Anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders, and worst of all, it's on the rise. The WHO has determined that the number of anxious people has almost doubled since 1990. However, behind every number there is a person who suffers from a state of widespread anguish that he cannot always explain, but which causes him enormous discomfort and greatly affects his quality of life.
When we feel that something negative is about to happen at any moment it is as if we are walking a tightrope without being able to relax because worries occupy our mind, so it is difficult to lead a balanced and happy life. These phrases about anxiety can help us understand this state better, to stop it from dominating our lives.
To eliminate anxiety, you must first understand it
- Fear sharpens the senses. Anxiety Paralyzes Them - Kurt Goldstein
Fear is an emotion that can save our lives in a moment of danger because its function is precisely to prepare us to escape from the situation or face it. Anxiety, on the other hand, does not have an adaptive function, but ends up paralyzing us, making us victims of incessant worries.
- Much of the tension people feel doesn't come from having too many things to do but from not finishing what they started - David Allen
Often we are the ones who feed the stress and tension by adopting bad habits. Indeed, procrastination can become a huge constraint on our emotional well-being. The constant reminder of pending or unfinished tasks is usually more stressful than the activity itself, so it's always best to tackle tasks as soon as possible.
- The intensity of the anguish is proportional to the meaning that the situation has for the affected person; although she essentially ignores the reasons for her anxiety - Karen Horney
In most cases, anxiety is experienced as a widespread state of expectation, so the person is unable to explain the causes of that anxiety. But the intensity of the anguish will always be directly proportional to the importance and meaning we attribute to the events. This means that it is up to us to reduce anxiety, learn to put things in perspective and take psychological distance from events.
- Threats to our self-esteem or our idea of ourselves often cause much more anxiety than threats to our physical integrity - Sigmund Freud
Stress is a mechanism designed to activate in specific situations where our physical integrity is in danger. After that, everything has to go back to normal. But in today's society, physical dangers have diminished, giving way to other social dangers that cause constant activation. As a result, we live in a permanent state of stress that generates anxiety.
- Hiding or suppressing anxiety actually produces more anxiety - Scott Stossel
Repressing emotional states is not a good idea. What we try to suppress does not go away, it gets stuck and continues to cause damage. Also, to repress the psychological content we have to use a great deal of energy, and this ultimately generates fatigue and distress. If we want to solve a problem, the first step is to recognize its existence. In fact, mindfulness meditation for anxiety is based precisely on recognizing its existence but not letting oneself be conditioned by it.
- You don't have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you - Dan Millman
Often, anxiety stems from our obsession with control. When we want to control everything and leave no room for uncertainty and chaos, which are two constants in our life, we react anxiously. The same goes for thoughts, we become anxious when we cannot control them and, consequently, the rebound effect is activated: the more we try to avoid a thought, the stronger it will become. The solution is to let it go, to acknowledge it without giving it too much importance to allow it to harm us.
- Worry does not eliminate the pain of tomorrow, it eliminates the strength of today - Corrie ten Boom
We are not fully aware of the weight of our concerns. There are also those who say that worrying helps avoid future problems. Not so, worries are completely useless, unless they give way to an effective action plan. When worries become anxious thoughts and recurring, they only make us feel bad, taking away our emotional energy.
- Anxiety is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you very far - Jodi Picoult
Anxiety keeps the mind busy by jumping from one catastrophic thought to another, from one impending disaster to another, but these worries lead nowhere, rather they plunge us into a vicious cycle that fuels anxiety.
- Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it - Kahlil Gibran
Thinking about the future is necessary, we must plan our next steps, foresee possible obstacles and anticipate them. This reflective thinking does not generate anxiety, what generates anxiety is to want to check every detail and not accept that mishaps that we had not foreseen may occur.
- The burden of anxiety is greater than the evil it causes - Daniel Defoe
Anxiety is generally the result of excessive worry, it's like a snowball that goes downhill getting bigger and bigger. Consequently, the psychological consequences it causes are often much worse than the situation that originated it.