Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Thoughts on Anxiety
The funny thing about anxiety is that it comes when there is really nothing that can be done to alleviate the situation, at least immediately. In other words, there is loss of control or at least the feeling of out-of-controlness. Sometimes this is temporary, other times, it lingers. It seems to be related to a what-will-happen-to-me fear. And usually this is in situations where I might look silly, make a mistake, fail, or embarrass myself. So it ends up being about me. My anxiety is about performance, looking good, gaining approval, keeping it together. Mostly, I waste energy on anxiety.
Recently, I have been reflecting on doing something different with it. I give it to other people usually in the form of humor. I find that when I feel anxiety, it builds a kind of inner pressure. So I have been releasing it in bursts of exaggerated descriptions of what is getting on my nerves. As I express my anxiety, it seems to get bigger and bigger as a "dramatic" narrative. It gets so ridiculous that I start laughing about it. Then others laugh. I add more drama and laugh more. Sometimes others contribute their drama to mine. It becomes a kind of dramatic-anxiety celebration. By the end of it, my anxiety energy has been converted into laughter. And it seems I heard someone say that laughter feeds the soul. This means my anxiety has some purpose now. I can recycle it into my soul.
Posted by Lisa Gonzales-Barnes