ADVICE: Letting Go of Stress

Every week, New York City's own party messiah takes your life questions and sets you safely down the right path to a solution in his new weekly advice column in The Village Voice. Read the latest edition of Ask Andrew W.K. below or by clicking HERE.

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June 18th, 2014

Dear Andrew,

I'm literally drowning in stress. Anxiety has taken over my life and I'm exhausted from worrying. It's gotten to the point where my mind has become a whirlwind of tension and spazzing-out. Money problems have been a major cause of my fretting, but I'm also sick of feeling like I never have enough hours in the day to do the work that would solve the money issues. It's a catch 22 and I'm past my breaking point. I can't get the necessary work done, let alone have time for any fun. I always feel rushed, running late, and short on energy. Those feelings, added to all my other daily stress, have me acting like an insane person. I feel like simplifying everything and making my life care-free, risk-free, and responsibility-free. But is that really the only way to get rid of my stress and have the time to enjoy life? Other people can't possibly be living like this.

Super Stressed

Dear Super Stessed,

I can actually relate to everything you described. In fact, I think just about every single person has felt this way at some point, if not all the time. Stress is part of life -- learning to manage it is the trick. Sure, like you, maybe I've fantasized about some perfect situation where I'm a dude just chilling in a hammock on a tropical island without a care in the world. But when I really think about it, that kind of life would probably get boring, and the "Don't worry, be happy" attitude is not only unrealistic and forced, but also spiritless and bland.

It's true that a lot of the times I've felt stressed, it's lead to all sorts of other really problematic feelings - mood swings full of anger and rage, severe insomnia and paranoia, feelings of hopelessness and dread, and just waves of pure unrestrained depression. I actually think many of the worst emotional states are brought on purely by chronic worry.

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This news item was posted on: June 18, 2014