8 Things Guys Worry About – But Shouldn’t Tips

Guys aren’t immune to entertaining silly, irrational thoughts on occasion. Unlike women, we’re just generally better at hiding the things that we needlessly worry about.

From the size of our package to our perfectly-adequate incomes, guys regularly stress over things that would probably make women laugh. So, if you’re a guy reading this, start taking notes: Here are eight things that you probably worry about, but shouldn’t.

Finding a Solution to Everything

Generally speaking, guys are known for being problem solvers. We see a problem and we naturally want to fix it. Because why else would you complain if you don’t seek a solution?

Though it sounds logical enough, this practical approach may not be what your girlfriend is looking for when she unleashes her problems on you. Sometimes, she just wants to let her frustrations out—that’s it.

Don’t stress so much about finding a solution anytime she comes to you with a problem. Instead, ask her whether she wants advice or not. If she doesn’t, then you can sit back and not worry about coming up with a solution she clearly doesn’t want to hear.

Showing Emotion

It’s not unmanly to show emotion and talk about your feelings. In fact, showing emotion and being vulnerable may be more important for men than it is for women.

Studies have shown that guys who regularly suppress their emotions and don’t seek out help when they need it may turn to harmful coping strategies instead, such as substance abuse and risk-taking behaviors. In a 2008 study published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, men were more likely to crave alcohol when they experienced negative emotions compared to women.

So, go ahead: Let it all out. If anyone calls you a sissy for crying or admitting that you’re depressed, feel free to show them the door.

Having Perfect Skin All the Time

Some guys are lucky enough to never experience adult acne, while others just aren’t so fortunate. If your face is breaking out all of a sudden, it’s truly not the end of the world.

If you’re seriously stressing over the pimple in your nose, then you might just be making the problem worse. In a 2017 study published in Acta Dermato-Venereologica, researchers found a strong association between stress levels and the severity of acne in subjects with mild to moderate acne.

Bottom line? Try to relax! Get some exercise, practice meditation and listen to soothing music. It will do both you and your skin some good.

And Having the Perfect Body

We won’t lie to you: Many women do enjoy rippling abs and bulging biceps on a guy. However, women might be more attracted to your body flaws than you might think.

Your dad bod in particular could be a hit with some women. Several surveys have indicated that the popularity of the dad bod is on the rise, with many women reportedly finding it more attractive than washboard abs.

You don’t need to look like you just got done with a Men’s Health photoshoot to land the girl of your dreams. Just focus on treating your body with kindness and improving the things that are in your power to change.

Other Guys Stealing Your Girl

If you’re seriously worried that some handsome guy is going to swoop in and steal your girl out of the blue, then there are two possible reasons for your concern. You either have serious relationship anxiety and need to work out your deep-rooted insecurities or your relationship is already on shaky ground to begin with.

In both cases, it probably wouldn’t hurt to try therapy. There’s no shame in seeking professional help. It could potentially save a perfectly good relationship and make you much happier in the long-term.

The Size of Your Male Member

Admit it, you’ve probably worried about your penis size at some point in your life. But once you take a good, hard look (pun intended) at the research, you’ll quickly see that you have nothing to worry about at all.

A 2007 study published in BJU International surveyed more than 50,000 heterosexual men and women. In the survey, a whopping 85 percent of women were satisfied with their partner’s penis size, while only 55 percent of men were satisfied. Two of the studies found that women preferred wider penises to longer ones.

Furthermore, studies have shown that few women can orgasm from vaginal penetration alone. Rather than mope about your completely average penis size, you should instead be focusing on giving her the best clitoral orgasm of her life.

Impressing Everyone Around You

Who doesn’t want to be liked? It’s common for younger guys to go out of their way to impress their girlfriend, coworkers, boss and even random people on the street.

But let’s face it, trying to impress everyone is absolutely exhausting. Life is much too short to constantly be worrying about what everyone and their mother thinks about you.

The only thoughts that should matter to you are from the people who love you no matter what. Once you realize that and finally let go of your constant need to impress, you’ll likely feel a huge weight lifted off your shoulders.

Your Income

No matter what your current income, you probably wish it was higher. How do we know? Because apart from perhaps Bill Gates, there is no guy on the planet who doesn’t want more money.

By all means, ask for a raise at work and climb the career ladder. Just don’t fall into the trap of believing that a higher income will magically solve your problems or land you a girlfriend.

Besides, think about how many guys are living happy lives and have super-hot girlfriends, despite living on salary that’s barely above minimum wage. The only difference between these guys and you is your gratitude—or lack thereof.

Worry Less, Live More

We all have anxieties that get the best of us at times. The key is to not allow them to steal your happiness. None of the things on this list are worth the space they potentially take up in your brain. So, kick them to the curb, focus on the things that truly matter and you’ll likely be much happier for it.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

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What It’s Really Like to Be Sober Curious: When an Alcohol “Break” Becomes Permanent

In the spring of 2018, 42-year-old Kim Banks found herself in a lonely place. Struggles with anxiety and depression interfered with life as a wife, mother of 5-year-old twin boys, and her work in public relations. Despite self-improvements like daily exercise, healthy eating, and good sleep habits, Banks wasn’t happy.

“I was feeling lots of anxiety and depression, along with irritability, even though I was trying to do all the right things,” she says.

In the back of her mind, Banks describes a nagging thought, “Give up the alcohol.”

