How to Deal With Anxiety

1% Better by NFT God 12/15

Happy Thursday, Everyone! I preach this all the time, but if you’re not regularly participating in Twitter Spaces, you’re seriously missing out on an incredible opportunity. I was chatting in a Space on Monday, and I met someone who had just gotten into Web 3 video creation. I talked a little about how video content is a focus of mine in 2023, and he instantly volunteered to get on board. I found myself a video editor just from chatting on a Space!

There are 3 reasons Spaces are the most powerful tool in social media: skill growth, branding, and networking. Skill growth is simple: you instantly become a better public speaker by talking on Twitter Spaces.

Branding is something few people think about. By sharing your ideas on Spaces, you reinforce the branding on your profile. You add context to your profile picture and username. Suppose you’re an account dedicated to gaming, and you go on a Space to share your perception on the future of gaming. This only adds to your standing as a thought leader.

As for networking, by sharing your unique perspective in a Space, you attract like-minded people to you (as I did with the video editor). No other tools in social media allow you to gain leverage like this just by sitting on your couch and speaking. If you’re looking to build a brand for yourself on social media, make this a regular habit.

Anyway, onto the alpha…

Contents:

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How to Deal with Anxiety

I’ve written a couple of tweets lately on anxiety, and it’s seemed to really resonated with people in my audience. Anxiety is a plague that impacts EVERYBODY. The technology, media, and overall state of affairs puts constant negative pressure on all of us. We’re driven to want more. To look better. To buy more materialistic bullshit. All at the same time getting a best-of compilation of everyone’s lives on social media, the most addictive drug there is.

It’s easy to look around and feel like a failure, even if you live a comfortable life. Dealing with anxiety is a skill set I’ve had to learn since moving to New York City 6 years ago (living in this city is one long panic attack). Dealing with anxiety, like learning to code or improving your writing, is a skill set you can work on and one that you can strive to improve daily. Here are some techniques that have allowed me to get out of my own head and instead focus on the present and how beautiful life truly is:

Dopamine Detox

In 2022 there is only one thing that matters: attention. Every company on the planet is trying to grab your attention. There are 24 hours in the day. Every second of those 24 hours is up for grabs by the apps on your phone, the streaming services on your TV, and now thanks to Apple the watch on your wrist (sidenote I think the Apple Watch is one of the most dangerous products of the last 10 years). How do they grab your attention? By giving you microdoses of dopamine every second of the day.

Fight this. Dopamine, as you probably know, is the reward chemical in your brain. By overdosing on this chemical, our social networks, video games, and true crime docu-series are leaving us drained and anxious for another hit.

It’s not a coincidence anxiety is at an all-time high globally while we’ve never had more sources of dopamine hits vying for our eyeballs. For many of us simply cutting out all of these sources of dopa are impossible. I’m not telling you to toss your phone. But even 1% more balance in your life can dramatically impact you.

No phone for the first 30 minutes after you wake up. By grabbing your phone right when you wake up, you’re signaling to your brain it’s time to hunt dopamine. Now it’ll be on the hunt for more dopamine for the rest of the day. This instantly puts you in an anxious state. Go just 30 minutes without that first hit, and you’ll approach the whole day with a different mindset. Can’t do 30 minutes? Start with 15. Can’t do 15? Try 5.

Write. What do I do with those 30 minutes to start the day? I write. I sit on my couch with a cup of Vertuo Colombian coffee courtesy of my Nespresso and write down anything that comes to mind.

Writing is a potent tool to bring you to the present. 99% of the time you feel anxiety it’s because you’re either stuck on a past event or thinking about potential future outcomes. Writing closes the chapter on the past and pulls you out of the future.

Catch Yourself. Being conscious of your own actions as you’re doing them is a life changing skillset. Recognizing when you’re stuck in the past, or anxious about the future, then pulling yourself out of it is another skill that should be practiced daily.

Same goes with catching bad habits. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of scrolling on your phone. I have to do it all the time to build my community on Twitter. But here’s the thing: every thumb swipe on that timeline is another dopamine hit. A minute of scrolling can turn into 5 minutes, which can turn into an hour, which can turn into the entire time block between getting home from work and going to sleep.

As the saying goes: discipline equals freedom. You need to be disciplined and become conscious of your scrolling. For the past year since I started NFT God, I’ve worked on the mental muscle that yells at me whenever I’m scrolling with no purpose. Scrolling with no purpose, or ‘doom scrolling,’ is the binge drinking of dopamine hits. Your brain gets stuck in a vortex of synthetic satisfaction.

You either get anxious reflecting on how much time you’re wasting or get anxious from the dopa hangover. For most people getting off the couch in the middle of a doom scroll is more challenging than running 5 miles. Build that muscle in your brain that stops you from getting stuck.

Find Purpose. This is the one that changed everything for me. I sincerely believe it’s coded in our DNA to need purpose. It always seems once retirement hits, the aging process speeds up dramatically. A piece of purpose was taken away. For me, I have significantly more sense of purpose when I’m building something.

For the past year it’s been NFT God. Before that, I was coding stock scanners. Before that, I worked on an investment portfolio with a friend. These are all projects I took on outside of my career that gave me extra purpose. The time of my life when I’d just come home from work and watch TV was the least stressful but the most anxious. It felt like a piece was missing. Pursuing something bigger gave me the purpose I needed to focus on the present.

Pick up something that gives you a little more purpose. Start a coding course, write a book, build a brand on Twitter, pick up painting and work on your masterpiece.

Mastering anxiety is a skill you need to work on every single day. It’s a set of disciplines and mental exercises that block the unhealthy noise and keep you in the present. My challenge to you this week: find just one single way daily to slightly improve this skill set. Whether it’s one of my techniques above or one of your own, even just 1% more balance daily can have a profound impact.

Have a technique that works for you? Feel free to comment below or email me directly. I’d love to hear from you!

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Latest News

SBF Arrested

League of Legends/ponzi scheme master Sam Bankman Fried has been arrested this week in the Bahamas after weeks of galavanting from media outlet to media outlet as if it all was an honest mistake. He was denied bail and is expected to be extradited to the United States shortly.

While it feels like this happened a few weeks too late, I choose to believe his arrest was delayed simply because authorities wanted to build the most robust case possible against SBF.

A couple things stand out to me here. First, this was the most significant black swan event in the history of crypto, and the price barely moved. In fact, the price of Bitcoin/Ethereum has moved higher since the collapse. This was a 2008-level mortgage crisis event, and the crypto market barely blinked. I’ve ramped up my DCAing over the last couple of weeks. If this wasn’t a blood-in-the-streets event, I don’t know what is.

Second, I have no doubt something like this will happen again until there are rules in place for crypto exchanges. When cash is flowing, people get greedy. When people get greedy, laws get broken. The cryptocurrency market is the wild west. Until there is some level of regulation such as “proof of reserves” there will be more bad actors like SBF next time the bull market comes around. While regulation is very “anti-crypto ethos,” it’s also the only way the mainstream will adopt a technology that is as of now run at the highest levels by crooks and con men.

Replies of the Week

Thank you so much to everyone who’s replied to my tweets or emailed me this week! Look forward to hearing from more of you soon! Take care and have an excellent weekend!

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