Why Stress Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Why Stress. Here they are! All 100 of them:

Now that I look back, I don't know why I was so stressed about it all this time. Funny how sometimes you worry a lot about something and it turns out to be nothing.
R.J. Palacio (Wonder (Wonder, #1))
If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good.
Śāntideva
It’s a very American illness, the idea of giving yourself away entirely to the idea of working in order to achieve some sort of brass ring that usually involves people feeling some way about you – I mean, people wonder why we walk around feeling alienated and lonely and stressed out.
David Foster Wallace
Typically, people who exercise, start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. Exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.
Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business)
I was the Duff. And that was a good thing. Because anyone who didn't feel like the Duff must not have friends. Every girl feels unattractive sometimes. Why had it taken me so long to figure that out? Why had I been stressing over that dumb word for so long when it was so simple? I should be proud to be the Duff. Proud to have great friends who, in their minds, were my Duffs.
Kody Keplinger (The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend (Hamilton High, #1))
The biggest enemies of willpower: temptation, self-criticism, and stress. (...) these three skills —self-awareness, self-care, and remembering what matter most— are the foundation for self-control.
Kelly McGonigal (The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It)
Are you free to be anything more than a friend to me? If," and she stressed the if heavily, "I ever decided to live in Avalon and wanted to be with you, would you be free enough to do that?" He looked away, and Laurel could tell he'd been avoiding a conversation like this. "Well?" she insisted. "If you wanted it," he finally said. "If I wanted it?" He nodded. "I'm not allowed to ask. You would have to ask me." Her breath caught in her chest, and Tamani looked at her. "Why do you think David bothers me so much?" Laurel looked down at her lap. "I can't just storm in and proclaim my intentions. I can't 'steal' you away. I just have to wait and hope that, someday, you'll ask." "And if I don't?" Laurel said, her voice barley above a whisper. "Then I guess I'll wait forever.
Aprilynne Pike (Spells (Wings, #2))
It was, of course, another test. Everything in human life was a test. That was why they all looked so stressed out.
Matt Haig (The Humans)
Many of us are slaves to our minds. Our own mind is our worst enemy. We try to focus, and our mind wanders off. We try to keep stress at bay, but anxiety keeps us awake at night. We try to be good to the people we love, but then we forget them and put ourselves first. And when we want to change our life, we dive into spiritual practice and expect quick results, only to lose focus after the honeymoon has worn off. We return to our state of bewilderment. We're left feeling helpless and discouraged. It seems we all agree that training the body through exercise, diet, and relaxation is a good idea, but why don't we think about training our minds?
Sakyong Mipham
Working hard for something we do not care about is called stress, working hard for something we love is called passion.
Simon Sinek (Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action)
Life is stressful,dear. That's why they say "rest in peace.
David Mazzucchelli
Stress and anxiety at work have less to do with the work we do and more to do with weak management and leadership.
Simon Sinek (Leaders Eat Last Deluxe: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't)
How many people do you know who are obsessed with their work, who are type A or have stress related diseases and who can’t slow down? They can’t slow down because they use their routine to distract themselves, to reduce life to only its practical considerations. And they do this to avoid recalling how uncertain they are about why they live.
James Redfield (The Celestine Prophecy (Celestine Prophecy, #1))
When things are getting better we often don’t hear about them. This gives us a systematically too-negative impression of the world around us, which is very stressful.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
Closing The Cycle One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters - whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished. Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents' house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden? You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won't take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill. None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back. Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away. That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home. Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts - and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place. Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else. Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the "ideal moment." Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person - nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important. Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.
Paulo Coelho
She's terrified that all these sensations and images are coming out of her — but I think she's even more terrified to find out why." Carla's description was typical of survivors of chronic childhood abuse. Almost always, they deny or minimize the abusive memories. They have to: it's too painful to believe that their parents would do such a thing.
David L. Calof
But what do you have to be stressed about, little brother?" Mark said. "You weren't carried away by the faeries. You've spent your life here. Not that the life of a Shadowhunter isn't stressful, but why are you the one with the bloody hands?
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
Why would you want to bring more children into this world so that they can suffer and be stressed their entire lives? And they’ll disappoint you and you will want to die. And you’ll be poor
Frances Cha (If I Had Your Face)
when we’re stressed, our brains persistently mis-predict what will make us happy.
Kelly McGonigal (The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It)
Medicine is a social science, and politics nothing but medicine on a large scale,
Robert M. Sapolsky (Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping)
Commitment gives you freedom because you’re no longer distracted by the unimportant and frivolous. Commitment gives you freedom because it hones your attention and focus, directing them toward what is most efficient at making you healthy and happy. Commitment makes decision-making easier and removes any fear of missing out; knowing that what you already have is good enough, why would you ever stress about chasing more, more, more again? Commitment allows you to focus intently on a few highly important goals and achieve a greater degree of success than you otherwise would.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
Intellectual freedom depends upon material things. (...) Women have had less intellectual freedom than the sons of Athenian slaves. Women, then, have not had a dog's chance of writing poetry. That is why I have laid so much stress on money and a room of one's own
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One’s Own)
In situations of low stress and safety, mind-wandering will be a gift, a pleasure, a creative force. In situations of high stress or danger, mind-wandering will be a torment.
Johann Hari (Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention— and How to Think Deeply Again)
Then she would be done with J. D. Jameson forever. No more having to prove herself; no more of those pesky jitters she felt whenever she saw him at work—something like butterflies in her stomach, it was actually quite annoying; no more stress; no more fights in the library; and definitely no more sexy I’m-gonna-kiss-you-now-woman blue-eyed heated gazes. She had no idea why she just thought that.
Julie James (Practice Makes Perfect)
Everyone is tied down in some way. Work, family, medical problems. It's what you make of it. That's why it's so important to surround yourself with the things that make you happy. If you have a bad day at work but get to come home to a woman you love or your favorite hobby, the rest doesn't matter as much.
Nichole Chase (Suddenly Royal (The Royals, #1))
Stress happens when something you care about is at stake. It's not a sign to run away - it's a sign to step forward.
Kelly McGonigal (The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It)
A large percentage of what we think of when we talk about stress-related diseases are disorders of excessive stress-responses.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping)
He looked at Chloe "Come over to the table. Sit with your aunt. I will clear away the mess and....I will achieve pancakes." Grace's lovely, tired face wobbled with looked suspiciously like mirth, but she had been under so much stress he decided his first impression could not be correct. "You'll achieve pancakes?" "I do not see why not" he said "Have you ever achieved them before?" she said "That question is irrelevant," he told her, while his eyes narrowed in suspicion on her tired face. On a Djinn, her expression would definitely be laughter. "I will achieve pancakes now.
Thea Harrison (Oracle's Moon (Elder Races, #4))
I noticed that he laid stress on my “intelligence.” It puzzled me rather why what would count as a good point in an ordinary person should be used against an accused man as an overwhelming proof of his guilt.
Albert Camus
In a world of stressful lack of control, an amazing source of control we all have is the ability to make the world a better place, one act at a time.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping)
Not knowing why is, itself, a profound type of suffering.
Emily Nagoski (Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle)
Why would I want to go out to dinner and a movie with someone I'm not completely crazy about... getting someone else involved means I have to put on a nicer outfit and stress out about the way I look chewing my food. If I'm going to have to consider my chewing face, I only want to do it for someone I think I might be able to really like.
Katie Heaney (Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date)
Neuroscientists have discovered that when you ask the brain to meditate, it gets better not just at meditating, but at a wide range of self-control skills, including attention, focus, stress management, impulse control, and self-awareness.
Kelly McGonigal (The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It)
Life is stressful, dear. That's why they say "rest in peace".
