Anxiety Does Not HAVE To Be Your Default

I am not the same person I was when I was 20 or 30 or even when I was 60. None of us are. Our life experiences have been changing us every day. These changes are often barely noticeable from yesterday to today but more noticeable over time. 

Change is inevitable.

A promotion. Good friends move across country. Children grow up and leave home. Illness. Management changes at work. Elections bring changes in policies and laws. High winds take down a favorite tree. Death takes a parent. The price of oil soars. The stock market falls. 

We face change daily.

For some, the awareness of potential change breeds anxiety and even rage. How can you plan for the future if you don’t know exactly what is going to happen?

We spend far too much energy in worry and what-ifs. It is not an energy that produces anything. It is a toxic energy that eats away at our bodies and our minds.

Change will come. 

Even when the change is for the better, like a promotion or new job, it can be fraught with worry and so many unknowns. What if I don’t get along with the new boss? What if I am too old to learn the new skills? What if the job doesn’t last?

Our brains default to the negative.

Our brains are wired for negativity and anxiety. That is the fight or flight instinct that allowed our earliest ancestors to survive. Though we no longer have to be concerned about a tiger attacking us as we walk through the woods or wonder if that the plant we are about to eat will poison us, our brains still default to anxiety.

Fortunately, we live in a time when science has given us a great deal of information about how our brains work and how trainable brains are.

  • We can learn to Skype with our children and friends who are far away.
  • We can plant a new tree and garden in place of the one that fell.
  • We can share stories with our children about the grandparent that cannot be in their life today.
  • We can organize our shopping so that we do not drive the car so often.
  • We can feel inner strength and pride in learning new skills.
  • We can realize that out country, community has survived bad leaders in the past.
  • We can learn to be with change and to explore our lives as they are with unexpected turns. 

It is possible to alleviate the incessant anxiety and fear of change and to approach the possibilities of change with curiosity. We can ride the wave of change by observing what is actually happening now

We will never know for sure what will be. As the old Doris Day song goes, 

Que será será. 

Whatever will be, will be. 

The future’s not ours to see.

Que será será.

Change will come.

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