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Getting better "blog"

Hi everyone,

I find myself in somewhat of a pickle and thought that what might help would be to journal here about the actions I am taking to improve my state of mind and general well-being. This might improve accountability, increase resolve, and with your support/cheering might bring about a quicker recovery/improvement. It might also inspire someone else facing troubles to take action.

The pickle is quite strong anxiety and, sometimes, medium-strong depression. I think it was triggered by a mild physical illness (still slightly ongoing) and the new job I have been working at for the past month that I find takes up more energy than I have in reserve.

Anxiety and depression have been something I have been battling/enduring for many years. (I take medication) I know that some things help, and other things un-help :) I feel it "energetically"/in my bones, yet often find myself incapable/unwilling of doing the right thing. So let me do the things that help, and avoid doing the things that un-help :) I have "elevated"/healed myself in this way before, so I know it works. @lobster Iz plan! :)

The good that I am doing and wish to continue: I drink a large fruit smoothie most mornings and (mostly) do not drink alcohol. I wish to drink the smoothie every morning and not drink alcohol at all.

The good that I have done before and wish to restart: running (or any other sport/physical activity), cold-showers, a regular loving-kindness meditation, avoiding reading the news, and keeping my flat tidy by tidying it up every evening (that way it wakes only a few minutes).

The bad that I am doing and feel capable of stopping immediately: watching porn and drinking coffee in the afternoon (I react very negatively to coffee in the afternoon).

The bad that I am doing but do not feel capable of stopping at the moment: smoking and playing poker (it's a supplement to my job income necessary to cover living expenses at the moment).

Today I have:
- Watched a Ukraine-related dharma talk from Plum Village. I found it soothing, inspiring and illuminating as to how I want to approach the negative events currently going on.

  • Have not read the news
  • Drank the smoothie
  • taken a cold shower

Today I will:

  • Take at least a brisk walk
  • Do at least a 10 minute loving-kindness meditation
  • Read the news for a maximum of 15 minutes and only after lunch (I figure that's the time when I'll be most relaxed)
  • Not watch porn or drink coffee in the afternoon.

I dedicate my efforts to all beings (of which I am one), since I know that improving my situation and state of mind automatically benefits everyone as well.

lobsterBunkspersonShoshin1LionduckFleaMarketKotishka

Comments

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    It seems to me that you are actually trying to overcome two things: anxiety/depression and bad habits. For the first, I think progress can be made through self-observation and inquiry into the roots of these things. I could talk more about this but don’t want to bring unwanted advice. For the second, I found it very liberating to spend time thinking about what is beneficial and wholesome for me, and just to let go of those things which are not.

    I started limiting my news intake some years ago, because it started to become clear that even the best news services are slanted a certain way. Also, I realised that the vast majority of news had almost no impact on my life, except to fill my head with mostly negative and worrying events.

    But I think the “blog” is a very good idea. Kudos for taking the step!

    marcitko
  • ShanJieshi2ShanJieshi2 bahia blanca Veteran

    Hello! @marcitko
    from here we support you from a distance but constantly.
    There will be ups and downs, but we trust that your true nature can restore the natural balance of life.

    marcitkolobsterBunks
  • marcitkomarcitko Explorer

    @Jeroen said:
    It seems to me that you are actually trying to overcome two things: anxiety/depression and bad habits. For the first, I think progress can be made through self-observation and inquiry into the roots of these things. I could talk more about this but don’t want to bring unwanted advice. For the second, I found it very liberating to spend time thinking about what is beneficial and wholesome for me, and just to let go of those things which are not.

    Yes, definitely. In my experience, negative states of mind and bad habits are interrelated, so by improving one I improve the other. So far, I've had the biggest success from the habit side of things.

    But I think the “blog” is a very good idea. Kudos for taking the step!

    Thank you! <3

    @ShanJieshi2 said:
    Hello! @marcitko
    from here we support you from a distance but constantly.
    There will be ups and downs, but we trust that your true nature can restore the natural balance of life.

    Thank you, very well said. The natural balance of life, yes, let's go! :)

    ShanJieshi2
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited March 6

    @marcitko

    I am glad you have healed yourself before. That should motivate you. <3

    Bravo! We will cheer, support and praise your efforts. We all make efforts. Every success inspires us.

    You have been very honest. Keep in touch. I will send some positive vibes your way. :mrgreen:

    Bunksmarcitko
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran
    edited March 6

    Good luck to you OP.

    Be gentle with yourself. There will be hiccups but tomorrow is always another day to get up,and try again.

    We are here to help.

    marcitkolobster
  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Veteran

    One step at a time @marcitko ...
    This short Dharma talk about 10% Advantage might also be of help...

    marcitkolobster
  • marcitkomarcitko Explorer

    Recovery day 2

    @lobster @Bunks @Shoshin1 Thank you all for your kind words and support! They mean a lot <3

    Today was a good day.

    In the morning before work I:

    • drank my fruit smoothie
    • took a cold shower
    • watched @Shoshin1's "10% advantage" video. Thank you. Good to keep in mind that a steady improvement is more realistic than a revolution.

