Category Archives: mental health

Frey Freyday – Anxiety

(Frey Freyday is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

ANXIETYAnxiety is an emotion characterized by an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behaviour

Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength. Charles Spurgeon

If you don’t think your anxiety, depression, sadness and stress impact your physical health, think again. All of these emotions trigger chemical reactions in your body, which can lead to inflammation and a weakened immune system. Learn how to cope, sweet friend. There will always be dark days. Kris Carr

The truth is that there is no actual stress or anxiety in the world; it’s your thoughts that create these false beliefs. You can’t package stress, touch it, or see it. There are only people engaged in stressful thinking. Wayne Dyer

People tend to dwell more on negative things than on good things. So the mind then becomes obsessed with negative things, with judgments, guilt and anxiety produced by thoughts about the future and so on. Eckhart Tolle

Nothing in the affairs of men is worthy of great anxiety. Plato



Anxiety– something that distracts us from life and living, something that keeps us from being happy, doing our best, enjoying the moment. Often, not always, our anxiety is very much able to be controlled.


Anxiety is a big subject. I was getting a little anxious about writing this. We all suffer from some sort of anxiety. It may be little things around the house, issues with the kids, concerns about a relationship, often finances, careers, health. We have anxiety about our world, our culture, our politics.


Some of us probably focus on the negative a little more than others in some situations vs others because of our life experiences, perspectives, and circumstances.


As a country, the US has more than its fair share of anxiety. If you think about it, we have some of the highest standards of living, if not the highest standards of living, in the whole world. Like some countries, for the most part in American, we don’t have to worry about where our next meal is coming from, we have a safe home, we have access to healthcare in many cases, and we generally can meet all of our basic needs as a human being.


In some third-world countries, families share small tin shacks with dirt floors and a bag of beans and rice means the world to them. Getting sick is a big concern and a simple illness can lead to worse things. Safety and security is often a big concern. Out world looks pretty good next to that.


So if we have a better society, in general, why are we so anxious? Does the constant news media help? Probably not. Does the envy, jealousy, comparing ourselves to others on social media help? (We often see the perfect versions of our friends and relatives on social media- all the good photos and we may think, ‘what’s wrong with my life?’)


American citizens are prescribed and use A LOT of anxiety medication. Sometimes these help. Sometimes they cause other side effects like dizziness, headaches, nausea and vomiting. Other sides effects include thoughts of suicide, confusion, aggression, hallucinations, sleep problems, severe drowsiness and other issues – none of which will help you feel less anxious, I’m guessing. One side effect of an anxiety medication actually stated, “may cause anxiety or depression.”


In a recent article, ( by Lindsay Holmes 8/30/18) Stephen Colbert spoke about anxiety in his life. He stated,Nobody ever asked me what was wrong! It went on for months. I would go to the show, and I would curl up in a ball on the couch backstage and I would wait to hear my cue lines. Then I would uncurl and go onstage and I’d feel fine,” he said. “Which occurred to me at the time: Like, ‘Oh, you feel fine when you’re out here.’ And then as soon as I got offstage, I’d just crumble into a ball again. Nobody ever asked me what was wrong! It went on for months.”


Colbert said back then he took medication for his anxiety for a few days, which he said helped. But he ultimately decided that treatment plan wasn’t right for him. “I realized that the gears were still smoking. I just couldn’t hear them anymore,” he said. “But I could feel them, I could feel the gearbox heating up and smoke pouring out of me.”


An estimated 40 million American adults, or 18 percent of the adult population, are affected by anxiety each year. In addition to panic and excessive stress, it can cause headaches, stomach issues, rapid breathing, heart palpitations and more. But the good news is that anxiety is highly treatable: Therapy, medication, coping techniques or a combination of methods can help people manage anxiety and live well.


So what can we do? What do people do to cope with and/or overcome anxiety? The Internet is full of possible solutions. It could include changes in diet, reducing caffeine, taking Vitamin B, exercising, meditation, mindfulness, analyzing your thoughts, talking about anxiety, therapy, changing your inner thoughts/questions, and many other items.


For me, I find writing it down helps, writing out a solution or solutions. It is nice to know that one has options. I rarely enjoy going to the fitness center to exercise –sometimes I really dislike going – but afterwards I am always happy, and it really helps with any stress or anxiety I have, big or small stuff.


I read Eckhart Tolle years ago, and to paraphrase him, he basically stated that we often focus on negative things in the past that already happened or negative things that might happen in the future. In either case we really can’t change it right now, so it’s kind of a waste of time. We’re getting anxious for no reason. Tolle says we can feel better by just being in the moment, being present in the now. For a long time I thought this was silly – a simplification of our problems. One day, I started trying it. If I felt anxious about something I tried to catch myself, not be judgmental about it, but just redirect my thoughts into the present moment. I would focus on my breathing, the lighting, the air currents, the sounds – whatever was around me. You can’t focus on simple things like that AND focus on your worries at the same time. Sure, sometimes the problem was still there but I was able to approach it with less anxiety, in a calmer, relaxed state where I could perform better.


