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More action, less thought! Friday April 18, 2014

One morning recently, I awoke to a beautiful sunny day and was struck by a sudden sense of unease. It took me a while to identify it, and the unease persisted, and became uncomfortable; a coil of barbed wire in my soul, gradually shifting and starting to uncoil, prickling and scratching as it did so.

Negative thoughts and feelings of failure began to spiral, and with what I thought was admirable determination (!) I tackled them head on, trying to analyse and rationalise them. Predictably, I became more and more enmeshed in that coil of barbed wire until I found myself immobilised; trying to move in any direction hurt. I was stuck, staring aimlessly at my computer, idling from one website to another, and acutely aware of bored children, piles of washing and dogs that needed exercise!

Then I remembered 'acting opposite' - accepting how we feel, but doing the opposite action our emotions suggest. My negative thought patterns had led me in to lethargy, so I needed more action, and less thought. (A word of warning - acting opposite can be a good strategy for a number of emotions, as it can lift us out of unhelpful thought patterns. However, it's important to take notice of our instincts, if we feel unsafe, it may well be right to leave the situation.)

So more action, less thought! I turned up 'Wham' on the Ipod - forgive me, I'm a child of the 80's! - made a loaf of raisin bread and cleaned the bathroom. Small, achievable tasks that distracted my thinking. The thoughts were still there, if I poked and prodded they hurt, but focusing on the action lifted my spirits enough to be able to get on with my day. As a result, that coil of barbed wire has settled again, and I am peaceful once more.

A Moodscope member.

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Julia Fri, Apr 18th 2014 @ 7:10am

" Last Christmas I gave you my love..." (the only Wham song that springs to mind on this sunny day!) Thank you for this Vanessa. Interesting and I can identify with that feeling of lethargy. I am sure many of us can. Thanks for writing

Anonymous Fri, Apr 18th 2014 @ 9:19am

I was just starting to do just that: aimlessly surfing on the web, when the word "action" in the title of the blog caught my attention. So off I am now to go planting some summer bulbs, and keep the anxiety at bay...I have my "to do" list to tick off, so that I can feel good about it afterwards, and treat myself to a cuppa in the sunshine

Richard Fri, Apr 18th 2014 @ 10:59am

Vanessa. This is a fine blog.
So true, funny how it seems.
Love, Richard x

Anonymous Fri, Apr 18th 2014 @ 12:56pm

So good, Vanessa; so true; thank-you. Frankie

Meiyuna Fri, Apr 18th 2014 @ 1:09pm

Thank you Vanessa for writing this! They opposite action sounds really interesting, and I would love to try it out. Have a nice day!

Vanessa Fri, Apr 18th 2014 @ 2:47pm

'Love and sunshine, there's enough for everyone!' Club Tropicana, seems apt for today's beautiful weather! Thank you for your comment Julia. Love Vanessa x

Vanessa Fri, Apr 18th 2014 @ 2:49pm

Hello - I do hope by now you are sitting in the sunshine with that cuppa! Sounds like you deserve it. love Vanessa x

Vanessa Fri, Apr 18th 2014 @ 2:52pm

Hi Richard - 'this is the sound of my soul' .... Spandau Ballet, lovely! love Vanessa x

Vanessa Fri, Apr 18th 2014 @ 2:53pm

Thanks Frankie, thats kind. Hope you are having a good day. love Vanessa x

Vanessa Fri, Apr 18th 2014 @ 2:55pm

Thank you Melyuna, let us know how you get on! I hope its sunny where you are today. Love Vanessa x

Lex McKee Fri, Apr 18th 2014 @ 7:17pm

This is so insightful, Vanessa, and so practical too. Thank you x

vanessa Fri, Apr 18th 2014 @ 8:00pm

Thanks Lex, thats kind. Hope you are having a good day. Love Vanessa x

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