When Anxiety turns into a Panic Attack

If you have anxiety you might be exposed to, or have had a panic attack. This is the physical manifestation of your anxiety. Often it doesn’t play out as the person think’s it will, meaning the “panic” doesn’t nearly equate to the situation more often than not. However, that doesn’t minimize or negate what is actually happening to you. Panic often delves into physical conditions that impact you negatively. Examples:

  • Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
  • Heart palpitations or racing heart
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Choking feeling
  • Feeling unreal or detached from your surroundings
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or faint
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Fear of dying, losing control, or going crazy

The real problem is these attacks can happen at any time. Literally ANYTHING can be a trigger and this is, for a lot of people where anxiety ends up. They live in fear not of, I don’t know, let’s say spiders, but the PANIC that seeing the spider will invoke. I’ve never had a serious panic attack, I have heard in my life when the subject comes up in my social circle there is an immediate dismissal. “It’s not that bad” or “They made a mountain out of a mole hill”.

Where there is smoke, there is fire.

What that narrative does is it creates the conditions by which someone who might have panic attacks has even more anxiety about it. Our culture celebrates strength and fortitude in essentially all ethnic backgrounds for each gender. Having anxiety that leads to a panic attack doesn’t make you weak, it’s not something you should be ashamed of and if you have people in your life telling you it’s not a big deal you should consider strongly limiting your time with them.

In extreme cases a panic attack can lead to death, either by suicide, heart attack or loss of control of your faculties. BREATHE!

I am not patronizing you, it sometimes is that simple. Even if you are in the middle of a grocery store and you think people are staring at you and you are in full panic, take slow deep breaths. 10 slow deep breaths is a minute of your life, you can do this and any social anxiety you may derive from that 1 minute where you think people are staring at you will dissipate quickly as your panic starts to decrease with every breath.

You aren’t alone, you are not abnormal. You have anxiety and you need to be honest with yourself about it. When in doubt, take a deep breath.

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How to be a better man – The real secret (are you a beta, alpha or????? )

What label have you accepted? I bet you’re loathe to say you are a beta aren’t you? Maybe you are walking around telling everyone you are an Alpha male, which obviously that’s what Alpha males do….. Maybe you are an Omega? A Gamma? A label allows you to be classified simply, marketed too, sorted out and identified. These labels/titles are social constructs created by others to better identify your behaviors so you can be categorized.

You can try and identify these labels and emulate them. Who knows, maybe in your mind you will achieve the ideal for one of these labels. Maybe you will truly become an ALPHA MALE!!!! Make sure you tell everyone. Maybe, just maybe you can be yourself. You know some days you might be completely alpha some days you might be beta and everywhere in between.

It’s kind of like politics, are you 100% one way? Do you maybe believe that a woman has a right to determine what happens with her body but on the other hand don’t think government should be involved in financing social programs? Life isn’t black and white and neither is being a man. So what does all this mean? You see there has been a schism in the social order that governed society for thousands of years. Traditional male and female roles have converged and diverged and as a result you have to find where your place is on your own terms.

That place is where you want it. See we are at a place in the social construct of complete freedom for men. It’s fantastic that women have become liberated, they can be politicians, anything. Let them go fight wars now. Take out the trash? They can do that. Change the oil in the car? Go for It. The freedom of women and their liberation is the best thing to happen to men in a long, long time. You never have to accept inequality again. You see it works both ways, well it should but there are many out there who want their cake and eat it too.

A thick skin makes you stronger then 99% of “Alpha Males”

Don’t allow that anymore. You decide who you are. You want a label great, don’t want one that’s cool too. Always demand equality and if you don’t get it you need to remove those people from your life ASAP. It’s okay to like whatever you like. Paint your nails, wear dresses, put on makeup…. Or grow a beard, swill beer, swear. Everything is wide open now. Pick whatever label you want and within it create the name YOU want it to be.

