For the purpose of this blog, I’m discussing anxiousness that many people feel that takes away their ability to be present or stable during relationship conflict. Many people experience stress as a major factor that influences their lives. Stress is really about anxiety and worry. Anxiety is the sense that there is danger. Anxiety is helpful in life and death situations, when your physical safety is at risk. Or if you are in an abusive situation, allow anxiety to take you to safety! Otherwise, worry, fearfulness, and anxiety could be pushing over reactions that don’t allow for a full life.
Anxiety feeds the body with chemicals that say you are not safe or not getting what you need in a panicky way. Anxiety can lead to withdrawal, anger, fighting, over reactions, or distancing. Therefore, fear is a creation within the mind, induced by chemicals, telling the heart and the body to react. Being able to determine what you could do or not do in a stressful moment is compromised because of the panicked state. The same happens under many days or moths of prolonged stress. Whatever you decide to do or not do when feeling stressed is going to have an impact on your relationships. Doing nothing is also a choice. Leaving a few moments, to allow the body to go back to a state of rest from a state of panic, can allow for more choices. How does that work?
When the body is flooded with chemicals that say “oh no!” or “I am so angry, hurt, mad sad, etc…” choices can seem limited. The ability to feel other important emotions is compromised. Instead, there is a more fear based, dominant emotion that sets up your reality. The reality is skewed due to the flood of chemicals. So are you really experiencing the reality around you in the moment? Or do you need to stop, wait for the flood of emotion to pass, and then re-examine?
Life can have a similar effect on the brain when there is a great deal of daily stress, like being a parent, working, dealing with loss, etc. These are all normal parts of being an adult. But life can be stressful to anyone no matter how common. Knowing something is common doesn’t undo the anxiety and stress. The body still takes a beating and responds. How do you feel when you are at peace versus when you are very busy? Do you know the difference?
Life can feel very different depending on how much stress and worry you carry within yourself. It’s not relevant whether anyone else thinks you should or shouldn’t feel stress. The importance lies in knowing that you do! Accept the times in your life when you worry, carry anxiety, or when you don’t. Notice the difference. The ability to see choices changes your life experience. It impacts your reality.
There is nothing wrong with feeling stress, feeling anxious, or feeling worried. Pushing down on how you feel and not addressing what worries you are unhealthy coping tools. There is no real danger, only the perception of danger. Having a perception of danger, removes the opportunity to experience life to the fullest. Anxiousness is changeable and manageable. There doesn’t have to be just one option. You are free to have many choices!