“I was in a constant, daily argument with myself,” she says. At the root of was the question: “Should I drink tonight?”

Photo credit: Instagram/@kimbanks_reset
Photo credit: Instagram/@kimbanks_reset
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Banks ended each workday with a few glasses of wine. On weekend nights out with her husband, she describes “going a little hard,” and leaving a wave of bad feelings for the next day.

“I knew I needed to eliminate alcohol, but it was the last thing I wanted to eliminate,” she says. “I really enjoyed wine, and I definitely bought into the idea alcohol enhances experiences,” she continues. “Tell me to give anything else up but the wine.”

Initially, Banks describes a curiosity around “taking a 30-day-break” from alcohol. She researched online for information about what impact alcohol has on the body. “I mainly searched for success stories from people who gave up drinking for 30 days or more,” she explains.

Her online searches turned up first-hand accounts of people like herself, who hadn’t suffered major life-altering consequences from drinking, but saw their drinking as problematic all the same. Others identified as “alcoholic” but blended traditional 12-step recovery with other support among fellow “sober curious” followers.

Banks made the decision to go alcohol-free. “I was thinking, ‘This isn’t making me happy anymore, but it’s ingrained in my daily habits,'” she says.

How Giving Up Alcohol Became a Wellness Trend

Ruby Warrington’s 2018 book Sober Curious is something of a guidebook for this less-threatening, label-free, booze-less trend. The book describes Warrington’s “gray-area problem drinking.” Uncomfortable with the label “alcoholic,” she developed a following of like-minded non-drinkers via her book, podcasts, and social media. Banks is one of many who either gave up drinking altogether or drink more mindfully.

Sober coach Rae Dylan lives in New York City and sees the trend up close. Cities like New York City and Chicago are seeing a rise of sober-free bars and events. Instagram and Facebook pages devoted to alcohol-free living boast followers in the tens of thousands.

“I see it as part of what’s happening all around us,” says Dylan, who works with recovering addicts and alcoholics requiring protection from the press, nutritional guidance, mental health issues, medication, and detox. “People are more interested in a healthy lifestyle and part of not-drinking is part of this healthy culture which recognizes it’s not healthy the way Americans drink,” she adds.

In particular, the idea of not drinking in what some consider awkward social situations, like a bar atmosphere, is encouraging, Dylan believes. “It’s a good thing; the movement gives younger people, who may feel pressure to drink or do drugs, another outlet,” she says.

“Instead of feeling pressure to drink,” Dylan continues, “the focus comes off labels like ‘alcoholic’ and, instead, people focus on having a cool virgin mojito with maybe organic cane juice.”

Finding Like-Minded Non-Drinkers

Banks admits her first steps into a sober lifestyle weren’t easy. Friends and family didn’t object, but they had difficulty supporting what they couldn’t understand.

“I was surrounded with casual drinkers who didn’t understand why someone would choose to give up alcohol without being an alcoholic,” she says. “I wasn’t a rock-bottom alcoholic, so it wasn’t a black-or-white issue for me.”

Instead, the issue, like Warrington describes, was more of a gray area. “I was tired, my skin was breaking out and I had tried everything else,” she continues. “I knew in my heart what I needed to cut.”

Finding support from other non-drinkers meant turning to the internet and social media. At first, Banks was unaware she was part of the sober curious movement. Her first steps going wine-free centered on setting up an Instagram page to record an initial 30-day break from alcohol. “I would post things like, ‘This is my second day without alcohol!’”

Today, Banks has nearly 6,500 Instagram followers celebrating her alcohol-free experiences. She credits this early support with her sober lifestyle today. “There were so many supportive people on Instagram,” Banks says. “I felt like I had these online pen pals who really got what I was going through.”

She describes the connections as uplifting without shame. Followers celebrate her victories and help her navigate rough days. Plus, she knows she has 24-hour access to a community of support. If she and her husband go out for the evening, she’s only an Instagram away from others who are also abstaining from drinks on a weekend night.

Trend vs. Lifestyle

Living in Greenville, SC, Banks doesn’t have the luxury of countless, trendy sober bars to visit. But, time away from drinking has made it easier and less appealing to go backward. She says she focuses on the reality of drinking versus the fantasy.

During a recent family vacation, Banks said the idea of having a drink sounded tempting. She reminded herself, however, of the reality behind the “one drink,” which included, for her, likely more than one drink, a bad night’s sleep and heavy anxiety in the morning. “In the beginning it was so hard, but now I’ve had so many experiences under my belt, and I feel more confident,” she explains.

“I think through the drink,” she explains. “I admit to myself I have the urge, but I know the ‘idea’ is way better than any glass of wine.”

The days of pushing through moments of temptation are fewer and further between. If she needs support, she knows her Instagram followers are always nearby, along with other sober curious friends she’s made on the journey.

Her friends and family are still casual drinkers, but Banks has been abstaining from alcohol for the past year and a half, and has no intention of going back to her evening wine. “I love waking up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning without a hangover,” she says.

Enjoying sober experiences has left Banks feeling healthier, more focused, and more present for her husband and children. In addition, her family’s finances have improved without the steady purchase of wine. She says her husband is proud of her accomplishment, and her children are enjoying a more active family life with hiking and trips.

