Enough

Anxiety is natural, until it becomes unnatural

I know the title isn’t great but I saw this article and I thought it was presented well albeit pretty simplistic. Meaning that those of us dealing with Anxiety issues know when it becomes an unnatural state. Its instinctual and while we all have various degrees of states of mind when you are consumed by a feeling that is an unnatural state. You may not have the tools to identify the degree’s, perhaps you are like this all the time.

The quote below from the article here is stated obviously but sometimes we need simple reminders.

Feeling apprehensive about something stressful—even a good thing, like a promotion or wedding—is a sign that your inherent survival mechanism is working as expected. “Some anxiety is helpful and necessary to motivate us to act; for example, if you need to start an assignment that is due tomorrow or if you are in the woods and see a bear,” Holly Valerio, M.D., clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety in the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, tells SELF.

Surviving 2020 & covid
One Day at a time.

A degree of anxiety IS NORMAL. You shouldn’t rely on others to justify how you feel but I’m not going to lie it is nice to see others say it from time to time. The article is a good read for people who are on the cusp, meaning those of us out there who aren’t sure if their anxiety levels are normal or not. Again to be clear, what’s normal for me might not be normal for you. So you are traveling to a new city and you need to drive to a location? Yes you should be anxious that would be a normal response.

When you get home and you have to drive somewhere on roads you have traveled hundreds of times should you be anxious? Maybe, but it’s a matter of degree, do you feel the same way you did when you traveled to the new city? If you do you should really take a few minutes and ask yourself why.

Anxiety is natural, your body is functioning correctly when you are in an unfamiliar situation and you feel anxious about what might happen. When these kinds of feelings begin to evade your everyday functions you need to be honest with yourself and identify why this might be happening. There often isn’t one singular event that we can track back to that was the trigger for anxiety. Most of us have anxiety from a cumulative effect of multiple events over time.

Your trigger isn’t my trigger, and your trigger doesn’t have a time stamp. What you did today might trigger you tomorrow and so on. Having a disorder does require a medical diagnosis. A blogger can’t tell you if you do or do not have one, I can only share with you my journey and what I am finding along the way. Your journey is unique to you but if you find more and more that anxiety is creeping into your life see a professional and get ahead of the problem.

Remember Anxiety affects millions of people, you are not alone.

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Do this to ensure your financial success in 2021

2020 is over its time to move on from it and get back on track and become more disciplined. We are in January, and it’s likely that you will have a credit card bills coming in from the holidays. Did you overspend? You aren’t alone if you did, many people who were at home found it easy to shop online and spend. Even if you didn’t overspend below is how you can ensure financial success in 2021.

Step 1: List all your debt’s smallest to largest. (total owed)

Step 2: Next to each debt, if you know it, list the minimum payment for each.

Step 3: Next to each Minimum payment, list the type of debt. (credit card, Auto loan, house payment.

Step 4: next to each debt, if you know it, list the minimum payment for each.

You should now have a matrix of 4 columns, if you did it in Excel even better, paper is fine too. You now have a list of the all the items that are crippling you financially and holding you back from obtaining wealth and freedom. It’s at this point you should take a break from this task. To this point it likely took you from 15-30 minutes to organize but emotionally you might be exhausted.

Now we start on ensuring your financial success in 2021.

Come back to your list when you are ready, but no longer than a week. (you should work on this for at least ½ hour a week, you can do that). Add the column of minimum payments, this is how much you are spending a month on debt. This is IN ADDITION TO your rent, food, utilities, travel. Calculating those are a separate exercise. For now, stick to the total number in column “minimum payment”.

Total DebtMinimum PaymentType of DebtInterest Rate
1$128,000.00($1,500.00)Mortgage4.25%
2$97,000.00$0.00Student loans8.00%
3$17,500.00($585.00)Car Payments5.50%
4$2,500.00($50.00)Discover21.00%
5$800.00($25.00)Master Card17.50%
6$750.00($25.00)Visa18.00%
Total Debt($2,185.00)
Total Fixed($1,815.00)
Grand Total($4,000.00)
Income$4,250.00
Net$250.00
A simple spreadsheet is enough

For my example it is $2185.00. Now add to this your other fixed expenses for the month. Rent, food, utilities all the things you have to have to live, not the things you want. Let’s say that number is $1815, add those two together = $4,000.00 below the 4000.00 put your monthly take home pay.

Your half hour is up, take a break and come back when you are emotionally ready. You now have the blue print to ensure you financial success in 2021. If your monthly take home pay is less than your total expenses your pay has to increase or your expenses have to decrease. You can increase your take home pay by working more, reducing your retirement contributions as an example. Expenses can be reduced by moving to a cheaper apt, less food as an example.