If members of the opposite sex don’t like it and want you to change, move on from them. Because here is the real secret and it’s the one that has scared the shit out of men and women alike. You don’t need a woman to be happy, a woman doesn’t need a man to be happy. The catch is most men from a young age are conditioned not to expect emotional support or to be needed. Girls are protected far more, there are 1-800 numbers for any issue a woman might have, seen one for men lately? Women in western culture are placed in a different light from a young age, and with that comes unfair expectations on them I concede that. For a man? Expectations have never been lower. Not the bread winner? That’s acceptable. Dad bod and not athletic? That’s acceptable. On and on…

This is your chance, you can now be whatever you want however you want to frame it. Western society has created an equality narrative, and with it comes good and bad outcomes. Most of the negative outcomes here are for females, they now have even higher expectations placed on them than ever before where their male counterparts have been reduced. The phrase “careful what you wish for” comes to mind but equality of opportunity doesn’t always translate to equality of outcomes.

Social expectations and thousands of years of an accepted social construct don’t evaporate overnight. Women will still be judged on their appearance (by other women often), their ability to run a house, be a mother and now their ability to earn an income and excel professionally. They have all the pressure. Men are not held in high regard at all. This is great for you if you are a man, you now have more freedom than ever before. Relieved of the burdens of expectations you can build the life and strength you want and genuinely attract those who like you for who you are, not who they expect you to be or some arbitrary title.

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Finance tip – The Credit Score Secret

So the first finance piece on the blog for 2022 but the same disclaimer…. I am finance professional with 30 years of experience. That said the views expressed on this blog regarding personal finance are my opinion and any financial decisions you make you should do so after having done your own personal research.

If you live in the western world you have a credit score. Now our friends in the east (our Asian and Australian friends) might have something similar, if they do I am not familiar with what it is but its yet another “number” you are given to identify your financial prowess. Now that we are in the midst of the digital age it is very easy to accumulate data on consumers.

Bitcoin is a game changer

Be under no illusion, every financial transaction you make is being stored in some data base and scrubbed as part of meta data for analytics. How many people bought tooth brushes in Dec as opposed to Feb… That data is then resold to manufactures and other large corporations for great profit. Let’s follow the example a bit further… Let’s assume that in Dec tooth brush sales are 300% higher than Feb. That’s critical information for someone who makes toothbrushes, that could be the lynch pin info that creates high profits for their company. You get the idea.

So you as a consumer are given a credit score. It has been pumped up and built up to be a reflection on your overall prowess as an economic entity. Potential employers will do a “credit check” on you. Some dating sites as part of the vetting system perform these checks as a service for their clients. You even have social conversations (well pre covid anyway) where people would actively talk about their credit score as if it were some bench mark for success.

Here is “The Credit Score Secret”

The credit scores purpose is to grade you on your ability to finance material items you can’t afford

Simply put, your credit score is a benchmark on your ability to make payments on items you can’t otherwise pay for outright. Its far more lucrative for a company to sell you something and have you pay overtime with interest. First, they make more over time due to interest and Second, they can up sell you additional services that complement the original purchase.

The bottom line is, you only need a credit score if you are buying something you can’t afford. In my opinion, the only case you should ever need this is when purchasing a house. You should not be buying other items unless you can pay for them outright, and yes that means cars too. I can bend a little on cars but you don’t need a 50K car, a 10K car will suffice. It’s another illusion the finance industry has created for you.

“Give them a score so they can measure themselves against others”. Its clever, sinister marketing. That score is a curse because it really means you have a high probability of purchasing things you can’t afford and paying for them over time. It’s an indication of how poor at finance you really are, financing a TV, A vacation, a phone… It means you’re willing to pay MORE than the item would normally sell for.

Don’t be fooled by the finance industry. They want you to be good little consumers. “payments” means “interest” and interest is pure profit for them. The item is still worth 20k regardless, but you, because you want it now are willing to pay 30K for it over 10 years because you want it now. Companies love that mentality and that is the “credit score secret”

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Deltacron – The final product?

