Masking Anxiety: The Modern Day ‘Natural Selection’

theweb1‘Natural selection’ was a term coined by Charles Darwin to describe the differences that we find in traits of species and their ability to survive within the theory of evolution. What is often forgotten whilst we casually sip on our cappuccino, or read the latest review of the most recent blockbuster is that the animal process of evolution is still ongoing whilst we barricade ourselves away from it.

When you examine the human species we no longer have to worry about hunting for food as this is provided for us, and obtained through a leisurely walk to our nearest convenience store. Shelter is also provided by a system of government and services that we pay for.

Outside of basic needs the modern day man or woman has to learn how to interact with other people living within this system that we created on planet earth. When you know the importance of paying your bills and the importance of waking up in the morning this is all to the backdrop of a system of enslavement. It can often feel like you are working for 90% of your life just so that you can enjoy the remaining 10% where you actually have some sort of parody of freedom.

Selfishly, I am only concerned with internal dialogue. I feel as if I am an introvert who is trying to convince the world that I am an extrovert. We chose to live in our mundane existence which is punctuated by boredom and private suffering. Normally people like to think that the only ones who hold an internal dialogue are mental patients of suicide victims. People are often so quick to judge the reasons behind a suicide, when I believe that often nobody comes close to scratching the surface on an emotional level. We all have fears, dreams, anxieties and regrets. Success or praise is often short lived or disregarded. The main catalyst in modern day life is anxiety. I read in a psychology journal that when people are often angry it is a indirect reaction to feeling sad or embarrassed. When you are having an interaction and you feel sad notice how this can often changes to anger in a matter of seconds. Since I heard this I have looked back on every interaction I can think of, and it paints a different picture of those people.

I only wish that we could all have the same ability to reconcile our insignificant differences on this planet. Life is fucking hard, (and if it’s not) you will find a way to make it harder. Introspection can help you to find your darkest fears and anxieties. Building a wall around yourself and hiding in your shell was perfectly described in the arguably brilliant Pink Floyd album “The Wall”. Like the character in this progressive rock concept album we must learn not to put ourselves on trial like our brains tells us to and break free from the boundaries of our own internal dialogue.

It can feel like by hiding our true feelings that we are protecting ourselves from the harsh opinions of others and how we are seen. The fragility of our place in society makes us a target for ridicule or being disowned by the ones we love. Appearing vulnerable in public can often be the end of us and how we are judged going forward. As Aimee Mann so greatly put it in her lyric

“People are tricky, you can’t afford to show, anything risky anything they don’t know… the moment you try (kiss it goodbye!)”

Just remember, that saying to someone “You mean alot to me, you help me to cope” could make a world of difference in their lives as well as your own. And also remember that you are not special, neither is your family and neither is your place on this tiny planet which is a insignificant speck of dust floating through eternity. People can be awful to other people and say nasty insulting things. Through passive aggressive behaviours whether that is from a parent or colleague at work this never fails to hurt you eventually. Learning to be kind to others and float above all of the politics and snobbery of life can help you reach a must stronger personal ‘nirvana’.

Poetry is often wrongly painted up as being a stuffy subject, and certainly something that alot of people do not have time for, but music is the modern form of poetry and below I have written some songs that help me cope alongside the above points, I hope you will listen and agree:

  • “It’s Not” – Aimee Mann (Describing her condition after drug rehabilitation)
  • “Most of the time” – Bob Dylan (He is trying to convince you that he has gotten over his girlfriend who left him)
  • “Both Sides Now” – Joni Mitchell
  • “A Singer Must Die” – Leonard Cohen
  • “Don’t Let It Bring You Down” – Neil Young
  • “Hide In Your Shell” – Supertramp

If you haven’t learnt yet about the powerful healing that comes from listening to music then you need to visit your local independent music shop and let them tell you something above musicians and their poetic ways to overcome anxiety.

If you are reading this then I hope this has helped you. I will hopefully continue to write blogs on different subjects in a similar scatterbrain nonsense format.






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