The Mechanism Of Anxiety – Part 2

Author Raja Krishnamoorthy / Kitty - Apr 02, 2014

Looks like ANXIETY is a diet that goes well with human beings!

We have, so very easily, conditioned ourselves to convert the word “future” into anxiety. This conditioning makes us believe that our happiness is going to be a result of what we are going to get- to fulfill our expectation- in the future.

This happens to all of us at different levels and intensities. For a little kid, this is about “doing well at school”. To a teen ager, it could be about choosing the right “girl/boy friend”, to the newlywed couple it could be the “home that we always wanted to have”, and for the Home loan company manager “the ability to recover all the mortgages due this year”

Aim, goal, target, objective, thing –to –do…call it by any name, it is about setting an expectation, to be fulfilled some time- a time that is ahead of us, and hopefully that will be leading to “contentment” or happiness!

So we run- either to chase success (in fulfillment) or we run (desperately) to ensure that we are not trapped in the disappointment of failure. One causes the mad chase of success; the other becomes the scared running away from perceived failure.

But we run any way!

These are 2 sides of the same coin. They create Anxiety, though in different forms. That Anxiety is a great motivator, prompting us to do something to overcome it. Now there is action and pursuit. We start “performing”.

Result happens /comes and temporarily the anxiety or unhappiness goes away. We feel happy or more realistically, We experience the happiness that was already there but was covered with anxiety. Now, it has come out of the clouds of anxiety.

For a short time though!

Soon we pick up another “future based anxiety” – a new goal, new pursuit, new chase, new target, new achievement, unhappiness disappears. The cycle goes on all over again!

 A cycle of anxiety, all the same.

Who benefits from this anxiety?

The marketing world and scheming politicians of course, not to mention the tricky world of faiths and religions! The advantage of creating anxiety is that then their product can be sold very well. So they create anxiety- the threat of a terrible future- if you do not follow XYZ things- prescribed by them.

It looks as if many of our Indian politicians have mastered the power of spreading ANXIETY- thru hate, doubt, distance and digging the “convenient” past. First step: create anxiety, by forecasting & warning of “what will happen if the “other” is in power or if “our” interests are not protected. “Our” could include Cast, Creed, Region, Language, Faith, Economics, philosophy…anything that can provide a focus group: Focus on “us” v/s them.

Then carefully paint a grim & anxious future if the OTHER party/sections come to power. Or have control. Or have plans & programs. “The devil that can destroy all of us is waiting, if you choose the other ones”, they scream. They are so vociferous about this “fear campaign” that any sane voice that seeks objectivity, balance, reconciliation, reflection, or plain forgiveness & moving on can be drowned easily.

Soon, the mind of the gullible follower-the average citizen- is under a spell of fear/question/ignorance/panic: “What will happen to my FUTURE?”

This question becomes a worry, a source of anxiety. It can be intellectually very engaging and can keep us pre-occupied with all permutations & combinations of possibilities. The whole business of forecast thrives on that. From the street corner astrologer to the stock-market advisor, they love to see anxiety in people, who are asking with a grim look on their face:

 What is the future going to be?

 Further on this, soon!



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