David Mazzucchelli (Asterios Polyp)
When you're stressed, you eat ice cream, cake, chocolate and sweets. Why? Because stressed spelled backwards is desserts.
Anonymous
It is not a single crime when a child is photographed while sexually assaulted (raped.) It is a life time crime that should have life time punishments attached to it. If the surviving child is, more often than not, going to suffer for life for the crime(s) committed against them, shouldn't the pedophiles suffer just as long? If it often takes decades for survivors to come to terms with exactly how much damage was caused to them, why are there time limits for prosecution?
Sierra D. Waters (Debbie.)
Why would you ever cut the blooms off the rosebush? It was one of the only truly useful things she ever taught me: Stress stimulates growth. Sometimes, in order to make something develop in the right direction, you have to hurt it.
Sarah Gailey (The Echo Wife)
It takes surprisingly little in terms of uncontrollable unpleasantness to make humans give up and become helpless in a generalized way.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping)
Feeling burdened rather than uplifted by everyday duties is more a mindset than a measure of what is going on in your life.
Kelly McGonigal (The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It)
We live in a culture that is constantly amping us up with stress and stimulation.
Johann Hari (Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention— and How to Think Deeply Again)
When you step outside of school and have to teach yourself about life, you develop a different relationship to information. I've never been a purely linear thinker. You can see it in my rhymes. My mind is always jumping around, restless, making connections, mixing and matching ideas, rather than marching in a straight line. That's why I'm always stressing focus. My thoughts chase each other from room to room in my head if I let them, so sometimes I have to slow myself down.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Black Girls… Stop settling for less than what you deserve. That’s why I stress self-love! There comes a time when you can no longer blame a man. You’ve got to hold yourself accountable for the choices that you make. Choose wisely! Slow down. Pay attention. Don’t allow his good looks and swag to blind you from the truth. Don’t be so easily flattered by money, cars, jewelry, and all of that other stuff. Your heart and well-being is worth much more than that. Choose someone who respects, loves, and adores you. Somebody who has your best interest at heart. Nothing less! Allow yourself to experience REAL love. Stop giving your love, time, and attention to men who clearly don’t deserve it. #ItsAllUpToYou
Stephanie Lahart
But every day we meet someone whose behavior suddenly changes from one moment to the next. And we wonder: what happened to this person I thought I knew? Why is he acting so aggressively? Is it stress at work? And then the next day the person is normal again. You're relieved, but soon after the rug is pulled out from under you when you least expect it. And this time, instead of asking what's wrong with this person, you wonder what you did wrong.
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
Life’s not fair. It’s not even, not balanced, not right. Why should relationships between people be any different? There’s always going to be an imbalance in power. The other person might have a higher social standing, they might have money, or more social graces. Isn’t it better to stop stressing about quid pro quo and just do what you want or what you can?
Wildbow (Worm (Parahumans, #1))
A crude way to put the whole thing is that our presence culture is, both develeopmentally and historically, adolescent. And since adolescence is acknowledged to be the single most stressful and frightening period of human development – the stage when adulthood we claim to crave begins to present itself as a real and narrowing system of responsibilities and limitation (taxes, death) and when we yearn inside for a return to the same childish oblivion we pretend to scorn – it’s not difficult to see why we as a culture are so susceptible to art and entertainment whose primary function is escape, i. e. fantasy, adrenaline, spectacle, romance, etc.
David Foster Wallace (Consider the Lobster and Other Essays)
Children are no longer being parented, but are raised. Thats why they don't have morals, ethics,humanity and manners, because their parents neglected them. We now live in a society that doesnt care about right or wrong.
De philosopher DJ Kyos
I didn’t realize I actually had post-traumatic stress disorder at the time, but why would I think I had that? Anyway, how would I know which was post-traumatic stress, which is addiction, which is bipolar, which is Libra?
Carrie Fisher (Wishful Drinking)
It is not the demands of the job that cause the most stress, but the degree of control workers feel they have throughout their day. The studies also found that the effort required by a job is not in itself stressful, but rather the imbalance between the effort we give and the reward we feel. Put simply: less control, more stress.
Simon Sinek (Leaders Eat Last Deluxe: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't)
When we learn to work with our own Inner Nature, and with the natural laws operating around us, we reach the level of Wu Wei. Then we work with the natural order of things and operate on the principle of minimal effort. Since the natural world follows that principle, it does not make mistakes. Mistakes are made–or imagined–by man, the creature with the overloaded Brain who separates himself from the supporting network of natural laws by interfering and trying too hard. When you work with Wu Wei, you put the round peg in the round hole and the square peg in the square hole. No stress, no struggle. Egotistical Desire tries to force the round peg into the square hole and the square peg into the round hole. Cleverness tries to devise craftier ways of making pegs fit where they don’t belong. Knowledge tries to figure out why round pegs fit into round holes, but not square holes. Wu Wei doesn’t try. It doesn’t think about it. It just does it. And when it does, it doesn’t appear to do much of anything. But Things Get Done. When you work with Wu Wei, you have no real accidents. Things may get a little Odd at times, but they work out. You don’t have to try very hard to make them work out; you just let them. [...] If you’re in tune with The Way Things Work, then they work the way they need to, no matter what you may think about it at the time. Later on you can look back and say, "Oh, now I understand. That had to happen so that those could happen, and those had to happen in order for this to happen…" Then you realize that even if you’d tried to make it all turn out perfectly, you couldn’t have done better, and if you’d really tried, you would have made a mess of the whole thing. Using Wu Wei, you go by circumstances and listen to your own intuition. "This isn’t the best time to do this. I’d better go that way." Like that. When you do that sort of thing, people may say you have a Sixth Sense or something. All it really is, though, is being Sensitive to Circumstances. That’s just natural. It’s only strange when you don’t listen.
Benjamin Hoff (The Tao of Pooh)
This is data as you have never known it: it is data as therapy. It is understanding as a source of mental peace. Because the world is not as dramatic as it seems. Factfulness, like a healthy diet and regular exercise, can and should become part of your daily life. Start to practice it, and you will be able to replace your overdramatic worldview with a worldview based on facts. You will be able to get the world right without learning it by heart. You will make better decisions, stay alert to real dangers and possibilities, and avoid being constantly stressed about the wrong things.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
Marginalized peoples—excluded, minimized, shamed—are traumatized peoples, because as we’ve discussed, humans are fundamentally relational creatures. To be excluded or dehumanized in an organization, community, or society you are part of results in prolonged, uncontrollable stress that is sensitizing (see Figure 3). Marginalization is a fundamental trauma. This is why I believe that a truly trauma-informed system is an anti-racist system. The destructive effects of racial marginalizing are pervasive and severe.
Oprah Winfrey (What Happened To You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing)
Subjected to enough uncontrollable stress, we learn to be helpless—we lack the motivation to try to live because we assume the worst; we lack the cognitive clarity to perceive when things are actually going fine, and we feel an aching lack of pleasure in everything.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping)
My running theory was that my shyness and introversion were linked to my whole 'never fancying anyone' situation - maybe I just didn't talk to enough people, or maybe people just stressed me out in general, and that was why I'd never wanted to kiss anyone. If I just improved my confidence, tried to be a bit more open and sociable, I'd be able to do and feel those things, like most people.
Alice Oseman (Loveless)
Science is often expensive, and who pays for it can influence the outcome and whether or not the results are published. As enthusiastic as we are about evidence-based practices, it’s important to remember where that evidence comes from and why we might not see contrary evidence.