If you have anxiety covid has been a disaster. It’s one thing to have to worry about getting sick, its another to have everyone screaming at the top of their lungs about getting sick. It never seems to end either, remember YEARS ago (yes years) when the prevailing narrative was “a few weeks and we will be back to normal”. That’s not happening anytime soon. So we have a new variant discovered and the marketing has already begun. It’s being called “Deltacron” a combo of TWO variants to bring you even more mental anguish.

This ride never ends does it? I mean we can be getting new variants for decades. So is this the final product? I suspect it might be, or the next to last. You see part of this is marketing. Marketing to get you to get vaccinated (which you should) marketing to get you hooked and keep clicking and watching. It’s naïve to think that Covid hasn’t become commercial and political. The media loves this, it gives them an easy story every night which allows for them to run the full gambit of stories. Deaths, illnesses, mask mandates, on and on.

Even vaccinated people get covid.

I know this sounds cynical but this is our reality, I mean at this point you know what covid is you are either vaccinated or you aren’t. Harping on a new variant, how does that change the conversation? Answer = it doesn’t. It’s not meant to. It’s meant to CONTINUE the same conversation and keep tens of millions of people in a state of flux. What other reason could there be? “You’re an anti vaxxer!!!!! Burn it with fire” No I’m not I am vaccinated, lol.

I just see what’s coming, as we’ve seen this play out for a few years now. Don’t believe me? In the next few weeks “Deltacron” will be on the news regularly. Your political “leaders” will talk about it and how you “need to” do X, Y or Z. I hope I am wrong and if I am I will be happy to eat my words. For those of us with Anxiety? No reprieve. You get no rest from the covid onslaught.

You should get vaccinated, you should get a booster, you should wear a mask if other people are uncomfortable. You should also, shut off main stream media. Remove yourself from people who go on and on about covid and what YOU should be doing. Most importantly keep trying to do the things you want to do and try not to let covid permeate every aspect of your life.

Hang in there, the rollercoaster ride isn’t over yet.

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Traveling today no formal post

I am sitting at my home PC typing this, shirt and tie on. I know…. Today I actually have to travel for business. Its been a while. I used to travel a lot a decade or so a go for work. Got a chance to see a lot of the U.S. as a result. Anyway no formal post today.

As always thanks so much for supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Will be back on Wed with a formal post. Take care.

Squats

How I stay in shape over 50 – Squats (in detail)

In 2021 I lost a lot of weight and to be blunt most of it was fat and water. My muscle tone improved dramatically, obviously from losing weight but because I also increased my muscle mass. I am by no means a diet guru, this isn’t a fitness blog but I’ve done it. I lost nearly 30 pounds and kept it off. Sure there are no photos to prove this, I mean you are going to believe what you want any way. How do I keep it off though? Perhaps more importantly how do I train to maintain muscle mass.

To be blunt I do very little. I train, hard but I am in the gym only 3 times a week and each session is intense for perhaps 30 min. Now outside of the gym I stay active. I shovel snow, I walk, I rake leaves, I take the stairs, I mow the lawn. I find ways to move which = calories burned. But how do I stay in shape? I do squats. I employ the same strategy to my upper body as well but that is another post for another day.

So Squats – In detail……

Squats are a compound exercise engaging multiple muscle groups in one motion. Get familiar with the concept of “Compound Exercises” if you are a man over 50 it’s the fountain of youth if you can pull them off. Squats are considered by many the “king of exercises” because of how much of your body and systems are engaged in the operation. Simply put, you bend at the knee lowering down, ideally touching your but to the ground (no one can do this, but go deep and low) and then rise up. Feet placement can vary but as a general rule you want your feet shoulder length apart, slight wider is fine, your toes should be straight ahead or outward. This largely depends on your hip flexibility, do a few air squats and then look at your feet, your body tells you where they belong.

