|A jigsaw puzzle my dad and I put together. He put a backing on and preserved it.|
I'm no expert, and my thoughts in this post are based on my personal experience, but I don't think too many people will argue with me when I say anxiety is no good. It's about as much fun as getting a root canal all day, every day.
|My dad holds me, and my mom holds my older brother.|
Aren't I a chunk?! Talk about fat cells! ;O}
Anxiety differs from depression in that it's being in a state of relentless agitation (a lack of peace). Often it's mercifully understated, but it's there nonetheless. Left unattended, the tension spring winds tighter and tighter. Sometimes it screams to be sure we're paying attention. "Do something!" it demands. What it means is "Do something different!" because the same-o, same-o isn't soothing the anxiety beast and releasing any pressure build-up. Years ago I had to leave a job because my extreme anxiety and stress didn't subside one whit over evenings or weekends (vacation was non-existent); it just kept building. The workload was utterly impossible. When it gets like that, Friends, it could very well be time to get out while you can walk out and not wait until "the big one" sends you out the door on a stretcher.
|A watercolor done by a classmate of my grandfather.|
However, anxiety is like depression in that if one needs medical treatment, one best seek it out asap. For instance, mitral valve prolapse has a strong connection with anxiety. I'm sure an online search would turn up many more medical connections. (So if you're experiencing anxiety, please be sure to talk to your doctor about it.)
And being that these are anxious times we live in doesn't help matters. If we think we're not anxious about anything, ever, we'd better pinch ourselves to make sure we're alive.
|An unfinished painting in acrylics done by my mother.|
The kitty was named Holly because she was a Christmas present.
I wonder how much anxiety folks of old felt ... in fact, folks clear up to just before the information age maybe. I mean sure, if we're being chased by a bear, we're terrified until said bear lumbers off. But constant anxiety? I think in part it's so bad now because we've been robbed. Well, that's my theory anyway. Robbed by the busyness in this day and age of precious time and quiet to pursue activities that produce tangible results. Results we can look at as often as we like and say to ourselves: "I made this."
|A sweetie, even with her unfinished face.|
It seems to me we need an outlet that's a good distraction, something totally different from our job, that will "take us away" from our work and daily stress (no, not even Calgon is enough help!). I'm liking the visual arts because then I have something tangible to keep and show for my time. And there are soooo many options. Once we find the one or two or maybe three hands-on activities that are so enjoyable to us we lose track of time and our anxiety, we don't feel so "defined" (or pressured) by our jobs, but defined more so by the wonderful things we enjoy doing and look forward to doing in our free time. (I guess if one is fortunate to find "the one thing," that makes it a passion, and a couple things can become our bliss. I've never been able to whittle it down to one or two things, but I've come to accept that about myself!)
|My beautiful mother (and handsome father and younger brother) at my 4th birthday celebration: 1956!|
There are always going to be deadlines and stressful days at work, concerns for loved ones, snarled traffic jams, crummy weather, financial and health challenges .... IMHO, the best tranquilizer is to be crazy-in-love with Jesus (whether one is male or female because it's a pure, chaste, "brotherly" love; also I'm not the least bit against tranquilizers if one needs them and takes them appropriately). But maybe the next best tranquilizer is finding a creative outlet that makes you feel on top of the world! Trying out the possibilities is part of the fun!
|A little woodworking.|
Please tell us about your hobby or passion in a comment.
From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things,
and the work of their hands brings them reward.
My love to all, especially my precious family!