When a Stress Expert Battles Mental Illness


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Mental illness is an illness. It can happen to anybody. A stress expert shares his experience.

Even so, it’s hard to come to terms with an illness that affects my mind. When I injure my body, it’s easy to say “my calf is pulled” or “I have a stress fracture in my heel.” But if I don’t have control over my mind, I can’t help but wonder who am “I.” I’ve found some consolation in meditation, which has helped me realize that perhaps “I” am the awareness that lies underneath not just physical pain, but also thoughts and feelings.

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Brad Stulberg — Outside

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How to Accept Anxious Feelings So You Can Let Them Pass


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This last one is the most difficult but the most important. Often anxiety is so painful that we become fascinated, obsessed even, with understanding and solving our worries. We want to get rid of the pain of anxiety as soon as possible.

Sometimes this is useful, as we come up with strategies to manage our emotions, but a lot of the time it validates the power of our anxiety and adds fuel to the fire. The mind will only focus on what it values; if you can manage to become bored with your anxiety, it will loosen its grip on your life.

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Benjamin Fishel — Tiny Buddha

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What Is Anxiety Sensitivity, and Do I Have It?


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Today’s needull talks about anxiety sensitivity. What is it? Basically, the fear of fear itself.

So what exactly is this fiendish phenomenon? It’s a belief that the physiological experience of anxiety itself, like a racing heart, sweating, or shaking, is dangerous and could lead to devastating outcomes. In other words, it’s the tendency to interpret anxious sensations as catastrophic—it really is fear of fear.

For example, someone with high anxiety sensitivity might fear the dizziness that comes with being anxious, thinking it means they’re going to snap and have a mental breakdown. Another might fear the pounding heart that comes from walking into a room of strangers, thinking a heart attack is around the corner. Yet another might interpret their nervous trembling as a sign that they’re losing control of their faculties.

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Ellen Hendriksen — QuickandDirtyTips.com

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An Antidote to the Age of Anxiety


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Today’s needull looks at overcoming anxiety through the writing of Alan Watts. Watts died in 1973, but what he wrote about the reason for anxiety is more valid than ever in this age of hyper-productivity and connections.

The real reason why human life can be so utterly exasperating and frustrating is not because there are facts called death, pain, fear, or hunger. The madness of the thing is that when such facts are present, we circle, buzz, writhe, and whirl, trying to get the “I” out of the experience. We pretend that we are amoebas, and try to protect ourselves from life by splitting in two. Sanity, wholeness, and integration lie in the realization that we are not divided, that man and his present experience are one, and that no separate “I” or mind can be found.

To understand music, you must listen to it. But so long as you are thinking, “I am listening to this music,” you are not listening.

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Brain Pickings — Maria Popova

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