Is Anxiety good or bad?
Anxiety is one of the most common emotional state experienced by all humans. How it affect and shape our life?
Anxiety is a feeling which everyone of us have experienced in their life at one or the other time. Some people experience it more intensely than others. Similarly some can use it creatively to increase their productivity while others just feel crippled by it. As I mentioned in my previous post I do not agree when some people call it a negative emotion. It’s just another emotion like happiness, joy, jealousy,anger etc.If one can learn to use his or her anxiety properly, it can become a catalyst to expedite their performance. But since we don’t understand it well we adopt a victim role and feel locked in when we are anxious. We lose our ability to think rationally and make use of our cognitive capabilities fully. If we look from the evolutionary point of view, we see anxiety’s role is to save a person in dangerous situations but when the imaginary or perceived dangerous situations appear so real that that our body starts acting physiologically as it was in a real danger, then it becomes pathological or an illness. If the rush we experience in this state is directed towards a constructive direction, one can perform feats which will even amaze him or her, but on the contrary when it goes down the downward spiral , even simplest tasks appear like huge blocks which eventually make us lose our self confidence and self belief.So the question is how do we deal with this emotion positively and use it for our growth and benefit. One of the proven techniques which is also being used clinically is the practice of mindfulness.But do note , it’s not a magic pill and effort has to be put in to train our minds. When we are in an anxiety provoking situation , we focus on our physical experiences that we are having at that moment rather than imagining and focussing on the worst outcome that is going to happen. Believe it or not but we DO have the choice to think the either way. When we focus on our physical experiences....racing heart beat, sweating, tremors, giddiness, feeling weak, feeling nauseous, etc, we do it gradually, focussing on one symptom at a time. And as a pond water which has gotten muddy after someone has disturbed it, the murkiness will settle gradually and what we get is the clean water. Similarly just by focussing on the restless physical experiences , they will soon die down and you we will experience the calmness. So the only thing we are doing here is just observing. Note that we are not actively trying to calm ourself, it will happen automatically, only thing that needs to be done is focussing on those physical experiences or symptoms and not thinking anything else. It is actually easier in that state of mind because all your mental energy is focussed on them at that time.The more you practice mindfulness, easier it becomes to apply it at the time of need, so try to make mindfulness practice a daily routine of your life.