Suppose you are a receptionist. You get up every morning and prepare to go to a job where you must greet visitors and answer phones in a friendly nature. This is obviously not true for all, but play along with me. Every night before work there is a brief period of time that should be spent relaxing and preparing for the morning.
People describe it as being stuck inside their own personal hell. And there's a lot of truth to that. It's an endless stream of thoughts about worst-case scenarios, what-ifs, past events where you may have said that one thing wrong, and 10 years in the future when xyz might happen. It's incessant.
When we talk about the present moment, we’re talking about right now. And now. And also now. It moves along with you. In other words, whatever the thing is that you’re doing/reading/smelling is the present moment.
This seems funny to talk about, but it’s actually a significant factor in lots of lives. Here's the long and short of it. You will interact with people who don’t like you. WILL. Not “maybe you can sway them,” but actually, “some people won’t like you.” Period. Sit with that. Is it hard to stomach?
Feeling untethered? Unsure about where to go next, what to do with your life, and what your future holds? (Technically, nobody knows what the future holds, but that doesn’t mean we should say ‘screw it’ and completely disconnect what control we do have in our life.)
Anxiety is a tricky fiend. It’ll sneak up on you and snatch away your joy when you least expect it. Or it lies waiting all day, just biding its time until you lay down for bed and then it starts screaming in your ear about all the ways you’ve failed, all the things you have to do, all the horrific things that could happen, all the friends who probably don’t even like you, and all the failed attempts at life you’ve had so far.
EGADS, it’s exhausting.
I don't even know if that's a term or not, but it makes sense in my head.
Here's what I meant by existential drift - it's that moment in time when you're thinking about the meaning of life, or why you're here, or what's your purpose, or what's it all mean, and then you shift from curiosity and awe into despair, angst, and terror. It's that reeeeally slow shift; that gradual slope that you don't catch until you're speeding down the slide into the deep, dark recesses of your existentially-terrified mind.
I'm just going to come out and say it. Life can be boring, mundane, and monotonous. There. It's out in the open. Can't take it back.
It seems that so many people strive for this "perfect" life, but don't realize that striving for something that doesn't exist without embracing this basic sort of fact (that's clearly a personal bias) that life can be boring at times leads to feeling dissatisfied and unhappy. It's not that I don't want people to strive for better or more or more content or happier, but I want people to be realistic about their strivings.
Alrighty, friends. This is a continuation of the first part in a series of posts on anxiety. Each post covers one distinct aspect of anxiety (existential, biological and genetic, evolutionary, psychological, and behavioral) and all aspects can comprise your (or anybody's) experience with anxiety. Although some might be more relevant than others. The purpose of this isn't to tell you how to 'cure' your anxiety and it's not a magic fix; the purpose is to think about anxiety in a different way.
I don't know how to say this, so I'm just going to say it. Lots of counselors that I know think of anxiety as purely a psychological problem. That is, they believe anxiety is a result of your thoughts... and that's about it. My take is that there are many more pieces to the puzzle (see the list above of all the different aspects). When we start to understand all these aspects and see how they influence and/or show up in our own lives and in our experience of anxiety, then we can start moving forward in an effective and efficient way in managing and living with our anxiety.