Anxiety, Fear, Anger and Stress

a writing by Paul Butters

Today I posted the following on Facebook and Twitter (the latter a shortened version):

“In the past I've been annoyed at myself for feeling anxious, afraid, angry & stressed. On reflection I should have "listened" to these feelings and responded accordingly. We may see them as negatives but they have a good purpose: to keep us safe and ready for any challenges we may have to face.”
Before writing this I was influenced by the article on NPR site called “Kelly McGonical: Can We Reframe The Way We Think About Stress?” Essentially Kelly put a new positive spin on stress. And she claimed that people who see stress in a golden light (my wording) do lots better than those who do not. Simples.

Of course, as regards “ignoring my anxiety” is concerned, the obvious personal example of that was when I started a particular job in my early twenties. My early anxiety was a warning – and an accurate one – that I had found myself in the wrong place during the wrong thing. Deep down I saw no future in that role and knew that my decision to enter that profession was quite bizarre (to be frank). Maybe now I might be able to meet such a challenge, but that’s after a further 39 years of life-experience! So yes that Anxiety etc. was more than justified. Still, you live and learn.

Anger and “Stress” are just as important as Anxiety etc. of course. Indeed without these emotions our ancestors would not have survived. And they are just as important today. We may think that we are more sophisticated now, but the truth is we still live in a jungle. So when we get worried and scared, or blazing with fury, we should be glad that we still have the emotional capacity to defend ourselves and fight back. Nuff Said. Out.

Paul Butters

© PB 23\8\2019.

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