The body is smart. It knows things before our brains do. While anxiety feels awful, it is merely a messenger. Coming to deliver an important message, like it or not. That knot in the stomach and those butterflies flitting about are here as a signal for you to pay attention, and do some investigation. So hold off on the Xanax, and consider these four possible and prevalent sources of anxiety:
Some choice that you have made is out of alignment with your path in life. You know deeply that you cannot sustain your life with this in it. Be it a person, a job/career, a decision or a condition, it is not ok. It probably has not been ok for some time. The rationalizations (that we are all so good at) are wearing thin. Time to admit it. Something is just not right. Then choose to change it. Yes, there will be trade-offs. Make them. And notice how you will feel better, pretty immediately.
There is something you have not accepted yet, that you need to. You have likely been fooling yourself that you can control it, but that’s no longer working. At best, it is exhausting. Buddhist Philosophy 101: life contains suffering. Suffering is worsened by struggling against it. Attempt only to change what you can. Accept the rest, and work with it. Surely there must be a way to live parallel to the inevitable. While sadness or disappointment may accompany this acceptance, remember they are transient feelings. It will feel better in time.
Low Self-efficacy. The haunting idea that we do not have what it takes to survive in this world. That everyone else has it but you. This is a faulty self-structure issue that needs fixing. Be it an old belief system, imposter syndrome, or low self-esteem, its a good time to reality check your beliefs. This is a syndrome that prevails throughout life if ignored. Yes, counseling will sort this out so you can arrive at a more peaceful perspective.
Overwhelm. Seems to be a worsening human condition. What occurs during the course of a day is just too much for the brain to process, so it sends stress signals that manifest in the body. When we do not listen to these signals, the body overrides. It screams for a time out. Time to settle, absorb, and reset. Which, by the way, is what meditation is all about. Practicing meditation 15 minutes daily will provide you a tool for the brain to process, a most vital function.
Attention to these core issues will eliminate your anxiety without medication. The meds are a highly addictive bandaid, and the anxiety will resurface, so beware when you reach for the quick fix.
I witness the vicious cycles of discord, escapist behaviors, defeat, and sadly, repetition. Not surprising that anxiety is off the charts, for all age groups. The spectrum of the types of anxiety range broadly from social anxiety to death anxiety, with many varieties in between. But they all go back to these four fundamental points. Fix these, and the messenger of anxiety will no longer need to visit.