Anxiety is so much more prevalent now than it was prior to the pandemic. Not only have we all gone through life-threatening experiences, but the world has been rendered even more unsure and unstable with Russia invading Ukraine.
Some critics accuse us of being far more upset with the war Russia created because it’s happening to white people, while no one seems to care about people of color in other nations.
While that may hold true for some people, I believe it has more to do with the unthinkable happening in 2022. Russia had previously called Ukrainians “brothers”, connected by a shared past, so when one “brother” attacks another, it seems like the world we knew has been irrevocably changed.
In no way do I seek to minimize the invasions and acts of war being carried out in other countries; for years I have been sickened and horrified by those situations, as have many around the world.
While wars in many parts of the world have been occurring for years, the current invasion of Ukraine seems to have rocked the whole world, even when Russia’s invasion into other territories didn’t seem to stir people quite the same way.
Why? Why is this war different?
I believe it has a lot to do with our collective conscience feeling shocked that one “brother” could do this to another.
If that happens so easily, who then is really safe? Our anxiety levels shoot up when we feel unsafe, and if they’re sustained over long periods of time, they strangely manifest in ways that come out as anger.
Uncontrolled anxiety can turn into overt anger
When anger is allowed to prevail instead of dealing effectively with the anxiety, it becomes outwardly destructive to others.
If you look at the angriest people publicly venting their anger, you will soon see that the issues they are venting on are the things that scare them the most. (Whether they fear something outside of themselves, or are actively denying the very thing within.)
Take a look at the angry people in your life – what is underlying the anger? Are their anxieties manifesting as anger?
The fear quickly gave way to anger, which is what often happens to each of us.
“Understanding what precipitates a person to act in no way excuses them from their negative words or actions. We’re each responsible for what we say and do, and need to be held accountable for such.”Tamara Kulish
Those of us who allow our anxieties to run free run the risk of destroying precious relationships, families, and entire communities.
Angry people who are working hard to limit the rights of groups of people they fear are working to assuage their own anxieties.
Anxiety creates feelings of solitude and despair
The crazy thing about anxiety is that it lies to us, telling us we’re alone with our feelings!
Anxiety lies to us telling us the situation we’re looking at is far more dire and awful than it actually is, creating even more anxiety.
Anxiety lies to us telling us that unless we do something radical or drastic, our very EXISTENCE or life as we know it is at stake!
Anxiety lies to us, keeping us blind to all the facts in a situation and only focused on one small area which may not even hold the danger we fear it does!
Anxiety focuses on the apparent dangers while ignoring the solutions sitting in front of us.
Anxiety distorts our perception of reality, filtering out positive solutions in the negative echo chamber it creates.TAMARA KULISH
Tools for dealing with Anxiety
When we become aware of our anxiety, we can start to deal with it.
There are many techniques and tools to deal with anxiety, some work better for some people and not so much for others.
Too often some very powerful tools get dismissed too early by people.
When we try something new, especially as it relates to behavior and thoughts, it feels UNNATURAL!
When something feels unnatural or even uncomfortable, we tend to drop it quickly and revert back to patterns that are familiar.
I have found from my own experience that I needed to persist in my attempts to learn and eventually get comfortable with the new techniques which would help me.
This is part of a cool process called brain re-wiring!
Disclaimer: my thoughts and opinions are based on my own observations and experiences. Please seek help if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Connecting with others
Sometimes when we talk with other people we discover they’re struggling with the same issues in life, and that helps us feel like we’re not so alone with our anxiety!
Such was the case between me and Moksha who writes the Happy Panda blog. (I have copied our conversation below.)
Simply knowing we’re not the only one struggling with anxieties can be immensely freeing, because we realize this is real and not something we’re imagining!
This knowledge then helps to free up valuable emotional space to begin to be able to deal with the anxiety.
This is one reason why support groups work so well in our wellness plan!
The tools to deal with anxiety need to be used throughout our whole lives!
How often do we think that the coping skills and the new tools we learn will be used for a set amount of time, and then we’ll be “okay”?
Then we feel disappointed with the process, saying it failed to “cure” us or make us “all better”!
Here’s the scoop: there is no “cure”! It’s not a one-and-done thing!
It’s a lifestyle change!
When we consistently work to make the changes, we are in fact working to re-wire our brains!
As we develop new Neural Pathways (see Brain Rewiring), these become our go-to responses in life, helping us to navigate through all that life throws at us!
