Meir Panim’s Tiberias Free Restaurant not only provides warm meals, but the opportunity to socialize as well.
4. Recognize the “toxic ten” thoughts which keep you in a state of fear, shame and guilt. You cannot bear the discomfort of anxiety unless you figure out what tricks it uses to “kidnap” you. Although the brain is only two percent of the body’s weight, it takes about 20 percent of our energy and oxygen – and more in those who suffer from anxiety. At any given moment, some 100 million bits of information impact on the nervous system from organs including our ears, eyes and skin. Most people shift 99 percent of this information to the “junk mail” section of their brain before they are conscious of its existence. But in anxiety-ridden people, this screening apparatus is defective, allowing too much information to flood the mind. This is what causes the person to feel overexcited and overwhelmed. They must make a conscious effort to do this shifting process until it becomes automatic. For example:
Stop looking for perfection: Forget about looking perfect, making perfect food or being the perfect child/parent/teacher/worker, etc. Strive to be “high normal.” It’s not only humbling but also calming for the nerves.
Stop obsessing about what others think: People’s feelings and opinions are not in our control. We cannot attend all the social events, help everyone who asks for our help or win everyone’s approval. We cannot force anyone to give us love, understanding or respect. We cannot get anyone to stop an addiction, to become more/less religious, to be less lazy or more aware. We can do our best to be polite, kind and caring, but no power in the world can get people to change their feelings or beliefs unless they want to do so. We are all limited. People – especially the demanding types – will always be disappointed and frustrated.
Don’t confuse danger with discomfort: Life’s discomforts are not dangerous. We will experience endless physical and emotional discomforts – accidents, spills, messes or missed opportunities. Think, “If there is no true sakana (danger) or real avaira (sin), then it is trivial.” Tell yourself, “I can cope with this and find solutions.” You missed the simcha? It’s a discomfort, not a danger. Your house is not perfectly neat and clean at all times? It’s a discomfort, not a danger. Things break, get lost and get ruined? It is uncomfortable to be hungry; but it is not dangerous unless you are starving. It is uncomfortable for your relatives to dislike you, but it is not dangerous unless they are truly abusive.
Don’t second-guess God: You might think, “I momentarily lost my concentration during prayer and will suffer some terrible punishment.” Can you know that God has not forgiven you? Be responsible and conscientious, but realize that uncontrolled anxiety is an insidious form of self-torture.
Avoid “victim” thoughts: Toss thoughts such as, “I’m a victim of my moods and cravings.” “I have nothing to contribute to the world.” “Hashem is out to get me.” “No one could possibly love me.” “I’m a failure because I’m not ____ (rich, beautiful, always cheerful, good at math, organized, etc.)” “I can’t change, because my parents were….”
Avoid “what if…” scenarios: Since the future is in Hashem’s hands, refuse to torture yourself with questions such as, “What if Iran attacks?” “What if my in-laws/children don’t like me?” “What if I get fired from my job?” “What if I never get married or I get married and my spouse suddenly leaves me or becomes abusive?” “What if I lose my mind and go insane?” “What if I go to shul and no one greets me?” “What if I make a fool of myself in public?” “What if I get caught by the police and get falsely accused and imprisoned for something I never did?” “What if I don’t pass the test?”
There is no end to the possibilities which a fear-mongering amygdala can imagine.
When anxiety arises, do not try to control it. If you feel cold, you cannot will yourself to feel hot. You can only change actions, such as putting on the air conditioning or a sweater, or bear the discomfort until it passes. You cannot force yourself to love everyone, but you can be compassionate or stay away. Trying to force the anxiety away only makes it worse. You can only think “secure thoughts” or take positive actions. You can breathe calmly, clean the house, pray, sing, write, learn, go shopping, or do something else that distracts you from that pesky amygdala.
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Brooklyn resident David Siller, currently studying in Israel at Yeshivat Yesodei HaTorah in Beit Shemesh, was awarded a trophy for finishing 3rd in his age group (14-18) in a 5-kilometer race for the benefit of the Benjamin Children’s Library of Beit Shemesh.
Today is day six without a phone.
Besides for feeling slightly isolated, it’s not too bad.
I’ve been doing things that I know I would not be doing if my phone was sitting next to me, shiny screen beckoning.
Is anyone else alarmed by the way extended warranties are sold on just about anything and everything? It means one of two things – either someone has found a great way of getting consumers to part with more of their hard earned dollars or manufacturers have no faith in their own products. Neither of those options is particularly heartwarming.
As I described Gaon in a review in June 2001 (“In Search of Ancestors, Sculpture by Simon Gaon” at Yeshiva University Museum), his Bukharian Jewish roots are deeply embedded on both sides of his family, echoed in his early yeshiva education.
Let me begin by congratulating my dear machatunim, Soraya and Jay Nimaroff, on being the recipients of the Community Service Award at the Sderot Hesder Institutions 18th annual anniversary dinner.
