When anxiety takes over in our reality, everything changes, disintegrates and fades. Anxiety is like that annoying stranger who takes advantage of us, who refuses to leave when we ask for it, and from whom, almost without knowing how, grows the “occupier of our home” who messes everything up. When this happens, our personality also changes and we lose both our potential, our balance and our well-being.
It should also be noted that from a psychological point of view, we humans are skilled experts in the transformation from beauty to monster. So what does this mean? Anxiety itself is not our enemy, for it is we ourselves who turn it into an unpleasant monster that eats our serenity and rots our health.
Well managed and calibrated, this dimension is an excellent ally for our benefit. It enables us to respond to threats as well as give us momentum, motivation and the ability to achieve our goals. However, there is another obvious problem through which anxiety can take the form of our worst enemy.
The scenario of our society almost contributes to the formation of anxious profiles. Anxiety thrives in uncertain conditions, and today the world is full of potential threats, both small and large, that we cannot control. On the other hand, another obvious fact emerges: in some ways, our society also rewards anxious behavior.
Always being busy and anxious, a calendar full of activities, or doing five things at once is normal, if not desirable. People who do not follow this lifestyle are often branded as lazy and carefree. At this point, however, it is important to make it clear that the empowerment of anxiety has serious side effects. However, living on this autopilot and driving under anxiety is not life, it just limits us to survive.
What happens when anxiety takes over?
Professor of the University of Roehampton London-based forensic and clinical psychology emeritus Robert Edelmann pointed out in his book Anxiety: clinical psychology research, theory and intervention (original works in English Anxiety: Research, Theory and Intervention in Clinical and Health Psychology) something interesting. Anxiety is not in itself a psychological abnormality, much less an illness. It is one of the processes of human activity and something completely normal. The only problem is that man is used to abusing it.
We humans can spend many months, years, and decades gathering tensions, fears, and worries. Certain experiences, marked by constant stress and even negative internal dialogue, are like adding pressure to a gas cylinder where, instead of being released, air is just dangerously accumulated.
Later, that flammable material penetrates us and every particle of our being, changing us. This is what happens when anxiety takes over.
You no longer trust yourself and sabotage yourself
Anxiety makes us a person who acts against their own expectations. Gradually, the psychic approach becomes more negative, all the way to the point where we start boycotting ourselves. Every idea that comes to mind is questioned by the inner voice that anxiety modulates.
Goals, hopes, and plans for the future are also the subject of criticism, where anxiety whispers to us at every moment, how nothing is worth trying, and how we will fail again and again. It also doesn’t matter how hard you would have worked on a particular task or project. In the end, you doubt yourself so much that you reject all your opportunities.
Personal relationships lose their quality
When anxiety takes over our brains and lives, it ultimately weakens our valuable bonds with other people as well. The always busy mind tends to neglect, almost unintentionally, the things and people we care about the most. This is because perceiving the needs of others is very challenging when one is able to feel mere anxiety, pressure and feeling unwell.
It is difficult to maintain a close, optimistic and determined character when there is an emotional storm going on inside. All of this will no doubt lead to family-level ties starting to suffer and other problems to arise. On the other hand, other social relationships are also weakened, as friendships are very difficult to establish and maintain when anxiety lives inside.
When anxiety takes over, all interest disappears
An anxious person works through powerlessness: he goes to work and returns home. She maintains conversations where she talks and responds, smiles and is silent. She participates in the activities she previously enjoyed, does them, pretends to have fun, and even looks happy in a certain way; at the end of the day, however, he returns home with that great sense of emptiness.
Anxiety disorders overwhelm our brains and bodies through norepinephrine and cortisol. These hormones make us limit our activities, that is, basically always staying alert and ready to survive. Ingestion and relaxation are impossible, as there is hardly any room for serotonin or endorphins in an anxious brain.
All of this will eventually result in us becoming strangers to ourselves. We are not able to enjoy anything, and nothing seems to matter. Gradually, we navigate in the existential emptiness where anxiety and chaos trace our course. However, we should not allow it, and we should not allow these situations to worsen over time, because in anxiety both psychological and physical wear and tear is enormous.
So do not hesitate to seek help. Anxiety disorders are not overcome with drugs, but with strategies and new psychic approaches that we can all learn.