Tag: anxiety (page 2 of 5)

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self

📚 Bookshelf designs as unique as you are: Part 2 — “Stuffing all your favorite novels into a single space without damaging any of them, and making sure the whole affair looks presentable as well? Now, that’s a tough task. So, we’ve rounded up some super cool, functional and not to mention aesthetically pleasing bookshelf designs for you to store your paperback companions in!”

📱 How to overcome Phone Addiction [Solutions + Research] — “Phone addiction goes hand in hand with anxiety and that anxiety often lowers the motivation to engage with people in real life. This is a huge problem because re-connecting with people in the offline world is a solution that improves the quality of life. The unnecessary drop in motivation because of addiction makes it that much harder to maintain social health.”

⚙️ From Tech Critique to Ways of Living — “This technological enframing of human life, says Heidegger, first “endanger[s] man in his relationship to himself and to everything that is” and then, beyond that, “banishes” us from our home. And that is a great, great peril.”

🎨 Finding time for creativity will give you respite from worries — “According to one study examining the links between art and health, a cost-benefit analysis showed a 37% drop in GP consultation rates and a 27% reduction in hospital admissions when patients were involved in creative pursuits. Other studies have found similar results. For example, when people were asked to write about a trauma for 15 minutes a day, it resulted in fewer subsequent visits to the doctor, compared to a control group.”

🧑‍🤝‍🧑 For psychologists, the pandemic has shown people’s capacity for cooperation — “In short, what we have seen is a psychology of collective resilience supplanting a psychology of individual frailty. Such a shift has profound implications for the relationship between the citizen and the state. For the role of the state becomes less a matter of substituting for the deficiencies of the individual and more to do with scaffolding and supporting communal self-organisation.”


Quotation-as-title by Cyril Connolly. Image from top-linked post.

Philosophical anxiety as a superpower

Anxiety is a funny thing. Some people are anxious over specific things, while others, like me, have a kind of general background anxiety. It’s only recently have I’ve admitted that to myself.

Some might call this existential or philosophical anxiety and, to a greater or lesser extent, it’s part of the human condition.

Humans are philosophising animals precisely because we are the anxious animal: not a creature of the present, but regretful about the past and fearful of the future. We philosophise to understand our past, to make our future more comprehensible… Philosophy is the path that we hope gets us there. Anxiety is our dogged, unpleasant and indispensable companion.

Samir Chopra, Anxiety isn’t a pathology. It drives us to push back the unknown (Psyche)

One of the things my therapist has been pushing me on recently is my tolerance for, and ability to sit with uncertainty. We all want to know something for definite, but it’s rarely possible.

We are anxious; we seek relief by enquiring, by asking questions, while not knowing the answers; greater or lesser anxieties might heave into view as a result. As we realise the dimensions of our ultimate concerns, we find our anxiety is irreducible, for our increasing bounties of knowledge – scientific, technical or conceptual – merely bring us greater burdens of uncertainty.

Samir Chopra, Anxiety isn’t a pathology. It drives us to push back the unknown (Psyche)

To be able to tolerate the philosophical anxiety of not knowing, then, is a form of superpower. It may not necessarily make us happy, but it does make us free.

Anxiety then, rather than being a pathology, is an essential human disposition that leads us to enquire into the great, unsolvable mysteries that confront us; to philosophise is to acknowledge a crucial and animating anxiety that drives enquiry onward. The philosophical temperament is a curious and melancholic one, aware of the incompleteness of human knowledge, and the incapacities that constrain our actions and resultant happiness.

Samir Chopra, Anxiety isn’t a pathology. It drives us to push back the unknown (Psyche)

Ultimately, it’s OK to be anxious, as it makes us human and takes us beyond mere rationality to a deeper, more powerful understanding of who (and why) we are.

The most fundamental enquiry of all is into our selves; anxiety is the key to this sacred inner chamber, revealing which existential problematic – the ultimate concerns of death, meaning, isolation, freedom – we are most eager to resolve.

Samir Chopra, Anxiety isn’t a pathology. It drives us to push back the unknown (Psyche)

Rethinking human responses to adversity

As a parent and former teacher I can get behind this:

ADHD is not a disorder, the study authors argue. Rather it is an evolutionary mismatch to the modern learning environment we have constructed. Edward Hagen, professor of evolutionary anthropology at Washington State University and co-author of the study, pointed out in a press release that “there is little in our evolutionary history that accounts for children sitting at desks quietly while watching a teacher do math equations at a board.”

Alison Escalante, What If Certain Mental Disorders Are Not Disorders At All?, Psychology Today

This is a great article based on a journal article about PTSD, depression, anxiety, and ADHD. As someone who has suffered from depression in the past, and still deals with anxiety, I absolutely think it has an important situational aspect.

That is to say, instead of just medicating people, we need to be thinking about their context.

[T]he stated goal of the paper is not to suddenly change treatments, but to explore new ways of studying these problems. “Research on depression, anxiety, and PTSD, should put greater emphasis on mitigating conflict and adversity and less on manipulating brain chemistry.”

Alison Escalante, What If Certain Mental Disorders Are Not Disorders At All?, Psychology Today