Overcoming Anxiety And Getting On With Your Life

Snappy Stories (June 1, 1926) … Who is this cruel taskmaster, this architect of anxiety? (Sept 18, 2011 / 19 Elul 5771) …item 2.. Quick to Judge — And did I mention the gorgeous weather? (February 9, 2012 / 16 Shevat 5772) ..
anxiety
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My frustration only grew. How can I be efficient if no one else is? I told myself. (Instead of what I really should have said: “You are becoming a little obsessive; have a drink and go to sleep.")
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…..item 1)….. website aish.com … My Relentless Taskmaster … The tyranny of To-Do lists.

Sept 18, 2011 / 19 Elul 5771

by Emuna Braverman

www.aish.com/f/mom/My_Relentless_Taskmaster.html

Help! I’m feeling trapped. My oppressor is a relentless taskmaster, tormenting my waking hours and disturbing my sleep. Whenever I try to settle down this instrument of torture attacks. In the wee hours of the morning (I’m usually available around 4:00 a.m. if anyone wants company!) it pounds away at me relentlessly. Until I finally give in and leave my warm, but no longer comfortable bed to do its bidding.

Who is this cruel taskmaster, this architect of anxiety?

It is my To-Do list.

My To-Do list seems to resemble a scene from Disney’s Fantasia. No matter how quickly I check off items, they are replaced – with even more than I began with. The list overflows like the hapless Mickey Mouse’s buckets of water.

I tried not making a list but that only made the voices in my head scream louder. To preserve my sanity (and that of those around me) I tried to write everything down. That was list was totally and completely overwhelming (you have a similar list, right?) so I sought advice.

My husband, whose interest in the preservation of my sanity is the strongest, suggest that I don’t look at the whole list and just move through each piece slowly and methodically, one at a time. This helped – and dinner is still on the table awaiting him every night (although take-out is sounding very tempting).

But the midnight clamoring persisted. Why aren’t there any offices open at 1 a.m? I have some questions I need answered. Why is shopping the only commercial activity available at that time? And why isn’t everyone else responding to my emails as rapidly as I’m sending them? Don’t they know how busy I am?

Don’t they recognize I’m depending on their answers?

My frustration only grew. How can I be efficient if no one else is? I told myself. (Instead of what I really should have said: “You are becoming a little obsessive; have a drink and go to sleep.")

Perhaps I’m jittery from all the coffee I now need to keep my awake (I console myself with the fact that three to five cups a day are supposed to ward off Alzheimer’s) or perhaps it’s just the ongoing tyranny of that To-Do list. Can someone else please go to the dry cleaner’s and the grocery store?

It’s not a time management or organization issue – I could write those books. It’s strictly a numbers game. There’s just a lot to do. And there’s really no one to blame but me. I took on all my responsibilities – gladly. And I am happy about all of them. Really.

There seems to be only one solution. Hire a personal assistant! No, seriously, I mean a deeper, more spiritual solution. I need help. And while I could (and do) delegate where possible, the real assistance I need is more profound. I need to ask the Almighty to give me the energy and the peace of mind required to accomplish my daily tasks. And I need to remember He’s got my back.

By myself, I’m very limited. With His help, there’s nothing I can’t accomplish. My mistake has been thinking it’s all on me, that it’s all my responsibility. I can breathe a little easier now. I remembered that I have a partner, that the Almighty and I, we’re in this together. Take that To-Do list!
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…..item 2)…. aish.com … HOME FAMILY MOM WITH A VIEW … Quick to Judge

Why is our instinctive reaction all too often to be critical?
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img code photo … Quick to Judge

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February 9, 2012 / 16 Shevat 5772
by Emuna Braverman

www.aish.com/f/mom/Quick_to_Judge.html

It was the last day of mid-winter vacation. The sun was shining brightly, the ocean was calm and blue, and the temperature hovered in the mid-70’s (Just threw that in to make New Yorkers jealous!). We hadn’t really taken any family trips during this time so we decided to go out with a bang and go “segway”-ing along the beach. If you haven’t tried it, segwaying (I’m sure it’s not yet a legitimate verb) is a lot of fun – especially when done in such a setting. (I also did it recently in Talpiot on the Haas Promenade overlooking Jerusalem – now that’s beautiful!)

Anyway, the view was spectacular, the weather perfect (did I mention that?) and there was the additional challenge of trying to weave in and out of the pedestrians and bikers. As we passed one group on bikes, I heard one guy mutter to another, as he glanced in our direction, “They are so lazy.”

At first I was outraged. How dare he?! He doesn’t even know me! Should I stop and tell him that I already got my exercise for the day; that I ran on the treadmill before I came to the beach?

