The Nature of Anxiety

Anxiety isn’t just an unpleasant psychological state. You’re revved up, and you’re burning resources like mad.

“I don’t know where I am” means everything around you is relevant, and you have to ramp up your capacity for action to deal with that. People do not like that.

We structure almost all of our environments constantly so that never happens. We’re all dressed the same, with tiny variations, and we all follow the same traffic laws, for example. We do everything we can to make sure that we know exactly where we are and what we’re doing all the time.

That’s because when we’re in that state, we can advance cautiously using positive things and maintain a modicum of positive emotion. That’s what we’re trying to do.

Dr. Jordan Peterson