Stressed 2

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Continued from Dec 29/15

The underlying problem was what I was thinking (believing may happen “if”) and feeling. I needed to change how I thought and felt about situations. I also needed to come up with a way to find, or develop, a permanent system that would allow me to quickly conquer stress in new situations. This is what I came up with and then I found a better one.
Medication, tips and tricks are external solutions for the external symptom of stress to an internal problem. What made me think that stress was just a symptom? I could calm down with the meds and use the tips and tricks in time in any given situation. Then a new situation or demand would be forced on me and I would be stressed all over again even with the meds and the other things I could do. I needed to find a solution to the internal problem. I realized long ago that my only problem was “Me” and how I viewed the world. This realization allowed me to change a number of negative behaviors. Even with that realization, I was unable to cope with stress until I found a way to apply that knowledge.
To find a way to apply the knowledge I resorted to problem-solving 101. I got a pen and paper and wrote out the issue, then the issues (plural). I wrote about what was stressing me out. I wrote about how I felt and fear always seemed to top the list. I wrote what I was thinking and then wrote out different ways of thinking about the issue that caused my stress level to go down. This worked and it worked well, but someone always builds a better mousetrap. As I said earlier I am all about better ways to cope with BP and eliminating stress from our lives makes coping with BP so much easier.

Andrew Bernstein wrote a wonderful book called the “Myth of Stress”. Which explains conquering stress better than I ever could hope to and I love to sing his praises. He has a Google talk that can be found on YouTube that is also pretty good. What he has done for all of humanity is create a form that is free for the taking @

http://www.endofstress.com/wpcontent/uploads/2013/08/ActivInsightWorksheet.pdf

This worksheet is still problem-solving 101,  writing with a pen on paper. The work is the same but you do not have to think about the questions to ask yourself, they are already there.

Please enjoy the attached article by Betterhelp.com on stress.

https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/stress/

Happy New Year everyone. Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere. See you in 2016.

Stressed?

 

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For Christmas someone gave me a fridge magnet entitled “Tips for dealing with stress”. I appreciated the thought put into that gift. BP and stress have never mixed well, so learning to deal with stress is an important part of coping with our illness. The giver of this gift knew I am all about ways to cope with BP.

The topic of the fridge magnet “Tips for Dealing with Stress” seems appropriate for this time of the year. Tips and tricks are always useful things to have available. Tips on how to do things that may help and tricks to trick our mind into believing something different than it currently is. Tips and tricks do not address the issue, solve the problem, they just allow you to cope with the issue. Yes, we have to cope with BP because it is not going away. We do not have to cope with stress. Stress can be eliminated from our lives. You may not believe that statement, but it is true. You do not have to cope with stress, it can be eliminated from your life. It is not easy; as a matter of fact, it is damn hard work. If you think you are lazy this may not be for you. What I am about to set out in the next few days is a system that will remove stress from your life if you do the work.

Let’s start with a few simple factual statements about stress. The first fact is that what stresses you out may not even bother me. Stress is the physical manifestation of the fear of loss. You would not be stressed if you did not fear losing something of value to you.

This knowledge is the key to removing stress from your life. If you know that what is stressing you out may not even bother the person beside you. Does this not make you want to ask the question why is that?  If you know that the basis of your stress is fear, does this not make you ask the question why am I afraid?

Most of the time when I was so stressed out I could not eat, sleep, think or speak, it was because I was so afraid. All the possible worst case scenarios raced through my mind faster and faster until my mind just literally shut off. It got so bad about a decade ago that I became completely unable to function. I never recognized the problem as fear and specifically fear of losing something. Even the professionals trying to help me at that time could do nothing more than meds, tips and tricks that were sometimes helpful to calm the symptoms. This did not remove the underlying problem.

