Our anxiety doesn’t care if we think it’s “stupid.”
Our anxiety doesn’t care if we think we “should’t” be anxious.
We need to manage the anxiety we have— not the anxiety we wish we had (or didn’t have).
Lots of us grow up learning to call our anxiety names. “Stupid.” “Excessive.” “Silly.”
It’s not very nice, when you think about it— because our anxiety’s not out to torture us, even if its effects can FEEL like torture sometimes.
Our anxiety stems from a part of us trying to keep us safe or perform well.
We get anxious partly because we care about things. We care about how we’re perceived, how we perform, what will happen next.
Calling our anxiety stupid is like saying it’s stupid to care. Which it’s not.
I KNOW there’s a subset of people who read that last sentence and immediately said, “BUT IT’S STUPID TO CARE THIS MUCH!”
I’m personally not a fan of shaming ourselves for our own passion or intensity.
Many people who are highly anxious are also incredibly passionate, invested, and focused. Their anxiety is an almost inevitable byproduct of their intensity.
I don’t think intensity is a bad thing. I sure hope it’s not, because I’m plenty intense.
It’s not wrong or foolish to care about things— even intensely.
We do have to be realistic about managing the feelings that COME with intensity— including anxiety— but intensity and passion can be extremely useful in creating a life worth living.
Lots of people reading this have probably been shamed for their intensity.
They’ve been told they go “overboard.” They’ve been called “high strung.” They’ve been made to feel their passion is “childish.”
I hate when people are shamed for their intensity (even when it’s themselves who are doing the shaming).
I’ve met so many people who think they’re “too much.”
I’ve met so many people who think they need to “reel it in” or hide parts of themselves to be acceptable to other people.
I’ve met people who are blazing comets who were made to streak across the sky— but who have been made to feel like they have to pretend they’re low-watt, energy efficient bulbs.
If I’m describing you, I’m so sorry you’ve been made to feel that way.
The truth is, your intensity is a virtue.
It has to be realistically handled so you don’t burn yourself out or burn the people who come into your gravitational field— which is a lesson I had to learn the hard way— but you can LEARN to manage your intensity and passion.
I did. And if I can, anyone can.
It’s ironic that so many people have been conditioned to hate those things hat make them unique— because things that make us unique also make us different. And people around us don’t always handle “different” all that well, do they?
Coming back to anxiety, though: your anxiety is not “stupid.”
It may be the byproduct of how you perceive and process the world, and you may need to make some adjustments on what you focus on and how you talk to yourself to manage your anxiety in every day situations— but that’s a habit, a skill. You can learn that.
You can learn to manage your intensity and passion so they work FOR you, not against you.
Don’t listen to those who want to call you immature for being intense, passionate, or even anxious.
And don’t get on your own case about your “stupid” anxiety.
Your anxiety may actually be a reflection of one of your very best qualities.
Everybody I’ve ever loved has been more-intense-than-normal.
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One thought on “Maybe you ARE “more intense” than “normal.” And maybe that’s “awesome.””
Thanks for the helpful insights, Doc!