Why is anxiety so pervasive?

It feels as if anxiety has become the default state of our society, yet it’s not clear why. Our lives are safer, more comfortable and more stable than any time in history. Almost all of us have access to food, clean water, and shelter, and ironically, those who don’t, often seem less anxious than those who do.

Perhaps that’s why I was so fascinated by this article got me thinking that maybe anxiety is a symptom of our distractedness. With our senses bombarded by 24 hour distractions, it wouldn’t be surprising if our brains simply had less available bandwidth to process the stresses and strains of life:

When the brain is spinning out one horrifying outcome after another, it does not have enough space to clearly perceive the world around us as it is in this moment. If a big energy is trying to move through a constricted space it can give us the feeling that we are bouncing off the walls, and our thoughts ricochet inside our heads creating a frenzy that is a danger of its own.

So distracted are we by thoughts of what might happen, we cannot appreciate the circumstances here and now. We cannot move through the world in a constant state of self-generated fear.