By Scott Parker, CSW
No one likes feelings anxious, but our brains are set up to collect worries. How we respond to these every-day worries can have a big impact on the quality of our life. While it is tempting to do whatever it takes to reduce or get rid of anxiety as soon as possible, this may actually perpetuate the problem.
For example, say you are feeling insecure in a relationship. To reduce the anxious feelings this brings, you may be tempted to pester your loved one for proof of their commitment to you. While this may make you feel better in the short run, long-term it may wear your partner down, making the relationship suffer. While there is nothing wrong with being open about your insecurities in a relationship, the goal of sharing this should not be to lower the anxious feelings, but to gain a sense of intimacy that comes from sharing and understanding.
Another example can be found in those day-to-day tasks we all face: Paying bills, cleaning, catching up on emails, etc. While it may feel better in the moment to avoid these responsibilities by playing video games, this will make things worse long-term.
When you feel the anxiety coming, try to let it flow through you, if you can. You will find that the feelings have a beginning, a middle, and an end.
If, however, the anxiety seems like it’s too much to function, consider consulting a doctor or therapist.