Anxiety is real and can affect anyone. It can take over and spiral out of control before you know it. Life can accelerate quickly and come at you from all angles. The word multi-tasking is thrown around as if we have evolved like terminators to be able to handle five concurrent tasks without making a mistake. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Many people think anxiety is a problem that only affects certain people. They look at others who claim to have anxiety as weak. The real truth is anxiety starts with the foods we eat and smart devices are making things worse. Slowing things down and choosing to take on one task at a time will bring the joy and peace back into your work. We always come full circle back to less is more. Keep it simple.
I purchased an Apple Watch 5, and it gave me anxiety. Lots of anxiety. Why? I don’t know. I could not stand the device on my wrist. Maybe it was the heartbeat monitor, I am not really sure. This was the second Apple Watch I have owned.
I wore the watch a week or so, but could not figure out why my chest was tense. The watch made me feel as if I could never get away from the machine. The machine that is always tracking us. The machine that always knows where we are or what products we are interested in. I wanted to be away from the machine.
Maybe it was the fact it felt like I was wearing a tracking device. Having a smartwatch meant I could never go for an analog walk. A walk where I leave everything digital at home and take in the sun, the local scenery and sounds, the local shops.
No distractions from alerts. A true one on one analog experience where I walk around and enjoy conversation, smells, and everything my town has to offer.
We have become so desensitized to the machine because we have traded our privacy for convenience. We are ok with big tech building a profile on us as long as they give us the results we want every time we search for something. Not only that, but we are the rats in the science lab that always go back for the sugar water. We can’t get enough of it.
We have lost that feeling of being self-reliant. Being able to rely on our memory to remember things. So many times we drive around looking at a map saying “there is a lake here” rather than just looking out the window at the lake.
The Constant Connection
I disliked the idea of my watch always keeping me connected to my phone. The idea that I can always be reached. For me, it was not a good feeling. I love watches and I love technology, but the smartwatch did not feel like a watch. It felt as if technology had snuck its way into the last analog area of my life.
I don’t need a watch to tell me my heart beat. I don’t need a watch to tell me how long to wash my hands or how many steps I need to take. Furthermore, I don’t need to track my sleep or how many bottles of water I am drinking. If I feel sluggish one day or a little down, I probably need to take a good walk. If I am thirsty, I will drink some water. The same goes for hunger. Use your gut instinct instead of a watch.
There was a time when we left our homes and could not be reached until we got to another location that had a telephone. We would drive in our cars and listen to our favorite radio personality or use the “scan” button to see what was on the radio. Discovery was part of the fun.
We did not have control of what was being played live on the radio and that made it great. The next song was a surprise, and you would sometimes get excited because you didn’t see it coming. With instant access to everything, that has been lost.
Red Notification Circles on Apps
There was a time when you checked your mail when you got to your home or business. It wasn’t something that popped up all day and screamed, “look at me”. Those little red notifications on all your smartphone apps are slowly killing your productivity. We humans seem to think we have evolved into becoming these multi-tasking ninjas, but that is a lie we tell ourselves.
Humans are not good at multi-tasking. You always hear people say they are, but what they are essentially doing is switch tasking. When you are always switch tasking, your stress and anxiety levels go up therefore ruining any calm you may have. We have lost the feeling of what it’s like to go through a day with a little peace.
When we come across someone who is at peace, we feel threatened. We say to ourselves “What the hell is wrong with that person? Why are they so calm?”. The world is so escalated today that if anyone who has an ounce of zen or calm to their demeanor, we instantly write them off as a weirdo.
When in reality, we are the screwed up ones. We are the ones who are switching tasks one hundred times a day and then taking pills to calm down our brains because we are overloaded. Or, using alcohol to calm ourselves in the evening when the body can be calm all on its own if you allow it.
You Don’t Need a Bluetooth Blender
Going to Costco is like going on a field trip when you were a kid. There are booths at every turn ready to demo a product or give you a treat. It’s like shopping at a carnival.
I was sitting at Costco one day watching the blender demo. I sat there mesmerized as the salesman blended the food. They were making soups, smoothies, and shakes.
The representative was showing off the latest technology where you could connect your smartphone to your blender and run pre-programmed cycles for various recipes. I was sold. Gimme one. I rushed home to unbox my new toy. A few days later I had a nervous breakdown. What the hell just happened?
I brought this thing home and used it for a few days and then it hit me. I purchased a Bluetooth blender. As if technology wasn’t already consuming my life, I have to pull out my smartphone every time I want to mix something up. This was crazy! Absurd! And, I wasn’t going to have it. I had to return it right now and that’s what I did.
Why do the blender demo’s draw you in?
I have never seen an impressive toaster demo.
I am ashamed to say I fell for this one.
Take a Sabbatical From Technology
If you have anxiety in your life, you need to remove something. That something could be social media, smart devices, or certain types of food. Experiment a little and try to get lost in something that is analog. Try learning the guitar, drawing, painting, woodworking, working on your car, or gardening.
Get outside and get some real vitamin D. Let it absorb through your skin. The warmth of the sun will soothe your soul. Go for a long walk until your head clears. If you feel bad, it might take a while, but keep walking. A good walk can solve many problems.
Go for an analog walk without technology, without trackers, without GPS. Listen to your surroundings without headphones in your ears or noise cancellation. Smell the trees and local restaurants. Hear the sounds of a tuned sports car. Use your senses once again. The senses we have forgotten about.
Just make sure you leave your phone inside. Trust me, it will be just fine.