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Anxiety is a Natural Response to External Situations

Every week I read some great quotes. They are brilliant little insights, but sometimes they need a little bit more to explain how they can be applied to our lives. Quotes to Live By is a new series that I’m starting, where we look at a quote (generally from someone famous) and then break it down into actionable steps.

“Anxiety is caused by a lack of control, organization, preparation, and action.” – David Kekich

A Bit About David Kekich

AnxietyDavid Kekich isn’t exactly a household name. But he does have some great insights. He runs a company called Maximum Life Foundation. Their goal is to be able to reverse aging by the year 2033.


The Four Causes of Anxiety

In his quote, David tells us that there are 4 causes of anxiety. In reality, these are all related to each other. You can’t simply get rid of one and feel less anxious. Instead, we have to look at each piece individually. Let’s start from the end.

Anxiety is Caused by Lack of Action

We can sit around and watch re-runs of the Simpsons all day long. At the end of the day we might have some great knowledge of the characters, but we aren’t going to have gotten anything done. We haven’t taken action. At the end of the day, assuming you have responsibilities, there is going to be some anxiety about what you failed to complete.

In order to complete anything, we have to take action and prepare for it.

Anxiety is Caused by Lack of Preparation

cooking-1013455_1920Any task, no matter how minor, starts with being prepared. If I want to go check the mail, I have to mentally prepare myself to go see if the mailman has come yet. Obviously preparing for this task is pretty simple. I think, “I should check the mail.” And then I save my work, walk downstairs, and check the mail.

A harder task, however, takes a little more preparation. The French have a phrase for it: mise en place. It means simply, “Putting in Place.” It comes from a professional chef having everything in its place, so that when it comes time to create the meal, he isn’t left scrambling to find what he needs.

Your mise en place consists of putting everything in your mind in the right place, eliminating distractions, and getting ready for the task at hand.

Anxiety is Caused by Lack of Organization

Don’t confuse preparation with organization (although the two do conflate a little when you think of mise en place). Preparation comes before, when you get ready for everything. Organization comes after when you line it all up.

When you’re getting ready to cook a fancy meal, you prepare with mise en place. Then you organize your ingredients so that everything is where it needs to be and ready to fall into place.

Think about a big project, such as writing a book. Preparation would take place when you have the ideas in your head, and you jot them all down onto paper. There’s really no order there, but all of the ideas are recorded. Organization is when you categorize those notes and you move on to the next step of putting everything together.

Anxiety is Caused by a Lack of Control

beyond-1087922_1280We want to be in control. When we feel that things are outside of our control we panic, get anxious, and make irrational decisions. But that lack of control (generally) doesn’t just happen.

The lack of control is the final product. It stems from not taking action, not being prepared, and not being organized. Failing to do the primary steps results in no control and a feeling of anxiety.


Reduce Your Anxiety Easily

man-114437_1920So how do you live a less anxious life? You take action to plan and organize. You make sure that you know what happens at each step of the way. Then, when everything works smoothly, you feel in control, and your anxiety levels drop dramatically.

Sometimes there are bumps along the way, when things don’t go as planned. When this happens, you can remain calm and reduce your anxiety by knowing that you have a solid plan. Everything else is in order, so you can rework the part that didn’t work out, and ultimately get back on track.

Anxiety is caused by a lack of control which results from a lack of organization, a lack of preparedness, and a lack of action.


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