Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Anxiety by Choice

I was talking to someone who'd just read the NYTimes article in the magazine last Sunday, and she said, they made an assumption throughout the entire article that she felt was unjustified. They assumed being anxious was a negative, unwanted trait.

"I like worrying!" she claimed.

But why would someone want to be anxious? Surely it only inhibits you from action, and makes you waste time worrying about phobias that are incredibly unlikely instead of dealing with what's real.

The article did make some mention that some people who are high-anxiety don't even realize it, interpreting the stomach ache from fidgety nerves and the tense flight-or-fight response as an adrenaline buzz, not as paralyzing.

Is there an advantage to being chilled out? If you don't have any worries, and nothing really matters- whatever way it turns out is fine with you- are you missing out on something the worried people have- caring?

I suspect the answer is, as often it is, "a happy medium". But figuring out where that line lies is the battle of most of a lifetime. And I think there are some people who are not aware that it is a battle.

Don't let that be you- don't live the unexamined life. (Yes, that's from Wicked.) So where is your line? When is worrying too much and when is it wrong to be too chilled out?

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