“There are so many physical and emotional benefits from intentionally taking a break from alcohol,” says Banks. “It opens a whole new world. I’m a better friend, wife, and mom,” she adds. For now, she remains alcohol-free, one day at a time.

 

 

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Why Anxiety Increases Sex Drive In Some People

It’s all about emotions and attachment.

Have you ever received bad news, and all you’ve wanted to do was have sex? Or, perhaps sex is literally the last thing you want to do when you have anxiety?

As a sex therapist trained in affect-focused therapy, I know that emotions, anxiety, and sex are connected. Here’s why sometimes they mix — and  sometimes they don’t.

What exactly are emotions?

Emotions are basic evolutionary processes that have developed to keep us alive. They act like compasses, telling us what our needs are in all situations.

In their rawest state, feelings have specific purposes. And if we listen to them and do what they’re telling us to do —  we feel better.

Positive feelings usually urge us toward connection with others, whereas negative ones work to keep us safe.

Generally speaking, negative emotions such as worry and fear dampen our sex drive because their prime goal is to save us from potential threats.

Hormones are spurred by emotions.

When something dangerous happens, like someone pointing a gun to our head, our body springs into action, creating the stress hormone cortisol, getting us ready to fight, flee, or freeze.

This is a good thing, because getting horny when someone wants to pop our head off, could potentially lead to our death.

The thing is though, worry and fear can also be ignited by things that aren’t actually dangerous  —  at least, not on a physiological level.

These are all examples of situations our brain might perceive as a real threat:

  • Our partner making advances in bed
  • A big presentation at work
  • An erection that suddenly falters

If sex has turned into a stressful duty where you feel the need to perform by having a long-lasting erection or multiple orgasms , worry and fear will inhibit our libido.

Can emotions affect your sex drive? Most definitely.

For most of us, negative emotions put a damper on our libido.

Meanwhile, for others, worry, fear, and anxiety can drive them toward sex  as opposed to away from it.

And this has a lot to do with their attachment styles and patterns.

Attachment styles inform how our sex drive responds to negative emotions.

Your attachment pattern affects your relationships. And to understand why some people prefer to screw away their anxiety ,  you need to know what attachment is.

Attachment, just like our emotions, is a basic human drive developed to ensure we bond with our babies and, thus ,  take care of them.

Our attachment patterns differ, depending on the quality of the bond established with our primary caregivers.

The quality not only affects our relationship with our parents  but  it also governs how we relate to other people in the future , romantically or otherwise.

Secure versus insecure attachment patterns.

Roughly speaking, a secure attachment pattern leads to more balanced, healthy relationships, whereas an insecure attachment pattern leads to more issues in our relationships and, sometimes, more sexual problems, too.

One of the two insecure attachment patterns that can be developed in early childhood — that can lead to a higher sex drive — is the anxious-preoccupied attachment pattern.

This pattern emerges as a response to a home-environment with emotional inconsistency.

Perhaps our parents showered us with love and attention at random; sometimes meeting our emotional needs and other times minimizing or ignoring them.

When our primary caregivers are inconsistent and unpredictable we develop clinginess as a means of getting the love and attention we as a species so desperately crave.

As toddlers, this meant we needed to scream loudly in order to have our needs met, or cling to our parents’ bodies in order for them to hear us.

And so this pattern continues into adulthood.

We meet someone we fancy and we latch on quickly, clinging to them to receive confirmation and feel loved. One of the prime ways we receive this validation and affection  is through sex.

Why does an anxious-ambivalent attachment pattern increase sex drive?

There are several reasons an anxious-ambivalent attachment pattern can create a ferocious appetite for sex. One of them is that society holds sex in a relationship in high regard.

We equate sex with love and therefore, to have sex is to, literally, “make love.”

This pairing of sex and love is perhaps best seen in our western society’s quest for “the one” and our goal of life-long monogamy.

The whole concept of monogamy is that all of our wants and desires are replenished by this one person.

However, it also means if we’re not satisfied by our partner or if we even desire another person sexually, there’s something wrong with us.

And because of the monogamous ideal and the way it links sex and love ,  sex serves as one of the ultimate ways of getting close and feeling cared for.

It can validate us and make us feel like we’re truly seen  —  no matter what attachment pattern we possess.

But, especially, for those of us who are anxious-ambivalent, sex can be the fastest route to feeling valued by our partners.

On the flip side, this means not having sex can be construed as a sign that our relationship is over or our partner has fallen out of love with us.

In order for this not to happen, our attachment pattern drives us toward a higher libido, trying to ensure our relationship’s survival. And, in a more philosophical sense , our own.

By having sex with our partner, we’re safeguarding ourselves from being left on our own ,  the way we felt when our primary caregivers were emotionally inconsistent.

Our sex drive isn’t only sparked by society’s views of sex.

It’s also ignited by the emotions and states that are triggered by our attachment pattern — worry and anxiety.

When we’re anxious-ambivalent, we might suffer more from regular worry and anxiety because relationships, in and of themselves, trigger it.

Sex can be a great way to regulate negative emotions.

The cortisol coursing through our veins doesn’t dampen our drive, as it does for most people who have a secure attachment pattern — it amps it.

Regulating emotions through sex doesn’t have to be a negative thing. In fact, a lot of people, feel like it’s a great way of dealing with difficult feelings.

The problem arises when you feel the only way to relieve anxiety, stress, or worry   is through sex.

