re: Understanding is key, right?
If you never experienced anxiety, would you be you?
Of course you would. But you would be different right?
Yup. You would be MORE yourself. Why?
Because anxiety is not who you are, it's something that you experience, something that appears to your mind.
To understand it further, ask yourself this question:
Where does anxiety come from, where is it being experienced?
It arises and is experienced in your mind. So, if it's 'all in our head', then why can t we just relax?
We cannot relax because we are so familiar with this state of mind, there is something incorrect about our thinking for us to experience this much anxiety over such ordinary everyday situations.
So how do we change our thinking/beliefs, make them more realistic?
We can accept how we currently see things and be patient with our present anxiety. But we have to identify the main conceptions that are core in the arising of our anxiety.
I'll mention one: The main one being 'what other people think about me' - our mind currently projects an imaginary mode of how these people are thinking about us. It's really subtle and quite well hidden and from within our mind our thoughts and actions are guided by it. So when you are at the store, this conception is fully active in your mind, like a fire, anxiety results. The mere appearance of other people will activate it, even if you just imagine them but it wont be as intense.
We change this conception, thereby lessening the anxiety in our mind, by seeing what is true of what others think and the nature of their thoughts. I have mentioned this in many posts but briefly here, what other people think is contaminated, people's minds are pretty much out of control, filled with such negativity, depression, anxiety etc. They never really see us or have a correct view of us because their minds are equally confused. Examine this carefully, what else is there to do but suffer further anxiety?