Word-Of-the-Week #649: Anxious

January 12, 2017 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #649: Anxious 

Anxious – uneasy and apprehensive about an uncertain event or matter; worried.

How would you rate your anxiety level? Does uncertainty trigger worry? Do you compare yourself/and or your life to your family, neighbors, or co-workers?

This week features part 1 of “Why are Americans so anxious?” by San Diego Union columnist Neil Senturia, I’m There for You, Baby.

“December 31, 2016, midnight – after one glass of very old scotch.

Tis the season to be jolly is gone. Thank goodness. The lingering question that always comes up at this time of year is – what the hell is happiness – and do I have it – and if I don’t, why not – and  do I even want it? (What else should someone consider as the ball is dropping and 103,000 crazies are in Times Square freezing their “fingers” off?)

And so we turn to a new book, “America the Anxious,” by Ruth Whippman.  Her theme is that we live in a “state of perpetual anxiety,” and that this is the new norm. (Oy! indeed – this is clearly good news for my shrink). Whippman quotes the World Health Organization whose data confirms that America is the most anxious country on the planet. (I will speculate that after the most recent election, we are probably off any chart they have ever used.)

Whippman, who is from England, discovered in her research that America is “culturally preoccupied with this idea of happiness, of finding happiness.” Like the game “Where’s Waldo” – do we really think we can “find” happiness? Are we on some treasure hunt looking for the big H behind the hedge?

She interviewed hundreds of people and found that we Americans “agonize about am I happy, am I as happy as my neighbor – why is he happier – and finally, could I be happier if I tried harder.”

At midnight, this is almost hilarious. The idea of trying to be happy strikes me as borderline insane. If we just take one more class or read one more book, then finally happiness will be ours.

A few years ago, one of my companies hired a woman who had a Ph.D. in happiness. I am being serious. She came down from Los Angeles (where else would you expect misery to flourish) to give us a three-hour class in happiness. At the end, we were all jumping up and down, waving our arms, singing and shouting.

A few days later, this woman calls me to tell me she is unhappy and would like some coaching from me on her career. You cannot make this stuff up.”

I LOVE his sense of humor! Stay tuned for part 2…and until then…the question is, “Do you agonize about finding happiness?”

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WOW Word-Of-the-Week #299: Anxious

May 17, 2010 by · Comments Off on WOW Word-Of-the-Week #299: Anxious 

Anxious – what we feel when we are out of our comfort zone.

Do you remember the last time you felt anxious? Do you spend time worrying about future events? How do you feel when you do something you’ve never done before?

I don’t consider myself to be an anxious person. This week we got home from our 51 day “Asia Tour” and I have to admit I was a bit anxious before I left. I was feeling apprehensive. What if I didn’t pack enough clothes? Over half of the trip was unbearably hot and humid. The other cold, damp and wet. On top of that, we had the baggage weight restrictions to contend with. No more than 44 lbs. without getting charged. We were clearly over our weight!

Then there were all of the medications, lotions, cosmetics, prescriptions. What if I forgot something?

Then there was the feeling of leaving our home and making sure everything was taken care of. We had our very competent Amy staying here with a list of everyone she could call in the event of an emergency. Did I miss someone?

Then there was the thought of no travel insurance. What if something happens to my one of my friends or family while we’re gone? (We told everyone we weren’t coming home)

And once I got on the plane I went right into my “planned spontaneity.” If I forgot something I would just have to buy it. If something happened I would just deal with it.

Then there was the earthquake on April 4th. Did it do any damage to our home?

As it turned out, out of 19 flights we only got charged for excess baggage once.  We love the United Star Alliance and Delta Sky Team rewards. (Don’t leave home without those cards)
We had packed everything we needed. We had email and stayed in communication with everyone. When the sprinkler broke Amy handled it. As for the earthquake, no one was hurt (but definitely shaken up, no pun intended) and we only had one broken plate that was on the fireplace mantel.

This week think about what anxious means to you. Does it bring up dread? How do you feel when you are out of your comfort zone? How much time do you spend worrying about some future event?

Reader Responses

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We all feel anxiety. I don’t think any of us is immune to the feeling, mainly because there are so many things we are responsible for as we grow into our lives. Invariably, there will be things we get anxious about. I can relate to your trip anxiety. There are so many things to take care of ahead of time: tickets, hotels, ground transportation, packing, work and family obligations. Just remembering to do everything before we leave can cause a great deal of anxiety. Before we leave, Kristen likes to have me set up an additional litter box for our cat and make sure both are clean. So, taking care of that and cleaning the house  are two more things we have to remember before we leave. Then, we have to remember to take little Emma Phoebe’s car seat. Kristen gets a lot more anxious than I do, but that is really more her nature. I just try to remain the calm, cool and collected one. We have a routine down by now, but there will always be the anxious moments. I just try to remind Kristen when she begins to get anxious before a trip that all we have to do is take care of one thing at a time and it all gets done. She has a tendency to get way ahead of herself in terms of preparation. So, I ask her what it is I can do to help to reduce her anxiety. As long as I can stay cool, everything usually works out. There also is a lot of anxiety when we don’t have control over things. Trying to just take care of what I can control is the best, and I try to let everything else work out. And, it usually does. Thanks, Susan. Have a great week. We are in the midst of a nice spring.” – Joe