Skip to main content

Day 210: Changing the Channel

Day 210.  I have been on this self-improvement journey for seven months today!

And I plan on continuing.  I am quite proud of my discipline!  I have been going to the gym 5 to 6 days a week. On the days that I don't make it to the gym, I do extra walking and calisthenics.

I do not eat gluten.  I usually stop eating by 7:00 p.m.  Occasionally I allow myself a small meal when I get home, which is often after 9:00 p.m.  But I eat consciously. No more mindless munching on a bowl of buttered popcorn.(How in the world did I break that habit?)

Last night when I got home, I had a bowl of pinto beans, topped with beets, sauerkraut and olives.  It was surprisingly satisfying!

I still have many things to work on.  One of them is worry. I tend to have a one track mind when it comes to anxiety.

Yesterday, after my workout at the gym, I was getting ready to go teach piano. But I kept thinking about the most recent mass shooting in San Bernardino.  I am a fast reader. I have read massive accounts online about the story. I have listened to talk radio.  I have researched ISIS, and Islam.

My mind started to spin as I walked.  Trying to make sense of it all. Mostly trying to understand how someone could justify killing innocent people in the name of God.  I got angry again. And then I started to worry about the people who would be profiled because of their religion or race. And I started feeling guilty about being judgmental. My mind started spinning out of control. My pulse was racing. I could hardly breathe!

I thought, maybe I could listen to the news as I walked. I don't know why I thought this would calm me. But I think in my anxious state, my mind needed something to focus on. I reached into my purse for my cell phone. But, AACCK! I had forgotten my headphones at home!

I thought about running back to get them. But that would make me late. I actually considered stopping and buying another set, but scolded myself.  This has become another addiction for me.  Almost as strong as my food addiction.  This electronic information addiction.

 I had just made a vow to stay off of Facebook for the rest of the day. I get pulled in. And then I lose track of time.  The same goes for talk radio, believe it or not. I don't have a "smart phone". Thank goodness!  I just have an old flip phone. So I just use it for, well talking!  But it does have a built in radio.  I can keep up with the news while I walk.

One thing I do notice about my journey here is that I do not relax much.  When I am sitting or reclining, I am reading my kindle, on my computer or listening to talk radio. When I am at my piano, I am practicing for a concert.

The first leisurely activity I took part in recently was game night last night with my son, daughter and son-in-law.  The laughter was wonderful. I slept soundly last night. And when I woke up I had less pain.

So I am adding family time to my daily list!

But to backtrack to my leaving of the headphones, is that instead of panicking and spending needless money or stressing out, I "changed the channel". I told myself, "You don't have headphones, so the radio is out. Change the channel!"

So I did! I started thinking about the students I would teach that day.  I thought in detail of the lesson plan for the day, some games and started planning their upcoming recital in my head.

It worked!  I calmed down and focused. Then when anxious thoughts crept in, I "changed the channel" again.

I designated several channels to turn to, when negative obsessive thoughts invaded:

1. Piano Students
2. Piano music for upcoming performances (I try to "play" my pieces in my head. Yes, I am weird!)
3. Family. I imagine pleasant moments with family.  Especially random, funny incidents.
4. God.  This stopped me. Because God actually is the whole radio. I mean, I can talk to Him about every subject, even the negative stuff.  I may have to make a chart out of this.  Good stuff here!
5. Budget.  I can plan my budget. However, this often gives me anxiety. I will have to put this way down near the bottom. Or just turn it over to God when I get too stressed out!
6. Commuting. I like to plan my bus route in my head.  It has helped me more punctual, which is challenging when you depend on public transportation!
7. Food. Yes, I have a food channel in my brain. But this is where I plan my next meals and consider options if I am hungry and don't have a meal packed.


I could go on!  I think I will make a brain channel chart.  It sounds kind of crazy, but it really helped me get past a near panic attack today.

 Aside from the anxiety,  I am wanting to increase the exercise. I am looking forward to the New Year's Eve run.  So I need to start training harder.

I was also noticing that I was feeling dehydrated yesterday when I was teaching group piano classes. I usually bring a thermos of hot tea and/or bottled water, but I wanted to travel light.  But I didn't have much time in between classes to run down the hall for a drink (of water, lol).

So more water!

Ironically, when I got to the music center where I teach, I found my headphones tucked in my sweater pocket.

I would not have thought of switching brain channels if I had discovered them earlier. Coincidence or not, I am so glad this played out this way.

I may have to create a brain playlist!

Happy Saturday! :)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Year Four, Day 79: My Prayer Hats

January 2, 2019

At my library office.  So many thoughts. Most of which I cannot share publicly.

My son is doing well.  My family is well.  My cough has returned, but I am taking care of it. Mostly with my ginger/lemon/honey tea concoction. Heavy on the ginger, light on the honey.

I have decided I need to be nicer to myself.  Someone has to!

My New Year's Addition this year is simple: "Love myself so I can love others".

I am continuing with all of my additions from the last 8 years, which include exercise, daily bible reading and prayer, daily piano practice, random acts of kindness, healthy eating, drinking oodles of water...

I find I am less likely to fail if I just add good things into my life, rather than resolve to change.

I am not really even concerned about the weight anymore.  My appetite has been rather low. Probably because of stress, worry and this lost sense of smell thing.

I'm o.k. with it.  Everything in moderation. Oh, if I could go back in time and tea…

Year Four, Day 208: Happy Socks, Tales from Lyft and the Missing Music in My Life

I have completed one sock of my first pair of Happy Socks!  That's my name for them anyway.  They are slipper socks, knitted on a round loom.  Meant to be worn at home, when feeling cozy is of the utmost important. Hey, cozy is always high on my list! 

I dubbed them "Happy Socks" because I am making them colorful, and praying for the person who will be wearing them. I feel happy just looking at them!

I also completed the novel, The President Is Missing, by James Patterson and Bill Clinton.

I was thoroughly entertained by this book!  Granted, it was not extremely deep. And the writing, well it was not extremely, literary.  But it was great fun! I felt like I was inside of Bill Clinton's head.

After I read it, I looked at a few reviews online. And I was even more entertained! In fact, I was reading the reviews while riding the bus home the other night. I laughed so hard I snorted. I was getting odd looks from the other passengers! It was this one from "The New Yo…

Year Four, Day 232: The Untethered Soul and My Awakening

I am on fire.  I woke up at 5:00 a.m. this morning. I felt sad. I felt irritated. I wanted to roll over and get some more sleep. But my eyes were wide open. Almost like they were being help open with invisible tooth picks. I was home alone - the rest of the family had spent the night with other family members.  Honey Dog would need to go out. And I could do my hooping and cleaning without disturbing the rest of the household.


(When my granddaughter is asleep we all tiptoe around, holding our breath, so cherished is her sleep time!)


So I popped up. I felt so much energy.  I didn't even need caffeine. I felt strong. Not stiff and groggy as usual.  Irritable, yes. But otherwise good!


So I cleaned the entire kitchen, made my bed vacuumed, hooped and even practiced some music on the piano I planned on playing for church later.


I still had time to spare, so I decided to sit down and get a dose of Thomas Merton. He has proven to be a soothing balm for me. Like trees.


I pulled YouTube up …