We now start the methodical work of eliminating debt smallest to largest. In my example I have a surplus of $250.00 per month. I am going to take that surplus and ADD IT TO the minimum payment of the smallest debt, my $750.00 visa. In 3 months that card should be paid off. At that point I would then have a surplus of $275.00 a month, which I ADD TO the minimum payment of the next smallest debt the $800 master card which would be $300.00 a month payment. In 3 months that should be paid off.

You rinse repeat for every debt. Eliminating credit cards along the way (you only need one) and revisiting this matrix for ½ hour a week, every week through 2021. You will begin eliminating debt and increasing your net surplus every month. THAT is financial success. You have more money every month to live on, imagine when there is no debt? You have a surplus of 2K plus a month?

Vacations, retirement, new clothes, vehicle upgrades are all on the table at that point. The key to ensuring your financial success in 2021 is becoming debt free ASAP. Then instead of working to send your money to someone else, you get to keep it. ½ hour a week is all it takes. Focus on it, make it a ritual and really invest in your personal economy.

Any questions along the way ask and if I can I will help you.  

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Division is profitable

We are now in the next phase of Big Tech government. If you are under the illusion that one party is different from another (Democrat/Republican) then this post probably isn’t for you, you’ve drunk the Kool-Aid already. Division is profitable, it helps create tidy boxes you can check against people to help market and sell. The sinister part? Millions have taken it hook line and sinker.

Not saying the right things on social media? You’ll be cancelled. Not supporting the right candidate? Your church will shun you. It’s not just one side either, sure the loudest voices (for now) might be on one side, but what’s the end game? When you are shouting down, cancelling, harassing, attacking those who don’t adhere to your doctrine, what is your goal?

In my decades on the internet, and decades in life I have never once changed someone’s mind politically and I have never seen someone else do it either. So that can’t be goal, do you want these people dead? Do you want them to suffer? You aren’t going to change their political views or their personal beliefs so why do it? Do you feel empowered?

The louder you shout, the less I hear

The above is the sinister part eluded to in the first paragraph. You see what you achieve is labeling. When you label it then creates the conditions by which the person labeled has nowhere else to go. You’ve now made an enemy for life essentially, and this person, wounded, will always look to work against your interest. What a great environment to sell product.

All I have to do is create narratives that fit side A or side B and PRESTO! I have a willing consumer base. Where else are you going to go? Side C is small, there are only a few of us, you can’t go back to the other side (A or B) so you roll with the side that isn’t attacking you. Politics and political ideology isn’t out there to help you, it’s out there to govern you.

Do you know what govern means? You do understand it is meant to make you compliant to the will of others, even the vocal minority. If instead of being an attack dog for whatever side has taken you in, you chose instead to stop the assault your quality of life may improve. All this time you have spent throwing yourself against the ideology of those who disagree with you is wasted, you will never get it back.

They are not going to change how they feel, particularly since you’ve put their backs against a wall are holding a knife of cancellation against their throat. You can’t win, and what’s worse is, and I don’t think you fully understand this, you’ve created an enemy for life. Life has a funny way of coming full circle, I’ve seen it so many times in many other venues. It may be that sometime in the future, you’re the one being cancelled.

Division is profitable, who gains by all of this?

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GAD = Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Repost: I originally did this piece in 2019 – Its a good resource and general information for General Anxiety Disorder. Thanks for supporting my blog, enjoy todays post.

Let me start this post off with a link to a great resource the Anxiety and Depression Association of America . This site has excellent information for anyone who thinks they have an anxiety disorder or knows they do and you just need more information. This website has a lot of information and resources and can assist with a multitude of issues. I strongly recommend taking a look at the site and the reference material it offers.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is essentially a catch all for nonspecific anxiety triggers most of us call them phobias. “GAD is diagnosed when a person finds it difficult to control worry on more days than not for at least six months and has three or more symptoms” . When I read this I realized that at several points in my life this applied to me. GAD isn’t a constant condition it can come and go but I’ve found in my travels that more often than not it is always present just to varying degrees.

“GAD affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. population, in any given year. Women are twice as likely to be affected. The disorder comes on gradually and can begin across the life cycle, though the risk is highest between childhood and middle age. Although the exact cause of GAD is unknown, there is evidence that biological factors, family background, and life experiences, particularly stressful ones, play a role.”

I thought this excerpt from the site was particularly potent. 6.8 million adults… Ya we aren’t alone. I found it very interesting that they claim women are twice as likely to be affected. I can logically extrapolate some instances why, pregnancy, physical appearance and family pressures come to mind. The worse part though is the multitude of factors and the lack of specificity as to why this occurs.

Essentially anything can trigger this, maybe you went to a concert Saturday and your ears were ringing when you got up the next day “am I going to go deaf?” you ask yourself. A common seemingly sterile situation right? So the next time you don’t hear something correctly are you now delving back into anxiety? Technically yes, again its degree’s but you are anxious about a future outcome based on an example of the past. You can’t absolutely say that your past experience will be identical to your future outcome but it’s your best gauge.