Then I began to laugh at the absurdity of the situation. Why did I care what some complete stranger thinks? Why do I feel the need to present him with justification for my activities and choices? A simple “Harumph” or better yet, completely ignoring him would have sufficed.

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Finally I had the most sobering thought of all. I had been him. We frequently go biking at the beach and I always looked at those segwayers (now I’m creating nouns) and thought they were lazy. I felt virtuous and self-righteous about the fact that I was biking and they were cruising. Didn’t they recognize how much healthier my activity was than theirs? Didn’t they care about their bodies and their health? How self-indulgent they were…

It never occurred to me that perhaps, like me last week, they weren’t there for the exercise, that they were just having fun. And even more than that, it was family time. It was an opportunity to see the beautiful California coast.

And worse than that, I was so quick to judge – complete strangers, whose lives I knew nothing about, quick to put a negative spin on their activities and motivations. I may never have muttered the words but my thoughts were loud. I felt embarrassed by my own shallowness.

Why did I feel the need to judge them at all? Sometimes when our feelings are hurt, it can be a challenge to fulfill the mitzvah of judging others favorably. And yet we must try. But in this situation, the other vacationers had done nothing to me. We had no relationship whatsoever. They hadn’t spoken to me. They certainly hadn’t hurt or insulted me. And yet my instinctive reaction was to be critical of them. Not a moment to be proud of. The desire to build ourselves up at the expense of others is so ingrained and so insidious that it requires constant vigilance not to give in to it. I guess my defenses were down (see how I try to judge myself favorably!) as I was caught up in the pleasure of the moment. But we can never relax our defenses because that’s when our base inclinations see their chance to attack and thrive!

I like to think that, besides the fun, the family time and the opportunity to once again appreciate the Almighty’s beautiful world, I gained some perspective, that I made a small stride forward in the area of thinking before I speak, in constantly being on my guard and judging others more favorably.

Turns out it wasn’t only a pleasurable activity (which it definitely was) but a chance for growth as well.

And did I mention the gorgeous weather?
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Anxiety is a very common problem, affecting millions of people worldwide. Luckily, anxiety and its symptoms are able to be controlled, and sometimes they can even go away completely. This article focuses on some advice you can use to take control of the anxiety you are dealing with. Keep reading to learn how to free yourself from anxiety.

Identify and name your specific triggers of anxiety. This can help you better understand your triggers so that you can be conscious of your decisions when you have to deal with them.

Many people say that hot tea is a great helper when it comes to coping with anxiety. This could be a good relaxation technique, but do not neglect having medical advice. If you see that your anxiety does not go away after some time, you may need to seek the help of a medical expert.

Although a nice, long stress-relieving vacation is usually not an option, practically everyone has a day or two in the week where they need not work. Try to do relaxing activities, such as fishing, reading or going to the movies.

One good way to lower anxiety levels is by paying your bills on time. Late payments may increase the amount of stress you feel and add to your anxiety. Keep up to date with paying your bills and you should notice a difference in your stress and anxiety.

Salt cravings can increase when you become anxious; keep this in mind. This is because your body is craving salt and it wants you to consume more. The best salt to consume is that which is unprocessed and raw. It’s easier for the body to digest, along with having more minerals that your body needs.

Try to laugh as often as you can. Laughing brings a smile to your face, which stems off anxiety. Watch TV shows and movies that make you laugh, or spend some time with loved ones who have a history of making you feel good about yourself. You will have less anxiety if you find reasons to laugh all the time.

Anxious feelings can be lessened by watching a funny movie or TV show. Viewing this type of movie will not only help you to laugh and put things in perspective, but it also allows you to forget what was making you feel anxious in the first place.

Anxiety is not something you have to battle alone. Finding assistance and using it properly can help you combat anxiety. There are many people who can assist you, such as your doctor, a friend or a support group.

If you have to go see a therapist, then go do that. People often feel overwhelmed with anxiety when they don’t have anyone with whom to speak. Talking with a therapist is a good way to get rid of your anxiety.

Stay away from the newspaper and television news if current events worsen your anxiety symptoms. You can still keep up with current events, but don’t spend all your time fixated on bad news.

To help you alleviate the problems with anxiety, get plenty of exercise each day to settle down your nerves. Endorphins, which are produced from physical activity, will keep your mind off of your stress and relax you. In addition, exercise is well known to be beneficial for you for many other reasons.

As you can see from the advice above, there is no reason to live with anxiety. Apply the ideas presented here, and you can diminish your anxiety over time. While it may initially be overwhelming, you can fight your anxiety with the information you have just read.