A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety. (Quote by - Aesop)
We all have doubts in our mind about the things we do, the things we say and the things we feel. It’s natural. But how many of us keep dwelling on those doubts? If you find yourself constantly questioning yourself and thinking about all the bad or worse things that could happen to you, you might be suffering from an anxiety disorder.
Having anxiety isn’t always a bad thing, but you need to identify how much of it is good for you to function correctly. If it’s helping you to work harder towards your goals, it’s fantastic, but if it’s making you paranoid and negative, then you need to bring a stop to it.
So how do you tell the difference between good and bad anxiety? There’s a very thin line between the two and it doesn’t take much for the good to turn into bad. We all face some kind of anxiety everyday be it situational anxiety, general anxiety, performance anxiety or social anxiety.
Anxiety is a natural psychophysical response to a particular situation, person, place or thing. It shows up in a myriad of ways: heart palpitations, shaking or sweaty hands hands, stomach or headaches, dizziness, racing thoughts, flushing, blushing, intense worry and fear.
So you can say anxiety is fundamentally about fear. Fear of the consequence. A fear that something bad might happen to you either physically, mentally or emotionally. This isn’t always bad, but does depend on how much you let it affect you.
An example of good anxiety would be: “I have an exam at the end of this month. I have to get good grades.” A small degree of anxiety motivates and reminds me to do something that I need to do i.e - do well on the exam. Now let’s look at bad anxiety scenario. While taking an exam, a student, no matter what age, may “freeze” both mentally and physically (even when he or she has studied for it) because of fears about actually flunking the course or not receiving even a passing grade.
So in either case, the anxiety is tied in with the ideas of status, success, and failure, and the real consequences thereof for one’s life. Anxiety is not helpful when it impacts your life in negative ways and prevents you from living a happy and successful life. Anxiety is negative when it causes you to be emotionally spent and emotionally drained.
How do you turn that bad anxiety into good anxiety? It’s very simple. Live in the present. An anxious mind will have you believing all sorts of things that will never actually happen. If you think only of where you are today, you no longer question or worry about future situations.
Another very important thing to remember is that anxiety is a natural feeling. If you suffer from a lot of bad anxiety, the best thing would be to first recognize it as a problem. Don’t try to fight it, it will only add to the negative feelings. Try to identify the cause of all those thoughts and feelings that make you anxious. You’ll find that majority of them are really baseless and rooted in an overactive imagination. If you still have issues dealing with anxiety, talk to your family and friends, let them give you different perspectives on your situation. You might find that things aren’t really as bad as you see them.
So to sum it up, live your life however you feel is good for you, don’t let anxiety make the decisions for you. Go out and do things which may make you anxious at first, but you’ll find the more you let yourself go, the more you’re detaching yourself from your anxiety.
Shelly Verma is an avid small business writer touching on topics from health, higher education, career improvement, self-help to home improvement. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including finance andinsurance.