My conversation with Moksha
I’VE TALKED ABOUT MY CRIPPLING ANXIETY IN A LOT OF PREVIOUS POSTS. FROM BEING IN CONTROL TILL 2020 TO TAKING AN UGLY OPPRESSIVE FORM IN THE POST COVID ERA – ME AND MY ANXIETY HAVE COME A LONG WAY. WHILE I’VE MENTIONED THE ISSUES I HAVE FACED BECAUSE OF MY ANXIETY, I HAVE OFTEN REALIZED THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO DON’T SUFFER FROM ANXIETY OR RECOGNIZE ITS EVIL HEAD, DON’T REALLY UNDERSTAND HOW ANXIETY CAN IMPACT A PERSON’S DAY-TO-DAY LIFE. MORE SO BECAUSE A LOT OF US SUFFERING FROM ANXIETY DO TEND TO LEAD NORMAL LIVES ON THE SURFACE. DESPITE BEING UNCOMFORTABLE SHARING THIS PORTION OF MY LIFE, I WANT TO SHOW HOW ANXIETY IMPACTS MY DAY-TO-DAY LIFE, JUST SO THAT IF YOU COME ACROSS AN ANXIOUS PERSON, YOU TREAT THEM WITH KINDNESS, AND IF YOU ARE LIKEWISE INFLICTED YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE.Moksha from HAPPY PANDa
I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles with anxiety. I get it. I’ve lived through it.
In order to better handle it, I needed to develop some tools to be able to face my day-to-day experiences.
What at your tools do you have and are developing? What helps you lift yourself up? What helps you stop sliding down the rabbit hole further?
You’ve got this!
I put distance between myself and whatever is spiking my anxiety. I go for a walk, listen to music or just watch an episode from my favorite show to just clear my head. And of course, breathing exercises whenever I’m close to a panic attack.
I’m so sorry that you suffer from this too. What tools do you use?
Thank you for your kind words. Sometimes it feels so made up everything that I’m feeling, it helps knowing I’m not the only one.
It’s a real thing! Not everyone understands this!
I’ve had Chronic Shingles for years and thankfully they’re mostly in remission. However, I’ve had to learn the hard way that I don’t have the stamina that other people have and so I need to take very good care of myself or my health goes downhill fast. I run out of gas easily so doing too much isn’t advisable.
When I get run down, I’m susceptible to depression and anxiety. I learned that the hard way, so now I monitor myself carefully. Even so, anxiety can still creep in, primarily because I’m not monitoring myself constantly, and sometimes when I do feel better, I overdo it! 😜
When I start to experience anxiety symptoms I go into self-analysis mode: have I been getting enough sleep! Do I need more rest?
Which supplements do I need to boost with? Extra vitamin C, B complex, add some D. Fish oil capsules, CBD to sleep.
I also have learned that getting outside for a walk really helps. It’s that magical elixir of fresh air, sunshine, mild exercise plus I use a combination of meditative prayer AND positive feedback to both settle my mind and lift my spirits.
I relearned how I speak to myself.
I had to totally learn a new way because speaking kindly and positively to myself felt unnatural and uncomfortable. I easily slipped back into speaking harshly and very unkindly to myself for that was the natural extension of how I had been spoken to and treated.
By teaching myself to speak kindly and nonjudgmentally to myself, I gradually rewired my brain, changing its natural go-to’s for my thoughts.
Out of everything I have done, that was the most difficult.
It’s very difficult to do and requires long-term perseverance. There will be backsliding because the brain fights against rewiring itself.
It is possible, it just takes time.
No one is weak or a bad person when their mind slides down the negative rabbit hole.
However, we’re probably the only ones who have the deep power to change it!
Relief from external people and events is only for a short period of time, but doing the hard inner work of teaching ourselves to like ourselves yields longer-lived rewards!
The nice thing about becoming the person who lifts ourselves up is that we’re always available, even if we do need to give ourselves some prodding to do so!
Practicing speaking nicely, kindly, and suspending judgment is a key piece for this to come together!
It is difficult to do in the beginning because it feels so unnatural!
Don’t give up on it though!
Keep doing it and with time it feels a little more natural! With time we grow very comfortable speaking positively to ourselves because we have come to see it is true!
I’m sharing more posts that may be helpful for you:
- 10 Steps to Owning Our Happiness
- Setting “Boundaries with consequences”
- Making a change… “How do I take that first step?”
- Affirmation: Today is a new day! I can do this!
- As we practice being gentle and kind with ourselves, we actually help to speed the process of helping our lives become more positive!
- Always believe that wonderful things can happen!
- A healthy outside starts from the inside!
- Brain Rewiring
More good stuff:
Please go to my Archived Posts page to find more wonderful posts to check out!
My books: Now available through Walmart.com!
Guided Journals help you work on a particular issue by answering questions to help see patterns and to find solutions:
Thanks for buying my books on Amazon!
#writing #InspirationalWriting #journalwriting #art #creativity #strength #guru #mentor #teacher #HappinessGuru #TamaraHappinessGuru #TamaraKulish #Tamara #HappinessMentor, #love #growth #healing #life, #inspiration, #quotes #happiness #joy #PersonalGrowth #pain #depression #anxiety #SelfEsteem, #LifeSkills #empowerment #encouragement #support #intuition #journal #consciousness #mind #learn #God #universe #angels #spiritual #spirit #awareness #journaling #journal #boundaries #emotionalhealth #mentalhealth #emotions #control #Amazon #Kindle #Twitter #Goodreads #Facebook #blog #author #publishing #encouragement #angermanagement #artjournal #ColoringBooks