Tag: anxiety

Why Am I Always Repeating the Same Problems Over and Over?

[May be relevant if you feel as if the same problems keep resurfacing in your life without ever being properly dealt with.]

I

Imagine that you’re untying a giant tangle made up of many, many pieces of coloured string.

(I have no idea why you might be doing this. Presumably you’re very bored.)

untangling-1

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Things I Was Going To Do But Didn’t

I’ve been travelling.

I had great plans to work while I travelled. I’ve done some, but mostly I’ve failed to be the super-productive me I envisioned. Staying on top of food, sleep, exercise, seeing people, seeing places, adventures AND work was always going to be hard.

I haven’t written several posts for this blog (albeit some are sorta drafted). I haven’t finished the draft of a book (although I’ve made progress). I haven’t sent my guaranteed-hilarious* mailing list email.

* not actually guaranteed

And you know what? The world isn’t ending.

I will have to catch up. But the level of guilty anxiety I’ve had over this perceived failure is – as usual – way out of proportion.

Especially when I step back and look at reality: I’ve done a LOT in a few weeks, especially considered I’ve had to handle some sad circumstances at home along with a few setbacks over here. If anything, I ought to be impressed with how I’ve handled everything, instead of beating myself up for failing to magic an extra five hours into every day to write a whole book as well.

Possibly there’s a wider lesson here, but as usual it’s the same lesson: changing my perspective by looking again at reality is very, very helpful.

One Weird Trick For Getting Over Perfectionism

Today I’m too tired to write a proper post, so my cunning plan is “just not to”.

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The Gap Between Where We Are and What We Want

It seems fairly clear to me is that there’s often a gap between “what we have” and “what we want”.

If I were to accurately model this gap using Science(TM) and Art(TM) it’d look something like this:

gap 1

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The One Answer to All Our Problems

Potash Road, Near Moab, Utah by Ken Lund, on Flickr

The end of the road is around the NEXT bend. For sure.

Original Photo © Ken Lund, kenlund on Flickr.
CC BY-SA 2.0

I want the answer.

The one, single answer which will solve all my problems.

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Compulsively and Without Joy

The Big Lebowski is one of my favourite movies.

I could go on – at length – about why. Although I’m not going to, so this GIF will have to suffice:

via GIPHY

One quote from the film that’s always stuck with me is “compulsively and without joy“.

I’m not sure why, perhaps there’s just something about the wording. For whatever reason, the phrase wiggled its way into my brain and has lived there ever since.

And I’m pretty pleased about that, because it turns out this particular quote is useful.

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Oh no, I’m Motivated By Fear!

fear based motivation 5

Now that I’m (mostly) successfully managing my anxiety, everything should be great forever… right?!

Well, no.

Obviously life isn’t magically perfect. (Though of course “less anxiety” is a huge improvement!)

This is fine. I never expected perfection.

But something else I didn’t expect was that managing anxiety better could itself cause problems.

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Wow, This One Guy Totally Explained Anxiety Using Custard!

TEDxLeamington Spa 2015 Event Photos

TEDxLeamington Spa 2015 Event Photos

You may remember that aaaaages ago I gave a TEDx talk about anxiety and custard.

Since then I’ve been asked “when is your TED video up?” approximately… a lot of times.

Finally, I can answer that question. (Although you’ve probably guessed.)

It’s up now.

It contains me. Silly doodles. Stupid jokes. Honesty. Ideas about being less anxious. A malfunctioning slide clicker. And custard.

Watch it! (If you want.)

Hope you like it!

Some Feedback

There are words in it!Anonymous

I have finally arranged to do something properly about my anxiety issues. Your Ted Talk was very much the start of the process… thank you.Louise

I like the stage layout, that background is really lovely.Someone, probably

The Power of Short Term Thinking

Stonehenge (detail) by Francesco Volpi, on Flickr

How do you eat a Stonehenge? One bite at a time.

Original Photo © Francesco Volpi, Francesco Volpi on Flickr.
CC BY-ND 2.0

I’m fond of planning. I’m a Plan Fan, a man who can plan. I plan, er…

Inner critic: Hello reader. If you don’t respect anyone who can’t think of more than three rhymes for “plan”, you might like to turn away now.

Anyway. I like looking ahead, you might say. But if I get too caught up in long-term thinking, I end up struggling.

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Telling Emotions Apart

[post status: a quick, experimental, half-formed thought]

You know how when you feel something in your body, and you’re not quite sure what it is?

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