Throw all your anxiety onto him, because he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7 (The Daily Life Bible)

AnxietyWhat makes you anxious? Try to concentrate on the thing that’s eating you up over which you have some degree of control. Forget the world condition; as angst-ridden as it may be, you probably can’t do anything to affect decisions made outside your direct influence.

Think instead about the thing, person or situation that has your heart racing or your head pounding. Right now, today – for me – it’s a dead rat just outside the garage. My husband killed it and tried to convince me the droppings I’d found in the garage were lizard leavings, but I knew better.

I have a rat and mouse phobia. It nearly renders me catatonic. I want and need to scour the garage and make sure no taint of that rat is still there, but I’m afraid I’ll stir up a rat cousin.

This is the anxiety I’m having a tough time overcoming right this minute. It helps me breathe to write about it, but it’s still there, a vise at the back on my head squeezing out rational thought.

So, I call on the God of all things, large and small, to relieve my anxiety and help me put this in perspective. I have two choices: believe this rat was the only one and go on with my day, or think there may be others but somehow overcome my fears and get on with my day. The washer and dryer are in the garage and its laundry day. I have no choice but to suck it up.

Thank you, Lord of all, for courage to overcome something that in the greater scheme of life is nothing. And, please, keep the critters in the great outdoors where they belong!

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Attitude and aging gratefully

Life After a FallLife has sort of been on hold for my husband and me since early May when his femur broke and he had to have surgery. The surgery went well and thanks to great care at Alta Vista Regional Hospital and Vida Encantada, he came home from rehab a week earlier than anticipated. For the first two weeks, we scooted along quite well… until I got a sacral fracture (result of osteoporosis and overdoing it gardening), that really sent us topsy turvy. Since then we’ve both been on walkers and confined to the house, or so we believed because neither of us was confident enough to get behind the wheel.

The experience has given us a whole new appreciation for the ability to drive. We have relied on – and thank you very much nephew Seth and great-nephew Carter, Tom Trigg and Mary Schipper, and Karyl Lyne – as well as Lydia Palomino, who worked us into her busy schedule – for getting us to and from appointments and the store (and sometimes Charlie’s!).

We are on the mend, but I want to especially thank my long-time friend Kathy Allen, whose phone call this week helped me see how much of our isolation came as much from self-inflicted and unfounded fears as it did from our actual afflictions. She didn’t tell me that, but my whining about my plight – which resonated long after the conversation was over, did. If I’ve learned anything from this experience, it is that as you age, fear sneaks in where you least expect it.

Fear of falling is a real thing, especially as you get older. Fear of falling in older folks is greater than that related to robbery, financial stress, or health problems, according to an article on the Anxiety and Depression Association of America website. Click here to read the full article.

Julie Loebach Wetherell, PhD, an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, writes that about ten percent of older adults report excessive fear, and at least three percent avoid leaving their homes or yards. That may not seem like much, but when you consider that the aging population is the fastest growing demographic globally and that by 2050, two billion adults older than sixty-five will be living on this planet, the percentages become more significant.

“Most people who fear falling avoid some physical activities. This fear is a better predictor of decreased physical activity than age, perceived health, number of prescription medications, gender, or history of falls,” Wetherell writes. She notes that fear of falling and less physical activity lead to disability, including decreased capacity to perform daily living activities such as bathing and shopping.

Paradoxically, the fear of falling increases the risk of falls. It also increases the risk of having to enter a health care facility and the loss of independence. Those who had excessive fear but no falls over a two-year period increased their risk of entering a nursing home five-fold relative to those with low fear. Of older adults in one scientific study, fifty-six percent with high levels of fear fell again within the following year, while only thirty-seven percent of those without fear did. – Julie Loebach Wetherell

I confess that fear of falling and making my back injury worse has contributed to our isolation, which, by the way, also leads to feeling discouraged, even depressed. These are not characteristics in my essential make up. Quite the contrary. I always think life will get better, every obstacle can be overcome, and bloom where your planted. I’ve scarcely written a word in the last six weeks that wasn’t related to my daily prayer journal and devotional journal. I dropped out of Pasateimpo Art Academy, simply because I had neither the energy nor the time (or physical ability), to conduct the writing classes I had signed up to do.

I realized after my whine-fest with Kathy, the problem wasn’t my circumstances; the problem was my attitude, which was being shaped by my fears.

No more. Time to get back to normal. Ordinary caution makes sense; hiding behind anxiety does not.

Onward and upward.

We met Kathy and Fred for coffee at Charlie’s today. I drove.

Photo: Life after a fall.


De-Stress: Websites With Tips & Tricks

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

Burning the candle at both ends? Slow down! Rethink. Renew. Stress is a contributing factor in physical wellness and mental well-being. Handling stress can be nearly as as stressful as the stress itself. Check out these websites sponsored through health organizations that give a variety of tips and tricks to help you make good choices about how you deal with those little aggravations that pile up and turn into one big headache.

Meditation: A Simple Fast Way to Reduce Stress can take a bad day and make it manageable by bringing you a sense of peace. These Mayo Clinic team suggestions are simple and practical, no special tools needed. Get your anxiety, tension and worry under control. It only takes a few minutes, is time well spent, and can be done anywhere. Read the recommendations here.

10 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress is a slide show from Healthline.com. It outlines easy to follow tips for facing stress head on and putting it in its place. The ideas are as simple as calling a friend or listening to music, whatever it takes to reorganize your thinking and put the irritations of the day behind you. Stress can have negative power over you. Turn that into the power of positive realignment by following one or two, or all if need be, of these  Healthline recommendations.

Stress Management: Ways to Relieve Stress is found at WebMD.com. “The best way to manage your stress is to learn healthy coping strategies. You can start practicing these tips right away. Try one or two until you find a few that work for you. Practice these techniques until they become habits you turn to when you feel stress. You can also use this coping strategies form to see how you respond to stress.” This opening paragraph from WebMD.com is an example of how the site provides expanded tools. The site’s “Actionset” keys lead you to other helpful strategies, whether you are working to reduce stress or have other health concerns you want to learn more about. Continue reading here.

Life tends to be stressful. When you feel anxiety and frustration getting the upper hand, assert control. Practice any of these stress management techniques and regain your perspective. It’s good for you and for those you interact with on every level.

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