Posts Tagged ‘fear’

Maybe it’s not stress, maybe it’s anxiety

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 40 million Americans over the age of 18 are affected by anxiety — roughly 18 percent of the nation’s population.

That number is only for the diagnosed cases. There is a large population of people walking around with anxiety and other various disorders related to nervousness and fear, but they have not been diagnosed yet. This doesn’t mean that we all need to go running to our doctors but it is a good idea to stay mindful and aware of your own emotional state. Nervousness and fear is something that everyone faces at some point, daily or not. Whether it is test anxiety, public speaking, a job interview, or some sort of big event in your life, there are many ways to not only cope, but overcome.

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What happens in our brain when we try to decide

It was Saturday morning and I was on my way to meet Caroline for brunch. It had been a while since I saw her and in order to express my apology for being such a ghost, and such a terrible friend, I told her I’d save her a trip on the bus and that I’d pick her up in my Suzuki; I wanted to provide the best door-to-door service. As we sat down at the table in Apertif in Bayside, Queens, the waiter arrived with our water, as well as.. *play dramatic music* our menus. I knew this feeling all too well. Oh, what it meant to be paralyzed by indecision. There I sat, intimidated by a list of food items, and the complimentary croissant that was placed on my side plate remained untouched.

“Should I get the flatboard or the sandwhich?,” I thought to myself. I wondered if it was possible to get mushrooms on the sandwich, instead of ordering the flatbread. “Then again, there’s brie on the sandwhich, would mushrooms go well with brie?,” I pondered hopelessly. I wanted to design my own sandwich and then I thought about what a nightmare of a customer I’d be. This wasn’t a deli. Dare I be so inconsiderate? My order didn’t require many changes (although please, no onions), decision making just pained me. I didn’t have the stomach for it nor enough time to weigh all the options. What was my belly in the mood for? I hate to say but I wasn’t sure.

This was where the work came in. The work I started five years ago. I had to talk myself into making a decision. I had to force myself. How much of my own life could I possibly miss due to this absurd anxiety? When the waiter arrived with our mimosas, Caroline and I said a toast. When he asked if I was ready, I had decided: “Two minutes.” (Intro by Cheyenne Burroughs)

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Why our fear cripples us and the thrill of change

man carrying suitcase on a journey

What does one do with their underlying fear?

Some chose to hide it under makeup and fabulous clothing. Others through allowing their work to become their life. Some chose to live the way society has shown them prior, their values fed on plastic spoons by main stream media and nuclear family TV. Things like college, a spouse, a child, and a mortgage all supposedly confirming that they are on the Right Path. Some of us zombie-gaze into the computer screen well into the wee hours of the night to find ourselves in the morning with more than just bags under our eyes. The questions finally begin to surface as the sun breaks through the blinds or perhaps at the sound of a very irritating alarm clock: “Why do I do this to myself?” and “What the hell am I doing with my life?” Some of us take drugs or shoot them up, some swallow insane amounts of food until they reach nausea. You know, anything to distract us from what’s really going on. Some feel driven mad enough (some call it inspiration) to transform these feelings and turn them into art in hopes that the pain has all been worth something. It had to mean Something. But even paintings that hang proudly from their walls and grand pieces of artwork or literature are not indicative that we have shed this emotion, or healed the burden it has created.

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