Tuesday, March 5, 2013

School for Living: Suspending Self-Soothing: March 14, 2013

It is both healthy and normal for us to experience stress. If we never try anything we don’t already know how to do, we don’t grow. But from time to time the anxiety of not knowing how to best deal with a life situation can become overwhelming and we need the capacity to soothe ourselves.

We have all learned coping strategies…things to do which help to relieve our anxiety. We can take a walk, listen to music, smoke a cigarette, go shopping, eat a pizza, go to the boat, smoke some crack. Each of these works to mask the anxiety. None of them addresses the source of the anxiety.

In the conversation on March 14 we will look at the nature of anxiety and appreciate what it can do for us even as we consider how to identify and address its sources. We will acknowledge that we all have things we do which react to anxiety in ways that are self-destructive and we will look at the fourth discipline as a way to learn from the anxiety so as to make choices that lead us toward what we actually need.

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