Anxiety has become a chronic problem in the world. Perhaps it’s something that has become a trend that lines the pockets of corporate and personal brands. Perhaps past generations suffered with anxiety but suffered in silence. Or perhaps it’s our environment which is creating such an anxiety-riddled population.
Maybe, it’s a bit of all three. What even is anxiety?
Broken down, anxiety is fear of the future – one of two mindsets most people have that adversely affects their health.
There is either this fear of the future (for example being worried about finances), the state of the world, or health.
… or, it’s cumulative emotions from the past, which could be anger, resentment or sadness.
A balanced mind that is harmonious tends to be very present, rarely drifting into past regrets or future concerns.
Yet, most of us tend to swing, like a pendulum, between the past and future, very rarely stopping in the present.
So, if swinging into a state of anxiety, or future uncertainty, is quite common, has the term ‘anxiety’ been misappropriated?
Are the people who are really suffering from crippling anxiety that affects them on an emotional and physical level being drowned out by those who are merely experiencing uncertainty and fears around the future like most of us?
Ditching The Anxiety Label
It’s these chronic sufferers of debilitating anxiety suffering in the shadows, who don’t shout about their condition, that makes me wary of the label ‘anxiety’.
Firstly, it’s a self-prophesying diagnosis. We all know by now that our thoughts carry a hugely transformative power. What you think and speak carries into the energy field that surrounds you. Thoughts and words become a vibration you emit out into the world. If you have a running dialogue of ‘I have anxiety’, you most certainly will. It’s self-fulfilling.
Secondly, every person on this planet is completely unique. Whatever they’re experiencing on an emotional and physical level cannot be categorised into a one-size-fits-all label.
All disease and illness in the body is an imbalance; either influenced by our internal emotional state or by our external chemical state. It’s completely different for each person.
To tag someone with a label, that just so happens to fit the symptoms, isn’t addressing that individual and their completely unique chemical and emotional imbalances.
When you label someone with anxiety you are lumping them into a category that they then define themselves by. It’s disempowering.
Making-Mega Money From The Anxiety Bandwagon
Labels also create a huge market audience for brands, pharmaceuticals and individuals to target.
Defined as ‘a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome’, we are very quick to slap the label of anxiety onto everyone and anyone who is experiencing these feelings.
This is not a new trend. In our current medical models we adorn clients with labels. Yes, it is often what clients want, but it also allows physicians and practitioners to use an easy one-size-fits-all approach – along with a matching prescription.
It has also fuelled a multi-million dollar industry where every brand is band-wagoning off the anxiety train.
It’s not just pills for anxiety; it’s pillows, podcasts, therapies, remedies, books, packages, supplements. There are brands and individuals who are thriving off the backs of those who are desperate to seek answers to their ill health. While some have good intentions, many just want to make a quick buck.
Has Anxiety Always Been Around Or Is It Just Now?
If I take my sceptical hat off for just a moment, is anxiety something that has always been around, silent and menacing in the background, never spoken about until now?
It’s worth noting that compared to past generations, we are now far more open in talking about our feelings and emotional health. The ‘stiff upper lip’ and ‘boys don’t cry’ era is fading into memories.
We also have newfound methods of communication which has opened up a portal of understanding and education, helping us to speak about how we feel like never before. We are is finally understanding that talking about how we feel is a powerful way of releasing stress and trauma from the body. We don’t need to hide in shame, scared to show our ‘imperfections’ that make us human.
However, the rising tide of anxiety cannot be solely attributed to it coming out of the shadows after years in the shade. It doesn’t ring true that this level of worldwide anxiety has always existed behind the scenes. We only need to look at the statistics which show older age groups as the least likely sufferers of anxiety to come to this conclusion.
Anxiety Is A Reflection Of The Disharmony Within
Anxiety is characterised by prolonged, excessive worry about circumstances in life. It tiptoes along the line of ‘what if’ uncertainties. Everything is balanced on a knife edge of fear that stains our thoughts, words and actions.
Whilst it is actually a full-body physical sensation, most people tend to think anxiety stems from their mind alone. But the mind and body are one unit. There is no separation between them. They are one field of energy, constantly communicating our state of being into the energy field which surrounds our body.
Anxiety is therefore indicative of an imbalance, or disharmony, on a physical, emotional and energetic level that manifests in both mind and body as one.
Why then, are so many people in a state of such severe disharmony in the world?
Our Chronically-Stressed Environment Breeds Anxiety
There’s a simple answer. People are chronically stressed due to the environment we are all living in, one which is toxic on so many levels.
We are chemically stressed like never before through the amount of hormone-disrupting toxins that have infiltrated every area of our lives – from what we spray to what we put into our mouths and on our skin, as well as everything we still don’t know about that manages to enter our bodies and cause havoc in our internal systems.
We are bombarded with electro-magnetic stress, glued to screens and bathing ourselves in the blue, blinking lights of internet connections – all of which disrupt our delicate bio-energetic field which surrounds us, dragging us away from nature which is the ‘natural’ antidote to stress.
We are saturated in fear, chaos and stress from the news, from the television, radio, social media and gossiping fashion. We exist in a culture which says we can have it all which then overwhelms and paralyses us with choice.
We are constantly switched on to all forms of communication, there is no escape, no respite from information which is jabbing at us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s an exhausting environment to live in which is full of constant noise. This isn’t a world designed to calm the nervous system, it’s a world designed to frazzle it into smithereens.
The World’s Anxiety Is The Result Of Chronic Long-Term Stress
Stress is, hands-down, the biggest disrupter of balance and the number one cause of all illness in the body, especially anxiety. When we’re stressed our body shuts down the nourishment of the central organs, sending blood flow to the limbs to fight or flee.
Stress hormones also shut down the immune system, the biggest energy generator in the body, to conserve energy. This stops the essential process of maintenance, growth and repair.
Lastly, blood vessels in the forebrain squeeze shut, sending blood flow away from our prefrontal cortex to our reactive limbic system. When the body is in fight or flight it doesn’t need to think. When we’re stressed, our intelligence slows down.
The body has become so used to the fight, flight or freeze response, that it is hardwired to look for potential threats, which is why our minds are constantly seeking potential threats and future fears. It’s a behaviour that has become completely ingrained.
This is why there is a chronic anxiety problem in the world. The body and mind are stressed causing a massive disruption to our natural state of harmony, leading to imbalances that fuel symptomatic conditions that we now label ‘anxiety’.