Friday, 27 January 2012

What happened to January?

Wow – this month has whizzed past- a blink and you've missed it experience.  I am really happy that the days are getting longer.  There are two events of note this month
Firstly  - the Chinese New Year! 

 This is meant to be very auspicious one as it is the year of the Dragon and I have read that  is expected that the population of China will dramatically increase as couples strive to give birth to a baby during this year - I hope they all have lots of have fun trying! I was born in the year of the horse and of course that is a wonderfully auspicious year as well!

Now not many of you may know that this week is it also Australia Day.  I have very mixed feelings about this day.  I grew up innocently celebrating it to mark the foundation of the modern state of Australia.  People are on their summer hols or coming back from them and preparing for the new school year starting in February.  No it is not weird! I find starting a school year in September weird!

It was only much later I discovered another very different view – a much darker side. Many in Australia now refer to January 26th  as Invasion Day – the day when persecution of the indigenous people really got under. As an Australian, I think it is as important to acknowledge this part of our history as it is to mark the Holocaust in Europe
That dreaded essay is finally grinding to completion.  My poor supervisor was subjected to my angst about it and she suggested that I think of it like a stained glass project – that I put all my ideas down on different bits of paper and lay them all out on the floor and move them around to form patterns of groups of similar ideas.  That quite appeals to me because I have all sorts of wonderful sentences and phrases in my head and I sit at the computer and they seem to just fly out the window, no matter how hard I shut it.  She suggested that I quickly get those ideas down somewhere else away from the computer so I capture them all.

Sometimes I really do despair though.  You would think that having got this far I would feel confident writing my coursework but every time I struggle, give myself a really hard time and end up feeling like I have been dragged through a hedge backwards.  Funnily though, I have never missed a deadline although as the deadline draws near I fear something will happen so that  I wont be able to pull out of the bag this time.  I think I need some serious therapy!

There is a brilliant book I have discovered called ‘The Worry Cure Stop Worrying and Start Living ’ by Robert L Leahy. After prescribing it to one of my clients on the advice of my supervisor, I decided I really should read it myself and I found it so useful and I have been working on distinguishing between productive and unproductive worry. 

In his introduction, the author says (p.35) the worst ways to handle worry are:
  1. Seeking reassurance
  2. Trying to stop your thoughts
  3. Collecting information
  4. Checking over and over
  5. Avoiding discomfort
  6. Numbing yourself with alcohol, drugs, and food
  7. Over preparing
  8. Using safety behaviours
  9. Always trying to make a good impression
  10. Ruminating- chewing it over and over
  11. Demanding certainty
  12. Refusing to accept the fact that you have crazy thoughts

So if you would like to know more – you’ll have to read the book. If you are a worrier it is well worth it.  Two of my clients said that before they read the book, they thought they were the only ones who thought so weirdly and it was very reassuring to find out that lots of people thought similar things and there was something they could do about it. So on that note:
  – back to the essay fuelled by my newly acquired productive worry techniques!

NB: No , I am not on commission to any book publishers!

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