The most terrible piece of reality is that it is real. There are no thin lines or fine lines between what is real and what is not. It is crystal clear. Truth is the only pillar that stands independently. In my observations and study, I have come to find that the origin of anxiety is not a disagreement with reality or concern of the future, but it is the clear comprehension of what is real and/or true. What you say or have said becomes what you say and how you choose to speak. Just as what you do or have done becomes what you do and how you choose to spend your time.
Every decision defines who you are as a person and the development of your personality— the primary distinction between you and everyone else in the world. Your life is a result of your own decisions, regardless of how others may enact upon it. Everything is completely under your control, which brings me to my first point: control.
Control is a key aspect of anxiety. While many may believe anxious feelings come from of a lack of control in one’s life, it is quite the opposite. Feeling anxious from the inability to control something is entirely irrational! Consider this, if your entire life is under the control of a person living in the clouds then what do you have to worry about? It feeds you. It allows you a place to sleep. It allows your heart to beat properly. It hired you into your current job. It grants you happiness and it grants you sadness. You only have to sit back, relax, and let the control...cruise!
It is proven that those religious zealots that dedicate themselves to a higher power have lesser occurrences of reported depression and to say the same of anxiety is not likely to be a poorly deduced hypothesis. "At least 444 studies have now quantitatively examined these relationships (depressive symptoms and religious/spiritual practice). Of those, over 60% report less depression and faster remission from depression in those more R/S or a reduction in depression severity in response to an R/S intervention. In contrast, only 6% report greater depression. Of the 178 most methodologically rigorous studies, 119 (67%) find inverse relationships between R/S and depression. Religious beliefs and practices may help people to cope better with stressful life circumstances, give meaning and hope, and surround depressed persons with a supportive community." (Bonelli et al.) Religion is for a piece of mind but if the faith is nonexistent then it may be incredibly difficult to acquire it. Nonbelievers take the entire responsibility of their lives into their own hands, and this may make them feel smarter but does it make them feel happier?
The short answer is fuck no. I’ll still tell you why if you keep reading, though.
Okay, great. Remember when we considered every aspect be under the control of a higher power? Now, let’s imagine the opposite. There is nothing up there. There is no one here to help you. There is no afterlife. There is no meaning of life. There is no reason to wake up. God is dead and the Devil is but a name. Good and evil are only opposing sides to nature’s coin. The only things possible are the things that you make possible.
If this is true then the doors you open are going to guide you to new rooms, halls, homes, and houses, but when you open these doors and walk through, there is no stepping back. If you choose to eat that thing, you cannot un-eat it. If you choose to say unkind words to your best friend, you cannot un-say them. If you choose to jump off of that cliff, you cannot fly back up. Your decisions and actions are never up for recall, and hindsight never helps. When you toss and turn at night, thinking of the things you could have said in the argument or could have done to get that promotion, that’s simply your anxious brain telling you to do better.
Therefore, the reality of the world you live in is what gives you anxiety and it has nothing to do with control. You can choose to take the responsibility of your life and afterlife into your own hands or you can choose to leave it up to a higher power. Regardless of where you allow the weight of the world to be held, what is real cannot become unreal. Everything you do and everything you say becomes you.
If you don't like it, change it. Anxiety will never solve a problem or fix your life, but it will give you a reason to do it yourself.
Bonelli, Raphael, et al. “Religious and Spiritual Factors in Depression: Review and Integration of the Research.” Depression Research and Treatment, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3426191/.