Category Archives: Uncategorized

How To Get To Sleep When Your Mind Won’t Stop Racing

There are two major components to a good night’s sleep: being able to actually fall asleep, and sleep quality. If you don’t have both, you’re boned, and the detrimental effects can be surprisingly wide-ranging. Did you know that your sleep quality and quantity affect your smarts, your mood, and your weight?

It kind of sucks, because shitty sleep is its own special kind of torture. Tossing and turning, struggling to sleep, waking up with your heart racing… that’s just the worst. It’s a little cruel that it affects everything else about your life while it’s at it.

It will probably come as no surprise that stress plays a large part in sleep quality and duration. With sleep-deprivation causing stress and stress causing sleep-deprivation, it can sometimes seem difficult to make headway in either area. It’s a GD conspiracy. ... continue reading.

Don’t Listen to Your Body

“Your body will tell you what it needs!” “Pain is your body’s way of communicating with you… listen to your pain!” “Listen to the body’s wisdom when you’re sick! Lay around like a sack of crap and eat macaroni and cheese!”

Okay look, I’ll agree that the body makes some valid arguments every now and then.

  • That huge amount of pain when you step on a nail and then step on another nail when you’re trying to get away from the first nail, and then you fall into a thorn bush? Listen to that pain. Maybe take a few days off.
  • The fatigue, nausea, and diarrhea when you have intestinal parasites? Your body knows what it’s talking about. Shine on, you crazy diamond.
  • Got the flu? That shit’s dangerous, and all the symptoms that your body’s throwing at you are right on. Feel free to blunt them with Theraflu or whatever, but this is one of the few cases of your body not overreacting.

Otherwise? Your body tends to be full of shit, some parts more than others. While your body should be a valued member of your healthcare team, and you should give its opinions due consideration, sometimes it’s tripping balls and needs to be quietly shuffled off to another room where it can spout its conspiracy theories in peace.

You've been reading those blogs again, haven't you?
Source: Will, via flickr, CC BY 2.0

What could I possibly be talking about? When is the body, in its infinite wisdom, ever wrong? So glad you asked. ... continue reading.

WTF is Meditation?

I mean, you know what it is, and that it’s kind of a big deal… but why is it a big deal? What do you do exactly? And why won’t your crazy aunt shut up about it?

Meditation is the art of doing nothing, and doing it effortlessly. There’s some other stuff you can add on, like using it to focus on a task, or visualizing success, or reconnecting with your inner child (who, by the way, is tired of your shit), but those are all meditation-related. The act of meditating is a lot like floating in a pool, or plummeting from a cliff. If you’re doing it right, you’re not doing anything at all.

Like a boss
Credit: Gianni Cumbo on Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Why on Earth would I want to do that?

I’m glad I asked. Research over the last 50 years has shown, over and over again, that meditating regularly has a ton of benefits. It’s great for mood disorders (depression) and anxiety disorders of all stripes (generalized anxiety, OCD, anorexia, etc), as well as helping with a number of stress-related diseases. Got high blood pressure? Meditate. Insomnia? Meditate. Headaches? Meditate, damn you. ... continue reading.

Catastrophizing: How To Worry About Nothing

Let’s talk about catastrophe. As I sit here in my bathrobe, whiling away a morning off before a meeting, I’ve already had at least 2 moments of utter shocking horror.

One: I realized that I committed to going somewhere at a time when I already have to be somewhere else. That is simply too many places for any given interval. Needless to say, I panicked, despaired, considered the possible implications for my job and livelihood, and then shoved it away to deal with later. I’ll need to fix it when I get to work later, but that doesn’t stop it from popping up over and over again in the interim, like a ghost haunting my happiness. Thanks, I had been feeling good for a few minutes, I needed a fresh wash of adrenaline.

Two: I briefly considered working on my research project for my psych MA. At this point, it is my boogieman, the half-glimpsed horror seen just as you jolt awake in a cold sweat. It is my hemorrhoid. ... continue reading.