Then you begin to think “god if I just didn’t go to that concert I wouldn’t have this issue” and on and on it goes. That’s just one very simple example but it’s a prelude to Generalized Anxiety Disorder. There is no definitive moment as to when it begins for anyone, but when you are “in the moments” of anxiety you know it. The sensations are unique to everyone but if you’ve had panic attacks you know the gambit it can run. You can be highly functional and then for days struggle to get out of bed because you can’t overcome the anxiety.

Then, one day you feel good. Not perfect, not “wow that was silly I am free and clear” but the fog clears for you and you go on without worrying about it at all. This is GAD and it can flip day to day, week to week for your entire life. Knowledge is power and remember you aren’t alone.

Avoid a 2021 Christmas Crisis with this simple strategy

Yes, you read that correctly we are talking about 2021 Christmas. I spend more during the holidays then any other part of the year excluding vacations. I have nieces, nephews, kids, wife $$$ it all adds up. If you are like me, you can drop a lot of cash on the holidays. Maybe you don’t have it and are using your credit card? Couple of parties, a bottle of wine or 3, cocktails at a company party (remember those?). It all adds up and here is a simple strategy you can start now that will provide you with the cash to do it.

Get an envelope, or an old book, or a jar some type of container. Every Friday until the end of the year put $20 in it. Even if you have to actually go the bank and withdraw cash, do it. Then forget it until the next Friday. If you started this week that would be 49 Fridays until the end of the year @ $20 = $980.00.

No maybe you spend more than that I do. Regardless, what this does is it gives you a target (ideally we hit $1,000.00) of cash. If you paid everything CC, fine deposit your money back into the bank. If you are going shopping physically, even better. Leave your CC at home and bring your envelope and pay cash for the presents. This is an introduction to what we call a “sinking fund” I will be doing another piece on those soon.

It may be the root of all evil, but we all need it.

For those of us with Anxiety this “cash in the draw” is going to help come the holidays. You’ll know it’s there and you’ll know its purpose was intended to be spent on the holidays. That will provide some relief to one of the most stressful times of the year and one of the most stressful aspects, the financial burden.

You can adjust the amount up or down if you want, I chose 20 because starting now gets me close to 1,000 and that’s a nice lump sum to have to spend on the holidays. You can start this whenever you want, the key is consistency. EVERY FRIDAY you put the cash in your envelope or wherever you secret hiding place is. You don’t withdraw it until you start spending on what the money was intended for.

You can do this, it’s a simple yet tried and true financial practice. No it’s not very sophisticated, but it doesn’t need to be. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most effective!

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Oscar Wilde

“2020 Worst year ever” – Now what?

This will be short and sweet (well maybe a little sour). We can all agree 2020 was a bad year pretty much everywhere. Hopefully you came out of it with minimal scarring but here we are entering the 3rd week of January. When we proclaim “2020 Worst year ever” that leaves us very little wiggle room in 2021. What happens if things don’t go the way you want it? Will it be “2021 worst year ever?”

At some point we have to decide to push back, 2020 was exhausting at every level. IMHO everyone gets a pass for being lethargic, complacent, compliant, apathetic. That’s over now and its time for a good old fashion kick in the ass. We have to get motivated again, we have to push and retake back the things that make our lives have greater value.

I love going to the movies, it’s a simple pleasure really, it’s been tried and tested and a good formula existed. For me that is one of my goals in 2021 is to go back to a movie theatre, get a large popcorn and soda and watch a great movie. I don’t know if it will happen, but even if I have to travel to another state I am doing it.

I have to get out of my home office.

Why? Because that small thing adds value to my life and I miss it and I’m not willing to just let it go. What was it for you? What did you have to let go of in 2020? Get out there and get it back, no more excuses no B.S. I am not going to let people shame me, I’m not going to stay locked inside in fear. Life is to short and time is running out for all of us. I’m not going to be reckless, I will respect other people and their health concerns, I will continue to wear a mask, but I am going to start clawing back the things that made my life more enjoyable.

I know it’s silly, small and stupid “he wants to go see a movie” I know, but I am doing something about it, I am taking back something I once had. I’m not blaming anyone, I am just fighting back against what was “2020 Worst year ever” are you?

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3 quick tips to deal with public anxiety

If you read this blog you know we do a lot of pieces for people with Anxiety. We all have to go out into the public world, maybe less so with covid but we are there and we have to have tools to deal with it. This wont be a long post, but here are 3 things you can do to deal with anxiety when you are experiencing it in public.