To be continued………

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

Resolutions 2016

 

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Seldom do I make New Year’s resolutions and had no intention of doing so this year until this idea was presented to a group of us on the weekend. It struck me a such a good idea I needed to pass it on. The problem with making these New Years resolutions, at least in my life, is that after about a week, at the most a month, they mostly fade away without out becoming a habit. We revert back to our old ways and life goes on. The other side of that coin is I seemed to be vey successful with affirmations. This idea that was presented to the group this weekend is more along the lines of an affirmation than a go to the gym type of resolution. Maybe that is why this idea struck me as so good.

The idea is to come up with a word that describes who you want to be in 2016. This word can be a feeling like happy or grateful. It can be an action word like productive or useful. It is highly recommended that the word be positive so as to impact your life in a positive way. Then you take that word and couple it with “I am.” What ever your word may be when coupled with “I am” creates an incredibly strong single to your brain reinforcing that you are what you say you are. In time that becomes who you are.

Saying I am happy, or I am productive over and over out loud or silently is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself. Coming up with the word you are going to use that is a bit of a challenge and I do challenge you to do this. Find a word that describes who you want to be in 2016.

For myself, my word is disciplined. I am disciplined.

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one goes anywhere.

What are your motives at Christmas

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It’s the Christmas season and my inbox is full of tips and tricks on what to do and not to do for our BP during this time a year. My own experience with this season pretty much encapsulates the complete range of these ideas. We can either be depressed, not care – go with the flow, or manic as hell. I have done them all. This particular season seems to lean towards the go with the flow, but having a really bad cold has not helped in revving my engines towards Christmas glee.

Personally, I want to talk about motives. Why we do what we do. I have spent a fortune on Christmas’ past trying to by everyone’s love, or at least someone’s love. Wallace Wattles wrote “that man’s greatest expression of love is in giving.” The unsaid part is that there should be no expectation of love in return with the giving.  I never learned that until recently, I always gave to get. If I gave you something I expected appreciation, if not adoration, in return. I expected to get something for my giving, be it sex or whatever. Where that fits in with our illness I do not know except maybe the selfishness that our illness creates within us. This way of thinking, give to get, is something that is very predominant in my circle of BP sufferers that I use as a sounding board. It may even be the predominate way of thinking in society in general I do not know.

What I have done in my own life by recognizing this motive is to remove that expectation of getting something in return for what I give. This has not been easy and I had to start with something small at first, I chose the Salvation Army Kettles. I was always way too selfish to give money to the bell ringers, there was no reward for me in giving something that I didn’t even get a tax break on. The past few years I have not passed a kettle that I have not deposited something into. In taking that baby step I have been able to expand giving without any expectation of return to other areas of my life. The last to fall of course was in the intimate relation category, family and close friends and last Christmas was a success because I was able give fully without expectation of return. This Christmas will be more so as I have had a year of birthdays and other occasions to practice on.

The more I find the motives for why I do what I do and check them against reality, the more I find I need to change my motives.

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

Why do we give up the things we enjoy?

 

 

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It’s stupid not to try to get back something you enjoy. Nora Roberts.

Having given up, denied or thrown away most of the things I enjoyed in my life and then later coming up with some justification why I no longer have the right to enjoy them. This quote from Nora Roberts book Angel Falls kind of shook me.  I don’t know if this is part of our illness or more part of our low self-worth that comes from our illness.  The reason is actually unimportant it is what we do that is important. In talking to others it seems that many BP sufferers fall into this type of thinking. We feel we have no right to enjoy anything. We use statements like; “I used to enjoy that.” With a wistful undertone. Or feel our whole being light up as we describe how we did this or made that thing. Then feel the liight fade as we say at the end; “it’s too bad I can’t do that anymore.”
In those statements are we looking for sympathy or just lamenting the past?
For me it was a bit of both. The truth is why can’t we get back something we enjoy. Why can’t we feel that joy again that activity brought us? There is nothing stopping us but ourselves. Oh sure, for some activities the requirements may have changed a bit and we may to learn those requirements. We may even have to take a class or two and maybe pass a test. We may have to do some work to get whatever it is we threw away back, but the thing that awaits us is a smile on our face and joy in our hearts when we resume doing what we truly enjoy.

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.