Shortcuts for anxiety

This is an excerpt from an article I read

Concentration Problems From Anxiety Disorder Can Be Managed

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It’s been a while

John e. Artini

My husband, John E. Artini, makes amazing cocktails, including:

John E’s Dirty Martini

Now, most bartenders will make a martini with 1 or 2 olives while he uses 9 small ones or 4 big ones. Always ask for your olives on the side because you get more liquor in your drink.

  • small olives (with pimento)
    • pitted olives can be stuffed with cocktail onions using a toothpick for stability
  • your choice of vodka (Belvedere Vodka is personally recommended by my wife, Lizard Tini)
  • a martini glass (a margarita glass works well, too)
  • Fill a tumbler (large tumbler-like glass) with ice to create your mixing glass
  • Pour in as much vodka as you want to drink into the glass
  • Grab a long-handled stir stick (we recommend a shish-ka-bob skewer or chop stick of any size) *nothing spoon-like
  • Stir vodka with ice really, really, really fast until you see a whirlpool funnel in the center then continue for 30 seconds
  • Let sit for 2 minutes (so you can stop feeling dizzy or for a chill and smoke break)
  • Stir for 30 seconds
  • Add as much olive juice as you want; the rule is, the more juice it is saltier and more mellow
  • Stir for 30 seconds – create a whirlpool
  • Place your hand over the top of the mixing glass and slowly strain the mixture into the Martini (Margarita, or whatever you have) glass
  • Add 9 small olives (you can add less, but not 2!)


Carefully bring your John E’s Dirty Martini to your favorite (and permanent for the night) seating area, with your chosen hottie, and toast your night away!




Better than Mallrats?

I was in a mall on Saturday (Springhill Mall in West Dundee, IL) and was walking towards an exit when I heard a man doing this weird yell/talk thing. He was saying, “I’m THREE stores away and I can STILL hear them. THEY should SHUT UP!” I thought he was just a crazy guy, but he walked into a Tiffany Lamp store and went behind the counter. I realized he was talking about a couple of kids with their parents in a Zales Jewelry store up at the corner. The kids were playing and it wasn’t like they were just screaming at the top of their lungs, they were just being kids. As I walked past the lamp store, I told the guy that I had been three stores away when I heard him.

Then the guy who worked at Zales walked past me and just lit into the Tiffany lamp guy, telling him that if he didn’t keep his fucking mouth shut he would file a complaint with security. This was going to be a mall fight, I realized.

Quickly, I ran to the Hot Topic and told the pierced people there that the preppies at American Eagle were talking shit about them. I ran to American Eagle and told them the same about Hot Topic. I riled up the black girls at Deb by telling them the Express girls were laughing at them.

Everything was perfect. The Chinese Food people were pissed at the Indian Food people and it was clear the Chicago Sandwich shop had just about enough of the Convenience store of tomorrow.

Soon, all the employees emptied all the stores and it was like that scene from The Warriors where each gang had its own unique look. Only the kiosk people, who stuck together, did not really have a good theme. Sunglass hut, Peircing Pagoda, and Dakota watches…not a good mesh.

Surprisingly, the mall walkers struck first in a flash of sateen work out pants and white tennis shoes. They fell on the Disney Store people who were none too cheerful when they got up and clubbed one of the geezers with a Mickey Mouse lamp.

The AE folks pulled at the HT people’s gauges. The HT people struck back with spiked denim pants. The folks at Spencer’s attacked the crew from J. Crew with dildos and mugs with funny sayings on them.

It was horrific. Finally the fat security guys got things calmed down. I bought an Auntie Anne’s pretzel and skedaddled.

And up until Hot Topic comes into play, this story is true.


It is so easy to compare ourselves to the Joneses.  It’s become a way of life for many, including myself and people I know.  Unfortunately, the one thing we forget when doing this is that we are *not* Mr., Mrs., family member Jones and can get lost in the comparison by trying to change oneself to be what we think is the “better” self.

My reason for this post is to remind myself that I am not a Jones.  Until I became aware of it today, I have been comparing myself and my work to a co-worker.  Unfortunately, this co-worker is not happy and I am following a poor example.  Last night, when I had my realization, I said aloud “Girl, you are on your own here.”

This morning I started my day with: “You can do this.  You have been on your own before to try and figure it out.  This time you do have help (my boss) even though it isn’t an ideal situation, this is what it is for now.”  I say it isn’t an ideal situation because the purpose of my job is to make it easier for my boss to do his own work (business development) and not to be training me.  

My own take-away from this post is:

“Do not let the behavior of those around you dictate your own behavior, good or bad.”

On that note, I am off to have a GREAT day!!  I hope it’s the same for you, my dear readers.

I find it pretty awesome when I read an article that I feel was written for me and this is no exception.   The exact article is copied here:

If you’ve ever suffered from severe anxiety, you’re probably overly familiar with the control it can have over your life.  And you’re not alone — it affects approximately 40 million adult Americans per year.

Anxiety and panic disorders can cause ceaseless feelings of fear and uncertainty  — and with that suffering often comes comments that are more hurtful than helpful. According to Scott Bea, clinical psychologist and assistant professor of medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, while it usually comes from a heartfelt place, a lack of understanding from others can make working through a panic attack incredibly challenging.

