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I find that feelings of joy, stress, anxiety, and fear is felt now, but is triggered by thoughts of the future. The feeling at the end of the week when looking at the upcoming weekend can bring thoughts of joy. It is not that we wont ever have any problems again in life, it is just that we feel as if our ‘future looks bright’. When we feel depression, it is the exact opposite. We feel that the ‘future’ does not look bright.

This ‘future gazing’ is usually wrong. That weekend full of happiness that we predicted turns out to be consumed with cleaning up the damage from a water leak in the house. That situation that we predicted would bring us pain and misery turns out to not be that bad. Whenever we ‘predict the future’, the longer we project out, the worst our predictions are. The book Stumbling on Happiness describes how bad we are at predicting the future because we don’t predict the details. For example, we imagine our vacation will...

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This is a follow up to Moving You Sim Through The World which is a follow up to Living Life As A Sim Rather Than A First Person Shooter. In those posts it is suggested that imagining yourself from the 3rd person minimizes the stress that one normally feels when imagining unpleasant things in the future, the cause of anxiety.

The Goal: The Ability To Feel Joy In Any Situation This 3rd person, dispassionate view of oneself, allows us the possibility to feel joy at all times, even in times of what would normally be extreme stress or difficulty. In fact this is best practiced at those times. For example, one can receive the news that they were just fired from a job. When experienced through the normal first person perspective, one may feel as if the world has turned against them. Incredible sadness...

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This is a follow-up to the post Living Life As A Sim Rather Than A First Person Shooter. In that post I described the technique of thinking of yourself in the 3rd person (like a Sim in the Sims, or the character in FarmVille). This provides a better perspective on my position in the world and the world around me. If it rains, it rains on my Sim (my body) but does it really rain on my soul? Isn’t the real me truly separated from my physical self that the perspective shows?

File:Doom ingame 2.png

Most of us live life as a first person shooter. We look at the world though our eyes, and the world, is what we see though our eyes (and what we imagine). Even when we imagine, we imagine things as seen through our eyes, first person shooter style.

The problem that I have found is that this perspective is the cause of a great amount of anxiety. Anxiety is really just a fancy word for fear. The fear is always a fear of loss. In this case, it is loss of control. For example, the fear that something bad at work will happen the next day, is really just a fear that things wont go the way we want them too. The fear is not in what will happen (unless you expect that you will get killed or injured at work) but that what will happen is not what we want to happen.

On reflection we may realize that this is a bit silly. We cannot know exactly what will happen...

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