home
RSS
Seeking Serenity: Chilling in the back-to-school chaos
August 10th, 2011
05:07 PM ET

Seeking Serenity: Chilling in the back-to-school chaos

Editor's note: CNN contributor Amanda Enayati ponders the theme of seeking serenity - the quest for well-being and life balance in stressful times.

It has become inevitable that each year, at some point in August, my husband will begin talking about new classes, new wardrobes, new gear and the very long list of things we need to do in preparation for the kids to go back to school.

And every year, this is all I hear him say: “Blah blah blah blah kids go back to school.”

My own early school years were spent in Iran and several Western European countries (after I fled the revolution), where back-to-school just meant you got up early one morning in the fall and went back to school.
FULL POST


Seeking Serenity: Serious illness won’t get off my back
July 26th, 2011
05:15 PM ET

Seeking Serenity: Serious illness won’t get off my back

Editor's note: CNN contributor Amanda Enayati ponders the theme of Seeking Serenity: The quest for well-being and life balance in stressful times.

One of the most stressful things about having a health crisis, aside from the fear of death, is the lingering paranoia.

It’s like that houseguest from hell who invites himself for a visit and then decides he will never leave. Because here you are, trucking along for 30-some-odd years, assuming that that the achy back is from the Kundalini yoga move gone awry and that lingering cough is from the cold you caught from your frenemy.

But once you’ve sparred with a serious illness like cancer, almost overnight you start seeing conspiracies to off you everywhere. Joyful, grateful and almost giddy you are to have survived at all, you bob up and down in constant waves of stress and anxiety. They can build to near-tsunami proportions each time you lose another friend who got her diagnosis at the same time as you or sat there beside you while you both received chemo or chatted with you in the waiting room during radiation.

FULL POST


Seeking serenity: How high-achievers chill
July 13th, 2011
07:19 AM ET

Seeking serenity: How high-achievers chill

Editor's note: CNN contributor Amanda Enayati ponders the theme of Seeking serenity: The quest for well-being and life balance in stressful times.

Happiness - or rather, the quest for happiness - was in the air at this year’s Aspen Ideas Fest as the topic was examined rather earnestly from every angle: the history of happiness, its psychology, neuroscience, economics and geography.

There was even a session on how to recognize happiness, though fairly certain of my abilities on that front, I played hooky in favor of pedaling around town on a bicycle.

And truth be told, Aspen in the summertime is rather easy to be happy in: 360 degrees of opulent white-flecked mountains covered with shocks of gorgeous green in at least a dozen shades, vast sweeps of vivid wildflowers swaggering on every corner, the freshest air completely devoid of frizz-inducing humidity and rather frequent sightings of chipmunks and celebrity types.

FULL POST


Seeking Serenity: A life less cluttered
June 16th, 2011
10:59 AM ET

Seeking Serenity: A life less cluttered

Editor's note: CNN contributor Amanda Enayati ponders the theme of Seeking Serenity: The quest for well-being and life balance in stressful time.

I vowed that I would not sit down to write this piece until I cleared some of the clutter around my house. Alas, two weeks passed and the piles remained. With a deadline and the wrath of my editor looming, I swallowed the angst of potential hypocrisy and began writing.

I’m no hoarder, mind you, just your average run-of-the-mill pack rat. And it is quite likely that to a lesser or greater degree, you are one too.

FULL POST


Seeking Serenity: Stressed new grads, harness your idealism
May 25th, 2011
07:50 AM ET

Seeking Serenity: Stressed new grads, harness your idealism

Editor's note: CNN contributor Amanda Enayati ponders the theme of Seeking Serenity: The quest for well-being and life balance in stressful time.

Graduation just passed, but I still have no job. And in a few weeks, I’ll have nowhere to live either, and so I’m moving back in with my parents to continue my job search, which I first started almost a year ago. I am so stressed out that I haven’t been sleeping. Sometimes I get so anxious, I have difficulty breathing.

That’s a direct quote from a recent college graduate in New York who did not even want his first name used. “I’m so wigged out, I’m feeling paranoid,” he said.

What was remarkable was that in almost a dozen conversations I had with graduates from all over the country these past few weeks, many kept using virtually the same language over and over again. The commonality of sentiments among people who did not know one another was striking. And though there was a smattering here and there of the hopeful - those who had jobs secured - they seemed by far the exception.

There is stress - and a lot of it - rampant among a population that might normally be quite exuberant right about now: four carefree years of college behind them, hard-earned degrees in hand, a warm breeze blowing through their still-full heads of not-graying hair as they embark upon that heady adventure known as the rest of their lives.

FULL POST


Seeking Serenity: When lawyers go zen
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer started meditation "because it’s good for my health."
May 11th, 2011
11:15 AM ET

Seeking Serenity: When lawyers go zen

Editor's note: Beginning today, CNN contributor Amanda Enayati ponders the theme  of "Seeking Serenity: The quest for well-being and life balance in stressful times."

“Does scratching my eyes out count as a stress reliever?” asks Pamela, an attorney with whom I am discussing ways in which lawyers attempt to alleviate anxiety.

“Well, no,” I say. “It’s quite the opposite, really.”

“That’s all I know,” shrugs Pamela, done with the topic. “And don’t use my last name cause of, you know, the law firm mafia.”

I had been searching for meditating lawyers - yes, I mean meditation, not mediation - since a few days earlier when I happened to meet one in a parking lot. The woman - Barbara, a managing partner at a hedge fund - was in the throes of a merger when I met her. And yet she was like no attorney I have ever known.
FULL POST


Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

Advertisement
Advertisement