Your Anxiety Is In Your Wandering Awareness
October 10, 2020
I was driving my son to school this morning, and he was stressing and anxious about a Physics Class Assessment he had in the first period of the day. “hope I can answer all the questions and complete the paper on time,” he said.
I knew he had prepared well the previous night, yet he was stressed and anxious in the morning.
Anyways, I dropped him at school, and as I was driving back home, I thought it would be a good idea to write about something common all of us encounter in our daily lives- Stress and Anxiety.
What is at the root of all our stress and anxiety?
Our inability to keep our awareness on any one thing at a time. This is a significant source of our stress and anxiety.
One of the issues with how we lead our lives is that we are continually thinking of something different from whatever we are doing at any moment.
- I am on holiday, walking on a beach. And, instead of enjoying the moment, I am thinking about what is happening at work.
- While working on a proposal, I am always keeping an eye on the notifications coming in.
- I am speaking with my wife, and I am thinking about the call I forgot to make to someone, Or
- In my son’s case, instead of silently replaying his practice steps, he imagining what could go wrong in the exam.
Wherever we are and whatever we may doing, it does not matter. We are always thinking about something else. And this is the root of all our anxiety and stress.
We feel anxious because we allow our awareness to drift away from our present moment into imagining some past or future problems. In my son’s case, he thought he had done poorly in the previous assessment, and that was playing on his mind. So when I was driving him to the school, he remembered how his last assessment did not go well, and he was possibly worried about what could go wrong in the evaluation later that morning.
Our awareness is like an anchor for a boat. When we drop the anchor, the boat feels secure. When the anchor is not there, the boat is just drifting and not in control. Similarly, when our awareness is not in the present moment, we feel rudderless—this lack of bearing leads to anxiety and stress.
Let me now give you a situation to visualize.
Imagine someone puts a blindfold over your eyes. All you can see is black and darkness. Now someone leads you to a road and asks you to start walking. What do you think will happen?
As a person with vision, when blindfolded, you lose your sense of mooring. and you lose orientation. You will feel completely paralyzed, and even if you try walking, you will feel imbalanced, fearing for that accident that may happen. You will be anxious about knocking yourself into some obstacle and tripping or falling.
This is what happens when we are not aware of and present at the moment. Our awareness is the vision of our mind.
You may not realize it, but when your awareness is not in the present moment, and you imagine stuff about something in the past or future, anxiety builds up, which causes stress.
Today, this is my Mantra whenever I feel the build-up of anxiety for any reason. I concentrate on my breath and bring my awareness to the moment. In the present moment, there is no space for fear or anxiety of any sort.