What I do:

3 Months I do a basic 5×5 split. So what does that mean?

  1. 3 Months start date: Any day you want, but its 3 months so say 1/1/22 – 3/31/22.
  2. 3 workouts per week: Mon-Wed-Fri or Tues-Thurs-Sat

There are only 2 workouts. Workout A is the squat day. Warm up stretch and then get to the free weight squat rack. You start with the bar, if that is to heavy you start with a 25-pound weight. You do 5 sets of 5 reps. That’s the workout. Your next workout day (48 hours later) you do workout B, then next workout you are back to work out A.

Over time you will make gains

The catch here is every workout you make the 5×5 (25 total reps) you increase the weight for the next workout by 10% or for simplicity 10 pounds. Additionally, you want to start with a weight that is challenging. Most free-weight bars are 45 pounds. I would encourage you to start there, for me I start with 90 pounds (the bar with a 25-pound plate on each side). So in a 3 month span you would have 36 workouts, 18 of which would be squat days. If you started with 100 pounds and were able to hit the 25 rep each workout, by your last workout you would be squatting 260 pounds for 5 sets 5 reps. Again it really depends on what weight you start at but somewhere in the middle is when things should get very hard, and you should be failing. There will be workouts you can’t get 3 full sets of 5. That’s okay, you come back the next work out and use that same weight UNTIL you get the 5 sets and 5 reps.

This becomes a gut busting sweaty mess, but it’s the kick in the ass any man over 50 needs. Its increasing your strength, your endocrine system, your cardio system it really is hard work. I do a very similar workout for my upper body as well but that is for another time. I don’t run, I diet, I don’t skip desert but when I go to the gym, I go intense.

If you do this, you will lose weight and keep it off. Try it, let me know how you do.

Disclaimer: Please make sure you are physically and medically able to work out before trying. If you exercise regularly you are probably fine but if you don’t consult your physician.

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5 Things a Gen Xer experienced that new Gens haven’t

As this blog is “A Gen X Point of View” in 2022 from time to time I am going to do some “generational” specific posts. This one is an homage to the 80’s and my generation. Any of my readers who are 40+ should be able to identify with some of these. For those of you who are 50+ you’ll get all of them. My Gen Z kids laugh at me from time to time when I tell them I used to have to get up to change the channel on the TV because it had a dial. They don’t get it….

So what are some experiences that your Gen X friends have had that the new Gens haven’t? Take a look.

  1. A Rotary Phone: Now some of our new friends might MIGHT have had a push button phone but few if any of them have ever had to use a rotary phone. You can put phone booths in this category too. Remember when there were public phones all over the city? Got a dime?
  2. Playing records: Now it’s possible that some of our young friends have a record player for nostalgia but for many of us that’s all we had before things really opened up in the 80’s with Cassettes and CD’s. Maybe you had an 8 Track player but most of us had record players. I still have my original “Thriller” record, do you?
  3. A computer free home: That’s right no PC’s. No smart phones, no internet, no Wi-Fi…. Can you believe it? PC’s weren’t a thing until the 80’s and even then most people didn’t have them. The most electronic thing in your house was the TV and that was still using the same tech from the 50’s. Now it changed in the 80’s but many of us grew up without them.
  4. WW I Veterans: That’s right, when we were kids they were still around. Now not every Gen Xer met a WWI vet but many of us did as back in the day you went to parade’s. It’s also possible that your grandparents (or a member of your family) was in that war. Yes they were old but many were still functioning well.
  5. Gender Specific Classes: Yes you heard me correctly. Back in the day we had classes like home economics and shop class. Each was designed for females and males respectively and you were auto enrolled in those based on your gender. It didn’t matter if you wanted to take it, or the other class or not. LOL imagine that today….

