happiness consists of getting enough sleep
stop howling at the moon
If I remember correctly the header is a quote from R.A. Heinlein’s ‘Starship Troopers’, and reflects what it’s like to be pushed to the very limit, which I’m not, I live an almost idyllic life. I am getting my 7 hours a night, and yet lately I’ve been struggling to get out of bed in the morning. On top of that, for the first hour or so of the day I’ve been feeling groggy and listless.
That’s a very different issue to lack of sleep, and it’s called Dysania ~ trouble getting out of bed in the morning.
One reason for the feeling of just wanting to stay in bed is that there’s nothing worth getting up for. And I can’t be blamed for feeling a bit like that. Today is lockdown day 451, so for more than 16 lunar months I have been almost imprisoned at home, with nothing to do, nowhere to go, and nobody to see. All those of us who are independently wealthy, or laid off, or ‘working from home’, are entitled to have that feeling that we might as well just stay in bed. Worse when we do get up we might have the feeling that there’s nothing worth getting washed, shaved, and dressed in clean clothes for.
I have worked hard at not falling completely into that trap. I have some support, a person who I am accountable to, someone I go online with early every morning, and that ‘accountability partner’ does drag me out of bed. Another thing that gets me up and going is writing this blog, which is an almost every day thing for me. And, so help me God, I bought an Alexa which plays 70s and 80s hits every damn morning ~ until and unless I tell her to shut up.
I live in a small loft apartment, that has un-shaded skylights, so the dawn also helps me to wake up, although lately it’s still hard to get out of bed. The other thing I have is a daily plan, what’s on the agenda for today, and it does help if you know you have something you should be doing, maybe something that you really enjoy.
There’s a few damn good reasons it’s hard for me to get out of bed; anxiety, depression, stress, and poor physical fitness ~ all of which can be attributed to being locked up in solitary confinement for 451 days ~ by order of my own fucking stupid government.
But take heart, we can still be busy doing nothing.
it’s worth getting out of bed just to see the dawn
the send of the sea answers all our prayers
In these times of worry, uncertainty, and stress it’s very easy for the negative emotions and bad news to overwhelm our minds ~ our thoughts, emotions, and spirit. All of that dark negativity effects us mentally and physically as stress, and when it gets very bad stress becomes distress.
Severe stress has a lot more symptoms than merely a lot of worry. For a start stress can cause insomnia, and that’s like throwing petrol, (gas), on a fire ~ it just makes it worse. Other symptoms of stress can include low energy, lassitude, fatigue, indecision, anger, aches and pains, chest pains, rapid heartbeat, headaches, loss of sexual desire, heart attacks, strokes, death…. Far too much stress also takes up so much of your reserves that you become more vulnerable to catching whatever other illnesses are out there.
Worrying about the coronavirus will make you more prone to catching the coronavirus.
One of the best ways to combat stress is through simple breathing / relaxation exercises. A simple internet search will find you lots of them https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/uz2255
However, years ago when I was under tremendous stress at work I found something of my own. For most people this exercise is far better than booze, drugs, or smoking too much.
- Close my eyes and imagine that I’m standing on a sunlit beach, I can feel the gentle warmth of the sun.
- The sound of the surf is very calm and slow, flowing in and out again.
- I time my breathing to that slow gentle surf.
- Slowly breathe in, pause, slowly breathe out again.
- And in the sound of my own breathing I hear the surf.
Usually, within a couple of minutes I feel calmer and more relaxed.
Within five minutes that simple breathing exercise drifts into meditation.
If you think you are suffering from the signs of stress, or deeper distress, then just try to slow your breathing and imagine the sounds of the gentle surf.
all things look better in the light of a new day.
she has begged ‘please’ far too often to use the word lightly
for some sad women
a hard kiss with a fist
is better than none
they are alone and lost
the once love has gone
they are brutally abased
they are nothing, no one
used and roughly abused
he doesn’t want her love
he wants a fuck, she’s raped
she could adore someone
a real man, kind and just
he could be almost anyone
for some abused women
the bottle is their only escape
being in control of your finances is a great stress reliever
Next to being in a dysfunctional relationship, money troubles are the commonest cause of severe stress. Sadly, dysfunctional relationships and money troubles often go together.
There are four sets of reasons that may have caused your money troubles;
- Misfortune. This is not your fault, You may have lost your job, have uninsured medical expenses, your ex may have never paid child maintenance, your water heater may have exploded in a cloud of steam…..
- Laziness and Stupidity. You never open your mail, you don’t check your balance when you withdraw cash from the ATM, you can’t be bothered to balance your cheque book, you don’t bother to look for the thriftier items when you go to the supermarket…..
- Compulsive Spending. You max out your credit cards and then get another, your favorite pastime is shopping, when you’re stressed you go shopping, you buy shoes you will never wear, you’ve bought a car you can’t afford, you buy stuff you don’t really want, need, or already have…..
