sarahmichigan: (Default)
Damn, I love it when something really makes you feel alive. Even if it's soul-ripping grief, there's almost a rush to that sense of totally being right here, right now, alive, right down to your bones.

A couple recent examples:

a) Last night, during a period of sprinkling rain, I went into the backyard to pick fruit from my very own raspberry bush. While I was squatted down picking, it changed from a sprinkle to a downpour. Being in touch with the elements always makes me feel really alive. Those berries were the sweeter and tarter for having come from my own soil, picked in a rush of rain.

b) I've been doing research on local "Pick your own" farms and have been talking to a lot of farmers. Most of them (with a couple exceptions) are pretty small operations, with farmers who are old, wrinkled rangy men. They have been incredibly kind to me, telling me jokes, driving me around their farms, teaching me about gooseberries and the dozens of varieties of apples. I even got to meet a llama today!

So much of the time, I've remarked, I feel guilty. No matter what I'm doing, I feel like I should be doing something else. If I'm doing housework or yardwork, I'm resentful or wishing I was sitting around reading a book or reading LJ. When I'm lazing around playing solitaire or reading a book, I think I should be doing housework or doing some paying writing/editing work. When I'm doing my freelance writing, no matter what project I'm on, I think I should be doing more on another one, or that I should be getting some housework done.

It's taken me a while, but I really think that -- at least for me, maybe for a lot of people-- the inability to be here now is the major root of anxiety. That's why doing yoga or focusing on your breathing often works, and probably why sex is such a good de-stresser. I have to say that  while walking around in the sun smelling apples and tasting fruit and stooping to pick sugar snap peas and talking to 80-year-old farmers, I had very little time or mental energy to focus on anything else. I was present and relaxed. It was awesome.

I need to cultivate more of those moments in my life.

sarahmichigan: (Default)
7. Turning it Off. Often when you're worrying, you don't just ruminate on one thing that's bothering you; instead your mind races from one topic to another, maybe touching on six or ten different things you're stressing about. The client who ruminates in this way has to find ways to quiet the mind so they can concentrate on the task at hand. One exercise is to close your eyes, breathe deep, and imagine an empty container. Visualize and name each worry, and put it into the container. When you've put all your issues in the container, put a lid on the container, and put the container up on a high shelf. This has "emptied" your mind so you can concentrate on the task at hand, whether that's writing a report at work, or talking to your spouse about chore-sharing. If you're prone to rumination before bedtime, write out a list of all the things running around in your brain, and shut the list in a desk drawer or put it in a jewelry box or a cabinet overnight. Tell yourself you can pick up the list of worries the next day, if need be.

Read more... )
sarahmichigan: (Default)
I got these from a recent Psychotherapy Networker, and while they're aimed at people with clinically-diagnosed disorders like panic attacks or Generalized Anxiety Disorder, I think they could help people with lower levels of stress, too.

I'm summarizing/paraphrasing for space considerations.

1. Manage the Body. Eating right, getting adequate sleep, avoiding alcohol, nicotine, excessive sugar, and caffeine, and getting exercise sounds like obvious advice, but neglecting these can undermine the effectiveness of other coping techniques. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause can also trigger anxiety.

Read more... )

September 2017

1011 1213141516


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 19th, 2017 11:38 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios