Anxiety is essentially an issue of sensitivity. Some of us are wired to be much more sensitive than others. It also leads us into repetitive, safe patterns, and this can be a trap for many. However, it is also clearly useful. It helps us learn lessons from the past, and make changes for the future. Everything is on balance, however, and we must also learn to enjoy the moment.
This video is part six of twenty-six excerpts from a presentation hosted by SOUL Food Salon in March 2019.
There’s a classic Aesop Fable. Have you guys every heard of the Ant and the Grasshopper? Do you guys know the story? So, the ant and the grasshopper, the grasshopper played the fiddle all summer and was enjoying himself and jumping around, and the ants were preparing for the winter. Then the winter came. When the winter came, the ant was well fed and warm, and the grasshopper was cold and hungry. Most fundamentally, anxiety does teach us that it has a role. It’s useful, but the problem I think is that anxiety can go too far. I have patients that come in, and they’ll often tell me that they feel like they’ve missed life. They’ll end up in situations where they’ll make all the money in the world, but they cannot enjoy it.
We look at these situations where people are inherently disconnected from life, in some ways as a result of being overly prepared. That level of over-preparation is kind of where we get in trouble. Everything I’m going to tell you throughout this presentation is intended to be taken on balance. Nobody’s telling you to quit your job and go home, and lounge in your recliner all day, but do think of things from a vector model. The engineer in me sees it as a balance between forces. On one end you have to work too much, and on the other end, you have to relax and enjoy. We’ll look into that a little more too.