Honorable mentions:

                Being a Latchkey Kid

                Buying cigarettes and booze for your parent with a note

                No bike helmets

                Fake wood on cars

                Fanny Packs

                Lady Dianna and Prince Charles Wedding

                Making a mix tape

                Break Dancing

                Hanging out at an Arcade

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New Year’s Resolution?

What changed exactly from 12.31.21 to 1.1.22? Not a whole hell of a lot really. Change happens when you commit to it, and change is one of those romantized notions that people cling to in the hopes of a better outcome. New leaders, new seasons, new year’s, new clothes, new jobs on and on.

How do you feel? I’m betting you feel pretty close to the same as you did in 2021. I’m not chastising you here I am trying to knock the steam out of a potential failure. So many people pin their hopes on a “new year” a “resolution” and it rarely works out. Why is that? Because the changes you seek are often desired to have immediacy. Simply put, you want big changes as fast as possible and change doesn’t work that way.

What’s going to make 2022 better for you? Have you identified that yet? Changing your life requires momentum and momentum is achieved often by small incremental steps not huge leaps. Sure some people can make massive strides fast and maybe you are one of those people I don’t know. What’s an example, okay let’s try this.

I once resolved to quit coffee…. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…. Ya no.

You want to lose 40 pounds, you make large changes in your diet exercise, you go all in. in a month you are exhausted, you are binging food and it’s just “one cheat day” before you know it its march and the 40-pound goal is gone. OR you could change one part of your diet. “I am no longer going to drink soda” now which do you think will be more successful?

You may stray once and while and chug a soda, but it’s a far easier goal to attain then the mountain you wanted to climb by losing 40. Here is the point. Small Incremental changes lead to long term positive outcomes. By creating large resolutions, we place ourselves in a position to not succeed. I didn’t say fail because effort is a success. Smaller more attainable goals build momentum and create the conditions by which you can parlay them into larger success. Here are 5 small resolutions to strive for instead of one huge one.

  1. Eat less sugar
  2. Save $20 a week
  3. Turn the screens off at 10:30 PM
  4. Take 3000 steps a day
  5. Volunteer once a month

Small changes provide a great chance for successful outcomes. This in turn provides a great chance to parlay those successes into smaller changes, medium changes or eventually into large life altering changes. A new year is a great time to resolve to do better. Put yourself in a position to succeed in 2022 by making a few small changes first.

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A Gen X Point of View Blog – 2021 Recap

So another year is rapidly approaching its end. I think back on my life from time to time and for me my earliest clearest memory is from 1976 (yes I’m ancient) and being in the bicentennial parade. Nearly 50 years later here I am, a blogger. So 2021 was a good year for this blog. Let me be clear though, number of visitors was down 6% views were down 3% from 2020 so statistically its less but 2020 to me was an odd year as many people were forced to be home. We had way more online activity so it’s hard to use that as a metric.

To recap a bit, this blog is one person, me. I don’t have an editor, co-creators, contributors etc. I write all the posts myself, do the research, try to edit. For the most part I am happy with how 2021 played out for the blog. I took the blog in different directions this year with more health and finance pieces and those were largely successful. The focus of the blog still remained Anxiety and Mental Health and to be perfectly candid those posts had less traction then others.

I suspect it has to do with the fact that there is only so many ways to confer Anxiety as an issue, and or people are just sick and tired of reading about anxiety as it seems to be covered a lot more now than when I started a few years ago. My international viewership when up which is great, however the U.S. still remains as my strongest reader base. I am located in the U.S. so that isn’t surprising but it’s nice to know individuals from Australia to Zimbabwe read my blog.

I think 2022 will continue much the same as 2021 did. I will still commit to 3 blog posts a week but honestly that pace might have to slow down in the summer of 2022 as I anticipate work will pick up for me and it’s simply going to be much harder to muster the energy to create 3 unique blog posts a week. I do have a good body of work to pull from and revisit some posts but overall I don’t feel burned out just slightly gassed in the sense the well of material for anxiety posts is starting to run dry.

