Reduce Anxiety Quotes

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If you have a comprehensive explanation for everything then it decreases uncertainty and anxiety and reduces your cognitive load. And if you can use that simplifying algorithm to put yourself on the side of moral virtue then you’re constantly a good person with a minimum of effort.
Jordan B. Peterson
Researchers would eventually discover that autistic people stim to reduce anxiety—and also simply because it feels good. In fact, harmless forms of self-stimulation (like flapping and fidgeting) may facilitate learning by freeing up executive-functioning resources in the brain that would otherwise be devoted to suppressing them.
Steve Silberman (NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity)
I noticed years ago that when people (myself definitely included) are anxious they tend to busy themselves with irrelevant activities, because these distract from and therefore reduce their actual experience of anxiety. To stay perfectly still is to feel the fear at its maximum intensity, so instead you scuttle around doing things as though you are, in some mysterious way, short of time.
John Cleese (So, Anyway...)
Focusing on the present helps reduce anxiety and worry,
Alex Korb (The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time)
As I asked more pointed questions about the choices and behaviors Wholehearted men and women made to reduce anxiety, they explained that reducing anxiety meant paying attention to how much they could do and how much was too much, and learning how to say, “Enough.” They got very clear on what was important to them and when they could let something go.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
Wisdom starts when you know yourself. You will realise that everything aligns itself perfectly when you live your truth, break limiting habits and challenge yourself daily.
Itayi Garande
Do I have an original thought in my head? My bald head. Maybe if I were happier, my hair wouldn't be falling out. Life is short. I need to make the most of it. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I'm a walking cliché. I really need to go to the doctor and have my leg checked. There's something wrong. A bump. The dentist called again. I'm way overdue. If I stop putting things off, I would be happier. All I do is sit on my fat ass. If my ass wasn't fat I would be happier. I wouldn't have to wear these shirts with the tails out all the time. Like that's fooling anyone. Fat ass. I should start jogging again. Five miles a day. Really do it this time. Maybe rock climbing. I need to turn my life around. What do I need to do? I need to fall in love. I need to have a girlfriend. I need to read more, improve myself. What if I learned Russian or something? Or took up an instrument? I could speak Chinese. I'd be the screenwriter who speaks Chinese and plays the oboe. That would be cool. I should get my hair cut short. Stop trying to fool myself and everyone else into thinking I have a full head of hair. How pathetic is that? Just be real. Confident. Isn't that what women are attracted to? Men don't have to be attractive. But that's not true. Especially these days. Almost as much pressure on men as there is on women these days. Why should I be made to feel I have to apologize for my existence? Maybe it's my brain chemistry. Maybe that's what's wrong with me. Bad chemistry. All my problems and anxiety can be reduced to a chemical imbalance or some kind of misfiring synapses. I need to get help for that. But I'll still be ugly though. Nothing's gonna change that.
Charlie Kaufman
Self-care is never selfish, but it may feel that way when you live a frenzied life.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
Why does the social order feel the need to defend itself by evading the fact of real women, our faces and voices and bodies, and reducing the meaning of women to these formulaic and endlessly reproduced "beautiful" images? Though unconscious personal anxieties can be a powerful force in the creation of a vital lie, economic necessity practically guarantees it. An economy that depends on slavery needs to promote images of slaves that "justify" the institution of slavery. Western economies are absolutely dependent now on the continued underpayment of women. An idealogy that makes women feel "worth less" was urgently needed to counteract the way feminism had begun to make us feel worth more. This does not require a conspiracy; merely an atmosphere. The contemporary economy depends right now on the representation of women within the beauty myth.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
I have been thinking, then, about the value of optimism while cities burn, while people are fearing for their lives and the lives of their loved ones, while discourse is reduced to laughing through a chorus of anxiety. A woman in a Cape Cod diner the day after Christmas saw me eyeing the news and shaking my head. She told me that “things will get better,” and I wasn’t sure they would, but I nodded and said, “They surely can’t get any worse,” which is the lie that we all tell, the one that we want to believe, even as there are jaws opening before us.
Hanif Abdurraqib (They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us)
Awareness is the first step in rewriting old stories.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
We learn to become more empathic when we slow down, become present, and are fully committed to understanding another person’s uniqueness.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
Here I want to stress that perception of losing one’s mind is based on culturally derived and socially ingrained stereotypes as to the significance of symptoms such as hearing voices, losing temporal and spatial orientation, and sensing that one is being followed, and that many of the most spectacular and convincing of these symptoms in some instances psychiatrically signify merely a temporary emotional upset in a stressful situation, however terrifying to the person at the time. Similarly, the anxiety consequent upon this perception of oneself, and the strategies devised to reduce this anxiety, are not a product of abnormal psychology, but would be exhibited by any person socialized into our culture who came to conceive of himself as someone losing his mind.
Erving Goffman (Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates)
The illusion that one has understood the past feeds the further illusion that one can predict and control the future. These illusions are comforting. They reduce the anxiety that we would experience if we allowed ourselves to fully acknowledge the uncertainties of existence. We all have a need for the reassuring message that actions have appropriate consequences, and that success will reward wisdom and courage. Many business books are tailor-made to satisfy this need.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
Ask yourself if you’re taking the time to see beyond the surface.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
But when technology engineers intimacy, relationships can be reduced to mere connections. And then, easy connection becomes redefined as intimacy. Put otherwise, cyberintimacies slide into cybersolitudes. And with constant connection comes new anxieties of disconnection,
Sherry Turkle (Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other)
Life cannot be lived nor can death be faced without anxiety. Anxiety is guide as well as enemy and can point the way to authentic existence. The task of the therapist is to reduce anxiety to comfortable levels and then to use this existing anxiety to increase a patient's awareness and vitality.
Irvin D. Yalom (Existential Psychotherapy)
You can reduce your anxiety somewhat by facing the fact that there isn't a mechanic alive who doesn't louse up a job once in a while. The main difference between you and the commercial mechanics is that when they do it you don't hear about it—just pay for it, in additional costs prorated through all your bills. When you make the mistakes yourself, you at least get the benefit of some education.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (Phaedrus, #1))
For example, one promising target is the peptide oxytocin, which has been reported to reduce anxiety, promote affiliation, attachment, and affection,33 and facilitate extinction of threat conditioning.
Joseph E. LeDoux (Anxious)
People who help others on a regular basis are ten times more likely to be healthy than people who do not.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
When we give and receive empathy, transformation occurs.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
Whether we’re overcoming adversity, surviving trauma, or dealing with stress and anxiety, having a sense of purpose, meaning, and perspective in our lives allows us to develop understanding and move forward. Without purpose, meaning, and perspective, it is easy to lose hope, numb our emotions, or become overwhelmed by our circumstances. We feel reduced, less capable, and lost in the face of struggle. The heart of spirituality is connection. When we believe in that inextricable connection, we don’t feel alone.
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are)
I think that we may safely trust a good deal more than we do. We may waive just so much care of ourselves as we honestly bestow elsewhere. Nature is well adapted to our weakness as our strength. The incessant anxiety and strain of some is a well nigh incurable form of disease. We are made to exaggerate the importance of what work we do; and yet how much is not done by us! or, what if we had been taken sick? How vigilant we are! determined not to live by faith if we can avoid it; all the day long on the alert, at night we unwillingly say our prayers and commit ourselves to uncertainties. So thoroughly and sincerely are we compelled to live, reverencing our life, and denying the possibility of change. This is the only way, we say; but there are as many ways as there can be drawn radii from one centre. All change is a miracle to contemplate; but it is a miracle which is taking place every instant. Confucius said, “To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.” When one man has reduced a fact of the imagination to be a fact to his understanding, I foresee that all men will at length establish their lives on that basis.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
And in these times, people were always in danger of becoming less than fully themselves. If you terrorised them enough, they became something else, something diminished and reduced: mere techniques for survival. And so, it was not just an anxiety, but often a brute fear that he experienced: the fear that love's last days had come.
Julian Barnes (The Noise of Time)
DEFENSE PESSIMISM: According to psychologist Julie Norem, positive thinking doesn't work for some people, who should try defensive pessimism. Here's how it works: in the face of an anxiety-producing task instead of psyching yourself up, psyche yourself down by consciously lowering your expectations. Rehearse everything that could go wrong, and devise strategies to avert every conceivable glitch. This will produce a sense of control and reduce anxiety, helping you to perform effectively. Or, maybe not.
Jon Winokur (Encyclopedia Neurotica)
Authenticity soothes the soul.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
It takes enormous courage and humility to be open to others to find out who we really are.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
Doing good induces others to reciprocate.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
The brain can be put to better use by reducing anxiety, just as reducing friction between threads can increase the torque transferred to the axial load.
Haresh Sippy
In fact, when it comes to exercise, your nervous system changes first, followed by your muscles.
Caroline Leaf (Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess: 5 Simple, Scientifically Proven Steps to Reduce Anxiety, Stress, and Toxic Thinking)
New thoughts are formed over twenty-one days, and these new thoughts are formed into habits after sixty-three days.
Caroline Leaf (Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess: 5 Simple, Scientifically Proven Steps to Reduce Anxiety, Stress, and Toxic Thinking)
The simple and honest process of letting people know that discomfort is normal, it’s going to happen, why it happens, and why it’s important, reduces anxiety, fear, and shame. Periods
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
The illusion that one has understood the past feeds the further illusion that one can predict and control the future. These illusions are comforting. They reduce the anxiety that we would experience if we allowed ourselves to fully acknowledge the uncertainties of existence.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
We are not paying taxes, we are investing in our society. We are purchasing quality of life. The key to understanding the high levels of well-being in Denmark is the welfare model’s ability to reduce risk, uncertainty, and anxiety among its citizens and to prevent extreme unhappiness.
Meik Wiking (The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living)
This love meditation is adapted from the Visuddhimagga by Buddhaghosa, a 5th century C.E. systematization of the Buddha's teaching. We begin by practicing the love meditation on ourselves ("May I"). Until we are able to love and take care of ourselves, we cannot be much help to others. After that, we practice them on others ("May he/she/they") - first on someone we like, then on someone neutral to us, and finally on someone who makes us suffer. May I be peaceful, happy, and light in body and spirit. May I be safe and free from injury. May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear and anxiety. May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of of understanding and love. May I be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in myself. May I learn to identify and see the sources of anger, craving, and delusion in myself. May I know how to nourish the seeds of joy in myself every day. May I be able to live fresh, solid, and free. May I be free from attachment and aversion, but not indifferent. Love is not just the intention to love, but the capacity to reduce suffering, and offer peace and happiness. The practice of love increases our forbearance, our capacity to be patient and embrace difficulties and pain. Forbearance does mean that we try to suppress pain.
Thich Nhat Hanh
While play-acting grim scenarios day in and day out may sound like a good recipe for clinical depression, it’s actually weirdly uplifting. Rehearsing for catastrophe has made me positive that I have the problem-solving skills to deal with tough situations and come out the other side smiling. For me, this has greatly reduced the mental and emotional clutter that unchecked worrying produces, those random thoughts that hijack your brain at three o’clock in the morning. While I very much hoped not to die in space, I didn’t live in fear of it, largely because I’d been made to think through the practicalities: how I’d want my family to get the news, for instance, and which astronaut I should recruit to help my wife cut through the red tape at NASA and the CSA. Before my last space flight (as with each of the earlier ones) I reviewed my will, made sure my financial affairs and taxes were in order, and did all the other things you’d do if you knew you were going to die. But that didn’t make me feel like I had one foot in the grave. It actually put my mind at ease and reduced my anxiety about what my family’s future would look like if something happened to me. Which meant that when the engines lit up at launch, I was able to focus entirely on the task at hand: arriving alive.
Chris Hadfield (An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth)
But none of these treatments have fundamentally reduced the underlying anxiety that seems woven into my soul and hardwired into my body and that at times makes my life a misery. As the years pass, the hope of being cured of my anxiety has faded into a resigned desire to come to terms with it, to find some redemptive quality or mitigating benefit to my being, too often, a quivering, quaking, neurotic wreck.
Scott Stossel (My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind)
Boundaries to Consider I say no to things I don’t like. I say no to things that don’t contribute to my growth. I say no to things that rob me of valuable time. I spend time around healthy people. I reduce my interactions with people who drain my energy. I protect my energy against people who threaten my sanity. I practice positive self-talk. I allow myself to feel and not judge my feelings. I forgive myself when I make a mistake. I actively cultivate the best version of myself. I turn off my phone when appropriate. I sleep when I’m tired. I mind my business. I make tough decisions because they’re healthy for me. I create space for activities that bring me joy. I say yes to activities that interest me despite my anxiety about trying them. I experience things alone instead of waiting for the “right” people to join me.
Nedra Glover Tawwab (Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself)
Things are uncertain, but I can handle it. I’ve never experienced this before, but I can handle it. These are uncertain times, but I can handle it. I have no idea what’s going to happen, but I can handle it.
Caroline Leaf (Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess: 5 Simple, Scientifically Proven Steps to Reduce Anxiety, Stress, and Toxic Thinking)
The best way to deal with stress at work is to go for a forest bath. I go for shinrin-yoku every lunchtime. You don’t need a forest; any small green space will do. Leave your cup of coffee and your phone behind and just walk slowly. You don’t need to exercise, you just need to open your senses to nature. It will improve your mood, reduce tension and anxiety, and help you focus and concentrate for the rest of the day.
Qing Li (Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness)
Your brain cannot change until you accept the anxiety or depression as a signal giving you information on its cause, or origin, and in this way you make the anxiety or depression work for you and not against you.
Caroline Leaf (Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess: 5 Simple, Scientifically Proven Steps to Reduce Anxiety, Stress, and Toxic Thinking)
Mindful awareness is simply paying attention to what is happening now. In doing nothing other than living in the moment for a few minutes, we can let thoughts and feelings come and go without holding on to them or judging them.
Goldie Hawn (10 Mindful Minutes: Giving Our Children--and Ourselves--the Social and Emotional Skills to Reduce Stress and Anxiety for Healthier, Happy Lives)
right nostril is a gas pedal. When you’re inhaling primarily through this channel, circulation speeds up, your body gets hotter, and cortisol levels, blood pressure, and heart rate all increase. This happens because breathing through the right side of the nose activates the sympathetic nervous system, the “fight or flight” mechanism that puts the body in a more elevated state of alertness and readiness. Breathing through the right nostril will also feed more blood to the opposite hemisphere of the brain, specifically to the prefrontal cortex, which has been associated with logical decisions, language, and computing. Inhaling through the left nostril has the opposite effect: it works as a kind of brake system to the right nostril’s accelerator. The left nostril is more deeply connected to the parasympathetic nervous system, the rest-and-relax side that lowers blood pressure, cools the body, and reduces anxiety. Left-nostril breathing shifts blood flow to the opposite side of the prefrontal cortex, to the area that influences creative thought and plays a role in the formation of mental abstractions and the production of negative emotions.
James Nestor (Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art)
The brain is never the same because it changes with every experience you have, every moment of every day—and you control this with your unique thinking, feeling, and choosing. You use your mind to use your brain. You are the architect of your brain.
