Today I could not help but notice through my social media feeds that today is National Mental Health Day.
So I thought I would take a moment to share some thoughts around something we all experience in our lives – anxiety.
It’s interesting – on a physiological level anxiety and excitement have a profoundly similar signature. They’re damn near the same.
The only difference between anxiety and excitement is our expectations of what’s to follow. – Ramneek M
And I think that is a good place to start. There is something very powerful that occurs when we realize how our expectations effect everything around us.
We are often the authors of our own suffering unfortunately, but I am hopeful this will soon begin to change in a positive way as we become more focused in society with mindfulness and other concepts around mental fitness.
Having said that, it is important to realize that we have little control over what our minds present us. We are having thousands / millions of thoughts throughout the day that we are mainly unaware of.
At some point or another, they float through our lense of awareness and BAM – all of the sudden – it is up to us to respond.
We may not have control over what we come to think, but we do have control over how we wish to respond. – Ramneek M
Like a river, imagine your thoughts and emotions flowing by. When our awareness grabs hold of a thought (and thus the emotions attached) we are stepping into the river consciously.
It is a discipline, but we have the ability within us to let it keep flowing. You soon begin to realize that anxiety, anger, fear all of these emotions, if you consciously attempt to remain detached as they arrive, have a very short half-life.
They disappear almost as quickly as they appear.
This technique is very powerful and a pillar idea in mindfulness practices (meditation, yoga, etc).
It also important to mention – we should not be ashamed for experiencing emotions such as fear and anxiety.
You do not diminish your ability to succeed by experiencing these things. But you do improve your chances of success by learning where to put it – long enough to accomplish what you are trying to achieve.
The analogy I often come back to is one with marathon runners – and I paraphrase this idea from Seth Godin.
What is the difference between the 1st place marathon runner and the 2nd place marathon runner? Did one have better shoes? Was the 1st place marathon runner more dedicated than the 2nd place marathon runner? Did the 1st place runner not get tired?
Of course not.
They were both dedicated. They were both wearing fantastic shoes. Of COURSE they both got tired.
But the 1st place marathon runner – knew where to put the ‘tired’ longer than the other.
Perspective is paradoxically our greatest strength whilst being our greatest weakness.
Change your mind and watch as the world follows.
For a more extensive reading on this and related topics, I wrote a more extensive piece around stress and anxiety for the Logicrats blog back in November of 2018 called Puppet Masters – Stress, Anxiety and the Masks We Wear < Click on the title to check it out!