Hard weather

Literally, it’s been pouring and blowing a gale with only minor breaks for weeks and weeks, unrelenting. What a metaphor for fear thoughts once they get a grip.

It’s how I feel when I’m going through a cycle of increased anxiety. It triggers the brain’s vigilant threat detection sentinel and I am pummelled by a stream of worry thoughts. Thank you brain, I know you want to look out for danger for me, but honestly, I’m okay!

If I’m unable to identify this stream as ‘just thoughts’ (easiest to manage a worry thought early before it gives birth to quadruplets and engages the physiology) my body responds with fight flight hormones and then the thoughts are more ‘sticky’ and are ‘fertilised’ by the physical sensation of fear.

Well, it’s fucking uncomfortable to be in fear. And everything seems more exhausting and the brain is all fuzzy, it’s hard to concentrate. Partly increased by menopause but almost everyone seems to have the condition. I had been forgetting to take HRT and back on it now.

Though it’s best to actually learn to change the relationship with thoughts without pharmaceuticals. There are 60,000 thoughts going through our minds a day apparently, and many many of those are not true or are just simply drivel.

I understand the menopause increases anxiety and hence scary thoughts and forces many to learn to manage their relationship with thoughts. Thank you menopause🤔 We were not taught this, though glad to see the proliferation of mindfulness training in schools these days.

What to do? Mindfulness and more mindfulness practise, all day long. Catch the thought early on. Consciously, as an observer instead of letting the semi automatic inner dialogue continue unconsciously.

Is this thought true? What belief is it based on? What is the evidence for and against this thought/belief? Could even the opposite be as if not more true? Or, just recognise the stress producing thought, name it and let it go. Gently.

One version is the CBT and Byron Katie approach and the second, mindfulness.

The only thing I’ve really been been enjoying are the video and photo opportunities that overflowing drains and gushing waterfalls provide out there in the park. Creativity outdoors is my balm for the vexation.

Most responsibility has been shelved. I don’t have a choice right now. That creates its own problems. Hello self denigration. Not for long though. I’ve learned/am learning to quickly forgive myself for being ‘irresponsible’.

I recognise that life is going really well right now, and that I have an anxiety response to that. My inner thermostat has historically been set at struggle and drama and being insecure.

The inner thermostat when it rises above it’s familiar place, as it has with me, takes us into unknown territory. This can be scary. And it is for me. Everything has been going well for quite a long time now. While it is becoming familiar, the inner sentinel is waiting for it to go wrong. That old hardwiring takes a while to re-route!

So what is the answer to that? Savouring the good and softly reminding myself that I’m safe. Regularly, like all day long.

‘Peace dwells in the ordinary. Look no further than that.’ Byron Katie

1 Comment

  1. totally understand the hard wiring bit.It took me quite a while to adjust when i went off Facebook. For decades ( between that, toxic relationship patterns and the arts community in general) my life had been endless drama. When i walked away for 6 months, i felt lost, lonely even, and like my life was extremely boring. Some days i still think that. But what always comes back around is the fact that i never wake up dreading what i will find on my phone, in my emails, or on social media any more. I don’t worry about any crazy and unnecessary stress. I have never had so much peace..


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