I believe that a lot of what’s to do with anxiety, is based around ‘change’ and ‘the unknown’.
Anxiety, doing what it does best, somehow makes you look at both change and the unknown, in a negative way. It seems that we struggle, to realise that there is actually a positive side, to both change and the unknown. In order for us to recognise what those positives are, we essentially have to retrain the way we think and process things.
Let’s start with Change.
When something that involves ‘change’ in your life happens, you begin to think of the outcomes, that might follow. More often than not, it’s the negative outcomes, that you think of first. This is where you have to try and alter the way that you think and immediately think of the positives, that can come out of the situation. Almost like a pro / con list, but you make it in a way, that favours the pro’s. For example; your train is delayed, or cancelled. Don’t go into melt down mode, in the space of 0.2 seconds. Breathe. Now think. Ok … there is probably another train … If not, there is probably another route, or form of transport – ummm hello? It’s 2018 … Of course there is! You won’t be stranded, wherever you’re waiting, forever. You will get to the destination you were going to. Just at a different time.
Try to think of it like surfing an ocean wave (don’t worry if you’ve never surfed – it’s the analogy that’s important). When a big wave comes, you either fight against it; with a good chance of getting hurt, pulled AND pushed under water. As the wave breaks, you may even become slightly disoriented, or breathless, with oncoming waves. OR! You can learn to manoeuvre yourself, according to the direction and journey, that the wave is embarking on and let it take you along for the ride.
In other words, when something changes and you try to fight against that change, you’ll cause yourself a lot of effort, energy and possible pain. To accept the change and go with it, will be a much smoother journey for you and cause much less aggravation.
The unknown is slightly different to change. It is unexpected and has a chance of not changing, or changing completely. Almost like toying with us! However, as easy as it can be, to say ‘what if?’ to all the bad – it is just as easy to say ‘what if?’ to all the good.
Life wouldn’t be very interesting, or all that exciting, if you knew absolutely everything that was going to happen. Life needs those unexpected moments to help us feel alive. It can be very small, basic unknown things. What lunch are you going to have tomorrow? or what clothes will you put on? To things that are considered much bigger; where will you be living in ten years’ time? or will you have married the person you’re with today?
So-what if you don’t know the answer yet! The fun part in life is getting to discover unknown answers for yourself. Some might get answered in 5 minutes, 5 years, or maybe remain unknown. It’s about accepting that and going with it. Yes – that can be easier said than done, but after you’ve let go once, it becomes easier and easier.
Ride the wave.