Want to Feel Less Anxious? Give Up Some Control by D. H. Rosmarin
One psychologist’s case for embracing uncertainty
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than three in 10 Americans will have a full-blown anxiety disorder over the course of their lifetimes.
Worse, nearly one in four of these cases will be characterized as “severe,” meaning a person is unable to function from day to day or becomes suicidal because of anxiety symptoms.
[Why is anxiety at such high levels in American society, in spite of the fact many people are well off financially? The psychologist speculates it may be Americans are uncomfortable with experiencing uncertainty and wanting to have control over everything in life]
…..People cannot stand to fail or experience setbacks.
In the 1950s, 22% of the country lived in dire poverty, versus less than 10% in 2018.
Yet we helicopter-parent our children through adolescence and even young adulthood to make sure they do not experience failure.
As a result, children don’t expect to struggle, and when they do, their internal worlds are shaken to the core.
Relatedly, people cannot tolerate uncertainty.