Caroline Leaf (Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess: 5 Simple, Scientifically Proven Steps to Reduce Anxiety, Stress, and Toxic Thinking)
In Sweden they have a very different approach. There, preschool children are encouraged to play and relax without any structured learning for the first six years of their lives. They go for nature walks every day, even in the bitter Scandinavian winter. They are not taught to read until they are seven years of age, yet by the age of ten, Swedish children consistently lead European literacy rankings.
Goldie Hawn (10 Mindful Minutes: Giving Our Children--and Ourselves--the Social and Emotional Skills to Reduce Stress and Anxiety for Healthier, Happy Lives)
The power of mindful meditation can reduce anxiety, increase focus, increase creativity, reduce pain, reduce depression, decrease blood pressure, reduce inflammation in the body, boost immunity, lower systemic cortisol levels, improve sleep, and offer more balance to our emotions.
Mira Dessy (Beyond Meditation: Making Mindfulness Accessible for Everyone)
Here’s the powerful part: there are many different ways to address the same underlying motive. One person might learn to reduce stress by smoking a cigarette. Another person learns to ease their anxiety by going for a run. Your current habits are not necessarily the best way to solve the problems you face; they are just the methods you learned to use. Once you associate a solution with the problem you need to solve, you keep coming back to it.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones)
Inhaling through the left nostril has the opposite effect: it works as a kind of brake system to the right nostril’s accelerator. The left nostril is more deeply connected to the parasympathetic nervous system, the rest-and-relax side that lowers blood pressure, cools the body, and reduces anxiety.
James Nestor (Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art)
The reason rituals are so effective at helping us manage our inner voices is that they’re a chatter-reducing cocktail that influences us through several avenues. For one, they direct our attention away from what’s bothering us; the demands they place on working memory to carry out the tasks of the ritual leave little room for anxiety and negative manifestations of the inner voice. This might explain why pregame rituals abound in sports, providing a distraction at the most anxiety-filled moment. Many rituals also provide us with a sense of order, because we perform behaviors we can control. For example, we can’t control what will happen to our children throughout their lives, and we can protect them only to a limited degree, which is a source of chatter for many parents. But when they are born, we can baptize them or perform any other of a variety of birth rituals that provide us with an illusion of control.
Ethan Kross (Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It)
Having some support and the reassurance that my family, friends, or others will help me when I am anxious will often reduce my anxiety and panic. But because such support and reassurance may not exist or may not continue, I’d better not rely on it solely. I also had better gain self-confidence and self-support. 8.
Albert Ellis (How To Control Your Anxiety Before It Controls You)
But when we reduce sex to a function, we also invoke the idea of dysfunction. We are no longer talking about the art of sex; rather, we are talking about the mechanics of sex. Science has replaced religion as the authority; and science is a more formidable arbiter. Medicine knows how to scare even those who scoff at religion. Compared with a diagnosis, what's a mere sin? We used to moralize; today we normalize, and performance anxiety is the secular version of our old religious guilt.
Esther Perel (Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic)
Stress and glucocorticoids have inverted-U effects here as well. Moderate, transient stress (or exposure to the equivalent glucocorticoid levels) increases spine number in the hippocampus; sustained stress or glucocor-ticoid exposure does the opposite.7 Moreover, major depression or anxiety—two disorders associated with elevated glucocorticoid levels—can reduce hippocampal dendrite and spine number. This arises from decreased levels of that key growth factor mentioned earlier this chapter, BDNF. Sustained stress and glucocorticoids also cause dendritic retraction and synapse loss, lower levels of NCAM (a “neural cell adhesion molecule” that stabilizes synapses), and less glutamate release in the frontal cortex.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
The people who are trying to be on our side have reduced us to a mere calculation
Sarah Kurchak (I Overcame My Autism and All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder: A Memoir)
Music floods the mind, evoking moods, memories and sensations. The pulse compels the dancer to dive into a sparkling stream of motion and sensation.
Stefan Freedman (Dance Wise)
An optimistic outlook (often referred to as having a positive affect) has been shown to reduce negative mood and anxiety and quicken recovery from traumatic events.
Wendy Suzuki (Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion)
Defenses are psychological strategies we use to keep us safe. They help us cope and reduce our anxiety.
Shirley Impellizzeri (Why Can't I Change?: How to Conquer Your Self-Desctructive Patterns)
exercise during adolescence reduces depression, anxiety, and other emotional distress.
David Walsh (WHY Do They Act That Way?: A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen)
Time is the only limitation in your life. Living only in the past or only in the future are the biggest cheating you can do against yourself.
Yogi Zoli (NOT A BOOK: Breathing Exercises: The Most Effective Method to Take Full Control of Your Entire Life: BASIC YOGA BREATHING TECHNIQUES TO REDUCE STRESS AND ANXIETY AND ... OF YOUR LIFE (7 Habits of a Yogi Book 2))
Empathy allows us to enter the world of another. It allows us to take a mental vacation from ourselves.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
Doing good does us good.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
Generous people are likely to receive more respect from their peers.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
Empathy plays a crucial role in the reduction of stress from the moment of birth.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
Goodness makes our world a better place because human beings are kinder to each other when we feel safe and secure.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
The scientific evidence is clear that exercise significantly reduces depression and anxiety.
Johann Hari
We might consider our role as parents not to be to reduce the pain our children must live through, but to help them learn how to suffer less.
Eli R. Lebowitz (Breaking Free of Child Anxiety and OCD: A Scientifically Proven Program for Parents)
The attentive, caring, and wise voice ofa supportive adult gets internalized and becomes part of the youth’s own voice. —National Research Council
Goldie Hawn (10 Mindful Minutes: Giving Our Children--and Ourselves--the Social and Emotional Skills to Reduce Stress and Anxiety for Healthier, Happy Lives)
In my practice I use neurofeedback primarily to help with the hyperarousal, confusion, and concentration problems of people who suffer from developmental trauma. However, it has also shown good results for numerous issues and conditions that go beyond the scope of this book, including relieving tension headaches, improving cognitive functioning following a traumatic brain injury, reducing anxiety and panic attacks, learning to deepen meditation states, treating autism, improving seizure control, self-regulation in mood disorders, and more.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
The phrase “say yes” means “to agree to” those things that life hands us. Saying yes means letting go of resistance and letting in the possibilities that our universe offers in new ways of seeing the world. It means to relax bodily and calmly survey the situation, thereby reducing upset and anxiety. Aside from the emotional benefits, the physical benefits are enormous.
Susan Jeffers (Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway)
Attempting to direct our children’s lives, no matter how good the intention, may prevent them from making mistakes now but also takes away important opportunities for them to learn lessons.
Goldie Hawn (10 Mindful Minutes: Giving Our Children--and Ourselves--the Social and Emotional Skills to Reduce Stress and Anxiety for Healthier, Happy Lives)
When adults are randomly assigned to reduce their daily step count, 88 percent become more depressed. Within one week of becoming more sedentary, they report a 31 percent decline in life satisfaction. The average daily step count required to induce feelings of anxiety and depression and decrease satisfaction with life is 5,649. The typical American takes 4,774 steps per day. Across the globe, the average is 4,961.
Kelly McGonigal (The Joy of Movement: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage)
The spiritual director should not reduce his attention to the internal life because of external occupations, nor should he relinquish his care for external matters because of his anxiety for the internal life.
Pope Gregory I (The Book of Pastoral Rule)
Our modern lifestyle, in which we spend most of our time indoors looking at bright screens and turn on bright lights at night, activates melanopsin at the wrong times of day and night, which then disrupts our circadian rhythms and reduces the production of the sleep hormone melatonin; as a result, we cannot get restorative sleep. When we wake up the next day and spend most of the day indoors, the dim indoor light cannot fully activate melanopsin, which means that we cannot align our circadian clock to the day-night cycle, making us feel sleepy and less alert. After a few days or weeks, we get into depression and anxiety.
Satchin Panda (The Circadian Code: Lose weight, supercharge your energy and sleep well every night)
Every day you can ask yourself, “Have I helped my children understand their gifts and talents? Did I empathize with their feelings enough? Is there something I can do or say now to help strengthen our connection?
Goldie Hawn (10 Mindful Minutes: Giving Our Children--and Ourselves--the Social and Emotional Skills to Reduce Stress and Anxiety for Healthier, Happy Lives)
Education is the proper way to promote compassion and tolerance in society. Compassion and peace of mind bring a sense of confidence that reduce stress and anxiety, whereas anger and hatred come from frustration and undermine our sense of trust. Because of ignorance, many of our problems are our own creation. Education, however, is the instrument that increases our ability to employ our own intelligence. ~ 14th Dalai Lama on FB Oct 8, 2012
Dalai Lama XIV
Further studies on humans have shown that certain probiotic treatments can reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and the occurrence of negative thoughts (Mohajeri et al. [2018] and Valles-Colomer et al. [2019]). However, a multibillion-dollar probiotics industry hovers around the field of neuromicrobiology, and a number of researchers have pointed out the tendency to overhype findings. Gut communities are complex, and manipulating them is a challenge.
Merlin Sheldrake (Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures)
when you’re anxious, your body wants you to move so that you can relieve tension and counteract the effects of cortisol. Big muscle movements like jump squats, lunges, and kicks can help you move through anxiety and reduce stress.
Jolene Brighten (Beyond the Pill: A 30-Day Program to Balance Your Hormones, Reclaim Your Body, and Reverse the Dangerous Side Effects of the Birth Control Pill)
A review of the psychological literature suggests that mindfulness in particular fosters many components of physical and mental health: It improves immune function, blood pressure, and cortisol levels; it reduces anxiety, depression, neuroticism, and emotional reactivity. It also leads to greater behavioral regulation and has shown promise in the treatment of addiction and eating disorders. Unsurprisingly, the practice is associated with increased subjective well-being.13
Sam Harris (Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion)
Meditation is to dive all the way within, beyond thought, to the source of thought and pure consciousness. It enlarges the container, every time you transcend. When you come out, you come out refreshed, filled with energy and enthusiasm for life." -David Lynch
Sid Akula (Meditation: Increase Mindfulness, Find Inner Peace, Reduce Stress and Curb Anxiety with Fundamental Meditation (Simplicity, Happiness, Fulfillment, and Enlightenment Book 3))
He says it’s all about the bounty-hunting, rather than the actual finding. ‘It’s not finding gratitude that matters most; it’s remembering to look in the first place. Remembering to be grateful is a form of emotional intelligence.’ As the brain gets used to seeking out the positives, it becomes more efficient at finding them, he explains. ‘Then, it simply takes less effort to be grateful. Everything is interconnected. Gratitude improves sleep. Sleep reduces pain. Reduced pain improves your mood. Improved mood reduces anxiety.’ It’s a daisy-chain of benefits.
Catherine Gray (The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober)
And here she was, an old woman now, living and hoping, keeping faith, afraid of evil, full of anxiety for the living and an equal concern for the dead; here she was, looking at the ruins of her home, admiring the spring sky without knowing that she was admiring it, wondering why the future of those she loved was so obscure and the past so full of mistakes, not realizing that this very obscurity and unhappiness concealed a strange hope and clarity, not realizing that in the depths of her soul she already knew the meaning of both her own life and the lives of her nearest and dearest, not realizing that even though neither she herself nor any of them could tell what was in store, even though they all knew only too well that at times like these no man can forge his own happiness and that fate alone has the power to pardon and chastise, to raise up to glory and to plunge into need, to reduce a man to labour- camp dust, nevertheless neither fate, nor history, nor the anger of the State, nor the glory or infamy of battle has any power to affect those who call themselves human beings. No, whatever life holds in store – hard-won glory, poverty and despair, or death in a labour camp – they will live as human beings and die as human beings, the same as those who have already perished; and in this alone lies man's eternal and bitter victory over all the grandiose and inhuman forces that ever have been or will be.
Vasily Grossman (Life and Fate)
The right nostril is a gas pedal. When you’re inhaling primarily through this channel, circulation speeds up, your body gets hotter, and cortisol levels, blood pressure, and heart rate all increase. This happens because breathing through the right side of the nose activates the sympathetic nervous system, the “fight or flight” mechanism that puts the body in a more elevated state of alertness and readiness. Breathing through the right nostril will also feed more blood to the opposite hemisphere of the brain, specifically to the prefrontal cortex, which has been associated with logical decisions, language, and computing. Inhaling through the left nostril has the opposite effect: it works as a kind of brake system to the right nostril’s accelerator. The left nostril is more deeply connected to the parasympathetic nervous system, the rest-and-relax side that lowers blood pressure, cools the body, and reduces anxiety. Left-nostril breathing shifts blood flow to the opposite side of the prefrontal cortex, to the area that influences creative thought and plays a role in the formation of mental abstractions and the production of negative emotions.
James Nestor (Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art)
Stay in the now. Pay attention to the things that are happening now, and don’t pay attention to the things that aren’t happening now. Focusing on the present helps reduce anxiety and worry, because it decreases emotional, self-focused processing in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Attention to the present also increases dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal activity, allowing these regions to calm the amygdala.15 Improving your ability to stay present, a practice known as “mindfulness,” helps enhance these activations and leads to long-term improvements in anxiety and worrying.
Alex Korb (The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time)
Living more meaningfully will reduce your anxiety about the possibility of future regret at not having lived meaningfully – which will, in turn, keep sapping death of its power to induce anxiety. As he puts it, there is a positive correlation between the fear of death and the sense of unlived life. Live a life suffused with the awareness of its own finitude, and you can hope to finish it in something like the fashion that Jean-Paul Sartre hoped to die: ‘quietly . . . certain that the last burst of my heart would be inscribed on the last page of my work, and that death would be taking only a dead man’.
Oliver Burkeman (The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking)
When you use the 5 Steps, your self-regulation improves and you can start getting a handle on managing your anxiety. This doesn’t mean it will go away entirely; you actually don’t want it to, because anxiety is telling you something about your life that you need to know. It does mean, however, that your anxiety will decrease over time, and you will learn to manage it—it will work for you and not against you. Anxiety is not an illness; it is a warning signal that something needs attention in your life. It is normal to feel periods of anxiety. The Neurocycle method can help you find and manage what needs attention.
