What Is The Opposite of Anxiety?
For someone who specialises in helping people with anxiety you would think that I would know the answer to the question ‘What is the opposite of anxiety?
I had to ponder this question for some time before realising I didn’t have a definitive answer.
Then I thought about my other specialist subject, depression, and it occurred to me that this doesn’t have a definitive opposite either but is better summed up with expressions such as happy, motivated, in control, engaged with life, living in the moment and excited, which are all challenging states of being for someone who has depression.
So, as anyone would these days I asked Google.
It was interesting that one of the sites I looked at said “a variety of words whose meaning is nearly the opposite of anxiety.” • apathy• assurance• calmness• carelessness• confidence• ease• light-heartedness• nonchalance• satisfaction• tranquillity‘ are nearly’ the opposite, but not exactly, so the question remained of what is the opposite of anxiety. Surprisingly I found many articles addressing the same question, it seems I’m not the only one trying to figure this out.
From the list above ‘confidence’ is the closest to a definition that resonates with me, but I would like to share with you the concluding paragraph of one of the blog posts I read which said
“The opposite of anxiety is trust: trust in our core strengths, trust in our resilience, trust in the process, and trust even in the discomfort of our anxious emotions to deliver important messages.”
Another definition that was popular was
“The opposite of anxiety is mindfulness”
Personally I think it’s more accurate to describe mindfulness as an antidote to anxiety.
When in clinic, seeing a client for the first time we have a standard set of exploratory questions to establish if we can help and how. The first question is always “How can I help?” (To be expected perhaps!) To which we usually learn the nature of the problem such as ‘I have anxiety’ or along the lines of ‘I’ve been diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder’. Then to deepen our understanding of exactly what form their anxiety takes and to discover what the client would like to achieve or change, our follow up question is “If hypnotherapy was to help with your anxiety, how would that show”, in other words, what would be different? ”Are the answers to this question more revealing in uncovering the opposite of anxiety?
Sometimes people would ponder that question, but often they would know immediately what they want to change
“I wouldn’t have panic attacks’‘
“I would be able to take my children to school”
“I would feel in control”
“I would be able to go out with friends in the evening”
“I wouldn’t worry about getting ill/cancer/what people think of me/losing my job” etc
“I wouldn’t be avoiding everything”
I came to the conclusion that anxiety and depression are both concepts, words that encompass a much more detailed description which incorporates individual variations and differences within the understanding of the term.
If this is the case, then perhaps the opposite of a concept is also an a concept with individual differences and so there isn’t a definitive opposite that everyone with anxiety is looking to achieve.
For the person who fears talking to strangers in a social situation, perhaps bravery is the opposite, whereas, the person who has panic attacks might consider being calm as the opposite.
I had to conclude that there is not right or wrong answer to the opposite of anxiety, just whatever it means to you.
I would be very interested to know that the opposite of anxiety is to you or if you can do any better in coming up with a definition, please do leave your ideas below.
If you have an inspiring story or something to share that you think will help others wrestling with anxiety or depression, I would love to hear from you. If you have found in particular strategy helpful, chances are that someone else will also benefit, spread the word, share the love and help the fight back against the epidemic of anxiety and depression spreading across the western world.
Wishing you health, wealth, happiness and success
Arrange a Free Initial Consultation in Cirencester, Exeter, Plymouth, Swindon or by Skype
Shop Online for Courses, eBooks and Self Hypnosis Tracks to help anxiety and depression
You've Got The Same Amount Of Time As Beyoncé Author - Emma Triplett When you know you should be doing something that is good for one of the easiest and most convenient excuses not to is ‘I haven’t got time’ I know I’m guilty of using it on a multitude of occasions,...
So many questions surround how to obtain ‘happiness’ it’s no wonder the state of being we call ‘happy’ remains elusive for some, but happy is something everyone can become regardless of the events or circumstances in you life, past, present or future when you understand this one secret ingredient and how to produce it.
Do you ever feel like you’re having an argument with yourself in your own head? Or you’re behaving in a way that just isn’t you and you don’t understand why? Maybe it’s because you do have two different parts of your brain wrestling for control, just like the metaphorical Angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other you see in cartoons.
How do you cope at Christmas? It is the toughest time of year if you have anxiety or depression. Here are our 12 days of Christmas practical coping techniques that will see you through the season and into the New Year.
When life gets tough, we’re stressed, overwhelmed or just plain miserable we tend to look for things to blame and then the grass starts to become greener the other side. The new job is great, the new relationship is perfect and you love the place you live in – for a while at least, but, inevitably, sooner or later who shows up to spoil the party? You do!
When your sex life is suffering, you’ve developed anxiety or depression, you can’t sleep, your children don’t communicate, a family meal is eating in front of a personal device you know its time to make yourself aware of the technology danger zones and set some digital boundaries in your life.