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Not having a good day

When I get stressed in certain ways then I start getting a zillion messages per minute running through my head, all of which have the words "YOU SHOULD" in them.

If this happens to you too, how do you turn it off?


(There's no emergency. I just want to fix a bunch of things that I am not in a position to fix, although I might be able to influence them.)

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/683154.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Comments

( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
ljgeoff
Jul. 21st, 2010 11:57 pm (UTC)
I just downloaded Arctic Climate Feedbacks: Global Implications (goes to download) and I'm having a hard time reading it. So I've switched to fanfic.

I sometimes have a very difficult time with the knowledge that I am powerless.
firecat
Jul. 22nd, 2010 12:15 am (UTC)
I sometimes have a very difficult time with the knowledge that I am powerless.

Yeah that. Or in my case, I'm not completely powerless, but what I want to change is way more than my available energy.
eeyorerin
Jul. 22nd, 2010 12:00 am (UTC)
I try to do something distracting, or talk back to those voices. It depends on how much energy I have.
firecat
Jul. 22nd, 2010 12:15 am (UTC)
I guess given that the speakers are in my own head, stomping on them would be contraindicated.
eeyorerin
Jul. 22nd, 2010 12:27 am (UTC)
You could stomp on them in an imaginary way. I try to think about luring them into a closet and boarding up the door. They can shout all they want in there but I can't hear them.
sophy
Jul. 22nd, 2010 12:35 am (UTC)
Sometimes it's good to remind myself to stop "shoulding" on myself, you know??
firecat
Jul. 22nd, 2010 06:46 pm (UTC)
Sometimes that works for me. In this particular bout with the shoulding, I just added "you should stop shoulding yourself" into the collection of shoulds. :P

(It's OK now.)
elynne
Jul. 22nd, 2010 01:08 am (UTC)
I firmly distract myself. Or list out the things that I'm suppose to "should" and then figure out if I want to do any of them, and if so, do that - and tell the rest of them to stfu.
firecat
Jul. 22nd, 2010 06:48 pm (UTC)
I have the list, and I have the habit of distraction. This time a lot of the shoulds were long term things that all depend on each other and I doubt my ability to do them and I definitely can't predict whether or to what extent I can do them.

I eventually successfully used the distraction technique. ;)
mdlbear
Jul. 22nd, 2010 04:13 am (UTC)
I say to myself, firmly, "You should stop shoulding yourself." The inherent paradox of it often gets me to stop long enough to step back and think about what I've been telling myself.
firecat
Jul. 22nd, 2010 06:49 pm (UTC)
I think what was missing from this particular bout of shoulding was the ability to step back far enough to say anything to myself firmly.

(It's OK now.)
e4q
Jul. 22nd, 2010 07:09 am (UTC)
i make a list of the things that i think i should be doing, because they are probably things i actually *should* do at some point, rather than things i *could* do, then pick the thing that will give me greatest relief to have done, or else the thing that is easiest, do it, then feel like i have REALLY ACHIEVED something, and leave the rest for another day. the list gets done eventually, i don't feel like i *should* do more than one thing from it a day, but i MIGHT!
firecat
Jul. 22nd, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC)
I like the "do one thing a day" guideline.

On days of high distractability, it takes most of the day to pick that one thing. :P
e4q
Jul. 22nd, 2010 06:51 pm (UTC)
well, sometimes i forget to do any of the things, but find i do something quite useful anyway. sometimes it's even something from the list!
lorres
Jul. 22nd, 2010 10:54 am (UTC)
Ramp up the pitch of the voice until it's like chipmunks and then turn down the volume until you can't hear it anymore.

It's a sort of fun intervention.
firecat
Jul. 22nd, 2010 06:52 pm (UTC)
That sounds worth trying! Especially if I can get a recording of the voices.
sashajwolf
Jul. 22nd, 2010 01:50 pm (UTC)
Pick one at random and talk back to it - but calmly, not aggressively (that way lies self-hatred, which, y'know, recovering bulimic here, do not want.) Focusing on that conversation is usually enough to get rid of the other voices, and after a bit I can usually make peace with the one I've picked out, at which point I get some blessed quiet for a while.
firecat
Jul. 22nd, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC)
That sounds like a good way into increasing concentration and compassion.
mjlayman
Jul. 22nd, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
I write them down and if I can't do anything, I mark them out. If I can help them, I put how next to it. (I have lots of lists -- two here on the desk of things I need to do: one for small things and one for big things.)
firecat
Jul. 22nd, 2010 10:44 pm (UTC)
I write them down and if I can't do anything, I mark them out.

Oh, I like that! I'm gonna try it.
bibliofile
Jul. 24th, 2010 11:48 am (UTC)
Yes, for some odd reason writing it down helps stop the skipping and lets the record play on a bit.

That, and the antianxiety medication that works far better than just about anything.
sarahmichigan
Jul. 23rd, 2010 06:58 pm (UTC)
I re-read "Slowing down to the speed of life". Honestly. I'm on my 3rd time through, because just reading it calms me down and helps me recognize destructive though patterns.
sarahmichigan
Jul. 23rd, 2010 06:58 pm (UTC)
"thought" patterns, rather...
firecat
Jul. 23rd, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the recommendation!
innerdoggie
Jul. 27th, 2010 01:18 am (UTC)
coffee or tea helps me with that by helping me focus.

Of course, there's a limit to how much I can do that!
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )

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