Anxiety is now the most common psychological disorder on the planet. While this is not a surprise, given all the literature that exists about anxiety, there are relatively few resources for helping people cope with anxiety on any meaningful scale. For twenty-five years I suffered from anxiety disorder, experiencing hundreds of panic attacks and reorienting my life to accommodate the chronic stress that could boil over at any moment. For most of this time, I was silent about my problem, given that it tends to invoke feelings of guilt and shame.
My last panic attack was in January 2015. While I had mostly developed a series of avoidance techniques, it took some time for me to finally navigate this tricky terrain and find a solution for quieting my stress. And while there is no silver bullet to end anxiety, I created Clarity to address some of the most pressing issues around anxiety disorder. This audio program features tips, information, educational material, and best practices to help you curb and potentially overcome anxiety. It’s a burden I’ve lived with for over half of my life, and reducing it to the degree that I can function without worry of an attack has my everyday existence that much more meaningful.
The EarthRise Podcast serves two functions: to feature interviews Derek conducts with various figures and personalities for his columns and to discuss ideas in the realms of movement, music, and mythology. Since Derek began working in journalism in 1993 the interview process has been his favorite aspect of feature writing. Rather than reading about ideas, he posts many of his interviews so you can hear the interview process. Guests include Nicholas Carr, Robert Wright, Lisa Feldman Barrett, Christopher Ryan, Katy Bowman, Jill Miller, Evan Thompson, and many more. Solo episodes provide an opportunity for Derek to discuss topics close to his heart, many of which end up in his books. Subscribe on iTunes or listen on Soundcloud and Mixcloud.
Research shows that the fear of missing out (FOMO) increases anxiety and takes a toll on your health in the long run. Of all the things to suffer, creative thinking is one of our greatest losses. Regardless of your vocation a flexible mindset open to new ideas and approaches is invaluable. Losing it just to check on the latest tweet or post an irrelevant selfie is an avoidable but sadly sanctioned tragedy.
My body experiment is forty-one years in the making. I don’t expect it will stop anytime soon. When not teaching group fitness, I’m writing about health and fitness. The amount of nutritional advice assaulting our social media feeds on a daily basis is staggering. There is no silver bullet for ideal health for any single individual. There’s too much nuance in everyone’s biochemistry and environment for that.
Whether an Amiri Baraka verse or a Margaret Atwood trilogy, attention matters. Research at Stanford showed a neurological difference between reading for pleasure and focused reading, as if for a test. Blood flows to different neural areas depending on how reading is conducted. The researchers hope this might offer clues for advancing cognitive training methods.
Modernity has not made us “depraved barbarians,” Brooks concludes. Yet it has greatly weakened our moral vocabulary. We might gaze back at the prior educational system incredulous that the focus was on obedience, but such a system has not disappeared. It has just been transformed into “the semihidden world of approval and disapproval.”