Caroline Leaf (Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess: 5 Simple, Scientifically Proven Steps to Reduce Anxiety, Stress, and Toxic Thinking)
In recent years, there has been an explosion of research into meditation, which has been shown to: • Reduce blood pressure • Boost recovery after the release of the stress hormone cortisol • Improve immune system functioning and response • Slow age-related atrophy of the brain • Mitigate the symptoms of depression and anxiety
Jeff Warren (Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-To Book)
Environmental influences also affect dopamine. From animal studies, we know that social stimulation is necessary for the growth of the nerve endings that release dopamine and for the growth of receptors that dopamine needs to bind to in order to do its work. In four-month-old monkeys, major alterations of dopamine and other neurotransmitter systems were found after only six days of separation from their mothers. “In these experiments,” writes Steven Dubovsky, Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine at the University of Colorado, “loss of an important attachment appears to lead to less of an important neurotransmitter in the brain. Once these circuits stop functioning normally, it becomes more and more difficult to activate the mind.” A neuroscientific study published in 1998 showed that adult rats whose mothers had given them more licking, grooming and other physical-emotional contact during infancy had more efficient brain circuitry for reducing anxiety, as well as more receptors on nerve cells for the brain’s own natural tranquilizing chemicals. In other words, early interactions with the mother shaped the adult rat’s neurophysiological capacity to respond to stress. In another study, newborn animals reared in isolation had reduced dopamine activity in their prefrontal cortex — but not in other areas of the brain. That is, emotional stress particularly affects the chemistry of the prefrontal cortex, the center for selective attention, motivation and self-regulation. Given the relative complexity of human emotional interactions, the influence of the infant-parent relationship on human neurochemistry is bound to be even stronger. In the human infant, the growth of dopamine-rich nerve terminals and the development of dopamine receptors is stimulated by chemicals released in the brain during the experience of joy, the ecstatic joy that comes from the perfectly attuned mother-child mutual gaze interaction. Happy interactions between mother and infant generate motivation and arousal by activating cells in the midbrain that release endorphins, thereby inducing in the infant a joyful, exhilarated state. They also trigger the release of dopamine. Both endorphins and dopamine promote the development of new connections in the prefrontal cortex. Dopamine released from the midbrain also triggers the growth of nerve cells and blood vessels in the right prefrontal cortex and promotes the growth of dopamine receptors. A relative scarcity of such receptors and blood supply is thought to be one of the major physiological dimensions of ADD. The letters ADD may equally well stand for Attunement Deficit Disorder.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
The more you exercise the more energy you have, the more energy you have the more clearly you think. Active Patience is calm. Exercise reduces panic and anxiety behaviour. This is the kind of behaviour that makes us feel we are in a hurry and trying to do a million different things at once.We become paralysed, and beat ourselves up for it.
N.C Harley (Active Patience: A Simple Guide to Productive Writing)
Understanding reduces the complexity of data by collapsing the dimensionality of information to a lower set of known variables. " "There you have it: a generalizable principle. What was once a massive, high-dimensional dataset has now collapsed to a single dimension, a simple principle that comes from using the data but is not the data itself. Understanding transcends context, since the different contexts collapse according to their previously unknown similarity, which the principle contains. That is what understanding does. And you actually feel it in your brain when it happens. Your “cognitive load” decreases, your level of stress and anxiety decrease, and your emotional state improves.
Beau Lotto (Deviate: The Science of Seeing Differently)
We are going to be exploring ways that dancing can strengthen an individual and can benefit society. We’ll witness how dance is used in trauma recovery, mental health support, with young people at risk and in psychological and emotional growth. We’ll consider the brain science and neurology of dance and how dance can be used with groups in conflict.
Stefan Freedman (Dance Wise)
While there is a real urgency for caution, there is also an overwhelming urgency for calm. My greatest concern is that the driving force of this pandemic may cause those who have no signs or symptomology to develop other chronic fears, anxieties and medical conditions. Heightened fears and anxieties will not make you feel safer. Compulsive and impulsive purchases will not protect you from the virus. It is important that you take care of your physical and mental health. Follow what your state and county are advising you to do. The sky is not falling and life will return to normal. The most prudent thing that people can do at this time, is to take commonsense approaches to reduce your risk of exposure.
Asa Don Brown
What I have noticed, and what I feel compelled to mention, is that the experiential scale of parenting—anxiety versus joy—is tied to the “scale of involvement” between the spouses. In my experience, it is more commonly the case that the mother is overinvolved. What I have seen, though, is that when the father steps up, many mothers are able to take a welcome step back. These adjustments take time, as habits of work and responsibilities are ingrained, but the results are usually well worth the effort. A better balance of involvement benefits the partnership. It also simplifies parental involvement in the children’s lives, reducing anxiety as the duties and concerns of parenting are spread on a wider, stronger base.
Lisa M. Ross (Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids)
But in the end we found it impossible to ignore the impassioned pleas of the Lost City of White Male Privilege, a controversial municipality whose very existence is often denied by many (mostly privileged white males). Others state categorically that the walls of the locale have been irreparably breached by hip-hop and Roberto Bolaño’s prose. That the popularity of the spicy tuna roll and a black American president were to white male domination what the smallpox blankets were to Native American existence. Those inclined to believe in free will and the free market argue that the Lost City of White Male Privilege was responsible for its own demise, that the constant stream of contradictory religious and secular edicts from on high confused the highly impressionable white male. Reduced him to a state of such severe social and psychic anxiety that he stopped fucking. Stopped voting. Stopped reading. And, most important, stopped thinking that he was the end-all, be-all, or at least knew enough to pretend not to be so in public. But in any case, it became impossible to walk the streets of the Lost City of White Male Privilege, feeding your ego by reciting mythological truisms like “We built this country!” when all around you brown men were constantly hammering and nailing, cooking world-class French meals, and repairing your cars. You couldn’t shout “America, love it or leave it!” when deep down inside you longed to live in Toronto.
Paul Beatty (The Sellout)
An aim, an ambition, provides the structure necessary for action. An aim provides a destination, a point of contrast against the present, and a framework, within which all things can be evaluated. An aim defines progress and makes such progress exciting. An aim reduces anxiety, because if you have no aim everything can mean anything or nothing, and neither of those two options makes for a tranquil spirit.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
The more time and energy people spend managing their anxiety, the more it sucks the oxygen out of the rest of their life. In this chapter, I’ll explain how focusing on your anxiety causes it to escalate. You’ll then learn how reducing your anxiety requires discovering or rediscovering goals that are more important to you than avoiding anxiety. I’ll show you how you can reconnect with your goals and increase your resiliency.
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
At a higher level of abstraction, the behavioral correlates of life history strategies can be framed within the five-factor model of personality. Among the Big Five, agreeableness and conscientiousness show the most consistent pattern of associations with slow traits such as restricted sociosexuality, long-term mating orientation, couple stability, secure attachment to parents in infancy and romantic partners in adulthood, reduced sex drive, low impulsivity, and risk aversion across domains. Conscientiousness and (to a smaller extent) agreeableness are also the most reliable personality predictors of physical health and longevity; the contribution of neuroticism is mixed and may depend on the specific facets considered. The life history correlates of neuroticism are much less straightforward; for example, high neuroticism tends to predict increased short-term mating in women but reduced short-term mating in men, with much cross-cultural variation. There is also evidence that slow life history–related traits can be associated with social anxiety and insecurity, which is consistent with a general profile of risk aversion and behavioral inhibition. As a first approximation, then, metatrait alpha can be treated as a broadband correlate of slow strategies, with the caveat that neuroticism may be elevated at both ends of the continuum.
Marco del Giudice (Evolutionary Psychopathology: A Unified Approach)
Governments could recognize the huge value added if the two biological parents choose to live together with the child: a tax-credit bonus could reduce the tax burden for those who are taxpayers, and income could be supplemented by an equivalent amount for those who are not. The commitment of young parents to their children benefits us all, and we should be prepared to pay for it. When parents withhold this commitment, the rest of us pay for it – heavily.
Paul Collier (The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties)
2: Gratitude Science shows that gratitude increases energy, reduces anxiety, improves sleep, and creates feelings of social connection—that’s why several exercises in this book focus on it. In this phase, just think about three things you’re grateful for in your personal life, three things you’re grateful for in your career, and three things you’re grateful for about yourself. This last one is important. Often we look for love from others but fail to truly love ourselves.
Vishen Lakhiani (The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Terms)
I have seen mood stabilization, reduced or eliminated depression, reduced or eliminated anxiety, improved cognitive functioning, greatly enhanced and evened-out energy levels, cessation of seizures, improved overall neurological stability, cessation of migraines, improved sleep, improvement in autistic symptoms, improvements with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), improved gastrointestinal functioning, healthy weight loss, cancer remissions and tumor shrinkage, much better management of underlying previous health issues, improved symptoms and quality of life in those struggling with various forms of autoimmunity (including many with type 1 and 1.5 diabetes), fewer colds and flus, total reversal of chronic fatigue, improved memory, sharpened cognitive functioning, and significantly stabilized temperament. And there is quality evidence to support the beneficial impact of a fat-based ketogenic approach in all these types of issues. – Nora Gedgaudas
Jimmy Moore (Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet)
Trying to Eliminate Anxiety Can Cause More Anxiety When anxiety becomes a major problem for someone, it’s usually because the person has become stuck in a self-perpetuating cycle where the things he or she does to reduce anxiety in the short term cause it to multiply in the long term. Let me explain how this works. Let’s take someone who gets panic attacks. Because these are so unpleasant, the person logically avoids situations that might trigger an attack. The person might start out avoiding a few situations, such as public speaking or going to the mall on weekends. Paradoxically, the more the person avoids particular situations, the more their anxiety about having another panic attack increases. An increasing number of situations start to trigger their anxiety. The person starts to avoid more and more. The problem snowballs. Avoiding things due to anxiety is termed avoidance coping. It’s one of the main mechanisms that causes anxiety to grow and persist.
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
Serotonin—improves willpower, motivation, and mood. Norepinephrine—enhances thinking, focus, and dealing with stress. Dopamine—increases enjoyment and is necessary for changing bad habits. Oxytocin—promotes feelings of trust, love, and connection, and reduces anxiety. GABA—increases feelings of relaxation and reduces anxiety. Melatonin—enhances the quality of sleep. Endorphins—provide pain relief and feelings of elation. Endocannabinoids—improve your appetite and increase feelings of peacefulness and well-being.
Alex Korb (The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time)
Perfectionism reduces creativity and innovation,” writes Hara Estroff Marano, editor at large and the former editor in chief of Psychology Today. “It is a steady source of negative emotions; rather than reaching toward something positive, those in its grip are focused on the very thing they most want to avoid—negative evaluation. Perfectionism, then, is an endless report card; it keeps people completely self-absorbed, engaged in perpetual self-evaluation—reaping relentless frustration and doomed to anxiety and depression.
Jim Kwik (Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life)
That when the Dodger, and his accomplished friend Master Bates, joined in the hue-and-cry which was raised at Oliver's heels, in consequence of their executing an illegal conveyance of Mr. Brownlow's personal property, as has been already described, they were actuated by a very laudable and becoming regard for themselves; and forasmuch as the freedom of the subject and the liberty of the individual are among the first and proudest boasts of a true-hearted Englishman, so, I need hardly beg the reader to observe, that this action should tend to exalt them in the opinion of all public and patriotic men, in almost as great a degree as this strong proof of their anxiety for their own preservation and safety goes to corroborate and confirm the little code of laws which certain profound and sound-judging philosophers have laid down as the main-springs of all Nature's deeds and actions: the said philosophers very wisely reducing the good lady's proceedings to matters of maxim and theory: and, by a very neat and pretty compliment to her exalted wisdom and understanding, putting entirely out of sight any considerations of heart, or generous impulse and feeling.
Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist)
If you want to predict how happy someone is, or how long she will live (and if you are not allowed to ask about her genes or personality), you should find out about her social relationships. Having strong social relationships strengthens the immune system, extends life (more than does quitting smoking), speeds recovery from surgery, and reduces the risks of depression and anxiety disorders. It’s not just that extroverts are naturally happier and healthier; when introverts are forced to be more outgoing, they usually enjoy it and find that it boosts their mood. Even people who think they don’t want a lot of social contact still benefit from it. And it’s not just that “we all need somebody to lean on”; recent work on giving support shows that caring for others is often more beneficial than is receiving help. We need to interact and intertwine with others; we need the give and the take; we need to belong. An ideology of extreme personal freedom can be dangerous because it encourages people to leave homes, jobs, cities, and marriages in search of personal and professional fulfillment, thereby breaking the relationships that were probably their best hope for such fulfillment.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
The quality of mind cultivated in vipassana is almost always referred to as “mindfulness,” and the literature on its psychological benefits is now substantial. There is nothing spooky about mindfulness. It is simply a state of clear, nonjudgmental, and undistracted attention to the contents of consciousness, whether pleasant or unpleasant. Cultivating this quality of mind has been shown to reduce pain, anxiety, and depression; improve cognitive function; and even produce changes in gray matter density in regions of the brain related to learning and memory, emotional regulation, and self-awareness.12
Sam Harris (Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion)
Most of us do not like not being able to see what others see or make sense of something new. We do not like it when things do not come together and fit nicely for us. That is why most popular movies have Hollywood endings. The public prefers a tidy finale. And we especially do not like it when things are contradictory, because then it is much harder to reconcile them (this is particularly true for Westerners). This sense of confusion triggers in a us a feeling of noxious anxiety. It generates tension. So we feel compelled to reduce it, solve it, complete it, reconcile it, make it make sense. And when we do solve these puzzles, there's relief. It feels good. We REALLY like it when things come together. What I am describing is a very basic human psychological process, captured by the second Gestalt principle. It is what we call the 'press for coherence.' It has been called many different things in psychology: consonance, need for closure, congruity, harmony, need for meaning, the consistency principle. At its core it is the drive to reduce the tension, disorientation, and dissonance that come from complexity, incoherence, and contradiction. In the 1930s, Bluma Zeigarnik, a student of Lewin's in Berlin, designed a famous study to test the impact of this idea of tension and coherence. Lewin had noticed that waiters in his local cafe seemed to have better recollections of unpaid orders than of those already settled. A lab study was run to examine this phenomenon, and it showed that people tend to remember uncompleted tasks, like half-finished math or word problems, better than completed tasks. This is because the unfinished task triggers a feeling of tension, which gets associated with the task and keeps it lingering in our minds. The completed problems are, well, complete, so we forget them and move on. They later called this the 'Zeigarnik effect,' and it has influenced the study of many things, from advertising campaigns to coping with the suicide of loved ones to dysphoric rumination of past conflicts.
Peter T. Coleman (The Five Percent: Finding Solutions to Seemingly Impossible Conflicts)
developed by the world-renowned integrative physician Dr. Andrew Weil. It’s simple and easy. His method is called the 4-7-8 technique, and it’s just as simple as it sounds: Breathe in through your nose for four seconds. Hold the breath for seven seconds. Then breathe out for the count of eight, expelling all air from your lungs and making an audible “whoosh” sound as you do so. You should repeat this cycle up to four times in sequence and do it twice a day. During a fast, you can increase the number of repetitions up to as many as twelve. Dr. Weil has found that the 4-7-8 technique is ideal for helping you fall asleep at bedtime. During fasting, it reduces cravings and anxiety and helps control mood swings.
