Questions to consider when plagued by anxiety

Anxiety seems to be on many people’s minds. It is a scourge of this age resulting in many emotional and physical ailments. Fear of failure, success, death, loss of love and life and money and jobs and security, of not being good enough, of what others will say and of life itself all seem to be rife.

I would like to present you with a few questions that may be helpful and that can direct your thoughts towards a better way to deal with your fears and thus, life.

Getting from general fearfulness to understanding what exactly you are afraid of

Do I know what I am so afraid of? Can I identify the cause? What is at the core of this emotion? Is it perhaps something I need to let go of? (For example, if you worry about your partner's faithfulness, is it because of his or her past behavior or has it more to do with self-doubt or jealousy?)

Is there something I have wanted for a long time, but that I have been afraid of trying? Is it simply because I have never tried it and the unknown seems threatening? And am I clinging to that which is familiar, because it is simply easier?

Do my fears relate to the fear of living a life that ends in regret? Am I now uncomfortable with the beliefs and ideas that I have treasured in the past?

Notice that the three scenarios above are very different, but all of them can lead to a sense of extreme discomfort. Once you have identified what the underlying reason for your anxiety it, you are in a position to consider how to break through the emotion.

Reversing the cost

There is a price to pay - and one that may be too high once you consider it - for remaining in this state. You may be quite aware of that cost and it could even contribute to a deeper sense of dread. So, instead of focusing on that unwelcome secondary loss, why not consider the opposite:

What do I need to be able to feel at peace? What can I do to find relief from my current emotional state? What will I gain from learning to ... (relax, let go of jealousy, trust, speak my mind, etc.)?

What would the true personal cost be if I take one step into the direction of my true desire? What is the worst that can happen if I am not immediately successful? What would I gain if I commit to a little extra effort to achieve a better result? What small changes can I make or what small steps can I take to move forward?

How would I define a life that is delightful, one that I would be happy to embrace? What are the things that would be the most valuable to me? What am I prepared to give to have that? What can I change to get there, one step at a time?

Help yourself to move out of the darkness and into the light, by answering these questions truthfully. It is hard work to understand yourself, what you truly want and how you can get there, but it takes even more energy to remain in the shadows, hiding away your brilliance from yourself and the world.


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