People today are living life at a faster pace than ever before. ‘Instant’ has become not only an expectation, but a necessity for many people. While this has many plus points and benefits, there are also consequences of such a way of life. People have never had so many options, so much information at their fingertips, and such a level of knowledge of the lives and activities of other people.
In a previous blog post, I explored the concept of the ‘Fear of Missing Out’ or ‘FOMO’ and how this heavily influences the lives of so many people in today’s world. I discussed how social media is the primary cause of this, due to the constant ability to observe and monitor the activities of friends, family and acquaintances and then the subsequent problems of people comparing their own life situation to the perceived situation of the other people.
This blog post is on similar lines- on how the way people live today, in particular younger people (the so-called ‘Millienials’ and younger) is having a huge impact on anxiety levels.
First of all, it’s important to explain what my idea of anxiety is. I consider anxiety to be a state of unease, of which there can be varying levels and degrees. Everybody experiences some level of anxiety at some point in their lives, or will have done in the past. Feelings of anxiety are something that everyone is familiar with on some level.
It can range from a slight sense of nervousness about something, to a full blown panic attack when a person ends up not being able to control the physical response of their body. Occasional mild anxiety which comes and goes is not so much of a problem and relatively normal. It becomes an issue when it starts to affect and control the way a person lives their life.
Do you live in the future?
One thing that virtually all people who struggle with anxiety have in common is that they predominantly spend their time thinking about, and planning for the future. This is where the culture of ‘What’s Next’ is really causing problems for people.
In many ways, life would appear to have become faster, easier and more convenient. You now barely have to leave your home in order to get the essentials to survive. From online orders being delivered in a matter of hours, to the throw-away culture of modern clothes shopping, to potential dates being only a couple of taps on a smart phone away, constant opportunity for engagement and entertainment has never been more abundant.
“It’s in the absence of presence that we become anxious.”
What many people don’t realise is, it’s in the absence of presence that we become anxious. In the constant striving for the next thing, the next thrill, the next kick, people get further and further away from focusing their attention on the present moment, which is where a sense of calm and peace is easily achieved.
This is a common theme among young people in particular, who have grown up in such a culture where very little value is placed on appreciating what you have already, with a lot of value placed on striving for what you have yet to do, have, or achieve.
It is little wonder then that so many people are struggling with anxiety, despite the fact that at first glance, we appear to be more materially abundant than ever, and have more opportunity and freedom than ever.
We have been conditioned to believe that everything we need is ‘out there’- that the next item of clothing, the next date, the next trip abroad will bring us happiness. And while buying the clothes or the thrill of getting a new match on Tinder may well provide a short boost of dopamine, people can then become reliant and in many ways addicted to getting that latest ‘hit’.
Do you find yourself constantly thinking about the next thing you’re going to do? When you’re on a trip somewhere do you find it hard to focus on simply enjoying being there? Are you constantly taking photos with the intention of uploading to social media later on? This may or may not apply to you personally, but in today’s society, the majority of people have issues remaining focused in the present moment.
Our modern way of life simply encourages people to be looking ahead constantly, and if you don’t have the knowledge or skills to enable you to bring more presence and peace into your life and to be able to be aware of and to manage your emotions, you could be prone to developing a constant anxiety which affects and restricts your life.
What can you do if you’re anxious?
Although it’s very difficult to avoid this culture of ‘What’s Next?’, you can become more aware of your own choices and behaviours and take action to change your way of life. Awareness is curative, and just a simple awareness of what is going on and how your feelings of anxiety come about can be extremely helpful.
Here are 5 things that you can start doing today to take control of your anxiety:
1. Start a meditation/self hypnosis/visualisation practice and routine
If you don’t know how to meditate or find it daunting, you can go to my Facebook page Fast Freedom Therapy with Liam Hand, and on there you will find videos of self-hypnosis techniques which allow you to go into a focused, present state extremely quickly.
2. Learn tapping techniques such as TFT and EFT to instantly calm your anxiety whenever you need to.
These remarkable meridian tapping therapies allow you to release any negative emotion extremely quickly. For a short video introduction and demonstration of TFT, go to the Free Stuff section of this site and download my free video, or go to my Facebook page.
3. Engage in hobbies which focus you and help you to quiet your mind
Many forms of exercise are excellent for this. One of my favourites for this purpose is yoga, which is extremely calming and nourishing for the mind, body and spirit. I would recommend to anyone who has anxiety to begin a regular yoga practice.
4. Begin a gratitude journal and write in it every day
By writing in a gratitude journal consistently, you begin to shift your focus away from the future and what you need to ‘get’, towards a focus on the present and appreciating what you already have in your life- who you already are, what you have already achieved, and to also foster a sense of gratitude for the people in your life that matter.
5. Listen to music that promotes a sense of inner peace
Certain types of music have been proven to have calming and relaxing effects and can help to quiet the mind and allow you to focus on the present. Most types of classical music are ideal for this, as well Tibetan chants and other music which is designed to aid meditation. I particularly like the Solfeggio Frequencies by Source Vibrations (available on iTunes and YouTube), which can help you to quiet your mind and achieve a meditative state very quickly and easily.
As with anything, consistency is everything. Whatever you choose to do to gain control of your anxiety, you must be consistent over a period of time to see results. It’s very difficult to avoid the modern culture of ‘What’s Next?’, but you can control your sense of attachments and feelings towards it.
If you think you would like 1-1 help to overcome your anxiety, I offer sessions over Skype or in Manchester which provide fast and lasting results. Contact me here or through Facebook to discuss arranging a session.
All the best,