“The natural role of twentieth century man is anxiety.” – Norman Mailer
Having worked for many decades with people around their lives and relationships, and in just viewing the world I believe that most people suffer from anxiety. This can be in spurts, due to real or imagined threats, or just a steady state of being.
A certain amount of stress or worry is always part of life. It is usually short-lived and contained. It is when it becomes out of hand or extreme that we need to be concerned.
Just look around at the number of young and old people taking drugs for their moods. Look at the amount of alcohol consumed on a regular basis. Look at the displaced anger that goes on. Just look…..
As humans in America we are ‘supposed’ to seek happiness and self-fulfillment. No problem…. PROBLEM!
The problem is that being content really only comes when we are emotionally connected to others. Finding that ‘someone’ can be a big source of anxiety. The problems then arise because being emotionally connected also means we are open to and subject to another’s desires and wishes which may or may not coincide with our own. PROBLEM!
Anxiety can come from our own unrealized expectations. These may be faulty to begin with.
Many students get in a bad way over getting into the ‘right’ schools, or passing tests or being popular. The young students taking serious drugs on a regular basis at some of our prestigious schools is alarming.
How we look is another source of concern and a huge amount of money and time is spent in this area. Cosmetics, plastic surgery, exercise to the extreme, and clothes all fall into this category. It is stressful and we are bombarded with images that we try to copy.
And money issues cause a lot of worry.
Being happy with who you are, how you look, and your relationships, is a huge goal and not easily attained. The lucky few who get it and live comfortably for the most part are somewhat rare.
Now there are real crisis that cause anxiety. Natural disasters, accidents and health.
Just look at a medical testing waiting area and observe the people’s faces, and watch as they rub their hands together, or jiggle their legs. All signs.
If you ever saw a mouse put into a tank for a snake’s dinner you will never forget it. It knows what is going to happen and it rubs its’ little paws together frantically. It is a sight that will stay with you.
So too with people. They exhibit their anxiety in a variety of forms and try to relieve it with a variety of coping mechanisms. Sometimes talking to a professional can give insight and help. Change is not easy and the real task still has to be worked out with the actual people or situation involved.
How many people are frustrated at work and come home and take it out on their spouse? Many. It is safe there they believe and the spouse is not going to fire or leave them.
How many angry people are frustrated and live miserable lives? Many.
All of this needs attention and only being secure in oneself and all that it takes, and having a loving relationship will help relieve the real issue.
Whatever it takes should be employed.
Sometimes getting over the ‘hump’ will allow you to see that you can ‘manage’ and indeed not only survive but grow and learn to recognize the problem. It will allow you to become stronger for the next challenge that is sure to come. No one escapes anxiety. We all have our Achilles’ heels and we all face danger real or imagined at some point in our lives. Some unhappy ones face much real anxiety on a regular basis. This can wear you down. Ever look at the homeless people on the streets?
Some people are done in by the situation and retreat literally or figuratively. They withdraw and if they do this emotionally they are doomed to a life of loneliness and much unhappiness.
Some people get very involved with activities or causes and do not confront their anxiety directly. They try to ‘mask’ it, if you will. For some that works. Again, whatever works for the individual is fine. No one can judge or tell anyone else how to live.
Having worked in a hospital for years I can tell you that anxiety is the cause of many illnesses. It will cause your body to react and that will make your defenses compromised. And yes, it can cause death. Look at who gets sick, with what illness, and what was going on when it happened. Now that doesn’t mean that some people have genetic or body conditions that are not in this group; some people are prone to certain medical conditions through no fault of their own. Often conditions can be exacerbated due to anxiety.
Just having a ‘condition’ is anxiety producing.
In the end, we are all responsible for ourselves. The trick is to get through this life in the best way possible; FOR YOU!
“If I knew what I was so anxious about, I wouldn’t be so anxious.” – Mignon Mc Laughlin