What's the Threat?
We feel anxious when we're threatened. The threat is perceived; it's subjective. We perceive many things as threats that don't actually threat health or survival. This is where the fruit lies. We so often skip over the questioning portion of the anxiety process, where we might ask: "What's the threat?" If we don't ask this question, we are left confused and frantic as we search for a solution. This must be our first step toward a better understanding and management of anxiety.
If you think someone is mad at you, or your boss is ignoring you, or you can’t check your phone for a few hours, what's the perceived threat? The answers to this simple question help us bridge the gap between perception and anxiety. The answers often reveal the irrational nature of our perception. We feel less overwhelmed when we take a moment to identify what it is that we’re anxious about (e.g., “Oh, I’m worried that my boss is mad about yesterday’s meeting. Oh well, I can handle the conversation if it comes up. I’ll survive it.”). Develop this skill, and empowerment will follow.