Tag Archives: anxiety

Finding calm in the storm

Find calm in living things amongst stormy chaos.

Living things in nature offer an opportunity to step outside of the storms of human society into a calm.

Living things in nature offer an opportunity to step outside of the storms of human society into a calm.

Human society encourages you to become anxious, always in a state of panic. The adrenaline constantly runs like an angry river, the constant demands of electronic devices, deadlines and noise.  The news is always ugly, full of fear and worry.  Human society is a constant raging hurricane of angry fear.

Randomly a cat runs up to you.  The cat demands your attention, to draw you outwards from the storm to a world of calm.  Looking around yourself you notice a world of calm, the birds sing, the light calm breeze, the distant sounds of happy children playing.  You realise the illusion you have become trapped in has become dispelled by a living creature that has no understanding or care about the angry world of human society.  You are calm, as the cat enjoys your company.  The cat has pulled you out of the storm into a calm centre.

Children need boundaries

Childhood anxiety is often the result of poor boundaries that encourage insecurity.

Children need to feel secure to grow.

Children need to feel secure to grow.

One of the great issues children suffer from is anxiety.  This anxiety spawns many symptoms from suicide to bullying.  An industry has been built up to profit from childhood anxiety in the form of therapists to drugs, an industry which would rather the child continue to exist in this anxious state.  Anxiety spins off because of insecurity, and the insecurity is caused by ineffective boundaries, the solution is healthy boundaries.

Children are a resource, like seed in the ground, they are potential, a resource that is still to manifest and flower.  The carer and teacher are the gardeners, and society provides the soil in which these seeds will grow from.  Like everything humanity has poisoned the soil in which these seeds are growing, and the gardeners are less skilled and wise in their ability than former generations.

All children need security if they are to flourish. If the child is anxious they waste energy on dealing with the crisis rather than growing.  The answer is healthy boundaries, which provide protection, opportunities to grow and a structure for the child to build a world view of self and reality.  The current boundaries that the majority of children encounter in the English-speaking world are bad, they fail to provide opportunities to grow, and are so vague that the child has little idea what or where they are.

Protection

Yasmeen Olya makes a good point on how to protect children in her blog post. Anything that makes a child feel insecure leads to anxiety, which pulls away resources that could have been used for growing.  If there are troubles in the family or in the world, the child has no need to know about it.  Protection is age and ability dependent, a child should only come into contact with sex, violence and the problems of society when they are emotionally able to handle it; if they come against anything they are not ready for they suffer anxiety on a crippling level.  Television, video games and internet would be better eliminated or severely limited for most pre-teens.

Opportunities

Children grow if they are given the opportunity to play, experience and do. One of the important opportunities is giving children access to nature.  Nature is a great teacher, it will present children with natural challenges that prepare the child emotionally for the raw world of human society.  Children will encounter sex, death, suffering, violence in nature, as well as the living, nurturing, beauty and nobility that nature provides too. Children can play, swim, dig, climb and create in a social experiential environment.  There are many forms of opportunity beyond nature, and they all provide growing opportunities as longs as they are unstructured and available.  Opportunities need only adults to teach skills and knowledge, but the process or route the child chooses to create and explore should be left to them.  The human body is designed for activity so all opportunities are good if they encourage physical, emotional and intellectual activity in a liberated open way.  See anaturemom.com for what I mean about opportunities.

Structure

To a certain extent children come into the world with no sense of self or reality.  It is through play, doing and experience that the child slowly constructs a world view.  The child automatically borrows a world view from their carers and teachers as a substitute whilst they slowly construct their own.  It is down to the carer and teacher to provide a clear world view for the child which sets the limits which the child works in.  If the boundaries are unclear or invisible the child has no idea who they are or where they are in the world; suddenly the world grows into a large and dangerous place, insecurity sets in and then so does anxiety.  The structure starts off restricted with few choices, but grows as the child grows.

Boundaries that are ability dependent

Whilst age provides a good framework around which to construct boundaries, with greater experience it would be better to construct the boundaries based on ability.  Take for example a highly intelligent child, they will need boundaries that are less restrictive than a normal ability student.  Likewise a child with disabilities need more restrictive boundaries than a normal ability child.

I end with a video of an intelligent child who needed a university rather than normal school to satisfy their intellectual needs.  Though such a child preferred adult company to that of their age group, they still need strong emotional boundaries.

The nameless dread

It is natural for change to cause anxiety.

Walking the unknown road of change there is a growing nameless dread of what may exist around the corner.

Walking the unknown road of change there is a growing nameless dread of what may exist around the corner.

The rate of changes I have been making in my life and business has the unexpected challenge of creating a considerable amount of personal anxiety.  There is a dark formless dread hanging in the background of my mind, like a shadowy monster ready to devour me.

My commitment to one small daily sustainable action is contributing to a domino effect of change, both due to its effects, but also due to the amount of change I have to make to bring about one change.  Small it may be these changes, but there is research to be done, telephone calls to make, obstacles to overcome, false starts and sacrifices.  Not only am I making the sort of changes I blog about each day, but I am also thinking, reviewing and working towards other changes each day to keep my momentum going.

The ideal of one small sustainable action each day is good, but the actual manifestation of these changes is the challenge.  The human mind likes the security of the known, the secure and the routine.  Now I am in a chaotic period of multiple changes into the unknown.  Due to this change, insecurity and uncertainty a fog of anxiety has grown up. My “get off the fence” approach is cutting through obstacles, external and internal, but that feeds rather than diminishes the anxiety.  However, I am reaping good beneficial results from my changes.

Fortunately there are mind techniques for dealing with this nameless dread.  The human subconscious has no sense of reality, so creative visualisation can pay huge dividends.  I remember that for a long time my fear of heights was so bad that I had trouble going up even a flight of stairs on the outside of buildings; I visualised a big hand protecting me ready to catch me if I fell; I thus overcame my fear sufficiently to climb such stairs without being reduced to a jelly.  A similar approach I shall use against the nameless dread, the form of the visualisation remains to be decided.

thegreenline

Sustainability action 6 : use Ecosia search engine.

We can support the environment by using our power as voters, consumers and supporters to deal with those people, groups, organisations, products and services that contribute to a sustainable planet.  Amongst the many search engines is Ecosia, whose unique selling point is that it will contribute 80% of income to save the Amazon rainforest.  The income comes from users clicking the advertisements on Ecosia, or buying products from advertisers displaying an “EcoLink” sign.

Ecosia is not as efficient in search results as Google, so is a bad tool to use for research projects, but for general searches for regular sites like “WordPress” or “Twitter” it is good to use.  Nobody is perfect, criticism is levelled at Ecosia for the contributions of income it pays to Bing and Yahoo for access to their search tools; they are criticised for their dependency upon third-party search servers which undermines their claims of a neutral or negative carbon footprint per search. To date Ecosia has contributed £913,612 to the Amazon rainforest, which at least makes them a search engine worth supporting as users.

My sustainability action today is to use Ecosia for general searches instead of Google from now on.