The Rational Basis® of Happiness Podcast

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Anxiety about Unpleasantness

How to cope with unpleasant issues



















































(this is raw unedited text transcribed directly from the audio)


Here is an email from a listener who is pretty much disillusioned with the country. "Hello Dr. Kenner. When the health bill passed, I felt enormously overwhelmed and I cannot shake that feeling. It seems like we are in an unstoppable movement toward state-ism in this country and I feel like giving up. Thank you for taking the time to read my email." This is from Joe.


Joe, I understand what you're feeling. I didn't know how to fight the battle. I felt like a person in an abusive family with all the skills I have, who just didn't know what to do, what to say. I felt like it was a lost cause. And it's understandable to feel that way initially because your mind does need to integrate how serious this threat is to our country. Number one, it is not a health care bill and I never want to call it that. It's a total takeover of our country. It's the beginning of that. You're right, it's going toward state-ism. It's a health care destruction. The poorest person in this country should be terrified at this bill, because although they may get some freebies initially, when the creative, productive people crash - hopefully that will never happen - they're going to be very bad off. They're going to be much worse off than they are in a benevolent country that offers free trade and offers them a chance to not be poor, to rise. So that is very damaging.


The battle is actually in your own soul. One of the reasons, one of the trillion reasons I love the author Ayn Rand - and if you haven't read Atlas Shrugged, read it and it will help you figure out what's going on with the country and how to turn it around - but one of the reasons I love her is she said, "Never let them win a permanent victory. Never lose your ability to enjoy your life." So yes, you can grieve the loss as if you had lost a son or a daughter, but you need to know how to rebuild your world and connect with people who share rational values, your values, and have those rational ideas. If you don't have them, there's a book, Loving Life, by Craig Biddle that I highly recommend. It's Loving Life. He will give you some wonderful ideas and you can feel a little sad but fight that battle in your own mind. I went to a restaurant recently and I went out to feed the birds today. You keep a sense of normalcy in your life. Keep connected to your values and enjoy rational people. Seek them out if you don't know them. Join groups. Speak up. And when you do that, you will love your own life and you'll be able to retain some of that sense of not just sinking into that abyss of making it feel like they have won, that the government official, the government bureaucrats have won. There are so many good people out there fighting the battle. Feel good about it. Stay connected to those people and stay connected with all of your rich values. Everything that makes you happy in life, whether it's friends or family or maybe it's clubs that you belong to. I'm Dr. Ellen Kenner.