Anxiety - the mind's megaphone
Imagine if you will, your mind and how it communicates with your body. Neurons firing current through the highways and byways of our brains, like cars travelling on a busy motorway.
These cars travelling the motorways of our mind, are signals and thoughts to your body to move, to breathe, to make your breakfast in the morning, to leave five minutes earlier than usual to beat the morning rush hour on your way to work.
Now imagine trying to have a conversation with someone at the side of the motorway and make yourself heard over the sound of the traffic... I suspect it would not be long before you decided to retreat to a quieter location for your conversation where you could actually hear each other.
Now imagine you kept trying to have a conversation at the side of the road, unable to hear each other properly, becoming more and more frustrated. How then might we solve this?
If the above is a metaphor for our mind, our busy lives, our wants and needs. How might our mind try to communicate above the noise of the busy road? how might the conversation be heard?
In the same way you might reach for a megaphone in a busy area to ensure you are heard. Our mind does a similar thing.
If we push down our thoughts, feelings and emotions because we feel we have to, whatever the reason, eventually our mind will start to tell us this situation no longer suits us. Whether it is a job we have been doing for a while that no longer suits us, a type of work we are doing that we do not like, a relationship we are in (romantic or otherwise) where we find a behaviour unacceptable, or something else entirely. Anything that you have been ignoring that your mind knows is not what you want and you ignore it and carry on. This is the potential for anxiety. Anxiety is our mind's megaphone.
If anxiety is the megaphone of our mind, then what are we trying to tell ourselves that we might not be listening to? Everyone has different levels of tolerance when it comes to dealing with stress, and so what one person may be able to cope with without any physical symptoms of anxiety may not be the case for the next person.
Think of it like public speaking, how do you feel about it yourself? Do you know anyone who does not mind public speaking? Do you know anyone who likes it even less than you do? That is but one example of what our lives can throw at us, there are many others that you might experience throughout your life, the key is to be aware of your thoughts, feelings and emotions around these scenarios.
Maybe we are aware we prefer to work at our home office versus going into work, but we go into work anyway, Why? Maybe we are aware that we are in an unhealthy relationship with a significant other, a friend or otherwise and even though they treat us badly we stay, Why? Maybe we are ignoring our feelings when entering certain situations, e.g. it may not be appropriate for us to be scared at that time because people are relying on us, Why?
In all of these examples it is important to ask ourselves the why, in order for us to learn, grow and develop into our full potential.
In conclusion, what I hope you take away from this article is that if you are having physical symptoms, potentially from anxiety, I want you to know, you’re not alone even though it may feel like it. Anxiety, although it may throw a spanner into the works (often at the most inconvenient times), is your body and mind communicating with you. What is it trying to tell you? If you want to explore this, reach out to a counsellor for help on your self-development journey, they will be happy to discuss your needs with you.