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Saturday Musings – The Age of Anxiety

20191116_anxiety So many people live with anxiety...

I find that everywhere I go I here hear from people who are stressed, anxious and feeling overwhelmed by the world around them. This is particularly true of the current generation who are constantly talk about being “stressed out”. Is there a solution to this pandemic of mental anguish? I think there is start anyway....

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I will be the first to say that there is not a panacea that will fix every stressful situation but when I talk with people about their pain, there is quite often a few common threads. I hope that unpacking some of these will assist those of you that are stressed and put your feet on more solid ground.

Slow Down
Today’s world is nothing short of frenetic. If you’re a student, then the volume of material you need to learn seems to be ever increasing. If you’re at work, then the inbox never seems to get emptied.

No matter how many extra hours you spend trying to get your work done there always seems to be more just around the corner. There’s a saying, “No good deed goes unpunished.” If you’re good at your job, then guess what! We’ll load you up with more because you’re one of the few people that can get things done.

Many years ago, I found myself in this situation. I was literally working from about 7:30am until 2-3am, with a break for lunch and dinner. No matter hard I worked I couldn’t get through everything and the pace seemed to be relentless.

I shared about my miserable existence with a friend of mine and he gave me some great advice. If you get a good night’s sleep, then you’ll be more potent the next day. I thought the world would end if I didn’t put in my ridiculous hours but boy was I wrong.

Despite my misgivings I tried it out and sure enough, after having 8 hours of rest I found myself able to be more efficient at work and in a much happier frame of mind. I also discovered that all that "important" work wasn't so important afterall....

Commit Yourself
I find many young people fall into the trap of not committing themselves to events such as birthday parties or an invitation from a friend to come over. The reason for this is that with social media it's easy to adopt an attitude that something better may come up. The problem is the lack of commitment means you’re always wondering what you’re going to do each night.

The fastest way to decrease levels of anxiety is to, “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” In other words, commit yourself to events (or not) in advance and if something “better” comes up then so what? Be one of those rare individuals that can be relied upon that when you say you’ll be somewhere at a certain time then you actually turn up.

Be Grateful
Out of all the generations to live, the current one has it the best! I’m not saying that some people don’t have it hard but on the whole we all live in a world that is unbelievable.

The fact that we can turn on a tap and get water (let alone flush) is a modern miracle. The Internet brings people all over the world into the palm of our hands. We can travel to the other side of the planet in hours not years and a growing number of health issues in western society are a thing of the past.

So be grateful! It’s amazing how much having an attitude of gratitude can transform your day from being depressed to one joy at just being alive. We live in an amazing time on an amazing planet surrounded by amazing people…..show a little gratitude and let a positive mindset drive the anxiety away.

I know that anxiety is a serious issue for many people and the three points I’ve raised in this blog post are by no means a solution. That being said, there not a bad place to start.

Have a great weekend!
Michael

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Friday, 06 December 2019
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