ANXIETY — By a #Insiders4Good Fellow

Graphic of a ninja cat waving a Microsoft Windows flag while riding at top a T-Rex.

Hi, I’m  Paula Aliu representing Cogno-Aid, one of the 25 Nigerian Fellows of The #Insiders4Good program. Cogno-Aid is a start-up that aims to connect People to licensed Therapist from the comfort of wherever they might be. 

Here are some thoughts I would love to share with the community.

Anxiety, at some point in our lives we all will experience it.

That undefinable unpleasant bout of worry or nervousness that builds up when you are to speak publicly.

That perpetual state of worry you get any time you go to your In-laws house despite being married for 3 years.

The compulsive need or itch to react in an uncontrolled or erratic way once you feel unable to articulately express your emotions and thoughts.

That dampening in your mood when you can’t justify it but you just know something terrible is going to happen so you are in “FLIGHT or FIGHT” mode.

There are a plethora of scenarios but a core feeling, ANXIOUSNESS / ANGST / UNEASINESS / UNREST. Although, we might not be able to stop situations that causes anxiety, but we can strive to manage our reactions to them.

Calm deep breaths in timed successions might do the trick but what happens if it doesn’t?

Inhale and Exhale sessions don’t necessarily work in the middle of a tense presentation at a board meeting or when you are presenting your Final year project to Professor who just so happens to give you 3 mins to talk and has already failed 3 Students prior to you taking the podium. Inhale, Exhale sessions certainly don’t work when you are shuffling through a crowded smelly market and mistakenly hit a Huge and Angry Man who is more comfortable in communicating with his gigantic fists than with his mouth or ears. You are more likely to get 5 clear punches before you can Inhale once that you can be sure.

So how can you manage situations in your life that bring about anxiety? One word, THERAPY.

“My case is not that serious” you might say, “I can manage it.” or “why will I talk to an abject stranger about my life. That is just Inviting my enemies to come put their nose in my business.” These are thoughts that might go through your mind to prevent you from taking up therapy. Let me share with you thoughts that hopefully will make you think about it as an option.

What are the chances that your anxiety stemming from your In-laws coming to visit, and knowing you haven’t learnt how to make that “swallow and native soup” they like to eat, if shared with your husband or your “MASTER CHEF” of a mother will lead to a productive conversation on how to reduce or eliminate your anxiety completely and not judgment? Slim to None.

Each time you are required to perform or even speak in a gathering you look like a you are about to have a stroke and crap in your pants all at the same time. This is costing you potential clients plus your colleagues doubts about your ability to deliver increases and you trying to explain how you feel just causes your Boss to further doubt your position in the company. Talk about being your own enemy.

A private sit down or established communication channel to talk to a person trained in the art of Non- judgmental conversation with the sole objective of helping fix or overcome whatever bothers you doesn’t seem to bad now does it.’ I might not have encompassed all scenarios and honestly, that is impossible. So let’s look at another angle below.

A popular YouTube Channel THE SCHOOL OF LIFE provides more insight on Anxiety.