Anxiety is a sneaky little bug. Like squishing one ant and thinking you have conquered the anthill, so is drinking, eating or exercising away your anxiety. We can numb anything for a short period of time, but numbing it, or squishing one ant, won’t get rid of the problem. We must take a step back and address the real ant hill at stake, and we must come up with a plan to exterminate it, for simply pretending that it doesn’t exist gets us nowhere other than months down the road with the bad compensating habits and same nagging ant. Anxiety is a waste; unaddressed, it can waste your life away.
I had anxious nightmares all night; a mix of fears sabotaging and destroying everything I loved. I finally woke up when I was mid-way drowning in a flooded, on-fire car in the middle of Paris and I couldn’t manage to get myself to higher ground in Monmartre, at which point my love for Monmartre woke me up.
Anxiety that seeps into our world of dreams is anxiety that we must address. They are the ones we do our absolute best to sweep under the carpet but never seem to manage suppressing completely. The truth is though that we cannot run from our fears and our anxieties. We must face them in battle, look them in the eye, and choose to no longer let them have power over us.
It’s hard sometimes to even identify what it is that is eating us up inside, but we must. Dig. Dig deep. Ask yourself the questions that you don’t want to think about. Do this for your health, for the number one response to unresolved anxiety management in America is to turn to alcohol or food. Do not numb your feelings anymore. A life lived numbly is no life at all. A numb life can never be a truly happy life.
Refuse to be comfortably numb because you can’t be numb forever and numbness isn’t controllable by your subconscious while you sleep. You can’t ignore what you run from, so start facing it by choice. Perhaps it is your decisions and approach to life that brings anxiety, perhaps it is your prioritization of money over health, or perhaps it is the circumstantial stresses of life that have tricked you into not living in the present, but whatever it is, figure it out. Someone asked the Dalai Lama what surprises him most, and his response is an excellent guide to re-prioritization of our values in life. Re-prioritize your values, and your anxieties will dissipate into happiness.
The Dalai Lama’s response:
Man, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;
The result being that he does not live in the present of the future;
He lives as if he is never going to die,
And then he dies
Having never really live.