How to Shift from Anxious to Calm
Anxiety can be represented as Uncertainty X Powerlessness.
Or as Anticipation + Fear.
Either way, it's a result of living in the future, not the present.
Humans are really good at fear. As our greatest survival mechanism, it's been around for millions of years.
Protecting us from predators, other tribes, and the inconsistency of weather, we became skilled in preparing for the worst.
This was critical to stay alive because there were a lot of threats. For our genes to be passed down, we had to be ready for anything.
We're current living in the safest time in history. Chances are if you're reading this, the odds of imminent danger or death is very low.
That doesn't mean our fear simply goes away –we're hard-wired for it. Even if we're safe, it's still going to present itself in one way or another.
Welcome to Anxiety
Fear drives us to worry about the uncertainty of the future.
And its survival mechanism is so strong, even when we know we're 'safe,' we still find ourselves in a deep state of anxiety over something as harmless as public speaking.
When fear isn't dealt with, we become anxious.
When it is dealt with, we feel calm.
Many people in the modern world are constantly living from a place of anxiety – even when they're perfectly safe.
It's not that danger is lurking in the corner. Rather, stimulation is smothering us in every corner.
From work, to old high school friends, everyone has the ability to contact us 24/7 in a variety of different ways.
The dings and notifications, the email, the likes, followers, algorithms, and open tabs – it's incessant.
Overwhelmed, it's no wonder our body switches into a state of anxiety. Overwhelm is a threat.
Not to mention advertisers exploiting our personal information to influence our behavior with personal data convincing us we're not good enough.
Shifting to Calm
It's not all doom and gloom.
You're a conscious being; you can have dominion over your state of consciousness. And your behavior.
That means exercising it, though, which can be difficult when we're under feelings of stress.
Why? Because the ancient survival mechanism of fear wants to take over and get in the driver's seat. Remember, it's been around a lot longer than our sense of consciousness so it's more powerful and prevalent within us.
So we have to call upon our other ancient mechanisms within us. I call them our superpowers.
Only then will we stand a chance at defeating fear.
Humans have evolved to become the most complex thing on Earth, and as far as we know it, our brains are the most complex thing in the universe.
Needless to say, we obtain some powerful things within us – most of which have been being honed for millions of years.
Fear is one – but we have more than twenty others that we can learn to tap into when we want certain outcomes.
Like shifting from anxiety to calm.
To see a full list of human superpowers, check out my other website, Shift States, but for now we're going to focus on 3 that have the power to shift us from anxious, to calm.
3 Superpowers to Feel Calm
To defeat anxiety, we either need to be present and stop focusing on the future, or dispel of the fear entirely. Sometimes we need both.
Three superpowers can help us. They haven't been around as long as fear, but they have been with us tens of thousands of years pushing us into a more elevated state of being.
Superpower of Creativity
There may be no better way to find a true sense of presence than through the power of creativity.
Essential to the human experience, creativity encourages us to problem solve in a meaningful way, connects us to something beyond ourselves, and takes us so far into the present moment, we're not concerned about the past or future.
Superpower of Introspection
We can reduce anxiety by identifying irrational fears when they present themselves.
Through the power of conscious introspection, we have the power to name those fears and remind our nervous system we're safe.
Having the awareness and understanding of our own thought processes – something maybe no other living creature has ever obtained – is a gift.
Feelings are still stronger than thoughts. But by thinking about feeling, at least we don't have to be slaves to them.
The better we become at naming irrational fears, the calmer well become.
Superpower of Dance
In our fast paced, overstimulating culture, we need all the help we can get when it comes to finding more presence.
Distractions chase us around every second of the day. They disconnect us not only from our tribe, but from nature and our selves.
When we begin to stop doing the things that we've done for thousands of years, we're going to feel the effects.
When we do the things we've been doing for thousands of years, we're going to feel the effects.
It's so powerful it requires no further expiation. Just go do it. Preferably alone.
Keep dancing. The anxiety will melt away. When you finally sit down, you'll feel overwhelmed by calm.
To learn more about Shifting States, click here.