The Cure for Anxiety is Alchemy?
The cure for anxiety. Yeah, that’s not a thing. I’ve been reading and searching and studying and thinking for many years now on how to cure the anxiety I feel and how to cure others. For a long time I felt superior, that I alone was connecting the dots. In the last few months, I did actually connect many of the dots for myself. And now I see that many people connect many of the dots. But no one can connect all the dots. That would require both perfection in the seeker and the reality of anxiety as disease.
You can’t cure what isn’t a disease, right?
I now think that anxiety is a preference for negative thoughts, both a negative view of the present moment and a negative prediction of the future. This negative view causes my anxious mind to fret that needs will go unmet, safety will be compromised, rules will be broken, etc. This fretting feels uncomfortable and causes me to want to control the situation by fixing, evading, planning, or some other action.
That’s not a disease. That’s just my brain going into some negative overdrive mode which feels “good” because I have lots to think about and get a neurotransmitter fix by making connections and coming to conclusions. I don’t need to cure this view preference, like one cures an infection.
I just need to:
- catch myself at having these negative thoughts (CBT is good for that),
- eat the foods that help me so I don’t mis-fuel or over-fuel the neurons or affect blood sugar mood,
- install positive self-talk in my brain to replace the negative self-talk on command,
- improve my self-efficacy beliefs so that I will believe the positive self-talk,
- have a positive view of why things happen that I share with others in my very local culture,
- and practice emotional honesty and control so I don’t feel justified in being anxious.
Simple, right? When I write it out like this, my recipe for reducing my negative thought preference sounds as difficult as turning lead to gold. Alchemy I’ve been told is possible. You can turn lead molecules to gold. It’s just cost prohibitively expensive, a lot of work for little result. This list looks like a lot of work and emotionally expensive, because my mind wants to remain anxious. I’ve built up an entire defense industry in my head so that I can continue to have these negative thoughts.
The conscious me wants to be rid of the anxiety. Hence the whole spending years working on curing it. So, now that I have a list of what works for me and have tried this and found it to work for me, I need to do the difficult. I need to try.
Yoda be darned. There is such a thing as try. And I will try and practice and make some changes in the way I think. I’ve started it already. All this blog has been speaking about me. I am sorry that I don’t know how to help you, gentle reader. There is no cure. However, perhaps some of this can apply to your own life/psyche/brain. In the weeks to come I will try to explain more fully the items on the list above. As I do, let me know what you find.