Putting a new spin on anxiety

By Sean Pearson
I don’t understand why I’m so anxious all the time. In fact, it’s beginning to cause me a little … well, anxiety.
Some people worry about what they eat or if their retirement portfolio is lacking. I worry about worrying too much. And since my doctor said stress isn’t good for my blood pressure, I worry that I’ll get too stressed out and my Superior Vena Cava will implode with the next sip of Diet Coke.
(And yes, I KNOW the dangers of aspartame. I know it is killing me by surreptitiously embalming me from the inside out. I know I will be forever scarred from the caustic solution I have chosen to ingest via a colorful, plastic straw of death. I also accidentally swallowed a baby scorpion and lived to tell about it. Maybe some of us just have stronger stomachs.)
That’s why I decided to embrace a new system of battling stress and anxiety called “Spin Psychoanalysis.” (Also known as “reframing therapy.”) There are no tricky dance moves to learn, no special equipment to buy and it’s not one of those stupid stationary bike classes that charge you a monthly fee to be their gerbil generator. (Go ahead and check next time you’re at that fancy spin class. Those bikes aren’t really powered to provide you with an electronic readout of your heart rate and bike speed. You’re the one plugged into the grid, my friend. How do you think they can afford the electricity to power all those tanning beds?)
Here’s a perfect example of how “Spin Psychoanalysis” (or Spin Psycho) works. Before my epiphany, I would have admonished myself for once again digressing from my initial topic, and felt a twinge of stress twitch in my left eyelid. Now, I see my creative circumvention of the subject as merely a diminutive detour along the freeway of life. (Or highway of humanity, for those who don’t get out of town much.)
Metaphors are a lot like real estate. (As are similes, but that’s a horse of a different color.) Location is everything. For example, I wouldn’t use a hoary marmot metaphor in Idaho, just like I wouldn’t use a spud simile in Alaska. (Besides, that just leads to mixed metaphors and misplaced modifiers. I have a hard enough time keeping track of my car keys.)
And for those who need a few tips on similes and metaphors, here’s a good one for you: Never use toddlers and raptors in the same metaphor.
Which leads me right back to Spin Psycho. It’s not about what you do with your life, it’s all about what kind of spin you put on it. Some people call that denial. I like to think of it as gentle, positive reframing. My therapist insists it works.
Apparently, all I have to do is carve out some new little neural pathways in my brain, and I’m good to go. And yes, I know it’s a “process” that can “take time,” so I plan to start with the “low-torque” setting on my new Makita drill.
This carving thing could be fun.
Basically, it comes down to this: The transmission on my car isn’t going out, it’s just “clutch-impaired.”
All the light bulbs my children stomped into the carpet? A wonderful teaching opportunity for my budding young doctors and nurses to develop surgical skills as they carefully remove tiny white slivers from my sanguine feet. And that’s one less college course for which to pay.
Perhaps you’ve seen this whole “spin” thing of which I speak in action already. Once, it came to Alaska in the form of an “indispensable” fast and shiny jet that eventually ended up next to a Fat Albert lunch box listing on e-Bay.
Most recently, it showed up in the Gulf of Mexico under the guise of BP’s “environmental and social responsibility in sensitive areas.”
Oh well. Accidents happen, right? In the end, it’s all in how you spin it, so why worry? Now I just wonder. I find it much more relaxing.

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Posted by on Jun 2nd, 2010 and filed under Spiew. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Response for “Putting a new spin on anxiety”

  1. Stephen Fox says:

    Your tone about aspartame is glib and terribly uninformed. Millions are dying horrible neurodegenerative deaths from this poison, metabolized as methanol which becomes formaldehyde, found in all sugarless gums and in all diet cokes, etc. No wonder the FDA keeps it on the market still, with journalistic failures to inform like this one. Pathetic!

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