Without any other strategies to regulate negative feelings, sex can turn into a compulsive act. Be it through masturbation or having sex with a partner or two.

So, when asking yourself if emotions can affect your sex drive, it’s important to take both feelings and attachment patterns into consideration.

Everyone’s libido is affected by their emotions.

For those who have an anxious-ambivalent attachment pattern, sexual desire can be ramped up by negative emotions and for those who are securely attached, they shut it down.

It’s all completely normal. You’re completely normal.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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10 Agonizing Truths Depressed People Never Talk About

There’s no reasoning with it. So don’t even try.

Here’s a great post from one of my readers. Thought it was worth sharing.

When I was 16, I was diagnosed with clinical depression. After the diagnosis, my uncle slapped me on the back and said, “Welcome to the family kid,” while my family all compared drugs around the kitchen table. At that time, I didn’t know how to deal with depression, but I’m extremely lucky that my family not only accepted that depression is a real, serious issue, but they understood it.

They were mindful to make sure that my depression wasn’t used as a crutch or an excuse, but thankfully, I never once heard the unhelpful, “Just suck it up and deal with it,” and for that, I will be eternally grateful.

What causes depression? It can be a number of factors, but depression is different for everyone. And over the years I’ve noticed a few things that don’t seem to waver. They hold fast in their level of suckiness and they seem to apply to most everyone I’ve talked to that’s dealt with depression.

1. You don’t choose to be depressed.

This isn’t a choice I’m making. My cat dying or my car being totaled aren’t the reason I’m depressed. Those things are tipping points, they push me over an edge I was already standing at.

Depression is a chemical imbalance. Yes, there are things I can do and medications I can take, but at the end of the day this isn’t something I’d choose for anyone and certainly not myself.

2. Your brain is the enemy.

For me, having depression is like walking around with a mean, petty, awful little friend in my brain all the time. It’s constantly telling me how awful I am, how I’m not good enough and how nobody likes me.

And just like the negative comments on a blog post, those thoughts stick. Trying to convince yourself that your brain is wrong is no easy feat.

3. Telling you to “suck it up” will never work.

Don’t tell me to “suck it up.” Don’t tell me to watch a sunset or exercise or appreciate the joy that is being alive. That’s about as effective as me telling you to go walk it off after you’ve broken your arm. It isn’t going to fix anything.

Depression isn’t logical. You can’t reason with it or apply coconut oil and suddenly be better.

4. Nobody can fix it.

And that sucks. There are medications and there are things that I can do that will help mitigate my depression, but they won’t fix it. There’s nothing anyone can say or do that it is going to fix my brain. I wish more than anything that there was a magic cure-all that would tip the scales back to center for my brain, but there isn’t. What works for one person might not work for another.

What works for you might suddenly stop working. That’s the thing about depression: it’s an ever-evolving disease. Once you think you’ve got things under control, it’ll contort and poke at a tender spot you didn’t even know existed.

5. It’s going to suck for the person dealing with the depressed person, too.

I’ve been on the other end of things, and not being able to help someone I love when they’re in the middle of a depressive episode is awful. Just know that there’s nothing anyone can say that a depressed person will believe or that will pull them back to surface where reason lies. This reality is very tough.

6. Relying on a pill is awful. 

I came to terms a long time ago that every night I’m going to have to take a little white pill. Having to rely on medication for anything is hard but relying on it to make you feel normal, whatever “normal” is for you, is extra difficult.

7. Finding the right meds might make you feel like a science experiment.

Finding the right medication, or in some cases medications that work, is daunting. I’ve had to switch meds a handful of times and every time left me feeling like a husk of my former self.

Even with proper weaning, coming off some medication is like detoxing. Outside of the physical effects, there’s just something about the whole process that makes me feel like a high school science experiment.

8. Depression makes you selfish.

This was one of the first things I noticed after I was diagnosed. I spend so much time in my own head thinking that I rarely have the ability to look out and think about others. It’s also one of the things I hate most about my depression.

I have a damn good group of family and friends, and not being the friend they deserve is hard. But learning how to deal with depression means coming to terms with this.

9. You take away the things you love when you’re depressed.

Everyone has signs when their depression hits. For me, I start taking away the things I love. I stop writing. I stop picking up my camera. Depending on how deep it is, I’ll stop feeding myself or bathing as often as society would like me to.

There’s no point in my mind. Everything sucks and it’s going to continue to suck whether I write about it or take a picture of my cat.

10. Sometimes not being here sounds like a great option.

The reality is, most people who’ve dealt with depression, especially long-term, may consider suicide. Some will form a plan and think it over for months. Some will decide on the spot.

For me, there was never any plan. I never wanted to die, per se, I just wanted to not be here. I just wanted to stop constantly feeling like I was feeling.

Because the thing about depression is, you can’t escape it. You can’t set it down in the morning, go to work, and pick it back up when you get it home. It’s everywhere. It’s at your best friend’s wedding. It’s at your desk at work. It’s at the gas station when you’re pumping gas. You take that little terrorist everywhere with you and sometimes you just need a break.

Note to our readers: If you ever need to talk to someone about depression, please call 1-800-273-8255. Someone will always be on the line. You are loved.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Wake Up and Kick Your Anxiety’s Ass With This Under-10-Minute Morning Routine

Mental health and well being is very close to our hearts, and while we truly aim to have an always-on approach to covering all aspects of mental health, we have chosen to shine an extra bright light on #WorldMentalHealth today, and for the rest of January.

