Can we get rid of all our anxiety at once?

The answer

The answer depends on what we mean by this question. Behind this question is the probable desire to prevent ourselves from being triggered when we don’t want to be.

It’s a sensible desire that I’ve also shared but can this be achieved overnight? Here’s my point of view:

We have a particular way of thinking and beliefs–a way of being. Because of our current state of beliefs and thinking, there are certain stimuli in this world that, if we encounter, will make us anxious regardless of our desire to be undisturbed. Why? Our beliefs get triggered rapidly. Fortunately, we have the ability to modify our thinking and beliefs and thus, eliminate the emotion-causing power of different stimuli. Unless we can drop every belief that causes us anxiety all at once, it seems unlikely that we can get rid of our anxiety overnight. This may be tough to do, but it may be possible because eliminating one of our triggers, which happens as a result of a shift in our psychology, has the chance of eliminating our other triggers at the same. To completely or considerably get rid of anxiety overnight, I argue that you must understand why we use anxiety in our lives.

Another strategy for achieving the end goal of “controlling our emotions,” which equates to not having any anxiety-causing beliefs is:

  1. Use triggered moments to neutralize the emotion-causing power of the stimulus/trigger by identifying and eliminating the emotion-causing beliefs we have about the stimuli.
  2. Anticipate future situations we’re going to be in and the possible triggers we’ll encounter. We can then work to neutralize the emotion-causing powers of those triggers before the situation happens in real life.

Illustration of what controlling our emotions looks like – from triggered to calm

We may unexpectedly get triggered by things

When we identify the anxiety-causing belief(s) associated with a trigger and drop them, we’ll be emotionally undisturbed when encountering the stimuli again or experience the emotion less intensely.

This post contains a condensed transcript that shows me uncovering the beliefs that caused me to get anxious before sharing an opinion with a group of 3 guys I had never met before during a dinner.

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