Ep 22 - How To Deal With Creative Anxiety
Episode 22 - Ricky Richards Represents:
How To Deal With Creative Anxiety
The pursuit of happiness is, arguably, the greatest source of unhappiness.
Anxiety is an all too familiar experience for much of the worlds population. It is a condition that most learn to manage, not cure, and there are countless reasons why people experience anxiety creatively.
The feeling that our work is not good enough. The fear of the unknown. The anticipation of a meaningful event. Not being in the position we envisioned for ourselves, or even, ironically, achieving our goals and feeling no more fulfilled as a result.
What all of these examples have in common, is the inclusion of self.
Self-awareness is a double-edged sword. It can provide us with the internal roadmap to live within our own guiding principles, and hence, aid us in being content with our own decisions. Or it can be used to further propagate our inflated belief in the importance of oneself, triggering a metaphorical gremlin that never ceases to shut off, intensifying negative experience and causing further distress the longer it remains unaddressed.
The dark side of anxiety is in it’s unpredictability and disregard for the boundaries of the body. A condition that starts in the brain can manifest itself in all manner of physical symptoms, rashes, pains, tension and shakes, the list is seemingly boundless, and each case slightly different from person to person.
For the uninitiated, anxiety can very often lead to the feeling that there is something more sinister happening inside the body, undiagnosed by professionals who believe that the strife we’re experiencing, is nothing more than a result of stress, and not in fact the malignant tumour or early onset cancer that we secretly fear most.
It takes time to realise that the power of ‘dis-ease’ in our phycology, can have the devastating effect of triggering real symptoms, and it normally takes a severe stretch of crippling anxiety to identify it as an area of key concern.
The seemingly overwhelming growth of anxiety has no doubt lead to the rise in popularity of meditative practices in western culture, with many high performing individuals crediting meditation as a means of handing the disproportionate amounts of responsibility and stress they’re required to deal with daily.
For those who experience anxiety but that have no desire to experiment with meditative practice, I would instead offer a much more candid suggestion.
Loose the ego, or put another way, get over ones self.
It’s hard to believe that freeing yourself from the burden of anxiety could be found by seeking peace in our fleeting insignificance. Realising that earth is just one of roughly 100 billion planets in the Milky Way and our whole existence is down to a statistical anomaly and the miraculous serendipity of the events that occurred between our planet in relation to the sun. Itself just one of between two to four hundred billion other stars in our galaxy. To say we are but space dust is arguably an overstatement. And any worry, to the triviality of our own lives must therefore be put into perspective.
There is a lesson to be learned in these unfathomable numbers. That the experience of consciousness alone is a gift far greater in odds and value than any lottery win.
While there is no doubt great contributions to be made in helping fellow man understand a reason for being and aiding one another in making what short period of consciousness we have an enjoyable experience. We must not inflate the importance of ourselves, our problems and endeavours to a point where the fear itself becomes our biggest source of dissatisfaction.
While happiness is a modest and enviable goal. The pursuit of happiness is also the biggest source of unhappiness. We’d do well to come to terms with the fact that our moods and emotional responses are evolutionarily designed to be in a constant state of change, and no external accomplishment is likely to severely alter that facet of our nature.
While it is true that studies have shown that certain levels of financial stability do aid in the overall wellbeing and happiness over a whole population. The true secret to the reduction of anxiety and the increased feeling of personal wellbeing is in ones capacity to see and control our own emotional responses to external situations, for which no money or material possession is needed.
Once you come to realise that even in the most unfortunate of situations, the negative feelings and worries you’ll inevitably experience are in fact choices that you have subconsciously made, enlightens you to the possibility of consciously altering these reactions for a more optimistic outlook, that will not only aid in removing anxiety from the body, but open up every moment to the possibility of experiencing joy, regardless of the circumstances we may find ourselves in.