Anxiety. It’s an interesting word.
So many people today label themselves as ‘anxious’ or having ‘anxiety,’ yet what does that really mean? The dictionary’s definition of anxiety as: “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.” (*)
I’m not so sure that I agree with this definition. Based on working with people that suffer from this feeling, what they have found in their exploration, is that what is actually happening is that they are too scared to be in touch with their true feelings.
This article is about knowing your triggers for anxiety. So, let’s look at what happens for you when you begin to feel this way.
You Have Feelings of Overwhelm:
I’m guessing that you notice you begin to or are in the midst of feeling overwhelmed. We know overwhelm because it’s that feeling that has us not know what to do, where to go next. We may begin to feel unable to breathe, to feel smothered.
And my guess is that when this happens you are thinking about something that could happen or is likely to happen. Which brings me to explore the next trigger.
You Live in the Future (In Your Head) Too Much:
Worry, nervousness, unease, overwhelm, are all caused by being in the future. You are worrying about what will happen if you:
- Don’t do something.
- Do something and someone doesn’t like it.
- Do something and it causes problems that you won’t know how to handle
I would suggest that in this space there is fear and concern deep inside you. That is part of what is causing the nervousness, unease, and overwhelm to occur.
And when I say “too much” I mean, living in your head in the future most of your day. Not being present to the here and now at any given moment. When we are in the future there is no way we are present in the here and now of today, right this moment. It’s simply not possible. And if that is the case and we live out of the here and now, it’s no wonder we feel anxious in whatever form that takes for us.
You Leave Your Body and Are No Longer Present with Yourself:
The common thing that happens in this space of being in the future, feeling totally overwhelmed with what you think might happen, is that you are likely to leave your body.
You know what that feels like, right? It’s as if you aren’t there, sitting on the chair; standing, talking on the phone. You step out of the space that feels too much to cope with at that moment. You are no longer with yourself.
What Creates Those Feelings?
- Being in A Hurry.
That space where you think you don’t have enough time and worrying about what that means for the person you are meeting or the place you are going to.
Will you not get there in time before the place closes?
Will the other person be angry because you’re late?
Will you miss out on something?
- Not Knowing What to Do.
This can lead to a sense of not knowing what to do.
What should I do?
Should I call the person?
Should I not go today and leave it ‘til another day?
Should I try a different method to get what I want?
And you will have reasons WHY you chose to do what you did or go the route you chose.
What should I say?
How should I act or react in this new group?
- Being Worried About What Others Think of You.
Worrying about how they will perceive you.
Will they think you’re rude and horrible for turning up late?
Will they not like what you’re dressed in?
Will they not be happy with your reason or excuse for doing what you’re doing?
Will they disagree with me and yell at me?
Will they think you’re too quiet, too outgoing, too honest?
What I notice is that often our mind is racing so fast that we aren’t in touch with our true self. That might be the truth about whether we want to do something or not or go somewhere or not.
We don’t trust our own inner knowing that says “Yes, this is the right thing for me.”
And so, we spend our time second-guessing ourselves and THIS is what creates the emotions attached to anxiety.
So maybe you can become aware of your anxiety triggers and begin to notice when they are happening.
Slow down at that moment and ask yourself “Is this right for me, right now?” then allow yourself to wait for your inner answer, and you may just find that your anxiety is not as strong and you may feel more able to cope with day to day life.