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Declare Independence

CJ Chilvers
CJ Chilvers
2 min read

One of the themes this month has been the role of independence in anxiety. The more agency you have over areas of your life, the less likely you are to experience anxiety in those areas.

Yes, luck is involved. That’s no excuse not to seek greater independence in your life, even if you never reach your goal. More independence is the point. Total independence is probably not possible, nor desirable.

How many areas of your life could greater independence affect less anxiety?

  • Financial independence: the stress of making your monthly nut is probably what causes the most stress in adults.
  • Political independence: don’t let a single political party tell you what to believe. They never get 100% right, which is proven by their constant waivering. Remaining politically independent can reduce your Twitter stress, holiday party stress, and Election Day stress immensely. Decide what you believe and who you believe on a case-by-case basis.
  • Product independence: you’re not an Apple fanboy, a Ford guy, or a Coach girl. You’re an odd combination of traits and ever-changing beliefs. You can’t and shouldn’t be pinned down. That’s when company’s start making your buying decisions for you.
  • Opinion independence: You don’t have to have an opinion on everything. And you don’t have to share your opinion on anything. This one will reduce your stress by huge amounts, but don’t expect anyone to understand why that’s more valuable to you than joining their opinion tribe.

There’s so many more, but you get the idea. Independence is a worthy goal to work towards, and the byproduct is less anxiety.

“We happily give up our freedom and our income in exchange for having someone else take responsibility for telling us what to do next.” — Seth Godin

“The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.” — Walter Bagehot

“Economic independence is the foundation of the only sort of freedom worth a damn.” — HL Mencken

“I was no party man myself, and the first wish of my heart was, if parties did exist, to reconcile them.” — George Washington

“Real wealth is never having to spend time with assholes.” — John Waters

“Everything popular is wrong.” — Oscar Wilde

“It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy.” — Steve Jobs

“Nothing is more conductive to peace of mind than not having any opinion at all.” — GC Lichtenberg

“Once in a while it really hits people that they don't have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.” — Alan Keightley

This is part of a 30-day challenge to blog about anxiety. See all the posts.

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