Emily Nagoski (Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle)
For human nature is such that grief and pain - even simultaneously suffered - do not add up as a whole in our consciousness, but hide, the lesser behind the greater, according to a definite law of perspective. It is providential and is our means of surviving in the camp. And this is the reason why so often in free life one hears it said that man is never content. In fact it is not a question of a human incapacity for a state of absolute happiness, but of an ever-insufficient knowledge of the complex nature of the state of unhappiness; so that the single name of the major cause is given to all its causes, which are composite and set out in an order of urgency. And if the most immediate cause of stress comes to an end, you are grievously amazed to see that another one lies behind; and in reality a whole series of others. So that as soon as the cold, which throughout the winter had seemed our only enemy, had ceased, we became aware of the hunger; and repeating the same error, we now say: "If it was not for the hunger!...
Primo Levi (If This Is a Man • The Truce)
Think about the world. War, violence, natural disasters, man-made disasters, corruption. Things are bad, and it feels like they are getting worse, right? The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer; and the number of poor just keeps increasing; and we will soon run out of resources unless we do something drastic. At least that’s the picture that most Westerners see in the media and carry around in their heads. I call it the overdramatic worldview. It’s stressful and misleading. In fact, the vast majority of the world’s population lives somewhere in the middle of the income scale. Perhaps they are not what we think of as middle class, but they are not living in extreme poverty. Their girls go to school, their children get vaccinated, they live in two-child families, and they want to go abroad on holiday, not as refugees. Step-by-step, year-by-year, the world is improving. Not on every single measure every single year, but as a rule. Though the world faces huge challenges, we have made tremendous progress. This is the fact-based worldview.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
It is a common belief that we breathe with our lungs alone, but in point of fact, the work of breathing is done by the whole body. The lungs play a passive role in the respiratory process. Their expansion is produced by an enlargement, mostly downward, of the thoracic cavity and they collapse when that cavity is reduced. Proper breathing involves the muscles of the head, neck, thorax, and abdomen. It can be shown that chronic tension in any part of the body's musculature interferes with the natural respiratory movements. Breathing is a rhythmic activity. Normally a person at rest makes approximately 16 to 17 respiratory incursions a minute. The rate is higher in infants and in states of excitation. It is lower in sleep and in depressed persons. The depth of the respiratory wave is another factor which varies with emotional states. Breathing becomes shallow when we are frightened or anxious. It deepens with relaxation, pleasure and sleep. But above all, it is the quality of the respiratory movements that determines whether breathing is pleasurable or not. With each breath a wave can be seen to ascend and descend through the body. The inspiratory wave begins deep in the abdomen with a backward movement of the pelvis. This allows the belly to expand outward. The wave then moves upward as the rest of the body expands. The head moves very slightly forward to suck in the air while the nostrils dilate or the mouth opens. The expiratory wave begins in the upper part of the body and moves downward: the head drops back, the chest and abdomen collapse, and the pelvis rocks forward. Breathing easily and fully is one of the basic pleasures of being alive. The pleasure is clearly experienced at the end of expiration when the descending wave fills the pelvis with a delicious sensation. In adults this sensation has a sexual quality, though it does not induce any genital feeling. The slight backward and forward movements of the pelvis, similar to the sexual movements, add to the pleasure. Though the rhythm of breathing is pronounced in the pelvic area, it is at the same time experienced by the total body as a feeling of fluidity, softness, lightness and excitement. The importance of breathing need hardly be stressed. It provides the oxygen for the metabolic processes; literally it supports the fires of life. But breath as "pneuma" is also the spirit or soul. We live in an ocean of air like fish in a body of water. By our breathing we are attuned to our atmosphere. If we inhibit our breathing we isolate ourselves from the medium in which we exist. In all Oriental and mystic philosophies, the breath holds the secret to the highest bliss. That is why breathing is the dominant factor in the practice of Yoga.
Alexander Lowen (The Voice of the Body)
If you know how to be happy with the wonders of life that are already there for you to enjoy, you don't need to stress your mind and your body by striving harder and harder, and you don't need to stress this planet by purchasing more and more stuff. The Earth belongs to our children. We have already borrowed too much from it, from them; and the way things have been going, we're not sure we'll be able to give it back to them in decent shape. And who are our children, actually? They are us, because they are our own continuation. So we've been shortchanging our own selves. Much of our modern way of life is permeated by mindless overborrowing. The more we borrow, the more we loser. That's why it's critical that we wake up and see we don't need to do that anymore. What's already available in the here and now is plenty for us to be nourished, to be happy. Only that kind of insight will get us, each one of us, to stop engaging in the compulsive, self-sabotaging behaviors of our species. We need a collective awakening. One Buddha is not enough. All of us have to become Buddhas in order for our planet to have a chance. Fortunately, we have the power to wake up, to touch enlightenment from moment to moment, in our very own ordinary and, yes, busy lives. So let's start right now. Peace is your every breath.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Peace Is Every Breath: A Practice for Our Busy Lives)
Yet each flower, each twig, each pebble, shines as though illuminated from within, as once before, on her first day in the Garden. It’s the stress, it’s the adrenalin, it’s a chemical effect: she knows this well enough. But why is it built in? she thinks. Why are we designed to see the world as supremely beautiful just as we’re about to be snuffed? Do rabbits feel the same as the fox teeth bite down on their necks? Is it mercy?
Margaret Atwood (The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam, #2))
Did you have a good nap?" Emil asked. "Yeah, I guess I was tired. I need to practice resting when I go on vacations instead of getting stressed out." "Why are you stressed?" Emil Asked, perplexed. This question confirmed it for me, guys really are idiots.
Angela Corbett (Eternal Starling (Emblem of Eternity, #1))
The defining feature of a major depression is loss of pleasure. If I had to define a major depression in a single sentence, I would describe it as a “genetic/neurochemical disorder requiring a strong environmental trigger whose characteristic manifestation is an inability to appreciate sunsets.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping)
What we need most right now, at this moment, is a kind of patriotic grace - a grace that takes the long view, apprehends the moment we're in, comes up with ways of dealing with it, and eschews the politically cheap and manipulative. That admits affection and respect. That encourages them. That acknowledges that the small things that divide us are not worthy of the moment; that agrees that the things that can be done to ease the stresses we feel as a nation should be encouraged, while those that encourage our cohesion as a nation should be supported.
Peggy Noonan (Patriotic Grace: What It Is and Why We Need It Now)
Loving she realises is a verb. It is an act. It is not enough to say you love someone, and then forget about them, or trust a relationship will stay strong simply because you share a house or children or a life. Loving requires acts of love. It requires thinking of your spouse, doing things for them to make them happy. It requires acting in loving ways, even when you are tired, or bogged down with work, or so stressed you are waking up every night with a jaw sore from grinding your teeth. They forgot to do that, she now knows. They forgot to love each other. They expected love to continue, without putting any work into it, and today she knows this is why her marriage failed.
Jane Green (Dune Road)
I was not one for telling the truth back then. Truth telling was not my first instinct in any situation - especially in stressful situations. It took my many years to become an honest person, and I know why: because the truth is often terrifying. Once you introduce truth into a room, the room may never be the same again.
Elizabeth Gilbert (City of Girls)
That’s why the most stressed-out people are control freaks. They fail at the quest they most pursue. The more they try to control the world, the more they realize they cannot. Life becomes a cycle of anxiety, failure; anxiety, failure; anxiety, failure. We can’t take control, because control is not ours to take.
Max Lucado (Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World)
During deep NREM sleep specifically, the brain communicates a calming signal to the fight-or-flight sympathetic branch of the body’s nervous system, and does so for long durations of the night. As a result, deep sleep prevents an escalation of this physiological stress that is synonymous with increased blood pressure, heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.