Dave Asprey (Fast This Way: How to Lose Weight, Get Smarter, and Live Your Longest, Healthiest Life with the Bulletproof Guide to Fasting)
13. Fear Fear can be real or imaginary. Fear makes people do strange things. It primarily comes from a lack of understanding. To live in fear is to live in an emotional prison. Fear paralyses and immobilises people. Fear results in insecurity, lack of confidence and procrastination. Fear destroys our potential and ability. We cannot think straight. Fear ruins relationships and health. Some common fears are:    • Fear of failing    • Fear of the unknown    • Fear of being unprepared    • Fear of making the wrong decision    • Fear of rejection Some fears can be described, others can only be felt. Fear leads to anxiety which in turn leads to irrational thinking and this actually sabotages our ability to solve the problem. The normal response to fear is escape. Escape puts us in a comfort zone and reduces the impact of fear temporarily while the cause remains. Imaginary fears magnify the problem. Fear can get out of hand and destroy happiness and relationships. Think of fear as meaning: F     A     L     S      E E     V     I      D     E     N     C     E A     P     P     E     A     R      I      N      G      R     E     A     L Fear of failure is often worse than failure itself. Failure is not the worst thing that can happen to someone. People who don’t try have failed even before attempting. When infants learn to walk, they keep falling; but to them it is not failing, it is learning. If they became disheartened, they would never walk.
Shiv Khera (You Can Win: A Step-by-Step Tool for Top Achievers)
How to Perform Paced Breathing Paced breathing is a slow, regular rate of deep breathing. There are three main points to keep in mind when practicing: 1. Breathe slowly. Concentrate on slowing the rate of your breathing to eight or ten breaths per minute. 2. Inhale and exhale through your nose. It is more difficult to take shallow breaths from the upper chest when you breathe through your nose. This keeps you from hyperventilating. 3. Choose a neutral word to focus on while practicing paced breathing. The words “one,” “calm,” and “relax” work well. Each time you exhale, say the word in your mind. This will assist in keeping your breathing evenly paced, and will help to reduce the chances of interfering thoughts. During the day, when you are not practicing paced breathing, alternate paced and normal breathing. Every single breath you take does not have to come from the diaphragm. There should be a natural rhythm between chest breathing and diaphragm breathing. Find a comfortable balance but do more diaphragmatic breathing than you usually do. Tony is at a local law office to interview for an internship. He wants to become a trial lawyer. He is very excited by the thought of working professionally, but is so anxious about the interview that he feels lightheaded and numb. He is afraid he won’t be able to say what he wants to, and that his answers will be incorrect. As he waits for the interviewer, Tony starts to concentrate on slowing the rate of his breathing. With only a few deep breaths, his mind clears and his racing heart calms. He feels more relaxed and is confident.
Heather Moehn (Social Anxiety)
Cleckley reported that psychopaths never experience grief, honesty, deep joy, or genuine despair. From my own experience, I would add to Cleckley’s observations that the psychopath never ruminates on anything. Rumination is a process that often contributes to depression and in extreme forms to obsessive-compulsive disorder. The process of rumination is often associated with some anxiety or subjective feeling of concern or worry, and this can help precipitate change in the individual in order to reduce the anxiety. The psychopath experiences none of this. Indeed, if you ask a psychopath if he has ever worried about whether he left the house with the stove on (a common problem among those with obsessive-compulsive disorder), he will look at you like you are an alien, in stunned disbelief.
Kent A. Kiehl (The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of Those Without Conscience)
One study showed that omega-3s were equivalent in effect to Prozac in treating depression, and the combination was more effective than either one alone.64 In a related study, administration of omega-3s to patients with recurrent self-harm (e.g., cutting, picking, scratching, burning—the ultimate expression of anxiety) showed a reduction in suicidality, depression, and daily stress.65 A recent trial gave omega-3s along with minerals to eleven-year-old kids with conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder (the ones who routinely find themselves in the principal’s office), and within three months their aggression was reduced, and way better than talk therapy.66 Lastly, omega-3 consumption can help ward off depression in children67 and adults,68 and can serve as an adjunct to SSRIs in its treatment.69
Robert H. Lustig (The Hacking of the American Mind: Inside the Sugar-Coated Plot to Confuse Pleasure with Happiness)
Easing Your Mind’s Responses to Anxiety When you are in social situations, your mind might race with negative thoughts about yourself, expectations about what is going to happen, or fears about what others are thinking. Often, these thoughts develop into a vicious cycle: Because you believe you don’t have anything worthwhile to express, you expect to have difficulty speaking. When you have difficulty speaking, you believe that people think you’re stupid. Because you believe people think you are stupid, you have even more difficulties with conversation. With your mind in such a tizzy, it is difficult to relax and be yourself. Your imagination is a very powerful tool to help combat negative self-talk and reduce stress, tension, and anxiety. This section will help you learn to think your way out of this mental trap.
Heather Moehn (Social Anxiety)
The more closely individuals monitor their symptoms, the more stressed out by them they become. When people make reducing anxiety their primary focus, they usually do a lot of checking in with themselves about how anxious they feel at any given moment and what anxiety-provoking situations they have coming up. They might wake up in the morning and immediately ask, “How anxious do I feel today?” Overall, this tends to make their anxious feelings worse. Have you ever had a situation in which focusing on your anxiety symptoms has caused them to increase? People sometimes think they need to reduce their anxiety before they start thinking about other goals. However, because overfocusing on anxiety isn’t helpful, that’s the wrong way around. You need to have your goals clearly in mind first, and then think about how you can pursue them without getting derailed by anxiety.
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
The techno-political thriller and the romance novel serve as antidotes to the imagination rather than stimulants to it. For this reason they make for ideal reading in airports and airplanes. They effectively shut down the imagination by doing all its work for it. They leave the spirit or the soul—and ambiguity, for that matter—out of the equation. By shutting down the imagination, genre novels perform a useful service to the anxious air traveler by reducing his or her ability to speculate. For the most part, people on airplanes, and here I include myself, would rather not use their speculative imaginations at all; one consequence of this situation is that great poetry is virtually unreadable during turbulence, when the snack cart has been put away and the seat belts fastened. Enough anxiety is associated with air travel without Rainer Maria Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus making it worse.
Charles Baxter (The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot)
As a powerful deterrent to natural play, fear of liability ranks right behind the bogeyman. One goal in the fourth frontier should be a nationwide review of laws governing private land and recreation, especially involving children. This review process should be public; it should invite parents, children, experts on child’s play, and others to offer testimonials. And it should be done with the goal of protecting both the child’s safety and the child’s right to natural play. It should focus on reducing the anxiety of parents and children—and the fear of lawyers that, even if only subconsciously, adds to modern barriers separating children from natural play. As part of this conversation, community associations should review their covenants to decide where they stand on the criminalization of nature play. Public governments should do the same. This issue is not only a question of the letter of the law, but also the spirit.
Richard Louv (Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder)
Predominantly inattentive type Perhaps the majority of girls with AD/HD fall into the primarily inattentive type, and are most likely to go undiagnosed. Generally, these girls are more compliant than disruptive and get by rather passively in the academic arena. They may be hypoactive or lethargic. In the extreme, they may even seem narcoleptic. Because they do not appear to stray from cultural norms, they will rarely come to the attention of their teacher. Early report cards of an inattentive type girl may read, "She is such a sweet little girl. She must try harder to speak up in class." She is often a shy daydreamer who avoids drawing attention to herself. Fearful of expressing herself in class, she is concerned that she will be ridiculed or wrong. She often feels awkward, and may nervously twirl the ends of her hair. Her preferred seating position is in the rear of the classroom. She may appear to be listening to the teacher, even when she has drifted off and her thoughts are far away. These girls avoid challenges, are easily discouraged, and tend to give up quickly. Their lack of confidence in themselves is reflected in their failure excuses, such as, "I can't," "It's too hard," or "I used to know it, but I can't remember it now." The inattentive girl is likely to be disorganized, forgetful, and often anxious about her school work. Teachers may be frustrated because she does not finish class work on time. She may mistakenly be judged as less bright than she really is. These girls are reluctant to volunteer for a project orjoin a group of peers at recess. They worry that other children will humiliate them if they make a mistake, which they are sure they will. Indeed, one of their greatest fears is being called on in class; they may stare down at their book to avoid eye contact with the teacher, hoping that the teacher will forget they exist for the moment. Because interactions with the teacher are often anxiety-ridden, these girls may have trouble expressing themselves, even when they know the answer. Sometimes, it is concluded that they have problems with central auditory processing or expressive language skills. More likely, their anxiety interferes with their concentration, temporarily reducing their capacity to both speak and listen. Generally, these girls don't experience this problem around family or close friends, where they are more relaxed. Inattentive type girls with a high IQ and no learning disabilities will be diagnosed with AD/HD very late, if ever. These bright girls have the ability and the resources to compensate for their cognitive challenges, but it's a mixed blessing. Their psychological distress is internalized, making it less obvious, but no less damaging. Some of these girls will go unnoticed until college or beyond, and many are never diagnosed they are left to live with chronic stress that may develop into anxiety and depression as their exhausting, hidden efforts to succeed take their toll. Issues
Kathleen G. Nadeau (Understanding Girls With AD/HD)
Then there are the metabolic costs of switching itself that I wrote about earlier. Asking the brain to shift attention from one activity to another causes the prefrontal cortex and striatum to burn up oxygenated glucose, the same fuel they need to stay on task. And the kind of rapid, continual shifting we do with multitasking causes the brain to burn through fuel so quickly that we feel exhausted and disoriented after even a short time. We’ve literally depleted the nutrients in our brain. This leads to compromises in both cognitive and physical performance. Among other things, repeated task switching leads to anxiety, which raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the brain, which in turn can lead to aggressive and impulsive behaviors. By contrast, staying on task is controlled by the anterior cingulate and the striatum, and once we engage the central executive mode, staying in that state uses less energy than multitasking and actually reduces the brain’s need for glucose.
Daniel J. Levitin (The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload)
Streamline Your Focus Instead of Jumping From Unfinished Project to Unfinished Project Although it seems contradictory, anxiety-related perfectionism can cause people to persist too long on some tasks and leave other projects unfinished. Perfectionists who are intolerant of uncertainty often jump from project to project. They might start multiple business plans, grant proposals, job applications, movie scripts, stand-up routines, craft projects, or novels, and not finish any of them. They may sour quickly on an idea when their self-doubt starts to creep in rather than stay with the idea long enough to realistically judge it’s potential. If you bounce from idea to idea, it could very well be because it’s hard for you to tolerate your uncertainty about whether the idea you’re working on is going to pan out. If you have a habit of not finishing things, you’re likely to be better off sticking with a project and finishing it, instead of jumping to another project when you start to feel unsure. To help you be less tempted to jump around, reduce your exposure to excessive information and alternatives.
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
Virtually every version of CBT for anxiety disorders involves working through what’s called an exposure hierarchy. The concept is simple. You make a list of all the situations and behaviors you avoid due to anxiety. You then assign a number to each item on your list based on how anxiety provoking you expect doing the avoided behavior would be. Use numbers from 0 (= not anxiety provoking at all) to 100 (= you would fear having an instant panic attack). For example, attempting to talk to a famous person in your field at a conference might be an 80 on the 0-100 scale. Sort your list in order, from least to most anxiety provoking. Aim to construct a list that has several avoided actions in each 10-point range. For example, several that fall between 20 and 30, between 30 and 40, and so on, on your anxiety scale. That way, you won’t have any jumps that are too big. Omit things that are anxiety-provoking but wouldn’t actually benefit you (such as eating a fried insect). Make a plan for how you can work through your hierarchy, starting at the bottom of the list. Where possible, repeat an avoided behavior several times before you move up to the next level. For example, if one of your items is talking to a colleague you find intimidating, do this several times (with the same or different colleagues) before moving on. When you start doing things you’d usually avoid that are low on your hierarchy, you’ll gain the confidence you need to do the things that are higher up on your list. It’s important you don’t use what are called safety behaviors. Safety behaviors are things people do as an anxiety crutch—for example, wearing their lucky undies when they approach that famous person or excessively rehearsing what they plan to say. There is a general consensus within psychology that exposure techniques like the one just described are among the most effective ways to reduce problems with anxiety. In clinical settings, people who do exposures get the most out of treatment. Some studies have even shown that just doing exposure can be as effective as therapies that also include extensive work on thoughts. If you want to turbocharge your results, try exposure. If you find it too difficult to do alone, consider working with a therapist.
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
Try Mindfulness Meditation Mindfulness meditation is like Tylenol, in that the same treatment is capable of helping with multiple issues: decreasing anxiety-induced overarousal, boosting your focus, and improving your ability to detect rumination. Mindfulness-based therapies have been shown to be effective for helping people reduce anxiety. Mindfulness meditation does not need to be intimidating. Research by the makers of the Lift goal-tracking app found that beginner meditators start with an average of three to five minutes. They also found that once people had meditated 12 times, there was around a 90% chance they’d do more mediation. Experiment: Explore and find a version of meditation that works for you. Start with three minutes of one of the following practices, and increase the time you spend meditating by 30 seconds each day: --Pay attention to the physical sensations of your breathing. Lie down and put your hand on your abdomen to feel the sensations of it rising as you breathe in and falling as you breathe out. --Sit or lie down and listen to any sounds and the silence between sounds. Let sounds just come in and out of your awareness regardless of whether they’re relaxing sounds or not. --Walk for three minutes and pay attention to what you see. --Walk and pay attention to the feelings of air on your skin. --Walk and pay attention to the physical sensations of your body moving. --Do three minutes of open awareness, in which you pay attention to any sensations that show up. Pay attention to anything in the here and now, which could be sounds, your breathing, the sensations of your body making contact with your chair, or the sensations of your feet on the floor. --Spend three minutes paying attention to any sensations of pain, tension, comfort, or relaxation in your body. You don’t need to try to change the sensations; just allow them to be what they are, and ebb and flow as they do. When your thoughts drift away from what you’re supposed to be paying attention to, gently (and without self-criticism) bring them back. Expect to need to do this a lot. It’s a normal part of doing mindfulness meditation and doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong. You’re likely to get more benefits from meditation if you do it on a regular basis and for longer amounts of time per session.
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
If you’re comfortable, I’m not teaching and you’re not learning. It’s going to get uncomfortable in here and that’s okay. It’s normal and it’s part of the process.” The simple and honest process of letting people know that discomfort is normal, it’s going to happen, why it happens, and why it’s important, reduces anxiety, fear, and shame. Periods of discomfort become an expectation and a norm. In fact, most semesters I have students who approach me after class and say, “I haven’t been uncomfortable yet. I’m concerned.” These exchanges often lead to critically important conversations and feedback about their engagement and my teaching. The big challenge for leaders is getting our heads and hearts around the fact that we need to cultivate the courage to be uncomfortable and to teach the people around us how to accept discomfort as a part of growth. For the best guidance on how to give feedback that moves people and processes forward, I turn to my social work roots. In my experience the heart of valuable feedback is taking the “strengths perspective.” According to social work educator Dennis Saleebey, viewing performance from the strengths perspective offers
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
Behavioral Shifts to Overcome Excessive Hesitancy Important: So far we’ve been focusing on how tweaking your thinking can help shift your behavior. This is important, but it’s only half the story. People are usually quite good at identifying how changes in thoughts or feelings may lead to changes in behavior, such as “When I have more energy, I’ll do more exercise” or “When I have more ideas, I’ll take more action.” However, people tend to underestimate the impact of changing their behavior on their thoughts and feelings, such as “When I exercise more, l'll have more energy” or “When I take more actions, I’ll have more ideas.” Don’t make the mistake of thinking you need to wait for your thoughts to change before you try behavioral shifts. Mental and behavioral shifts go hand in hand. When you start making changes in your behavior (even subtle ones), you’ll notice that all kinds of thoughts, including your view of yourself, start to shift. Changing your behavior, without waiting for you thoughts to always shift first, is one of the best and fastest ways you can reduce your anxiety. That’s why a cognitive behavioral approach focuses on both thoughts and behaviors.