Think of your issues this way: due to those different backgrounds, you have a “shovel” to deal with difficulties while he has a “spoon”.
Do you remember the good old days when kids were kids and there was never anything to worry about? Those days never really existed, but today there are issues kids worry about that weren’t issues for some adults. They include fear of bullying, natural disasters, divorce, and violence.
In Part I talked about celebrating 30 years of Regesh Family and Child Services providing services to children, teens and families. I shared the agency’s origin and the many lessons I have learned through this journey. As I mentioned, it is my hope that my experiences will add to your toolbox of life skills.
Unfortunately, a map of the Middle East with no mention of Israel is nothing new… It is surprising however, that the world’s largest publisher of children’s literature, Scholastic Books, has joined in this trend.
About six months ago my parents and I started discussing ideas for a mitzvah project in honor of my bat mitzvah. I wanted to do something unique that would be meaningful to me and also do something that my friends could participate in. Immediately I thought of an organization called Sharsheret.
“I’m disappointed that the agreement reached with Iran leaves our unfulfilled our ultimate objective: a complete dismantling of Iran’s nuclear program and related activities.
Southern NCSY will be holding a leadership training Shabbaton at the Young Israel of Bal Harbour December 6 and December 7. Rabbi Steven Weil, executive vice president of the Orthodox Union, will be the special guest speaker.
Is there a beginning and an end to the universe? What role can medical breakthroughs play in conception or genetic engineering? Can science help us pinpoint the end of human life? Does the soul emanate from the brain or vice-versa?
Chaim* was admired in yeshiva for his incredible diligence. His days were consumed with learning and he could be found in the Beis Midrash almost 24/7. For him, sleep was a waste of time. Great things were forecast for his future until neighbors found him lying in the middle of the street in Geula, hallucinating that he was Moshiach. Medications stopped his racing mind but made him feel like a zombie. He became depressed and shell of his former self. His parents thought they were acting responsibly when they had him hospitalized and then put in a hostel.
Since suffering from colitis as a teen, I finally adopted a strict diet in my 30s that ended my torment. It wasn’t easy to forgo white flour, white sugar and all chemical additives, but it meant that I spend the last 40 years pretty much free of doctors, medications and illness, thank God. Thus, I was surprised when two weeks before Rosh Hashanah, I began to experience increasingly severe stomach discomfort – until I was barely able to move. Despite what I was soon to endure, it helped greatly to focus on the moment-to-moment miracles.
As a teenager, I suffered from occasional panic attacks, social anxiety, and more than the usual amount of teenage angst. In today’s drug-obsessed society, I would certainly have been given psych meds; thankfully, back then, it was expected that maturity would bring greater resilience and awareness. And so it was.
Psychologist David Richo defines love in terms of five A’s: appreciation, affection, attentiveness (listening), acceptance and allowing (as in allowing others the freedom to fulfill their own dreams). Love is the opposite of control.
The couple had barely completed their brief intake papers, which included a small handwriting sample, when, her eyes blazing with fury, the wife pounded on the small table between us and yelled, “He has to grow up! I need a husband who is a real partner, not a lazy good-for-nothing who won’t take responsibility and is totally clueless about my needs!” Her husband sat hunched in his chair, looking like a hapless cat which had somehow survived the spin cycle in a washing machine.
Kindness is such an essential Jewish trait that we are told to suspect that a cruel person is not really Jewish. The media constantly uplifts us with inspirational stories about saintly people who radiated love to their fellowman and did their utmost to avoid hurting others. Yet we are also told, “Those who are kind to the cruel will eventually be cruel to the kind” (Koheles Raba 7:16). It is not a kindness to allow ourselves to be abused, exploited or manipulated. By not taking protective action when possible, we encourage destructive behavior. The following stories are examples of naïve and trusting people who paid a heavy price for being overly “nice.”
In a paper greeted enthusiastically at the May conference of the American Psychiatric Association, in San Francisco, a new name was given to a common problem, Post Traumatic Embitterment Disorder. My initial response: another excuse to drug people. However, upon thinking it over, I think that the word embittered does describe the essence of a serious problem. Many of us suffer from some degree of jealousy and bitterness about the injustices in our lives. But does that make us embittered? I would hope not. So, what characterizes embittered people? Here are some actual examples (the names have been changed):
Like medical doctors, every therapist is tormented at times with the question of the hopelessness or hopefulness of a marriage or any other relationship. Everyone is anxious to know if the “broken” spouse/child/parent/sibling can be fixed. With desperation in their voices, they ask, “Can medication, therapy or other interventions turn him/her around and stop him/her from being so depressed, anxious, addicted or angry?” How can a therapist say, “There is no hope.”?
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/health/anxiety-can-it-be-controlled/2012/08/18/
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