How to turn your anxiety into a super power

For years now I have been doing posts on anxiety where I seek out articles and cite them for the purpose of giving people information. Inevitably many of these articles come boil down to a very simple proposition: change the way you think. I mean anyone with anxiety will tell you If they could do that they would. We get these over simplifications in many areas of life and its tiring. I found an article here that somewhat does this, but gets to the critical aspect of the identification process.

From the article: “Suzuki talks about “the superpower of productivity,” which you can tap into simply by listening carefully to the actual content of your worries. “A very, very common manifestation of anxiety is that ‘what if’ list that comes in your head: What if I get sick with Covid, what if I don’t get an A, what if I can’t remember what the professor said on this part of the test? The superpower that comes with that anxiety-induced what-if list is shifting that into a to-do list,” she explains to Newman. “ 

Chronic Anxiety is like having an itch that you can never scratch.

So the critical point here is identifying the source of the anxiety. Worried about an exam? Study more. I know simple right? The point here is identifying sources of anxiety and attempting to address them directly. This action begins the process of the infamous “change how you think” narrative and why this article is so valuable. You are likely never going to escape anxiety completely but if there are reoccurring issues that create anxiety, identifying them and working toward addressing them directly is going to bare a lot of fruit for your mental state.

Many of us, myself included have a multifaceted issue. Meaning it’s never just one thing, it’s an accumulation of many small issues that converge and lead to intrusive thoughts and debilitating mood swings. Take one issue at a time, if its work, well what part of work specifically? Try and drill down here, get into the weed and really figure out what is driving your anxiety. When you do this you create the conditions by which you can recover faster as you can in many cases address the issue directly and resolve it.

One down, hundreds more to go but its progress….

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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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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.

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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Christmas Week

Hello dear readers. It is Christmas week and while I am a filthy unwashed Pagan at this time of the year I do take a break. I am not working this week (or next) and for the most part I spend a lot of time with my family. Yes covid and all we travel (we are all vaccinated). So there will be posts on the blog but some will be reposts, I have a few new posts ready to go but for today’s post I wanted to let you know what the blogs end of year is going to look like.

I wanted to also take this opportunity to thank you for all your support over 2021. It’s been a great year for the blog and I truly appreciate all your support. I am looking forward to 2022 and trying to expand to other topics that are new to me and hopefully you find interesting.

Please take some time off from the PC/screens sometime soon. The holidays are a great time to take a break. Whatever you do, I hope you are safe and in good health.

Your Pagan Friend,

Karac.

Comply or else

They are coming for you. It’s not a matter of if it’s a matter of when. Your neighbors, people you trust, someone within 100 feet of you right now. Who are they? Normal everyday people. Many of them are genuinely friendly and nice but they hide a deep secret. What is it? They have rationalized a consequence for your choices based on their fears. We have seen this many times throughout history and it rarely ends well. You see the logic is unassailable “This is a dangerous act, so you should comply or else”.

What if you don’t think it’s a dangerous act? That no longer matters. You will comply or you will be cancelled, reeducated, shunned, chastised, ridiculed or worse. This is what modern western culture has come too. This mindset is prevalent everywhere, from Belgium to Australia to the U.S and everywhere in-between.

You are living in a modern “cultural revolution”. Sure that term isn’t being used at the moment but go ahead, take a look at its use in the past, I dare you. This particular “revolution” is at its peak at the moment, at least that’s my estimation, I hope I am right. You see it’s not enough to feel a certain way, but if others don’t feel the same or accommodate that feeling? BAM! People are tired of it.

The Party is over.

The historic pattern is the same. A fear proposition is offered to the masses. Empowered by numbers many begin to dehumanize you. You must offer coherent arguments to satisfy their fear, even when you explain it clearly, its not enough. They have already made up their mind, they are empowered, you are the minority. You become labeled as non compliant…. A problem. You are then categorized based on this designation, anything else you have done doesn’t matter, you are now “X”. In the past you were marked physically so you could be identified this has evolved to your electronic signature but the concept is the same. All of this leads to one horrible end, you are put in a corner. Your options become less and less, your hand is forced. “COMPLY OR ELSE

In the past if someone was fearful, they protected themselves. Now? Everyone else has to change to accommodate their fear, regardless if its rational or not. I believe many, tens of millions, have had enough of this and are finding their voice and fighting back. Be wary of those who smile at you as they talk about taking away your liberty, they are extremely dangerous and most of them don’t even understand why.

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New Variant, same packaging, more anxiety.

Covid marches on. We now have a new variant that is making the news rounds just in time for the holidays (what a coincidence). At nearly 2 years in on Covid the battle lines are pretty much drawn at this point. There isn’t a lot of wiggle room out there so keep in mind the views I give on this blog may not necessarily be mainstream. Believe it or not, I can see both sides of the issue. I know *GASP* a moderate!!!!! KILL IT WITH FIRE… but seriously….

Here we are in the middle of the holiday season and we have another variant Omicron. You will start to see this variant pop up in every news story from now until the first of the year. It will be tied into xmas, inflation, gas prices, and any number of conservatives screaming about vax mandates or liberals screaming about canceling someone they don’t like. Meanwhile out here the real world where we have to live our life it’s another layer of anxiety heaped on us.

For those of us with anxiety Covid is a bludgeon. I get it, its serious people can get really sick and some die. I’m not dismissing it. The vaccine has been available now for nearly a year so anyone who wants it has it but there is no let up. So how do we deal with YET ANOTHER wave of covid inspired anxiety? I wish I had a great answer honestly, I don’t. I think we are eroding our social construct to the point that in 5 years I’m still going to be answering people if I got the vaccine or not (which I did).

Maybe a nice cup of tea will help?

In the end you have to still work hard to create the life you want. If that means getting vaccinated for you good. If it means not getting vaccinated and subjecting yourself to restriction and hostility, power to you. In the end as people with anxiety we have to begin to accept the fact that Covid and the current variant are going to be present in our lives for the long term. I envision a future where a covid booster is going to be pressed on us annually and the covid bludgeon will be used anytime the media and or politicians need a way to get the masses riled up.

It may or may not be a big factor in your anxiety journey I don’t know. What I do know is it’s not being let go. Meaning having a vaccine available and allowing those who want it to get it isn’t enough. So we will all still be consumers of the covid story, emboldened to shout at and argue with those who don’t agree with us. A convenient label to lump anyone with a singular view into a neat bucket so you can identify them, and market to them…. I digress.

Just remember anxiety is real and the more you consume covid news the more anxiety you are going to have. Be kind to others, respect others liberty, treat people the way you want to be treated and determine what is right for you and lead by example.

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