- Addictions. Maybe this is where things get really, really bad. You’re a drunk and you spend a fortune on booze in bars and supermarkets. You’re a drug addict, you’re always jonesing for your drug of choice, and you would do anything to get your next fix, including spending the rent on coke. You’re a gambler and when you’re in a casino you lose track of time and money. You’re a sex addict and pay for a fuck or a suck, and you’re addicted to on-line porn and sex-chat…..
So you’re flat broke, have bills to pay, and you are very, very stressed, suicidally so. So WTF can you do?
- Stay calm, make yourself a cup of tea, sit down, get a pen and paper and make some notes.
- Work out exactly how much you owe in outstanding debt, including all your credit cards, parking fines ~ basically write down and add up every single penny you owe. Depressing isn’t it?
- Work out exactly how much is the bare minimum amount a month you need to live on, including food, rent, utilities, car repayments, insurance, parking, and petrol, (gas). Compare that with how much you’ve got coming in, and if you’ve got less coming in than you will have going out, find something on your list you don’t need to buy.
- Find the nearest discount grocery store, and resolve to shop nowhere but there in future, and to buy only their cheapest stuff, providing it’s nutritious.
- Contact your bank, finance, and credit card companies and see if they can help you by deferring or reducing repayments.
- STOP FUCKING BUYING NON ESSENTIAL STUFF. If you have to, then cut up all your credit cards.
- Find a way to recover from your addiction. If you have to go to a couple of AA, or NA, or GA meetings a day then get your butt down there. Take part. STOP doing whatever it is that you’re addicted to; if it’s booze or drugs you may need medical help.
Some say that something good will turn up soon. And that the Micawber Principle is a load of bullshit anyway. All I know is that one shouldn’t throw good money down the drain.
it isn’t this pensioner’s fault that she’s broke
you should have her worries
if you want to conquer the anxiety of life
live in the moment, live in the breath
If you are tormented by stress, if distress is making your life a misery, then what is the best way to live with it? The short answer is don’t. If the situation you’re in is so stressful it’s making you ill; for example a dysfunctional relationship, or a really shitty job, then just leave, get out take yourself away from the cause of your stress. If someone else is causing you great distress; for example your ex is stalking you, then do whatever it takes to make them stop, including invoking the full force of the law. If what you’re doing to yourself is the biggest cause of your stress; for example you are drinking to much, using drugs, gambling, living a promiscuous life….. the for fucks sake stop.
You may / will need help to stop doing whatever it is you’re doing that’s making you ill with stress ~ start with your doctor, who will want to give you ‘happy pills’ like Prozac. Medication for stress is worse than useless, except as a short-term life preserver. Most medication your doctor may want to give you for stress will be addictive in it’s own right, and SSRIs like Prozac might make you want to kill yourself.
To live a fairly normal life if you are suffering from severe stress then try some / all of these;
(there isn’t room to fully explain all these here, this is your chance to use your Google skills)
- Routine. Have a very solid daily and weekly routine, do the same essential things at the same time every day. This will take away some of your worries because a lot of the time you can operate on auto-pilot. Most importantly go to bed at the same time every night, and get up at the same time every morning.
- Get Enough Good Sleep. Stress causes sleep problems, and lack of sleep makes you anxious, agitated, impatient, and stressed. It’s a vicious circle. You need 6 to 9 hours of good sleep every night. Don’t use sleep medication, in the long term that’s harmful and addictive.
- Physical Activity. Regular physical activity will benefit your physical, mental, and spiritual health. Fresh air and exercise will alleviate your anxiety, stress, and depression ~ it will also help you to sleep at night. Try the 10,000 steps a day challenge ~ it helps.
- Meditation and Mindfulness. Before you go to bed at night try to meditate for 20 or 30 minutes. Practicing mindfulness is proven to help relieve stress.
- Breathing. There are a lot of controlled breathing / relaxation techniques. I have something very individual that works for me, kept me alive more than once.
- Learn Effective Time Management. If you are constantly running from pillar to post, then no wonder you are stressed. If you are at everyone else’s beck and call, plagued by interruptions, then no wonder you are stressed.
- Dietary Supplements. The chances are you’re not eating well, so the chances are your body is chronically short of vital vitamins and minerals; for example a deficiency of potassium or vitamin K might kill you.
There are innumerable websites that will give you all the information and advice you need on the above topics.
Some say that they’re not really stressed. And they’re just having a bad day. All I know is that less stress equals more happiness.