So what can you expect in 2022 from “A Gen X Point of View?”  Below is a glimpse of the topics I plan to cover.

  1. Anxiety – There will always be a place for this topic on this blog. There may be less in 2022 but not a lot less.
  2. Finance – As a 20+ year finance professional it’s a big part of my life so I am going to talk about it. As a category these posts were among the most viewed on my channel in 2021.
  3. Weight Loss – I haven’t done many posts on this but I did drop nearly 30 pounds since the pandemic and have kept it off. I was never really fat but never really fit either. I am now, at 51 not to shabby. I’m going to indulge myself a little more on this subject, I’m proud of it.
  4. U.S. History – On U.S. holidays I usually do a piece on this historical significance of the holiday. I think I am going to do more of that with the desired approach of NOT getting overtly into politics.
  5. Paganism – Or more likely mythology. Western culture has been converged and condensed for years. Christmas/Yule etc. I’m going to talk about this a little more.

Overall 2021 was nearly the same in terms of visits and views to 2020. I am taking that as a statistical win as 2020 was full pandemic mode. 2021 less so, but I do realize people are still at home and online more. I doubled my subscribers which is encouraging, I would like to hit 1000 of you by the end of 2022 that would be cool. Having goals in life is important IMHO, it’s just a number I realize that. Many of you have 10K plus subs, remember what it was like?

I intend on publishing Mon – Wed – Fri for the mid-term, should things become challenging for me writing wise I may cut back to 2 posts a week but for now expect the status quo. This Blog doesn’t exist without your support. Thank you for reading my content. Thank you for liking and subscribing, if you keep showing up so will I.

Karac.

Genetics

An article from India – Virus anxiety across the world

It’s no secret that many of the readers of my blog reside in India. All of you are most welcome and thank you for years of support of my blog. As a result of my readership demographics I started reading more articles about India and its culture. I will never be an expert but I think as average everyday Americans go I might have a better understanding of how things are going there than most. I found an interesting article here that discusses briefly some of the anxiety pent up around the world over covid.

How this pertains to my Indian readers is very simple. You have resources/news outlets in your nation that are giving alternative perspectives to the current main stream narrative. I’m not sure if you understand how fortunate you are in that regard. In the states as an example we have strict hard lines drawn socially on covid in the media. There is no objectivity anymore, and people are polarized as a result of it.

Same with Europe to a large degree and Australia? Have you read about what is going on in Australia? The more I read about India and its culture the more refreshing I find its candor. It’s by no means a perfect society but they seem to have this odd way of soldiering through these sometimes crippling social dynamics. I’ve come to appreciate it, I am not sure if it’s some form of macabre humor or their prevalence to be very self-aware (unlike many of your western friends).

Call it any name you want, Anxiety sucks.

The article itself does a decent job of illustrating the issue around the world that the virus (whatever variant/iteration you have currently) has become long in the tooth. Meaning, people are wary of covid and the residual effects of government lockdowns, society pressure etc. It’s an olive branch to the reader really. I took it as “we know it’s hard, take heart its hard everywhere”. I mean how refreshing is that to have your media not scold you on whatever side of the issue you are on and actually offer some empathy?

Maybe I am reading it all wrong, maybe I am super imposing my desired outcome on the article into some broad reaching social narrative that really isn’t there. I don’t know, I don’t live in India. In my neck of the woods? I live in a fairly libertarian part of the U.S. meyered in covid battles from the federal government all the way down to the day to day operations of mail delivery. It’s exhausting and everyone in my social circle (liberals and conservatives) have had enough.

What a wonderful thing it would be to see in the States a major publication takes a conciliatory view and throw everyone a bone like this article does (or what I think it does). I wish my readers and friends in India well, I hope wherever your path leads. I bow to the divine in you, or more simply, Namaste.

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