What is anxiety and how is it created?
Everyone has desires. The desire to fulfil them is what keeps us moving forward in life. We set goals, achieve them and then move on to other goals. But, this is easier said than done. In the pursuit of goals, there are many situations where the idea of “what if…” becomes more dominant in one’s mind rather than its accomplishment. The mind becomes more concerned about the obstacles it’s facing or might face instead of finding ways to overcome them. This leads to stress and anxiety. Almost everyone in life deals with this situation and are usually unable to deal with this vicious cycle of stress and anxiety.
Anxiety is a state of mind where our desires take control over our analytical minds. When a person is immersed in fulfilling all his desires, he quickly finds himself unable to control everything and everyone around him. The feeling that arises out of this situation is what makes one anxious. It is essentially a state of dissatisfaction where thoughts of obstacles and failure fill one’s mind. This can be felt in the body too.
The truth is that it’s not the actual thought that makes us feel anxious. It’s the inability to properly process it and the subsequent thoughts that fuel anxiety in our day to day life.
How does it affect us?
A person dealing with anxiety finds it very difficult to have healthy relationships. The initial impact of being anxious all the time can be seen in relationships. Relationships with family and friends start getting strained since an anxious person never stops complaining. Their negativity spreads directly and indirectly to people around them. They may become anxious too or distance themselves from the person out of aversion. Either scenario is unfavourable.
Our mind affects the body. It is scientifically proven that every feeling and emotion releases chemicals in our brain. When we lose control of our thoughts, it also increases the frequency of thoughts in our mind. Then, our brain starts releasing the stress hormone known as Cortisol. The more the stress, the more the stress hormone is released. Cortisol causes blood vessels to constrict and direct more oxygen to muscles which in turn raises blood pressure. Consequently, the heart starts working harder for a longer period of time which may lead to diseases like hypertension, heart problems, asthma, diabetes etc.
How to overcome anxiety?
First, know and accept that you’re anxious. This is the first step in moving forward and processing it. Through this newfound self-awareness, a new perspective starts to form. You can start to direct your attention towards solutions to your problems instead of ruminating on them. By practising this on a daily basis, a positive change in one’s behaviour is slowly developed. Naturally, yoga and meditation can speed up this process. Eventually, one develops a calm mind, self-understanding, and wisdom that eliminates self-doubt to create a life free from stress and anxiety.