Anxiety

notmuchleftSince I know a lot of people, even too many people, with some level or form of anxiety, I wanted to study it. How can I help them? What could they do to overcome it? The following items in this list are some things I found that may help. They also may not. It sounds like there’s only a little bit that doctors know about anxiety. Trying each of these in turn is your best bet.

  1. Prayer and meditation. Taking time out from a busy day to find your peaceful center and talk to God will give you confidence you never knew you had. Gratitude is excellent for positivity, confidence and peace. How many people wish they had peace in their lives but never settle themselves down long enough to meditate? How many prepare for bed by watching television, instead of getting quiet?
  2. Get the proper amount of sleep. Anxiety is compounded by lack of sleep. You’ll think more clearly if you get the right amount of sleep. Try a sleep experiment: Go to bed at the same time for three weeks. For that same three weeks, get up at the same time every morning. Avoid caffeine. Caffeine intake upsets the body’s natural rhythms. Get plenty of sunshine when you wake and splash water on your face, but don’t go for that cup of coffee. At the end of three weeks, you should be able to continue the rhythm without any artificial stimulants such as an alarm clock.
  3. Exposure therapy. It may be necessary to do the things that give you the most anxiety. Public speaking is number one on people’s fear index. Public speaking builds confidence like no other anxiety therapy. And one way to do it, even if you feel introverted is to think of it as speaking to yourself.
  4. Don’t be a hermit. Hiding from the world will not reduce anxiety. You can run away from the world, but you can’t run away from yourself. Hiding from the world is always temporary. Eventually you will have to interact with other humans. When that eventuality happens, how will you be prepared?
  5. Follow your role models. Find some people who have done things that you wish you could do. Find out how they did it, and then follow their lead. Role models, especially positive ones, help us have confidence in ourselves.
  6. Express your emotions. Uncork. We are all a shaken champagne. Don’t hold in the pressure. Sometimes just letting it out is exactly what you need. But if you’re going to yell, do it outside.
  7. Exercise. Exercise is the best way to balance the chemicals in your body. The appropriate amount of endorphins will boost your mood, make you more active, and enhance your appetite for healthy foods.
  8. Eat right. You’ve heard it before. The scientific community keeps finding new reasons that we should eat the healthy stuff instead of that candy bar and that soda. We know this. Our bodies tell us to eat healthy foods by giving us cravings. The hard part is exerting our will over the junk foods. When hungry for sweets, look for fruit. When hungry for something filling, look for proteins.
  9. Develop real relationships. Online relationships are good for friends who live far away. However, you still need the one on one, face to face interactions. Humans are social creatures. It may be beneficial for you to find a group of people who share your anxiety. By discovering that you’re not alone in your feelings, you can heal.
  10. Help others. Serving others in your home or in your community is a great way to boost your own self-esteem.
  11. When helping others, listen, don’t judge. Remember that we are all on the same path through life, though some may be at a different stage of the path. Try not to be judgmental of those at a different stage. And don’t compare yourself to them, either. No one starts out with all the skills. We have to learn the skills along the way.

Don’t Be Left Out

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It occurred to me some time ago that even though there are so many offended people in this world, there might also be a fair amount of people who have yet to find something to be offended about. For those feeling like an outsider because they have nothing to be offended about, here’s a convenient list:

  1. Whether you’re English or American, you can be offended at Green Day, an American band continually faking an English accent to try to sound punk.
  2. Be offended at “dollar” stores that charge more than a dollar for any item.
  3. Be offended at trees dropping leaves on the ground. Talk about careless litter.
  4. You could be offended that drones can fly but cars cannot.
  5. You could be offended at Donald Trump’s hair.
  6. You could be offended at coffee drinkers who treat their coffee cups like India’s sacred cow.
  7. Be offended at trolls.
  8. Be offended that grade schools teach Zero the Hero, but they don’t tell the kids that’s also the name of a Black Sabbath song.
  9. Be offended by any company replacing human jobs with robots.
  10. Definitely be offended by any movie with sloppy-cam. That pedantic crap died long ago.
  11. You should be offended that most chewing gum is laced with chemicals masquerading as sweeteners.
  12. Be offended at the size of your own bank account.
  13. Be offended at the size of another man’s truck.
  14. And yes, you can be offended at trucks with those rip-off, unauthorized Calvin stickers on them. Bill Watterson doesn’t get a dime off of those, even though he invented Calvin.
  15. Be offended at the division of society in which you fit.
  16. Be offended at anyone who stereotypes the division of society in which you fit.
  17. Be offended that marketing and advertising agencies are trying to profile you by those stereotypes.
  18. And you could be offended at anyone who fits in wherever they go. Weird, right?
  19. You could be offended at people who are continually making lists.
  20. Lastly, you could be offended at gumball machines that sell rubber balls that look like gumballs.

The Center of The Universe

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If you ever see me in the road, watch where I’m going. I don’t.

