Escape Anxiety or Depression Through Change

As much as escape sounds, albeit resounds, attractive it’s an emotional response to the uncomfortable. The best thing to do is pause and breathe. If there is the slightest hint of wanting to get away then you must change. Stop thinking and starting working on the problem.

Define the problem

Many years of tears can be avoided by writing down in a checklist whatever is bothering you. Keep it simple. If you have to brainstorm or if you just can not get to the definition then the the first step is to pause and breathe.

Now that you have paused and breathed let’s begin with ten words that describe your uncomfortable thought. The key is here. There is a difference between thinking and solving problems. While you are playing around in your mind without any action this is just thinking. The mind is a super device for solving problems.

The Mind Thinking of Solving
The mind is great for solving problems, otherwise it’s just thinking. Never take thinking too serious.

Thinking versus Solving

The mind is great for solving problems, otherwise it’s just thinking. Never take thinking too serious. This is why pausing and breathing is so important. The mind is an action organ. What is does it does well and what is does is solve problems. Unfortunately when there is no action related to the thought this becomes just thinking.

Here is an example of the mind solving problems:

If you are thinking about water and you are thirsty you get up and you go to the kitchen. In the kitchen you grab your pitcher of water and you pour it into a preselected glass. Upon pouring your realize by thought that the pitcher is empty. You go to the sink and you fill the pitcher with fresh water. After you fill the pitcher you notice that there is a spot of grease on the floor. You clean this up. Still aware of this thirst you drink your glass of water.

Here your mind is active and you are in the moment. Your thoughts are solving problems. Your mind is doing its job.

Solving Anxiety or Depression Through Change:

Let’s get back to your list. We just need ten things. Ten line items. That is it for now. We will call these issues. Below is an image and a link to a PDF so you can print this out or use it as a template for your exploration into solving your anxiety or depression through change. This means taking action.

Solving Anxiety of Depression Through Change Worksheet.
Solving Anxiety of Depression Through Change Worksheet.

Solving Anxiety of Depression Through Change Worksheet PDF

Using the Solving Anxiety of Depression Through Change PDF worksheet:
  1. List the Issue: Once you have your sheet ready. Just write one word for the title of the Issue.  Go down the list and do this for each issue that comes up. There may be many more. This is just a little house cleaning to get started.
  2. Define each Issue: Your issues have been listed now give each one a definition. Keep it simple. If you need more space you can return to this issue later.
Breath and Pause:

Once your sheet is complete it will be time to breath and pause. This is a very important step because your mind and your breath run on the same power. It is true that when you are experiencing anxiety, stress or depression your breathing can become erratic. Conversely your breath when you put your mind on it will become calm. This is a little exercise that has tremendous results.

Do this for about 5 minutes.

With regards to your anxiety or depression you may hear that “It is just in your mind.” This may be true but as a human being you are still caught in this life with many problems that must be solved. Taking action is about solving those problems. The solution may infact be to let them go one by one. Without a snapshot you may let go and then the issue returns again and again. There is a reason we have cave paintings, graffitti and manuscripts. This is how we humans have made plans and taken action.

Reprint or Make a new sheet by hand:

Back to action. Now look at your first list of issues and definitions. Pick the first item. With your new piece of paper cross out the words “Anxiety or Depression” and write over this what your first issue is.

What you are doing is you are throwing away a generic term for your discomfort and you are specifying what that anxiety or depression is. Now you are segueing from thinking to problem solving.

  1. Print: Print a new sheet or write a new one
  2. Cross Out Generic Title: Cross out the words “Anxiety or Depression” and put the issue that you are going to work on. The new title should read: Solving Anxiety or Depression through Change: Where the line is crossed out you are putting your own issue that you are solving. This is taking action.
  3. List each issue: As before you are now breaking down each issue into small parts.
  4. Define each Issue: Again for each issue of the greater issue you are defining the scope.
  5. Take your time: Now you can alternate the pause and breath with each step. You can do this anytime. This is your break.
  6. Once completed do another issue: Go back to your original sheet. Look at another issue. Tackle this one the same way. Tackle every issue into a sub-sheet of issues. Break down the issues from your first sheet into sub-issues on second sheets.
  7. Organize your sheets: Get a binder and put your first sheet as the table of contents. Each issue will be a chapter. The second sheets for each issue will be the index of issues for each chapter. You are well on your way to changing issues to problems solved.
Conclusion:

You may infact suffer from a great monster of a problem. You may be caught in a place where you feel powerless. This could be something where you need more work. You may need professional help. The above exercise regardless of where you go next will help.

This is a snapshot of where you are. Now that you have seen it it has already begun to change. Instead of being overwhelmed now you are taking action. This is the beginning. This is today. This is right now.

Try this. You will not be disappointed.

 

Most People are Not Mean

New York City 20150904
New York City could be a place mottled by mean people but the reality is that its full of cooperation. That’s why a terrorist attack is an unskilled action rewarded by little more that pissing off the co-op. It just makes the co-op stronger.

When you look at the long address of mankind, most people are not mean. They may not necessarily know what they are doing. Most of them/us don’t know what we are doing. For example New York City could be a place mottled by mean people but the reality is that its full of cooperation. That’s why a terrorist attack is an unskilled action rewarded by little more that pissing off the co-op. It just makes the co-op stronger.

An exercise in mindfulness is always good. Letting go of mean is a great thing. Mean is just a waste of time and energy. Mean is the miniskirt of fear.

