The #Impossible Campaign asks tough questions every Sunday. Feel like joining or just following the conversation? Don't be shy! Reply :)
Today's Impossible question stemmed from a conversation with the lovely Andrea. The observation is simple: It's obvious that alcohol and drugs are often a means to bury some of our worries. An effective - though detrimental and ephemeral - form of relief. In that perspective, it's worth expanding our spectrum and thinking whether after-work activities such as working out, running, going crazy at a party etc. can also be viewed as forms of relief.
30 to 45 minutes of dopamine and epinephrine inducing activities such as sprinting or lifting or swimming excel at eclipsing anxiety. We know they don't tackle root causes however. Running won't ease our fears. Swimming won't drown our emotional insecurities. So, what will?
Nietzsche would be selling more books nowadays had he titled a book "A guide to slaying dragons". But ... well :) A dear friend of mine made a stark distinction between relieving practices and cures. Cures are a no-turning-back type of intervention. He suggested sitting down for 4 hours, in silence, and respect a single rule: "Don't do anything physical". You can scratch your nose of course but the point is, don't try to "meditate" or focus on your breath. Just sit there and wait for 4 hours. You'll know when to stand up. Now, why is this a "cure"?
Evolution did give us biological mechanisms to cure ourselves. They're far from subtle actually: When you can't handle anxiety, stress or worries, your emotional state will translate into a physical condition and you'll be sick, burn out, collapse or [insert favourite excuse to spend a week home]. Think of the 4 hours of nothing above as a way to pay back to your body the interests you owe it. It creates an otherwise un-existing space to start recycling the mountain of concerns you've been piling up. Now:
Are you practicing "reliefs" in your daily life? Which ones? Have you considered "cures"? Does the following metaphor make sense: "Paracetamol will ease your headaches. Unless you're wearing over-corrective lenses"? And! How New Agey vs rational does was this post?! Good morning Impossible Friends :)