What do I do
What do you do when you're in a situation of a mental dilemma is a hard one to tackle due to different types of Mental illness out there and each person that has them. The one thing we don't want to hear is "Get over it". "Face it" (Not bad advise with this one as long as ya not in a battle with your spiraling mind already). I have even heard "Ya gotta get that little voice out of ya head". Sure....if I could do that then I wouldn't be like this now, would I? So what others say to you can hinder the situation or make it better. Being loved and know somebody is there for you is a big help. Sometimes just listening without trying to fix it. Or, a loving hug and we will get through this helps more than anything else. But, what can we do for ourselves to help with a spiraling," monkey brain" mind. The Buddhists call it monkey brain because the mind just swings from one thought to another without even pausing for a break at times. Like a monkey from branch to branch.
The first thing that takes practice is recognizing its starting to happen. I still am learning this. After years of having my anxiety and depression, I am just starting to see what's happening. Sure I still get caught up and spiral, but recognizing the feelings is a good time to start your "Tools" And I have had good success with this. It can be the slightest of body feelings. I can sometimes feel the heat rise up from low in my body up through my neck and head. Feeling Cold even though its 90 degrees out. Shakes can happen. The crazy thing is I have only just started feeling this symptom. I will get cold and shake like I'm in a fridge. You may feel a lump in the throat. Feeling nausea along with it. There are many different feelings. Some get what others don't. Some will disappear and new ones come along. It's best to recognize the feelings as quickly as possible. The sooner you feel it the better for you to tackle it.
The feelings are not there for no reason. That starts with your thoughts. You can't have a feeling or emotion without a thought. Thinking is what the brain is designed to do right? if we had no thought we wouldn't be able to do anything. Thought fires off the chemicals in our bodies that communicate with our cells so that we do certain things. Without the thinking process of our powerful brains, we wouldn't even move. The brain has to have input, it does not know what to do without it. It depends on the input it receives as to what it needs to do. Fear thoughts fire off chemicals to get your body ready to take off running. Love thoughts bring on emotions of love and compassion. The thing is........your brain thinks EVERYTHING is real due to your thoughts. And a lot of your thoughts are already programmed in your subconscious mind. The subconscious being approx 90% to 95% of your brains thinking. The good news is this can be reprogrammed. Takes work but any human can do it.
So we have body feelings and thoughts. Thought first, then body feeling. But a lot of the time we feel the body feelings and don't know where it's coming from. But if you draw your attention to what you are thinking when the feeling comes you will see that there is thinking going on.
First thing I do is make myself aware of my breathing. When going into this dilemma of spiraling we breathe quicker and shallow. Normally into the chest. So stop, tell yourself your thinking. Your not your thinking and check where your breathing is at. Start breathing deeply. Long deep breathing into the stomach. Pushing it out like a balloon. Pause at the top of the breath, then make the exhale longer than the inhale. Release all the breath. Bringing in your navel to push all the air out. Pause a few seconds then repeat. The slower you make your breath the better for you. When you slow the breath first thing your brain will do is think there is not a danger and start to slow things down. When I meditate this is a big part of the process. I have practiced 2 breaths per minute. In for 10, suspended for 10 and out for 10. This takes practice. It's not something I just went and did. We practiced a 1 min breath in Yoga and this is not an easy one but it doesn't mean it's not being done and that your not capable of achieving it. I have done it a couple of times but this is one I am working on. The breath is your anchor. You always have it right? If you didn't you would be gone already.
I look at the thought and give the thought an alternative. A good practice is don't label. As soon as you label something the brain has something to go on and will add emotions according to how you learned them. Like pain. When you label something pain, the feeling will start getting larger because you are pinpoint focusing in. I have said many times, "what is pain" when I feel it, and it eases. Why because ya brain has been given another instruction other than just pain. It somewhat confuses it and it questions what it's feeling. Fear is another. If I really look at a situation that I'm fearing that really does not need fearing, and say I have nothing to fear with this. That fires different chemical reactions to your cells then just fear alone. The brain takes what you tell it as real remember?
So I can go on with this subject, and it will be discussed further, but I hope that this will give you something to think about.
Stay Positive. Stay Present. Be a warrior!