We bring you The Big Burn Out — a content series made up of honest personal essays, expert advice and practical recommendations.

When your mornings feel like this on a consistent basis, managing anxiety can feel like an uphill battle. My solution? Create a routine — and not just any routine, but one that’s specifically tailored to quell stress.

My morning routine has changed a little bit here and there over the years, but a few core things have stayed the same. Here are the pieces that I’ve put together that help the most with my anxiety management.

  • Step 0: Have a grab-n-go breakfast in the fridge. Surprise! This part of my morning takes place the night before. The aforementioned negative five minutes to cook breakfast is often all too true, despite my best efforts. Chia pudding, protein muffins, and overnight oats are some of my favorite make-ahead breakfasts to throw in my bag on the way to the train. One fewer thing to worry about!
  • Step 1: Use a better alarm. Like many of you, I used to have that science-lab mayday alarm (I think it’s literally called “Alarm” on iPhones) because I thought that would be the best way to kick me out of bed and ensure I’m on time to things. I realized the error of my ways — a gentle alarm that builds in volume and intuitively knows the right time (within a 10- to 30-minute window) to wake me up has actually made mornings so much less stressful and startling. I use Sleep Cycle, but there are similar apps you can try in the app store to find one that suits your style.
  • Step 2: *Don’t* check your emails! This one is still hard for me, but resist the urge to check your emails and messages right away. Give your brain a chance to wake up and focus on the present moment. Be still. Be calm. Absorb the silence around you and try to give yourself a chance to appreciate even a few moments of peace before you inundate yourself with obligations.
  • Step 3: Queue up the aromatherapy. I keep some essential oils by my bedside for my evening and morning routine. In the a.m., I opt for energizing, uplifting, happy scents like grapefruit, lemon, wild sweet orange, and sometimes geranium or peppermint.
  • Step 4: Meditate — even for two minutes. I tried creating a morning meditation routine of just 10 minutes a day. It sounds simple, right? Well . . . even that got away from me. Then I became stressed and anxious that I was failing on my anti-anxiety routine, and it all kind of spiraled. Sound familiar? I cut it down to two minutes. If you have more time, you can always tack on more, but two minutes was much more doable, and it has helped me feel like I’m more capable and empowered.

 

  • Step 5: Do your skincare routine. Like in my night time routine, I use washing (and exfoliating . . . and toning, serum-ing, moisturizing, etc.) my face as a form of meditation, self-care, and focus before I take on the rest of my day’s obligations. I think about nothing but the task at hand — and have the added bonus of making my skin look and feel great.
  • Step 6: Make the bed. Tidying up has become a part of my anti-anxiety routine, regardless of the time of day. One of my favorite trainers at Barry’s Bootcamp read an excerpt from Admiral William H. McRaven’s book, aptly titled Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life . . . And Maybe the World, and referenced that even if everything goes wrong in your day, at least you can say you made the bed. It might sound silly, but that really resonated with my anxious brain. So not only does this set you up for a clean, tidy, organized house (anxiety reducing!), but it also gives you a mini victory to focus on (anxiety reducing!). Hooray!

While this might look like a long list, it takes very little time. The two minutes of meditation, five minutes of skin care, and maybe one or two minutes of making the bed (because remember, steps 0, 1, 2, 3, and 6 take either zero time or 30 seconds) total up to less than 10 minutes total. That’s it! Carving out this small amount of time and space to take care of yourself first thing in the morning can lead to a happier day, better well-being, and a calmer, more peaceful life.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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If Dating Apps Give You Texting Anxiety, Here’s What To Do

Imagine you match with a total snack on your favorite dating app, but after the excitement settles in, you started to feel a little nervous about actually talking to them. Do you message first? What do you say? How long do you wait to reply? Do you mention that you’ve already Googled them, know about their soccer podcast, and saw on Facebook that their high school girlfriend lived with your ex last summer? (Small world.) If dating apps give you texting anxiety, or if your brain starts to spiral once you’ve started messaging a cutie, you are certainly not alone.

Whether you can’t decide if you should send a sarcastic meme, a sincere response, or if you literally feel your insides rot as you wait for them to reply to you, it’s totally common to feel stressed about digital dating.

“For better and for worse, dating apps have become the new normal for dating. People no longer have to be vulnerable in person and approach strangers because they can use their phone to buffer a lot of the anxiety required to meet someone new,” Nicole Richardson licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Elite Daily. “It’s really common to feel some anxiety around how to put yourself out there in a way that will attract what you are looking for in return.”

It can be hard to know just how much to share with someone you just matched with. And when you want to make a good first impression, but you haven’t actually met IRL yet — it’s super easy to overthink every text or to want to appeara certain way to your date. Cue: Trying to seem “cute” and “chill,” and not “eating blue cheese crumbles from the container watching Sister Wives.” According to Claudia Cox, relationship coach, the texting anxiety you may feel on apps can be a product of overthinking how to make yourself seem a certain way (i.e. “cute” or “chill”).

“A lot of people try to avoid rejection by creating the perfect profile or the best response ever,” Cox says. “But you cannot control the uncontrollable — meaning someone else’s attraction to you.” Cox shares that with the inescapable role of texting in dating today — it’s common for singles to overthink their every message. And with the growing pressure to be chill(literally push me off a boat) there’s pressure to be interested, but not what Cox calls, “too interested.”

