Why So Much Anxiety?
Why is there so much anxiety in the world today? Technology has transformed every aspect of life and changes continue to occur more and more frequently. Old expectations of how the world should work no longer apply. We have the potential of a highly uncertain future from climate change.
As we have become hyper-connected in this digital age, the old protections are disappearing. Companies are doing less for their employees, the government is doing less for a safety net and unions have lost much of their power.
As Thomas Friedman writes in Succeeding in a 401(k)World, there are enormous opportunities online for accessing learning, starting a business, training, finding anything you want. Old limits are gone. But at the same time, more depends on each individual person. No one is looking over your shoulder to encourage you or tell you what to do, but then you are alone in trying to figure out the rules to this new world.
If you are courageous and a self-starter this new world is your oyster. But what if you aren’t? The result is anxiety. The temptation might be to put your head under the covers.
Nichiren Buddhists have some tools in their toolkit that can go an enormous way to handling the kind of anxiety generated when going round and round. You might start with a small fear, for example, a negative comment from your boss. This might be blown up into losing your job, then your home and finally being homeless. This can lead to paralyzing anxiety.
This kind of mental clutter can be eliminated as follows:
• Imagine the perfect solution to the problem
• Chant Nam myoho-renge-kyo. You have activated your internal connection with the universe.
• Now, let go of worrying how it’s going to happen and let the universe handle the steps to getting to the solution.
• Every time you go to that worry place, don’t dwell on your fears. Stop, pull your thoughts away from the fears and turn your attention to envisioning what you want.
• Take action on ideas which come to you relating to what you are chanting about.
A friend, new to the practice, suffered from debilitating anxiety. When feeling overwhelmed by school or any unexpected change, she would go to bed for three days at a time and put her head under the covers. This, of course, did not help her resolve her concern.
Then she started to chant about her issues rather than going to bed over them. When she chanted, she remembered that the practice teaches you must take action. She had enough courage to take one small step. Then she’d chant again and take another step. Her anxiety began to lesson. That problem resolved, she would take on another one. She observed that when she chanted about a concern, that it would often resolve in ways she could never have imagined. She began to trust that things would work out as long as she used the practice.
Three years later, she doesn’t hide under the covers anymore when problems happen. Her anxiety levels are virtually gone. She has learned to rely on the universe to solve any problem which comes up.
Many practitioners have left their anxiety behind in just this manner. It can happen for you too.
Links to Get Started
Here are some articles which will help you to get started:
Join The Conversation:
Have you ever had anxiety like this? How do you handle it?
Join the Conversation
Next Topic: Living in a Self-Motivated World