Matthew Walker (Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams)
Father Forgive Us For Livin’ Why All My Homies Stuck In Prison? Barely Breathin’ Believin That The World Is A Prison, It’s Like A Ghetto We Could Neva Leave… A Broken Rose, Trying to Bloom Through The Cracks Of The Concrete, So Many Otha Things For Us To See, Things To Be, Our History so Full Of Tragedy And Misery, To All My Homies Neva Made It Home, The Dead Peers I Shed Tatooed Tears For When I’m Alone, Picture Us Inside A Ghetto Heaven, A Place To Rest, Findin’ Peace Through This Land Of Stress, In My Chest I Feel Pain, Come In Sudden Storms, Life Full Of Rain In This Game Watch For landstorms, Our Unborn, Neva Gotta Grow Neva Gotta See What’s Next, In This World Full Of Countless Threats, I Beg God To Make A Way For Our Ghetto Kids To Breathe Show A Sign Make Us All Believe, Coz I Ain’t Mad At Cha
Tupac Shakur
That’s why Sabbath is an expression of faith. Faith that there is a Creator and he’s good. We are his creation. This is his world. We live under his roof, drink his water, eat his food, breathe his oxygen. So on the Sabbath, we don’t just take a day off from work; we take a day off from toil. We give him all our fear and anxiety and stress and worry. We let go. We stop ruling and subduing, and we just be. We “remember” our place in the universe. So that we never forget . . . There is a God, and I’m not him.
John Mark Comer (Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human.)
cultivating mindfulness is not unlike the process of eating. It would be absurd to propose that someone else eat for you. And when you go to a restaurant, you don’t eat the menu, mistaking it for the meal, nor are you nourished by listening to the waiter describe the food. You have to actually eat the food for it to nourish you. In the same way, you have to actually practice mindfulness, by which I mean cultivate it systematically in your own life, in order to reap its benefits and come to understand why it is so valuable.
Jon Kabat-Zinn (Full Catastrophe Living, Revised Edition: How to cope with stress, pain and illness using mindfulness meditation)
I was worried that being in a relationship would add to my responsibilities. That’s why I’ve avoided them my whole life. I already have enough on my plate, and seeing the stress my parents’ marriage seemed to cause them, and the failed marriages of some of my friends, I wanted no part in something like that. But after tonight, I realized that maybe a lot of people are just doing it wrong. Because what’s happening between us doesn’t feel like a responsibility. It feels like a reward. And I’ll fall asleep wondering what I did to deserve it.
Colleen Hoover (It Ends with Us (It Ends with Us, #1))
So often we use the word snapped when we don’t know where a burst of anger is coming from or why someone is having a violent reaction. Well, now we know: Something has happened in the moment that triggers one of the brain’s trauma memories. And because the lower, non-rational parts of the brain are its first responders, they immediately set off stress responses that then shut off the reasonable part of the brain. And so that “burst” of violence is actually the result of some highly organized processes in the brain. And in this case, the first thing the school is going to say is, What’s wrong with him?
Bruce D. Perry (What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing)
She wondered whether all marriages started out this way. Whether this initial stress and adjustment, push and pull and tremors and shakes were common to all relationships. Maybe the fact that they had started off as a long-distance couple had shielded them from the pressures that normal couples in the same city went through. She wondered why all those relatives who had sat on her head asking her to get married had never mentioned this particular phase.
Shweta Ganesh Kumar (A Newlywed’s Adventures in Married Land)
The assumption is that hope is a prerequisite for action. Without hope one becomes depressed and then unable to act. I want to stress that I do not act because I have hope. I act whether I have hope or not. It is useless to rely on hope as motivation to do what's necessary and just and right. Why doesn't anybody ever talk about love as motivation to act? I may not have a lot of hope but I have plenty of love, which gives me fight. We are going to have to fall in love with place again and learn to stay put.
Janisse Ray (The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food)
. . . you know who Polworth is?" "Your best mate," said Robin. "He's my oldest mate," Strike corrected her. "My best mate . . . " For a split second he wondered whether he was going to say it, but the whisky had lifted the guard he usually kept upon himself: why not say it, why not let go? " . . . is you." Robin was so amazed, she couldn't speak. Never, in four years, had Strike come close to telling her what she was to him. Fondness had had to be deduced from offhand comments, small kindnesses, awkward silences or gestures forced from him under stress. She'd only once before felt as she did now, and the unexpected gift that had engendered the feeling had been a sapphire and diamond ring, which she'd left behind when she walked out on the man who'd given it to her. She wanted to make some kind of return, but for a moment or two, her throat felt too constricted. "I . . . well, the feeling's mutual," she said, trying not to sound too happy.
Robert Galbraith (Troubled Blood (Cormoran Strike, #5))
This is the critical point of this book: if you are that zebra running for your life, or that lion sprinting for your meal, your body’s physiological response mechanisms are superbly adapted for dealing with such short-term physical emergencies. For the vast majority of beasts on this planet, stress is about a short-term crisis, after which it’s either over with or you’re over with. When we sit around and worry about stressful things, we turn on the same physiological responses—but they are potentially a disaster when provoked chronically. A large body of evidence suggests that stress-related disease emerges, predominantly, out of the fact that we so often activate a physiological system that has evolved for responding to acute physical emergencies, but we turn it on for months on end, worrying about mortgages, relationships, and promotions.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping)
Everything in physiology follows the rule that too much can be as bad as too little. There are optimal points of allostatic balance. For example, while a moderate amount of exercise generally increases bone mass, thirty-year-old athletes who run 40 to 50 miles a week can wind up with decalcified bones, decreased bone mass, increased risk of stress fractures and scoliosis (sideways curvature of the spine)—their skeletons look like those of seventy-year-olds. To put exercise in perspective, imagine this: sit with a group of hunter-gatherers from the African grasslands and explain to them that in our world we have so much food and so much free time that some of us run 26 miles in a day, simply for the sheer pleasure of it. They are likely to say, “Are you crazy? That’s stressful.” Throughout hominid history, if you’re running 26 miles in a day, you’re either very intent on eating someone or someone’s very intent on eating you.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping)
Extremism, racism, nativism, and isolationism, driven by fear of the unknown, tend to spike in periods of economic and social stress—a period like our own. Americans today have little trust in government; household incomes lag behind our usual middle-class expectations. The fires of fear in America have long found oxygen when broad, seemingly threatening change is afoot. Now, in the second decade of the new century, in the presidency of Donald Trump, the alienated are being mobilized afresh by changing demography, by broadening conceptions of identity, and by an economy that prizes Information Age brains over manufacturing brawn. “We are determined to take our country back,” David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, said in Charlottesville. “We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in, that’s why we voted for Donald Trump. Because he said he’s going to take our country back. And that’s what we gotta do.
Jon Meacham (The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels)
Do you think they have ice cream here?” Lanie asked. Kyle cocked his eyebrow, obviously surprised by her question. “I have no idea. Why do you ask?” “Because I like ice cream when I’m stressed,” she replied, thinking she wasn’t just stressed. She was burning up and needed something cold. “I don’t mean to cause you anxiety. Don’t worry. I’ll get you ice cream whether they have it here or not, if that’s what you want.” “Wow, Kyle, that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me,” she replied with a smile.
M.K. Schiller (The Do-Over)
Mindset 1: Stress Is Harmful. Experiencing stress depletes my health and vitality. Experiencing stress debilitates my performance and productivity. Experiencing stress inhibits my learning and growth. The effects of stress are negative and should be avoided. Mindset 2: Stress Is Enhancing. Experiencing stress enhances my performance and productivity. Experiencing stress improves my health and vitality. Experiencing stress facilitates my learning and growth. The effects of stress are positive and should be utilized.
