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Combating anxiety in the morning - Ode to Joy

Many people suffer from constant anxiety.  The clinical prognosis for combating anxiety from a medical perspective is extremely poor.  Moreover, the medications prescribed for anxiety have terrible side effects; on the one hand, benzodiazepine type medications like Ativan, Klonopin, and Valium lead quickly to substance dependence and chemical tolerance, and on the other hand, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs; antidepressants like Prozac and Paxil) level off all emotions equally, resulting in, for example, a high percentage of users experiencing sexual side effects, both in the desire and the execution stage.  

From a pure psychotherapy perspective, the prognosis for anxiety is just as bad.  The most prevalent method used today, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, targets specific ideas and triggers that set off feelings of anxiety, but this is ineffective.  Why?  Because of the nature of anxiety itself.  Unlike phobias, which are fears tied to specific triggers like dogs or enclosed spaces, anxiety is entrenched fear that has lost its triggers and has become generalized throughout the brain.  If you take away some triggers, it just morphs into others, ever rearing its ugly head.

So what can be done?  Many relaxation techniques do relieve anxiety effectively, and I will be describing a lot of them in later posts, like in How to Relax Completely in 10 Seconds. But I wanted to begin with a very simple one - listening to the Ode to Joy in Spanish.

Beethoven's Ode to Joy not only holds a renowned place in the history of opera and classical music, it is also currently the anthem of the European Union.

The video below is a 1970 Spanish version adaptation of Ode to Joy composed by Waldo de los Ríos and sung by Miguel Ríos, based on the fourth movement of Beethoven's ninth symphony.

If you suffer from anxiety, it would do you well to listen to this song in the morning, singing along (what does it matter if you don't know Spanish?  It's an easy song to learn).  I have provided an English translation of the lyrics below the video.

For Mobile users who cannot see the video above, here is Oda a la Alegría.


Translation of Himno de la Alegría

Listen, brother, to the song of joy,

The joyul song of he who waits for a new day.

Come sing, dream singing, live dreaming the new sun

In which men will become brothers again.

Come sing, dream singing, live dreaming the new sun

In which men will become brothers again.

If in your path only exists sadness

And the bitter weeping of complete solitude,

Come sing, dream singing, live dreaming the new sun

In which men will become brothers again.

If it is that you cannot find joy here on Earth,

Search for it, brother, beyond the stars.

Come sing, dream singing, live dreaming the new sun

In which men will become brothers again.

If it is that you cannot find joy here on Earth

Search for it, brother, beyond the stars.


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