If you’re in real trouble, sit quietly for a while, empty your mind; and do not do anything stupid.
a healthy relationship will never require you to sacrifice yourself
everyone in this picture is part of a toxic relationship
Extreme stress will kill you, but before that it will make you ill, take away your dignity and self-respect, take away your friends, maybe your career, maybe your children, and everything else you care for. One of the principal causes of stress, especially among women, is to be in a dysfunctional relationship. I say especially among women because thick-skinned, insensitive men have an uncanny ability to be utterly oblivious to things that are going badly wrong in a relationship, ignore how stressed and distressed their partner is, and if they were aware something isn’t right couldn’t care less about trying to make things better. Add to that, in many cases it is the guy, and the way he acts, that makes any relationship utterly dysfunctional in the first place.
Dysfunctional and toxic relationships range in severity from; two people just not being in love anymore, and not really getting along, maybe mostly ignoring one another, leading separate lives….. through mental abuse, verbal abuse….. and finally severe physical abuse, beatings, rape, and in the end murder. All of that is incredibly stressful and distressing.
Dysfunctional Relationships do not perform their appropriate function; that is, they do not emotionally support the participants, foster communication between them, appropriately challenge them, or prepare to fortify them for life in the larger world. ~ Tina B. Tessina Ph.D.
There are 7 key signs of a toxic and dysfunctional relationship;
- Tedium. The partners are bored sick with each other, do nothing together, have the same argument over and over again, never have sex…..
- Blaming. Everything is his / her / your fault, no matter what.
- Guilt. You’re constantly apologising for everything, even things that aren’t your fault at all. You do it mostly to keep the peace.
- Tension. You are always waiting for the explosion, dreading what he’s going to scream at you about next.
- Uncertainty. Where is he / she, what are they doing, when are they going to get home? One minute your partner is sweet and kind, the next you can do no right.
- Frustration. Doing even the simplest of things is hugely complicated and time-consuming. If you try to lead and take charge yo will be attacked, if you are passive you will be attacked for that instead.
- Hopelessness. The dark cloud hanging over your life will never go away, there’s nothing you can do, you are doomed and trapped forever.
I would add to that, a relationship is completely toxic if either or both of the partners indulges in; alcoholism, casual sex, drug abuse, gambling, promiscuity, extreme pornography, on-line dating, prostitutes / prostitution….. Just how stressful do you want me to get? If you’re in that kind of a relationship you are slowly dying.
The very sad thing is that toxic and dysfunctional relationships are a multi-generational sickness ~ if your parents were in a toxic relationship, then in all likelihood so are you.
Some say that their relationship is their sanctuary, no matter how toxic it is. And that he may be an alcoholic but we love each other, really, honestly….. All I know is that if you are suffering from severe distress all you can do is walk away, and never once look back.
Mental abuse is incredibly stressful
Mental abuse is torture
the greatest weapon against stress is;
our ability to choose one thought over another
Extreme stress and anxiety, the kind that dominates your life, gives you chest pains, and will eventually kill you should really be called distress; meaning extreme anxiety, sorrow, and pain. If you can identify with that, then you are not alone, many, many people suffer from that kind of distress ~ I did for a long, long time.
So how do you cope, how do you get through the day, each and every single fucking miserable, painful day? If you are like most people, myself included at the time, you will likely resort to taking a drink or three to numb the pain. You may also indulge in some other risky behaviours, casual sex, drugs, gambling, promiscuity, over-eating, smoking, starving yourself….. If you have been sensible you will have seen your doctor, and the chances are they will have given you an anti-depressant drug such as Prozac, or worse a beta-blocker or narcotic. Maybe your doctor will have referred you for talking therapy, but I doubt it, and if you did see a therapist / psychologist / psychiatrist I doubt if it did you much good.
To cope with anxiety, depression, and stress, to cure yourself of the debilitating effects of these interconnected mental illnesses, you have to change yourself and your life.
Stress comes from knowing what is right and doing what is wrong. ~ Larry Winget
You don’t want to know this, but the best way to cope with anxiety, depression, stress….. is to remove yourself from whatever is causing your pain. Snag is, not many are brave enough nor strong enough to leave their job, relationship, marriage, home, abuser, addiction….. I did, I left a highly paid career in International Banking and Finance because the stress was killing me. But there’s another problem, we can become so addicted to anxiety, depression, and stress, that when we take away one reason for our suffering we soon find another to replace it. I did, I left the stress of work and substituted instead the stress of dysfunctional interpersonal relationships ~ and all through all of it I was drinking heavily.
When I say that to escape from your suffering you will probably have to change yourself, your life, your career, your habits, your friendships, your relationships ~ I mean exactly that, and it’s hard. Medication, drugs, booze, and displacement activities will mask your pain for a while, but it’s a band-aid on an a broken heart. Talking therapy works with a good; counsellor / therapist / psychologist, but it will take 1 to 3 years before it’s really becoming effective. If you want something immediate, right now, something that works, then it’s down to you, and the first thing you must do is stop doing whatever you’re doing to mask the pain; drinking, useless medication, casual sex, drugs, gambling, promiscuity, over-eating, starving yourself….. Only then can you know yourself and deal with the causes of your pain.