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
Try a 30-Day Project for Overcoming Avoidance Coping Avoidance coping habits aren’t something you can snap your fingers and change. A 30-day project focused on gradually turning around avoidance coping can help. You can use this approach as an alternative to the exposure hierarchy if doing a 30-day project seems more appealing or relevant to you. During the 30 days, take as many opportunities as you can to be less avoidant than you usually would be. This will help you overcome any problems you might have with not knowing where to start in reducing your avoidance. As situations come up, focus on taking some action, even if you’re not certain what the absolute right action is. For example, if you’re confused by all the options for backing up your digital photos in the cloud, you might ask your most tech-savvy friend what she does, and just go with that. You can always switch later. Don’t be too all-or-nothing about overcoming avoidance coping. We all have only so much willpower available for dealing with things we’d prefer not to do. The goal is to start unraveling your avoidance coping habits bit by bit. If you sometimes fall back into the avoidance coping trap, that’s to be expected.
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
Reducing your anxiety to zero isn’t possible or useful. Anxiety itself isn’t the problem. The problem occurs when anxiety gets to the point that it’s paralyzing, and you become stuck. I think of these bottlenecks as anxiety traps. We’re going to work on managing your responses to five anxiety traps: excessively hesitating before taking action, ruminating and worrying, paralyzing perfectionism, fear of feedback and criticism, and avoidance (including procrastination). The reason I’ve chosen to focus on these particular five traps is that I’ve found them to be the common threads that affect virtually all of the anxious clients I’ve worked with. The traps are self-perpetuating because they generate additional stress. For example, someone hesitates so much that she misses important opportunities, and this leads to being financially worse off. Or someone avoids feedback and then isn’t alerted to real problems that could have been rectified earlier. When people are caught in any of the five anxiety traps, they often fail to see the big picture and don’t problem-solve in effective ways. Learning how to navigate these bottlenecks will allow you to manage your anxious tendencies so that you can pursue your goals in life, whatever those goals may be.
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
Pursue Meaning, Not Happiness Feeling happy is like feeling warm. It’s a state of being that feels good. It might sound counterintuitive but focusing directly on pursuing happiness isn’t always the best approach to increasing it. This parallels the idea that focusing on reducing anxiety isn’t always the best way to decrease it. What’s an alternative to focusing on increasing your happiness? A better idea is focusing on pursuing things that feel meaningful. I’m not necessarily suggesting Mother Teresa-type activities. What gives you a sense of meaning could be anything from cooking for your friends to puttering away on projects in your garage. Pursuing meaning rather than happiness helps you feel calmer when you’re not feeling happy in a particular moment. It smooths out the emotional bumps that come with mistakes, failures, and disappointments. There’s research showing that stress tends to be harmful only if you believe that it’s harmful and that you can’t cope with it. It’s easier to believe in your capacity to cope with stress if the stress is part of the bigger picture of building a meaningful life. Experiment: What makes for a meaningful life from your perspective? Skip over what you think you should answer and identify what’s actually true for you.
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
Conscientiousness Not every anxious person is conscientious, but because you’re reading a CBT-based self-help book, there’s a good chance you’re at least moderately high in conscientiousness—a personality trait associated with having a strong work ethic and a thorough, orderly approach to tasks. People high in conscientiousness often get particularly great results from learning cognitive behavioral principles and skills. Why? They tend to like the systematic nature of a cognitive behavioral approach. They do well because they work hard to understand themselves and are diligent in applying their learning to their lives. Anxious people sometimes underestimate how conscientious they are, so make sure you give yourself enough credit for your conscientiousness. It’s important to understand that conscientiousness is not the same thing as perfectionism. For example, perfectionists might spend so long trying to make something “just right” that they don’t have any willpower left over for other important tasks. Perfectionism and conscientiousness tend to be associated with opposite outcomes. For example, in a study of older adults, perfectionism was associated with an increased risk or mortality. Conscientiousness was associated with a decreased risk. There are big advantages to reducing perfectionism but retaining your conscientiousness!
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
Bipolar II disorder is a highly misunderstood form of bipolar illness. By its very designation as type II, clinicians, patients, and the public often assume it is less impairing than bipolar I, “the real thing.” When we examine the diagnostic criteria for bipolar II, they sound very mild. Who doesn’t get sad and happy? Who doesn’t have mood swings? Why would a four-day period of excess energy, which does not affect the ability to function, be of any clinical importance? Several longitudinal studies have found that bipolar II is far more impairing than we once thought. It is characterized by lengthy and recurrent periods of depression, comorbid anxiety disorders, and high rates of substance and alcohol misuse. The occasional hypomanias of bipolar II—in which people experience elation and irritability, exuberance, increased energy, and reduced need to sleep—are not as impairing as the full manic episodes of bipolar I, but they can certainly have a negative impact on family members and friends. Moreover, for the person with the disorder, these high periods are often short-lived, and they do little to alleviate the suffering caused by depressive phases. The hypomanic periods may even overlap with the low phases, resulting in an agitated, anxiety-ridden, and highly distressing period of depression. People with bipolar II often have difficulty maintaining jobs and relationships, and, like people with bipolar I, they are at high risk for suicide.
Stephanie McMurrich Roberts (The Bipolar II Disorder Workbook: Managing Recurring Depression, Hypomania, and Anxiety)
The Blue Mind Rx Statement Our wild waters provide vast cognitive, emotional, physical, psychological, social, and spiritual values for people from birth, through adolescence, adulthood, older age, and in death; wild waters provide a useful, widely available, and affordable range of treatments healthcare practitioners can incorporate into treatment plans. The world ocean and all waterways, including lakes, rivers, and wetlands (collectively, blue space), cover over 71% of our planet. Keeping them healthy, clean, accessible, and biodiverse is critical to human health and well-being. In addition to fostering more widely documented ecological, economic, and cultural diversities, our mental well-being, emotional diversity, and resiliency also rely on the global ecological integrity of our waters. Blue space gives us half of our oxygen, provides billions of people with jobs and food, holds the majority of Earth's biodiversity including species and ecosystems, drives climate and weather, regulates temperature, and is the sole source of hydration and hygiene for humanity throughout history. Neuroscientists and psychologists add that the ocean and wild waterways are a wellspring of happiness and relaxation, sociality and romance, peace and freedom, play and creativity, learning and memory, innovation and insight, elation and nostalgia, confidence and solitude, wonder and awe, empathy and compassion, reverence and beauty — and help manage trauma, anxiety, sleep, autism, addiction, fitness, attention/focus, stress, grief, PTSD, build personal resilience, and much more. Chronic stress and anxiety cause or intensify a range of physical and mental afflictions, including depression, ulcers, colitis, heart disease, and more. Being on, in, and near water can be among the most cost-effective ways of reducing stress and anxiety. We encourage healthcare professionals and advocates for the ocean, seas, lakes, and rivers to go deeper and incorporate the latest findings, research, and insights into their treatment plans, communications, reports, mission statements, strategies, grant proposals, media, exhibits, keynotes, and educational programs and to consider the following simple talking points: •Water is the essence of life: The ocean, healthy rivers, lakes, and wetlands are good for our minds and bodies. •Research shows that nature is therapeutic, promotes general health and well-being, and blue space in both urban and rural settings further enhances and broadens cognitive, emotional, psychological, social, physical, and spiritual benefits. •All people should have safe access to salubrious, wild, biodiverse waters for well-being, healing, and therapy. •Aquatic biodiversity has been directly correlated with the therapeutic potency of blue space. Immersive human interactions with healthy aquatic ecosystems can benefit both. •Wild waters can serve as medicine for caregivers, patient families, and all who are part of patients’ circles of support. •Realization of the full range and potential magnitude of ecological, economic, physical, intrinsic, and emotional values of wild places requires us to understand, appreciate, maintain, and improve the integrity and purity of one of our most vital of medicines — water.
Wallace J. Nichols (Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do)
Should you operate upon your clients as objects, you risk reducing them to less than human. Following the culture of appropriation and mastery your clients become a kind of extension of yourself, of your ego. In the appropriation and objectification mode, your clients’ well-being and success in treatment reflect well upon you. You “did” something to them, you made them well. You acted upon them and can take the credit for successful therapy or treatment. Conversely, if your clients flounder or regress, that reflects poorly on you. On this side of things the culture of appropriation and mastery says that you are not doing enough. You are not exerting enough influence, technique or therapeutic force. What anxiety this can breed for some clinicians! DBT offers a framework and tools for a treatment that allows clients to retain their full humanity. Through the practice of mindfulness, you can learn to cultivate a fuller presence to the moments of your life, and even with your clients and your work with them. This presence potentiates an encounter between two irreducible human beings, meeting professionally, of course, and meeting humanly. The dialectical framework, which embraces contradictions and gives you a way of seeing that life is pregnant with creative tensions, allows for your discovery of your limits and possibilities, gives you a way of seeing the dynamic nature of reality that is anything but sitting still; shows you that your identity grows from relationship with others, including those you help, that you are an irreducible human being encountering other irreducible human beings who exert influence upon you, even as you exert your own upon them. Even without clinical contrivance.
Scott E. Spradlin
Our political discourse has degenerated into anxieties about whether giving benefits to those people over there will take money out of the pockets of my kind of people over here, even when the changes are those from which we would all benefit." "The church is one of the few remaining institutions in the American scene that normalizes the effects of slavery, with most Christians preserving these segregated spaces in the interests of cultural comfort. Racially separate churches violate the interdependence that should characterize authentic Christian communities. Further, this individualism blocks churches from the blessings of gifts preserved in separate traditions. For example, segregated white churches celebrate the confessions and the rich legacies of the intellectual giants of the faith, but too often preach a weak and disembodied gospel that reduces spirituality to symbolism, and that separates material concerns from moral choices and the pursuit of righteousness." "Indeed, we have reached a sad state of affairs when we are all unwilling to be challenged when we go to church." "We should not move too quickly to a cheap reconciliation that forgets the past rather than honoring it as a clay vessel that contains a refined treasure bearing witness to the presence of Jesus at the margins. We need to make space for the histories of ethnic pain to be shared and revered among whites and all peoples of color, and to be instructed by them. That is, we need to understand how our past impinges on the present before we can move forward together toward our future. We cannot be who we are called to be unless we can gain access to the treasures of the gospel that have been preserved in the separate traditions of now segregated ethnic churches. We will not testify to the glory of God and the manifold riches of his mercy to the nations until we do.
Love L. Sechrest
When we have poor vagal tone, we have higher sensitivity to perceived threats in our environment, which overactivates the body’s stress response and leads to reduced emotional and attentional regulation overall. Those of you who experience the discomfort of social anxiety might recognize this disconnect. Imagine walking into a party filled with strangers. You might have obsessed over what to wear to the party, planning every detail, every possible conversation topic, or you may have felt totally neutral about the party—no warning signs that you might feel uncomfortable and act accordingly. Either way, none of it matters once you actually walk into the room. Suddenly, all eyes are on you. Your face grows hot and red when you hear laughter, which you’re certain is about your outfit or your hair. Someone brushes past you, and you feel claustrophobic. All the strangers seem to be leering. Even if you know rationally that this is not a hostile place, that no one is looking at or judging you (and if they are, who cares?), it’s nearly impossible to shake the feeling once you’re trapped in it. That’s because your subconscious perceives a threat (using your nervous system’s sixth sense of neuroception) in a nonthreatening environment (the party) and has activated your body, putting you into a state of fight (argue with anyone and everyone), flight (leave the party), or freeze (don’t say a word). The social world has become a space filled with threat. Unfortunately, this kind of nervous system dysregulation is self-confirming. While it is activated, anything that doesn’t confirm your suspicions (a friendly face) will be ignored by your neuroception in favor of things that do (the stray laugh you felt was directed at you). Social cues that would be seen as friendly when you were in social engagement mode—such as a pause in the conversation for you to enter, eye contact, a smile—will be either misinterpreted or ignored.
Nicole LePera (How to Do the Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self)
Power itself is founded largely on disgust. The whole of advertising, the whole of political discourse, is a public insult to the intelligence, to reason - but an insult in which we collaborate, abjectly subscribing to a silent interaction. The day of hidden persuasion is over: those who govern us now resort unapologetically to arm-twisting pure and simple. The prototype here was a banker got up like a vampire, saying, 'I am after you for your money' . A decade has already gone by since this kind of obscenity was introduced, with the government's blessing, into our social mores. At the time we thought the ad feeble because of its aggressive vulgarity. In point of fact it was a prophetic commercial, full of intimations of the future shape of social relationships, because it operated, precisely, in terms of disgust, avidity and rape. The same goes for pornographic and food advertising, which are also powered by shamelessness and lust, by a strategic logic of violation and anxiety. Nowadays you can seduce a woman with the words, 'I am interested in your cunt' . The same kind of crassness has triumphed in the realm of art, whose mounds of trivia may be reduced to a single pronouncement of the type, 'What we want from you is stupidity and bad taste' . And the fact is that we do succumb to this mass extortion, with its subtle infusion of guilt. It is true in a sense that nothing really disgusts us any more. In our eclectic culture, which embraces the debris of all others in a promiscuous confusion, nothing is unacceptable. But for this very reason disgust is nevertheless on the increase - the desire to spew out this promiscuity, this indifference to everything no matter how bad, this viscous adherence of opposites. To the extent that this happens, what is on the increase is disgust over the lack of disgust. An allergic temptation to reject everything en bloc: to refuse all the gentle brainwashing, the soft-sold overfeeding, the tolerance, the pressure to embrace synergy and consensus.
Jean Baudrillard (The Transparency of Evil: Essays in Extreme Phenomena)
You need to make sure you always have a reserve of willpower available for the on-the-fly decision making and controlling your reactions. If you run your willpower tank too low, you’ll end up making poor choices or exploding at people. The following are some ways of making more willpower available to you: --Reduce the number of tasks you attempt to get done each day to a very small number. Always identify what your most important task is, and make sure you get that single task done. You can group together your trivial tasks, like replying to emails or paying bills online, and count those as just one item. --Refresh your available willpower by doing tasks slowly. My friend Toni Bernhard, author of How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow, recommends doing a task 25% slower than your usual speed. I’m not saying you need to do this all the time, just when you feel scattered or overwhelmed. Slowing down in this way is considered a form of mindfulness practice. --Another way to refresh your willpower is by taking some slow breaths or doing any of the mindfulness practices from Chapter 5. Think of using mindfulness as running a cleanup on background processes that haven’t shut down correctly. By using mindfulness to do a cognitive cleanup, you’re not leaking mental energy to background worries and rumination. --Reduce decision making. For many people, especially those in management positions or raising kids, life involves constant decision making. Decision making leeches willpower. Find whatever ways you can to reduce decision making without it feeling like a sacrifice. Set up routines (like which meals you cook on particular nights of the week) that prevent you from needing to remake the same decisions over and over. Alternatively, outsource decision making to someone else whenever possible. Let other people make decisions to take them off your plate. --Reduce excess sensory stimulation. For example, close the door or put on some dorky giant headphones to block out noise. This will mean your mental processing power isn’t getting used up by having to filter out excess stimulation. This tip is especially important if you are a highly sensitive person.
