Anxiety is a big problem for a lot of people, including myself. Sometimes it can seem like anxiety is an unavoidable part of daily life, and I am starting to think that this is true.
I know this sounds negative, but let me explain.
Imagine that you are a fluffy puppy living with your owner. (A little weird I know… but stay with my train of thought!) You may be an animal but you will still feel stress and anxiety; for instance, you may feel stressed if you need to go for a wee but your owner won’t let you out. You will feel stress if your owner goes to the local shop, or if your food bowl is empty.
This stress is similar to the stress that humans feel, but there is one key difference; when an animal feels stress it is easy to solve the problem quickly. If they are hungry they will find food, if they are thirsty they will find water – and if they need to go to the toilet, then they will!
For the puppy that is the end of the stressful situation. This is because animals live in a world where it is easy to quickly deal with stress, as it is linked to survival. This was the same for humans for most of our evolution – you felt hungry, you felt stressed, you found some food and the stress disappeared.
This means that stress once helped us to survive.
However modern life isn’t that simple. Most of the things that cause you stress are long term issues, such as worrying about your career, relationships and family problems. It can take years to form a good career, and therefore it is very difficult to stop worrying about it.
Most of the choices that we make won’t immediately relieve our stress; if you want a good career you will have to study hard, apply for jobs and wait to hear if you have an interview. If you want to be financially secure in the future, you can’t spend a day saving and then be done – you must spend your whole life saving and spending responsibly.
This makes it a lot harder for humans to de-stress, but there is still something that you can do to relieve stress; you can measure your progress in tiny chunks.
If you are worried about starting a good career, make the effort to apply improve your resume today. If you are worried about your finances, ring a financial adviser today. These small steps will help your brain to de-stress as it will help to remove the uncertainty from the situation.
If you are feeling stressed right now, think about what you can do today to relieve that stress. It may only be something small, but it will help you to sleep easier tonight. : )