Anxiety. It is endemic in our society, wrapping its dark shroud around our youth and is showing little signs of letting up. It terrifies me. I have witnessed first-hand the negative consequences of anxiety on those close to me and in the athletes, I have had the privilege to work with. But, what are the causes and why is it so prevalent in North American Society?
I am a curious person by nature. Let me ask you 20 questions about yourself, and you will put a smile on my face. So, I have asked questions, plenty of them to those with anxiety to understand and discover how it shows up, its impact and most importantly what works to quiet it.
This summer, we had the good fortune of hosting Ncamiso at our cottage for 4 nights. He is a young man from Swaziland whom we sponsored from Elementary school right through to College. To meet him as an adult and to witness first-hand how our donations helped propel him in his future left me awestruck and feeling immense gratitude toward the foundation Swazi Kids that made this happen. Ncamiso’s English is perfect which allowed for some insightful conversation and allowed me to pepper him with questions about life in in his country. “Ncamiso, tell me about anxiety in Swaziland? Is it a factor in your country, does it affect your nation in the way that it affects ours?” A little bit of background on the country, it is in a drought and famine, clean drinking water is sparse, jobs are few and because of the Aids epidemic, life span is shortened. And yet, despite the difficulties within the nation, according to Ncamiso anxiety is not a word that he hears often. I thought maybe he had misunderstood my question, but no he assured me Anxiety is a non-issue in his country. Sure, there is stress and worry but serious mental health issues do not seem to exist there. If my curiosity was not piqued earlier it certainly was now. What the heck is going on in our beautiful nation and why are so many Canadians suffering from Anxiety?
I am certainly not an expert on Anxiety, just a layman with a bundle of curiosity and a lot of compassion for those that suffer from it. Below are thoughts on what may lead to an anxious mind. If any of these items resonate with you, then by addressing these causes you will be effectively antedoting them. The causes as outlined, when flipped on the backside can become the healing agent. If you are reading this, and you suffer from Anxiety please chime in on what works for you and what doesn’t. I’d love to see this list grow. Thank you
Depending on the individual and their sensitivity it may only take the absence of one of the above qualifiers to create an anxious mind. And, if you do have anxiety, consider addressing perhaps just one of the above, the one that screams out to you and that may be enough to restore balance in your mind.
And finally, gratitude. By focusing on what is going well for you in your life ties up your brainwaves so that they cannot dwell on the negative. Our brains are hard wired to think, so chose what you are going to think about and be conscious of that choice. Our thoughts are interpretations of events going on around us, are you creating an interpretation that is empowering or disempowering? You get to decide. You are more powerful than you think.
Got a question? Send it our way at, firstname.lastname@example.org, we would be happy to answer it.
ABOUT MICHELLE NEWTON
Sport Psychology Coach, competitive athlete, speaker, author, PECI certified coach.
Resources : https://thelostconnections.com
Creating Peak Performances
"If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it." Tonny Lasorda