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The Mundanity of Day-to-Day Anxiety

August 5, 2020 TJ DeSalvo

In a recent post, I discussed the frustrations I’ve encountered dealing with people reacting to anxiety who, in my opinion, don’t do it in a way that’s helpful. I mentioned viewing anxiety as something scary and deviant isn’t the right way to do it, and that the reality of living with anxiety should be viewed with more nuance. I want to go a bit further into this in this post, suggesting that the reality of living with day-to-day anxiety is much more mundane.

Mundanity and Day-to-Day Anxiety

When I say “mundane” I don’t mean to suggest people with day-to-day anxiety don’t struggle, because that’s obviously untrue. One definition of the word “mundane” is commonplace or everyday, and that’s how I’m using it – if you have anxiety, feeling anxious is a commonplace state of mind. That’s your default. If you don’t feel anxious, it’s a noteworthy aberration.

I think this is what so many people have difficulty understanding. A person with anxiety can feel more or less anxious at times, and that anxiety can feel more or less intense as circumstances change. But feeling anxious itself? That’s an existential baseline. Even with therapy or psychiatric medication, that feeling of anxiety won’t ever fully disappear – it certainly hasn’t for me.

How to Live in a Mundanely Anxious World

This is hard to talk about because I know a lot of people will take this to mean you should resign yourself to your fate. To be clear, that isn’t true. If you’re suffering, you can try to improve your station, because of course, you should.

What I’m suggesting, instead, is something I’ve tried to hammer home endlessly in the past: day-to-day anxiety will be a part of your mundane life. Much like someone who was born without an arm will have to accommodate to that reality, someone with anxiety will have to do the same.

But seeing anxiety as a mundane part of your life may actually make that easier. It isn’t, as I’ve discussed before, something scary but instead something that’s always with you. It may be annoying at times and downright uncomfortable in others, but it’s a constant part of life. And because anxiety is so often triggered by what is unknown, accepting it as a constant seems so much more healthy.

People without anxiety should take this to heart as well. Day-to-day anxiety is a mundane reality to some people, and treating it as such is a healthier way to approach the subject than demonizing it. If you know someone who is going through an anxious spell, accept it for what it is: an inevitable part of their life. Don’t treat it as something scary. Talk to them about what makes them feel uncomfortable, and listen to what they think would help and do your best to accept them.

APA Reference
DeSalvo, T. (2020, August 5). The Mundanity of Day-to-Day Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, September 30 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2020/8/the-mundanity-of-day-to-day-anxiety



Author: TJ DeSalvo

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