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
Reduce Self-Criticism Reducing self-criticism is a critical part of reducing rumination. Self-criticism is a fuel source for your rumination fire. People use self-criticism to try to encourage themselves to do better in the future. For example, someone might ruminate after overeating or if she perceives she has mucked up a social situation, and then mentally beat herself up about her mistakes. However, harsh self-criticism doesn’t help you move forward because it isn’t a very effective motivational tool, especially if you’re already ruminating. People who are in a pattern of trying to use self-criticism as motivation often fear that reducing it will make them lazy. It won’t. In fact, giving yourself a compassionate rather than a critical message will often lead to working harder. For example, one study showed that people who took a hard test and got a compassionate message afterward were willing to study longer for a future similar test, compared to a group of people who took the same test but didn’t get a compassionate message. Giving yourself a simple “don’t be too hard on yourself” message will propel you toward taking useful problem-solving steps. Acknowledging the emotions you’re feeling (such as embarrassed, disappointed, upset) and then giving yourself compassion will lead to your making better choices than criticizing yourself will. Self-compassion will give you the clear mental space you need to make good decisions. Experiment: To practice using self-compassion as an alternative to self-criticism, try the following three-minute writing exercise. There are two versions of this exercise—one that involves thinking about a past mistake and another that involves thinking about something you perceive as a major weakness. Identify a mistake or weakness that you want to focus on, and then write for three minutes using the following instructions: “Imagine that you are talking to yourself about this weakness (or mistake) from a compassionate and understanding perspective. What would you say?” Try this experiment now, or store it away for a future situation in which you find yourself ruminating about a mistake or weakness. This experiment comes from the same series of research studies as the one involving the hard test mentioned earlier. Note that the study participants didn’t receive training in how to write compassionate messages. What they naturally came up with in response to the prompt worked.
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
In order to grasp how exploitation is overcome by sublimation, it is not enough to stay with this standard definition of sublimation as the elevation of an ordinary object to the dignity of a Thing. As Lacan aptly demonstrated apropos courtly love, an ordinary object (woman) is there elevated to the dignity of the Thing, she becomes an “inhuman partner,” dangerous to get too close to, always out of reach, mixing horror and respect. The paradox of desire is here brought to an extreme, turning the experience of love into an endlessly postponed tragedy. In true love, however, comedy enters: while the beloved remains a Thing, it is simultaneously “desublimated,” accepted in all her ridiculous bodily imperfections. A true miracle is thus achieved: I can hold the Thing-jouissance in my hands, making fun of it and playing games with it, enjoying it without restraint – true love doesn’t idealize – or, as Lacan put it in his seminar on anxiety: “Only love-sublimation makes it possible for jouissance to condescend to desire.” This enigmatic proposition was perspicuously interpreted by Alenka Zupančič who demonstrated how, in the comedy of love, sublimation paradoxically comprises its opposite, desublimation – you remain the Thing, but simultaneously I can use you for my enjoyment: “to love the other and to desire my own jouissance. To ‘desire one’s own jouissance’ is probably what is the hardest to obtain and to make work, since the enjoyment has trouble appearing as an object.” One should not shirk from a quite concrete and graphic description of what this amounts to: I love you, and I show this by fucking you just for pleasure, mercilessly objectivizing you – this is how I am no longer exploited by serving the Other’s enjoyment. When I worry all the time whether you also enjoy it, it is not love – “I love you” means: I want to be used as an object for your enjoyment. One should reject here all the Catholic nonsense of preferring the missionary position in sex because lovers can whisper tender words and communicate spiritually, and even Kant was too short here when he reduced the sexual act to reducing my partner to an instrument of my pleasure: self-objectivization is the proof of love, you find being used degrading only if there is no love. This enjoyment of mine should not be constrained even by the tendency to enable my partner to reach orgasm simultaneously with me – Brecht was right when, in his poem “Orges Wunschliste,” he includes in the wish-list of his preferences non-simultaneous orgasms: “Von den Mädchen, die neuen. / Von den Weibern, die ungetreuen. / Von den Orgasmen, die ungleichzeitigen. / Von den Feindschaften, die beiderseitigen.” “Of the girls, the new. / Of the women, the unfaithful. / Of orgasms, the non-simultaneous. / Of the animosities, the mutual.
Slavoj Žižek (Hegel in a Wired Brain)
Responsibility;...the importance of habits,...- a willingness to fail, a willingness to begin again - that are essential to resilience...the single most important habit to build if you want to e resilient: the habit of taking responsibility for your life...The more responsibility people take, the more resilient they are likely to be. The less responsibility people take - for their actions, for their lives, for their happiness - the more likely it is that life will crush them. At the root of resilience is the willingness to take responsibility for results...Life is unfair. You are not responsible for everything that happens to you. You are responsible for how you react to everything that happens to you...The first word out of the mouth of the complainer is always "they"...as soon as we say "I am responsible for...", we take control of something...acceptance of responsibility is a powerful cure for pain. Even when seemingly powerless, the resilient person finds a way to grab hold of something - no matter how small at first - to be responsible for...If you take responsibility for anything in your life, know that you'll feel fear. That fear will manifest itself in many ways: fear of embarrassment, fear of failure, fear of hurt...Every worthy challenge will inspire some fear...Fear is a cor emotion. A life without fear is an unhealthy life...Proper fear is part of the package of responsible, adult living...Focus not on wiping out your anxiety, but on directing your anxiety to worthy ends. Focus not on reducing your fear, but on building your courage - because, as you take more and more responsibility for your life, you'll need more and more courage...Fear is a motivator. It can propel you...Fear works. Fear can make human beings do amazing things. Fear can help you to see your world clearly in a way that you never have before. Fear become destructive when it drives us to do things that are unwise or unhelpful. Fear becomes destructive when it begins to cloud our vision. But like most emotions, fear is destructive only when it runs wild. Embrace the fear that comes from accepting responsibility, and use it to propel yourself to become the person you choose to be...Excellence is difficult. An excuse is seductive. It promises to end hardship, failure, and embarrassment. Excellence requires pain. An excuse promises that you'll be pain-free...Excuses protect you, but they exact a heavy cost. You can't live a full life while you wear them...People who think you weak will offer you an excuse. People who respect you will offer you a challenge...All of these injuries have a hard truth in common. In the long term, the obstacle that stands between us and healing is often not the injury we have received, but ourselves: our decision to keep the injury alive and open long after it should have become a hard-won scar. It is not things which trouble us, but the judgments we bring to bear upon things...In truth, it's not the trauma that's most harmful. The harm comes when we make trauma an excuse to avoid the activities, the relationships, and the purpose that are its only lasting cure.
Eric Greitens (Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life)
There are two fundamentally different ways for the strong to bend down to the weak, for the rich to help the poor, for the more perfect life to help the “less perfect.” This action can be motivated by a powerful feeling of security, strength, and inner salvation, of the invincible fullness of one’s own life and existence. All this unites into the clear awareness that one is rich enough to share one’s being and possessions. Love, sacrifice, help, the descent to the small and the weak, here spring from a spontaneous overflow of force, accompanied by bliss and deep inner calm. Compared to this natural readiness for love and sacrifice, all specific “egoism,” the concern for oneself and one’s interest, and even the instinct of “self-preservation” are signs of a blocked and weakened life. Life is essentially expansion, development, growth in plenitude, and not “self-preservation,” as a false doctrine has it. Development, expansion, and growth are not epiphenomena of mere preservative forces and cannot be reduced to the preservation of the “better adapted.” ... There is a form of sacrifice which is a free renunciation of one’s own vital abundance, a beautiful and natural overflow of one’s forces. Every living being has a natural instinct of sympathy for other living beings, which increases with their proximity and similarity to himself. Thus we sacrifice ourselves for beings with whom we feel united and solidary, in contrast to everything “dead.” This sacrificial impulse is by no means a later acquisition of life, derived from originally egoistic urges. It is an original component of life and precedes all those particular “aims” and “goals” which calculation, intelligence, and reflection impose upon it later. We have an urge to sacrifice before we ever know why, for what, and for whom! Jesus’ view of nature and life, which sometimes shines through his speeches and parables in fragments and hidden allusions, shows quite clearly that he understood this fact. When he tells us not to worry about eating and drinking, it is not because he is indifferent to life and its preservation, but because he sees also a vital weakness in all “worrying” about the next day, in all concentration on one’s own physical well-being. ... all voluntary concentration on one’s own bodily wellbeing, all worry and anxiety, hampers rather than furthers the creative force which instinctively and beneficently governs all life. ... This kind of indifference to the external means of life (food, clothing, etc.) is not a sign of indifference to life and its value, but rather of a profound and secret confidence in life’s own vigor and of an inner security from the mechanical accidents which may befall it. A gay, light, bold, knightly indifference to external circumstances, drawn from the depth of life itself—that is the feeling which inspires these words! Egoism and fear of death are signs of a declining, sick, and broken life. ... This attitude is completely different from that of recent modern realism in art and literature, the exposure of social misery, the description of little people, the wallowing in the morbid—a typical ressentiment phenomenon. Those people saw something bug-like in everything that lives, whereas Francis sees the holiness of “life” even in a bug.
Max Scheler (Ressentiment)
THE DIET-GO-ROUND LOW-CALORIE DIETS Diets began by limiting the number of calories consumed in a day. But restricting calories depleted energy, so people craved high-calorie fat and sugar as energizing emergency fuel. LOW-FAT DIETS High-calorie fats were targeted. Restricting fat left people hungry, however, and they again craved more fats and sugars. FAKE FAT Synthetic low-cal fats were invented. People could now replace butter with margarine, but without calories it didn’t deliver the energy and satisfaction people needed. They still craved real fat and sugar. THE DIET GO-ROUND GRAPEFRUIT DIETS Banking on the antioxidant and fat-emulsifying properties of grapefruit, dieters could eat real fat again, as long as they ate a grapefruit first. But even grapefruits were no match for the high-fat American diet. SUGAR BLUES The more America restricted fat in any way to lose weight, the more the body rebounded by storing fat, and craving and bingeing on fats and sugars. Sugar was now to blame! SUGAR FREE High-calorie sugars were replaced with no-calorie synthetic sweeteners. The mind was happy but the body was starving as diet drinks replaced meals. People eventually binged on excess calories from other sources, such as protein. HIGH-PROTEIN DIETS The new diet let people eat all the protein they wanted without noticing the restriction of carbs and sugar. Energy came from fat stores and dieters lost weight. But without carbs, they soon experienced low energy and craved and binged on carbs. HIGH-CARB DIETS Carb-craving America was ripe for high-carb diets. You could now lose weight and eat up to 80 percent carbs—but they had to be slow-burning, complex carbs. Fast-paced America was addicted to fast energy, however, and high-carb diets soon became high-sugar diets. LOW CHOLESTEROL The combination of sugar, fat, and stress raised cholesterol to dangerous levels. The solution: Reemphasize complex carbs and reduce all animal fats. Once again, dieters felt restricted and began craving and bingeing on fats and sugars. EXERCISE Diets weren’t working, so exercise became the cholesterol cure-all. It worked for a time, but people didn’t like to “work out.” Within 25 years, no more than 20 percent of Americans would do it regularly. VEGETARIANISM With heart disease and cancers on the rise, red meat was targeted. Vegetarianism came into fashion but was rarely followed correctly. People lived on pasta and bread, and blood sugars and energy levels went out of control. GRAZING High-carb diets were causing energy and blood sugar problems. If you ate every 2 hours, energy was propped up and fast-paced America could keep speeding. Fatigue became chronic fatigue, however, with depression and anxiety to follow. FOOD COMBINING By eating fats, proteins, and carbs separately, digestion improved and a host of digestive, energy, and weight problems were helped temporarily. But the rules for what you could eat together led to more frequent small meals. People eventually slipped back to their old ways and old problems. THE ZONE Aimed at fixing blood sugar levels, this diet balanced intake of proteins, fats, and carbs. It worked, but again restricted certain kinds of carbs, so it didn’t last, and America was again craving emergency fuel. COFFEE TO THE RESCUE Exhausted and with a million things to do, America turned to legal stimulants like coffee for energy. But borrowed energy must be paid back, and many are still living in debt. FULL CIRCLE Frustrated, America is turning to new crash diets and a wave of high-protein diets. It is time to break this man-made cycle with the simplicity of nature’s own 3-Season Diet. If you let nature feed you, you will not starve or crave anything.
John Douillard (The 3-Season Diet: Eat the Way Nature Intended: Lose Weight, Beat Food Cravings, and Get Fit)
Exercise is anti-inflammatory and reduces the inflammation that can damage the heart and depress the mood.38 Exercising muscles release specialized cytokines called myokines.39 Like regular cytokines, myokines sound an alarm, but their message is less alarming and more precautionary.
Jennifer Heisz (Move The Body, Heal The Mind: Overcome Anxiety, Depression, and Dementia and Improve Focus, Creativity, and Sleep)
One of the first studies to demonstrate this benefit recruited patients with major depressive disorder who had been taking antidepressants but were not responding. The patients provided a blood sample so researchers could determine how inflamed they were. Then, the patients were assigned to one of two exercise interventions: high-frequency exercise or low-frequency exercise.29 The high-frequency group completed (or exceeded) the recommended physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise each week, for a total workload of 16 kcal/kg body weight/week. The low-frequency group completed only a quarter of the recommended physical activity guidelines each week, for a total workload of 4 kcal/kg body weight/week. Workouts were done on a treadmill or stationary bike at a self-selected intensity for 12 weeks, and depressive symptoms were assessed at the end of each week. By the end of the 12 weeks, everyone benefited from the exercise, but the inflamed patients benefited the most. Exercise not only reduced their depression symptoms, but it also downgraded the symptoms from moderate to mild — a clinically significant change in symptom severity that was similar to the relief that responders get from antidepressants.30 The best part? Both the high- and low-frequency exercisers benefited equally.
Jennifer Heisz (Move The Body, Heal The Mind: Overcome Anxiety, Depression, and Dementia and Improve Focus, Creativity, and Sleep)
Every 30 minutes, stand up for a 2-minute movement break. This is especially important if you are sitting for 4 or more hours. Why? Sitting for that long reduces your brain’s blood flow, and we just learned how bad this is for your brain’s health. One study examined whether stand-up breaks could prevent the reduced blood flow from sitting continuously for 4 hours by testing three different protocols:17
Jennifer Heisz (Move The Body, Heal The Mind: Overcome Anxiety, Depression, and Dementia and Improve Focus, Creativity, and Sleep)
Your brain will take some convincing, so you need to repeat that behaviour over and over. As many times as it takes. The things you do most of the time become your comfort zone. So, if you want to feel less anxious about something, do it as often as you can. Use the skills to help you sit with the anxiety and it will reduce over time.
