Anxiety Nothing More Than Failure In Advance
“Anxiety is nothing more than repeatedly re-experiencing failure in advance. What a waste.” Seth Godin
For the past week, I’ve been crippled with anxiety. I went to the dentist and had a panic attack, the worst panic attack I have ever experienced. I expected to feel back to normal within a few hours but instead found that there was a cloud of anxiety hanging over me, seeping into my skin, entering every aspect of my life. I started to have the “what ifs”. What if I die and never meet my grandkids, what if someone hacks into our bank account and steals all our money, what if I am unable to travel on the upcoming trip, what if my dog dies, what if I can’t write, what if I am never able to walk more than two blocks, and it just kept going on and on snowballing.
Anxiety can be crippling. It is more than stress, it is a physiological reaction of your body to something terrifying. It is the “fight or flight” response that is supposed to be reserved for life-threatening events. There is a release of adrenaline that stays until the threat goes away. What happens when the hormone levels stay elevated? Your mind can get into a cycle of seeing the “what if” and playing that out in the most negative light, causing more adrenaline to be released and perpetuating the cycle until you feel paralyzed with panic. The good news is that you can control the cycle. You can change the “what if” to “so what”.
Remind yourself that you have been able to handle everything that has happened, and will be able to handle what comes next. Remember this feeling is just hormones coursing through your body. They will calm down as the threat calms down.