I read the above Wayne Dyer quote years ago and again, I felt that it was an esoteric sort of shrugging off of anxiety and I didn’t give it much weight. Then I was on vacation one week and returned to find that an ‘issue’ had been brewing at work. Had I been at work I would have been stressed about it, anxious and worried – even though there was nothing that I could do about it in any way. Instead, I was on vacation and didn’t know it was going on….so I wasn’t worried. In both cases I could not control the outcome or affect it in any way. So why be anxious? Easier said than done, sure, but true.


Someone also told me once that anxiety goes away a little when we have faith in a higher power, faith in ourselves, and faith in others….faith that things are going to work out.

Frey Freyday was actually born out of something I created called “Words To Live By” (WTLB). Going forward, I will now not only share the quotes, as you may be used to receiving, but also a related (WTLB). In 1999, when we had our first daughter, I was contemplating how I would raise my new beautiful child, and I was thinking about how I can best educate her and my other children about values, morals, and other key thoughts about life. School offers education. Religion offers some values and morals. Parents offer most of it, sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally.

So I created a (WTLB) book, like a dictionary, which lists things like honesty, love, persistence, etc. with a definition that I created, with my wife’s input. I then turned it into a workbook with one word per page and space below for notes. For years we would discuss with my two daughters and they would draw pictures and make notes in the blank space. I may share some of those images with you. As they got older, they were less inclined to draw and more open to quotes and references from adults, hence where Frey Freyday came from….

You can

BONUS  :   9 Ways to Get Rid of Anxiety in 5 Minutes or Less By Melanie Curtin

Whether you experience is of mild or extreme anxiety, there are steps you can take immediately to calm down and self-soothe. Here are a few of the best:

  1. Stand up straight

According to Tamar Chansky, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Freeing Yourself from Anxiety, “When we are anxious, we protect our upper body — where our heart and lungs are located — by hunching over.”

For immediate relief from anxiety, stand up, pull your shoulders back, plant your feet evenly and widely apart, and open your chest. Then breathe deeply. This posture, combined with deep breathing, helps your body remember that it’s not in danger right now, and that it is in control (not helpless). If you can’t stand up (i.e. you’re in your car), just pull your shoulders back and open up your chest. The most important thing is to stop hunching and breathe deeply.


  1. Play the 5-5-5 game

When you’re anxious, you’re often caught in a (negative) thought loop. Play this to get back into your body and stop anxiety fast:

Look around and name 5 things you can see.

List 5 sounds you can hear.

Move 5 parts of your body you can feel (i.e. rotate your ankle, wiggle your ears, nod your head up and down).

It might sound silly, but this works.


  1. Sniff lavender oil

Lavender oil has a lot of healing properties. It promotes a feeling of calm and supports deep, restful sleep. It can even help with headaches.

To help reduce anxiety, keep a bottle of lavender oil at your desk (or in purse if you have one). Breathe it in and/or massage it into your temples when you need a boost of peace. Bonus points for combining the sniffing with deep, even breaths.


  1. Watch a funny video

Yes, really. Watching a clip of your favorite comedian or blooper reel will help you stop feeling anxious fast. Why? Because you can’t laugh and stay anxious at the same time, physiologically. Your body relaxes after a bout of laughter in a way that gets rid of anxiety. Plus, according to the Mayo Clinic, laughter brings in oxygen-rich air, which stimulates your heart and lungs, and spikes your endorphins.


  1. Go for a brisk walk

Exercise is a long-proven way to lower anxiety. In addition to boosting your level of feel-good neurotransmitters, a brisk walk clears your mind and gets you breathing more deeply again–and anxiety is intimately linked to shallow breathing.

Studies also show that people who exercise vigorously on a regular basis are 25 percent less likely to develop an anxiety disorder.


  1. Accept your anxiety

This may sound counterintuitive, but Chansky says accepting your anxiety (instead of feeling ashamed or frustrated by it) will actually help you feel less anxious.

It doesn’t matter whether you inherited your anxiety from your family or your lifestyle, or both. It’s here now, and acknowledging that instead of fighting it frees you up to learn how to manage it. Accepting it doesn’t mean giving up, either. It means you stop spending energy berating yourself for being anxious and instead learn what works for you when it comes to self-soothing.


  1. Listen to the most relaxing song in the world

This song was engineered specifically to calm your nervous system. It was found to reduce anxiety by up to 65 percent. Here is a loop of it playing on repeat.


