Ben Franklin

Wisdom from the past – Ben Franklin

“Lost time is never found again” – Ben Franklin

It’s time for another short post on wisdom and time. When you engage in activities that you otherwise wouldn’t if you had the choice you are losing time. Now the premise is “you don’t have a choice” and often that is the case. The goal here is, is to start working on the ability to HAVE the choice. This can be working on exiting from a toxic relationship.

This can be recognizing a bad habit and working on fixing it. This can be resigning from a job you hate, on and on. The important thing to strive for is maximizing the time you do have with things you want to do or enjoy. We all have things we would rather not be doing (like cleaning as an example) but working towards a life with less and less of those is paramount.

Time is the universal currency. It doesn’t care your about your gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, none of it. So to decrease your anxiety and increase your happiness figure out what you like to do and what you don’t like to do and stop losing time, you will never get it back, it will never be found again.

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5 Things you can do now to deal with Anxiety

It’s crucial to recognize that what works for someone else’s anxiety may not work for yours. I have been producing anxiety blog posts here for years now and I can attest to the fact that everyone has unique triggers and a unique situation. The purpose of today’s post is to give some general advice on things you can do right now to help with anxiety. Generally, these should work for everyone.

Keep a journal of your moods so you can recognize patterns. You can also write about your thoughts to figure out what’s really bothering you. I do this, I suffer from invasive thoughts. There are days when I am back in 1987 and reliving horrible things I may have said or done.

Exercise three to five times a week for 30 minutes to help relieve your anxiety. This is just overall good for you, the buildup of positive outcomes from consistent exercise is unbelievable.

Avoid drinking too much caffeine such as soft drinks or coffee, which is known to exacerbate anxiety. I drink coffee everyday so this is hypocritical to a degree. I’ve cut down, and so should you.

Limit alcohol, which can increase anxiety and panic attacks. Booze can really affect you emotionally and chemically. Go ahead and have a cocktail from time to time but getting loaded regularly is a really bad sign.

Count to 10 slowly. Repeat and count to 20 if necessary. Slow controlled breathing can be an instant anxiety reliever, try it.

Honorable mention here is sleep. Your body heals itself when it is at rest and that includes your mental and spiritual self as well. These are basic advices I understand. Sometimes it’s important to get back to basics and refresh on those before we get into the more complex issues of medications, therapy, family.

Even if one of them work for you then it’s a resounding success. One day at a time, you are doing awesome!

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The Wisdom of Tolkien… Again…

Yes, it’s time for another piece of wisdom from J.R.R. Tolkien the creator of the wonderful world of Middle Earth, or as most identify it as “The Lords of the rings”. Tolkien’s frame of reference for his writings are anchored in perhaps the most horrific time in human history. He fought in WWI, then there was the Spanish flu, then the great depression, then WWII. To have all that calamity and still be able to muster grand stories of triumph and hope are a testament to his sprit

To the wisdom…

“The treacherous are ever distrustful.” The Two Towers Gandalf

How does this apply to us now and what can we glean from this quote? First we have to acknowledge “The treacherous”. Treachery is a unique word as it is of course a negative connotation but its meaning, and why it’s so negative is the active pursuit of deception and betrayal. This of course can only be achieved once trust is given. Simply put you can’t be deceived by someone you don’t trust and that’s why it’s so sinister.

So what is he telling us here, its literal of course but it is so hard to enact because we want to believe the people we have given trust to deserved it and are worthy of it. If someone has committed treachery against you, you can’t trust them again.

Extreme? Perhaps but trust is a remarkable gift to give. It leaves you wide open to all sorts of potentially negative (and positive outcomes). For those in our lives who accept this trust and don’t betray it we usually have fantastic and robust relationships with them.

Sadly, we all have stories of someone we trusted that betrayed that trust, however minor. That is treachery and this is the lesson Tolkien is trying to instill. Giving your trust to someone else is a tremendous gift, perhaps the greatest one you can give. If someone betrays it, that gift should not be given to them again.

Trust is your most valuable personal asset.

Never trust again? No that’s not what he is saying here. If you are betrayed, you can never fully trust that person again. It sounds simple doesn’t it? Yet why do we do it? How much forgiveness have you extended in your life? How many times has your trust been betrayed?

Be mindful of whom you give this gift to, many who are treacherous do so for selfish reasons and not intending to harm you at all. That’s what makes the treachery that much more painful, they never thought of you as highly as you thought of them, you never had their trust, but they had and used yours.

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Anxiety is contagious

It is, sadly. I know for me anyway when I am around someone with anxiety it infects me and I begin to fall down the rabbit hole. I’m sure it is for you as well and the smaller the world gets the more opportunities we have to be consumed by it. In my travels around the web I found a decent article here regarding the issue “is anxiety contagious”

From the article: “We’ve all experienced what it’s like to be in a tense meeting or around highly anxious people. We often absorb that angst and come away with higher levels of stress. Younger children are especially vulnerable to picking up anxiety signals from their parents because their coping skills aren’t well-developed. Children rely on parents to protect them and keep them calm, to prevent them from feeling that their world is unsafe and unpredictable.”

Am I contagious?
Am I contagious?

I liked the format of this article a lot, it was more of a question answer and the article was generous on how it allowed elaboration. The article took a good look at the spectrum of individuals who may be impacted by contagious anxiety. The parts about children were particularly compelling to me. I imagine all across the world right now with Covid running rampant that kids are impacted dramatically. Normal is out the window, sports, activities, family outings everything has been thrown askew.

Kids have far less experience to pull from to help them cope but always seem to be the most resistant. The article does a good job of talking us through how we deliver anxiety to others. I know in my case I have worked diligently to not allow my personal anxiety to infect those around me. I have had mixed results to be honest, there are times when I simply can’t help it and it comes out in the form of worry, sarcasm and yes anger.

I think it’s important to be in the phase of our illness to have the ability to understand when we are in those moments. Even if we never improve our mental states, awareness is critical to not only coping with our own mental health journey but to not becoming a spreader either. The latter being extremely important as we wrap up 2020. The children in our lives are all struggling through this new reality, If we can check ourselves just once as we feel anxiety creep into our lives it may help alieve their internal stresses as well.

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The Wisdom of Tolkien …Again…

“It is no bad thing celebrating a simple life.”
― J.R.R Tolkien

It’s true and you should practice it more often. How many of the things that cause you anxiety are “simple”? Food, water, shelter, clothing these are good things and should be celebrated and cherished.

Commuting to work, Instagram followers, WIFI Connections these are not simple things and things like this are likely contributing a great deal to your anxiety.

I don’t know you, I won’t profess to understand the circumstances of your situation. I will say though that celebrating the simple things in life should garner more of your attention. Tolkien is correct here, a simple life is worth celebrating, a complicated life is often wrought with dread, anxiety and sometimes heartache.

All the time? No, but if you suffer from anxiety, depression and stress perhaps taking a minute to identify what a simple life means to you is a good endeavor? It may very well be that the simple things, you over look, and that’s a shame they should be celebrated.

You are doing great, one day at a time…