Julie Smith (Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?)
A few thousand years later, scientists finally put saffron to the test in a head-to-head trial against the antidepressant drug Prozac for the treatment of clinical depression. Both the spice and the drug worked equally well in reducing depression symptoms.44 As you can see in the box here, this may not be saying much, but at the very least, the saffron was safer in terms of side effects. For example, 20 percent of people in the Prozac group suffered sexual dysfunction, a common occurrence with many antidepressant medications, whereas no one in the saffron group did. However, saffron may be one of those rare cases in which the natural remedy is more expensive than the drug. Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice. It is harvested from crocus flowers, specifically the dried stigmas (the threadlike tips inside the flower), which are ground up to make the spice. You need more than fifty thousand crocuses—enough to cover a football field—to produce just a single pound of saffron.45 A Prozac-equivalent dose of saffron may cost more than twice as much as the drug, but a subsequent study found that even just smelling saffron appeared to have psychological benefits. Though researchers diluted the spice so much that the study subjects couldn’t detect its odor, they still noted a significant drop in stress hormones measured in women who sniffed the saffron for twenty minutes compared with those who spent twenty minutes smelling a placebo, along with significant improvement in the women’s symptoms of anxiety.
Michael Greger (How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease)
This is not “self-help.” This is a scientifically proven and clinically applied sustainable mind-management program that has been tried, tested, and proven over thirty-plus years, a way of thinking that makes the best of mindfulness and self-help.
Caroline Leaf (Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess: 5 Simple, Scientifically Proven Steps to Reduce Anxiety, Stress, and Toxic Thinking)
The brain has conflicting goals: to provide you with information, and to reduce your anxiety about the worrying outcome. If you wanted Clinton to win in 2016, your brain achieved both goals by accepting the 30% figure but telling you it would not happen.
David Franklin (Invisible Learning: The magic behind Dan Levy's legendary Harvard statistics course)
With that in mind, reflexology is an effective treatment for relieving some forms of pain, especially headaches and migraine, anxiety, depression, sinus problems, stress, and many other ailments which will be covered in greater detail later.
Chaya Rao (Reflexology: The Ultimate Guide to Reflexology to Relieve Tension, Treat Illness, and Reduce Pain)
The first hints of this emerged in the early and mid-1990s, at the tail end of the crack epidemic. Suniya Luthar is now sixty-two, with an infectious smile, bright brown eyes, and short snow-white hair. Back then, she was a fledgling psychologist working as an assistant professor and researcher in the department of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine. She was studying resiliency among teenagers in low-income urban communities, and one of her early findings was that the most popular kids were also among the most destructive and aggressive at school. Was this a demographic phenomenon, she wondered, or merely an adolescent one, this tendency to look up to peers who acted out? To find out, she needed a comparison group. A research assistant suggested they recruit students from his former high school in an affluent suburb. Luthar’s team ultimately enlisted 488 tenth graders—about half from her assistant’s high school and half from a scruffy urban high school. The affluent community’s median household income was 80 percent higher than the national median, and more than twice that of the low-income community. The rich community also had far fewer families on food stamps (0.3 percent vs. 19 percent) and fewer kids getting free or reduced-price school lunches (1 percent vs. 86 percent). The suburban teens were 82 percent white, while the urban teens were 87 percent nonwhite. Luthar surveyed the kids, asking a series of questions related to depression and anxiety, drug use ranging from alcohol and nicotine to LSD and cocaine, and participation in delinquent acts at home, at school, and in the community. Also examined were grades, “social competence,” and teachers’ assessments of each student. After crunching the numbers, she was floored. The affluent teens fared poorly relative to the low-income teens on “all indicators of substance use, including hard drugs.” This flipped the conventional wisdom on its head. “I was quite taken aback,” Luthar recalls.
Michael Mechanic (Jackpot: How the Super-Rich Really Live—and How Their Wealth Harms Us All)
Getting a massage is also a great way to relax your muscles. Massage reduces pain, stress, and anxiety, and it improves sleep. The wide-ranging effects likely result from the fact that massage boosts your serotonin and dopamine levels and decreases cortisol. Sometimes it’s even helpful to give yourself a massage with a tennis ball by lying on it, leaning against it, or rolling it firmly against your muscles. It probably doesn’t have all the same effects as getting a massage from a person, but it’s cheap and quick, and it can still feel great.
Alex Korb (The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time)
Our minds have a vast capacity for healing through images. Whether we’re imagining a scene of forgiveness, comfort, or letting go, or simply visualizing a loved one, images can profoundly settle into our bodies and sink into our minds. In my work, I’ve found that helping people to unearth the image that most resonates with them is the cornerstone of healing. The notion of the healing power of images was valid long before brain scans could prove it. More than a hundred years ago, the poet William Butler Yeats wrote that “wisdom first speaks through images,” and that if we just allow ourselves to be guided by the image that lives inside us, our souls will become “simple as flame” and our bodies will become “quiet as an agate lamp.” In 1913, Carl Jung coined the term active imagination, a technique that uses images (often from a dream) to enter into a dialogue with the unconscious mind, bringing to light what has been shrouded in darkness. Recently, the idea of visualization for healing has gained widespread traction, with guided imagery programs readily available to lower stress, reduce anxiety, boost athletic performance, and help with specific fears and phobias.
Mark Wolynn (It Didn't Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle)
Never to feel his own feelings sincerely, and to rise his pallid triumph to the point of regarding his own ambitions, longings and desires with indifference; to pass alongside his joys anxieties as if passing by someone who doesn't interest him … The greatest self-mastery is to be indifferent towards ourselves, to see our body and soul as merely the house and grounds where Destiny willed that we spend our life. To treat our own dreams and deepest desires with arrogance, en grand seigneur, politely and carefully ignoring them. To act modestly in our own presence; to realize that we are never truly alone, since we are our own witnesses, and should therefore act before ourselves as before a stranger, with a studied and serene outward manner – indifferent because it's noble, and cold because it's indifferent. In order not to sink in our own estimation, all we have to do is quit having ambitions, passions, desires, hopes, whims or nervous disquiet. The key is to remember that we're always in our presence – we are never so alone that we can feel at ease. With this in mind, we will overcome having passions and ambitions, for this make us vulnerable; we won't have desires or hopes, since desires and hopes are plebeian and inelegant; and we won't have whims or be disquieted, because rash behavior is unpleasant for others to witness, and agitated behaviors is always a vulgarity. The aristocrat is the one who never forgets that he's never alone, that's why etiquette and decorum are the privilege of aristocrats. Let take him out of his gardens and drawing rooms and place him in our soul and in our consciousness of existing. Let's always treat ourselves with etiquette and decorum, with studied and for-other-people gestures. Each of us is an entire community, an entire neighborhood of the great Mystery, and we should at least make sure that the life of our neighborhood is distinctive and elegant, that the feasts of our sensations are genteel and restrained, and that the banquets of our thoughts are decorous and dignified. Since other souls may build poor and filthy neighborhoods around us, we should clearly define where our begins and ends, and from the facades of our feelings to the alcoves of our shyness, everything should be noble and serene, sculpted in sobriety, without ostentation. We should try to find a serene way to realize each sensation. To reduce love to the shadow of a dream of love, a pale and tremulous interval between the crests of two tint, moonlit waves. To turn desire into a useless and innocuous thing, a kind of knowing smile in our soul; to make it into something we never dream of achieving or even expressing. To lull hearted to sleep like a captive snake, and to tell fear to give up all its outer manifestations except for anguish in our eyes, or rather, in our eyes of soul, for only this attitude can be considered aesthetic.
Fernando Pessoa
You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” —Albert Camus
Steven Schuster (Rewire Your Mind: Stop Overthinking. Reduce Anxiety and Worrying. Control Your Thoughts To Make Better Decisions. (Mental Discipline Book 2))
Classical or gentle massage (i.e., not the teeth-clenching, punchy kind) causes a surge in oxytocin that reduces anxiety and pain perception. Massage causes brain neurochemistry to change so you feel better emotionally. After massage, dopamine is up 31 percent and serotonin 28 percent, and the stress hormone cortisol drops. Simply put, massage is brain therapy for the injured athlete. So when you’re feeling especially crappy, schedule a massage. The gentler kind.
Simon Marshall (The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion)
Global rates of depression have been around 4 percent since 1990, while a large meta-analysis of antidepressant trials in 2018 has shown that the large increase of antidepressant use hasn’t delivered measurable results.13 For example, in Australia, usage increased by 352 percent between 1990 and 2002, yet there has been no observed reduction in rates of anxiety, depression, or addiction.
Caroline Leaf (Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess: 5 Simple, Scientifically Proven Steps to Reduce Anxiety, Stress, and Toxic Thinking)
Even mild depression and anxiety, if left unmanaged, can lead to an estimated 20 percent increase in risk of death from all causes except cancer (which is generally associated with high levels of psychological distress).14
Caroline Leaf (Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess: 5 Simple, Scientifically Proven Steps to Reduce Anxiety, Stress, and Toxic Thinking)
Meditation is a process of discovery.
Vern Lovic (Meditation For Beginners: 22-Day Course To Reduce Stress and Anxiety)
While meditating, it is like you're exploring something that has never been seen before. In truth, it hasn’t. It’s you. It’s all that is under your consciousness.
Vern Lovic (Meditation For Beginners: 22-Day Course To Reduce Stress and Anxiety)
The obvious methods involve reducing caffeine and alcohol intake, removing screen technology from the bedroom, and having a cool bedroom. In addition, patients must (1) establish a regular bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends, (2) go to bed only when sleepy and avoid sleeping on the couch early/mid-evenings, (3) never lie awake in bed for a significant time period; rather, get out of bed and do something quiet and relaxing until the urge to sleep returns, (4) avoid daytime napping if you are having difficulty sleeping at night, (5) reduce anxiety-provoking thoughts and worries by learning to mentally decelerate before bed, and (6) remove visible clockfaces from view in the bedroom, preventing clock-watching anxiety at night.
Matthew Walker (Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams)
Symptoms which once stood for a restriction of the ego come later on to represent satisfactions as well, thanks to the ego's inclination to synthesis, and it is quite clear that this second meaning gradually becomes the more important of the two. The result of this process, which approximates more and more to a complete failure of the original purpose of defence, is an extremely restricted ego which is reduced to seeking satisfaction in the symptoms. The displacement of the distribution of forces in favour of satisfaction may have the dreaded final outcome of paralysing the will of the ego, which in every decision it has to make is almost as strongly impelled from the one side as from the other.
Sigmund Freud (Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety)
fear has a direct object, anxiety is fear without an object. We experience anxiety when we feel overwhelmed by life. In order to reduce our anxiety, we often create smaller and smaller boundaries to give us some sense of control over our lives.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Way of the Warrior: An Ancient Path to Inner Peace)
Vetiver oil contains reassuring, grounding and tranquil energy. It is often used for patients experiencing trauma and helps with stabilization and self-awareness. It also has a calming effect. Vetiver oil is a nervous system tonic; it reduces hypersensitivity, jitteriness, shock and panic attacks. The Natural Product Research published a study that examined rats with anxiety disorders and found that vetiver oil caused a reduction in anxiety.
Judy Dyer (Empath: A Complete Guide for Developing Your Gift and Finding Your Sense of Self)
Bergamot is one of the ingredients in Earl Grey tea and has a distinctive floral aroma and taste. Bergamot oil provides soothing energy that reduces depression, agitation, induces relaxation and helps with insomnia. A study conducted in 2011 discovered that the application of bergamot oil reduced anxiety, depression, blood pressure and pulse rate.
Judy Dyer (Empath: A Complete Guide for Developing Your Gift and Finding Your Sense of Self)
Frankincense oil is great for treating anxiety and depression due to its tranquil energy and calming effects. It also helps you focus, quiet the mind and deepen meditation. A Keimyung University study in Korea found that a combination of lavender, frankincense and bergamot reduced pain and depression in hospice patients suffering from terminal cancer.
Judy Dyer (Empath: A Complete Guide for Developing Your Gift and Finding Your Sense of Self)
Here’s the powerful part: there are many different ways to address the same underlying motive. One person might learn to reduce stress by smoking a cigarette. Another person learns to ease their anxiety by going for a run.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
Bone broth, however, can break up mucus and phlegm, and beyond alleviating congestion, it will support your immune system by boosting production of white blood cells and aid in relining the gut microvilli. Bone broth also provides support for anxiety and reduced cravings. Pretty cool for a mug of broth!
Ali Miller (The Anti-Anxiety Diet: A Whole Body Program to Stop Racing Thoughts, Banish Worry and Live Panic-Free)
Classical or gentle massage causes a surge in oxytocin that reduces anxiety and pain perception.
Simon Marshall (The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion)
Dr. Murthy confirms the connection between loneliness and our physical health, explaining that loneliness is associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, depression, and anxiety. And at work, he states that loneliness “reduces task performance, limits creativity, and impairs other aspects of executive function such as reasoning and decision making.
Brené Brown (Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience)
Binaural beats Binaural beats therapy makes use of the fact that when you present the left and right ear with two tones of slightly different frequency, the brain perceives a third, different sound: a ‘binaural beat’. Depending on their frequency, binaural beats are said to help reduce anxiety and induce sleep. All you need to check them out for yourself is a set of headphones and access to YouTube, where there are many samples available. The Synctuition meditation app also has some brilliantly relaxing examples to try.
Emma Howarth (A Year of Mystical Thinking: Make Life Feel Magical Again)
Ten Tips for Handling Anxiety 1.Keep a journal.  Each day, before going to sleep, write down or say 5 to 10 things for which you are grateful for that day, and each day, after waking up, write down or say 5 – 10 things that you can give thanks for in advance. 2.Practice positive expectation by repeating positive statements to yourself. 3.Face your fears – they are not as terrible as you imagine. 4.Remind yourself of how you have already survived many challenges, and you will do it again. 5.Acknowledge your amazing potential and strive to maximize it every day. 6.Intend on being peaceful, relaxed and calm. 7.Reduce the problem to its actual size.  Ask yourself “what’s the worst that can happen?”  Then ask “what are the chances of that happening?”  If the chances are minimal, “fagetabottit!” 8.Recite the serenity prayer. 9.Let go and let God. 10.Breathe.
Lyn Kelley (The Magic of Detachment: How to Let Go of Other People and Their Problems)
Say (silently to yourself), ‘Thanks mind!’, ‘Thanks for sharing!’, ‘Is that right?’, ‘That’s amazing!’, ‘That’s so informative!’ Don’t do this sarcastically or aggressively, but do it with warmth, humour, and genuine appreciation for the incredible storytelling ability of your mind. This simple act of noticing and acknowledging the thoughts or stories will start to reduce their power.
