The way our minds work with worries and fears, is like a melting pot of many different colours that blend into our unique habit of worrying. We all add our own different colours and amounts, making it a bespoke formula, but the basis of all of it is, the pot and the colours. This is how our minds work to navigate fears and worries, and then form habits and direct us down a certain pathway of thinking. The pot is our mind, and the colours are the different accents that we choose to follow when we get fearful or start to worry about things. The colours all start as the same and these are made up of things like our past experiences and how we have been dealing with fears and anxieties, our upbringing and how our caregivers dealt with worries and fear. Then the colours diversify into things like our personality types, our underlying anxiety levels, how confident or not we are, if we have that inner safety and security within us, and what else might be happening at that moment in our life.
As you can see this is a very extensive inner process that the mind then follows to work out how you deal with worries and fear. This is often why people find it hard to understand why other people might not be reacting in the same way as they are. We all like to feel that we are ok and that we are responding in the ways that everyone else is. Many of us feel that this is something that makes us feel safe – if we know we are not on our own and other people will be feeling the same way as us. I see so many people on a day-to-day basis that are struggling with their worries, fears and anxieties, and a question that many people ask me is, “Is this normal to be responding in these ways?” This is because when we are feeling anxious and worried it knocks our confidence, and we just don’t feel as secure as we did prior to our anxiety levels increasing. In these moments we are searching for the security of safety in numbers and if others feel this way, there can’t be anything seriously wrong with us. If we have never had major anxieties or worries then we can at times feel that we are going mad and this can make us worry about our mental health. This is quite normal to have these fears, as before the 1950’s mental health was seen as more of an illness and not a great one. Even further back in the past than this, it was all thought that you could catch it from someone, and not that long ago it was often spoken about in terms such as “loony bin”, “nutter”, “mental”, etc, and none of these things are that nice.
Over the last few years, we have started as a society to look differently at mental health issues, but I think if we are honest there are parts of this stigma that are still left, even if it is only in how we personally think about ourselves. Having the understanding about why we feel and respond in a certain way and others don’t, can be just the learning we need to help us cope better with how we are feeling. We are all unique, so it makes sense that we will all take different routes to how we are responding to these challenging situations in our lives. Just take a moment to think about this melting pot of colours and how differently these will mix together to create our own unique response to a challenging situation. For some of us we might end up more predominantly red, and this will mean that we will be reactive and angry at what is happening. Other people might come out as more blue and this would represent that the worries are causing levels of depression. These are just two examples of how our minds will melt many things together and come up with our own unique approaches to how we worry and how extensively this may affect us.
If you know someone that is feeling insecure about how they are feeling regarding their worries and anxieties, then you can let them read or listen to this blog to help them understand themselves better. Over the next few week’s blogs, I will be expanding on this understanding of who we are and how we respond to challenging times. I hope you have enjoyed this blog and I will be with you again next week expanding on this topic. Have a great day. Sara x