Learning to live with anxiety and worry.

Why is it that when we have to do something for the first time or speak in front of others we experience such anxiety and project our concerns and worries? Sometimes this can overwhelm us and affect how we perform. I know based on my own experiences I would feel uneasy at times in situations and always wished I could ease my mind and just do what I am supposed to without the fear, worry or anxiety. I believe it is part of human nature to have concern and to anticipate the situation before it takes place. Sometimes it helps if you think of something pleasant before doing something for the first time or going on that all important interview. I know for me it helps to think about my son and family and how lucky I am as this grounds me and makes me realize what is most important to me.

I have also had worries and concerns in meeting with my son’s doctors and wanted to make sure I was planned to ask questions that were important in my son’s recovery. When you have the health and welfare of your son uppermost in your mind you want to make sure you ask everything possible that you had concerns about as they crossed your mind originally.

I remember even as a child I would have butterflies when I started a new class or I got up to bat in a little league game with runners on base or I started at the starting line of a cross country race in high school waiting for the start of the race. I even have these same feelings as an adult so it seems with age we still experience the same butterflies that we did as kids. It takes time to recondition our thinking and allay our fears and anxiety. I believe having some fear is important because it motivates us to try to do our best so sometimes it is important to have some butterflies as it signifies that we are concerned and that is a good thing.

As a responsible parent and husband I also have concerns about my health as I have a young son and wife who rely on me and I have to stay healthy and try to manage my stress and keep my emotions in check so I can manage with the every day demands of life and be supportive of my wife and son. I need to be able to teach my son how to grow and become a man one day so he will be equipped to face his life’s challenges. Since he is autistic it will take a lot more support and encouragement and will require a lot of love and guidance.

I talk with my son and explain to him it is normal to think about a test we have to take or a report we have to write or a tryout we have to complete and it is common to have feelings about it and to feel a bit nervous. The main thing to realize is that when we are prepared for that test or report or tryout we will manage and usually do fine despite the fear because we prepared ourselves ahead of time. That is the key that we should always be prepared for our next challenge or encounter and that will always get us through the fear we experience.

So it seems inevitable that we will experience fear and anxiety in our life as that is how we learn and grow and if we prepare ourselves and sometimes change our thinking we will be able to learn to live with these feelings and learn to properly balance them and have positive outcomes.

After all when we put the time into our studies, our work, our family and our children’s needs and our friendships we will reap the rewards.

Edward D. Iannielli III

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