A good friend of mine, probably the most supportive of all, suggested I start writing on my blog concrete things that really help me. Today, I’m going to start with suggesting reading.
In our tv and all things screens, we can get distracted and anxious by all that sensory stimulation. When I tried to numb out problems through binge watching tv or Netflix or whatever a few years ago, I found it made my mental health much worse. It doesn’t give you time to think. It simply gives you time to numb out. I believe making ourselves numb by an excess of too much of anything (mine used to be food and shopping, but I’ll post about that another time) is a huge cause of anxiety.
I’m currently reading a book “how to be sick”. It’s Buddhist inspired and goes into meditation and acceptance and so much that is useful to me as a chronically ill person. Even if you don’t suffer from chronic physical illness, if you are suffering from chronic depression or anxiety or C/PTSD, I recommend it.
There is a prayer or chant or meditative phrase I like that goes something like this that the author talks about:
I will accept the present moment and see it as a friend.
I love the simplicity of it, and it’s so true that if we stay right here and right now, life is generally pretty ok. Perhaps you’ve heard that staying in the present is beneficial from other people or therapists or whomever, I had too. I never embraced it and completely dismissed the power of it. I was convinced nothing would alleviate the pain and suffering I was living from having a traumatic past, but as I have gently reminded myself to stay present and grounded, life has changed. Life can really be ok.
My concrete suggestion today is to read a book that inspires you to live better. I’m going to work on getting a book list up of ones that have been particularly useful to me.
Try it. Five minutes is all I ask and take a moment, or several throughout the day to return to the present and notice if there’s something beautiful surrounding you!