Every day, we are faced with situations that make us anxious, ranging from work and career stress, to health issues, sinking economies, failing relationships or marriage, weight issues or even something as mundane as dealing with traffic, there are more than enough things to make one anxious.
However, our brain’s plasticity is what enables us to be resilient during challenging times, to learn how to calm down, reassess situations, reframe our thoughts and make smarter decisions. It is easier to take advantage of this when we remind ourselves that anxiety doesn’t always have to be bad.
Consider the following sources of anxiety, and learn how you can channel your them into something else, something more;
Anger could block your attention and ability to perform, or it could fuel and motivate you; sharpen your attention; and serve as a reminder of what’s important.
Fear could trigger memories of past failures; rob your attention and focus; and undermine your performance, or it could make you more careful about your decisions; deepen your reflection; and create opportunities for changing direction.
Sadness could flatten out your mood and demotivate you, or it could help you reprioritize and motivate you to change your environment, circumstances and behavior.
Worry could make you procrastinate and get in the way of accomplishing goals, or it could help you fine-tune your plans; adjust your expectations; and become more realistic and goal-oriented.
Frustration could inhibit your progress and steal your motivation, or it could vivify and challenge you to do more or better.
These comparisons may seem simplistic, but they point to powerful choices that produce tangible outcomes. They also serve as a reminder that you in fact have the opportunity to make a choice as to how you let things affect you.
“Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion.” By Wendy Suzuki, PhD. Neuroscientist and professor of Neural Science and Psychology in the Center for Neural Science at New York University.