Day 1791: Disturbing

It’s disturbing to me how often I’m hearing the word “disturbing” lately.

Here’s a disturbing definition:

  1. causing anxiety; worrying.
    “disturbing unemployment figures”

Here are disturbing synonyms :

alarming, annoying, bothersome, creepy, depressing, disconcerting, discouraging, distressing, embarrassing, frightening, irritating, ominous, painful, perplexing, sinister, startling, threatening, troublesome, troubling, unpleasant, unsettling, upsetting, vexing, worrisome, worrying

and  antonyms:

agreeable, auspicious, comforting, delightful, easy, encouraging, good, happy, helpful, nice, pleasant, pleasing

Is it disturbing how many more synonyms we have for disturbing than we have antonyms?

Actually, that imbalance of language doesn’t surprise me, since human beings seem more naturally focused on what’s disturbing rather than on what’s comforting.  That automatic attention to what’s disturbing,  alarming, distressing, frightening, ominous, painful, threatening, and worrying may be an outmoded survival technique (discussed here).  In my work as a psychotherapist, I invite people to balance that hyper-awareness of all things disturbing with a conscious attention on what’s comforting, helpful, and pleasant.

What is disturbing to you, here and now?  What’s  comforting, encouraging, and helpful to you when things are disturbing?

Are any of my photos from yesterday disturbing or comforting?




















I love Steely Dan, whose songs can be  disturbing AND comforting.  Here‘s “Jack of Speed” from Two Against Nature:

Is it disturbing how much Donald Fagen and Walter Becker look like me and Michael?

Thanks to all who helped me create this disturbing post and — of course! — to you, no matter what disturbs and comforts you.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

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29 thoughts on “Day 1791: Disturbing

  1. Interesting!

  2. Your landscapes definitely promote an antonym

  3. Wonderful sun and shadow work, Ann!

  4. Your beauty is the most comforting, then all your beautiful nature photos, Ann 🙂

  5. Most of your photos were comforting to me. Love the beach shots.

  6. Not being American, I don’t know about that treaty. Was it a fair treaty? Where are those people now?

    I love the shadow photo. Curious about Santa

  7. I love “Jack of Speed.” I love Steely Dan. And they definitely don’t disturb me. As a matter of fact, when I want to zone out at work I put my headphones on and listen to Steely. And I’m learning not to be disturbed by everything..especially things I have no control over. life’s too short!

  8. I find many things disturbing but not this blog it is in no way disturbing and if I was hang a do not disturb sign my family would read it as mum is resting its a good time to disturb her

  9. I used to put a sign outside my work cubicle whenever I had a big project that said “Do not disturb. I’m disturbed enough already.” Even if I couldn’t shut out disturbances I could make a joke of them. And speaking of that, shouldn’t the antonym of “disturbed” be “turbed”?

  10. I once had a cat that looked quite a bit like your kitty. Oscar was his name. He was a sweet boy, so that picture is comforting. The ‘No Outlet” sign is a bit disturbing. I always like to have an out.

    • Oscar is the name of our other, friendlier cat; Harley finds most people very disturbing. I am always comforted by your comments, Dawn.

  11. I’ve been prompted to think, while here, never been disturbed. 🙂

  12. Comforting. And I am going to start sitting on the sofa like that now ha.

  13. Being by the water is the perfect antidote when feeling disturbed! Lucky you Ann ☺︎

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