Kelly McGonigal (The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You and How to Get Good at It)
Years ago, I dated a lovely young woman who was a few thousand dollars in debt. She was completely stressed out about this. Every month, more interest would be added to her debts. To deal with her stress, she would go every Tuesday night to a meditation and yoga class. This was her one free night, and she said it seemed to be helping her. She would breathe in, imagining that she was finding ways to deal with her debts. She would breathe out, telling herself that her money problems would one day be behind her. It went on like this, Tuesday after Tuesday. Finally, one day I looked through her finances with her. I figured out that if she spent four or five months working a part-time job on Tuesday nights, she could actually pay off all the money she owed. I told her I had nothing against yoga or meditation. But I did think its always best to try to treat the disease first. Her symptoms were stress and anxiety. Her disease was the money she owed. "Why don't you get a job on Tuesday nights and skip yoga for a while?" I suggested. This was something of a revelation to her. And she took my advice. She became a Tuesday-night waitress and soon enough paid off her debts. After that, she could go back to yoga and really breathe easier.
Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)
....the line of ill-intentional Egyptologist, equipped with a ferocious erudition , have commited their well known crime against science, by becoming guilty of a deliberate falsification of the history of humanity. Supported by the governing powers of all the Western countries , this ideology, based on a moral and intellectual swindle, easily won out over the true scientific current developed by a parallel group of Egyptologist of good will, whose intellectual uprightness and even courage cannot be stressed stronly enough. The new Egyptological ideology , born at the opportune monment, reinforced the theorectical bases of imperialist ideology. That is why it easily drowned out the voice of science, by throwing the veil of fasificacation over historical truth. This ideology was spread with the help of considerable publicity and taught the world over, because it alone had the material and financial means for its own propagation. Thus imperialism, like the prehistoric hunter, first killed the being spiritually and culturally, before trying to eliminate it physically. The negation of the history and intellectual accomplishments of Black Africans was cultural, mental murder,which preceded and paved the way for their genocide here and there in the world.
Cheikh Anta Diop (Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology)
I actually do have a motto,” said Heat. “It’s ‘Never forget who you work for.'" And as she voiced the words, Nikki felt a creeping unease. It wasn’t exactly shame, but it was close. For the first time it sounded hollow. Fake. Why? She examined herself, trying to see what was different. The stress, that was new. And when she looked at that, she recognized that the hardest part of her day lately was working to avoid confrontation with Captain Montrose. That’s when it came to her. In that moment, sitting nearly naked in Rook’s living room, playing some silly nineteenth-century parlor game, she came to an unexpected insight. In that moment Nikki woke up and saw with great clarity who she had become - and who she had stopped being. Without noticing it, Heat had begun seeing herself as working for her captain and had lost sight of her guiding principle, that she worked for the victim.
Richard Castle
Gail and Lonny find me as I’m tugging on my shirt. I can’t wait until my clothes start fitting normal again and aren’t uncomfortably tight around the chest. I can’t wait to go back to all the familiar comics T-shirts that don’t fit me at this bulked-out size. “Well?” Gail says. “How is it? How do you feel?” “I can eat bacon again!” I yell, throwing up a fist. “All the bacon! Bacon or bust!” “Yes!” Gail cheers. “After your promo shoots, you absolutely can!” My cries of glee turn into an actual sob. I quickly shove my face into my arm. Thank god it’s just Gail. She pats me on the shoulder. “I know,” she says. “But you’ll get to have it soon, and then—” “No.” I swallow and shake my head, wiping my eyes with the back of my hand. “It’s not the bacon.” I mean, it is but it’s also not. I’m overcome right now with everything. These last few months leading up to the shoot, the mounting pressure, the twenty-three days of high stress and rabbit food and Elle. All of it. “Why does it have to be so hard?” “Getting a six pack?” I give her a feeble smile. “I am more than my body, thank you.
Ashley Poston (Geekerella (Once Upon a Con, #1))
Why Does He Do That? That's the number one question, isn't it? Maybe it's his drinking, you say. Maybe it's his learning disabilities. It's his job; he hates it. He's stressed. I think he's bipolar. It's his mother's fault; she spoiled him rotten. It's the drugs. If only he didn't use. It's his temper. He's selfish. It's the pornography; he's obsessed. The list could go on and on. You could spend many years trying to pinpoint it and never get a definite answer. The fact is, many people have these problems and they aren't abusive. Just because someone is an alcoholic doesn't mean he is abusive. Men hate their jobs all the time and aren't abusive. Bipolar? Okay. Stressed? Who isn't! Do you see where I am going with this? Off the subject a bit, when someone commits a violent crime, they always report in the news about his possible motive. As human beings, we need to somehow make sense of things. If someone murders someone, do you think it makes the family of the victim feel better to know the murderer's motive? No. Except for self-defense, there really is no excuse for murder. Motive, if there is any, is irrelevant. The same is true of abuse. You could spend your whole life going round and round trying to figure out why. The truth is, the why doesn't matter. There are only two reasons why men commit abuse—because they want to do so and because they can. You want to know why. In many ways, you might feel like you need to know. But, if you could come up with a reason or a motive, it wouldn't help you. Maybe you believe that if you did this or that differently, he wouldn't have abused you. That is faulty thinking and won't help you get better. You didn't do anything to cause the abuse. No matter what you said, no matter what you did, you didn't deserve to be abused. You are the victim and it won't help you to know why he supposedly abused you. No matter what his reason, there is no excuse for abuse. You are not to blame.
Beth Praed (Domestic Violence: My Freedom from Abuse)
The sentiment behind the golden rule is great (treating others the way we wish to be treated ourselves). But nowadays we don’t even treat ourselves very well! We knowingly consume things that are bad for us, continue working at jobs we hate, and don’t spend half as much time relaxing as we do stressing. Come to think of it, we ARE treating others the way we treat ourselves: poorly! We feed our children junk food, opt for cheap instead of quality even when it matters, rarely give anyone our undivided attention, and demand a lot more from others than what is reasonable or even possible. Let’s try something new: let’s treat everybody as if we just found out they’re about to die. Why? Because it seems that’s the ONLY time we slow down enough to get a new perspective on life—either then or when we have a near-death experience ourselves. Be gentle, patient, kind and understanding. We’re all headed in the same direction, so let’s start treating each other better along the way!
Timber Hawkeye (Buddhist Boot Camp)
For instance, since none of us lives until age 240, people tend not to think that failing to reach that age makes one’s life go less well. However, most people regard it as tragic when somebody dies at forty (at least if that person’s quality of life was comparatively good). But why should a death at ninety not be tragic if a death at forty is? The only answer can be that our judgement is constrained by our circumstances. We do not take that which is beyond our reach as something that would be a crucial good. But why must it be that the good life is within our reach? Perhaps the good life is something that is impossible to attain. It certainly sounds as though a life that is devoid of any discomfort, pain, suffering, distress, stress, anxiety, frustration, and boredom, that lasts for much longer than ninety years, and that is filled with much more of what is good would be better than the sort of life the luckiest humans have. Why then do we not judge our lives in terms of that (impossible) standard?
David Benatar (Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence)
White men grow on an open, level field. White women grow on far steeper and rougher terrain because the field wasn't made for them. Women of color grow not just on a hill, but on a cliffside over the ocean, battered by wind and waves. None of us chooses the landscape in which we're planted. If you find yourself on an ocean-battered cliff, your only choice is to grow there, or fall into the ocean. So if we transplant a survivor of the steep hill and cliff to the level field, natives of the field may look at that survivor and wonder why she has so much trouble trusting people, systems, and even her own bodily sensations. Why is this tree so bent and gnarled? It's because that is what it took to survive in the place where she grew. A tree that's fought wind and gravity and erosion to grow strong and green on a steep cliff is going to look strange and out of place when moved to the level playing field. The gnarled, wind-blown tree from an oceanside cliff might not conform with our ideas of what a tree should look like, but it works well in the context where it grew. And that tall straight tree wouldn't stand a chance if it was transplanted to the cliffside.
