This will be worked on to tie a number of areas together and to branch out to related areas so that you can tie it all together and make better, more informed choices.
EVER SO POPULAR, EVER SO EASY
If one thinks simplistically and is largely unaware, doing whatever it takes to avoid or solve short term discomfort through quick, easy methods is understandable the strategy of choice. But it is also the strategy of ignorance, the very opposite of wisdom and the intelligences.
One of the strategies that must be used is simple delay, such as by using The Short Pause and in some cases waiting for another 12 minutes, when any emotion or urge seems to dissipate - or if not, then it would be something to carefully consider as to how to fill the need.
Those who have not learned better yet seek relief from anxiety by escaping. Knowing no better strategy, they simply revert to what they are familiary with, what is available to them:
The substance addictions: (all of these are escape)
Eating for chemical comfort and reducing the negative chemical balance
Smoking to relieve anxiety and get a "hit" of dopamine (but reduces
Drinking to dull one's senses or to "relax" (relax from what? Tension, from
the tensing to handle the danger signals in their thinking process)
The other escapes (often called "soft addictions")
TV (to escape; I'm not referring to the positive use of the TV)
Computer use to escape tension, essentially distracting oneself
Excessive time in one hobby or activity to the exclusion of other beneficial
Denial ("I didn't know I had emotions...", says one addict. Works to some
degree, as do the others,but the loss in the ability to feel the good parts is
too great a sacrifice!)
Lack of emotional control (anger, anxiety, depression, defensiveness...)
Excess of anything
(We have not listed many others. For more, either look at the addictions section of this site for a more detailed overview or for a book's worth see The Soft Addiction Solution, by Judith Wright, a follow up to her best selling There Must Be More Than This: Finding More Life, Love, and Meaning By Overcoming Your Soft Addictions.)
Use a form or a system that will help you past these:
Notes: I think it is entirely reasonable to want to discontinue thinking negative thoughts, whether about one's shortcomings, what there is to do, and/or what is feared. Also, we should throw boredom into the mix.
I "love", at least while I am doing it, going into "flow", where I am doing something that is challenging and absorbing, but not too difficult. When I am bored, I do something like Spider Solitaire, to get stimulation and/or to occupy my brain. But, then I get caught up in it and find myself going to it for hours (lots of hours, even until 4 am) - and then, thinking about the time I wasted, I don't feel so good about it.
So, the question is, then, how can I set it up so that I am doing something that I value that is challenging enough and absorbing? But, then, some of the things I need to do can be boring or requiring more persistence but without reward in the now. Of course, in that statement there could be part of the solution - reward of some sort - or at least a reminder of the reward. "What I'm doing is a good, positive endeavor. You are doing the right things." Or "this is good what I do." "This is part of my mission - and that's wonderful!"
I do know that unless I eliminate randomness I'll just fall into whatever occurs to me, which is a quick escape to the flow in Spider. I need to assign things for my lower being to do, while I am in my higher, determinant state of being. "What would have me feel good about this day?" A good planning question for the day.
I notice what occurs in the moment. I feel a vague sense of dissatisfaction and/or I believe what I am doing is too hard or I am having an internal conversation that has me feeling stressed or anxious. My mind is in a low state unless I catch it. So I do what is most available: tv or Spider Solitaire or both....
I, like all others I suspect, latch onto what is most available. I can set it up so there are other satisfying alternatives and/or I can engage my higher brain by asking a question or by calming and centering and relaxing/breathing.
I see myself sitting there, perhaps a bit tired and feeling doing something useful would be too much work and that while I'm doing those things I'll feel I am sacrificing (but what?) or that there is some possible failure or bad result. Like writing all day and hardly getting anything done and all the hopelessness of trying to finish this whole superproject to change the world, like thinking about eating an elephant all at once, instead of a bite at a time.
But I need to make those alternatives more attractive and/or less unattractive. I need to say "this is good what I do". I need to celebrate each little thing finished and jump up and down and say "yes!" and do a dance! "I applaud myself for doing this!" I need to celebrate more. Now I see why the joy books emphasize this. We need celebration. We need the jolt and stimulation, rather than seeking it from a substance.
Right now I'm writing and I feel I need a "rest" and I also feel like this all is taking too much time - and darn it I want to get to the result right now - to have me be perfectly in harmony and well disciplined.... like I need to escape and do something within my control, like Spider. Ah, so that means I don't feel while I'm doing this writing that I am in control, i.e. able to produce the result I want at least right now, and the long term seems pretty distant. I need to be able to see the short term.
Of course, I need to do the tactics that one uses to delay our archenemy the "need" for instant gratification, to fill the empty hole, in a sense.
Right now I notice that I want a distraction, to play Spider is what I think of. My writing seems too difficult and like it takes too much time and effort, with no immediate reward and an unguaranteed future reward (will it be good enough to make a difference?). But if I allow the distraction, I will lose the time that will enable me to get more done of what I want.
I need to find an alternative way to "relieve" the intensity. Of course, all I have to do is close my eyes and relax for a few minutes...
I seem "drawn" to Spider...but it is a false signal of no real meaning....