Repost from July 29, 2010.
We all have a number of our own eddies, currents that spiral behaviors. Assuming that when those are friendly behaviors, then like “casting your bread upon the water” you’re bound to see something nice coming back your way. Some people say these patterns come from neurological loops, grooves in your brain like indian trails. When you go back down over your same footsteps 100 more times, you now have an open path without resistance, easy to travel. That is how the connections – neurological, electrical, chemical, are all biased in our brains. Adaptability to stress, in part, means that your pattern of coping is on a path that serves you well when you need it to.
Come on, though! Who spends even five minutes talking about good behavior? What we do ruminate over, is why we keep doing what we don’t want to do. …Such as screaming at the kids when what we really want to do is to grow up and practice the good skills we’ve read about in all those parenting books!
Why is it so hard to stop? Why are we “triggered” so easily? Grooves, my friend. Grooves. Any day we can list off several seemingly unrelated events – but our reaction is all too familiar. It feels like getting sucked into a tornado with a word spout, as if today turns you round and round the same way you did the day before. Inevitable self loathing follows, which can set off more self-destructive behavior. The cycle goes on.
When you feel trapped by your own self, get friendly by remembering this. You’re mistaken. You’re talking about a groove, not a vampire. It’s not hopeless. Not much more, not much less than what it is. A groove can be abandoned. New paths can be made and when the stressor hits next time, you will have a longer moment to decide on which behavior to play. You will have a choice and you will realize more often that you are not trapped by what you thought; you are not hopeless and ugly.
For example, now when I yell at my kids, regardless, I pay a dollar to the family money jar. Anyone can call me on it. That’s my effort to steer clear of the “yelling-groove.” The innumerable reasons for righteous anger, took me on miserable trips. Round and round. Yelling equaled me jamming myself all over again. That’s right. Who did it to me? Me. Now that’s not too friendly. So something’s got to change.
It may be something different for you, but if you end up hating yourself in the end, it couldn’t have been good.
Self Care tip #5: You are not trapped. Pay a dollar. Be a friend to yourself.
Questions: What has helped you abandon old grooves and make new ones? When you don’t feel hopeful, how do you recognize that even though you feel that way about yourself, there is hope and the feeling is deceiving? Please tell us your story.
- How I Use Compulsive Shopping as a Coping Mechanism by Mary Jane (risablairlovitz.com)
- Seeing Your Brain As The Place Emotions and Behaviors Come from is Terrifying (friendtoyourself.com)
- Creating New Habits: Like Water Down A Mountain (themastermindproject.com)
- When Self-Care Gives Pleasure, You Will Be Friendlier To Yourself (Friend to Yourself)
- Believe What You Say (Friend to Yourself)
- This Side of The Fence (Friend to Yourself)
- Find Your Trust (Friend to Yourself)
Realizing life is short has helped me with my anger. Great post!
thank u lisa. i’m so happy to hear from u. thinking of u, praying for u n sending virtual hugs your way often. keep on lady-friend
Doc, I love the dollar idea! I’m off to instigate my own…the kids’ll love it….
Thanks Kate. I’d luv to hear how it goes.
I’ve recently gotten into an extra bad worry habit. Everyhing is going well, but then I go back over the events and pretty much find what I can worry about next. It’s very annoying, and it is even making me sick. I have this tummy ache that I’m pretty sure is from my stress. But, I can’t really think of anything to be worried about. I just worry about things that aren’t even happening. Grr! I also used to get quite upset when I was driving and people were being dopes, but I finally managed to stop that. I don’t like being angry, so now I just stay calm. But, I’ve gotten myself into a pretty deep stress groove. Must. Climb. Out. It’s icky down here.
Dear duck, no secret, we hv all gotten quite attached to u so when u hurt, we hurt my friend. This is no good. Once sleep starts to go, let your wheels start to squeak, make some noise n get some greece. Please let us know what care u r able to find. Big hugs
I appreciate the concern. I’m starting to get better. I’m trying to be healthier to make my tummy aches better, plus of course, I need to not get so stressed about whatever it is I’m stressed about. When something silly starts to worry me, I’m trying to remember that my worries are often imagined and try to stop thinking about it. I must keep up with this so it doesn’t get worse again. I’ve had three pretty good days for my tummy so far. Maybe I’m close to climbing out of my worry groove.
awesome. good news. hoping w u. if it seems like your emotions r coming w/o invitation and they are changing your quality of life, ability to sleep, feel pleasure and distract from connecting w the world around u, what will it tell u?
It will tell me to stop it. It’s not worth it. Woo, not too sick today, either. I’m getting better! Huzzah!
Huzzah! (a way underutilized word!). Tk care Duck.
Me too. Big up the duck.
Mellowness is… not all, but a lot.
How are we to pay the bills if all the friggin money is in the jar?
Me: (laughing really hard)
Husband: what’s so funny?
Good point. Maybe I can announce the new money in the jar policy thus: “Don’t make me yell at you because I’ll have to put money in this jar and by the end of the day there’ll be no money for food.”
“Oops – anyone got a coin – I think I just yelled.”
Laughing. U r hilarious.
A really good post, Sana!
A parenting expert taught us to “strike while the iron is cold” or plan a response for the next predictable trigger. That has helped me.
thank u so much barbara! whoo hoo! i always do a dance when i feel connected w others. what a great parenting expert too. good play on words. how’s your iron? 😉 keep on.