29 March 2016

The Evolution of Anxiety: Why We Worry and What to Do About It

This Lifehacker article is a great and useful read, and I've provided some of my own comments below.

My thoughts:

Types of thoughts that people have:
  • 'All I can think about is how I'm ever going to live life without being anxious 24/7'
  • 'I fundamentally do not understand anything going on in my life'
  • 'I need to figure out what to do with my life'
  • 'I think about everything'
My experience:

I don't have medically diagnosed anxiety, but pretty much everyone I am sure has had times of anxiety when things get overwhelming, you question reality, the future and your identity.

There was one point at college where I was extremely stressed with the amount of work to do, and I took a deep breath, and realised there literally was nothing I could do to fix everything immediately and in one go... so I learned to stop caring, relax, and then do everything in bite size chunks. I learned to just take every single thing one at a time and deal with everything "as it comes", very much. I do care very much about everything, and at college people often told me that I over-analysed everything too much.

I worry about new situations, not as much as people I've known with Asperger’s, but it becomes a physical problem as well for me.

My analysis:

We humans put a lot of responsibility on ourselves to resolve all of our issues by ourselves. It's often the case that we try to 'hold everything together', I think of like trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle and on a time limit to see what it says once all the pieces are in place. There are some gaps, some pieces you don't understand what to do with, and you don't know how to tackle it in the best way. We become frantic over trying to get all of it done, that we end up struggling, we put too much pressure on ourselves to sort our whole lives out in one go.

Everyone goes through self-tests of awareness, which can happen at any time during their lives but often starts during teenage years.

How to reduce anxiety:

I don’t believe there is a single method that works for everyone. Everyone needs to find their own way that works for them. You will find a way to deal with it in your own way, whatever you have to do. They can be categorised thusly:
  •       Creative outlets
  •       Distractions, or “shifting anxiety” to something immediately achievable
  •       Tackling issues directly 

It’s important to keep moving forward with your life when you have anxiety or stress. Once you’ve hit rock bottom, you can only go up, and you might just need to face the issues head-on – just admit the thoughts sitting in the shadows, at the back of your mind, and tackle them. Think about what your concern is really about – only once you do that, can you get a grip on it and get control of your life back.

Creative outlets
  •       Art – drawing, painting, whatever comes natural to you – and you don’t need to be good to make art. A lot of art is just a raw expression of emotion.
  •       Sport – exercise, boxing, ju-jitsu, swimming, and anything else you might like, can help you process things, get back to reality, and move on.


The problem with distractions is that they can be obsessive, so they should not be the only answer you take.
  •       The internet, especially YouTube For example, this lonelyisland video
  •       Going for a walk
  •       Talking with friends
  •       Listening to music, watching movies
  •       Eating and drinking

Tackling issues directly

The first step is to always take a deep breath. If you are in a critical situation, counting to 10 and closing your eyes helps, and you can push it down and away to deal with it later - the main reminder for me of this is when Jack on Lost was operating on a patient and heard about his dad passing away - he needed to save the person's life so he just counted to 10 and then dealt with his thoughts after the operation.


Coming up with a plan has helped me in many situations before. Sometimes I get very nervous before big meetings, and it doesn’t settle well with me. So all I do now is just make sure I spend more time preparing and thinking something through, and give myself time to relax. Take everything in bite size chunks. Brainstorm your thoughts. Work through them one by one.

It can go a bit overboard however with the planning – you might feel like you have to get everything sorted right now. If you knew everything going on for the rest of your life however, it'd be boring! If you had every moment of your life planned out, you’d lose the excitement and surprise that you normally get out of life – you would be compelled to rebel and be different. So in other words, live in the moment, take every day as it comes, and do things that make you happy.


There is no pressure to fix everything at once. Think of it like a car, there might be several problems with the car, like failed engine or low battery, but you would only ever fix each part one at a time. There's no need to get everything working in perfect unison, you just have to deal with things as they happen. That is the best that anyone can do. Relying on others is more than acceptable.

Another way of looking at it is that each problem is like an obstacle course. You have to jump over hurdles, crawl under nets, swing over monkey bars, etc. Every problem needs a different way to tackle it – there isn’t a single answer for each of them, but the only thing that is in common is your approach to the problem.

Life will throw a lot of problems in your way, and you have to figure out how to get around them. For a lot of the things thrown at you, you may have absolutely no idea how you’re going to get over them. You just need to figure it out. Another way of thinking of it is like a doctor – a doctor or nurse has to know an array of different tactics to solve medical issues. It’s an adaptable applied set of knowledge. As life goes on, your knowledge base – your tactic base – will become stronger. It’s not something you can force on, it will happen on its own, and you can always expect life to throw things at you.


It's always better if you try to work on isolated things instead of trying to fix everything at once, you need to learn to compartmentalise. Take each thing in bite size chunks, have a plan, and deal with everything piece by piece. Don't worry about all the stuff going on - often there are things we worry about that we can't do anything about, so there is no point in worrying - you just have to let things play out.

It's important to not worry about things you can't control. If you missed the bus only by a few seconds, don’t put the pressure on yourself – it happens to everyone. Just think of an alternative – can you wait? Could you walk, get a taxi, another form of transport, etc. Can you get a coffee in the meantime?

Writing things down helps me process them and forget about them – I don’t have to remember what the idea was, I only have to remember where it was “saved”.

Often these things have a habit of taking care of themselves too, and it can be more fun seeing everything come together. Focus on what you need to do a day at a time, don't try to be a perfectionist, and don't ever feel like it's your job to do it entirely on your own - people are more than happy to do favours and take the load off to help you, it comes with the nature of being a friend. You may not feel like you want the help, or you don't want to burden anyone, but sometimes it's exactly what you need.

Remember, life is a rollercoaster. You can't stop the cart so there's no use trying to do so, it has ups and downs and bends and twists and double backs, it will bring you anticipation, fear, joy, and a thrill, but most importantly, you should just let yourself enjoy it.

Other places for advice

Realistically, no single person can manage all their problems on their own. So don't ever feel like you need to fix everything on your own.
  •       Talk to a friend, a colleague, a teacher or a professional
  •       Talking to a therapist – some work places also provide them
  •       Defence mechanisms explain our behaviour and the varying levels of maturing when it comes to responses 
  •       Dan Howell has done some really good videos:

Update: More advice

Another example of something I've been asked to help with:
"Feeling up and down, just want to get my life on track"

My response to this is:

That's the thing though, life is what you make it, man. Life doesn't always have to be a big house with a white picket fence and 2.3 children. Life doesn't have a straightforward recipe. It's kind of like learning how to cook for the first time without any help. It's scary, and confusing, and tiring, and you don't always get what you want, but that's exactly what the point is! 

Life isn't about the destination, it's about the journey

It's not about planning everything out, and having to have everything in order, you just have to deal with everything as it comes, one at a time, it's about living in the moment. If you spend all your time worrying about what to do with your life, it gets in the way if you actually enjoying life as it is! You just have to accept life isn't something you can control, you can't predict every eventuality, you gotta just deal with what is thrown at you and go with what is right. Bad things happen, but there's nothing you can do to stop them, you just gotta accept them and move on. You gotta adapt, be a survivor, and most importantly, learn to just live.

27 March 2016

Windows 10 Apps stopped working since time went forward?

  1. Run sfc /scannow
  2. Run wsreset.exe
  3. Synchronise the Windows time using time.nist.gov or time.windows.com
  4. Restart computer
Should be fixed :)