Learning About The Cosmos Has Helped Me With My Anxiety

Anxiety is that weird thing to me that exists only periodically but when it surfaces it’s kind of crippling. Surprisingly I do a good of masking it. Few if any know that I am anxious when it surfaces. I’ve learned to cope. I have to remind myself to breath. I have to remind myself that my body is tricking my brain. I take deep breaths, say the right things to myself and then I’m ok. I’ve tried to understand it on a deeper level and the only thing I have been able to muster was that it was conditioned into me at a young age and reinforced. The need for control is a normal human condition. It speaks to our emotional need for security so when we perceive we can’t control or are losing perceived control over something it’s frightening and puts us in survival mode. Over the years I have learned control, at least of external events, is largely an illusion. Randomness exists in abundance in the universe and is largely the explanation for an overwhelmingly large number of things. Since our brains don’t accept randomness as explanations for things, we create stories, narratives, that make sense to us. Our brains are ‘expert’ pattern seekers, so much so that they will create a pattern where one doesn’t really exist. This is an evolutionary survival tool but as with many of the native wiring mechanisms of our brains, the environments in which these mechanisms evolved no longer exist. There are no Saber-Toothed Tigers to fear so we create things to fear like lack of control, fear of rejection, and some other things that exist in our minds that we work to physically manifest.

I’ve recently started reading about the Cosmos have literally been blown away. My favorite film is Casablanca and I love the scene where Rick tells Ilsa that the problem of three people doesn’t amount to anything in this world. He probably should have said the universe to give it even greater context.

The more I learn about the universe the more I realize how insignificant the things I worry about are. The more I learn about solar storms, solar flares, supernovae, magnetars, outlaw asteroids and how lucky we are that Earth won the biggest lottery the universe has to offer being the perfect distance from the Sun and having the moon, the perfect atmosphere and magnetic field just makes me grateful that I even exist.

Randomness does really exist in abundance in the universe and in our lives. Some of us are without a doubt more blessed with some instances of randomness than others but the very fact that we exist is an actual statistical improbability and when you can take that into account you can’t help but have gratitude for the simplest things and gratitude helps us to be more optimistic and open to creative energies and alleviates in us defensive energies like anxiety.

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Elliot Yi

Elliot Yi

Elliot is a personal development author. His latest book, "The Bitter & The Sweet: Benefits of a Balanced Perspective in Life, and How to Achieve It" out now.