Modern life style – fast pace, digital communication, lots of processed food, polluted air/ water, together with prevalent Atheism and identity confusions, put humanity in an environment that is totally counter-genetic of our nature make-up. Thus trigger much modern illness from these distresses. Anxiety, a psychological concern that people used to experience once or even several times in his or her lifetime, has now become new norm. Our greater living environment is constantly onslaught our body’s protection system, putting more and more people into sub-health category with our immune system tremendously compromised, and detoxification ability largely reduced. In more dramatic case, these sufferers acted out their dysfunction and causes tragedies or criminal attack of others.
It is obvious that psychological malaise and emotional disorder among the population exponentially increase. The list of single day mass shooting shows 7 out of 10 deadest shooting happen in the new century, and 4 out of 10 happened in Texas. The law allows for people the privilege of guns, but government policies have not catch up with the modern development to equip people with support to handle the responsibility of holding such power in face of the unprecedented assault modern life style posted to our emotional stability.
Anxiety is often understood as similar to fear. But they are entirely different concepts and experiences. Fear is the body’s reaction to an actual dangerous or frightening situation. It’s our natural “fight or flight” mechanism. On the other hand, anxiety is the psychological perception of danger brought about by too much anticipation or speculation of future events. If fear has actual triggers, anxiety often involves worrying on uncertain things. The interesting thing about fear and anxiety is that they are both processed on the same part of the brain, which is amygdala. Additionally a fearful event or experience can also be the trigger of anxiety in the future. According to brain research, it is said that our biological design and survival mechanism reacts to things before the rational brain has time to mull things over. The stimuli go directly to thalamus and it then goes right to amygdala before a signal reaches the neocortex to process.
Alan Watt, the British philosopher who interpreted and popularized Eastern philosophy in the West, said, “There will always be suffering. But we must not suffer over the suffering.” His book The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety pioneers a complete reversal of all ordinary thinking about the present state of man. The critical condition of the world compels us to face this problem: how is man to live in a world in which he can never be secure, deprived, as many are, of the consolations of religious belief? The author shows that this problem contains its own solution—that the highest happiness, the supreme spiritual insight and certitude are found only in our awareness that impermanence and insecurity are inescapable and inseparable from life.
Some more other resources I found useful:
- 学佛能使内心强大, 佛教是如何解决焦虑症的 (a very good article of how Buddhism empower people in Chinese language);
- Seraphimanglehealing.com; and information about Seraphim Blueprint Organization;
- Changeyourenergy.com by Iichi Lee;
- 陶傑說佛 – 求不得苦 (youtube in Cantonese);
- Mindfulness practices of Buddhist Monk lend us tool to cope anxiety by HackSpirit;