“Monkey Mind”

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“Monkey Mind”

Summary:
– Buddhists believe the mind is out of control, never stops & has an anxious feel in this state
– anxiety is the most common psychiatric condition outside of depression (20 % of visits to a GP have a mental health component)
– with anxiety:
– many things/people/situations are perceived as a threat
– it is a state of nervous vigilance
– everything / most things feel to be in doubt
– there is a feeling that the person is on the verge of catastrophe (things are going to go wrong/end badly)
– it is accompanied by various physiological symptoms such as rapid heart rate, sweating, shaking, hyper-ventilation
– disease phobia is common or those who suffer with anxiety
– & yet anxiety is also a very human (& part of life experience)
– it becomes a problem when you can no longer control your thoughts, but rather that the anxious thoughts control the person
– such thoughts are excessive & persistent & often accompanied by feelings of guilt
– Sane Australia [1800 187 263]
– genetic vulnerability to anxiety is high [chemical – fight/flight reponse]
– personality traits (obsessive & perfectionistic)
– environmental stressors
– choices often seem more consequential than ever

– Kirkegard considered anxiety & freedom were inter-linked
– he believed anxiety was sign that a person had met a cross-roads
– that the “very anxious” are aware of their freedom

– question posed by the program: do we live in the age of anxiety? We know more than ever, & yet knowledge in & of itself can be very anxiety-provoking

– anxiety feels like you are locked into yourself – as if it almost shuts you off from love itself

– management strategies
– therapy – this requires you to work [talk alone does not work with anxiety]
– CBT-based
– what did you say to yourself before the “stab” of anxiety
– then question that thought: is it true? What is the likelihood of that happening?
– GOAL: to learn to question such thoughts so that such thoughts continue to occur out of habit
– mindfulness allows you to be aware & recognise the thoughts, to not engage with them, but rather recognise, label & then let go of such thoughts (while realising they are not permanent or necessarily factual – but rather merely thoughts)
– medications are restricted in Australia & are used in extreme cases only – they do not alter perceptions &/or thoughts [thy can also be highly addictive – see your GP]

Source: ABCRN All in the Mind | Podcast date: 16 July 2013

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