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The words Excitingand Nervousform a Rivalnymic pair.  In short they are essentially the same thing with polar opposite emotional identities. 


Anxiety as word describes much the same that nervous does.  The emotional identity of anxiety is just more concentrated, distilled into an affliction, one for which medications can be created and sold for.


Now, to be clear, just about no one who feels anxiety is going to claim that is it excitingor that it’s something they are creating and somehow enjoying in some kind of perverse way.


But the curative tools that most effectively battle this state of excitement are simply the opposite of anything exciting:


a well managed to-do list


routine exercise

consistent sleep


Excitement, whether positive or negative, simply tries to breed more of itself.  We try to cure anxiety by going out and having a good time, when really, this merely replaces one excitement for another, and inevitably, the slip back from some positive sort of excitement to a negative one is just as quick to arise.


Doing the boring things is counter-intuitive, even if it seems like a logical no-brainer.  But that’s the thing: what is intuitive is already not using that executive thoughtful part of the brain.  Intuition is more about emotion.  Emotions like excitement, and the intuitive solution to a negative excitement is a positive excitement.  Hence the counter-intuitive realization of slowing down and concentrating on the boring things.


We can rephrase these ideas in simpler, grander and primordial terms:  chaos & order.


Chaos breeds more chaos, not matter how good or bad it feels.


The answer to chaos is sorting it out. Creating order.


The answer is, well, kind of boring.



This episode references Episode 293: Rivalnym

Check out the Tinkered Thinking   Reading List

Dive in to the Archives

Podcast Ep. 465: Boring Works but Anxiety is Exciting

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