Have your parents ever told you if you make a face too long it’ll stay that way? I could’ve been a good-looking guy if I wasn’t pissed at everyone all the time. Practice makes permanent. Wearing the scowl to prove it.

I’ve been to the school of hard knocks and never graduated.

I ironed my shirt, and I didn’t get burnt, even though I didn’t take it off. Give me convenience or give me death, as the Kennedys say. The Dead Kennedys, that is.

I’m always right. If I’m ever proven wrong in my opinions, then the world itself must be an illusion. I’m always right, even when the facts are inconclusive. I’m always right. You better believe what I believe or else I’ll insult you ’til I’m satisfied.

I’m not on an ego trip, I’m just telling the truth. It’s not “the truth as I see it”. I can’t even hear…who said that?

If everyone thought just like me, the world would be a better place, because then everything would be centered around me, me, MEEEEE!

I told the universe that I’m the center of it, and it didn’t say anything back. I’ll take that as a, “Yes.”

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(It’s actually difficult to keep that sort of self-centered attitude up for a few minutes. Have you ever tried? Have you ever met someone like that?)

Small Talk for Big Meals

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Don’t you just love the things people talk about over a meal? It seems like maybe food opens people up to conversation more than anything else. You sit down with some company you enjoy, and some calories to consume, and you just start talking.

One of my favorite conversation starters at dinner is the old…well, it’s old to me…one about methane: methane naturally turns into water if left alone in the environment. Methane is a natural gas…produced by animals. Have you ever seen that Mad Max movie called Beyond Thunderdome? In that movie, there are people who use pig crap to produce methane. So maybe you’re ahead of me now, but the water we drink at dinner could have once been methane.

Everything recycles…even meal-time topics.

You could talk about recycling. Or other environmental things, like trees, flowers, chirping birds, rivers, lakes, monsters that live in lakes, mountains, a yeti, or even where the word yeti originated.

You could talk about things you’re thankful for. Count all the things you have to live for. That’s a good pastime even when you’re not eating or with good company.

You can talk about science. Did you know there are people in this world who think the world might be flat? I’m not sure if that’s an astronomy topic or a psychology topic. I bet most people have something to say about it though.

Here’s another one that I like, in case you might need one for your next meal. So the idea of nothing is a dead end right? We can’t even use the word nothing without messing it up. You can’t give nothing attributes. You can’t define nothing, because to define it makes it a thing. Funny, but we humans always try. Sometimes I even close my eyes and try to imagine infinite nothing, but then I see it as either endless black, or endless white. That’s not nothing. In fact, you can’t even give nothing a name…for the same reason as above… Nothingness can’t be contained, it can’t be seen, it can’t be felt, it can’t be detected, it can’t be. Which gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, “Nothing is impossible.”

Kind of on the same topic, but a bit more sarcastic: Don’t you just love it when someone is yakking about some “thing”, and they give their tiny, little subjective notion The Breath of Life, as if it was within their power to do so, thereafter pretending that this thing exists in tangible reality, even though you know the idea is merely an idea, with its heaviest attribute its name? (Okay, sarcasm over.)

Of course you can always talk about your companions at the meal. Are they your family? Are they your friends? Are they someone you just met? Are you on a date? You could talk about food likes and dislikes. I don’t like tomatoes so I always kid around that tomato is a Japanese word that means, “Disgusting when eaten raw.” Do you have any foods you love to hate? Everyone’s tastes are different, and everyone shares some favorites. Eventually you’ll find something in common. Not everyone likes chocolate, for instance, but I’ll bet you that everyone has something to say, an opinion, about chocolate.

Two last thoughts: Does the meal make the people you’re with more pleasant, or do the people you’re with make the meal better? Does the conversation improve the meal?

Four-Letter Words

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True blue dude, rock loud!

Save face! Kiss your mama.

Take time. Love much with real zeal.

Sure tale, tell away. Your duty ain’t done ’till that flag doth wave.

Must move. Ride bike from Five Mile lake, down Lion Kill pass, then leap into tree.

Rant, rave, slam head, rage cage, yell, cuss, fuss. Loop rope knot. Aced hand, spay pets. Jeep fast, dead last. Surf toes stay; sand play. Wade well. Snow rail. Moon pale. Help lots, less mess. Dope? Nope! Hope. Care. Pray calm. Lord balm. Feel hymn zest, bite fist pest, dive pool swim, wish star whim, wake make cake, fake bake sake, rake rust dust, bust lust raid, fade paid maid, made laid said, tome book read, hair lair pair, tame game same, smug eyes smog nose word ears flap gums, gimp gams, lurp tall, will fall, peel ripe plum, hail spit rain, leaf fund, cash gone, drew tile, lisp pile, slip fire, lips liar, fort afar, bush seed, muss reed, feed need, heed deed peed lead wind tops rats spot deal tsar pots dare rife tire…can’t stop…just rime lime keep deep leap reap peat