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Armijo: How to overcome anxiety

Anxiety is a condition that many people are currently experiencing with all that is taking place in our world. Anxiety causes feelings of apprehension and worry. There is anxiety related to just about any human condition one could imagine, but this column will focus on a few for the sake of brevity.

Health-related anxiety is on many people’s minds these days with the current state of our health care system, the aging population of baby boomers, and of course the viral outbreak of COVID-19.

There is no shortage of reasons to experience anxiety due to health or aging or the current pandemic. The aging process creates plenty of health issues on its own, thus creating anxiety for the aging populations, but all of that gets exasperated when you add in a dangerous viral outbreak. However, experiencing too much anxiety will eventually lead to a victim mentality and a fear of progression in one’s life. When we give in to our anxiety we effectively become the victim.

As the victim, we are forever worried about all the outstanding viruses and disorders that most of us will never experience yet remain fearful of. The victim mentality does not allow for a comfortable life. It causes one to live from a place of fear and worry and when we live from a place of fear we usually end up with more things to fear and worry about.

Those with a victim mentality are the target audience of big pharmaceutical advertisements, shady investment brokers, and scam artists. The victim mentality increases one’s susceptibility to fear and worry and leaves them vulnerable to unscrupulous characters. Many retired individuals are experiencing anxiety around finances or their health which leaves them in the victim mentality and they are a favorite target of scam artists and snake oil salesmen.

Many in the aging population experience anxiety from witnessing the health struggles of their peers. The baby boomers sheer numbers are raising the cost of health care while increasing the need for health professionals to attend to them. As baby boomers experience a higher need for health care, many of them are leaving work and entering retirement further exasperating the anxiety they experience due to increased healthcare needs and rising healthcare costs.

The members of Generation X and millennials experience the trickle-down effect of rising health care combined with a workforce that many no longer see as secure or sustainable and experience a whole different type of anxiety. Millennials, in particular, get viewed in a negative light for not purchasing homes or cars but maybe this has much to do with the uncertainty that is happening at this time in our history and not the fact that they are lazy or entitled. Uncertainty is another big cause of anxiety.

The causes of anxiety in today’s world are much different than the causes of anxiety in past generations. We are no longer worried about being eaten by a predator. However, we are wondering how we will afford to pay back all the postponed and late payments we are incurring while waiting for the jobs to return. These fears may not be irrational but they are still not helping us to progress.

Anxiety can cause people to become stagnant in their lives. Anxiety is typically based on stress or fear and can cause people to become so overwhelmed they just stop living. They concede to their anxiety and stop trying to live the life they desire to avoid feeling any more anxiety due to failure or uncertainty they may or may not experience.

How does one overcome anxiety? The first thing is to realize that this life is yours and your alone. Stop giving energy to things that are not within your control. We waste too much energy being angry or worried due to things we cannot control. Stop comparing your situation to others, there will always be someone with better circumstances than us and there will always be those worse off than us. Stop trying to help others before you help yourself. We cannot benefit anyone until we are comfortable in our own lives, so get yourself to a good place before trying to help anyone else out.


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