Anxiety: A powerful and positive emotion

Anxiety: A powerful and positive emotion

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines anxiety a few ways (all very similar):

  • 1. Apprehensive uneasiness or nervousness usually over an impending or anticipated ill
  • Mentally distressing concern or interest
  • A strong desire sometimes mixed with doubt, anticipation, or uneasiness

Typically the anxiety is triggered by the uncertainty caused by unknowns in our lives.

Sometimes the unknowns in our lives are perceived dangers, real or imagined. Sometimes they are unfamiliar things, people or situations you encounter.

In my opinion, anxiety is different than fear.

While anxiety can be uncomfortable, it can also serve a useful purpose. It is a natural human emotion that can be both positive and powerful.

Positive aspects of anxiety include:

1. Impetus to take control of the situation. For example, while preparing to speak at an important meeting, you are motivated to study your material and master the contents of your presentation.
2. Watchfulness of your surroundings. Anxiety can heighten awareness and alertness, making you more attuned to their environment and potential dangers. This can help you to stay safe and avoid risky situations.
3. Intuition. Anxiety can also be a signal that something is not right, prompting you to pay closer attention to your instincts and intuition. This can help you to make better decisions and avoid potential hazards.

However, if you let anxiety take over your thinking and overpower all other emotions, it turns into fear and it will paralyze you.

Anxiety can be a challenging experience, but it can also be an opportunity for growth and positive change. Here are some strategies to turn anxiety into positive actions:

  • Be aware of your surroundings, physical and emotional. When you focus on the present moment and become aware of your thoughts and feelings without judging them, it can help you develop a more balanced and compassionate perspective, which can help you take positive actions.
  • Keep your expectations real. Focusing on what you can achieve realistically helps you focus your energy and attention on positive actions that are achievable. Start by setting small, achievable goals, and celebrate your successes along the way.
  • Do something. Instead of just continuing to analyze the situation over and over, decide a course of action and do it. As you focus your energy on taking steps to take control of the situation, you move away from dwelling on your worries, to making positive progress toward your goals. This gives you control and reduces your anxiety.
  • Rely on your strengths. Realizing your strengths and capabilities gives you confidence and enables you to take positive actions. Identifying your strengths and using them to your advantage propels you in your quest to take control of the situation.
  • Draw upon other’s experience. Knowing that other people may have dealt with similar situations can help you reduce the feeling of uncertainty. Seek advice ans suggestions from friends, family, or even a professional counselor to get support and guidance. Sharing your feelings with others can help you gain perspective and develop positive coping strategies.
  • Take care of yourself. Preserving your physical and emotional energy helps you achieve the tenacity of purpose and make you more resilient and better able to manage anxiety. Make time for activities that you enjoy, such as exercise, reading, or spending time with loved ones.
    Remember, anxiety can be challenging, but it can also be an opportunity for growth and positive change. By taking positive actions, you can transform your anxiety into a source of strength and resilience.

It is important to learn effective coping strategies to manage anxiety and seek professional help if necessary.

Disclaimer: I’m not a trained psychiatrist or psychologist. These are my thoughts about how I look at anxiety and approach it in my life.

Anxiety: A powerful and positive emotion
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