Slow down, you're going too fast now.

11 Oct 2017
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Hectic (lifestyle):

Help needed to slow down

Enthusiastic to the point of obsession/addiction

Capable of many things and clever thoughts

Time to put the plan into action

Interested in everything, but not one focus

Calming does me a power of good.

The mind works all the time we are asleep. I wake early, and try to get an extra half hour's sleep. To no avail: my brain is cranking up like the central heating boiler, and will not switch off.

Unlike the central heating boiler, I can't rush downstairs and alter the settings on the control box, switch to the "Off" button.

For some time, I review plans for the day ahead: this to do, a phone call to make, mustn't forget. But as we have guests staying, I can't pad downstairs to make a cup of tea. There is a dog in the living room, who will wake and then that will be it... owners say he doesn't settle again. So, I sip the water from the glass by my bedside, aware of my husband's peaceful breathing as he sleeps on in the marital bed, and do the acrostic above, using the first letter of my chosen word, hectic, to start a thought on the matter.

My current hectic lifestyle provides the skeleton for this simple exercise. We used to give acrostics to the pupils at school to do quite often. Today, it helps sort out some of my brain fog, and stops me going into overdrive. I have taken hold of the reins, and "held back the horses", gaining a measure of control over whirring thoughts.

What ways do you use to help your mind relax when it is too crowded?

How effective is this in relaxing you for the day ahead?

I'd be interested to know what methods others try when sleep evades them, and the mind is galloping?

Sally

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Comments

Torsten

Oct. 12, 2017, 5:05 a.m.

I listen to Alan Watts, e.g. - podcasts are great for focus. https://youtu.be/NWnVpUpehRI

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Sally

Oct. 12, 2017, 6:27 a.m.

Thanks very much, Torsten. I shall investigate.

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Eva

Oct. 12, 2017, 6:52 a.m.

Hi Sally, great blog! Depending on the time... 2/3/4am I put on a sleep story on my Calm app. That generally works although sometimes I listen to two of them, if I am still awake I'll read for a while and generally I then tire my mind and get back to sleep. If it's 5/6am I'll stick a sleep story on, if I don't fall asleep then I'll do some meditations and then get up and start my day. The goal is to sleep to 7, which I managed to do today, yippee. I am not good at having guests for the very reasons you mention. Hope the rest of their stay goes well.

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Sally

Oct. 12, 2017, 7:17 a.m.

That is very helpful, thank you for those tips, Eva. My goal is also to sleep till 7, I shall work on it! :-)

DAVE

Oct. 12, 2017, 7:06 a.m.

Hi Sally, Keeping calm under racy thoughts...Not an easy thing to do for some. My way of dealing with these thoughts works for me. I keep a List of everything I do or have yet to do on my android Calendar, it also relates to things that attract themselves to me each day. When, and only when I have completed them, I can delete ! ! If unable to complete, I'm able to slide them over the the next day, it's very easy and keeps me focused upon chores, meetings, appointments, adverts, or sayings, even recommendations to overcome issues that crop up. I also keep details of the events, feelings, emotions, problems and general notes of all things....Very useful for when the 'down' times arrive, when I have 'burnt out'. In the Supermarket this week, there was a young mother under a degree of stress, she had forgotten something important she had to do. She I gently describe the Diary and note taking on my mobile. she thought it was avoid idea and was going to implement it in her daily routine. Why am I elaborating....Before I go to bed at night,I review the day, what I hcpave or haven't achieved....I then ask myself the question about something I failed to do, "Can I do it right now", if I can I will, if I cannot, I have ADDRESSED the undone issue, and say "I cannot do anything about it now". Impending those few moments before climbing into bed, I have addressed my SUBCONSCIOUS, it knows that everything is done and under control. I sleep well, if I forget then I am restless all night sometimes. Taking 2 X 500mg Parcetemol 1/2. Hour befor retiring works well for me. During the day I ask mysel when 'rushing about' I say to myself calm down, slow down, I move away from the object or concern, and say "I'll tackle you later". This also applies when some friend calls and asks me If I can help him/her...I say.."Give me 5 mins and I'll ring you back". I sit down, and immediately know whether my mood, emotions can allow me to carry out his/her task...I am monitoring myself Sally and I can ring back with...I can't do it now but I can fit it in tomorrow. This is of course what I call time management....because at the end of each day, I hope to have 'escaped 'PROCRASTINATION' which of course we know as 'The Thief of Time', which is what that young lady struggling with three kids has to address somehow. Enough Sally, all my blogs indicate order in my life, I strive to control my mind and not the reverse. *** bless Love Dave X

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Antonella

Oct. 12, 2017, 8:53 a.m.

