So is anxiety productive or counterproductive? Do the sweaty palms and increased heart rate help you move into action or just freeze your call to action?
In a nutshell, I don’t believe the answer is black and white. I can’t give a definitive yes or no.
When you an increased adrenaline rush (anxiety manifested) you will dash into a house and save a life. It’s our instrintual makeup.
Psychology is correct in the sense that anxiety can be debilitating but because of our ancient DNA it can be used to survive. Are you ever anxious when you are angry with someone in, let’s say, a restaurant but you can’t show your anxiety? I believe anger can be displayed as anxiety. So what do you do? You take 5 minutes to yourself in the restroom, take a deep breath, and accept how you are feeling. If you weren’t angry you wouldn’t be human. I am not saying, let’s be angry and anxious around everyone but I am saying be true to how you feel. That’s where you will be more successful because you are real with yourself.
Society is all about pretend you are ok and bottling up your emotions. It catches me off guard but I love it when I ask someone how they are doing and they shrug their shoulders and say, “It could be better.” We shouldn’t dump on problems on people but it’s important to speak the truth in a gentle way so we can come to terms to how we are really feeling, you know?
In a less exaggerated example, if all of a sudden, if I lose all my work on a poem I am writing on WordPress and it doesn’t save and I don’t have a backup, I’ll become anxious. But maybe next time because of the anxiety, I’ll make sure to save it or have a backup because I hated that feeling of anxiety in the past.
So anxiety can be useful to help us cope and prepare us to deal with more challenging problems later on, in my opinion. But when is anxiety counterproductive? When you worry to the point of a lack of trust in God’s sovereignty and love. It’s natural to go to the grieving process when someone dies or a healing process of emotional hurts from your past. But when anxiety turns into depression, that’s never God’s will for your life. Sometimes it’s better to ask HOW can I get through this instead of WHY did this happen. Just some food for thought today.
What are your thoughts on this piece?