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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Breathing is important

If you want the short version of everything I have founds works for dismantling social anxiety, here you go:

1. Observe yourself doing things, so you can note your problems.
2. Experiment with different techniques, and observe how these affect your problems.

Approaching it like this by myself has been helpful.

 

I’m  working on a lot of stuff personally with anxiety. My personal experience with dismantling anxiety is that progress is intermittently interrupted by sliding back for awhile. I think it’s part of the process. It’s also different to slide back, because I observe it happening with new knowledge and skills. I have a better idea that I’m not destined to experience it forever – so the anxiety is blunted a little bit. Almost always, I find the solution is to get something new. A new technique, or a new perspective. Sometimes pulling up old things I’d tried before is just what’s needed to pull me out of it.

My current trick comes from a voice exercise that is meant to loosen the throat muscles up. Basically, put your tongue in an ‘n’ position (as if you were saying ‘nun.’). Start with a note, slide up to a higher note, then slide back down again. The reasoning I was given for this exercise is that the tongue controls the same muscles that constrict the throat. I don’t know how accurate this is – but anything that has to do with loosening throat muscles is of interest to me.

Two of the most constant symptoms of my anxiety are tightened neck/throat muscles, and a tightened chest. When it’s really bad, it’s like I’m constantly holding my breath. This leads to injuries if I don’t keep it in check, and just general pain. (In my case, my shoulders, neck, chest, and knees suffer. I also get bad TMJ.) So any new idea I can find that will help me breathe is worth trying.

So far, the exercise itself isn’t fixing anything for me. I’m just too good at keeping everything tense to let a little thing like therapeutic exercises stop me. There has been a benefit, though – I am thinking more and more about whether my mouth is tense. Am I clenching my jaw? Am I holding my breath like I’m a small critter who needs to be quiet to avoid being eaten? I intend to keep doing these exercises daily, because I’m hopeful the increased mindfulness will eventually solve this problem for me.

 

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

So about that deadline…

I’m not sure if I will be keeping my end of year deadline. I may be moving to a two year deadline instead. This week I’ll be settling into new workshop space, making schedules and plans. So I intend to make a decision about it by Friday.

The end of last year and the beginning of this one has been a time of evaluation for me. I experienced a lot of changes, lots of stress. Lots of pushes to figure out what’s really important to me.

I decided that, even though I’ve been cutting extraneous projects out of my life, I still haven’t found focus. So I’ve decided that what I really need to do is pick one thing that is my ultimate focus – the thing that I would talk about if someone asked me, “What do you do?” And then keep one other thing as a side project. There is room for other hobbies, but no more projects than that.

Unfortunately, this book is not my main project. Puppetry, I have discovered, is a natural venue for me to communicate. While there are other things I am good at and enjoy, this is as close as I can imagine to a calling for me. To actually get what I want to get out of it, though, I need to get a lot more rigorous about practice and filming.

Very shortly, I will start writing posts about what I’ve got done so far, and also things that you might want to try out for yourself. I’m also hoping to gather up a list of resources, and spruce this site up.

 

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2015 in Uncategorized