When I drift do I experience anxiety?

Contribution by Isabel Hernández Negrín

Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain

It is possible that at this stage you have already realised that, almost without realising, we spend the day thinking about any old thing.  We brood over worries, memories, things to do and conversations we have had or will have, etc.

But have you realised that every thought leaves you with the trace of a particular mood that accompanied those thoughts?  If you think of something funny, you smile, if it is a worry, it leaves you feeling serious and slightly anxious.

Many of the things that worry me do not correspond to reality, but to what I imagine might happen.  But even though it is only imagination, I experience it as something real and I am anxious while I think about it and afterwards.  In that way my day is a kind of roller coaster of moods that take place inside me.  What point does this have?  Do they warn us about a real danger?  Not normally.  They are just illusions produced by what I fear myself and which I project and anticipate, just in case.

Drifting normally creates a greater or lesser state of anxiety: we breathe with a certain degree of stress, our stomachs tense and our heads hurt…Ultimately we remain at the mercy of our imagination.  It dominates us and persuades us that there is no way of living other than this.

Today, be aware of the roller coaster of your thoughts and when you see what is going on, let them pass without being drawn in by them.  Do not encourage the roller coaster.  Your health depends on it!