Making peace with fear

We can make peace with the anxiety of antipication. But it’s the hope that kills. What we need to gauge the nerves is preparation. One way of accomplishing this is through fear-setting, a practice which requires that we envision the worst outcome. By going toward the fear, we  undermine its strength and power our resolve.  […]

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The link between imagination and anxiety

“Anxiety is the price we pay for an ability to imagine the future. That’s what anxiety is, an imagination of a future that hasn’t happened yet, but that you are concerned with, worried about, dreading, and so on.” Neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux, Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety art by @aishwaryasadasivan

Running to safety

Acceptance precedes change, the self-help books proclaim. One can’t advance unless they agree with their current state. Similarly, uncertainty boils in anticipation. The only way to calm the nerves is to take an action that scratches the itch. Doing instead of wondering is a litmus test for hope. Both acceptance and initiative make us feel […]

Worrying is a waste of time. Greet your anxiety instead.

It is human nature to ponder anxieties that do not exist. The mind is a fabrication machine, developing worries before they deserve any attention. Wrote Carlos Castaneda in Journey to Ixtlan (Amazon):“To worry is to become accessible… And once you worry, you cling to anything out of desperation; and once you cling you are bound to […]

Why we worry for no reason

We worry as a ‘preventative’ — to thwart any future stress. We try to control the situation with a surfeit of possibilities that we mentally prepare for, most of which never occur. “I’ve suffered a great many catastrophes in my life. Most of them never happened.”  Mark Twain Anxiety is a thinking problem that rides around […]

So what?

Instead of asking the typical fear-setting question ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’ instead persistently ask yourself ‘so what?’ So what if you didn’t get into the college you wanted? So what if you’ll never be famous? So what if you’ll never find a significant other? So what? Repetition dulls negative thoughts. Boredom hinders the loop […]

Outsmart your worries

You are not our thoughts. Thoughts are just thoughts. But you are your actions. How you determine what’s reasonable and worth doing versus what’s irrational and worth ignoring demonstrates the emotional strength of your thinking mind. As Eric Barker writes on his blog: You’re not your brain; you’re the CEO of your brain. You can’t […]

Habituate the fear 

Anxiety is both a contagious and fearful gift. However, more emphasis gets placed on its negative influence rather than its impetus for greatness By overcompensating for our fears, rehearsing actions that vitiate it, we preempt the tremors with the feeling of habit. Making art is an anxiety reducer, as is doing the dishes, running, or […]

Taming the restless mind

Our mind manufactures time. It fills the present moment with things to do so we don’t have to listen to each tick-tock.   Yet the ‘tension’ that arises from the time we shut our eyes until we fall sleep reminds us that we’re still alive.   Dreaming sustains the active mind and pauses time. The […]

‘The worrier is the opposite of a lighthouse’

  Worrying can be short-sighted and egotistical. FOMO, or fear of missing out, is a 21st-century problem driven by the use of smartphones. As David Brooks highlights in his article The Epidemic of Worry, ‘the worrier is the opposite of a lighthouse:’ “He doesn’t give out energy for the benefit of others. He absorbs energy at others’ […]

The Fab Five, John Berger’s Ways of Seeing, the epidemic of worry, new tunes and more

Arts & Culture Twenty-five years after the Fab Five, big-time colleges still short-change their stars They never won anything but the Fab Five – the so-called greatest recruiting class of all time — broke fashion trends. They took after Michael Jordan and wore baggy shorts, shaved their heads, and replaced their white socks with black. […]

Save the worry for later

Instapaper your worries. That is, save them for later. By the time you come back to them, they’ll only be important if they’re still on your mind. Anxiety is a trigger, one that works to benefit you. You’ll continue to think about the exam if you do nothing about it. Studying builds up your confidence and reduces […]

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