  1. Re-label what’s happening.

If you’re having a panic attack and your heart is racing, it’s easy to believe something like, “I’m going to die.” Instead of buying into this inaccurate thought, re-label it. Remind yourself: “This is a panic attack. I’ve had them before and they don’t actually kill me; they pass. This will also pass, and there’s nothing I need to do.”

In actuality, panic attacks are an activation of the body’s fight-or-flight response, which doesn’t kill you–it keeps you alive.


  1. Do something

Do anything. Clear a few things off your desk. Walk over to the kitchenette and get yourself a glass of water. Walk outside and find a flower to smell–it doesn’t matter. Doing an action interrupts your thought pattern, which is often where anxiety starts.

When it comes to stopping anxiety, self-soothing is actually a profound act of self-love.

Love on.

Published on: Aug 30, 2018

To Conquer Fear, A Man Turns Rejection Into A Game

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Editor’s note: This story first ran on Jan. 16, 2015, as part of NPR’s Invisibilia podcast. It’s about a man who decided he no longer wanted to be ruled by fear. Without realizing it, he used a standard tool of psychotherapy to help him stop dreading rejection.

And if you’ve been dreading a future without Invisibilia, fear not — we’re hard at work on Season Two! We can’t reveal what we’re working on right now, but rest assured that this season won’t include any snakes. Just a lion.

The evolution of Jason Comely, a freelance IT guy from Cambridge, Ontario, began one sad night several years ago.

“That Friday evening that I was in my one-bedroom apartment trying to be busy,” Comely says. “But really, I knew that I was avoiding things.”

See, nine months earlier, Jason’s wife had left him.

“She … found someone that was taller than I was — had more money than I had. … So, yeah.”

And since then, Jason had really withdrawn from life. He didn’t go out, and he avoided talking to people, especially women.

But that Friday, he realized that this approach was taking a toll.

“I had nowhere to go, and no one to hang out with,” Comely says. “And so I just broke down and started crying.” He realized that he was afraid. “I asked myself, afraid of what?

“I thought, I’m afraid of rejection.”

Which got him thinking about the Spetsnaz, an elite Russian military unit with a really intense training regime.

“You know, I heard of one situation where they were, like, locked in a room, a windowless room, with a very angry dog, and they’d only be armed with a spade, and only one person is going to get out — the dog or the Spetsnaz.”

And that gave him an idea. Maybe he could somehow use the rigorous approach of the Spetsnaz against his fear.

So if you’re a freelance IT guy, living in a one-bedroom apartment in Cambridge, Ontario, what is the modern equivalent of being trapped in a windowless room with a rabid dog and nothing to protect you but a single handheld spade?

“I had to get rejected at least once every single day by someone.”

Cards from the Rejection Therapy game.

Cards from the Rejection Therapy game.

Courtesy of Jason Comely

He started in the parking lot of his local grocery store. Went up to a total stranger and asked for a ride across town.

“And he looked at me, like, and just said, ‘I’m not going that way, buddy.’ And I was like, ‘Thank you!’

“It was like, ‘Got it! I got my rejection.’ ”

Jason had totally inverted the rules of life. He took rejection and made it something he wanted — so he would feel good when he got it.

“And it was sort of like walking on my hands or living on my hands or living underwater or something. It was just a different reality. The rules of life had changed.”

Without knowing it, Jason had used a standard tool of psychotherapy called exposure therapy. You force yourself to be exposed to exactly the thing you fear, and eventually you recognize that the thing you fear isn’t hurting you. You become desensitized. It’s used in treating phobias like fear of flying.

Jason kept on seeking out rejection. And as he did, he found that people were actually more receptive to him, and he was more receptive to people, too. “I was able to approach people, because what are you gonna do, reject me? Great!”

That was when Jason got another idea.

He wrote down all of his real-life rejection attempts, things like, “Ask for a ride from stranger, even if you don’t need one.” “Before purchasing something, ask for a discount.” “Ask a stranger for a breath mint.”

Cards from the Rejection Therapy game.

Cards from the Rejection Therapy game.

Courtesy of Jason Comely

He had them printed on a deck of cards and started selling them online.

Slowly, the Rejection Therapy game became kind of a small cult phenomenon, with people playing all over the world.

Jason has heard from a teacher in Colorado, a massage therapist in Budapest, a computer programmer in Japan, even a widowed Russian grandmother. She’s using rejection therapy to pick up men.

“That’s really cool — so, there’s an 80-year-old babushka playing Rejection Therapy,” he says.

So what has Jason learned from all this?

That most fears aren’t real in the way you think they are. They’re just a story you tell yourself, and you can choose to stop repeating it. Choose to stop listening.

“Don’t even bother trying to be cool,” Jason says. “Just get out there and get rejected, and sometimes it’s going to get dirty. But that’s OK, ’cause you’re going to feel great after, you’re going to feel like, ‘Wow. I disobeyed fear.’ ”

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