Anxiety is a major concern in our lives as humans today. In modern times, there are increasing rates of depression and suicide associated with the most prevalent mental condition in the world; anxiety. And this is especially true in men. So how do we tackle anxiety; what are the steps to take to gain control of our erratic thinking? And how can we stop our thoughts from controlling our lives? We analyze all this and more, hoping to find answers to this common enigma.
Today, we go about our daily businesses constantly distracted by the things that occur around us. We subconsciously fan the flames of worry and despair, giving total control of our minds to ill-conceived thoughts that never benefit us. We are burdened by unfiltered information from social media and are anxious about the life of others, rather than our own. As humans, we seek validation from the outside world yet never pay attention to the brimming storm within our minds.
This sort of thinking breeds anxiety; and anxiety left unchecked can leave our lives miserable. We must battle it.
The Dangers of Anxiety on Society
In the modern world, for the first time in history, more people die from eating too much than eating too little. More insane is the fact that more people die from suicide every year than are killed by war, criminal and terrorist activities. What is the justification for these numbers and how exactly does anxiety play a significant role in this mayhem?
Well, according to research studies, roughly 75% of the US population is overweight; there is an acute increase in the prescription of amphetamine-based medication to children suffering from ADHD over the last 10 years; and a ridiculous increase in the treatment of anxiety patients in US and Sweden, with antidepressants.
Now, these numbers shed a light on the current thought process of inhabitants of the world at large. As humans, we are constantly in search of stimulants—of a high greater than our natural thinking capacity. We find satisfaction in not just taking dopamine-inducing drugs, but in watching movies, porn; listening to music; consuming sugar, and many more. All of these commodities are made to satisfy human needs. Yet, we have no control over how we use it and have now let these stimulants gain control over us and how we think.
According to American psychologist and philosopher William James, ‘thoughts become perception; perception becomes reality. Alter your thoughts, alter your reality.’ What this means, is that, if we let our thoughts run amok, it will eventually control our lives. The qualities of the world we live in will always be a reflection of our mind.
Therefore it becomes imperative to influence your mind positively if you ever hope to live a fulfilled life.
In other words, one has to battle and control anxiety.
How to Battle Anxiety
The entire human population suffers from anxiety. Identifying your anxieties is often the first step to treating the condition. However, many of us choose to ignore it. And the few of us that do consider anxiety to be a serious mental health condition, find quick-fixes. We find ourselves visiting the doctors for a cure to a labeled, yet intrinsic, ailment. More often than not, the medical approach to treating anxiety fails spectacularly. Why, because in terms of anxiety, a doctor’s influence is seriously restricted.
First, a doctor’s appointment doesn’t last very long; most people only get 8 to 10 minutes of medical consultation. This is never enough time to accurately diagnose and treat anxiety. Secondly, the average doctor’s knowledge of anxiety is limited. He or she would need to be a mental health specialist. To do that, a doctor needs to train for a further 5 or 6 years to become a psychiatrist.
Thirdly, and more importantly, doctors are given little support when it comes to treating anxiety. Sure, they put you on a 12 to 16-week waiting list for counseling; but this alone is counterintuitive to a patient who needs immediate help… which leaves us with medication.
Yet, medication has never been an efficient cure for anxiety. Why, because medication comes with a lot of side-effects. The more we use drugs to cure our anxiety, the more dependent we become on that drug. And this only leads to temporary relief from anxiety and eventual drug abuse.
The problem many people face with anxiety is that they believe it is an illness. Their doctors label their conditions with the term ‘anxiety disorders’; and they go home with a scary diagnosis—something extra to be anxious about. Anxiety isn’t an illness, it is an emotion. If we think of it this way, we will understand, like all emotions we have, that anxiety is equally important and must be treated with care, not medication.
You need mindfulness.
Ways Mindfulness Can Give Us Better Mental Control
Anxiety is a ‘voice of concern’. It is that emotion in our body that reminds us of the things we hold important. It constantly refers to situations and events that cannot be ignored; that must be addressed immediately, and consciously. We must be aware of its presence; we must listen to it, and feel it course through our mind and body; and we must address the many concerns that it presents to us, one at a time.
To treat anxiety is to cope with it. The tenets of anxiety can be broken down into distractibility, loneliness, negative self-talk (depression), and a low sense of purpose. When we ignore our anxiety, we give these tenets greater control over our lives. As a result, we sacrifice our awareness for distractions; our social connections for loneliness; our critical insights for depression; and our steady growth for a lack of purpose.
It is without a doubt that our psychological health directly affects our physical wellbeing. A healthy mind is our only weapon against anxiety, and we can only achieve that through mindfulness. We analyze three solid tips that can help us cope with anxiety and give us better mental health.
Feel in Control
People who believe and feel that they’re more in control of their life have better mental health. To achieve this, you should engage in experiences that give you better control. Lack of control, also indecision, can be solved by taking instant action on ideas. The best way to start is by turning your ideas into plans; plans into projects; and turning these projects into reality. No matter how hard executing your plans seems, take the step and take action.
People with anxiety overthink everything they do wrong. They constantly worry about things they cannot change. If you’re the type to think largely on the things you do wrong, you’ll always be anxious about things you do right. You are human, and you can make mistakes. It’s time to start being kind to yourself. And the best way to do this is to forgive yourself for any mistakes you’ve ever made.
Having a Purpose and Meaning in Life
We find purpose and meaning in life by finding ways to provide value to people around us. Every person born in this life has a unique purpose. To think otherwise is the precursor to anxiety. Nothing is more important than affecting the lives of people around you positively. It is our true purpose as humans to share value; and a major way to take control of your mind and thoughts.
The Fight Against Anxiety
Most times, we succumb to anxiety when we give in to idleness. Our lives as men are judged on our ability to create and provide value to the people around us. Our worries and concerns, spun by anxiety, should never be ignored. We must share a message of positivity to the world. Only then can we gain control of our lives.
It is our duty as men to fulfill this purpose.
To read our previous Health & Fitness article click here.
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