FOR A LONG TIME, my tendency to produce
excess stress hormones frustrated me and sometimes upset me.
Getting upset or frustrated is, of course, just more of the same
the tendency to make too many stress hormones. This is
a very important point: The way you and I look at our tendency
to overproduce stress hormones has an influence on it, good or
bad. As Allen Fay wrote in his book, Making Things Better By Making Them Worse:
occur in virtually
every human being. I cannot stress enough the importance of the
universal perspective. Without it you isolate yourself from humankind,
consider yourself a pariah, lower your self-esteem, and make
it harder to resolve whatever difficulties you are having.
A tendency to drift toward anxiety is like
being in a car that tends to drift to the right. As long as you
know your car has that tendency, and as long as you stay on top
of it, there's no problem. It's when you forget about it or stop
paying attention that you start mowing down mailboxes.
You may wish you didn't have everyday anxiety.
I know I do. But it isn't that bad. There are worse problems
to have. "It might help if we remind ourselves that no one
is entirely free of problems," say the authors of the book,
Embracing the Fear: Learning To Manage Anxiety
and Panic Attacks, "Some people have tension headaches
or a chronic illness; we get a rush of adrenaline at unexpected
Because adrenaline is so prone to self-feeding
loops, it makes a big difference how you look at your condition.
You don't want to disregard it and try to convince yourself it
is temporary because you'll be faced with frustration when it
doesn't go away.
It sounds like a terrible life sentence
to call it a condition. But once you stop running from
it and accept it, you realize it's not so bad. It all depends
on how you look at it. In this case, how you look at it will
make it worse or better, very directly and dramatically. And
how you look at it is up to you. You can be self-righteous
and stick with your conclusions, and you will suffer the consequences:
Your condition will be worse. Or you can accept these new perspectives
(or something better) and you'll make it easier on yourself:
1. It's just a tendency to drift toward
anxiety and if you stay on top of it, you can live a calm, happy
2. There are worse problems to have.
With these two perspectives, you will relieve
yourself of the added stress of your own perspective. Your situation
will improve. How things look to you has a lot to do with how
you look at things.
"There are worse problems to have
than everyday anxiety."