Words like “fear” and “uncertainty” are more common than last year amid competing global crises
France’s President Francois Hollande addresses the 71st session of United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York on September 20, 2016. Photographer: Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images
Syria’s civil war. North Korean nuclear tests. Brexit. Turkey’s failed coup. A volatile U.S. election. This jarring backdrop was hard to miss as world leaders stepped up to the familiar green marble dais during this week’s United Nations General Assembly.
Heads of state and government representing the world’s largest economies used words like “fear,” “uncertainty,” “risk,” and “terror” 87 percent more often on average than during last year’s gathering, according to an analysis by Adam Tiouririne, a leadership communication adviser at Logos Consulting Group.Researchers classify this kind of language into a category of “anxiety words” that they use to analyze health outcomes and even business management. This analysis focuses on variations of 13 such words in 22 speeches covering the 10 G-20 countries whose head of state or head of government spoke the past two years, plus European Council President Donald Tusk.
Academic research has also found that such words reflect people’s actual underlying levels of stress, which may explain why U.S. President Barack Obama — who will no longer be troubled with the world’s problems after next January — is the only G-20 leader to use anxiety words less often than last year.
On the other hand French President Francois Hollande, whose country has been rocked by terrorist attacks from Paris to Nice in the past year, notched the biggest uptick, from seven anxiety words in his 2015 General Assembly speech to 30 this year.The civil war in Syria and its worsening refugee crisis are fueling much of the anxiety that is pervasive in the leaders’ frequent mentions of war, migration and terrorism. A broader analysis found that the Middle Eastern country was mentioned no fewer than 50 times by the 14 G-20 leaders who spoke at this year’s General Assembly.Yet even as global conflicts weighed on the G-20 leaders, economics ultimately emerged as a top issue for many, especially Chinese Premier Li Keqiang who mentioned the subject twice as often as any of his peers.
Note on Methodology: Prepared English-language statements were used, in order of appearance, for Brazilian President Michel Temer, U.S. President Barack Obama, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, South African President Jacob Zuma, European Council President Donald Tusk, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Transcripts of delivered remarks or live English translations were used for: Argentine President Mauricio Macri, French President Francois Hollande, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can be beneficial in some situations. It can alert us to dangers and help us prepare and pay attention.
Anxiety disorders differ from normal feelings of nervousness or anxiousness and involve excessive fear or anxiety. Anxiety disorders are the most common of mental disorders and affect more than 25 million Americans. But anxiety disorders are treatable and a number of effective treatments are available. Treatment helps most people lead normal productive lives.
Peace and Freedom Commentary
We live in difficult times. How we handle that fact is important to our mental health.
Ask yourself, “How am I coping?”
Just yesterday, a seasoned thinker said to us, “I am not responsible for all the ruin in the world.”
That’s pretty healthy thinking — and the contrary corollary to “The Sky Is Falling.”
Most of us have almost no impact on national elections, economies, wars, forest fires and earthquakes. But if you happen to be a journalist like me, you may live aming those that think one tiny paragraph of their words can change the world.
Wouldn’t that be terrific. And catastrophic at the same time.
We live in and need community. But we need a community of healthy thinkers. Too much CNN or Fox News may earn you a spot in the psychiatry ward. In fact, what might be a better out come is all those TV talking heads in the psychiatry ward.
Cro Magnon man
Fear has been a problem for man through the ages. Ever since the first Cro Magnon man lost his chunk of brontosaurus meat to a much tougher Cro Magnon man, fear permeated the human head.
And that’s not always good.
It is interesting to note that one of the phrases repeated over and over again in the Bible is “Do not be afraid.”
Many Bible scholars tell us that if we do what we are supposed to do in life, we needn’t have fear. And that may be about as good as it gets.
But if the Cro Magnon man above looks a lot like Vladimir Putin to you, it may be time to turn off the cable news.
If that doesn’t work you can pray, see a shrink and take drugs.
Two of those things will cost you the farm in the long run — trust me on that — so I’ve tried to keep praying….
Padre Pio’s advice to us: “When you are worried, PRAY. Once you are praying, stop your worry.”
The lesson: never give up hope! “With God, all things are possible.” Matthew 19: 26
Prayer and Meditation for Saturday, July 9, 2016 — “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” — “Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.”
Try not to go haywire…
Art: The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, By Rembrandt
Jesus walks on water, by Ivan Aivazovsky (1888) — He said to them, “Do not be afraid.”
Tags: Anxiety, anxiety words, Argentine President Mauricio Macri, Brexit, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, China's economy, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Cro Magnon man, do not be afraid, European Council President Donald Tusk, French President Francois Hollande, General Assembly, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Language of anxiety, Li Keqiang, Logos Consulting Group, Mental health, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, North Korean nuclear tests, not good for mental health, Obama, Padre Pio, psychology, South African President Jacob Zuma, The Antidote to Fear is Faith, The Sky Is Falling, Turkey's Failed Coup, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, U.S. economy, U.S. election, U.S. President Barack Obama, United Nations general assembly, When you are worried pray
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