All tagged anxiety

A Guide To Surviving Life For The Chronically Stressed And Anxious

Recently I’ve been asked this question really frequently by various people.

“I’m always stressed out or anxious about various things that are happening in my life! How do I become less anxious?”

Often, what people really mean by this question is: “Is there a quick fix to get rid of stress and anxiety because I really, really hate it! Plus, I want to keep doing things the way I’ve been doing them, even though I know somewhere in the corner of my mind that it’s what’s slowly killing me.”

I’ve usually hmmm’d and haaaaah’d over these questions because the answer is not simple. In fact, the answer to these kinds of questions is…bulky.

So I got to thinking about how to explain the answer (and solution) to people. It starts with an explanation, so brace yourself.

Ahem.

One feature of anxiety is about trying to predict and control the unpredictable and uncontrollable – an endeavor set to fail. We end up in a pattern of predicting and planning that provokes more anxiety, which in turn drives us to plan and predict some more.

It becomes an Orob-Orus Worm forever biting its own tail.

Another way of looking at anxiety is that it’s a futile and excruciating way of trying to control the Whole of Life. No prices for guessing how that’ll turn out.

A (Maybe) Better Way
Instead of trying to control every aspect of life, let me offer another approach based on what I’ve learnt from my clients and on my own. I’ve searched for a way to put it together and something from my home island of Singapore seems to do nicely.

For those of us “privileged” to be drafted into the Singaporean military services, we would be extremely familiar with the acronym: F.B.O.

It’s an acronym for Full Battle Order (not read as “FOB” please!) and is the soldier’s best friend. What it is, is a basic and personalized pack of tools and resources we carry with us, enabling us to be agile, mobile and survive in really, really tough conditions.

On "Adulting", Deep Anxiety and Self

Ooooh, I've been dying to write about this. Not least because at least 5 of my clients this week have been talking about precisely this topic. Or to be more precise, here's some of the things (edited for confidentiality of course) which they said:

"I feel like I'm not grown up at all."

"How can other people bear it, to have to do all the grown up things while they feel unprepared? Or am I the only one who feels unprepared?"

"I feel ashamed to have to ask for help. It's not an adult thing to ask for help. There's this expectation to be able to handle things, because you know, that's what being an adult is supposed to be."

"I hate this...this having to BE adult! Where did that kind of pressure come from!?"

"They tell me that I act like a child."

Invisible In The Eyes Of Others / The Curse Of Invisibility

I've been reflecting on this a lot recently. I've been seeing quite a few people who came with complaints about their anxiety but with probing, revealed that it's much more than that. The broader picture is about their relationship with people and how anxiety is part of the equation. It can be summed up like this:

"People don't take me seriously."

"They write me off."

""It's like they don't want to know me."

"It's like I'm invisible or something!"

"I'm always on the back foot with everyone!"

This is often said with frustration edged with hopelessness and laced with powerlessness. It's not that these people have not tried to make themselves more visible.