Monday, December 21, 2015


On behalf of those of us who suffer with ANXIETY, do you know what is worse to us than the anxiety?—Being told to “calm down”, “relax” or, my all time favorite, “Take a deep breath”.

I think this woman sums it up quite well in her blog post here least in terms of how it effects her when people want to quash her excitability.

My own Thoughts....


 if you’re interested in trolling someone who has anxiety, or, you simply get your spikes of dopamine via sociopathic maneuvers, by all means, go ahead and tell an already-anxious individual to simply “Take a deep breath”.  Problem solved. People with anxiety have never once thought of these suggestions on their own and I’m sure they would appreciate hearing your clever advice.

When interacting with someone who appears funny, “off”, nervous or jittery—or any behavior that isn’t an exact representation of your own behavior, it is always a good idea to point this out to said individual in a public setting and start lecturing. This will put your anxious friend at ease. Make certain that everyone else is aware of this person’s deviant behavior. The person who suffers with anxiety will no doubt feel reassured by your caring, public gesture. Now that more people are glaring at this person, more people can offer their assistance and proceed to tell this person to “relax” or “take a deep breath”. It always helps when more than 2-3 people tell the anxious person the same thing. The more times they hear it, the more likely it will work, right?

You could even step it up a notch and tell your anxious friend, “Go find a corner, count to ten, and then take a deep breath.” People with anxiety always appreciate knowing that you really care. And, even if you were being intentionally patronizing, they would not be able to tell anyways. Never.

I’m only kidding, of course. People who suffer with anxiety are not actually trying to bother you. I know it may seem like it, but they’re not. We do know, however, that our behavior is deeply infuriating to you.  It isn’t, you say? Then why must you keep on commanding us to “Take a deep breath”? It certainly isn’t solving our anxiety. Let me tell you something—your antics are worsening our anxiety, not helping it. We get that you’re a control freak and haven’t expanded your social encounters to approve of those of us who violate what is normal in even the slightest degree. We get it that you’re a Type A, standing for Asshole-Type-Person.

We fully understand that we have our own idiosyncratic personalities. Furthermore, many of us have done everything in our powers to develop mindfulness; a self-aware stance so that we can behave in a manner that puts others at ease. But apparently, after all of these years of self-monitoring…of constant efforts to stay within the straight jacked of normalcy, we have failed.

I’m here to finally say “Knock it Off”. If our composure, mannerisms or the intensity in how we act or express ourselves makes you uncomfortable, then that is your problem, not ours.

I have never once corrected anyone for how they “should” compose themselves—in my entire life. I might argue with ideas or words that are said, but I don’t make commentary on body language. I realize that how people act and compose themselves is largely a product of their brains chemistry and structure. While innate patterns of behavior can be altered and improved upon, many of the individuals who have these patterns are already fully aware that they have them and are making strenuous efforts to overcome them or act in ways that fall within the normal range of acceptable behavior (whatever that is).

The next time someone tells me to “Take a deep breath”, I’m going to tell them “Why don’t you take a deep breath? Why don’t you go to the corner and count to ten?” After all, you’re the one who appears to be affected by me enough to want to manage my behavior and assert your control over me. Next time I won’t even allow your dictates to enter my consciousness and I will ask you “Is everything okay with you? You don’t seem to have any kind of authority on “balance” or “mindfulness” either.

 Commanding someone to “Take a Deep Breath” isn’t helpful. It is equivalent to telling someone to “Calm Down!” or “Lower your Blood Pressure!” Telling someone to calm down has never once helped someone calm down but has instead served to increase their level of agitation. In fact, if you really want to stir up someone’s wrath, just tell them to “Calm down” or “relax” when they are already in a vexed state. Just see what happens…

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Common Theme Between Christianity and Buddhism...?

 I find it interesting that both Buddhism and Christianity have negative things to say about the notion of “desire”. According to Buddhist teaching, the idea of desire or “wanting” is a condition of the mind that should be overcome and banished. Desire is an unbalanced state. It is the feeling of being unfulfilled or “needing something more”. It is from this mental state of desiring something that we experience unhappiness, unsettling thoughts…anxiety. Desire is the root of all the unhappiness that we experience. Nirvana is the condition where desire is placated, pacified. Nirvana is the absence of desire. Nirvana is the state where we will feel whole; but, ironically, through (almost?) self-annihilation. 

In Christianity there is a scripture verse that comes to mind about desire:

“But each one is tempted when, by his own DESIRE, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after DESIRE has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is full grown gives birth to death.”  James 1:14

Another verse comes to mind regarding this "losing of the self".

"Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it."
Matthew 10:39

So, according to Christianity, it is also desire that leads to sin, unhappiness…a corrupt nature. Adam and Eve desired the fruit in the Garden of Eden. They acted upon their desire and it led to their downfall. This led to the Fall of the human race. Heaven is like Christianity’s Nirvana, where there is no more desire or sin and where those who end up there feel complete--and we do this by losing the self for Jesus.