Adjusting to Life with Chronic Anxiety

Anxiety makes everything more difficult. Chronic anxiety wears one down because of the energy it takes to remain composed. It would be great if the world understood what it feels like to be anxious, but it simply does not. Anxiety is often misread as anger or impatience. Anxiety pushes people away. Anxiety isolates. Anxiety controls.

I think that regaining a measure of control is the key to having a life while coping with chronic anxiety. The one thing that gives hope is the fact that anxiety easily transitions to other more controllable emotional states. It takes practice to find the best translation for life. The anxiety does not completely abate, but it does decrease to a manageable level.

Because anxiety is most often misread as anger or impatience, these are good emotional states to try transitioning to. Transitioning from anxiety to anger often allows people to isolate what thoughts are feeding their anxiety. An angry state of mind is empowering because it backs the anxiety down enough to allow for making an action plan. The action plan acts as an escape pod from the anxious state. For some, it can relive them of the anxiety they are feeling completely; for others, it provides breathing room.

Transitioning from anxiety to impatience is a bit trickier. It requires impatience about a specific thing. Once a specific thing or timeline is chosen, experimenting with distracters begins to fill in the void. Distracters can be music or projects that create feelings of empowerment. I choose focusing on feeling empowered rather than calm, because I have found it to be more reliable than seeking tranquility. Feeling effective won’t take away anxiety completely, but it will reinforce that you can survive and have a life.

Posted on 07 Jun 2015 00:36

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