So…. I had someone ask me the other day “what is the most common thing you see in your practice?” And without even a moment’s hesitation, I replied “Anxiety”.
You would be amazed at how many people are walking around with some form of anxiety. And most of them are worried that you will notice it.
I sometimes think the world would be a better place if we were all completely open about our ‘stuff’ cos then everyone would realise that there are a lot of people feeling exactly the same as them. In this case – anxious.
The Good: If you happen to be one of those anxious people consider yourself lucky. Science says you are much less likely to have accidents. Being anxious makes us pay attention to all things threatening and dangerous in our environment. You’re more likely to notice a potential accident waiting to happen than someone more lasseiz fair or carefree would.
My partner is much more laid back than me and I can tell you he’s definitely winning on the scrapes, bumps, and scabs tally (The Ugly).
As someone with anxiety, I also reckon you’re also less likely to die in house fires, have your electricity cut off, or realise you left that vital ‘thing’ behind when you packed for your holiday. We plan more for the future when we’re anxious. We worry about what ‘could’ happen and have an action plan in place for well….. just about anything really. No wonder our minds are at a million miles an hour all the time. There are just so many things that could go wrong that we have to plan for.
Did you also know that anxiety can make you a better friend? You’re more likely to be understanding because you know what it’s like to feel judged and you’re more likely to think about how the other person is feeling.
Look at all those good things anxiety brings!
The Bad: Of course it also brings not so good things too. We worry unnecessarily. We get into a flap if plans are changed at the last moment. And sometimes everything feels so overwhelming we want to run away and hide.
There are pretty much three things that underlie most people’s anxiety:
1. Over-concern about performance. If this is your underlying schema you may be a perfectionist. You may worry about ‘getting it right’ a lot or of being a failure. You may become very anxious when you have to give presentations or speeches and maybe even become ‘paralysed’ by fear if you have to perform.
2. Over-concern about what people think. If this is your underlying schema you may be shy or worry about saying or doing the wrong thing. You may worry about people seeing you as weak, or as not coping. You may feel people are judging you for your weight, your clothes, not being chatty enough, or just about anything else.
3. Over-concern with issues of control, safety or predictability. If this is your underlying schema you may find yourself getting frantic if your partner is home late – in your mind he’s probably had a car crash. You worry about everything that could go wrong. And I mean everything. Money may be a big concern – money is safety for many of us. It puts a roof over our head and food on the table. You may even worry about people dying with no apparent cause for your worry. You may need to keep your house in immaculate condition because the chaos of mess makes you feel less in control.
Do any of those fit for you?
Some of us have one, some two, some all three. Those with all three – very greedy I have to say!