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Distraction really worked for me.

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Solange, May 10, 2013.

  1. Solange

    Solange Well known member

    I'm a creature of habit and I always find the day goes better if the day gets off to a calm start with a nice hot shower and a cup of tea. I get a bit stressed if I don't have my routine and thinking time.
    Well this morning(6.30AM) no sooner had I got into the bathroom when my husband came in looking for something and then my son with some urgent questions and moments later even the cat came in to demand breakfast. I could just feel my stress level shoot through the roof. I tried to talk myself out of it thinking, headache on the way stress,stress, stress. Tried calm breathing.Couldn't keep a lid on it so went and got a book I have full of lovely photographs and just looked at that on my own for five minutes. Result! Stress went away, threat of headache went away and so did the irritation.
    I've never tried that tactic before but I will do it again now if I need to.
    Has anyone got any other quick and easy strategies they use when they feel they're losing control and the usual things don't work?
    gailnyc likes this.
  2. MarkV

    MarkV New Member

    Solange, finding a distraction like your photo journal may (hopefully) be your solution but I would suggest Mindfulness as a long-term solution. Being aware of how toxic your thoughts are and not choosing to attach to them to fuel the fire. If you can stay present in the moment, once your husband left, you could return to calm. Same with your son and then your cat. Deal with their needs but then return to your own needs MINUS the child primitive anger of your unconscious that feels they have robbed you of your peace and crossed boundaries.
    If you can see your thoughts of anger emerging, just try to observe them non-judgmentally and then let them go, returning to your peace of mind. Believe me, I know...easier said than done! But try being mindful of this next time your stress amps up and be keenly aware to your thoughts that get you all fired up --only you have the power to relinquish them and banish them from your mind!
  3. Solange

    Solange Well known member

    Hi there MarkV,
    Mindfulness is the best long-term strategy I agree, and does often help but sometimes, I just can't wrestle those toxic thoughts away. I guess I need more practice so that those strategies don't fly out of the window when I'm under pressure. It's also a lot easier when I've had that first cup of tea.:)
  4. MarkV

    MarkV New Member

    One last suggestion is to wake up just a li'l earlier for some "Solange time". Have your tea in peace before the household wakes up...It may help you get your head on straight and build the right foundation to face the day. I do the same with my coffee routine and it just seems like I got my selfish need out of the gate so I'm in a better mental place to confront the challenges of the day. It actually turns out to be my fav part of the day, even if I did rob myself of 20-30 minutes of add'l sleep!
  5. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Celebrate whatever works to avert the pain cycle!
    I've been noticing how my subC changes the locus of pain. It's favorite target lately are intense headaches. I've also determined that I tend to get them on Tuesday evenings when I go to yoga class. (Perhaps trying to deter me from this healthy choice?) Today I'm feeling sad because my 20-year-old didn't do anything for Mother's Day. However, because I was aware of feeling sad/angry, I didn't get the headache. Awareness is the key; I wish I could always determine what the stressor is.
  6. Solange

    Solange Well known member

    Hi Gigi
    You are so right that awareness is the key. Eventually,our minds will get the message that we have rumbled them and stop these symptoms. I always used to get headaches at the start of the weekend but now I've become aware of that pattern, it doesn't happen so much .
    As for Mother's Day, give yourself a little treat and congratulate yourself on having raised an independent child. It might console you a bit to know I have several friends and acquaintances who do all the card/lunch/present stuff and actually don't get on with their mums at all, they just do it to keep the peace. Guilt tripped!
    Wouldn't life be so much easier if we could instantly determine what stressor was responsible for our symptom? At the moment it's so grey, rainy and chilly that I think the weather is causing some of mine.
  7. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    I'm right here with you in this battle! I can't even tell you how many times I've been totally frustrated by the feelings & realization that when I've needed them most, all of my coping skills have gotten up and left me (some poor choices a little over a week ago were a really good, eye-opening example for me). I've found that talking to a few trusted loved ones has been very helpful towards the practicing of those strategies. It's helped me to see what I've missed, to really focus in on the triggers for why I was needing the skills at that time to begin with, and for valuable insight as to what I could have done differently.

    This past week I found myself in a situation very similar to the one that resulted in the poor choices the previous week. This time around I was able to remain mindful, I paid attention to my heart speeding up, my breathing getting really shallow, my muscles tensing, and my "regular TMS sites" all activating trying to distract me from my emotions. The voice of one of my most trusted confidants came into my head and I could actually hear her saying "Breathe, keep breathing, inhale......exhale", "stay strong, you can do this". I was forced to stay mindful for 45 minutes until the storm passed this time, but I did it. I didn't run from myself or the storm, I stayed with myself and was able to weather the storm! When it was over I sent that confidant a text message of gratitude for the help she didn't even know she had just given me, and I was thrilled when I got a "Good Job!!" back in reply. There's a lot of truth in the advice "practice until it becomes habit".

    Gigi, I'm sorry you were feeling sad about mother's day. I don't know if this will help at all, but possibly you could redirect your sadness to anger at card companies and florists and jewelers who's greed is what actually created that day on the calendar anyway. Mom's are such extraordinary women that one date on a calendar and all the material gifts in the world couldn't possibly begin to express the thanks they all deserve anyway. I could easily see my own Mom in your shoes because I don't let the calendar dictate when I express my feelings and to who. I think the first year it might have been upsetting to her but I believe we are at a point now where the message is far more sincere from me and appreciated by her when she gets my love and respect without the calendar telling me "I'm supposed to".
    gailnyc likes this.
  8. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    Good job!
  9. Gigi

    Gigi Well known member

    Congratulations on your success, Leslie!
    I'm off tho the library to pick up an ILL. It's another TMS book--perhaps the one with just the insight I need!!
  10. Endless luke

    Endless luke Well known member

    Perhaps vigorous exercise can help release the physical and emotional energy. Ideally a fun form of exercise too- not one that feels regimented.

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