2020/12/01 – Managing Anxiety

I had a thought a couple days ago about anxiety. I’m not sure there’s enough there to warrant a post. But I can never tell with this sort of fucking thing.

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I relaxed an awful lot when I heard about Big Five personality theory. Because it made it clear that my neurosis and bouts of anxiety didn’t really have an awful lot to do with whatever it was I was actually anxious about.

So, as I said, it allowed me to put that in a box and not worry so much about it. Now…That’s FAR from a perfect process and while it helped, it was more of a crate than a box and has some leaks along the sides.

But whatever day that was I happened to say something to myself that really resonated with me.

“Anxiety isn’t a reaction.”

It’s a simple little sentence, not unlimited in its applicability. But what it gave me is a tool, hell nothing short of a mantra really, for when I’m getting my boxers all twisted up about something that may or may not actually be an issue.

It FEELS, to the anxious, that anxiety is a reaction to an event with an unknown outcome we should fear for one reason or another. At this point low-neurotics are probably just shaking their heads in wonder at the madness of it all. But anxiety isn’t actually a reaction. It’s a predilection. If I’m “being anxious” then it doesn’t matter even a little what the hell it is I’m thinking about. I’m going to be anxious about whatever the hell is going on in my head.

It serves the same purpose as the initial realization but actually takes it farther and gives me that moment-to-moment tool to help me manage my state of mind in these situations (which happen…several times a day though not constantly as it used to.)

And I’m still getting the hang of this, of course. But on this short time horizon it’s thus far proven to be an extremely useful tool towards separating me from that particular fact of complete fucking madness with which I find myself afflicted. We’ll see how well it works over time.

So hell, maybe it’ll help someone else similarly afflicted.