    At work I was productive and relaxed. I thought about all of the resistance I have towards working and how I can make efforts to accept it and, maybe, even grow to like and enjoy it.

    I had lunch with my co-workers for the first time. I avoided it previously because a) I had to negotiate for them to make something vegetarian and did not want to be a burden and b) I was afraid of my social anxiety firing. But it was ok. And they said that if I give them a heads up they can make something vegetarian most days.

    After work I lit a candle in front of the Ukrainian embassy as I do most days and borrowed two wholesome books from the library, one on running, and another by Matthieu Ricard, my favourite guy.

    I did not:

    • read the news for more than 15 minutes
    • Drank coffee in the afternoon or watched naughty videos :)

    For tomorrow, I have asked my father to ring me at 06:45 in order to be able to fit in a run before work. I hope it works out, I have been a notoriously late riser, but running is the best remedy for my negative states of mind, so I am motivated, and best to do it in the morning to get those feel-good chemicals moving.

    I also wish to repeat all of the positive stuff I did today. Wish me luck! :)

    PS. I don't know how often I will post. I will not say how often so that it does not become a chore. But I think the more often the better.

    BunksShoshin1person
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Nice work @marcitko - keep it up!! <3

    marcitko
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited March 7

    I have been taking decaffeinated coffee for quite some time now. And it has made a heck of a difference to both my temperament, and my sleep pattern.
    I think I spend too much time on the internet, and could fashion my spare time much better; I refuse to call any habit 'bad' or overlay it with a negative label. That merely serves as self-chastisement or mental 'punishment'. I am not one to have a habit that needs amendment, and then burden myself further by giving it a label that weighs on me further. One thing is bad enough; why embellish it with just more 'badness'...?

    We are our own worst enemies. We berate ourselves, and tell ourselves off.
    We try to dismiss our foolish thoughts by admonishing our thought patterns..
    "Oh come on, don't be silly! Don't think that way, you're putting yourself down, cheer up! Look on the bright side, and get your back into it! Effort, effort, effort!"

    That's right, isn't it?

    No.
    It is not.

    Because self-encouragement couched in those terms - is still berating yourself and chastising yourself.
    The way to encourage positive thinking, is through positive mental attitude.
    "Let's replace that line of thinking with a thought that lets you shine! You have done so well today! You have achieved so much! You have 100% survived every moment of stress and struggle so far! That takes real power and determination! You got this, well done, that's brilliant!"

    ... Is a much better approach...

    Bunkslobstermarcitko
  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    Well done @marcitko !

    @marcitko said:
    Good to keep in mind that a steady improvement is more realistic than a revolution.

    Certainly that has been my experience. Silence, meditation, and dharma talks by youtube video did me a lot of good, and made it easier for me to let go of bad habits that were not beneficial to my being. I can recommend day-long mini-retreats on sundays ;)

    running is the best remedy for my negative states of mind, so I am motivated, and best to do it in the morning to get those feel-good chemicals moving.

    It’s a good way to get started. I wish you all the best of luck.

    Bunksmarcitko
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    "Let's replace that line of thinking with a thought that lets you shine! You have done so well today! You have achieved so much! You have 100% survived every moment of stress and struggle so far! That takes real power and determination! You got this, well done, that's brilliant!"

    That is definitely me. I also did 100% on my outstanding humility, which I tend not to mention … at every opportunity. :mrgreen:

    Stress, struggle, dukkha. We all know it … however, like @federica I have moved to decaff tea and coffee. As well as berating my narcissistic ego, I work best on morning exercise. I also meditate in the mourning of my ego. o:)

    @marcitko said:

    Today was a good day.

    PS. I don't know how often I will post. I will not say how often so that it does not become a chore. But I think the more often the better.

    Yes I need the encouragement, inspiration and dedication of merit … even if no one else does. 🙏🏽💗🙏🏽

    Bunksmarcitko
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Getting better "blog"

    Reframing is changing ones use of language. @federica mentions it
    http://changingminds.org/techniques/general/reframing.htm

    meanwhile … we can inspire by sharing our efforts. So it become a joint blog … and better for it.

    Here are my efforts:

    BunksShoshin1
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I like it @lobster

    I've started running again. Getting out 3 times a week and running for the same amount of time each time.

    Increasing by 3 minutes each week and I am now up to 20 minutes.

    Have some leg exercises to do on off days provided by a very helpful physio.

    So far so good, learning ton run with a few niggles but push through.

    Running at 50 is very different to running at 26 (when I first took it up!)

    Shoshin1lobster
  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Veteran

    Just read the link you posted for @marcitko @Bunks, not to belittle addiction in any way (I know addiction is a serious subject), but I had to laugh when I read this paragraph...( "mask debate" came to mind )

    Porn has been the subject of mass debate for years, yet very little consensus is held among researchers of its impact on young adults.

    I'm not sure if it was deliberate ( a pun) on part of the author or he had overlooked how it could be construed, either way it did make me laugh...

