When we think of anxiety, we typically think of it in negative terms, something to be gotten rid of. Anxiety is a common issue, being the number one reason for women and the number two reason for men to seek counseling. So you might be surprised if I told you that anxiety can be beneficial sometimes. Following are ways that anxiety can sometimes be helpful.
Anxiety can be a powerful motivating force. It can drive us to action. If you didn’t fear the negative consequences of not showing up for work on Monday morning, you might just turn off your alarm, roll over, and drift back to sleep. The anxiety about negative consequences motivates you to take actions that help you to remain employed.
Anxiety can be our brain’s signal to us that something may be unsafe. That anxiety can cause us to remove ourselves from the unsafe situation or to prepare ourselves for action in case of danger.
Anxiety may drive you to prepare for an upcoming event. For example, in the week leading up to a workshop that I will lead, I experience anxiety. That anxiety ensures I won’t forget to prepare. There’s no way I can forget the workshop when I’m anxious about it. And I know that the most productive way I can deal with the anxiety is to work on my presentation or review my materials. In this way, my anxiety drives me to be prepared.
Not all anxiety is helpful, of course. In fact, a lot of anxiety creates more problems than it solves. If anxiety is a problem for you, give me a call or text at (816) 226-4678. Let’s set up a free 30-minute consultation or a full session.