Is it really important to find out the cause of your mental distress? What if we chose to minimize it in the moment instead?Tweet
When I wake up with an overpowering sense of dread, I always ask myself, “Where is this coming from?” And from there, I get on my hamster wheel and start running through all the possibilities. “Did I have a nightmare? Was I triggered by something subconsciously? Did I piss someone off?”
When one has an anxiety disorder like PTSD or generalized anxiety disorder, one’s thoughts are hazardous. What’s worse, our fantasies feel real. Not good!
But you know, what if I stopped the relentless search for what causes my fear and instead, embraced it? What?! Not look for the cause? How are you going to heal? A question I’ve heard before.
Here’s the thing: that unidentified angst I am experiencing is not the root cause. Rather, it’s a symptom of whatever source blessed me with the dual anxiety issues. So, from where I sit, is it really important to figure out why you’re feeling scared, smothered and so overwhelmed that you run from a room? Well, from my perspective, the answer is no.
Now, that’s not to say that you should never identify your triggers or for that matter, ignore them. Sometimes, they are worth noting so that you can determine your window of tolerance. We do after all, need to customize our lives so that they maximize or quality of life.
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With that said, I believe that it’s more important to add coping tools to your repertoire. Tools like mindfulness, yoga, deep breathing, and mediation. All take time to master, but are worth their weight in gold. What’s more, is that they, thankfully, make finding an impossible reason irrelevant.
If learning these skills seems like a drag, here’s another way of thinking about it. When you think about it, how much time do you waste ruminating on the “why” of an anxious episode? I would bet the farm that it’s tons of time.
I often say, “We get to choose where we put our energy.” In other words, we can choose to put it into proven ways to heal and or minimize our heavy dread. Again, is it really important to find out the cause of your mental distress, or to work to make the “feeling” dissipate?
At the end of the day, it should be, so far as I am concerned, about maximizing your quality of life. But to do that, we must learn how to embrace the illness and find was of getting through the tougher moments.
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