Howie’s Hot Five for…5 July, 2012

Stream Howie’s Hot Five here

5. Anxiety is so now…oh joy…

1. The new epidemic: One in Five in The US suffer anxiety disorders = 40 million
2. 31% of Americans suffers anxiety,
3. New Zealand ranks third in the world at 24.6% percent in New Zealand (Colombia is No.2)
4. Developing countries show up to five times less anxiety than us.
5. In the US ‘sleep deprivation, lack of downtime and stress start mid-teens in well-to-do families with the pressure to create impressive resumes for college admissions…

Idea: Our children are constantly told ‘they are special and can achieve anything’… but what happens if they don’t… with success as the ultimate reward… many just wilt under the self-imposed stress.  Every decision becomes soooo important.

Source: The Atlantic Journal

4. The busy trap…

The default response to ‘How are you’… is Busy, So busy, Crazy busy.

Definition of this statement; A boast disguised as a complaint!

“Notice it isn’t usually those pulling three shifts in the Intensive care unit or minimum wage worker with three jobs who says this – they are busy but tired – exhausted, dead on their feet.

It’s almost always people who busy-ness is self-imposed – work and activities they’ve taken on voluntarily or activities they’ve encouraged their kids to do.

They get addicted to busy-ness.

And they feel anxious or guilty if they aren’t working or doing something to promote their work.

“I wrote to a friend to see if he wanted to do something this week – he answered  that he didn’t have a lot of time but if something was going on to let him know and he could ditch work for a few hours.  His busyness was like some vast churning noise through which he was shouting out at me…and I gave up trying to shout back over it.

Source: The Opinionator

3. Vacation Sabotage – guerrilla tactics

The Secret? Understand your brain.( Please don’t ask what’s my motivation).

Here what the experts suggest; neuroscientists and behaviour experts…

  1. Your brain is like a revving motor  – body on beach towel but brain still looking for next text-facebook-tele call ‘I’m wanted-fix.
  • Start turning your cell phone off an hour before bed
  • Step away from the device (in the late evenings and early mornings)
  • Practice meditation to slow the mind (they’re using this to get war vets to come down from the intensity of war… might help you if you are a ‘desk warrior’…saving the world one email at a time.
  • Leave your context at home – same bed, same alarm clock, same food, same coffee, – these are emotional as well as habits  – These reinforce your state of mind – Danger is when you take them along on holiday with you.
  • Leave the ‘cubicle in your pocket at home’… the cell phone.

2. Celebrating the Ordinary…

“I wonder if there is any room for the ordinary any more, for the child or teenager — or adult — who enjoys a pickup basketball game but is far from Olympic material, who will be a good citizen but won’t set the world on fire.”

A recent gradation speech went wildly viral in the US because the message was; You are not special, you are not exceptional. … we all hold dearly to the notion that we should all aspire to being REMARKABLE.

We love accolades more than genuine achievement. They become the point.

This article (link) below asks the question: where did this intense need to be exceptional come from?

An ordinary life has become synonymous with a meaningless life.  What about being compassionate or leading a life of integrity.

‘I once scheduled a speech  on parenting the average child’…not one person turned up – apparently no one in the country has an average child says the author of “Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success.”

The Toronto Star printed and obituary of a woman who had died of a brain aneurysm entitled; Shelagh was here – an ordinary, magical life.
100 interviews with people who’s lives this woman had touched.

She didn’t have a great job, she wasn’t married and never had children, so she wasn’t successful in either the traditional male or female sense, Ms. Porter said. But people would keep telling stories about her kindness.

Not public recognition but relationships and special moments – great thought. And aspiring to goals that are important to you.

Source: Your Money, New York Times

1. JD McPherson …I love him!

Back on the good foot on Soundcloud is top of Howie’s Hot Five this week because of the joy they give…Other podcast picks = This American Life, The Moth Storytelling and NPR All Songs Considered.

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