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  • Anya MacFarlane

How To Put Anxiety Into Perspective

Anxiety is closely related to fear and is caused by stressful situations which can be real or imagined. Anxiety operates by applying a problem-solving approach to an unknown situation which starts a process of taking ourselves through steps to deal with the situation until we end in the disaster zone.

We then back out of the thoughts and avoid the situation altogether or we start to try and control the worry/anxiety by bottling it up, using distraction, trying to reason with the worry or telling ourselves to think positively.

All of these can prove to be exhausting! They may work for a while but the worry will come back in some form or another.


Worries and anxieties are normal and to be expected. What if they were accepted and confronted? We could choose to question them to see if they are real. We can understand how we feel about confronting a worry or anxiety by doing a simple task.

Recently I have heard people say they are put off by recipes, I hear you scream at me, that’s not an anxiety or a worry!!!! No, your right it’s not but it may be a great place to start putting into practice, dealing with avoidance… which is what we do when we worry or are anxious.

How many times have you looked at a recipe and moved on because there are too many ingredients?

What are you avoiding? What are you telling yourself? What feelings are you experiencing?

Tell me what recipe are you avoiding? Do you need a bit of encouragement?

My recipe avoidance was Risotto. I had only ever made this once and it was a disaster so I told myself no-one likes risotto in this house. I had even bought the arborio rice to try again and ended up throwing it out. Until recently, I thought I’d try again and the worst thing that can happen is that it doesn’t taste very good but I am sure I have eaten worse. The kids weren’t there so it would be easier as they wouldn’t be moaning.

I took my time, did it at the weekend when there was no rush. Got a nice glass of wine to make the task seem like a treat. Hey presto it was a success this time.

I have now cooked it with smoked haddock, leeks, spinach and peas for all the family and it has been great to get some really good feedback for doing something that I was definitely avoiding. I will take those really uplifting feelings and apply them to some other tasks I am avoiding and worrying about.

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