According to Richardson, though it may seem harmless to constantly message your date soon into matching, constantly communicating with someone you haven’t spent that much time with IRL can actually add to your anxiety. “Texting too much in the beginning is a mistake,” Richardson says. “It creates a false sense of intimacy and can make the first couple of interactions more difficult because you have a built up image of each other that is not necessarily the person you are interacting with.”

If you started messaging a potential boo on a dating app and switched to texting, you may find yourself constantly talking to someone who you haven’t even met yet. And though you may not realize it, you may be creating an idealized version in your head about who this person is. “There are singles who overly fantasize about someone after just looking at their profile — without even meeting them in person,” Cox says. “This creates anxiety as it builds the other person up into someone so amazing that you’re intimidated to communicate with them.”

If dating apps are giving you texting anxiety, the experts suggest being kind and patient with yourself, but ultimately remembering that the app is just an app. “Dating apps are just an introduction service,” Jennifer B. Rhodes, licensed psychologist and relationship expert tells Elite Daily. “If you have anxiety about an app, be compassionate with yourself, but try it out. The experience will likely give you valuable learning opportunities needed to help build your self confidence.”

For Thomas Edwards Jr., coach and founder of The Professional Wingman, the first step to nixing dating app anxiety is to see your dating app as just another form of social media. “Depending on where you are in your pursuit of a relationship, there can be a ton of attention given to these apps. The first thing to do is not put your dating app on a pedestal,” Edwards says. “The other thing to do is share your experience with others both online and off. This will not only put both of you at ease, but more importantly, your anxiety will diminish long-term as you continue to share.” If you’re feeling totally nervous about messaging a new cutie, according to Edwards Jr., sharing your nerves with them can actually put you both at ease. Rather than pressuring yourself to look cool or seem calm and collected, admitting to your date that dating makes you anxious or that texting keeps you up at night can ease budding dating app tension.

For Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist and creator of Your Happiness Hypothesis Method, the best way to beat dating app anxiety is to remember that love has no formula. “Algorithms, apps, and sites don’t have any different odds at finding you love,” Silva tells Elite Daily. “Keep the focus on trying to explore if theyare a good fit.” Rather than scrutinizing how you’re appearing to them — according to Silva, it’s important to see how your date fits into your life too. If they don’t seem to have have a compatible sense of humor or if they never reply to your texts on time — rather than changing the way you talk or worrying about what they’re thinking about you — you may realize that you’re not super into them. “The only question anyone should look to answer is ‘Am I having fun with this person?'” Edwards Jr. says. “The only way to make that the only question, is to make sure you have fun no matter what.”

If you’re still feeling anxious about dating apps, though it may seem a little cheesy, the experts share the power of positive thinking. “Visualize yourself successfully flirting and meeting new people. Stay focused on the process, and don’t put your sense of worth into your ability to score a date with every person you message,” Cox says. “Remind yourself that the person you’re messaging might be nervous. You don’t know them, or their story yet. So, keep it fun and don’t fall into the assumptions trap!”

And if somethings feels a little off, or if texting someone is making you anxious, it’s always OK to turn your phone off and take a hot bath or go see a friend. “Don’t push yourself too hard. If something really doesn’t feel good to you, don’t do it,” Richardson says. “Do positive things for yourself and spend time with uplifting and positive people (it’s contagious).” According to Richardson, taking time away from dating apps to hike with friends, read a new book, or visit a cool museum can quell any texting stress. Additionally, finding IRL hobbies or doing fun things away from your phone can give you a ton of cool conversation starters with dating app potential boos. “If you need a little more calming, meditate and journal to let yourself get it out in a constructive way,” Richardson says.

Feeling texting anxiety from dating apps is completely normal. Dating can be super intimidating, and the world of apps can make it seem like there are simultaneously 10,000 people and zero people out there for you. If you’re feeling nervous about dating apps, try putting down your phone and doing something fun IRL. Visualizing yourself totally killing it on a first date can help nix any stress as well. At the end of the day, you are a flawless angel, and dating is supposed to be fun. And with some positive thinking, you can totally swipe left on any dating-app fueled texting anxiety.

 

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Here’s What It’s Like to Date When You Have Anxiety (Negative Thoughts Included)

Here’s one from one of my female readers…

I’ll never forget this moment: I was on a second date with a guy, patiently awaiting the large portion of cacio e pepe I eyed on Yelp six hours prior, when he brought up the concept of anxiety. At this point, I was more into the pasta than I was into the guy, but I had to take my eyes off the restaurant’s kitchen door and focus on the conversation that was about to ensue for a few minutes. “I’ve never had anxiety before. What’s it like?” he asked, genuinely curious. Well, honey, I’m going to assume they skipped this lesson during Dating 101, but this is not the time, nor the place. I stared blankly, proceeded to giggle adorably, and thanked the heavens above to see the waiter holding my saviordinner right in front of me at that moment.

Anxiety is something I’ve dealt with since I was 15 years old, and I’m well aware of the stigma associated with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), so as ingenuous as this guy’s question was, I wasn’t prepared to answer it. It’s hard to explain what “anxiety” is because it affects everyone differently, and I definitely wasn’t going to attempt to describe the debilitating feeling I’ve had for a large portion of my life to a stranger. Thanks, but no thanks.

