I first discovered the medium of podcasting roughly three years ago (I know I am a late bloomer). I had recently started a new position that required a 50-minute commute to and from work each day. Between the traffic, the distance and someone with general anxiety, it was imperative that I found something that would calm the road rage and could help me find peace and enjoyment during the commute. I was introduced to Ted Talks on-line and then low and behold, I found a whole new auditory world full of content and so many different genres – it was a smorgasbord and literally a pleasure to my ears. The best part – it was free!
The first podcast that really got me hooked was the series Up and Vanished by Tenderfoot TV, season one. It was a murder mystery, who-done-it type series spread out over 12 episodes. I was hooked. The voice of the narrator, Payne Lindsey, was soothing and the content compelling. I was beginning to find my commutes were not as arduous and a bit more enjoyable.
Once I completed listening to the Up and Vanished series, I was thirsty for more. I started browsing all the content through Apple Podcast in delight. As I scrolled through, what seemed like unending podcasts, I zeroed in on Armchair Expert. I struck gold when I began listening. The podcast focuses on celebrity guest with a mix of humor and self-reflections while introducing and discussing new topics, concepts, and ideas. Nothing is taboo and somewhat non-biased – I should say open-minded. The conversations are unscripted and can often go on an unforeseen, yet, welcoming, tangent. Hooked was not the word for my unquenching thirst. I felt elated to find a medium that was entertaining, thought-provoking, and unexpectedly relaxing. I soon found a dozen or so podcasts that were entertaining while offering a bit of education and feeding-of-the-brain content I require.
I also discovered that I have a real love for comedy. At times, I can come across as serious and cerebral, but to those that truly know me, I do have a silly and fun side that comes out from time-to-time. I think I now have more comedic podcast than serious, intellectual ones in my library. Perhaps it is my need to relax and laugh that has me drawn to comedy. But to my surprise, even the comedic podcasts often have interesting and thought-provoking guests. Check out The Joe Rogan Experience podcast with Elon Musk, Malcolm Gladwell, and Edward Snowden. No matter where you turn, there is some element of knowledge coming through these unsuspecting and most entertaining podcasts.
Honestly, how does this all relate to the title of this blog and what Is the point of sharing my new love for podcasts? As previously mentioned, it was and is the answer to how I manage my long commute, but it has also been a great tool for calming when I find myself anxious. I have dealt with generalized anxiety my entire life. Through the years it has expressed itself in different forms. In my younger years it was in the form of OCD. As I have aged, it now comes out through a loss of focus and concentration. I use common, medical treatment for it, but I find if I sometimes simply listen to a podcast, it affords me an escape from the noise that is often in my head. I can focus on something other than my internal chatter and self-dialogue. There have been many instances when I have turned on a podcast, retreated to a comfortable chair or my bed, and begin to calm as I tune out the world.
Others often find this same effect when listening to music – I do as well, but only to a degree. I find music most enjoyable when being active e.g., exercising, walking, working around the house. I think I find the spoken work more soothing and calming. I am that person who sleeps with the T.V. on. I will often turn on a T.V. program, not to watch, but to have some background noise. I know, I know – as strange and contradictory as it may seem for someone with anxiety, general background talk and dialogue is a comfortable noise for me. It is the quiet that I often find unbearable. When it is quiet the thoughts and self-dialogue never cease. Quite is great for brainstorming, but other than that, not so beneficial. It just proves to you how complex and unique each one of us truly are.
Whether you are podcast junkie, like myself, or you love the listening to music, or enjoy to run miles every evening, it is important to find that thing that brings you joy, relaxation, and a connection to your core. When I am centered in myself and really grounded and connected, that is when I am at my best. My love for writing, creating, learning, and now podcasts is what brings me joy, gets me to work in one piece, and helps keep the happiness in the forefront. Next time you are feeling low or out of sorts, go check out a podcast. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
©Honestly by Ellen Good 2020
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