Into and Out of Anxiety

By Chris Chittenden

“Concentration is a fine antidote to anxiety.”

… Jack Nicklaus (b. 1940) US golfer

The year 2011 started as a year of promise for many people, but as it comes to an end, rather than an increasing hope there seems to be a world wide growth in our state of anxiety.

From an ontological coaching perspective, anxiety is seen as a mood characterised by a underlying sense of fear predisposing us to tentative and/or defensive action. It can also be seen as an individual s stance in the world where that person doubts their ability to deal with the future.
So one way of looking at this rise in anxiety is a rise in self-doubt.

Clearly there are many reasons for this rising anxiety, some of which are obvious and others not.

At a global level, there appears to be a fracturing of the structures that have served us well historically and at the same time created some certainty for us.

We also live in a world where it serves some people to create a sense of fear. Politicians do it. Advertisers do it. The list goes on and on. Indeed, anyone seeking to sway people can create a sense of fear aimed at compelling some desired action.

At a personal level, we are being inundated with things to address which can lead to a sense of feeling overloaded and unable to cope.

Anxiety is a normal human response to dealing with the world. It plays a part in keeping us alert to potential harm. However, it is not a state that serves us well if it is ever-present.

One of the keys to dealing with anxiety is to recognise that when we are anxious we are focusing on what we don t want. By shifting to focus to what we do want, we can start to find ways where we can take more decisive action and, in doing so, build up our self-belief.

More articles on Being Human

© 2011 Chris Chittenden