Posts tagged anxiety
When joy isn't the answer

In a world where we have instant access to people, on-demand access to food delivery, and virtual assistance we aren’t happy. Stop throughout the day and ask yourself, am I happy? What more do I need to be happy? What am I doing today to lead to happiness?

Because I’m happy
My son’s choir sang a great song this month called “I Sing Because I’m Happy”. On stage, he had a grin from ear to ear. Other kids were focused, as if they were singing because they were singing. If I’m feeling drained or sad and I make myself sing, it is hard to stay sad. One could say I sing because I’m sad.

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Why relaxing isn't relaxing

The schools in my area are on spring break this week. I am working and, starting tonight, watching the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. When spring break begins, I feel a sense of relief and success. One reaon is that I’ve made it two-thirds of the way through my son’s school year. Another reason is when there is a school break or a holiday, people are less anxious about their legal issues. I receive less e-mail and fewer phone calls which allows my day to feel more fluid and less disjointed.

Most weeks are not disjointed. Life, in general, feels more disjointed. Our attention is rarely on one thing at a time. It isn’t from multitasking, rather it is because there is a “high” that comes with seeing new information.

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Just say ok

From the moment you wake up, you are making decisions.  Thousands of microdecisions are made everyday.  You are either taking action on a decision or processing whether or not to act.  There are likely several decisions ping-ponging around your brain at any given time.  It is exhausting.  

Every person has a process of sending a decision through several internal filters or a personal algorithm.  Those filters include your values, your desire for control and your intuition to protect yourself.

Our decision-making systems can be on overload because companies build their business to give you lots of choices.   To prove this, go into a Starbucks and listen to 10 people place an order.  Or walk down the cereal aisle at the grocery store. 

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I’m good enough. I’m smart enough.

People in their late 30s and in their 40s may remember a sketch on Saturday Night Live of a character named Stuart Smalley.  Smalley, played by Al Franken, read affirmations that always included “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.” The content of the reoccurring sketch isn’t memorable but the underlying theme of affirmations comes to mind decades later.

I recently finished watching the 2015 miniseries “The People v. O.J. Simpson.”  I am in awe of how Marcia Clark managed to survive that trial.  It took place in 1992 and she was the lead prosecutor.  The news, her peers, and anyone looking for an easy target ruthlessly scrutinized everything she did, from her trial strategy to her haircut. 

As an attorney and a woman, it is second nature for me to compare myself to her situation.  In comparison, I didn’t think I could ever do what she did.  Why do I think that way? 

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Cracking the mindfulness code

Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment nonjudgmentally.

15 years ago, I participated in a Mindfulness Stress-Based Management course.  The course was 8 weeks long and based on the book “Full Catastrophe Living” by Jon Kabia-Zinn. 

Mindfulness is available every waking second.  I also enjoy meditation but it requires stillness of the body for a period of time.  Truthfully, it would be wonderful if I could spend time doing either for any second of the day.    

I have always believed that mindfulness required the full attention of my entire self.  That may be true.  I decided, however, that I can only be mindful with my brain and one other part of my body.  When I realized this, I felt like I cracked the code for integrating mindfulness into my life.

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