Kite & Key: The Upside of Anxiety


Anxiety is one of the most common psychological afflictions in America. But a surprising amount of research suggests that it doesn’t have to be. We can’t make anxiety disappear — but we might be able to transform it into a kind of superpower.

In any year, roughly 20% of American adults have an anxiety disorder. Nearly a third of us will deal with this affliction at some point in our lives. And things only seem to be getting worse. Prescriptions for anti-anxiety medications have soared, while polling finds Americans saying their mental health has declined.

Yet not all the news is bad. In fact, a deeper look at the research suggests anxiety can actually be a useful tool — if we know how to properly harness it.

As many psychologists point out, anxiety is hardwired into us by millions of years of evolution … for good reason. It makes us more vigilant against threats and increases our ability to solve problems.

As a result, learning how to properly manage anxiety can have transformative power. Whether it’s overcoming a fear of public speaking, combatting PTSD, or — no joke — making repairs to the International Space Station, you may be shocked to learn what happens when anxiety is repurposed into a tool.

Published in General
Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 4 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. DaveSchmidt Coolidge

    Plan to listen tonight.  

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    I’m just not sure. Many years ago I was diagnosed with general anxiety diorder; so there weren’t specific triggers. But I developed a dry cough that wouldn’t go away. So I’ve been on a serotonin uplifter for that period, and it’s been a blessing, and I’m much easier to be around. Some people question whether serotonin uplifters work (power of the mind), but I don’t think anyone could maintain the emotional balance for as long as I have.

    Still I think it’s a great topic and I agree that far too many people go on drugs to feel better. I’m not one of them!

    • #2
  3. MarciN Member

    That was an excellent presentation.

    I think the problem to look out for is if a person is experiencing anxiety that can’t be explained by an existing tension-inducing situation.

    Also, I would suggest that anyone who is having inexplicable issues with irritability or anxiety get a complete physical, especially a full cardiac workup.

    • #3
  4. J Ro Member
    J Ro

    Another entertaining and informative video from Kite & Key. It reminded me of this magnificent passage about another superpower closely related to the anxiety one needs to be a spaceman, from a mostly forgotten book:

    ”I’ve been trying to account to myself for the essence of that attraction which resides for us in the blade of a sword. It’s an irresistible pull which keeps us in army service in spite of ourselves, and makes us be for ever waiting for a crisis or a war. I don’t know if it isn’t true to say, or write, that there inheres in armies a passion which is peculiar to them and gives them their life; a passion that partakes neither of the love of glory nor of ambition, but is a sort of hand-to-hand combat against Destiny, a struggle which is the source of a thousand delights unknown to the rest of mankind, and whose secret victories are replete with magnificence: in brief — the love of danger!

    “What is it that sustains the sailor on the sea, pray? — that consoles him for the tedium of being a man who sees only other men? He sails, and says goodbye to the land; goodbye to women’s smiles, goodbye to their love; goodbye to his chosen friends and to the gentle customs of his life; goodbye to his cherished old parents; goodbye to the natural beauties of the earth, to the trees, to the greensward, to the sweet-smelling flowers, to the shady cliffs and the melancholy woods thronged with wild and silent creatures; goodbye to the great cities, to the endless activity of the arts, to the sublime eruption of thought into the idleness of life, to the elegant, mysterious and passionate relationships of the great world: to all these he says goodbye — and sails. He sails to encounter three enemies: water, air, and man; and every moment of his life he will have to do battle with one of them. This magnificent tension frees him from tedium. He lives amidst continual victories; it’s a victory in itself to sail across the ocean and not be swallowed up in shipwreck; a victory to go where one chooses, and to plunge through in the teeth of contrary winds; a victory to run before the tempest, and to make it follow like a servant; a victory to sleep in the midst of it and establish there a working place. The sailor reclines on the ocean’s back with a regal feeling, like St Jerome on his lion, and rejoices in solitude, to which he is wedded. And it’s the love of danger which sustains him, which means he is never idle for a moment, that he’s conscious of a struggle and has a goal.”

    Alfred de Vigney

    Servitude and Grandeur of Arms (1835) 

    • #4
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.