I’d be lying if I said anxiety didn’t impact my dating life.

Dating when you have anxiety is, uh, interesting. But before I get into it, I want to again clarify that everyone has a different experience, and I can only speak to my own. My experience is not social anxiety or anxiety about dating (usually), it’s about how my general anxiety impacts my life as a 27-year-old single woman in Manhattan who’s just trying to get her date on. While I definitely think I’m a great dater — I’m on the apps, I like going out (sometimes), I’m an outgoing and positive person — I’d be lying if I said anxiety didn’t impact my dating life.

A viral tweet from Gage DeAngelis perfectly encapsulates this: “My girlfriend has major anxiety issues and it really affects her and I see that, daily. So I asked her if there’s anything I can to do help. Her response? ‘Just let me be crazy and I’ll be fine.’ Yes ma’am,” he wrote. I don’t know him or his relationship, but his girlfriend’s reaction to “let her be” is important. In the modern dating era, I believe that you really have to put yourself out there if you want to meet someone. Whether that’s on a dating app or out in real life, you just have to. For me, someone with anxiety, that comes with listening to my body and my mind, and of course, “letting me be.”

There are weeks when I’m feeling hopeful, and the thought of going out with someone I potentially have a great connection with sparks joy, so I’ll make a few dates and dinner plans with friends. There are also weeks when I need my alone time, so I’ll line up workouts after work to clear my head. There are even weeks when I can’t bring myself to work out because I need to de-stress in the comfort of my own home, so I won’t make any plans that could add to my anxiousness. But the most important thing for me is to listen to my body and figure out what kind of week it is to plan accordingly.

There’s no shame in rescheduling a date if you’re going to be mentally elsewhere during the prime hours of getting to know someone.

Listening to your body and your mind is one thing, but acting on it is another. My anxiety, like many people’s, can be unpredictable — a lovely morning can turn into a panicked racing heart if something triggers me — so, cancel plans if that’s the case. There’s no shame in rescheduling a date if you’re going to be mentally elsewhere during the prime hours of getting to know someone. Anxiety and the negative, racing thoughts that come with it are out of your control, but canceling plans and taking the night to cuddle with a weighted blanket and some CBD to get back to feeling like yourself is in your control.

I’m not a mental health professional, and I’m definitely not an expert on dating (hello, single!), but I’ve juggled anxiety and societal pressures to “put yourself out there” long enough to know this: sitting at a table nodding to a forced conversation when negative thoughts are running rampant through your mind is not going to lead you to your soulmate, or even lead you to an enjoyable evening. Listen to your body, your mind, and “put yourself out there” only when you’re able to be present and able to be the best version of yourself. As for me, I just need to remember that Carrie Bradshaw was a fictional character, and in real life, someone with a fabulous shoe collection, a very active social life, and never-ending editorial deadlines would *probably* have anxiety, too.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Kita – Chapter 23 – Anxiety and Depression

Kita’s was having terrible anxiety and depression after her first love broke her heart. Her mom put her on Escitalopram. Poor thing. I’ve lived with anxiety and depression my whole life, but instead of raging out or becoming mentally paralyzed, I just soldiered through if for the last half century.  I’m much better now, because I’ve rewired my mind to become friends with my anxiety and depression without ever taking a single drug for it. You feel that way for a reason. I believe as long as you’re not self destructive, you need to work on yourself and walk towards the things that frighten or hurt you and work through those feelings, over and over again. Worked for me but these days it seems when someone has a feeling they get prescribed a drug to block that feeling. I’m not a fan. Don’t get me wrong, some people really need medicine and therapy to function, but not everybody. You’re supposed to feel sick when your heart is broken. It’s human emotion. It teaches and trains your brain how not to get destroyed and shredded next time. The mind and body is a wonderfully complex machine.

Anyway… Let’s look a the uses of the drug.

Escitalopram is used to treat depression and anxiety. It works by helping to restore the balance of a certain natural substance (serotonin) in the brain. Escitalopram belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). It may improve your energy level and feelings of well-being and decrease nervousness.

How to use Escitalopram Oxalate

Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking escitalopram and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily in the morning or evening. The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.

To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start taking this drug at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase. Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.

It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Also, you may experience symptoms such as mood swings, headache, tiredness, sleep changes, and brief feelings similar to electric shock. To prevent these symptoms while you are stopping treatment with this drug, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Report any new or worsening symptoms right away.

It may take 1 to 2 weeks to feel a benefit from this drug and 4 weeks to feel the full benefit of this medication. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

 

Side Effects

Nausea, dry mouth, trouble sleeping, constipation, tiredness, drowsiness, dizziness, and increased sweating may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: decreased interest in sex, changes in sexual ability, easy bruising/bleeding.

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: bloody/black/tarry stools, fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, seizures, eye pain/swelling/redness, widened pupils, vision changes (such as seeing rainbows around lights at night, blurred vision).

This medication may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take (see Drug Interactions section). Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms: fast heartbeat, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, unusual agitation/restlessness.

Rarely, males may have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours. If this occurs, stop using this drug and get medical help right away, or permanent problems could occur.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

 

Holy shit! The side effects seem worse than the actual ailment! How could her mother put her on this crap?

Well, now I know and so do you. I don’t want my little Kita to suffer. She seems fine even though she’s going through it all right now after the loss of ex boyfriend JR.

