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| By Wellvyl Media Editorial

Anxiety is as pleasurable as occupying the middle seat on your flight from JFK to LAX. It was not your first choice nor was it a bargain. In addition, there is no option to upgrade to first class.

Like any chronic illness nor unfavorable circumstance we have no control over, anxiety requires conscientious management as well as discerning foresight and thoughtful reflection. If we do not approach in this way, the experience of the condition worsens and we can become more and more prone to situations that will induce more insufferable anxiety. That is no way to live.

Anxiety is not a character or personality flaw, and it is not your dark enemy within that must be despised. After much time, an ocean of tears, and years of practicing meditation, I can view my personal issues with anxiety through a more objective lens, understanding it to be a catalyst for growth and evolution. It is the bitter poison that has painfully beckoned me to become my own alchemist, empowering me to become more disciplined and deeply self-aware. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever think of acknowledging the positives of being an anxious person.


The” Up Sides” of Down


You are much more likely to have a Plan B because you are fully aware of the possibility that things don't always go according to plan. When they do not, you are better able to efficiently switch gears and not being distracted from the let down of things not going your way. Because you want to avoid the exasperating mental energy of disappointment you have purposely made room for error in your preparations and have already armed yourself with an acceptance of the alternative.

Better Energy Management

You are much upfront about saying “no”. You are careful to not jam-pack your schedule with back to back meetings, project deadlines, and appointments. As much as it is under your control, you are vigilant to arrange your schedule in a way where you are not mentally over-committed and physically over-extended. You also take the initiative to be in regular communication with your boss or management about reasonable project deadlines and collaborations that will enable you to work most efficiently and productively.

In addition, you are also vigilant to avoid inefficient transit crisscrossing through NYC’s Five Boroughs. You are conscientious to enough to understand that some days, going to Brooklyn is just a bridge too far for today, but maybe not for tomorrow. Also, on a day where you feel particularly on edge, you know that in the grand scheme of things it will be better for your physical and mental wellbeing to spring for the solitude of a cab ride and spare yourself the uncertainty and claustrophobia of the MTA.   

Greater Degree of Empathy

Those who suffer from anxiety tend to be more empathetic and understanding of the issues that others face. It has been shown that people with anxiety also cultivate more satisfying and deeper friendships. This is perhaps due to their experiences with anxiety and the social stigma the couples it. Thus, they are less judgemental of others and better able to hold the space for those who are facing emotional hardships. 

It is time that we adopt a new mentality about anxiety. Let us move away from a mindset that highlights what’s wrong with us, but one that investigates how our particular dispositions be a means that encourage us to innovate, prepare, and take care of ourselves as well as others.  This way, anxiety becomes less of our mortal enemy and more like tolerating our cramped middle seat in economy class on a trans-Pacific flight. Buckle up and do not forget your earbuds.