Categories
Life & Philosophy

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 with anticipation. The only way to calm the nerves is to take action that scratches the itch. Doing instead of wondering is a litmus test for hope.

Both acceptance and initiative can make us feel more alive. The trick is to learn when to accelerate and when to dip.

Trapped inside of fear, unable to inhabit our own experience — the last thing we should do is run away and let pass opportunity by.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Politics & Society

Don’t adopt other people’s anxiety

gif by Luiz Stocklergif

We rely on other people’s testimony. It’s no wonder, therefore, that their anxiety becomes ours. We then cognize every piece of information to fit our nervy narrative.

Worries spread like viruses. And they provoke an unwarranted shock into mass health scares, money problems, and job pressures.

A strange and contradictory animal, humans can barely see through the apparition of fear. The brain’s chemicals are so easily triggered and duped.

To avoid falling ill to the pitfalls anxiety’s publicity machine, we need to create stronger meanings out of the abstract energy of positive motivation. We have to put a mental finger on good feelings.

People who can stay light and grounded without falling into the trap of the mind’s filmic productions know how to separate truth from fiction.

It’s the obedient clerks that manufacture all the negativity. It’s the interested that refuse to buy into the algae of stress.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

De-essentalizing the response

We’re never safe from the torch of fear and anxiety.

The only thing we can control is our reaction to the current circumstances.

Wrote the poet John Milton in the seventeenth century: “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”

When we reach the end of our life, our experience will be an accumulation of responses.

What we process and pay attention to is what we become. Distractions are a fungus.

Inculcating calmness helps preempt the of dizziness each stimulus.

Unless we develop the steadiness of thoughts, the world will always find a way to intrude on our ideals.

Best moving on then unpinned from the forced manipulation of other people’s identities.

Categories
Psychology

Making peace with fear

We can make peace with the anxiety of anticipation. 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. 

The counterintuitive nature of the fear-setting approach is why it works. Using our imagination, we literally live through something before it happens. The mere process of visualization provides action steps that tame the monkey mind. 

Wrote the Stoic philosopher Seneca the Younger: “We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.” At least we have mental exposure to help stem the tide. 

Categories
Books Psychology

The link between imagination and anxiety

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Cover for book Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear 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

Categories
Politics & Society Psychology Uncategorized

Anxious/Hopeful

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Anxious, hopeful or both? A new installation wants to know

Categories
Books Psychology

The epidemic of worry

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“He doesn’t give out energy for the benefit of others. He absorbs energy at others’ cost.”

– Francis O’GormanWorrying: A Literary and Cultural History

In other words, the worrier is the opposite of a lighthouse.

Categories
Postaday Psychology

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

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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 get exhausted or to exhaust whoever or whatever you are clinging to.”

The only way to assuage the nerves is to focus on what’s in front of you, to do the work regardless of the way you feel. Progress happens to the relaxed.

Don’t worry before it’s time

Writes Eric Barker on his life advice blog:

You’re not your brain; you’re the CEO of your brain. You can’t control everything that goes on in “Mind, Inc.” But you can decide which projects get funded with your attention and action. So when a worry is nagging at you, step back and ask: “Is this useful?”

As a survival mechanism, anxiety pushes us to take action — the most basic fear is that we need to eat and have a place to sleep for the night. But anxiety is also a thinking problem that needs to be neutralized by greeting it at the door where it appears wearing the same costume as it did before.

Everything is going to be alright, just like it was yesterday.

gif via Jason Clarke

Categories
Psychology

Why we worry for no reason

Why we worry, Why we worry for no reason
via giphy

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 the racetrack of uncertainty. It imagines issues that don’t yet exist. Caught in the worry loop, imagining fear stimulates discomfort.

But when a worry becomes a reality we realize how capable we are in dealing with it. We grow more resilient. Once we develop the courage to face our problems, like a lighthouse, we develop the energy to share our experience to console others.

To worry or not to worry, whatever happens, happens.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

Serene in the moment


We are too close to right now, this present, stuck in the maw of anticipation that puts us under stress’s control.

Anxiety is a thinking problem. It grows stronger in our attempt to control it while it tugs at the brain with fright.

We need to give our nerves a day or two to calm down. But what if we’re choking on the seduction of pity? To shut out stray thoughts, we may ask ourselves: What’s the worst that can happen? And so what if it does?

The attempt to control the future is futile, a waste of time. The sooner we realize to yield to indifference we gain all the confidence to dance with the fear that tries to weaken life’s enjoyment.

Take a deep breath, repeat a mantra, and tread lightly.