Recognise and Deal with Your Hidden Anxiety
We often experience events that distress and challenge us. This can happen for all sorts of reasons; work, family, relationship and a seeming limitless number of other scenarios. We can react in a variety of ways as well, with anger, sadness, regret – or even other responses. In dealing with these things, it can also help to remember that there may be a common element of hidden anxiety in many of our responses.
Finding the pattern
Because the circumstance can be so different, it can be hard to imagine that there is a common factor. The things that happen at work that stress you out are a lot different from the fights that you have with your partner. It might not make sense that they would have any similarity.
This is why can be helpful to stand back and look at the things we experience to really understand them. We need to keep in mind that we are more complex than we know.
If we do that, then we might see that the things that we experience have traces of hidden anxiety in them.
Let's take a situation where you get stressed out at work because of a deadline. Your boss gives you more work on top of all that, due tomorrow – or else. It's entirely understandable that you'd be stressed in such a circumstance. However, it can also be hard to see that there may be an element of anxiousness about this as well. Perhaps you're anxious that you will be yelled at by your boss. Or, you might be anxious to lose your job.
Let's look at another scenario. You argue with your partner about money. They keep spending when you thought there was an agreement that you would be saving money. You get angry with them because they're not following through on their agreement with you, because you keep coming back to his argument time and time again. Again, there may be an element of anxiety to this. You might be anxious that you find yourself with somebody that you can't influence. Or, you fear you will run out of money, or, you might feel that the relationship is coming to an end.
Finding the anxiety
If there is some anxiety in what you're experiencing, then that's a good thing. Why? Because if you can identify it is anxiety, then you can treat the anxiety. When you treat the anxiety, you lessen the impact of what you thought was the original problem.
Revisiting the problems
Let's take these two scenarios again. In a stressful situation with work, if you can address your anxiety about losing your job by reassuring yourself that you done a lot of good work or that you're valuable in the employment market, this can take away some of the hidden anxiety. No matter what happens, you'll have a job. With the anxiety handled, you are better equipped to handle the stress.
In the situation with your partner, reassurance about the future of your relationship and mutual understandings that this current fight isn't about the relationship ending will help with your anxiety. With this hidden anxiety addressed, you can get down to handling the real problem.
In other words, once you've clarified that there is an element of anxiety about the situation you're in, then if you handle the anxiety, you better able to handle the original situation.
Counselling can help you better understand yourself and improve your thinking process. It also can do a lot to help you manage your feelings so that you feel less overwhelmed by what you feel and more able to address the core issues.
Let me know what you think in the comments. Now, read about the power of negative thinking.
– Tim Hill