Whoever named it necking was a poor judge of anatomy.

~ Groucho Marx ~

Hi Anxiety

June 16th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 3 mins, 7 secs

Nobody needs too much anxiety.

Nobody needs too much anxiety.

Anxiety. You know you don’t want it. But it kind of creeps up on you, like bothersome underwear. Then when it arrives, there’s nowhere to hide as its effects dominate your mind.

Normally I don’t suffer from anxiety, but when it does come my standard answer is to either stare it down with my most fiercesome frown (the one that for some reason makes most people laugh), or I try to turn it on its head with a big dose of ridiculousness.

Yet, the other day things didn’t work out that way. When I woke up worrying, it seemed to me that no amount of rationalizing could stem my anxiety. If anything, it just seemed to be making me feel worse.

Meanwhile, Scallywag, my ragdoll cat, decided to drag a raw chicken neck from his food bowl over to the kitchen table, and secretly chew it under a chair. As I faced my anxiety, the quiet was abruptly smashed by the sound of a fist pounding on the front door. Jumping out of my skin, I leapt up and then stepped with my bare foot onto something wet and fleshy. Yuck! Between my toes I felt the sticky sensation of a half-gnawed chicken neck (“Thank you Scally”, I growled “Not!”).

Rushing to the door, I opened it to find a parcel and the sound of the courier revving his van before speeding off. Having the door almost bashed in, I wasn’t feeling charitable. But when I picked up the parcel, I forgot about everything as the address revealed it had come all the way from a friend in Germany.

Walking back in, I tore open the wrapping to find not much inside but shredded paper and a little white box. Opening the box very slowly, I couldn’t think what it could be so I was filled with curiosity. What was in there? My early morning fretfulness had been swept away by the mystery of the immediate.

Finally, opening the small box on its side, I remembered as out slipped two fun watches. A dear friend had kindly let me choose them from a German supplier, as they weren’t available in Australia. Thanks to my friend, these two little treasures had arrived.

In that moment I remembered how, minutes beforehand, I had been gripped by anxiety. What helped me get away from that state? Surely it wasn’t my attempts to rationalize the situation. From experience, I know that when it comes to powerful emotion, reasoning with your self only goes so far on its own.

Then I remembered Scally and his chicken neck, and the crazy courier pounding on the door. Together, they took me out of one psychological state and placed me into another. I might not have liked it, but it sure did the trick in breaking me out of my anxiety.

After that, the mystery and delight of the parcel took me to yet another place – where I was consumed by a sense of appreciation for my friend’s efforts and the pleasure of receiving something unexpected.

When it comes over you, anxiety finds a foothold in our unfocused moments. Creeping in, it inveigles itself into our consciousness until it strangles our wellbeing with a host of dismal “what if’s”.

Despite ideas otherwise, anxiety latches on, so that the more you try to shake it, the more tenaciously it grips. Thus it’s better to reflect on its presence and effect than try too hard to fight it.

But notice how focus acts as a distraction? It only took one slippery, rather unpleasant cat surprise underfoot to take me out of worry and into a fresh realm. Combined with a couple of other distractions, they blocked me anxiety.

When that happens, the ability to reason through the impact of anxiety and what drives it has the chance to get traction.  By breaking state, we can jump out of a ruminating worrying mindset.

Mind you, tackling the factors associated with that anxiety won’t go for good. Doing that takes considered action.

If you happen to experience anxiety on a regular basis, how about trying something different? Personally, I recommend finding a good psychologist. It is their job, after all, to help people find ways to break through problem anxiety and with their help, people usually do.

In the meantime, if you just need a moment to escape from your anxiety state, then there’s always a trick with a chicken neck that helps…

Stress This!

Stressing About Hot Desking

You Stress, I Stress, We All Stress With Distress!




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