 

 

 

Tales of Rock – Kurt Cobain Kills Himself Twice

“Like Robert Johnson, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison, he was 27 years old when he died.

And let us not forget Amy Winehouse who also died at age 27.”

Few musicians’ experiences with drug abuse have been as complex and intense as Kurt Cobain’s. For proof of this, see the index of Charles Cross’ 2001 Cobain biography Heavier Than Heaven. If you check, “Cobain, Kurt Donald; drug use of…” you’ll basically be instructed to read the entire book. He started off heavily averse to heroin; during his formative years, a friend suggested they try it and he stopped hanging out with him in response. He eventually tried the drug; when asked how it was by Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, he shrugged, “Oh, it was all right.” But his habit escalated.

By the time Nirvana appeared on Saturday Night Live in 1992, Cobain was so deep in heroin addiction that he was vomiting and barely able to stand right until the time came to perform. He somehow pulled it together long enough to play “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Territorial Pissings” on live television. In March 1994, Cobain attempted suicide for the first time by washing down a large dose of flunitrazepam with champagne while in Rome. He nearly died and ended up in a coma for a day (Novoselic claimed that, mentally, he was never the same after this).

Within weeks he was back in Seattle, crashing on his daughter’s junkie nanny’s girlfriend’s couch and popping out occasionally to purchase speedballs and burritos. Cross quotes the girlfriend as saying, “He’d sit in my living room with the hat with the ear coverings, and read magazines. People came and went; there was always a lot of activity going on. Nobody knew he was there or recognized him.” By the end of the month, Cobain was given an intervention and packed off to rehab in California. But he soon escaped the facility by scaling a six-foot wall and, improbably, found a seat on a flight back to Seattle next to Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan.

Despite beef between Nirvana and Guns N’ Roses, the two bonded, finding a great deal of common ground as famous musicians from the Pacific Northwest with heroin problems. Once back at his house, Cobain reattempted suicide and this time he meant business. He injected a lethal dose of heroin and then blasted himself in the head with a shotgun, effectively killing himself twice. Like Robert Johnson, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison, he was 27 years old when he died.

And let us not forget Amy Winehouse who also died at age 27.

Another sad rock and roll tragedy. Showbiz is the only industry that eats it’s young.

Check this out:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/27_Club

A footnote from phicklephilly: “I never understood suicide. You get one chance to be here, why leave early if you don’t have to? Suicide’s for quitters. I’ve suffered with anxiety and depression my whole life. I’ve beaten the shit out of them both (without drugs) and now we’re all on the same side. Suicide is always a long term solution to usually a temporary problem. I just don’t get it, Kurt. I was in a band when I was younger. It was an amazing experience. Kurt, you play music for a living. You’re in a famous genre inspiring band. You’re surrounded by a gaggle of moist women. Your bank account is full and your nuts are empty. WTF?”

 

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Wildwood Daze – Summer of 1979 – Moving the Family to North Wildwood

My father was fed up with living in Philadelphia and wanted to get out of the city and out of the Provident National Bank in center city. My family was focused on getting my sister Janice into Franklin Marshall because she was a good student.

I remember it was Janice that drove my mother and other two sisters to the shore that summer. With Janice out of high school and in college, Dad decided to move the whole family to the shore house. I liked living in Philly. I was in a band called Renegade then. (See: Renegade – My First Band) All my friends were there. I liked that I was going to be a senior at Frankford High next semester.

But all of that was ending for me. I would vanish from Frankford and end up taking my Senior year at Wildwood High School. I knew no one. Wildwood is a resort/retirement community. The place rocks hard from Memorial Day through Labor Day, but then it becomes a ghost town. At the time I knew what anxiety was. I had it since I was a small child. But I would really get to know what severe depression was very soon.

They didn’t give a shit about my life because I was always a poor student in school and was a nobody. So After 11th grade we moved to Wildwood NJ for good. I had to leave my band Renegade behind and all of my friends, and move to the shore.

My father had no coping skills so ripping his son from his peronal and social life meant nothing to him. Everybody had to be hunky dory and happy with his move. His dad died, (My grandfather) and left him enough cash to build up on the shore house and it was beautiful. (Biggest house on the block)

But after the summer at the shore, Janice went off to college. My dad was all teary eyed losing his love and I was left to take my senior year not knowing anyone in a town that was dead during the winter. It’s a resort town. There is NOTHING going on there in the winter. They turn the traffic lights off and roll up the fucking sidewalks. This is a perfect dark depressing environment to be dropped off in. Yea, that will work out great. But as long as Dad is out of Philly and has his family all set up down there, he’s all set.

I remember falling into a depression after the summer and my father ripping me a new one because I wasn’t on board with where I had been sent. God forbid anybody would put a chink into daddy’s plan. He always hailed himself as a planner. It was just his mad OCD and anxiety that made him so insecure that he had to control everything because he was never the favorite beloved son like his brother Jack. He was forced to man up his whole life. He worshiped his father like he was Superman and his dad never gave two shits about him. Brother Jackie was the smart one and Dad was just the elder that had to handle all of the shit his mother was to cowardice to do. He was the one that had to go to his father and tell him that they weren’t coming back from the shore because they were getting divorced. I have this guy completely mapped out. My sister Janice loves and worships him, but I know the real deal.

Fuck. I didn’t think I was going to go there.

(Update: This opinion of my dad as a diety has changed for Janice.)

 

 

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