Why Anxiety Matters

Have you noticed the anxiety trait going up in the last decade? You experience more anxiety episodes than before; you encounter more anxiety in your friends, colleagues and overall people surrounding you. It has become so common to be anxious, so that those who are relaxed, are perceived as “different” or, as they put it in pop culture “cool”. Because in fact they are cool.

By Romina Kuko

Have you noticed the anxiety trait going up in the last decade? You experience more anxiety episodes than before; you encounter more anxiety in your friends, colleagues and overall people surrounding you. It has become so common to be anxious, so that those who are relaxed, are perceived as “different” or, as they put it in pop culture “cool”. Because in fact they are cool.According to the American Psychological Association (APA), anxiety is defined as:

“…an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.”

People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat” (DSM IV-TR)

Furthermore, research suggests that personality traits are important in creating the proper “environment” in developing anxiety symptoms. It is usually referred as the trait-symptom approach and through multiple analyses it can somehow predict the extent of the anxiety experience of a person. Not to complicate it too much with studies and methodology, the bottom-line is that some are more prone to experience it.

Nevertheless, before being ..anxious if our personality has the potential for whatever reason to succumb to ” feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure” first one has to perform a reality check and see whether one induces anxiety in their lives. Are they living a very fast paced lifestyle? Are they tech dependent? Tech dependence nowadays seems to be the total destroyer of attention and hence, number one reason for procrastination and the terror experience of deadlines. Do they have unrealistic expectations when it comes to people and situations? All these and plenty of other factors can induce anxiety even in the “coolest” personalities.

Once someone realizes that s/he is prone to anxiety, rather than being even more anxious about it, they can instead do something about, in order to bring the situation in favour.

Anxiety can prompt motivation

By feeling anxious about a task or a certain situation, people are putting more effort and capacity in play. This means that the probabilities to succeed are higher, comparing to those who are not in an alert state. Anxiety can make someone double-check, look for flaws and trying to fix them, analyse thoroughly the situation and so further. The price is high, but the results of “highly anxious” people are usually good.

Anxiety can be an early warning system

Being anxious means that yourself -or to be more concrete- your gut feeling or as I like to call it your “inner calculator” is telling you something is not right. Sometimes anxiety is just the interpretations of some things which we sense that are not right but we need more time to realize them. When you feel it, it’s time to stop and understand why are you anxious about certain things, or people. Sometimes the outcome is indeed interesting.

Anxiety can tell you when it’s time to stop

When you feel the immense pressure of anxiety, it means that your mental energy is not in the position to cope with the external stressors. So if you learn how to successfully recognize anxiety approaching, it means that the bell of taking a break is ringing. Taking a break from the pressure can not only save you a lot of mental energy and physical wellbeing (mostly your heart!) but it can also make you a more experienced manager of certain difficult situations.

I’d like to write more reasons to regard anxiety in a positive way, but you see, I don’t like the “5 ways to ..” or “10 reasons to ..” type of things. They make me anxious.

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