What feelings arise when you hear that word?
Do you have flashbacks to certain moments in time?
Well today, I’m here to give a core root to anxiety and document step-by-step actionable advice that is applicable to a multitude of different scenarios.
First, we all know what anxiety feels like, and we may even recognize certain people, environments, circumstances, or information that catalyzes us into that state, but do we understand the root of it all?
I’ll share a proposed root.
Take this in, see if it is applicable to you, and throw a comment below for any other ideas that you think I miss.
Alright, so my proposed core root to anxiety is: We have an attachment to an expectation of an outcome that arises when we overthink our response to the response of others.
Alright so that’s the video, I’ll see you all tomorrow…nah I’m just kidding.
That’s a lot in one sentence, so let’s break it in half and break it down backward.
So first, we overthink our response to the response of others.
This is applicable when feeling anxious about anything involving other people.
Think of a time when you felt anxious about having to stand up in class to present or asking a potential partner out on a date, etc.
Originally articulated by Kapil Gupta, the idea is that we don’t truly fear what we have to say, or even what the other person or people will react or respond with.
Rather, deep down, we feel anxious about how WE will respond to the reaction of others.
Now, at first, this may not sound accurate or applicable.
But think about it, when we publicly speak in front of others, do we fear the reaction of the audience or do we fear the feelings that we will have to sit with that arise upon taking in the reaction of others?
If the crowd is booing, is it their boos that bring us anxiety or is it how we react to the boos that bring us anxiety?
Don’t force yourself to agree with this idea, but remain aware of it when you feel anxiety arise due to external influences.
Alright, so now let’s move on to the first part:
We have an attachment to an expectation of an outcome.
In any situation, we know an outcome will happen, and we hope it to be aligned with our goals, whatever they may be.
Let’s go to the example of asking a person out.
The goal, of course, is to have the other person say yes to the date.
With this, we may feel anxiety arise as we approach this person.
And I’m claiming this feeling of anxiety to stem from feeling attached to wanting this person to say yes.
So how do we resolve this problem?
Recognize that it’s an internal frameshift.
It may be helpful to zoom out and see the situation objectively from the perspective of… it is meant to be, then it will unfold naturally.
Okay, so that’s great and all for dealing with externally arising anxiety, but how about those seemingly random anxiety attacks that so many people deal with.
Let’s say you’re at home, chilling, and you begin to feel a panic attack come on.
First, go within and recognize what route you know is right for you to take:
Option 1 is to escape these feelings and return to your baseline ASAP