    Bunkslobster
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Haha I noticed it too @Shoshin1 and wondered the same.....great minds huh?

    Shoshin1
  • marcitkomarcitko Explorer

    @lobster said:
    meanwhile … we can inspire by sharing our efforts. So it become a joint blog … and better for it.

    Excellent idea! Let everyone feel free to use this thread to write about their efforts and practices aimed at more well-being and less suffering.

    I will post an update after work today.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @marcitko said:

    @lobster said:
    meanwhile … we can inspire by sharing our efforts. So it become a joint blog … and better for it.

    Excellent idea! Let everyone feel free to use this thread to write about their efforts and practices aimed at more well-being and less suffering.

    I will post an update after work today.

    Thank you for letting us hijack your thread! 😊

    marcitko
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Went for 2 hour walk. Back by 7.15am. Very few people about. That was after my meditation. Yes it was half in the dark. Concentrated on my out breath through the mouth. Relaxing.


    marcitkoBunksShoshin1
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Keep going @marcitko <3

    Shoshin1
  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Veteran

    Yeah stick with it @marcitko

    Bunks
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Cold showers help lift the mood and are an amazing support for depression. Keep at it. I have never felt so alive, as I do, when I cold-shower.

    BunksFleaMarket
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Today went shopping, in shops. Nobody much wearing or expecting masks. It was an adventure.

    Also went for fast aerobic walk during daylight. Busy too.

    Chanting for you guys.
    https://cundi.weebly.com/yidam.html

    Bunks
  • FleaMarketFleaMarket Newbie, not Veteran

    @federica said:
    Cold showers help lift the mood and are an amazing support for depression. Keep at it. I have never felt so alive, as I do, when I cold-shower.

    The trick is dealing with the depressive state of not wanting the cold shower. :p

    Today I prepped and made a healthy lunch instead of the cup-of-noodle.

    I want to say I will do my laundry but it has not happened yet and I am fearful it will not once I put the pressure of commitment on myself this comment could create.

    BunksJeroen
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited March 14

    Today I prepped and made a healthy lunch instead of the cup-of-noodle.

    https://www.rivercottage.net/recipes/diy-pot-noodles
    I sometimes make similar for my breakfast … after making muesli for everyone.

    I use a Swiss vegetable soup bouillon, soba, garlic and spring onions + leftovers
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soba

    Today is your unbirthday. Just so you know …

    JeroenBunksFleaMarket
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I have a tiny garden. Periwinkle and Daffodil. Joy.
    Find the joyous. She is everywhere.

    BunksFleaMarket
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    • Chopped chilli pepper and raw garlic in olive oil. Now that is a food enhancer. Yum!
    • Neighbour visited. Did my startled covid vulnerables good.
    • Drinking a bit more herbal tea
    BunksFleaMarket
  • FleaMarketFleaMarket Newbie, not Veteran
    • First bit of cardio in a while. I forgot just how much it clears the mind.
    • Continuing with a Zoom Zen meditation Sangha.
    • ...still working on a 3rd :p
    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    • took different route on my morning fast walk. Yeah!
    • getting used to low salt in diet. Yum!
    • think I survived Deltacron (Covid Omicron variant BA.2). Oh yeh!
    FleaMarketBunks
  • marcitkomarcitko Explorer

    My grand-recovery-plan is... not going to plan... 😃 but I have

    • continued to drink the fruit smoothie in the morning
    • slept on the floor 4 times
    • went hiking twice
    • sometimes: journaled, kept a gratitude journal, meditated
    FleaMarketlobsterBunks
  • FleaMarketFleaMarket Newbie, not Veteran

    I took steps toward attending a zoom course from The Buddhist Society on fundamentals of Zen Buddhism today. I really enjoy what I have experienced so far of the classes. These lecture + Q&A based approaches add an additional facet to other approaches of learning.

    I've also started building a relationship with my breath beyond simple observation, seeing it more as a welcome friend who's company I enjoy immensely. I have observed within myself I spend more moments fully immersed in the present and for longer with this type of emotional connection to the breath. It is also fun and feels wholesome.

    Through uncovering, I am finding my heavy solitude and intrapersonal focus through life has made my understanding of skillful relationships poor and should be one of the next focuses of my practice.

    lobstermarcitko
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @marcitko said:
    My grand-recovery-plan is... not going to plan... 😃 but I have

    • continued to drink the fruit smoothie in the morning
    • slept on the floor 4 times
    • went hiking twice
    • sometimes: journaled, kept a gratitude journal, meditated

    I get knocked down but I get up again ❤️

    marcitkolobsterFleaMarketShoshin1
  • KotishkaKotishka Veteran

    Marcitko! Keep it up!
    Lots of metta from Lanzarote!

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @lobster said:

    • think I survived Deltacron (Covid Omicron variant BA.2). Oh yeh!

    Ah ha … Deltacron is not the same as Omicron variant BA.2
    We live, learn and try to do better. Failure is an option!

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