  1. Shoulders back, stand up straight take a deep breath through your nose and exhale through your nose: It sounds simple doesn’t it? Stand up and try it now, notice how you seem larger? You feel broader? This is a tried and true body language technique that tricks the mind into feeling more confident. You are also projecting that confidence outwardly to those watching.
  2. Smile: Smiles are disarming. Not only that it projects comfort. Simply put when you smile at someone they often perceive that you are happy, calm and not a threat. None of that may be true of course but smiling can help you weave through uncomfortable situations. Standing in line to get a coffee? Sure you could stare at your phone instead, but then youre awareness of your surroundings diminish.
  3. Wear heels: Men you can wear boots with a heel (or pumps I don’t care) but anything that makes you appear taller then you are. Often when we are taller we feel more confident, confidence is our friend in this fight against public anxiety. Also, when you are taller you will find those shorter then you are more apt to project friendly vibes.

Sound silly? Try it let me know if any of them worked, they work for me. J

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Skin Picking: An unexpected sign of anxiety

Today we go back to our bread and butter format. Do you pick your skin? I do, I have a nasty habit of biting at my cudicals and biting my finger nails. Scabs? I pick them. Skin tags? Ya I pick at those too. I found a good article here that discusses this issue.

From the article: “One of the most common — but least talked about — signs of anxiety is skin picking, or dermatillomania. In fact, the condition is believed to affect one in 20 people. “Dermatillomania, or excoriation disorder, [is a] skin picking disorder is where you cannot stop picking at your skin,” the National Health Service explains. And it is a condition I know a lot about. I obsessively pick my lip and the skin on the bottom of my foot, often to the point of pain. I unintentionally (but regularly) bleed. And I am not alone.”

The article has a lot more to offer then this one issue. To be blunt it has little on it but it’s something I have myself and have seen in others. It is a disorder and it falls under the umbrella of anxiety and stress related issues. Picking your skin is likely something you picked up years ago, sometime during puberty. Many of us struggle with body issues at that point in our lives (yes men too!) and when we have a blemish, a pimple ANYTHING we want it gone.

Itchy skin or nervous habit?

We develop a habit associated with how we felt at the time. It was the anxiety surrounding a perceived imperfection. Now as we progress through our adult lives we have WAY more adult issues to deal with. Pandemics, Politics, Finances, on and on and on. So how do we deal with these stressors? Some of us drink or do drugs, others become depressed, some hide, some hoard, and some pick at their skin.

The next time you find yourself doing something like this, try as hard as you can to stop and reflect on how you are feeling at that moment? For me its invasive thoughts. I can sometimes travel decades into the past and remember a situation that was awkward of harsh and I begin to bite my nails. Nothing is wrong with my nails, it is my emotional state at the time in relation to a past event.

It’s just one more thing for us as individuals with anxiety to pay attention to. Add it to the list!

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How to create the change you want in society?

Are you political? Are you an environmentalist? Are you a woman’s rights advocate? A men’s rights advocate? It’s likely that there are some causes you are extremely passionate about. It’s also likely that at times you feel helpless to affect change that impacts the causes you believe in. What if I told you that you hold one of, if not the most potent tool to affect change in the modern world? You probably wouldn’t believe me, particularly when I say “you’re going to do it anyway” you would raise a brow and stare.

What is it? It’s your consumption.

What you spend your resources on is the greatest driver of outcomes in the modern western world. You are going to spend money on things you need and want, imagine if you focused that spending on companies who support the causes you care most about? It is true when people say “follow the money” or “money drives the economy”. Basically large corporations, political parties, celebrities all drive outcomes that usually involve economic benefit to them. The only larger entity in the world then some of these institutions is consumer spending.

How you spend your money drives change.

Imagine if a shoe company made shoes that were made completely out of recycled material. Imagine that that shoe company blew up and got as popular as NIKE. Do you think Jordan would be endorsing their shoes? You think their branding and social messaging would be all over sports? Of course it would, but what would it take to get to that point? Your consumption.

None of this happens if those with disposable income don’t purchase the product. You start, you tell your friends, they follow, bam you have created change. It takes a long time, but as an example, I remember when the first modern electric cars were introduced in the 90’s. Many people laughed at it, then consumers started buying them, there was demand. More companies made cars like this. Now? Electric cars are poised to supplant combustion based vehicles in the next 50 years. If you told someone in 1962 that in 2062 there would be all electric cars they would laugh their butts off.

You want to affect change? Where is your money going? Do the companies you send money too, say Amazon, support the causes you believe in? They don’t? Why are you giving them money then? What is your excuse exactly?

Want to create change in society, your consumption is the quickest most direct way to get the change you want. Do business with companies who support the causes you believe in. In doing this you create the economic conditions supported by supply and demand economics that may result in large cultural changes. Don’t believe me? That’s what they said about Electric cars in the 90’s.

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