Without considering what we are doing we can be a wrapper of meanness. Critical observation of others, mindless embarking, and just negligent travel time can all end up with a reward on lapel as “mean.”

Unskilled Network Line Installation
Like an unskilled network line installation in a retail store. You look up and there it is like a sore thumb. Almost a juvenile terrorist attack. Being a selfish journey across a cooperative ceiling aesthetic it begs for removal.  It is neither good, nor evil, but it begs to the skilled co-op to be removed.

There is a question sometimes as to what exactly the results of our behavior are. Good, evil, they are labels. What is good for some is not good for others. There is something that can be considered outside of the fray of labels. Skillful and unskillful are those conditions that rise above the good and evil patchwork of the day. Like an unskilled network line installation in a retail store. You look up and there it is like a sore thumb. Almost a juvenile terrorist attack. Being a selfish journey across a cooperative ceiling aesthetic it begs for removal. It is neither good, nor evil, but it begs to the skilled co-op to be removed.

Little Lizard Near Atlanta, GA
A perspective is important because there you evaluate where you have been. Observations by others are meaningless unless they are coaching you along. No matter what, it is your journey. You must hone your skill.

Loving to be the very model of some skillful means this writer fails miserably from that condition. Here we find guilt lurking, regret forming and so here is fear with her miniskirt, again. Its the fashion of all trained actors to be in costume according to the training received via Mom, Dad, television, silver screen or environment. A perspective is important because there you evaluate where you have been. Observations by others are meaningless unless they are coaching you along. No matter what, it is your journey. You must hone your skill.

Crown Plaza Downtown Atlanta
Looking down from the perch of hindsight.

Looking down from the perch of hindsight. You can remove the mean not from others but from yourself. That is the key here. Examine the causes and effects of your unskillful meanderings and soon enough there is a respite from the turmoil of mean. The greatest place to be is as far from it as possible. Become skilled in observation and the mistakes made by you and others begin to become the negotiation of a superior martial art. There is no room for hurt. There is no room for mean.

Blamming the Banks or Buying the Problem of Overdraft Fees

Banks and Credit Unions
The Mean Old Bank

I remember the days before overdraft protection. I think I wrote about 20 bad checks before then. I also remember sending money orders, cashiers checks or cash in person to fix those issues or better yet! as was the case of NetZero, AOL and some other service I just got them stop via the great neglect.

I had become an individual who knew I didn’t have the money to spend but I did it anyway because I bought what I didn’t need and to hell with the future.

Then came overdraft protection. For years I spent nearly a thousand dollars a year on fees. I had no self esteem. I lived less than paycheck to paycheck. The fact was that it was my own fault. I knew how to balance a checkbook, I just choose not to. Which leads me to raise a giant bull-shit flag on this article.

It may be true that banks charge exorbitant fees. They do! That’s why I now have only credit union accounts and a PayPal account. When you have a Credit Union account, you are one of the owners of the bank. I still will get charged for writing bad checks so I don’t write bad checks. It is pretty simple.

Now here is some financial advice from me to you. Walk into your bank today and do what I did to Bank of America 10 years ago. Close your account. Take your meager $15 and put it in your pocket. Find a Credit Union and put $5 dollars in to join and the rest in for good luck.

The following article touts the overdraft fee as the culprit but that is one of many.  Another one is getting charged for having a checking account when you do not have direct deposit. Don’t fall for that.

Finally no matter how you bank stop blaming the financial institution for your decisions. Sometimes you will screw up. Just do what I have done.

No kidding, there I was… I had anticipated my direct deposit to go in on Wednesday. I scheduled 6 transactions for Thursday, but I forgot that I made a PayPal Business Debit purchase  for $3. Guess what? I was $1.53 short. My credit union charged me $25 x 6. My wife was the first to get the good news.

I said, to her that I would take care of it. It was not a wise idea to play so close with our finances but I played the game and got burned. Now I play with a ledger that I track weeks and up to a month (GnuCash) ahead but that’s another story. Anyway, I took my sorry ass to our credit union and spoke to the branch president. My transaction of direct deposit had gone in exactly after my 6 withdraws.

The branch president waved her magic wand and immediately the fees were deposited back into my account. I asked if I could give her a hug. She said yes.

Get to know who you deposit your money with. Stop blaming them for your mistakes. If they are too big to deal with, then get a credit union. Own your financial situation.

A response to http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/19/your-bank-should-be-more-like-your-waiter-and-less-like-your-landlord/

Chesterfield County is not Pedestrian Friendly

Spider in Richmond
Spider in Richmond

So there I was in Richmond, Virginia or the outskirts. A place were hotels run free and the pedestrian might as well go Lyft or Ubber himself. Yes, I’m talking about Chesterfield County. Like I ended up there for some work. I was in a pretty decent hotel in a place called Arboretum. Yes there were trees there. It’s kind of like Kings Mill, but with more hills.

A 24 hour Gold’s Gym was right around the corner, but it was closed. Wow! No big deal, but the big question I had to ask is, “Where are the sidewalks?” There were none. And when I say none, I mean that the roads were landscaped to the edge of traffic. Never had I been in such a pedestrian averted place. Why? I don’t know. All I have to say is that it was a shame.

Eye
Eye

I understand that it costs money to make sidewalks. The question I want to have answered is: “How much money does it cost to have foot traffic not coming to your local businesses, churches and car dealerships?

There is an opportunity for some enterprising concrete contractor here. Plenty-o-sidewalks to be made.

The view is nice. Let’s make it people friendly too.