The increase in anxiety is a social challenge that will continue in all age groups in the coming years. It is usually difficult to change the circumstances that trigger fear in us. But we can develop ourselves, our inner peace and our inner resilience. A lived form of mindfulness supports the acceptance and release of strong emotions in order to act calmer and more resilient especially in challenging times.
Accepting anxiety as a part of us
Anxiety is an emotion that increases enormously especially in difficult times like these. It is one of the biggest changes we can observe in our society at all ages - even in our children. Anxiety is an emotion that influences and affects our thinking and acting significantly. One of the triggers for this are the effects of the so-called VUCA world - a world that is characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Things that were valid yesterday will be obsolete tomorrow, we are exposed to great uncertainty in many areas (private and professional) and our lives have reached an extreme high level of complexity.
Our living conditions are diametrically opposed to our inner needs such as stability, certainty and clarity. This divergence creates permanent stress reactions in our brain. Here, the stressors of everyday life, such as family, job or environmental pollution are added. Under chronic stress our prefrontal cortex is severely restricted or deactivated in its function. This is the area in the human brain that actually enables us to think rationally under difficult conditions, to be sovereign or calm. Instead, stress evaluation takes place in the amygdala, a part of the limbic system, our emotional center. This explains why we react emotionally to the smallest stimuli and why, among other things, anxiety arises. This reaction is then often intensified by individual characteristics and imprints from education. This means that in a stressful situation we no longer have access to solution-oriented thinking.
Do we have anxiety or are we the anxiety?
If an emotion takes possession of us so much that it is present day and night, then we no longer have an emotion - we are the emotion. The consequences are a significant energy loss and the loss of our quality of life. The question is: How can we better deal with these emotions?
Especially in acute phases, in which we are permanently exposed to thought spirals of fear, the so-called "journaling" helps. Write down all your thoughts, especially in the middle of the night, when you have woken up again or when you are lying awake and cannot fall asleep again. This not only makes it easier for you to let go, but also leads to consciousness that in most cases your anxiety and scenarios will not happen. Journaling offers a realistic view of what is really happening and what we imagine in our minds.
Acceptance and letting go through lived mindfulness
Dealing with feelings such as anxiety need particularly their acceptance. Basically, emotions have the function of making us aware of something. Mostly it points out that a need that is important to us is not fulfilled. In connection with fear or anxiety, this may be the need for security, predictability, perspective.
Anxiety is an important part of our lives, a basic survival function that makes us careful and attentive.
Each of us has emotions, they are part of our live! Perceive your emotions and listen to what they want to tell you, try to perceive what is out of balance. Deal lovingly with yourself - the emotions are allowed! And then look at what you need and can do, what your other options are. It is important to accept anxiety as an emotion, but at the same time not to let yourself be taken over by it. Besides accepting this emotion, you also have to let go. Regular mindfulness exercises in your everyday life will support this ability. Regular exercises then one day lower the threshold of amygdala so that the intensity of the emotions is significantly reduced.
Start where you are!
Use what you have!
Do what you can!