Friday, 19 April 2013

Fear, Avoidance, Ineffective, Existential Angst, Mindfulness, Effective Maturation

     For any educated person it's obvious that by learning about a situation, we can better control it, and thus ensure a better outcome. (There's a large body of research about "self-efficacy":
     Yet, despite all our education and unlimited information literally at our finger tips, we are far less rational and infinitely more emotional than we assume.
     Fear easily derails our rationality and behavior. What do we fear? Like everyone, we fear change, aging, sickness & death. And these phenomena are omnipresent - we exist in a sea of constantly changing phenomena, everyone aging, sickness & death everywhere, sparing no one.
     Fear (eg stress & shame) can shut down the prefrontal cortex, allowing the brain stem run the show. Avoidance is a very common, terribly ineffective way of dealing with things we fear. There's a reason for the high rate of workaholism, alcoholism, substance use, problem gambling, and other compulsive escapist behaviors.
     Instead of avoiding, intelligent people approach challenges. “One of the mantras of social work is ‘lean into the discomfort of the work.’” Brene Brown PhD  Obviously it's wisest to approach one's life in general intentionally, with clarity of mind.

     Mindfulness practice is an evidence-based, surprisingly gentle yet effective way of learning about ourselves, approaching & embracing our entire experience - including fears, and thereby learning to feel at home with & find joy in this very life.


Gellert Baths, Hungary 1930, Hans Hildenbrand - National Geographic

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