Popular Posts

Search This Blog

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Calm Your Mind Without Drugs

Question: I always feel like a thousand things are running through my mind. I have anxiety severe and have for many years, I have suffered addiction and overcame it twice! I have chronic pain due to lumbar problems, although I can handle most of the pain with nsaids to avoid relapse, I feel a constant need to remove myself from the real world to avoid my problems, I live in VA and know that pot is illegal, although I feel like it would slow me down and bring back my happiness. When I was in high school I had the same feelings and experimented with it and all my previous issues was gone. Now they have returned, and I need help!

Answer: Many people "self-medicate" in an attempt to calm themselves down or in an attempt to "make" their feelings and emotions go away. It is those of us who are unable to self-sooth, those of us who did not learn the art of calming our minds, those of us who have little to no tolerance for uneasiness who often turn to substances to relieve our perceived pain.  It takes much diligence and work to change your thought process. You have the insight, you know your mind is racing with thousands of "worries" and "what ifs."

It is here where I must insert my belief that it is a parent's duty and obligation to teach their children self-soothing and how to calm the mind. If you continuously sooth your child and "rescue" your child...your child may end up like this young man who presents our question today.

And so it is, I recommend cognitive behavioral therapy. You can change your thought process...and when you change your thought process...your feelings will change...and when your feelings change...your behaviors will change.  Find a therapist who specializes in this type of therapy. You will be successful, but you must work at it! It is far easier to smoke a joint and escape the worry for a few hours, than to complete a thought diary and analyze the links between how your negative thoughts create your anxiety. You must train for the marathon of life, there are no short cuts or quick fixes.

Consider reading the book, Buddha's Brain by Rick Hanson. It will guide you through mental practices that may change your reality and bring you peace and wisdom.  Here is a quote from the book that applies to your very situation:
"Only we humans worry about the future, regret the past, and blame ourselves for the present. We get frustrated when we can't have what we want, and disappointed when what we like ends. We suffer that we suffer. We get upset about being in pain, angry about dying, sad about waking up sad yet another day. This kind of suffering-which encompasses most of our unhappiness and dissatisfaction-is constructed by the brain. It is made up. Which is ironic, poignant-and supremely hopeful.   For if the brain is the cause of suffering, it can also be its cure."