Some say that their stress isn’t so bad. And that a couple of drinks in the evening makes it bearable. All I know is that if you drink every evening, for year after year, then you’re slowly killing yourself.
you may drink at home
rather than in a sleazy bar
the bad effects are the same
it’s not stress that kills us ~ it is our reaction to it
having your car broken into is a legitimate cause of distress
Today I’m at home in the garret after a week in hospital. While there I saw, among others, an oncologist and a nutritionist ~ after they talked together I was given detailed dietary instructions to help heal my kidneys, liver, and pancreas. Strangely, at the top of the healthy eating / life style instructions, right above where its says No Alcohol, it reads No Stress. Now, I know what my oncologist and nutritionist are getting at and it isn’t no stress whatsoever, because without some good stress we would die ~ that’s sensory deprivation. What they are getting at is no bad stress extreme enough to cause me Distress, because distress is a killer.
Fear and anxiety, distress and confusion, frustration and insecurity; these are the causes of more illness than all the bacteria, viruses, and parasites in the world. ~ Dr. Vernon Coleman.
Our bodies are hard-wired to react to stress in ways that were meant to protect us from predators and other dangers ~ today the threats are different but the physical responses are the same. The first thing that happens in the face of a perceived threat, like a serious problem in your relationship, is that your hypothalamus tells your adrenal glands to surge a release of fight-or-flight hormones including adrenaline and cortisol.
These hormones cause huge changes in the way your body works ~ increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, increased blood sugars, enhances your brain’s ability to use blood sugars, and increases your body’s ability to repair wounds. On the downside ~ your digestive system shuts down, your reproductive system shuts down, your growth processes shut down, and your immune system mostly shuts down.
It’s actually much, much worse than that, all these fight-or-flight hormones also attack something called Telomeres, which are protective casings at the ends of each and every strand of your DNA, in each and every cell of your body. It’s a bit complicated, so if you really want to know about this you will need to do your own research. But, the practical upshot of damage to the telomeres at the ends of your DNA is very bad indeed; cancers, all kinds of other nasty diseases, ill health, early death.
The thing is, for some people, the distress never goes away, so their body is in fight-or-flight mode all the fucking time, and this will make you very ill, (I was), and then it will kill you. You will suffer from;
- Digestive problems like ulcers
- Severe headaches
- Severe nosebleeds
- Heart and circulatory diseases
- Cognitive impairment and dysfunction
- Liver, kidney, and pancreatic diseases
- Mental illness
The medical profession are not good at diagnosing and treating stress, mostly because they’re not interested. They will be good at treating your heart problems, (for example), but not good at helping you with the real issue, which is your constant Distress.
Some say that they never worry about what could happen. And that they’ve never done anything wrong so why should they ever get stressed? All I know is that some people are so used to being distressed, that they think it’s normal.
an extreme reaction to stress
A calm mind and good health are life’s greatest blessings.
As a matter of fact, I have recently been shown that I cannot have good health if I do not have a calm mind, and that stress is the root cause of many, (if not most), illnesses. But, not all stress is bad – for example the stress we put our bodies under when we exercise is good for us. It’s bad stress from work, money worries, relationship problems and the like that we need to avoid, because this distresses us in body, mind, and spirit. Scientists and doctors know that severe distress can cause physical illnesses up to and including cancer.
There are a number of fairly simple tools we can use to help us cope with distress, help us feel better, help keep us fitter in body, mind, and spirit – ultimately live a longer, healthier, and happier life. For me, these tools include;
- Good Nutrition. A balanced diet of organic natural foods, without overeating or crash dieting, or using ‘fashionable’ diet regimes.
- Taking the right Supplements, especially vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, Folate, and Zinc.
- Fresh air and exercise, walking 10,000 plus steps a day and using weights.
- Rest and good sleep, which for most of us equates to 7 hours of quality sleep per night.
- Meditation and Relaxation, reading motivational books, listening to empowering speakers.
- Avoiding too much TV, social media, or computer gaming – especially late at night.
It’s also important to keep mentally active doing calming things which are not related at all to work or anything else which distresses you. Perhaps, try reading the classics out aloud.
In addition, in the past I’ve drank too much booze, and that distresses the body terribly, but then so does smoking and taking any drugs whatsoever. So, if you are a drinker, smoker, or addict, then you have to lose those bad habits, or die earlier and in poorer health than you should.
If you want a longer, healthier, and better life, then make some common-sense changes to what you do, and avoid creating distress of your body, mind, and spirit.
Some say that having a purpose in life helps to keep you younger and healthier. And, that having a programme of physical, mental, and spiritual health is an essential part of enjoying a good life. All I know is that I’d rather live longer and healthier than die younger and in poor health.
enjoy the dawn and the sunset of the day