Monday, October 24, 2005

Modulating the Cycles of Anxiety

First, to our friends, relatives, and all the rest in Florida--our prayers are being offered up for your safe passage through Hurricane Wilma and the aftermath. Certainly you are encouraged to contact me for any assistance I might be able to give in your recovery efforts.

Folks who are fairly new to crisis preparedness are susceptible to potential-threat-immersive breakdown. It's not an insignificant danger, as anxiety always takes a toll, and if you fail to manage your exposure and/or learn to cope, you can easily lose control.

This much is a given ... there are ALWAYS many risks and threats to your safety out there to be aware of. The news media and government authorities will often elevate one or more into clear focus at any given time in ways that are necessary to provoke desired (and occasionally unanticipated) reactions in public opinion and in organizational or legislative activity.

Sometimes, Mother Nature plays headline editor, as we have seen this fall with the record hurricane season that is still not finished. Major earthquakes periodically jolt us into being reminded of the seismic activity continuously underfoot. Of course, last year the tsunami in the Asia Pacific region raised our awareness of another natural danger to those living near the planet's coastal shorelines. And let us not ignore the current fearsome threat soaring through the highest echelons--a potential Avian Flu pandemic.

One of the worst everpresent dangers out there is mankind itself. Among such consequences of living together in a progressive society, we deal with the specter of technological/industrial accidents, terrorism, ethnic and cultural strife, international arms proliferation, and growing gang-related crime, to name just a few.

No Telling WHAT Could Ruin Your Whole Day

Of course those are just some of the big-picture disasters one might be concerned with. There are a whole range of personal-level eventualities that could one day touch our lives and cause grief or hardship.

The thing is, it's quite possible that one who is vulnerable to anxiety (isn't that really all of us?) can easily be sucked into the vortex of fear, as the latest elements of danger swirl about our consciousness, to then be added to the growing pile of worries accumulating at our feet.

Voracious newshounds are particularly vulnerable--the news industry is all about bad news. If there isn't a terrifying story happening, then there's always one to be manufactured about what COULD happen.

It's not easy to walk the line of being aware and prepared while keeping it all from becoming an internal driver in your life that will one day eat you from the inside out. You need to be able to erect a wall within that will allow you to keep an eye on the world, and make responsible, informed decisions that can mitigate your household's future risk ... while isolating it all from your emotional center of being.

Ideally, it should be like business. Business is business, preparedness is preparedness. Nothing personal, but we want to simply do what needs to be done, then go home at the end of the day to our real life--the one that is already in motion, occuring all around us in real time.

For many of us, crisis preparedness is a necessary evil. We know bad things happen and it's actually an effective therapy to have adequate gear, knowledge, and plans in the backroom should they ever be needed. But just like many other "feel-good" choices out there, it can be overdone and can potentially take control of our lives.

We don't want to live in the backroom with our gear and our fear. Keep it in its place and then go do what you've always done before--enjoy life.

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