to come to the conclusion that something is wrong. But if they did, it would be a sign that they need to change their outlook as opposed to what is taking place within them.
However, even if one does have a problem, it doesn’t mean they will find out why they are experiencing life in this way. One may decide to keep it to themselves and end up suffering in silence.
If they do reach out for support, they might end up going to see their doctor. When this happens, one might end up being labelled and put on some kind of medication.
In addition to this, one might be referred to a behavioural therapist and advised to take up some kind of meditation. This is likely to be a better approach than simply relying on drugs alone; as one will be able to empower themselves by actively participating in their own growth.
During this time, one is going to open up about what is taking place within them and how they are unable to settle down. Perhaps one experiences anxiety when they are around people they know and/or when they are around ‘strangers’.
This shows that even though one is familiar with someone, it doesn’t mean they will be able to relax around them. It might not matter whether one is around their friends, family or work colleagues; as they still feel a sense of discomfort.
Up And Down
One may find that there are times when they feel extremely anxious and times when their level of anxiety drops. It may rise if one has to give a presentation, receives a promotion or if they go on a date.
The people around them may find it hard to understand why they are responding the way they are. In their eyes, one may be competent, have what it takes to go to the next level and they may even describe them as being a great catch.
But, even though one doesn’t need to get so anxious and the people around them have the same outlook, it won’t be enough to change what is taking place within them. As a way to deal with their heightened sense of arousal, one may end up sabotaging their life.
Instead of going after what they have worked so hard for and what they deserve, they might hold themselves back. While this will stop one from having to feel so unstable, it is also going to stop them from moving forward.
After one takes medication and/or changes their behaviour, they may find that they are on their way. Yet, this approach might not work and this could cause one to look a little deeper.
Or one might not want to take drugs and they may believe that changing their behaviour is not going to solve the problem either. This could cause them to look into what is taking place for them at an emotional level.
As one begins to get in touch with how they feel, they may start to realise why they suffer from anxiety. At a deeper level, one could find that they feel as though they are not good enough and that there is something inherently wrong with them.
Based on how they feel about themselves, they are going to fear that other people will find out how worthless they are. One will believe that once they find out how flawed they are, they are going to end up abandoning them.
A Normal Reaction
As this is how one sees themselves at a deeper level, it is going to be normal for them to have anxiety problems. Although this inner outlook doesn’t reflect the truth of who they are, it is still defining their life.
This shows that one is carrying toxic shame and unlike healthy shame, it has no purpose. The reason one feels as though they are flawed is likely to be the result of what happened during their childhood.
During this time, one may have been physically, emotionally, verbally and/or sexually abused. This may have been a time where one was unable to do anything about what was taking place and they may have believed that they deserved it.
Although time has passed, the emotional experiences of one’s past have remained within them. These will need to be processed and it will be important for one to be affirmed for who they are.
This will involve grieving unmet childhood needs and through being affirmed, one will begin to realise there is nothing wrong with them. This can take place with the assistance of a therapist and/or a support group.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.