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How often do you suffer from anxiety? Have you noticed a pattern that always makes you anxious or is it coming out of nowhere, mindfully creeping up on you and suddenly taking a strong grip?

Age of Anxiety

In this Age of Anxiety, one may wonder if this is a phrase coined in the postmodern age for something that always existed, but which was never addressed properly.  If you were to consult a psychiatrist, they would most likely explain the presence of today’s anxieties as a consequence of uncertainty and constant striving for “more”, the Internet and social media revolution which make it difficult for us to “switch off”.

Most people aren’t satisfied with giving 100 percent, believing there’s always room for more and better.

anxiety, stress, mental disorder

Photo by Porsche Brosseau

Weekends turned into finishing errands and although not being physically in the office, the work continues, the brain is occupied with current and future projects.

Rest is considered any activity that isn’t ‘full-time work’: online availability, brainstorming during family meals, spending time with the children while talking on the phone or checking emails on the Blackberry. If not ‘real’ work, then at least this isn’t a rest for the mind. As an utmost curious person, I tend to dwell on questions and run things through my mind until total exhaustion, but by switching off reality on a frequent basis, my brain has the chance to restore and continue further.

Letting Go

Being dependant on continuous achievements for the feeling of going forward and keeping pace with the speedy world is the primary cause  of anxiety nowadays. This isn’t to say that our ancestors didn’t suffer from stress. They were raised in wars, bloodshed, suffered traumas – how about that uncertainty? And yet, we are the ones complaining, while having all one could ask for: normal lives. The explanation may well be that anxiety hadn’t been confirmed as a condition until Freud.

Far from doubting the existence of these ‘life-creepers’, all I’m trying to say is that external factors can be shut down. After all, anxiety is a personal experience. As such, the individual is in full control of it. ‘Letting go’ should be easy, most of the time.

Seriously, you run your personality and individuality. Why let the mind play tricks on you and pick up modern tendencies. Fight it by refusing to distinguish it as such. Worries and fears have always been a normal component in our lives.

By not attributing fancy terms and dealing with them like with any other problem (finding solutions to eliminate the worry), the results may turn out to be better than therapy or drugs. Because, as you may know, overthinking leads to many types of mental disorders or, if you’re lucky to be among 0.000001% of the population, an ingenious revelation. A risk or a suicide?

Have you dealt with anxieties? What is your experience?

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7 thoughts on “Do You Believe In Modern Anxieties?

  1. I relate very well to the theory of ‘not doing anything is a waste of time’ or ‘doing something and not doing other is a waste of time’. This can be frustrating. The thing that I had to teach myself (and constantly need to remind myself) is that ‘doing nothing’ can actually be a very creative process and is *absolutely necessary* for ‘going forward’, ‘succeeding’, ‘living life to the full’ etc. Basically there are ways to relax and there are ways to pretend you’re relaxing. I think turning off ‘for real’ and letting one’s mind wander, or taking time away from the fast pace of modern life, is actually the only way to truly succeed. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.

    • I hear you there. Everyone needs time off in order to recharge and restore, if not enjoy life for what it is. Otherwise, we may as well be machines, plugged in 24/7. Creativity may burst when thinking about nothing and the mind is clear of distractions. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Interesting take on the diagnosis of mental “issues.” I agree for the most part, but I think that our modern society has created some of these issues as well. I’m not saying that anxiety never existed before, but I think earlier civilizations were too busy to notice. There were daily tasks that had to be handled. Additionally, I think that the physicality of earlier life worked off a lot of stress. I know that when I’m stressed, the best thing is exercise. Or chocolate. Sometimes both. But not at the same time because that gets messy.

    • Modern society has undeniably created many issues, but I somehow feel that as long as we’re focusing on it too much, pumping the “demons” so as to say, it can get worse. Ignoring is never an answer, but reflection and rest can do a lot. Yesterday, I’ve read this article and it just confirmed my paranoia on modern anxieties. Exercise does make wonders, though I haven’t tried it with chocolate at the same time, so now you’ve given me an idea. 🙂

  3. “you run your personality and individuality”
    I like that. Nowadays I think we realize less and less how much control we really have in terms of stress and anxiety. No one can truly “make” us feel any certain way. We respond to circumstances based on how we perceive them to be; under control or not. And what we can’t control we can choose to let go. Easier said than done right! But still possible if we change our perception. This is actually something I’m trying to pay more attention to right now. Good thoughts!

    • Well said Alyssa! We’re all struggling with letting go and changing our perception and response to things/people/situations. It is a hard one, but also one worth fighting. Thanks for your input!

  4. Pingback: Do You Live Urgently? « Sophie Novak – 'On Curiosity'

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