The experience of anxiety is common and universal. It is not an emotion restrict to the economically deprived nor to the politically oppressed. Anxiety is an inescapable part of the human condition, for life on all its levels, from the international and governmental to the domestic and personal, is mark with uncertainty, perplexity, and stress. Many may deny their personal anxiety, or at least the intensity of it (even to themselves) for a variety of reasons, such as, the desire to avoid embarrassment, the sense of pride, the fear of rejection, the threat and unease of vulnerability, etc; notwithstanding, nearly everyone experiences anxiety to some degree. Its occurrence is disturbing and debilitating. Its persistence is crippling. As long as daily living is characterize by struggle, strife, and suffering, the anxiety-experience is an inevitability.
The Nature of Anxiety
Anxiety is a mental tension which expresses itself in worry, irritability, apprehension, or uneasiness. The mental tension results either from a sense of uncertainty about future or impending events, or from a sense of inability to control one’s environment or state of affairs. Anxiety is a natural emotional response of human beings endeavoring to survive and live comfortably. Anxiety is a constant reminder of humankind’s appalling frailty. And its utter impotence to master its own destiny.
Anxiety and fear, though closely interrelated, are not synonymous concepts. Fear, sharply defined, is both the psychological and emotional response to a sense of being in danger. Fear is basically a survival mechanism in that it promotes self-preservation. Anxiety, however, is the warning signal of one’s increasing impotence to survive. It has say that anxiety is “fear spread out thin”.