Are anxiety and perception linked in some way and how much are they connected?
How much are you aware of your perceptions?
You perceive the world through your perceptions that’s your processing of your senses and the way your mind finds a mental framework or context that allows you to see it in a certain way.
It’s the context that you place your perception of anxiety, fear or anything else that helps you or hinders you.
I know that’s a bit convoluted and something that might be hard to get your head, when it first occurred to me it took me a while to unravel it too.
When you start observing yourself you will find yourself becoming mindful of how you tend to deal with events in your life. And you might start to notice that patterns of behaviour go with your mood. Or should I say your perception of your mood.
Mood is something that you perceive to underpin everything but you can change your mood so easily. I was talking to an anxious lady and all the time we talked about the anxiety she described how bad it felt. I asked her to close her eyes and think about what her first child was like as a baby, the first smile, the first laugh. The lady smiled and when I asked she said she felt no anxiety at the moment. She changed her mood in seconds. And so can you.
Mood is actually driven by your thoughts and your perceptions of the world.
Do they all hate me? Am I so useless? Why would anyone listen to me?
These are common questions that you might ask yourself and they all imply a negative result, obviously you perceive that yes they all hate your, that you are useless and that nobody would ever listen to you because you’re not worth it. Who wouldn’t feel like something the cat dragged in after thinking that? And it came from yourself so it must be true!
Stop right there. Can you remember messing around when you were a child, just doing stuff, just being engrossed laughing at nothing much and doing it without a care in the world. A moment in time when you had no worries, no hurries, and you were just you. Can you smile about that now and did you change your mood even for a second.
Your mood is driven by your perception of the context of the memory. And how you feel about it is tainted, in the same way that how you feel right now isn’t pure, it’s based on the ideas and thoughts going through your head that are your perceptions of what’s going on for you right now and how it will develop.
And yes some of those thoughts are really about things you need to deal with properly. While others are not so important. But setting the scene for doing the thinking is so important.
Let’s think about something here: Let’s say you have nothing much to do on this warm sunny morning, and as you step up to the car there’s a flat tyre. Hold that thought! Now it’s a wet cold windy morning and you’re already running late because you had to read the meters to avoid charges and the kids are grumpy and don’t want to go to school today, you get to the car and there’s a flat tyre.
Which feels worst?
It’s a flat tyre. And that causes ripples in your perception of your life. You project the agro that will be caused as a result and feel the hurt in advance.
What would it be like if you just stopped at it being a flat tyre. Let’s deal with the flat tyre. Do a quick scan of the possibilities, call work and explain, call school and explain, ring the man to come and help with the tyre if you need him. Work and school may well sound unhappy about the situation but that’s their perception.
Fix the tyre and get on with life. Yes there are consequences. But do you think it’s easier to accept what’s going on and get on with it right here right now or is it better when you perceive the repercussions in the future through anxious catastrophic eyes.
The only thing we have is now. And you do your best by being aware of your perceptions of anxiety so you can change your perception of anxiety.