Health, relationships

Angst in Iowa

When you’re a kid, you think everyone’s home and family is like yours. This changes when you “spend the night” at your friend’s house and realize that she doesn’t eat kimchi and rice. And her family goes bowling on weekends. And her parents don’t make her do extra math problems after completing her homework.

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It took me a long time to discover that anxiety and depression are not normal – that, in fact – they are states of suffering. It took me a long time to learn this because there was so much disquietude and tension everywhere: in my house, in her house…

It is everywhere:

“Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness in the U.S. They affect over 40 million adults (18 and older) or nearly 20% of the entire population every year.”(ADAA)*

AND…

“Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.” (ADAA)*

I know that all kinds of people have all kinds of disorders and that medication might be the only solution for a small percentage of the population. But I also believe that far too many of us want a quick fix in the form of a pill.

Anti-anxiety drugs, or “anxiolytics,” are powerful central nervous system (CNS) depressants that can slow normal brain function. They are often prescribed to reduce feelings of tension and anxiety, and/or to bring about sleep. Anti-anxiety medications are among the most abused drugs in the United States, obtained both legally, via prescription, and illegally, through the black market. These drugs are also known as sedatives. (Mind Disorders)**

Before considering drugs, let us try all the other options:

  • exercise
  • meditation
  • cognitive behavior therapy
  • getting more sleep
  • a better diet

…just to name a few natural alternatives!

 

 

Citations:

*Anxiety and Depression Association of America (https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics)

** Read more: http://www.minddisorders.com/A-Br/Anti-anxiety-drugs-and-abuse.html#ixzz4zZvioxv3

 

 

Health, motivation, Personal Success

Guilt as Motivation

 

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Photo by Atlas Green

 

I’ve noticed that I have been using guilt to motivate myself to exercise. It didn’t dawn on me until recently that this could be different.

The moment I wake up, I feel a bit of dread and (sub-consciously) give myself permission to feel good only AFTER I work out.  But can I train myself to look forward to working out?

When I spoke about this to friends and family, most responded with, “Of course, that’s the only way it can be when it comes to doing tasks what we don’t enjoy!” However, I suspect it’s not the only way…

Changing my motivation to a more positive approach would also help me with willpower in general. If I positively anticipate training, then I utilize no willpower, which is a limited source. I can then apply willpower to that piece of cake in front of me.

 

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Photo by Taylor Kiser

 

Health, poetry

Need for Speed

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Photo by Camilla Coffey

Z is for Zippy*

 

We Americans like things fast

Speed of light, full throttle, move like lightning, fast food

I move quickly by default

preferring to zip about, and get things done

but it’s in the moments when I consciously s-l-o-w d-o-w-n

that I feel the most grounded, relaxed and content

 

 

*part of my alphabiography project