Emily Nagoski (Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle)
Memory can be dramatically disrupted if you force something that’s implicit into explicit channels. Here’s an example that will finally make reading this book worth your while—how to make neurobiology work to your competitive advantage at sports. You’re playing tennis against someone who is beating the pants off of you. Wait until your adversary has pulled off some amazing backhand, then offer a warm smile and say, “You are a fabulous tennis player. I mean it; you’re terrific. Look at that shot you just made. How did you do that? When you do a backhand like that, do you hold your thumb this way or that, and what about your other fingers? And how about your butt, do you scrunch up the left side of it and put your weight on your right toes, or the other way around?” Do it right, and the next time that shot is called for, your opponent/victim will make the mistake of thinking about it explicitly, and the stroke won’t be anywhere near as effective. As Yogi Berra once said, “You can’t think and hit at the same time.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping)
It is a strange time, my dear. A novel virus haunts our streets. Days feel like weeks, weeks like months. We’re blasted with new news every second— yes and then no and then yes and no, feeding our primal panic to hoard goods and leave shelves breadless, riceless. They tell us the pandemic makes all equal—the poor and very rich— then why are the poor poorer and the rich profiting? It is a strange time, my dear. Army men are marching our streets. They force us to stay inside, threaten and arrest for a walk in the park. They wage small wars against us, but this battle began long ago. The elite technocrats are crowing in their silicone valleys as corporations grow and small businesses fold with mountains of debt— the centre cannot, will not, hold! It is a strange time, my dear. Mainstream media reports the world has never been safer as they terrorise the chambers of our minds. This stress, this anxiety is killing our immunity. But we must do it all for the elderly— or so they say! When have they ever cared for our elders? When have they ever cared for our vulnerable? We go to bed dreaming of toilet paper while they dismantle the world economy. Family businesses go bust all so we can protect the people, but only the people are suffering! At the end of this, those retired will have peanuts for pensions. They are stripping us of everything whilst our eyes are fixed on our screens. And how dare we say it’s a strange time when in seven months we’ll make America great again.
Kamand Kojouri
Freud was fascinated with depression and focused on the issue that we began with—why is it that most of us can have occasional terrible experiences, feel depressed, and then recover, while a few of us collapse into major depression (melancholia)? In his classic essay “Mourning and Melancholia” (1917), Freud began with what the two have in common. In both cases, he felt, there is the loss of a love object. (In Freudian terms, such an “object” is usually a person, but can also be a goal or an ideal.) In Freud’s formulation, in every loving relationship there is ambivalence, mixed feelings—elements of hatred as well as love. In the case of a small, reactive depression—mourning—you are able to deal with those mixed feelings in a healthy manner: you lose, you grieve, and then you recover. In the case of a major melancholic depression, you have become obsessed with the ambivalence—the simultaneity, the irreconcilable nature of the intense love alongside the intense hatred. Melancholia—a major depression—Freud theorized, is the internal conflict generated by this ambivalence. This can begin to explain the intensity of grief experienced in a major depression. If you are obsessed with the intensely mixed feelings, you grieve doubly after a loss—for your loss of the loved individual and for the loss of any chance now to ever resolve the difficulties. “If only I had said the things I needed to, if only we could have worked things out”—for all of time, you have lost the chance to purge yourself of the ambivalence. For the rest of your life, you will be reaching for the door to let you into a place of pure, unsullied love, and you can never reach that door. It also explains the intensity of the guilt often experienced in major depression. If you truly harbored intense anger toward the person along with love, in the aftermath of your loss there must be some facet of you that is celebrating, alongside the grieving. “He’s gone; that’s terrible but…thank god, I can finally live, I can finally grow up, no more of this or that.” Inevitably, a metaphorical instant later, there must come a paralyzing belief that you have become a horrible monster to feel any sense of relief or pleasure at a time like this. Incapacitating guilt. This theory also explains the tendency of major depressives in such circumstances to, oddly, begin to take on some of the traits of the lost loved/hated one—and not just any traits, but invariably the ones that the survivor found most irritating. Psychodynamically, this is wonderfully logical. By taking on a trait, you are being loyal to your lost, beloved opponent. By picking an irritating trait, you are still trying to convince the world you were right to be irritated—you see how you hate it when I do it; can you imagine what it was like to have to put up with that for years? And by picking a trait that, most of all, you find irritating, you are not only still trying to score points in your argument with the departed, but you are punishing yourself for arguing as well. Out of the Freudian school of thought has come one of the more apt descriptions of depression—“aggression turned inward.” Suddenly the loss of pleasure, the psychomotor retardation, the impulse to suicide all make sense. As do the elevated glucocorticoid levels. This does not describe someone too lethargic to function; it is more like the actual state of a patient in depression, exhausted from the most draining emotional conflict of his or her life—one going on entirely within. If that doesn’t count as psychologically stressful, I don’t know what does.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping)
Here’s how to get started: 1. Sit still and stay put . Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground, or sit cross-legged on a cushion. Sit up straight and rest your hands in your lap. It’s important not to fidget when you meditate—that’s the physical foundation of self-control. If you notice the instinct to scratch an itch, adjust your arms, or cross and uncross your legs, see if you can feel the urge but not follow it. This simple act of staying still is part of what makes meditation willpower training effective. You’re learning not to automatically follow every single impulse that your brain and body produce. 2. Turn your attention to the breath. Close your eyes or, if you are worried about falling asleep, focus your gaze at a single spot (like a blank wall, not the Home Shopping Network). Begin to notice your breathing. Silently say in your mind “inhale” as you breathe in and “exhale” as you breathe out. When you notice your mind wandering (and it will), just bring it back to the breath. This practice of coming back to the breath, again and again, kicks the prefrontal cortex into high gear and quiets the stress and craving centers of your brain . 3. Notice how it feels to breathe, and notice how the mind wanders. After a few minutes, drop the labels “inhale/exhale.” Try focusing on just the feeling of breathing. You might notice the sensations of the breath flowing in and out of your nose and mouth. You might sense the belly or chest expanding as you breathe in, and deflating as you breathe out. Your mind might wander a bit more without the labeling. Just as before, when you notice yourself thinking about something else, bring your attention back to the breath. If you need help refocusing, bring yourself back to the breath by saying “inhale” and “exhale” for a few rounds. This part of the practice trains self-awareness along with self-control. Start with five minutes a day. When this becomes a habit, try ten to fifteen minutes a day. If that starts to feel like a burden, bring it back down to five. A short practice that you do every day is better than a long practice you keep putting off to tomorrow. It may help you to pick a specific time that you will meditate every day, like right before your morning shower. If this is impossible, staying flexible will help you fit it in when you can.
Kelly McGonigal (The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It)
Correct thinking provides a sense of certainty. Without it, we fear that faith is on life support at best, dead and buried at worst. And who wants a dead or dying faith? So this fear of losing a handle on certainty leads to a preoccupation with correct thinking, making sure familiar beliefs are defended and supported at all costs. How strongly do we hold on to the old ways of thinking? Just recall those history courses where we read about Christians killing other Christians over all sorts of disagreements about doctrines few can even articulate today. Or perhaps just think of a skirmish you’ve had at church over a sermon, Sunday-school lesson, or which candidate to vote into public office. Preoccupation with correct thinking. That’s the deeper problem. It reduces the life of faith to sentry duty, a 24/7 task of pacing the ramparts and scanning the horizon to fend off incorrect thinking, in ourselves and others, too engrossed to come inside the halls and enjoy the banquet. A faith like that is stressful and tedious to maintain. Moving toward different ways of thinking, even just trying it on for a while to see how it fits, is perceived as a compromise to faith, or as giving up on faith altogether. But nothing could be further from the truth. Aligning faith in God and certainty about what we believe and needing to be right in order to maintain a healthy faith—these do not make for a healthy faith in God. In a nutshell, that is the problem. And that is what I mean by the “sin of certainty.
