Anxiety is a feeling we can all relate to - whether animal or human. Also, interestingly, animal expert Temple Grandin reports in her book "Animals Make Us Human" that many of the same anti-anxiety medications that work for humans work equally well on animals.

This is the truth.

In fact, neither anxiety nor its twin sister, depression (more about that in part two of this post), has any common sense, and thus

neither are particularly helpful to us save for providing a place of temporary retreat and shelter as we regroup.

Having often ridden the twin roller-coasters of anxiety and depression over the years, I liken each to an opposite-seeming yet exactly identical “emotional dead zone” – a place where emotions grind to a halt under (or above, in the case of anxiety) a thick, heavy blanket of emotive smog.

I have also realized over the years that this is often (oddly) for my own protection – like an automatic shut-off valve when my emotional system begins to overheat….or freeze.

This is also why trying to make a decision while under the influence of anxiety or depression is like deciding to take the freeway off-ramp right after you have passed by it. Turning around is suicidal. So is tamping down on your brakes. The only logical and safe course of action is to keep going until a situation arises when it is safe to change lanes and slowly inch your way off the freeway.

Only at that time can you decide what to do next – look for a U-turn ramp and retrace your steps, continue on at a slower pace on the feeder road while you search for needed refreshment or a rest stop, or simply pull over and park to breathe and regain your sensibilities.

Being an especially anxiety-prone individual, my mentor has had to remind me SO many times over the years that a feeling of inner peace is THE ONLY TRUE NORTH I can follow with total trust. If I am acting out of any other place than a feeling of peace, then I am acting prematurely, because more is yet to be revealed.

Today’s Takeaway: Do you often feel tempted to make decisions about “what to do about….” while under the influence of anxiety or depression? Do you sometimes attempt to bully yourself into making a big, potentially life-changing decision while anxiety or depression are present, telling yourself that only by acting will you “make” the anxiety or depression go away? In these times, how might a gentle application of peaceful waiting ease the situation and allow you to make decisions more suited to what you are experiencing in the moment – such as seeking assistance to ease the depression or anxiety itself – rather than attempting to find a solution that will rid you of either in the moment or for good?

 


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    Last reviewed: 11 Jun 2012

APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2012). Anxiety Has No Common Sense. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 25, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mentoring-recovery/2012/06/anxiety-has-no-common-sense/

 

 

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