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Suggest good statements for daily focusing


Amphibian220

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I would like to ask the community members to suggest the best thought patterns or statements that you have found for focusing on the important things and not going into denial.

I can give an example:

I will not log on to social media for diverting my attention away from work, I will read a book instead.

I will do much more quality work and be healthier because I live without online distractions

If somebody repeatedly disrupts my work, I will write down a plan for speaking to them and expressing my complaint.

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I don’t have an exact affirmation like that, but I’ve been trying to get in the habit of “naming” an impulse or emotion using a modified version of the ABC method of CBT.
 

A recent example from my abstinence from listening to podcasts:

Activating event: “I am alone at home and it is incredibly quiet.”

Belief: “I feel like I cannot stand the silence or to be alone with my thoughts. I feel a physical uncomfortableness in my stomach.”

(Projected) Consequence: “I will want to listen to a podcast to hear a voice in the background and drown out this feeling of loneliness.”

Instead, I will… put on some jazz after spending a few minutes in the silence, to acclimate to it.

In this case I’m using the C step to project what I would normally want to do and then in that moment choose something else. I think it helps a lot. It stops you long enough to change your beliefs/actions in the moment.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/8/2023 at 2:07 AM, FDRx7 said:

I don’t have an exact affirmation like that, but I’ve been trying to get in the habit of “naming” an impulse or emotion using a modified version of the ABC method of CBT.
 

A recent example from my abstinence from listening to podcasts:

Activating event: “I am alone at home and it is incredibly quiet.”

Belief: “I feel like I cannot stand the silence or to be alone with my thoughts. I feel a physical uncomfortableness in my stomach.”

(Projected) Consequence: “I will want to listen to a podcast to hear a voice in the background and drown out this feeling of loneliness.”

Instead, I will… put on some jazz after spending a few minutes in the silence, to acclimate to it.

In this case I’m using the C step to project what I would normally want to do and then in that moment choose something else. I think it helps a lot. It stops you long enough to change your beliefs/actions in the moment.

If you are putting jazz music in this case isn't it essentially the same response as putting on a podcast?

what would be the podcast, something useful for you or mostly irrelevant to you? 

Wouldn’t loneliness be solved by inviting close family or a trusted neighbour for a cup of tea or joining a sport group?

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18 hours ago, Amphibian220 said:

If you are putting jazz music in this case isn't it essentially the same response as putting on a podcast?

No, they are actually quite different. With wordless music like jazz, it can exist in the background and be enjoyed but not keep me from thinking my own thoughts or addressing feelings/issues I may be avoiding. On the other hand, a podcast has absolutely served that purpose way too many times for me. I've found my entire worldview shifted somewhat when I stopped listening to podcasts. I was no longer just consuming information at a fast pace without much chance to process or challenge. There was more of a feeling of being told what to think, but I didn't realize it. With a book, you can stop, think, process, and challenge much easier.

My attention has significantly improved as well. Processing music is much different than processing a conversation. When listening to a podcast, your brain is working hard to concentrate, process the words, extract information... and if you are multitasking, it will fatigue you. I couldn't figure out why my brain felt tired all the time until I cut them out. This does not happen to me with jazz, classical, etc. I listen to other music too but often dedicated listening sessions or when exercising.

Maybe the only other way I can describe it is, think of listening to jazz for four hours versus your friend talking to you for the same amount of time with no breaks or places for you to interject. That would be exhausting, right? Yet somehow we subject ourselves to that (plus ad reads...) quite easily with podcasts.

18 hours ago, Amphibian220 said:

what would be the podcast, something useful for you or mostly irrelevant to you?

Could be either one. It's only purpose would have been to fill the silence with a voice, to imitate someone being in the house. I think it mostly came from missing my wife when she was out and wanted to feel like she's home (usually this would happen when she worked nights). However, as I've outlined in my journal, it also stemmed from using someone else's voice to fill in the silence so that I didn't need to confront uncomfortable thoughts. With music, I can still confront those things while also not having dead silence all the time in the house (though I'm trying to work in silence as well, just to be comfortable with that).

I've found now that most podcasts, even "educational" ones are relatively superficial and do not provide me with the same amount of information I would get from reading something on the same topic. I don't think I can tell you off the top of my head a single instance where I learned something in a podcast and still remember to action that item today. Reading, on the other hand, I have numerous examples; books have completely restructured parts of my life. I just find nowadays that podcasts have diminishing returns for the time invested. The barrier to entry is low, the market saturation high.

I'm not telling other people to stop listening to podcasts, and there are some genuinely entertaining ones. I'm just expressing what I've found to be true for me, especially during the course of my journey.

 

18 hours ago, Amphibian220 said:

Wouldn’t loneliness be solved by inviting close family or a trusted neighbour for a cup of tea or joining a sport group?

Due to the current temporary circumstances of our life, I live at least an hour from the closest friends. I have a good neighbor, but the way we hang out is more when we work on cars or do repairs together. I can call family and friends, and sometimes I do, but I think the principle I was going for with this endeavor to stop listening to podcasts is learning to be comfortable by myself. I have people and friends that are willing to hang and talk, but not everything is immediate or convenient. The healthiest thing for me to do is learn how to thrive both when I am with people and when I find myself alone. The latter is inevitable and it's important to learn to be self-reliant and not expect others to always entertain me when I feel by myself, though there is certainly a place for that too.

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@FDRx7

Good points. I consider these moments as a good time to better plan  my goals and track my progress.

Many times the looming relapse was left unchecked because I had failed to see it coming. Whatever it was, it had always to do with absent mindedness and refusing to interact with the world. I think that one of the best description of gamer’s mindset is absenteeism. There is a good job, but instead of targeting it in the manner of a hunter, a gamer will make a half hearted attempt and after failing compensate by dreaming about or playing games. This is the issue. You have to strive for good faith effort and get complete rewards in return. You won’t need gaming or internet bandaid in that case.

With better planning and awareness I can better foresee what requires urgent attention.

I used to be an aspiring athlete (soccer) and because the awareness and pathways to the goal were so good, it unlocked a lot of energy and interest in all other areas like friends, education and family.

Edited by Amphibian220
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  • 1 month later...

Would love to join the conversation!

 

"What would impress my current/past/future self?"

"What would my yesterday self say about this challenge?"

"I may never get another opportunity to try [whatever I am doing] again. How would I act if this is the last time?"

"Am I doing this for myself? If not, what's in my control to make this action matter?"

 

I also have a stickynote list of "small victories"- moments of being admired, by others or myself- receiving applause at a performance, someone complimenting me, acing a serve in volleyball... Anytime I feel unfocused/distracted, I go through that list and try to remember every moment as vividly as possible, until I feel like that person again. 

Edited by Pochatok
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