By far the commonest anxiety is suffered by those who would not be diagnosed with a disorder.
The commonest anxiety is caused by the tension of task-and-time pressure that leads to exhaustion. The more the tasks build up, the less time we feel we have, and the less peace we experience. And it’s the average mother and father who are afflicted most.
Ask any parent with dependents and with ailing parents, caught in the middle of that stress sandwich — an unabating burden. Something has to give. Little wonder we find some form/s of coping, healthy or else. We do find ways of coping, effective and ineffective, in grappling to restore control in our lives.
Stress does the strangest things to us. It messes with our minds and that sentiment plummets into our soul. It causes us to dream terrifying fantasies. And it can force us into corners we’d never choose to be backed into.
Probably the most alarming issue with stress-induced anxiety, however, is its impact on our relationships. Seriously, just how much conflict is caused by stress alone? And how many conflicts emerge through an inability to be honestly sad, courageous or disappointed; that one or both are not upset so much over the issues at hand, but they’re too emotionally compromised to respond well? If only we had the wisdom to ask about the person who offends us, ‘How stressed could they be?’
Our inner conflict spills out into conflict with others, and the issues are often secondary at best. We disagree because stress causes us to polarise into a place of inflexibility, because control is the comfort we crave when we feel out of control.
But insisting for control, which is what we do when we’re stressed, is the quickest way of losing control.
We lack peace with others because we lack peace with ourselves. We lack peace with ourselves because we lack peace with God. Peace with God facilitates empathy, wisdom, compassion, patience and gentleness, often even amid stress. But peace with God is something we so often lack. Our anxiety is normal, and yet it implores us to draw near to God.
An honest acceptance of where we are at in life, with gratitude, can be thought of as an outcome to search for. Such a momentary outcome of presence is the best gauge that we have everyday anxiety held at bay. To understand life is less about control and more about contentment with what is.
Of course, I have focused here on everyday anxiety here. The above is not a comment on the disorders.