“So many of the things you might say end up having a paradoxical effect and make the anxiety worse,” Bea tells The Huffington Post. “Anxiety can be like quicksand — the more you do to try to defuse the situation immediately, the deeper you sink. By telling people things like ‘stay calm,’ they can actually increase their sense of panic.”

Despite everything, there are ways to still be supportive without causing more distress. Here are seven comments you should avoid saying to someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder — and how you can really help them instead.

1. “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

The truth is, what you consider small may not be so minute in someone else’s world. While you may be trying to cast a positive, upbeat light on a tense situation, you may be diminishing something that’s a much bigger deal to another person.

“You have to enter the person’s belief system,” Bea advises. “For [someone with anxiety], everything is big stuff.” In order to help instead, try approaching them from a point of encouragement rather than implying that they “buck up” over something little. Reminding them that they overcame this panic before can help validate that their pain is real and help them push beyond those overwhelming feelings, Bea says.

2. “Calm down.”

The debilitating problem with anxiety and panic disorders is that you simply can’t calm down. Finding the ability to relax — particularly on command — isn’t easy for most people, and it certainly can be more difficult for someone suffering from anxiety.

In a blog post on Psychology Today, psychologist Sean Smith wrote an open letter to a loved one from the viewpoint of someone with anxiety, stating that even though there may be good intentions behind it, telling someone to calm down will most likely have the opposite effect:

Let’s acknowledge the obvious: if I could stop my anxiety, I would have done so by now. That may be difficult to understand since it probably looks like I choose to [panic, scrub, hoard, pace, hide, ruminate, check, clean, etc]. I don’t. In my world, doing those things is only slightly less excruciating than not doing them. It’s a difficult thing to explain, but anxiety places a person in that position.

According to Keith Humphreys, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University, your words don’t have to be your most powerful method — offering to do something with them may be the best way to help alleviate their symptoms. Humphreys says activities like meditation, going for a walk or working out are all positive ways to help.

3. “Just do it.” When someone with anxiety is facing their fear, a little “tough love” may not have the effect you’re hoping for. Depending on the type of phobia or disorder someone is dealing with, panic can strike at anytime — whether it’s having to board an airplane, speaking with a group of people or even just out of nowhere. “Obviously if they could overcome this they would because it would be more pleasant,” Humphreys says. “No one chooses to have anxiety. Using [these phrases] makes them feel defensive and unsupported.”

Instead of telling someone to “suck it up,” practicing empathy is key. Humphreys advises swapping pep-talk language for phrases like “that’s a terrible way to feel” or “I’m sorry you feel that way.”

“The paradox is, [an empathetic phrase] helps them calm down because they don’t feel like they have to fight for their anxiety,” Humphreys said. “It shows some understanding.”

4. “Everything is going to be fine.” While overall supportive, Bea says that those with anxiety won’t really react to the comforting words in the way that you may hope. “Unfortunately, telling someone [who is dealing with anxiety] that ‘everything is going to be alright’ won’t do much, because nobody is going to believe it,” he explains. “Reassurance sometimes can be a bad method. It makes them feel better for 20 seconds and then doubt can creep in again.”

Bea suggests remaining encouraging, without using blanket statements that may not offer value to the situation. Sometimes, he says, even allowing them to embrace their worry — instead of trying to banish it — can be the only way to help. “They can always accept the condition,” Bea said. “Encouraging them that it’s okay to feel what they’re feeling — that can be a pretty good fix as well.”

5. “I’m stressed out too.”

Similar to “calm down” and “don’t sweat the small stuff,” you may be accidentally trivializing someone’s struggle by creating a comparison. However, if you are stressed or suffering from a mild anxiety or panic disorder, Humphreys warns that camaraderie after a certain point can get dangerous. “It’s important not to obsess with each other,” Humphreys advises. “If you have two people who are anxious, they may feed off each other. If people have trouble controlling their own anxiety, try not to engage in that activity even if you think it might help.”

Research has shown that stress is a contagious emotion, and a recent study out of the University of California San Francisco found that even babies can catch those negative feelings from their mothers. In order to promote healthier thoughts, Humphreys advises attempting to refocus the narrative instead of commiserating together.

6. “Have a drink — it’ll take your mind off of it.”

That cocktail may take the edge off, but when dealing with anxiety disorders there is a greater problem to worry about, Humphreys says. Doctors and prescribed treatments are more of the answer when it comes to dealing with the troubles that cause the panic. “Most people assume that if someone has a few drinks, that will take their anxiety away,” he said. “In the short term, yes perhaps it will, but in the long term it can be a gateway for addiction. It’s dangerous in the long term because those substances can be reinforcing the anxiety.”

7. “Did I do something wrong?”

It can be difficult when a loved one is constantly suffering and at times it can even feel like your actions are somehow setting them off. Humphreys says it’s important to remember that panic and anxiety disorders stem from something larger than just one particular or minor instance. “Accept that you cannot control another person’s emotions,” he explains. “If you try to [control their emotions], you will feel frustrated, your loved one suffering may feel rejected and you’ll resent each other. It’s important not to take their anxiety personally.”

Humphreys says it’s also crucial to let your loved ones know that there is a way to overcoming any anxiety or panic disorder — and that you’re there to be supportive. “There are ways out to become happier and more functional,” he says. “There is absolutely a reason to have hope.”


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