Matt Lewis (Overcome Anxiety: A Self Help Toolkit for Anxiety Relief and Panic Attacks)
We practice biblical meditation by noting, quoting, and devoting ourselves to whatever passage of Scripture we’re reading or studying, based on the premise that God’s Word is flawless, faultless, and unfailing. Meditation helps and heals the mind while shoring up the soul. It lessens anxiety, reduces stress, and generates peace.
Robert Morgan (Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation: Find True Peace in Jesus)
Lastly, don’t avoid everything that scares you; don’t let the panic reduce you. Don’t accord the fear so much respect that you start to listen to its tyrannical dictates.
The School of Life (Anxiety: Meditations on the Anxious Mind)
recalcitrant
Robert Becker (HOW TO DECLUTTER YOUR MIND REDUCE STRESS RELIEVE ANXIETY AND CLEAR YOUR LIFE: 2021 - SMART GUIDE WITH PRACTICAL TIPS YOU MUST TRY)
•​You will never be pressured into doing something that you don’t want to do based on guilt trips or what you think other people want you to do. •​You’ll be able to devote your time and energy to things you choose. You won’t have to blame other people for wasting your time or ruining your day. •​Retaining your personal power reduces your risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
Amy Morin (13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success)
We will have to re-experience at a novelistic level of detail a whole set of scenes from our early life in which our problems around fathers and authority were formed. We will need to let our imaginations wonder back to certain moments that have been too unbearable to keep alive in a three-dimensional form in our active memories (the mind liking, unless actively prompted, to reduce most of what we’ve been through to headings rather than the full story, a document which it shelves in remote locations of the inner library). We need not only to know that we had a difficult relationship with our father, we need to relive the sorrow as if it were happening to us today. We need to be back in his book lined study when we would have been not more than six; we need to remember the light coming in from the garden, the corduroy trousers we were wearing, the sound of our father’s voice as it reached its pitch of heightened anxiety, the rage he flew into because we had not met his expectations, the tears that ran down our cheeks, the shouting that followed us as we ran out into the corridor, the feeling that we wanted to die and that everything good was destroyed. We need the novel, not the essay.
The School of Life
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Emotional resilience is a protective factor against the development of stress, anxiety and depression, while also contributing to reduced sickness days within employment due to employees being more adept in managing adversity. Resilient individuals have more effective coping strategies in dealing with life and challenging events such as a bereavement or loss of a relationship, job or role. Consequently, they are more likely to maintain performance during adversity. Emotional resilience contributes to healthy behaviours, higher qualifications and skills, better employment, better mental well being, and quicker recovery from illness, which can also provide organisations with a competitive edge.
Martina Witter (Resilience in the Workplace: From Surviving to thriving in the workplace, in business and as an entrepreneur)
we don’t just think stress and anxiety; we also feel it.
Rebekkah LaDyne (The Mind-Body Stress Reset: Somatic Practices to Reduce Overwhelm and Increase Well-Being)
The left nostril is more deeply connected to the parasympathetic nervous system, the rest-and-relax side that lowers blood pressure, cools the body, and reduces anxiety. Left-nostril breathing shifts blood flow to the opposite side of the prefrontal cortex, to the area that influences creative thought and plays a role in the formation of mental abstractions and the production of negative emotions.
James Nestor (Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art)
people with a diagnosis of generalised anxiety disorder tend to have a larger amygdala, which is linked to paying greater attention to threatening or fearful stimuli.
Kimberley Wilson (How to Build a Healthy Brain: Reduce stress, anxiety and depression and future-proof your brain)
Animal models have shown that prolonged stress suppresses neurogenesis in the hippocampus, the organ that plays such an important role in memory and where we want to be upregulating the production of new connections.
Kimberley Wilson (How to Build a Healthy Brain: Reduce stress, anxiety and depression and future-proof your brain)
Dancing rouses all the slumbering ghosts in your mansion. Senses tingle, imagination darts, and passions flush your cheeks. Spellbound by rhythms and intricate geometries, your day to day worries vanish. You are totally present.
Stefan Freedman (Dance Wise)
Is it possible to step out of this realm which is beyond ordinary language and to depict its contours? That is the intention of this book, underpinned by experience, research and a chapter on brain science.
Stefan Freedman (Dance Wise)
They all succeed at changing both their mindset (the meaning-making system that shapes thoughts and feelings) and their behavior; rather than changing only mindset or behavior, and hoping the other will eventually follow. • They all become keen and focused observers of their own thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and they learn to use these as information. They see the agenda that is driving them, not just the agenda they are driving. • Changes to their mindsets are always in the direction of seeing and feeling more possibilities: Spaces people had previously thought they could not or should not enter (because they were out of reach or too dangerous) are now fully accessible. • They take focused risks and build a new set of muscles and metrics around assumptions based on actual, rather than imagined, data about the consequences of their new actions. Their anxiety around the initial adaptive challenge is reduced, if not eliminated, while their experiences of pleasure significantly increase. • They experience increased mastery, more options, wider control, and greater degrees of freedom. They make progress on, or even accomplish, their column 1 commitment, and, more often than not, their accomplishments extend considerably beyond the initial aspiration. Because they have developed new mental capabilities—not just a new solution to a single problem—they can bring these capabilities to other challenges and other venues, in their work and in their personal lives.
Robert Kegan (Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization (Leadership for the Common Good))
In the closed, addictive relationship with emphasis on emotional dependency, the worst fear was that the relationship would fail. A failure of the relationship was tantamount to psychological death for both participants, breeding real panic over every minor tremor. In an open relationship, however, the failure of the relationship would not spell “death” to the individuals involved. The loss of the individual’s own autonomy, and the forfeiture of personal dignity, would be seen as being far worse. The task of maintaining personal dignity and wholeness might therefore be experienced as a value transcending the potential end of a relationship. This lowered anxiety over personal survival if the relationship failed would serve, paradoxically, to reduce being so preoccupied with the possibility of there being such a failure. The sense of personal freedom for each of the partners in the relationship would be enhanced. Such a relationship might well stand a good chance of enduring.
The Augustine Fellowship (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous: The Basic Text for The Augustine Fellowship, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous)
Using pain medication protects us from feeling select infirmities. There is an extensive list of medications available to reduce or eliminate unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential physical damage as well as moderate depression and anxiety associated with chronic pain. A recognized danger of taking various pain diminishing medicines is that some pharmaceutical drugs prevent people from feeling ordinary symptoms of pain that would otherwise alert them to the existence of a medical condition that might be life threatening if not immediately treated. Sometimes we must not act to mask or dull pain but listen to the important message that pain sends us. Experiencing fundamental variations in our exterior world or undergoing a series of personal transformations can prove painful and life altering.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Using stones for anxiety is a natural method to help overcome these feelings. Crystal healing is known to help reduce symptoms that can result from anxiety such as tense muscles, stomach-churning, and loss of confidence. Crystals are a tool that can help one cope with their anxiety's triggers and achieve a state of emotional balance.
Crystals Stones Anxiety
Seeing moving water triggered a response in humans’ brains that induced a flood of neurochemicals—ones that increased blood flow to the brain and heart. The sound of the waves crashing could even alter the brain’s wave patterns and put a person in a meditative state. And just being near water supposedly reduced anxiety, increased happiness, and lowered the heart rate. Perhaps water had that effect on humans because we needed it for our survival. The liquid made up seventy percent of our body. Due to that, there was a deep biological connection between our brains and water.
Kenya Wright (Ghosts of Christmas)
Regular exercise is associated with greater hippocampal and overall brain volume. Since the brain naturally starts to shrink by 1–2 per cent per year starting around the age of 40, regular exercise can, in effect, reverse brain ageing. For the moment, exercise is the closest thing we have to the fountain of eternal youth.
Kimberley Wilson (How to Build a Healthy Brain: Reduce stress, anxiety and depression and future-proof your brain)
The links between faith and decreased anxiety can even be seen at the neurological level. For example, scientists have shown how belief calms activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC)—a part of the brain associated with what we might call “alarm bell” experiences. When we feel annoyed or threatened, certain patterns of activity in the ACC intensify. These are the same patterns that ramp up in those suffering from anxiety disorders, and they’re also ones that are reduced by alcohol and medications like Valium and Xanax.
David DeSteno (How God Works: The Science Behind the Benefits of Religion)
we reduce anxiety in one relationship by focusing on a third party, who we unconsciously pull into the situation to lower the emotional intensity in the original pair. For
Harriet Lerner (The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships)
Lack of internal union also makes itself known in the increased suffering, magnification of anxiety, absence of motivation, and lack of pleasure that accompany indecision and uncertainty. The inability to decide among ten things, even when they are desirable, is equivalent to torment by all of them. Without clear, well-defined, and noncontradictory goals, the sense of positive engagement that makes life worthwhile is very difficult to obtain. Clear goals limit and simplify the world, as well, reducing uncertainty, anxiety, shame, and the self-devouring physiological forces unleashed by stress. The poorly integrated person is thus volatile and directionless—and this is only the beginning. Sufficient volatility and lack of direction can rapidly conspire to produce the helplessness and depression characteristic of prolonged futility. This is not merely a psychological state. The physical consequences of depression, often preceded by excess secretion of the stress hormone cortisol, are essentially indistinguishable from rapid aging (weight gain, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s).
Jordan B. Peterson (Beyond Order: 12 More Rules For Life)
Mindfulness as a conscious practice, including meditation, yoga, and other mindful activities, has been shown to reduce passive or avoidant coping, such as reliance on alcohol, in response to stress.
Wendy Suzuki (Good Anxiety: Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion)
▪ We don’t create the meaning of our life, as Sartre claimed—we discover it. ▪ We each have a unique reason for being, which can be adjusted or transformed many times over the years. ▪ Just as worry often brings about precisely the thing that was feared, excessive attention to a desire (or “hyper-intention”) can keep that desire from being fulfilled. ▪ Humor can help break negative cycles and reduce anxiety. ▪ We all have the capacity to do noble or terrible things. The side of the equation we end up on depends on our decisions, not on the condition in which we find ourselves.
Hector Garcia Puigcerver (Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life)
Psychiatry, as a guild, has made a strong effort to legitimize itself through this lens and “make material” the mind and emotions. The problem is that perceived pathology has been reduced to the localized effects of neurochemicals, which act in a vacuum in the brain. Psychiatrists regard troublesome emotions as emerging from inborn errors of neurochemical trafficking, with a reductionist focus on the neurotransmitter serotonin. The mind as enemy, pumping out mood- and anxiety-producing thoughts like a ticker tape. This view holds no consideration for the interconnectedness of immune cells and endocrine glands throughout the body or the microorganisms in, among, and around us, let alone the emerging science of quantum biology and the role of energy in our manifest experience of being.5 Neither is there regard for the role of human emotion and its expression as an articulation of bodily imbalance, or personal suffering as a precursor for growth.
Kelly Brogan (Own Your Self: The Surprising Path beyond Depression, Anxiety, and Fatigue to Reclaiming Your Authenticity, Vitality, and Freedom)
I am going to kill you.” These six words may have triggered more high-stakes predictions than any other sentence ever spoken. They have certainly caused a great deal of fear and anxiety. But why? Perhaps we believe only a deranged and dangerous person would even think of harming us, but that just isn’t so. Plenty of people have thought of harming you: the driver of the car behind you who felt you were going too slowly, the person waiting to use the pay-phone you were chatting on, the person you fired, the person you walked out on—they have all hosted a fleeting violent idea. Though thoughts of harming you may be terrible, they are also inevitable. The thought is not the problem; the expression of the thought is what causes us anxiety, and most of the time that’s the whole idea. Understanding this will help reduce unwarranted fear. That someone would intrude on our peace of mind, that they would speak words so difficult to take back, that they would exploit our fear, that they would care so little about us, that they would raise the stakes so high, that they would stoop so low—all of this alarms us, and by design. Threatening words are dispatched like soldiers under strict orders: Cause anxiety that cannot be ignored. Surprisingly, their deployment isn’t entirely bad news. It’s bad, of course, that someone threatens violence, but the threat means that at least for now, he has considered violence and decided against doing it. The threat means that at least for now (and usually forever), he favors words that alarm over actions that harm. For an instrument of communication used so frequently, the threat is little understood, until you think about it. The parent who threatens punishment, the lawyer who threatens unspecified “further action,” the head of state who threatens war, the ex-husband who threatens murder, the child who threatens to make a scene—all are using words with the exact same intent: to cause uncertainty. Our social world relies on our investing some threats with credibility while discounting others. Our belief that they really will tow the car if we leave it here encourages us to look for a parking space unencumbered by that particular threat. The disbelief that our joking spouse will really kill us if we are late to dinner allows us to stay in the marriage. Threats, you see, are not the issue—context is the issue.
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
Those in middle class occupations are reduced to selling their labour power just like the working class. Rounds of redundancies, longer unpaid working hours and the concomitant anxieties of employment in a 'flexible' and 'competitive' labour market tend to reduce all to the misery of wage slavery.
Martin Jenkins (The Society of the Spectacle)
The moral of the story? Beware of intellectuals who make a monotheism out of their theories of motivation. Beware, in more technical terms, of blanket univariate (single variable) causes for diverse, complex problems. Of course, power plays a role in history, as does economics. But the same can be said of jealousy, love, hunger, sex, cooperation, revelation, anger, disgust, sadness, anxiety, religion, compassion, disease, technology, hatred, and chance—none of which can definitively be reduced to another.
Jordan B. Peterson (Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life)
Remember, even if a thought or emotion feels urgent and is demanding a response from you, you are the boss. You don’t need to respond to every emotion, word, or action.
Caroline Leaf (Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess: 5 Simple, Scientifically Proven Steps to Reduce Anxiety, Stress, and Toxic Thinking)
Put simply, the MPA means standing back and observing your own thinking. As humans we can watch what we’re saying, doing, thinking, feeling, and choosing, as well as our body language and even our intentions. When we do this, the front of the brain fires up, kindling a super healthy brain energy flow. More specifically, we get a great theta (healing and insight) and gamma (creativity, wisdom, learning, change) ratio.
Caroline Leaf (Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess: 5 Simple, Scientifically Proven Steps to Reduce Anxiety, Stress, and Toxic Thinking)
It’s in the quiet stillness of the moment, when we think deeply about our thinking, that we can draw on our courage to go into the depths of our nonconscious mind and embrace the chaos to find the message of truth. Your mind loves this. Your brain loves this. You will love the peace this eventually brings.
Caroline Leaf (Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess: 5 Simple, Scientifically Proven Steps to Reduce Anxiety, Stress, and Toxic Thinking)
The mind is energy, and it generates energy through thinking, feeling, and choosing. That means we generate energy through our mind-in-action 24/7, which is part of the activity we pick up with brain technology. When we generate this mind energy through thinking, feeling, and choosing, we build thoughts, which are physical structures in our brain. This building of thoughts is called neuroplasticity.
Caroline Leaf (Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess: 5 Simple, Scientifically Proven Steps to Reduce Anxiety, Stress, and Toxic Thinking)