Anxiety is the kind of feeling you get when there’s something in front of you (mentally, physically, socially, spiritually or any other -ally you can think of) that you’re not keen on. Not an official definition, but it’ll do for me for now.
There are three main ways you can do to deal with the things that make you anxious, and I’ve ordered them here according to how much psychological strength they take:
- Move away from them
- Imagine them away
- Move towards them.
Move away from them. This is what we do when we have little or no strength. We see something bad and we say ‘meh’ and just turn around and head in the opposite direction. Or perhaps we say ‘argh’ and then run away. But it’s always away that we go to. There’s nothing in our tank to fuel any opposition to the threat and so we basically avoid it.
Imagine them away. Contrary to what you might think, it actually takes a lot of mental energy to construct a barrier strong enough to deal with the things that make us anxious. Standing your physical ground and erecting a psychological fortress takes strength. Try reading (or writing) a book the next time a tiger is chasing you and you’ll get what I mean.
Move towards them. This takes real guts to do but it’s the most effective way to deal with worries, problems, challenges or threats. You’ll grow, learn and become stronger by using this option. You’ll have fewer problems in the long run if you do this, butbbe warned: it requires real energy, strength and resolve. Scared of your boss, frightened of barking dogs, terrified of busy roads and nervous about falling rain? Have a quiet word with her, bark back, cross them and leave your brolly at home. You’ll find that you survive. You might even thrive. Either way, your anxiety will recede like the tide.
Just a final thought: don’t do anything dangerous in your pursuit of peace and calm; I trust that you know what I mean. Just take care of yourself, stay safe and eat more fruit. Oh, and be good; you know that it makes sense.