Hi Dave, thanks for sharing your way of dealing with fast moments. I have a curiosity about the 2 X 500mg Parcetemol 1/2. Hour before retiring. You mean paracetamol? I thought it was a pain-killer and anti-inflammatory drug. Is this something that you discovered, that it has a calming effect, or were you advised by a doctor? I am asking because, in a time when I was in deep psychological, existential pain, I wondered if a pain-killer could help...it was almost a joke with myself...

Ach UK

Oct. 12, 2017, 10:07 a.m.

Hi Antonella, I can attest to the use of Paracetamol to aid falling to sleep. It is my first medical port of call if I realise I am too 'wired' to drop off. My theory was if it works for physical pain try it it might take the edge off uptight brain. Like Dave I take 1x500mg or sometimes 2x500mg around 45mins before I go to bed. As I very rarely take any form of painkiller it seems to work quite well. And as a first line of defence it's gentler than uzing sleeping tablets. Of course I then have to acknowledge that I must take a hard look at my routines and make changes to reduce risks of relapse. I should also say that using Paracetamol is part of my wellness strategy agreed with my Mental Heath Team. (And I use lots other ways to keep a resonable sleep pattern like many which have been written about here.

The Gardener

Oct. 12, 2017, 10:46 a.m.

I, too, am puzzled by Paracetomol as an aid to sleep - I take them, rarely, as pain killers - and, of course, you have to stop the pain to get some sleep, so in that context they work.

Ach UK

Oct. 12, 2017, 12:01 p.m.

Hi Gardener, I haven't studied pharmacology , but when I can't switch off or wind down or release the tenseness in my stressed up brain maybe the paracetamol blocks the "pain" and allows me to slow down and move into falling asleep mode. It's supposed to ease headaches . . . . . Or perhaps it's all placebo. I don't really mind as it seems to help me and I don't need it very often.

Valerie

Oct. 13, 2017, 8:05 a.m.

I have read that Paracetamol has anti-depressant qualities,and also enhances the effects of some other medications such as Prozac.Inflammation has also been implicated in research into a variety of conditions,mental and physical.I am going to take two tonight (not the ones with added caffeine!) Thanks Dave!

Orangeblossom

Oct. 12, 2017, 7:10 a.m.

Thanks Sally. I enjoyed reading this blog very much. I am finding that practising deep breathing, breathing in to 7 counts & breathing out to 9 counts helpful. However, sleepless is no longer a problem. More like the opposite.

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Sally

Oct. 12, 2017, 7:32 a.m.

Thank you, Orangeblossom, I shall try that too. Sympathy on sleeping too much, I have had that as well at some time in my life!

Sally

Oct. 12, 2017, 7:23 a.m.

Thank you very much for your extensive comments, Dave. I think I already do some of what you do mentally, but writing down on a list sounds a very good idea. That way, like the recording on Moodscope, I would be able to pinpoint “overload” and respond accordingly. I should also do your “ Let me ring you back in 5 minutes” approach. I tend to jump in without thinking to offer help, etc. Go well, Dave, & thanks again for taking the time to explain your way of coping.

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Benjamin

Oct. 12, 2017, 8:11 a.m.

Reading the blog at 4 am, awake a bit too early, in the condition described, roughly, but on the way to work soon....

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Callum

Oct. 12, 2017, 8:12 a.m.

Thank you very much Sally. To stop the Galloping mind, I am listening to music I new when I was young. Doris Day, The Sound of Music, and earlier today I was listening to Miles Davis Guitar, which is so far out, that it " Just unwinds the brain " and tonight, (at this persons place) the piano by Miles Davis, really lifts and carries you. I need a lot more of this.

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The Gardener

Oct. 12, 2017, 10:50 a.m.

Oh, that 'galloping mind'. If mine is going terrifyingly fast, that is one thought crowding out another I do puzzles - working out cryptic clues provides a diversion, although many people, and sleep 'experts' say 'revving up' the brain makes things worse. Years ago, serious insomniac, I used to go downstairs into the cold office and play Solitaire until near frozen and mesmerised. Falling into a warm bed seemed to do the trick, but it's a bit extreme, and annoyed Mr G no end.

Sally

Oct. 12, 2017, 2:46 p.m.

Callum,that sounds all good! The Sound of Music is a firm favourite, Miles Davis pian I will investigate... thank you very much for commenting.

Lexi

Oct. 12, 2017, 10:12 a.m.

Morning Sally, have been up since 3am. I do crosswords and solitare and meditation techniques. Normally they work but I too have guests coming in a day and my house still needs to get finished so I'm stressing :) I hope you get your cup of tea and privacy soon. I love having my house to myself.xo Lexi

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Sally

Oct. 12, 2017, 2:49 p.m.