Peter Enns (The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our "Correct" Beliefs)
What interests me is to set up what you might call the rapport de grand écart - the most unexpected relationship possible between the things I want to speak about, because there is a certain difficulty in establishing relationships in just that way, and in that difficulty there is an interest, and in that interest there is a certain tension and for me that tension is a lot more important than the stable equilibrium of harmony, which doesn't interest me at all. Reality must be torn apart in every sense of the word. What people forget is that everything is unique. Nature never produces the same thing twice. Hence my stress on seeking the rapport de grand écart: a small head on a large body; a large head on a small body. I want to draw the mind in the direction it's not used to and wake it up. I want to help the viewer discover something he wouldn't have discovered without me. That's why I stress the dissimilarity, for example, between the left eye and the right eye. A painter shouldn't make them so similar. They're just not that way. So my purpose is to set things in movement, to provoke this movement by contradictory tensions, opposing forces, and in that tension or opposition, to find the moment which seems the most interesting to me.
Françoise Gilot (Life With Picasso)
I had started on the marriage and motherhood beat by accident with a post on my personal, read only by friends, blog called ‘Fifty Shades of Men’. I had written it after buying Fifty Shades of Grey to spice up what Dave and I half-jokingly called our grown up time, and had written a meditation on how the sex wasn’t the sexiest part of the book. “Dear publishers, I will tell you why every woman with a ring on her finger and a car seat in her SUV is devouring this book like the candy she won’t let herself eat.” I had written. “It’s not the fantasy of an impossibly handsome guy who can give you an orgasm just by stroking your nipples. It is instead the fantasy of a guy who can give you everything. Hapless, clueless, barely able to remain upright without assistance, Ana Steele is that unlikeliest of creatures, a college student who doesn’t have an email address, a computer, or a clue. Turns out she doesn’t need any of those things. Here is the dominant Christian Grey and he’ll give her that computer plus an iPad, a beamer, a job, and an identity, sexual and otherwise. No more worrying about what to wear. Christian buys her clothes. No more stress about how to be in the bedroom. Christian makes those decisions. For women who do too much—which includes, dear publishers, pretty much all the women who have enough disposable income to buy your books—this is the ultimate fantasy: not a man who will make you come, but a man who will make agency unnecessary, a man who will choose your adventure for you.
Jennifer Weiner (All Fall Down)
I was diagnosed with ADHD in my mid fifties and I was given Ritalin and Dexedrine. These are stimulant medications. They elevate the level of a chemical called dopamine in the brain. And dopamine is the motivation chemical, so when you are more motivated you pay attention. Your mind won't be all over the place. So we elevate dopamine levels with stimulant drugs like Ritalin, Aderall, Dexedrine and so on. But what else elevates Dopamine levels? Well, all other stimulants do. What other stimulants? Cocaine, crystal meth, caffeine, nicotine, which is to say that a significant minority of people that use stimulants, illicit stimulants, you know what they are actually doing? They're self-medicating their ADHD or their depression or their anxiety. So on one level (and we have to go deeper that that), but on one level addictions are about self-medications. If you look at alcoholics in one study, 40% of male adult alcoholics met the diagnostic criteria for ADHD? Why? Because alcohol soothes the hyperactive brain. Cannabis does the same thing. And in studies of stimulant addicts, about 30% had ADHD prior to their drug use. What else do people self-medicate? Someone mentioned depression. So, if you have been treated for depression, as I have been, and you were given a SSRI medication, these medications elevate the level of another brain chemical called serotonin, which is implicated in mood regulation. What else elevates serotonin levels temporarily in the brain? Cocaine does. People use cocaine to self-medicate depression. People use alcohol, cannabis and opiates to self-medicate anxiety. Incidentally people also use gambling or shopping to self-medicate because these activities also elevate dopamine levels in the brain. There is no difference between one addiction and the other. They're just different targets, but the brain systems that are involved and the target chemicals are the same, no matter what the addiction. So people self-medicate anxiety, depression. People self-medicate bipolar disorder with alcohol. People self-medicate Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder. So, one way to understand addictions is that they're self-medicating. And that's important to understand because if you are working with people who are addicted it is really important to know what's going on in their lives and why are they doing this. So apart from the level of comfort and pain relief, there's usually something diagnosible that's there at the same time. And you have to pay attention to that. At least you have to talk about it.
Gabor Maté
War thoughts again. I think back to the business cards from that health shop earlier on. I think about miniature wars that individuals fight all the time. They fight against cellulite, or negative emotions, or addictions, or stress. I think about how we can now hire all different sorts of mercenaries to help us fight against ourselves…Therapists, manicurists, hairdressers, personal trainers, life coaches. But what’s it all for? What do all these little wars achieve? Although it is a part of my life too, and I want to be thin and pretty and not laughed at in the street and not so stressed and mad that I start screaming on the tube, it suddenly seems a little bit ridiculous. All the time we do these things we are trying to enlist ourselves into a bigger war. We are trying to join up, constantly, with the enemy. - Hitler tried to impose his shiny, blonde, neat, sparkling world on us all and we resisted. So how is it that when McDonald’s and Disney and The Gap and L’Oreal and all the others try to do the same thing we all just say, ‘OK’? Hitler needed marketing, that’s all. His propaganda was, of course, brilliant for its time, everyone knows that. What a great idea, to make people feel that they belong to something, that their identity makes them special. If Hilter had bee able to enlist a twenty-first-century marketing department, would he have been able to sell Nazism to everyone? Why not? You can just see a beautiful, thin woman with her long blonde hair moving softly in the breezes, and the tagline ‘Because I’m worth it’.
