Thursday, August 21, 2014

Anxiously Digging for an Answer

Everyone has had their share of “Aha!" moments in life which can be such a relief! A person can have an Aha moment when they suddenly wake up and realize that it is time to get out of a bad situation, for example. An Aha moment can occur when we suddenly find a clever new way to solve a problem that has caused us deep and often lasting stress. Clearly, Aha moments are to be greatly valued, because an Aha moment can be symbolically like finding the way out of a deep hole that we have been trapped in for weeks, months or even years.

There is a downside to the concept of Aha moments particularly for people who suffer from prolonged stress and anxiety or other mental health or substance-related issues. These days, there are so many things out there to worry about whether it be financial issues, health issues, employment problems, troubling world events, threats to safety and security, etc.; the list goes on and on. When it comes to these special Aha moments in which the light of insight and self-discovery suddenly shines down on us, thereby showing the way out, the reality is that Aha moments are usually rare and often few and far between. The vast majority of problems out there that weigh on our minds and contribute to stress and anxiety cannot be solved in a simple “Aha!” moment. Usually if there was a simple answer to a lot of the more anxiety-producing issues out there, then most of these problems would already be solved. What often can instead increase anxiety and the racing thoughts that keep people up at night is the dilemma of waiting for an Aha moment that never comes while otherwise doing little else of value to try to cope.

So what can be done instead? When you’re at the bottom of a dark pit of stress, obsession, and worry, then waiting for an Aha moment when someone symbolically throws down a ladder for you to climb out can be an exercise in futility that can perpetuate, rather than alleviate anxiety. The energy involved with overthinking and obsessing often makes matters worse, not better with time. Most of these types of problems are more about looking at what we can do, little by little, to simply start the process of climbing out. Taking it a step further, rather than anxiously waiting for an Aha moment that may never come, the simplest place to start is to open your eyes, and stop digging yourself deeper into the seemingly endless pit of anxiety and worry.


(Quote taken from The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs)

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