But first off, is anxiety that bad? Doesn’t it protect us from making the wrong decisions sometimes? Anxiety to a reasonable extent is not that bad. It is like a psychological throwback to an earlier evolutionary time. A time when our ancestors had to be on constant alert. They needed to be ready to call upon their fight or flight response. When they were being chased by predators or when an enemy was lurking around every corner ready to attack them. Anxiety was a means to survive and not that much of a bad thing. But nowadays, we do not need anxiety to that extent anymore.
You must agree with me that anxiety is omnipresent nowadays. Why are we still constantly afraid of what other people think and whether the future holds a positive life for us? Is this all life threatening? No, it's not. Then why worry? Our brain has become incapable of processing anxieties and confuses the present time with our ancestors’ times. I really believe that we have actually come to worry even more. So why do we worry and stress even more than we did 50 years ago? Have we evolved into stress creatures? Is this part of evolution? I don’t believe so. I think the following three trends have evoked more stress in us.
The rat race has accelerated in our personal and professional lives. Through the constant stream of persuasive media content and our innate urge to be considered powerful, we have created a society of impressing each other. Consequently, this has resulted in that we feel constantly high expectations and internal pressure to improve and succeed. Family-, friend- and most definitely work gatherings are all centered around impressing each other with your latest achievements, certifications and phenomenal life experiences. You feel like an outcast if you haven’t obtained at least some of the achievements those around you have.
You turn on the television and you're immediately overwhelmed by a cascade of misery. There’s an increase in school shootings. We see news about shootings in public places. There have been numerous terrorist attacks across Europe, the US and all over the world, taking many lives. It's reasonable for our brains to make the connection between a public place and a place that is unsafe. The part of our brain that wants to protect us from harm is working overtime. It’s activated so frequently that we tend to mistrust anything new around us.
Think about it, if you had seen two assaults on a community center on TV, would you feel safe going to your own community center the next evening? These media-induced anxieties make us believe that the world will end tomorrow. This impedes us from living carefree and in the moment.
- That person again who always wants to look pretty
- Hello person who is always traveling
- there’s that person again who is really making a career for himself
However, our subconscious might think:
- I also want to have that person’s looks
- I would like to be traveling now as well
- I am never going to be promoted
Every time you open your social media feed, you open up a can of anxiety-inducing worms.
Social media pulls you away from living in the present and enjoying the current moment. My grandmother never used social media and she was the happiest person on earth. I swear! She was enjoying all these little things, like a squirrel jumping around in the garden or the mailman stopping by for a chat. When I lived in Nepal, many Nepali people didn't have an internet connection, let alone social media. Though, I never saw such a happy and, at the same time, poor country.
Nevertheless, social media does add something to our society as well. We can maintain connections better and can get inspired and informed more easily.
But it certainly has increased the amount of anxiety that we are experiencing. I’m not the only one saying this. Researchers have found that using social media extensively causes more than just anxiety. In fact, testing has found that frequent internet usage can lead to depression, mental disorders, paranoia, and loneliness.
Everyone has anxiety from time to time. No big deal. It is part of being human. Chronic excessive anxiety, however, can interfere with your quality of life. It can have serious consequences for your physical health. Anxiety is really toxic and to drive the point home, I would like to share twelve of its many negative implications.
- Feelings of impending doom resulting in difficulty to concentrate
- Panic Attacks
- Irregular heartbeat
- Breathing problems
- Loss of libido
- Upset stomach
- Extreme fatigue
- Increase in blood pressure
- Muscle aches
I'm not listing these negative effects to make you feel anxious, but I hope to plant the seed of awareness about the importance of coping with anxiety the right way.
Next, if you detect one of the anxiety symptoms I just listed, then please talk to a professional. It would be my honour to help you find the right support. Just drop me a note and I’ll let you know what online and offline support channels I recommend. Amplio primarily helps prevent you from getting to the stage where you exhibit these symptoms. As a result of following our online course and make anxiety management a part of your daily routine, you will eradicate severe anxiety from your life. Anxiety ebbs and flows, you’ll experience periods of heightened anxiety alternating with periods of barely any. Through Amplio’s lessons, you’ll always be able to manage the downs and enjoy the ups.