Scarlett Thomas (PopCo)
I know this may be a disappointment for some of you, but I don’t believe there is only one right person for you. I think I fell in love with my wife, Harriet, from the first moment I saw her. Nevertheless, had she decided to marry someone else, I believe I would have met and fallen in love with someone else. I am eternally grateful that this didn’t happen, but I don’t believe she was my one chance at happiness in this life, nor was I hers. Another error you might easily make in dating is expecting to find perfection in the person you are with. The truth is, the only perfect people you might know are those you don’t know very well. Everyone has imperfections. Now, I’m not suggesting you lower your standards and marry someone with whom you can’t be happy. But one of the things I’ve realized as I’ve matured in life is that if someone is willing to accept me—imperfect as I am—then I should be willing to be patient with others’ imperfections as well. Since you won’t find perfection in your partner, and your partner won’t find it in you, your only chance at perfection is in creating perfection together. There are those who do not marry because they feel a lack of “magic” in the relationship. By “magic” I assume they mean sparks of attraction. Falling in love is a wonderful feeling, and I would never counsel you to marry someone you do not love. Nevertheless—and here is another thing that is sometimes hard to accept—that magic sparkle needs continuous polishing. When the magic endures in a relationship, it’s because the couple made it happen, not because it mystically appeared due to some cosmic force. Frankly, it takes work. For any relationship to survive, both parties bring their own magic with them and use that to sustain their love. Although I have said that I do not believe in a one-and-only soul mate for anyone, I do know this: once you commit to being married, your spouse becomes your soul mate, and it is your duty and responsibility to work every day to keep it that way. Once you have committed, the search for a soul mate is over. Our thoughts and actions turn from looking to creating. . . . Now, sisters, be gentle. It’s all right if you turn down requests for dates or proposals for marriage. But please do it gently. And brethren, please start asking! There are too many of our young women who never go on dates. Don’t suppose that certain girls would never go out with you. Sometimes they are wondering why no one asks them out. Just ask, and be prepared to move on if the answer is no. One of the trends we see in some parts of the world is our young people only “hanging out” in large groups rather than dating. While there is nothing wrong with getting together often with others your own age, I don’t know if you can really get to know individuals when you’re always in a group. One of the things you need to learn is how to have a conversation with a member of the opposite sex. A great way to learn this is by being alone with someone—talking without a net, so to speak. Dates don’t have to be—and in most cases shouldn’t be—expensive and over-planned affairs. When my wife and I moved from Germany to Salt Lake City, one of the things that most surprised us was the elaborate and sometimes stressful process young people had developed of asking for and accepting dates. Relax. Find simple ways to be together. One of my favorite things to do when I was young and looking for a date was to walk a young lady home after a Church meeting. Remember, your goal should not be to have a video of your date get a million views on YouTube. The goal is to get to know one individual person and learn how to develop a meaningful relationship with the opposite sex.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Everyone has an Everest. Whether it’s a climb you chose, or a circumstance you find yourself in, you’re in the middle of an important journey. Can you imagine a climber scaling the wall of ice at Everest’s Lhotse Face and saying, “This is such a hassle”? Or spending the first night in the mountain’s “death zone” and thinking, “I don’t need this stress”? The climber knows the context of his stress. It has personal meaning to him; he has chosen it. You are most liable to feel like a victim of the stress in your life when you forget the context the stress is unfolding in. “Just another cold, dark night on the side of Everest” is a way to remember the paradox of stress. The most meaningful challenges in your life will come with a few dark nights. The biggest problem with trying to avoid stress is how it changes the way we view our lives, and ourselves. Anything in life that causes stress starts to look like a problem. If you experience stress at work, you think there’s something wrong with your job. If you experience stress in your marriage, you think there’s something wrong with your relationship. If you experience stress as a parent, you think there’s something wrong with your parenting (or your kids). If trying to make a change is stressful, you think there’s something wrong with your goal. When you think life should be less stressful, feeling stressed can also seem like a sign that you are inadequate: If you were strong enough, smart enough, or good enough, then you wouldn’t be stressed. Stress becomes a sign of personal failure rather than evidence that you are human. This kind of thinking explains, in part, why viewing stress as harmful increases the risk of depression. When you’re in this mindset, you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed and hopeless. Choosing to see the connection between stress and meaning can free you from the nagging sense that there is something wrong with your life or that you are inadequate to the challenges you face. Even if not every frustrating moment feels full of purpose, stress and meaning are inextricably connected in the larger context of your life. When you take this view, life doesn’t become less stressful, but it can become more meaningful.
Kelly McGonigal (The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It)
Last month, on a very windy day, I was returning from a lecture I had given to a group in Fort Washington. I was beginning to feel unwell. I was feeling increasing spasms in my legs and back and became anxious as I anticipated a difficult ride back to my office. Making matters worse, I knew I had to travel two of the most treacherous high-speed roads near Philadelphia – the four-lane Schuylkill Expressway and the six-lane Blue Route. You’ve been in my van, so you know how it’s been outfitted with everything I need to drive. But you probably don’t realize that I often drive more slowly than other people. That’s because I have difficulty with body control. I’m especially careful on windy days when the van can be buffeted by sudden gusts. And if I’m having problems with spasms or high blood pressure, I stay way over in the right hand lane and drive well below the speed limit. When I’m driving slowly, people behind me tend to get impatient. They speed up to my car, blow their horns, drive by, stare at me angrily, and show me how long their fingers can get. (I don't understand why some people are so proud of the length of their fingers, but there are many things I don't understand.) Those angry drivers add stress to what already is a stressful experience of driving. On this particular day, I was driving by myself. At first, I drove slowly along back roads. Whenever someone approached, I pulled over and let them pass. But as I neared the Blue Route, I became more frightened. I knew I would be hearing a lot of horns and seeing a lot of those long fingers. And then I did something I had never done in the twenty-four years that I have been driving my van. I decided to put on my flashers. I drove the Blue Route and the Schuylkyll Expressway at 35 miles per hour. Now…Guess what happened? Nothing! No horns and no fingers. But why? When I put on my flashers, I was saying to the other drivers, “I have a problem here – I am vulnerable and doing the best I can.” And everyone understood. Several times, in my rearview mirror I saw drivers who wanted to pass. They couldn’t get around me because of the stream of passing traffic. But instead of honking or tailgating, they waited for the other cars to pass, knowing the driver in front of them was in some way weak. Sam, there is something about vulnerability that elicits compassion. It is in our hard wiring. I see it every day when people help me by holding doors, pouring cream in my coffee, or assist me when I put on my coat. Sometimes I feel sad because from my wheelchair perspective, I see the best in people. But those who appear strong and invulnerably typically are not exposed to the kindness I see daily. Sometimes situations call for us to act strong and brave even when we don't feel that way. But those are a few and far between. More often, there is a better pay-off if you don't pretend you feel strong when you feel weak, or pretend that you are brave when you’re scared. I really believe the world might be a safer place if everyone who felt vulnerable wore flashers that said, “I have a problem and I’m doing the best I can. Please be patient!
Daniel Gottlieb (Letters to Sam: A Grandfather's Lessons on Love, Loss, and the Gifts of Life)
Asking a writer why they like to write {in the theoretical sense of the question} is like asking a person why they breathe. For me, writing is a natural reflex to the beauty, the events, and the people I see around me. As Anais Nin put it, "We write to taste life twice." I live and then I write. The one transfers to the other, for me, in a gentle, necessary way. As prosaic as it sounds, I believe I process by writing. Part of the way I deal with stressful situations, catty people, or great joy or great trials in my own life is by conjuring it onto paper in some way; a journal entry, a blog post, my writing notebook, or my latest story. While I am a fair conversationalist, my real forte is expressing myself in words on paper. If I leave it all chasing round my head like rabbits in a warren, I'm apt to become a bug-bear to live with and my family would not thank me. Some people need counselors. Some people need long, drawn-out phone-calls with a trusted friend. Some people need to go out for a run. I need to get away to a quiet, lonesome corner--preferably on the front steps at gloaming with the North Star trembling against the darkening blue. I need to set my pen fiercely against the page {for at such moments I must be writing--not typing.} and I need to convert the stress or excitement or happiness into something to be shared with another person. The beauty of the relationship between reading and writing is its give-and-take dynamic. For years I gathered and read every book in the near vicinity and absorbed tale upon tale, story upon story, adventures and sagas and dramas and classics. I fed my fancy, my tastes, and my ideas upon good books and thus those aspects of myself grew up to be none too shabby. When I began to employ my fancy, tastes, and ideas in writing my own books, the dawning of a strange and wonderful idea tinged the horizon of thought with blush-rose colors: If I persisted and worked hard and poured myself into the craft, I could create one of those books. One of the heart-books that foster a love of reading and even writing in another person somewhere. I could have a hand in forming another person's mind. A great responsibility and a great privilege that, and one I would love to be a party to. Books can change a person. I am a firm believer in that. I cannot tell you how many sentiments or noble ideas or parts of my own personality are woven from threads of things I've read over the years. I hoard quotations and shadows of quotations and general impressions of books like a tzar of Russia hoards his icy treasures. They make up a large part of who I am. I think it's worth saying again: books can change a person. For better or for worse. As a writer it's my two-edged gift to be able to slay or heal where I will. It's my responsibility to wield that weapon aright and do only good with my words. Or only purposeful cutting. I am not set against the surgeon's method of butchery--the nicking of a person's spirit, the rubbing in of a salty, stinging salve, and the ultimate healing-over of that wound that makes for a healthier person in the end. It's the bitter herbs that heal the best, so now and again you might be called upon to write something with more cayenne than honey about it. But the end must be good. We cannot let the Light fade from our words.
Rachel Heffington