Anxiety is a generalized mood condition that occurs without an identifiable triggering stimulus. As such, it is distinguished from fear, which occurs in the presence of an observed threat. Additionally, fear is related to the specific behaviors of escape and avoidance, whereas anxiety is the result of threats that are perceived to be uncontrollable or unavoidable.
Another view is that anxiety is "a future-oriented mood state in which one is ready or prepared to attempt to cope with upcoming negative events" suggesting that it is a distinction between future vs. present dangers that divides anxiety and fear.
Anxiety is considered to be a normal reaction to stress. It may help a person to deal with a difficult situation, for example at work or at school, by prompting one to cope with it. When anxiety becomes excessive, it may fall under the classification of an anxiety disorder.
My husband always says that I'm the most stable person he knows. He knows a lot of lunatics so that doesn't always mean much, but the general consensus from people who know me is that I am usually pretty even keel. I don't have bouts of depression, usually feel like my feet are planted on solid ground and no matter what's going on around me, I like to think that I am able to muster up a positive outlook.
That's why the last couple of days have really thrown me for a loop. I've been feeling extremely anxious. It started around NYE when I returned from San Francisco to Minneapolis. At first I thought it must be the weather or the general let down of coming back from one of the greatest cities in the world to...Minneapolis. Then I thought it's all the pressure that comes with the expectation of a new year. It seemed like everywhere I turned people were spouting off about how we had to be great in 2010 and get it in in 2010 and reach our goals and stop slacking off on our dreams.... I started to feel like that's a lot of pressure to put on a date change. I mean really what was different from Thursday the 31st to Friday the 1st? Were all the stars supposed to align and make all of our problems and issues dissolve and give us renewed hope and motivation to make the next year better than the last?
I told myself I would pray and meditate as midnight approached and yet as the clock struck 11:48 or so I found myself feeling like, why? Of course I did pray and meditate, but I couldn't really get my mind to focus on one particular though or feeling. I felt like I should focus on my dreams - but what are they? Focus on my desires and wants and hopes, but again - I was drawing a blank.
So now we're five days into the new year and I've been having trouble sleeping and concentrating and I've been having feelings of general anxiety. I don't know what it is. I am keenly aware of my blessings and many times feel like I am on the cusp of something really great and life changing taking place, but in the next thought I can feel like something extremely catastrophic is right around the corner.
I know that 'this too shall pass' so I'm just riding this slump out. I was supposed to write a blog about my cousin Martina (stay tuned for a very positive story) but today I just wanted to say.... Ha! See? I don't even know what I want to say.
No really - I want to say that sometimes we have to go through it to get to it! That just came to me! A lot of people said that 2009 was not a great year and I can see why. But I am reminded of my favorite Psalm - 27:13 - Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.
Who knows what the year ahead will hold. Who knows if all your dreams will come true and you will finally reach the mountain top, whatever that is. What I do know is that even if 2009 wasn't a great year, I still saw a lot of the Lords goodness here in the land of the living. And even if I'm feeling unfocused and anxious, I am CONFIDENT that I will see a lot more goodness in the year to come.
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