Daily Archives: 14/08/2015

Friday Sober Jukebox – Just an illusion

So riffing off of last week’s track it’s another shot of Imagination!  Why this track?  Because in the last week I’ve been flirting with my old life again.

Illusion-1-GlamourousWe moved house and had dinner in the local pub across the road on the first night.  We had AF fizz to celebrate handing in the keys to our old place last Friday and then we had dinner in the pub AGAIN – my suggestion.  I’d not been running all week what with moving and kids summer holidays, meditation had fallen by the wayside and my mind was squirrely.  Wolfie had woken from his slumber, triggered by all the chaos and change and stress and was whispering in my ear – and for the first time in a long time I was listening.  I could feel myself slipping ……..

Chocolate and an early night and I came to my senses.  Went out for a run and this tune popped into my head.  In the warm light of the sunny Saturday morning run I could see what was happening and that I was kidding myself – that it was all just an illusion and I’d almost been suckered.  Almost.  The lesson I learned is that even at almost 2 years sober life can unsettle you enough to think that drinking might once more be a good idea – even if only for a fleeting second a few days in a row.  The door to the idea opens again and you have to be really vigilant to your own sh*tty thinking.  No harm done but even so – phew!

PS If you want a cold bucket of water pouring over you tonight about drinking and its consequences then I recommend you watch this:

Every year more than 250 people die on Britain’s roads as a result of drink driving. In 2014, North Yorkshire Police arrested up to a thousand drivers for being above the legal alcohol limit, and with some of the highest rates of drink driving in the country, all too often North Yorkshire’s traffic officers are faced with the tragic consequences of motorists driving under the influence.

 

Beliefs about stress

So I just watched a superb TED talk given by Kelly McGonigal who I’ve watched as part of Tami Simon’s Sounds True Self-Acceptance Project.  This talk was filmed two years ago in June 2013 and has had over 8 million views!!

the upside of stress

This is the synopsis on the TED talks website:

Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.

She uses 3 key new research studies to discuss the influence and power of our beliefs about stress, how caring can create resilience through the heart protective hormone oxytocin and how helping others is a protective factor.

It is well worth your time seeing as so many of us drank to relieve stress and were taught, and continue to be, that drinking is a stress relieving behaviour.  It highlights the power of how what you think and how you act can change your stress response.  And how you don’t have to handle them alone 🙂

She argues that chasing meaning is better for your health than trying to avoid discomfort and that we can trust ourselves to handle the stress that follows.  This really resonated for me as I’ve been talking to someone in my personal life who is going through a stressful time and is drinking heavily to manage it.  They know that this isn’t helpful, although understandable, and know that stopping, or cutting down at least, would help more but they are stuck in that place.  I’m going to forward them this talk and hope that by knowing that they have more control over their stress response through their beliefs than they think that they may be emboldened to act.  Maybe you’re reading this and thinking you can’t stop as you need drink to manage stress?  This TED talk tells you different 🙂