Anxiety antidote: Attack anxiety with action

So one of those big words that looms so large over the modern world is anxiety.
It’s this strange, nebulous, unclear, fuzzy thing that doesn’t have any exact form, that sort of hangs like a cloud over our minds.
It’s a sense of discomfort, unease, apprehension, fear, but without a clear cause, without a clear target.
It’s this general sense of discontent, unease, discomfort, dissatisfaction, worry.
And so many of us suffer from it.
And it seems like those who are in the more sedentary professions get it worse.
People who are sitting at a computer all day, people on their phones all day.
These get it worse than- you know, people that are able to be outside and doing physical action seem to have less of a problem with anxiety.
But because so many of us are just living at desks and computers, this is a big part of life in the modern world.
It seems to be connected with having a lot of time to think, a lot of untargeted energy, having thoughts and feelings that don’t have a clear target, don’t have a clear objective.
So it’s this kind of freeform floating.
And so many people, myself included, especially in the past, would consider themselves to have some issue with anxiety, with this idea of overthinking, thinking too much in ways that are unhelpful, going around in circles of thought.
It’s not easy to address this because it is such an unfocused thing.
How do you target a cloud? You can’t just shoot a cloud.
It’s like a mist hanging over our minds.
And it’s often so unclear what to do.
But one thing that I have found, and increasingly I’m discovering with greater clarity, is that the antidote to anxiety is action.
It is doing things, actions that- actions will resolve some of this anxiety.
Anxiety is what you get when you are inactive and you are worrying about what might happen and worrying about the way things are.
But when we are absorbed in action, carrying out action with our full focus, attention, full energy, there’s very little room for anxiety.
So the approach that I like to take is to identify actions that could in some way reduce anxiety.
There’s no one action that will clear the whole cloud of anxiety away, but we can start attacking it around the edges.
Any tiny source of anxiety can be attacked with action, and then each little action will slightly reduce that cloud of anxiety.
So all those little nagging thoughts, things of, oh, I should do this, I should do that, I’m delaying this, I’m delaying that, this needs attention, that needs attention: all these little things that are sort of nagging around the edges of our mind in this kind of vague way: we can just start by hitting with useful actions to take care of them.
Let’s say if there’s somebody we need to contact we haven’t contacted: contact them.
That’s the action.
There’s disorder piling up at home: we need to clean up the home.
There’s a job that needs to be done: do that job.
We feel anxiety about our fitness: okay, we have to do more exercise and take a decisive step in that way.
Anxiety about diet: OK, change the diet.
Anxiety about appearance: OK, do something to change the appearance, to improve it, improve health, improve style, improve the appearance.
Whatever it takes.
The action is not necessarily and probably not going to hit the root of the anxiety and clear it away, but it’s just starting around the edges to start to clear it away a little bit.
And then the effect of this really gets compounded, because one of the biggest sources of anxiety is anxiety.
So being anxious leads us to be more anxious.
So if we start to take very tiny, simple actions to start to clear away the edges of the anxiety, then the total compound effect of our overall anxiety will be reduced, and the mists can start to clear.
So my program, my plan, for this is that any time I feel that kind of nagging hit of anxiety in some way, I will respond by taking a simple, small action to in some way reduce it.

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