• Dr. Sara Mazaheri Jones

How Shall We Cope With Anxiety?!

Have you ever felt you dread the next day? That you think of worst-case scenarios most of the time? That you feel people think you are not smart or interesting? Those are common symptoms of anxiety. Unfortunately Anxiety is not uncommon at all. According to Oxford Dictionary it is A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.

Actually, it might be good know that anxiety is there to protect us. It is one of our emotions. When we get to know something, our fear of it decreases. We have learnt anxiety over the years. In fact there is a part of our brain called the amygdala whose main responsibility is evaluating threat and sending signals when it notices threat. It wants to keep us safe. If there is tiger close by you have to run away. If there is fire, you do have to get away. However… Sometimes it can go overboard. It can evaluate even safe things as threat and send you messages that “Keep out! Watch out! Danger!” The truth is in that case it really can hinder us from the life we are meant to live. If we “keep out” from every possible “threat” guess how much we can lose.

One of the features of anxiety is fear about an aspect of future that is vague. It is the uncertainty that is uncomfortable. But Here is the truth: Future is uncertain, always. We can prepare well for an event, but the truth is 5 min from now is uncertain and... it is OK. The first step to battle anything is know what it is you are facing. Take a deep breath and remind yourself on a daily basis, future is uncertain, and it is OK. We all want to have control, know the plan and there is nothing wrong with that, it is natural to want that. It is because you are a human. It is always good to have plans and be prepared. At the same time it is good to know our plan might not work. Like a child who wants a Popsicle "right now" and throws a tantrum if not given, our brain can learn that it doesn’t have to feel overwhelmed in the face of uncertainty. Uncertainty happens and it is OK.

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