Good afternoon, Lexi, I well know the before-they-arrive nerves! I too love having my house to myself , although the visitors were great fun too. And their dog.

The Gardener

Oct. 12, 2017, 11 a.m.

I love the subject 'slow down'. I quoted our cardiologist a couple of days ago here - had a minor heart problem, he is a charming laid-back Lebanese. He said 'You can gallop through your life if you want to, but your heart should not gallop with you!' Now, gone full circle, total inertia. The 'crunch' has come, Mr G has had to go into a permanent home. After the last two traumatic years I had expected to throw my metaphorical cap in the air and rush into all the things which had naturally been 'put on hold'. Now, I start something, can't concentrate. Sleepy, but can't sleep, after sleep deprivation you'd think I'd just crash out. Thoughts going as if turbo-charged - potential client for house keeps popping in to get quotes - hopeful, but not definite - perhaps, if that is settled as well, I will take a 'break' if only 2/3 days, in a spa or hotel with a swimming pool, to mark the real change of life. You people who have a job to sleep, is your worst hour 2.30 to 3.30 a.m.? I vacillate between thinking 'oh good, 4 hours before I have to get up' and 'oh dear, eyes tired with reading, what shall I do?'

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Eva

Oct. 12, 2017, 10:16 p.m.

Dear Gardener, I'm so sorry to hear that Mr G has gone to the home, but relieved for you also. I think it will take a wee while for you to slow down and change pace, and the lack of focus may reflect your true state given the amount of pressure that you have been under. Be kind to yourself and practice self Love. I think a break away when you can get it is a marvelous idea. Hugs, Eva

Sally

Oct. 13, 2017, 5:24 a.m.

I agree with Eva on this one, Gardener, it is going to be a gradual adaptation. Good luck, and keep positive. Do nice things for yourself as you see fit. Time will help with the adaptation process. Build up your strength gradually.

Sally

Oct. 12, 2017, 2:55 p.m.

TG, I remember your saying that about your cardiologist, and thought it very good! Yes, my worst time is about 2.30 onwards, or 4 a.m. or even 5. In the winter, it can be quite the reverse: hard to get up for 9! Oh, we’re such complex organisms, aren’t we?! We don’t come with an operating manual! Mind you, are machines subjected to such stress!!!

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Jul

Oct. 12, 2017, 3:31 p.m.

I'm really sorry Sally but I lost a fairly long reply I was writing about your interesting blog. It was my fault I think. I pressed a key and the whole page disappeared. I'll come back later. Just going to make a cup of tea! Jul xx

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Sally

Oct. 13, 2017, 5:27 a.m.

So sorry Jul. Infuriating, isnt it when that happens?! And you can’t do a thing about it, grrr. And don’t even know which key you inadvertently pressed ...

LP

Oct. 12, 2017, 8:48 p.m.

Hi Sally, Bed at 10.30 for a few nights running. Favourite essential oil scent to breathe in on my pillow. Listen to something calming to drift off to. Morning/Daytime- distraction and mindfulness. Xx

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Molly

Oct. 12, 2017, 11:23 p.m.

Hi Sally, I am a bit late in replying to your blog, I did read it earlier and couldn't think of any answers, so I was pleased to see some suggestions in the comments here. Sleeping is something I never used to have a problem with then bang! I am often now up all night but then once asleep I cannot get up! I try so hard to do the meditating etc but my mind is racing all of the time especially when in bed, wouldn't it be great to have an 'off' button. Molly xx

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Sally

Oct. 13, 2017, 5:30 a.m.

Thank you so much, everyone for the many good ideas which I’m going to make a list of. It was good to hear from all of you.

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Jul

Oct. 13, 2017, 8:01 a.m.

Hello Sally. I have had many problems with lack of deep sleep for years. I've mentioned it quite a few times here. I don't sleep at all when we have visitors although I enjoy having them (especially when they first arrive and leave lol!). I read a very good article on sleep recently (Most just churn out the same old things with the dire warnings of an early death, obesity etc etc and just make me worry even more) which basically said stop worrying, we probably get more sleep than we think, just lying there is good for the body and to stop thinking or talking about the "S" word for a month. Although I don't like the effect lack of deep sleep has on me, that hasn't changed, my attitude is subtly different and after not talking about sleep for a month, I do feel the benefits. I cut the article out and read it every now and again. I loved your blog Sally and sorry I didn't reply yesterday as promised. Julxx

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Sally

Oct. 13, 2017, 11:05 p.m.

Thanks for that, Jul. Good of you to go to the trouble to reply.

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