Here’s one definition of anxiety: “When behavior, affect, thought, and/or sensation are incongruent, we suffer an error signal or anxiety.”
For me, it’s comforting to think about anxiety as “an error signal”. When I notice I’m starting to feel anxious, I remind myself it’s just an error signal from my environment. Then I get a comical image in my mind of the robot from Lost in Space waving his arms about, intoning “Danger, danger!” This makes me grin and already my anxiety is lessened a bit.
Anxiety exists on a continuum. Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. That’s normal. It’s also uncomfortable, and that’s where various techniques come in–different ways to cope with anxiety, to manage it in your life.
There’s garden variety anxiety that is a basic part of life and useful feedback, and then there’s chronic or pervasive anxiety that’s seriously getting in your way of living a fulfilling, happy life.
For the garden variety type, those lists of ’10 Ways to Reduce Anxiety’ can be helpful. My visualization above is an example of a method that works for me to get a handle on the feeling. Then I use other strategies that tend to work for me in getting back to grounded, calm balance.
Moving up to the more problematical, is experiencing anxiety frequently. The error signal is getting triggered too often, or not getting turned off quickly or easily enough.
This typically happens in one or more particular areas of a person’s life. When it becomes your constant companion there’s usually a reason behind it.
You’ve got Stuff.
You can probably clear the Stuff out on your own, eventually. Medication may be helpful for some, but doesn’t work for many others, and the side effects can be troublesome. So many people expect a pill to offer a silver bullet solution and end up disappointed. If medication works for you, I’m glad. And if it doesn’t work as well as you’d like…I’m here to help.
That’s right, another option that is all-natural and efficient is counseling. Consult with a professional who’s been trained to help people clear out Stuff. I think working with the underlying Stuff is, in the long-run, going to work for you more effectively, more reliably, and generally all-around better.
If you’ve tried the ’10 Ways…’ lists and they’re not cutting it, maybe it’s time to get an expert Anxiety Buster in your corner.
What is your anxiety telling you, if you consider it in terms of the definition starting off this post?