Deepak Chopra is one of our most interesting modern-day thinkers. He advocates a concept that I find very useful in my daily life. He says we choose how we use our brains, our imaginations, and they can be used for either anxiety or creativity. I find this idea so useful because, as a college professor, I have seen anxiety rates in my students skyrocket over the past 25 years. These young people have gone from being anxious at busy points in the semester to being in an almost-constant state of anxiety. And it’s not just young people. Friends of all ages talk about dealing with anxiety on a daily basis.
I realize part of the change is that we, as a society, are more open about having anxiety. It’s more acceptable to have anxiety, even to be on medication for anxiety, than it was 25 years ago. Part of it is also our “breaking news” culture. Most of us are always connected to some type of media, and media sells “breaking news”. That constant barrage of information is anxiety-producing in its sheer volume if not its content! But what are we sacrificing for our constant connection to the world? Creativity. The most beautiful of all gifts.