I haven’t seen many of these on any blog sites, so I decided to make my own post about this subject and what helps me get started on things I need to do.
1.Start off tiny. If you need your bedroom clean, start by picking up a piece of crumpled paper off of the floor. If you need to read a book, just read a paragraph or even two sentences.
2.Promise yourself x minutes to do this. Time has a way with us, especially the time-conscious ones like myself. If you don’t give yourself a guideline to when you should stop, you’ll feel discouraged to start because you’ll never know when it will end. If you give yourself fifteen minutes (or even five)—not a daunting amount of time—to, say, study, it will look more appealing to you. But remember: Do nothing but that. You can’t do anything else. Sometimes you’ll even go further than that fifteen minutes because, by then, your mind will be locked into that task. Don’t promise yourself you will get locked down, but promise that it’ll only last a short while.
3.Take your time. With whatever it is, make sure you do it right. You don’t want to quickly read three pages of your textbook only to find out you haven’t absorbed anything at all. Sure, you can say you studied for 5 hours, but was it really studying?
4.Don’t argue with yourself. You know what you should be doing, so why come up with a shit ton of excuses to not do it? We can go on about how capitalist society sucks and how tired we all are. At the end of the day, is it going to get done? With that attitude, I don’t think so.
Summer holidays are the perfect time to prepare for the next year or revise last year’s stuff, so put that time to good use and work! But don’t forget to drink enough and have fun, you’re on holiday after all!
Behar, E., DiMarco, I. D., Hekler, E. B., Mohlman, J., & Staples, A. M. (2009). Current theoretical models of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): Conceptual review and treatment implications. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 23, 1011-1023.
This is so hard for me to believe, for some reason. Why would thinking verbally move faster than thinking through imagery? (I know I should just read the paper. I might actually do that, hah.)
Think of it this way: in your head, describe your bedroom with words. It’s likely you’ll move through each characteristic quickly because you need to get to the next part. Bed, paint, mirror, dresser, whatever. One thing to the next, and so because you are going part-by-part you get less time to devote to each part.
Or, imagine your bedroom as an image. This way you can visually see everything, so you are not jumping from one part to the next. You can sit with each piece (in unison) for longer. You don’t have to think of one part and then the next and so on, but you can see the bed, paint, mirror, dresser, etc. all as one unit.
Does that make any more sense? The main thing is that, with images, it’s easier to spot where the line of thinking starts to get unrealistic, and so the worry slows at that point. In words, it is tougher to see that, and so it keeps going and snowballs.
(Also note that it’s only a hypothesis - the researcher’s name is Borkovec.)
I guess… isn’t the underlying assumption of all of that is that if you were to see the irrationality of it, you would decrease the anxiety? Is that actually the case?
Just that it would decrease the likelihood of it snowballing into an avalanche, as is characteristic of GAD given that the level of worry is pretty remarkable. A client of mine from a little over a year ago who had textbook GAD quoted Anchorman, “Well, that escalated quickly” to describe it (which I greatly appreciated).
But again, this is just an idea, and maybe not one that captures everyone with GAD. The premise is that if individuals with GAD could slow their thoughts a bit before they get to the most catastrophized end-point, there could be at least some reduction in anxiety, or at least some perceived ability to act sooner within the feared timeline rather than feel powerless against the ultimate catastrophized fear.
Before “I feel sick” turns to “I’m going to have to call in sick and then I’ll get fired on the spot and I’ll undoubtedly lose my apartment because I can’t pay the rent and so I’ll have to move back home and my friends won’t want to hang out with a job-less loser and no one will love me,” they can intervene sooner and realize it won’t get to the point of no one loving them (e.g., “if I call work and tell them I am sick, am I really going to lose my job on the spot? Maybe I can explain the situation and offer to come in and see what they say, because the worst case scenario is I go in and they see that I’m actually sick and then they’ll probably just send me home”).