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dysthymic mind spin None
Old 04-15-2012, 11:50 AM   #1
drswitchoff
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I need to train my mind to stop spinning. When things are are good, it's not a problem. "get healthy" is good advice but when circumstances dictate isolation and sedentary uh... "ness", I need a trick to stop repeatedly running scenarios in my head.

Thoughts are great and I would very much like to hear a success story.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:55 AM   #2
ModernLit
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hmm, CBT?
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:02 PM   #3
drswitchoff
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Cognitive behavioral therapy? I've been a couple times.

---------- Post added 04-15-2012 at 09:13 AM ----------

I probably can't afford private mind control lessons.

---------- Post added 04-15-2012 at 09:17 AM ----------

That sounded bad. I meant mind control in a good way.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:52 PM   #4
EdR
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I cannot see why we should expect an infinite God to do better in another world than he does in this.

 

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Somehow I managed to put my life into compartments, each totally distinct from the others. Really do not have the slightest idea how it was achieved. When I get in my car in the AM, I enter the work compartment, and when I get in the car to go home, the work compartment is closed until the following morning. Frequently work calls me all hours of the night and while typing this post I realized that I am able to go into work mode in a second and back out of it when I hang up the phone.

The flip side of the coin is that I have become a very cold and distant person, unwilling/unable to discuss facets of compartments that are not in play. Also I'm aware that I have distinctly different personalities within each mode. I am the plant manager of a good sized factory and almost every employee considers me a fearsome, dominating figure. Yet not a single friend of mine really can believe I am capable of being anything like that person, nor do I even try to convince them otherwise.

Sleeping is the same way; I can turn my mind to serene, happy thoughts and, according to my wife, fall asleep in 15 seconds, every night. I remember many sleepless nights in the past when I was bothered by things and couldn't stop thinking about them until sheer exhaustion prevailed.

Another thing that I am aware of is that I have an internal calendar. If I have an appointment next Thursday I am oblivious to the appointment on prior days, yet when I wake up Thursday I'm instantly aware that it is on the days agenda. (This doesn't seem to work that well on things I have deemed inconsequential, such as petty crap my wife wants/thinks I should do.)

There is a low probabilty that my post will be of any help, but possibly it might provide a clue for you.
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Old 04-15-2012, 05:15 PM   #5
DeaconSyre
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Here's my guide to performing your own CBT. FYI, I made this up on my own (I am not a therapist of any kind); YMMV.

1) Gnothi seauton; know thyself.

Find out when you have the most energy. Find out what you like doing. Get in touch with your inner child, see if he/she has any grievances. Try to understand why you are the way you are. Don't try to understand why you aren't the way you want to be.

Also find out what causes you stress. Here are some basic things that cause you stress: anything you don't like, sensory overload, pain, low energy, hunger, anxiety.

2) Reduce stress.

CBT takes mental energy. Find ways to take things off your mind or otherwise lower the stressors you found in step 1.

2) Take metrics.

In this modern world, science has established a method for discovering things. If you have a theory about yourself find a way to record data to prove or disprove yourself.

For instance, I wasn't sure how sleep was affecting my behavior so I came up with a few theories and started recording information about my sleeping (time down, 1st alarm time, time out of bed).

You'll be surprised what you find.

3) Ask for specific help.

If you dump your entire self-actualization on someone they're going to react poorly. Find out what's stopping you from "the next step". This could be needing a way to record your own voice, an outside observation of behavior, etc.

4) Make small changes.

CBT is all about repeated, minor changes that eventually bring you out of whatever pit you're stuck in. Use information you've gathered by collecting metrics to see what behavior you can change. You should be aiming to either remove stress or improve your mood, not things like "do more work".

For instance, I really like showering; the privacy, minor sensory deprivation, and physical comfort (particularly in winter/summer) of showering gives me a great mood and a bunch of energy. But I noticed that my mood and energy plummeted while I was brushing my teeth after my shower (standing around grooming isn't particularly enjoyable to me). Now I brush my teeth before my shower. Problem solved. I leave the bathroom feeling great and full of energy.

5) Be patient.

CBT is a slow process that is hard to maintain on your own. Don't expect to see changes for at least a month.

Here's a common scenario that I run into weekly:
If your metrics aren't ready and you're thinking about how to be happier/better you're only going to set yourself back. Instead set a point in the future where your metrics are ready so you'll have the tools needed to improve yourself.

6) Repeat.

You will always be changing (that's the point of CBT). Don't expect what worked last week to work this week (unless your metrics and experience say so).
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:42 PM   #6
ModernLit
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  Originally Posted by drswitchoff
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Cognitive behavioral therapy? I've been a couple times.

---------- Post added 04-15-2012 at 09:13 AM ----------

I probably can't afford private mind control lessons.

---------- Post added 04-15-2012 at 09:17 AM ----------

That sounded bad. I meant mind control in a good way.

haha. read a book? there's a lot of the web, too. eh... dont trust everything you read, but it's worth a shot, i guess. i'm not sure how i feel about it since i've pretty much always been negative about things that it seems really silly to tell myself things that i don't believe. too much practice involved. i dont know...

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Old 04-15-2012, 08:53 PM   #7
Espadrille
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  Originally Posted by drswitchoff
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I need to train my mind to stop spinning. When things are are good, it's not a problem. "get healthy" is good advice but when circumstances dictate isolation and sedentary uh... "ness", I need a trick to stop repeatedly running scenarios in my head.

Thoughts are great and I would very much like to hear a success story.

My thoughts turn off when I am focused on doing something that requires paying attention, even minimally.

I'm not sure that's relevant.

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Old 04-15-2012, 10:24 PM   #8
Ambra
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First just practice recognizing when your mind is spinning.

Then practice turning it on and off.

Then practice showing restraint during times you are not comfortable experiencing that.


Another thing you can do, is only allow yourself to think about one point. When your mind starts wandering, bring it back to that one point. Don't allow yourself to move on for say five minutes or so.

There was also a technique someone taught me. I am not sure what it was supposed to do, I think increase focus or something. You imagine A in your right eye. Then move A in front of your left eye and let B move to your right eye. Take a deep breath and breathe out to the point directly between the two letters. Then let B go to the left eye, and C to the right....

You're supposed to do that with the whole alphabet.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:15 AM   #9
Pingo
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I find when my mind is racing, there are a couple of things that really help me and maybe they will help you too.

1) Read a good book: it can be therapeutic as it is difficult to think about anything else when completely focused on a book. In a way, reading offers a small escape from reality.

2) Focused breathing: this helps me when I'm trying to fall asleep. I just lay there and focus on breathing in and out. After a few minutes of this I will either be asleep or relaxed enough to fall asleep.
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:24 PM   #10
drswitchoff
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These are thoughtful responses. Thank you. A real person told me the other day that people who spend significant chunks of their day "in flow" have less trouble turning off. I read about some methods for achieving a flow state but they sounded more like correlations of the state than causes. Does anyone have practical knowledge about this?
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