It is commonly seen that as long as things go our way, we are pretty balanced and easy going, but the instant something turns upside down, not many are capable of handling it. This is not really a problem, but is definitely a hurdle and a hassle if you compare your efficiency with others. Not all are equally capable and that is fine.
As kids we never knew anxiety. Kids are so care-free and some even care-less but that works for them. It is not that they are not aware of their feelings. On the contrary they are more in tuned with how and what they feel that they do not even take seconds to express it.
It is expression of our feelings that slows down or gradually and sometimes drastically decreases as we step into adolescence. If you look back at your younger-self (ten years ago), the first thing you would notice is how clue-less, anxious your younger self seems to you now. But understand this, you would say that ten years from now about your current version. This is what they meant by history repeats itself.
We do kind of stay the same but we keep psyching ourselves up and eventually fall prey to a false idea that we changed. Change is so external these days like changing places, food habits, religion, people we associate with etc. etc. We even change our way of thinking and it works to some extent but the result is not stable. We can’t think ourselves into a changed person, we can only be a new person.
Sure, conditioning is where it all begins and change of thought patterns brings a huge change, but it is only experience that can really change someone, for it is your past experiences that have moulded you and now you can use this same tool to mould a newer-self by opening up to all kinds of experiences.
But is that what we do? NO. We tend to cave in after a few down-falls. And for the rest of our lives we get stuck with fear, and the anxiety of repeating that experience. Anxiety is real, fear is real, feelings are valid. But do we have to give thoughts so much power that it can mess up our mind, mood, physiology etc.? No, thoughts or any other forms of triggers are just triggers. Triggers are real, your reactions are real, but this association of triggers and reaction can be broken with new experiences.
“What if the new experiences are worse than before?”
If you are someone who asked this, then you need to stop it. As you can see this is the root of all anxiety. And if you are gonna have negative thoughts then just label them as negative and let go. Do not let these thoughts consume you.
And not to undermine anyone’s problems but what is inside the head is not the reality, the past, the projection of the past into the future, is not real. It is like self-inflicted pain. The anxiety vanishes when we focus and centre ourselves in this truth. Only this moment is real and only this moment can be changed. Repeat this to yourself, Only this moment is real and only this moment can be changed. And if nothing needs to changed then just let it be. That is how I keep the anxiety at bay.