It’s dark. Really really dark. You want to scream. You want to find a way. But you can’t. Nothing helps. You feel like ending yourself. Maybe that will free you. There’s a strange sense of confusion and dread. And it seemed to be only getting worse. You are going headfirst into the abyss of anxiety and you may not even know it.
Do you understand anxiety?
People have told you to talk to a friend, find a hobby, try to be happy, or in some cases, get professional help. Start taking some pills that will suppress it enough so you can just go by in life. But you don’t want to just go by, you want to live your life to the fullest. So what do you do? Any time this beast will attack again. You will experience the same helplessness, the same fear, the dread.
We looked around and read every possible article there is about anxiety. We came across the same kind of suggestions. But they don’t seem to work for everybody.
Before you can fight it, you need to know it. Know it like the back of your hand. And here’s how you are going to do it.
Anxiety is a multi-face beast. It attacks in different forms and shapes. But it doesn’t thrive on its own; it thrives on your fears.
Anxiety is a symptom, not a cause.
Tango with the beasts
We all have fears. Some trivial, some life-threatening. Anxiety is the face of your fear. It’s the physical manifestation of your fears.
So forget about anxiety. Let’s talk about your fears. The cause.
Let’s say that you are worried about not having a good job. Deep down in your consciousness, you are always thinking about it, outlining the worst-case scenarios.
How will I pay my rent?
I will lose my insurance.
What if I develop a medical condition?
These worries may remain under the surface, safely tucked in your consciousness for a long time. You can avoid that discussion with yourself for as long as you want. But wait till something bad happens. All the worries will come rushing to the surface, awakening the anxiety.
People who have positive mindsets, deal with their worries before they have to deal with them. They understand that once they are pushed to the abyss of anxiety, it would take time to turn it around and get back in control.
So sit down with your fears. Have a hearty chat. Outline what worries you the most. List them down and reread them so you have a full understanding of your underlying fears.
It could be anything from job insecurity to the fear of heights.
Use the first principles thinking
Now that you know your fears, you are one step away from the abyss of anxiety.
With most problems in life, we don’t know where to start and how to find the right solution. This causes, angst, frustration, Irritation, and ultimately anxiety. Because you can’t find the solution, how will you ever resolve your fears?
Luckily, there is something you can do. Something people have been doing to find solutions to complex problems for a long time. And that is Aristotle’s first principle.
Break down your complex problems into their basic structure. For example, if you are worried about your job and dealing with job insecurity, break down what will happen if you lose your current job. You will have rent, food, medical to worry about. Look at the things individually. How much each will cost while you look for another job. Let’s say your rent is $2000, your monthly food expense is $400, and your utilities cost around $800.
That means you need to make sure that you have $3200 for a month in savings. Since you don’t know how long it will take you to find another job, you must save up for a couple of months. So, having $9,600 in your account is essential to ensure that you don’t run into any financial problems for at least three months while you look for another job.
Now, remember that you need to do this before you are out of job. Start saving up when you are on your current job. Here again, you will use first principles thinking. Break down how you will need to save. What are the things you will have to quit to start saving that money?
Once you have broken down the complex problem and looked for the solutions for each part, your worries altogether will be resolved. For instance, when you know that you are saving every month, you will worry less about the layoff. So what if you get laid? You have the savings to get through that time, so you can focus on finding a new job.
The bottom line
Most people wait till the last moment and therefore are pushed into the abyss of anxiety. It’s nobody’s fault but yours. Acknowledge that you are responsible for your life. Take action today and curb your worries so they don’t give way to paralyzing anxiety that may alter your life.