Anxiety sufferers often worry about the little things. The natural response of others who do not have anxiety would be to tell you to get some perspective. But it’s not that easy because people with the tendency almost have a trait to sweat the small stuff. It is almost like there is no differentiation between the little things and the major things.
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Someone who does not suffer from anxiety cannot appreciate these differences. In my opinion, one has to look at what is driving anxiety as biochemistry, whether one believes that it is strictly caused by biochemistry or one’s thinking or environmental factors influencers are causing the problem. There is definitely biochemistry involved. You wouldn’t tell a diabetic that he/she should be able to just handle a little extra sugar in their diet. That they just need to learn to deal with it. Yet when someone is prone to having anxious thinking, that is precisely what many people tell them.
The advice is to get some perspective or that it’s no big deal. Don’t worry about it. All of this is completely useless advice for the true anxiety prone person. Anxiety and stress is a reality of life, to a certain extent. The difference is whether it dominates your life in an impairing way.
There are some people who have overcome their panic attacks, but they may still have many anxiety provoking situations. It could be when they enter social situations, or they engage in any type of activity where they will need to perform, such as athleticism or any competitive activity. This is because we are constantly comparing ourselves to others, in one way or another.
What is interesting is that the anxious person becomes very anxious and might say things like “I am not competitive” or I don’t like competition. Having experienced this myself, I would say that what they are saying is that they don’t like the feeling of comparing themselves to others especially when they come up short in my own self-evaluation. This is likely due to self-esteem challenges. We have a whole video series on self-esteem. We would encourage you to check this out if this is an area where you significantly struggle.
Stephen Spielberg makes an interesting point in his documentary “Spielberg.” He states that anxiety is actually something that makes his films better. If he is more anxious about a project and worried “digging myself out” he does far better than if he wasn’t, Spielberg indicates.
What’s the point?
Anxiety is something that is part of one’s life. The anxiety about the small things will always be there. That is why it is key to convert it to something that improves your life, such as creativity. We have created a whole series on creativity. We would also encourage you to check this out. Don’t worry if you think that you are not the creative type. This creativity series is for everyone because I believe that in some way we are all creative, good at problem solving or put another way making a meaningful difference in the world no matter how big or small.