Habits of Kindness and Gratitude ~ 12Aug16

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Today I feel a little out of it all.

It started yesterday with that feeling of being hurried and having to run away from something that usually brings me to do more and more chores. As I told you yesterday showing myself that I have enough time did work then.

Today though that feeling of being hurried changed rather into a feeling of impending doom. The black dog was to take over again. I also got angry at little things, and I didn’t understand why. That impression of doom starts with a tight knot in my stomach which in turn makes me stop breathing and anxiety rises.

My usual behaviour is to keep running doing more things, breathing less and I try to avoid thinking about or feeling that tight knot in my stomach. Something must have changed though over the last few months because I stayed with this feeling. I started to ask myself where that might come from and what it means.

Right in sync with Mindfulness I realised that that knot in my stomach was just a knot in my stomach. It’s a feeling that was stirred by something I was not aware of but what might come from it depends on how I react towards that knot and does not automatically lead to another bout of depression. After all, we cannot change a situation, but we can change how we react.

What has also changed is the fact that I took that feeling serious. I told myself that I might not know why this feeling is there but that there is a reason, and I know tools from therapy to deal with the knot and the rising anxiety.

The usual way would have been that my ancient cavewoman part of my brain would have taken over, telling me I am in desperate danger, and I need to run or fight. Or maybe both at the same time. And the vicious circle of depression, anxiety and Flashbacks would have started.

It hasn’t though. I used a breathing exercise I have learned in therapy and just kept doing what I was doing without letting go of the awareness of the knot and in the end, I managed to calm down.

The reason that knot was there is probably the anniversary of my mothers passing. That was yesterday and today 33 years ago would have been when my father came to summer camp to tell me that mother had passed away. One of the most horrible days in my life. Especially as I had felt that I would not see her ever again when I left for summer camp. Can you imagine how terrible that is for a 12-year-old girl?

Tommorw would be the anniversary of my mother’s funeral and my breakdown in the wake of it. In my opinion, it was the start or maybe the final manifestation of my bad mental health. So it is no wonder that I feel a knot in my stomach, feel anxious and get angry.

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I wondered today why I still get into that situation. I have worked for many years on that trauma and it was such a long time ago, and I am a grown woman not a nearly teenager anymore. But healing from trauma doesn’t work that way. There is not deadline when it has to stop. It just goes its own way, and you have to roll with it. So I roll all along towards the sharing of the habits of kindness and gratitude:

Recall three things you’re grateful for.

I am grateful for therapy. For many years I have met different therapists and have tried different ways of therapy, and all of them have helped me to get closer to a more healed personality.

I am grateful for St. Johnswort Tea, Evening Primrose Oil and Lavender oil all of which have supported me today to get my calm back.

And I am more than grateful for my family and friends especially the best husband (Jeremy Clarkson voice) in the world. His hugs keep me sane so much :-).

Journal one great experience you had.

Today’s great experience is what I described above. That I was able to stop that vicious circle and could use what I have learned. I am not out of dangerous territory yet but I am on the way, and this too shall pass.

Exercise.

None to speak of as usual unless you count passing around restlessly as exercise ;-).

Meditate.

I used quite some time this morning to calm myself down and give thanks to the universe for the good things in my life. I also listened to “Beta Endorphins, Serotonin & Dopamine Boosters with Isochronic Tones” but I did not listen to the whole session. Maybe I should have but never mind. I will tonight when I am in bed.

Perform a random act of kindness.

I suspect my random act of kindness was to myself today. To respect that knot in my stomach and that feeling of doom and not ignoring it and running away with chores and writing.

It’ll be interesting what tomorrow will bring.

And what about you? Do you have habits of kindness and gratitude and how have they changed your life?

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