Need advice for how to let things go

Postby BT-7274 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:42 am

To cut to the chase, two things that are wrong with me:
1) I can't enjoy myself doing anything. When I'm around people I'm just irritated and can't wait to be alone, so I don't get any enjoyment out of the interaction with others. I used to, allbeit not much, but it wasn't this bad.
2) I have trouble letting go of small things. For example, my son has a favorite pair of pants to wear that I disapprove of, but he loves them and wants to wear them all the time. When he does, I can't think of anything else than my opinion of how stupid they look. It consumes my entire time with him. That's just one example, there are many others like, for example, people want me to dance but I think it's stupid so I won't participate. Or my nephews want me to play toys with them but I feel stupid doing it so I can't interact with them the ways the kids want me to. Why can't I just find a way to be free-spirited and go with the flow?

Yes, I'm on meds for anxiety and depression and see a psychologist frequently to keep my meds in check.

Anyone know of any advice, or what would be nice is any book recommendations about how to just let go of stupid things in my head and go with the flow?
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#1

Postby Leo Volont » Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:32 am

Good Morning BT

I was getting ready to welcome you to the Forum but noticed that this ‘wasn’t your first time at the Rodeo’. So I poked around with the Menus and found that you had posted in the Depression and Relationships Forums. Yes, I am glad you came to the Anger Management Section because your Irritability, though on the low end of the Anger Scale, can be very troublesome to self and others. Many people choose to live with their Irritability because they consider themselves well within the range of being ‘Normal’ but if they would only ‘work the problem’ they would be able to free themselves from it.

Your post in ‘Relationships’ was very informative. It seems you are being kept quite busy, that, in fact, most of the chores in the house fall within your active domain, and, to clarify things, you are the Husband and Father. I believe you say that ‘If you didn’t do it then it wouldn’t get done’. Yes, but many men would simply isolate away from the rest of the house and ‘hole up’ in their Library, Studio or Workshop; but you have a strong sense of Duty toward your home and family (or you are a bit Obsessive Compulsive. For instance, in my own case, I can easily suppose that many people would think I live like an absolute Pig and if they had to live with me, they would not be able to restrain themselves from picking up after me and then resenting me for it (as I believe my ex-wife could well testify to), but I would consider that their problem, not mine, just as I suppose you Wife might be thinking – that if She doesn’t see a Problem, then why should you? I’d have to actually see your House or talk to your wife in order to get a better Picture of what is going on). Anyway, it seems that you could be overworked, whatever the reasons, to the point where we could expect you to be All Stressed Out.

Now, about your current posting, first, that you can’t seem to enjoy yourself when socializing. Yes, I know the feeling. But I AM an Extrovert and I often very much enjoy going out and Socializing. The times when I find Socializing ‘irritating’ is when I am ‘looking at my watch’. When we think about how busy you must be all the time, I can imagine that you might have a problem with ‘sitting still doing nothing’, or nothing that you consider very ‘useful’. To really be able to enjoy society, you need to be relaxed. In many Cultures people draw the Line between Work and Play by taking a drink. Of course Alcohol is not strictly necessary for relaxing, but it is kind of like a Signal to the rest of the body to release a lot of the muscle tension built up during the day, and a Signal to the Mind that worries can be temporarily put aside (and many people find that they get just as ‘loose’ by ordering one of those Beers that have very low alcohol, so apparently the ‘Signal’ can be more important than the actual Alcohol). If you don’t Drink, then you might decide to dress specially for Society, or just find something or anything as a Signal to your Mind and Body that you are Officially Letting Go. Oh, there is also the Problem people have with being Preoccupied with Themselves. If this describes yourself then you can practice Making Yourself Just Listen Attentively when others are talking. Don’t look at your watch, and don’t think of what you might want to say (often in thinking about what we want to say, we stop listening. I find it a great fault in others, that often when I am in the middle of a Story it will seem to suggest to somebody a Story of their own that they wish to tell, and they will cut me off to tell their much more important Story. Yes, that is rude, but it also meant that they weren’t really listening to me at all but were busy thinking of what they wanted to say). The benefit of really listening to others is that it takes your Mind off your own worries, and more times than can be counted, you will find that these people are able to give you valuable information and insights that you will end up treasuring. That kind of thing makes your Social Time seem ‘valuable’ which also helps to keep you from looking at your watch.

Oh, about being Shy about Dancing. Many Men have this problem. And it is a Huge problem, and mainly for the women in their lives. You see, when a Woman goes out to have Fun often she can’t help but to revert back to being something of a Girl again, and ‘Girls’ LOVE to Dance. Perhaps the BEST Date you can think of to please a Woman is “Dinner and Dancing”. Yes, but you ‘suck’ at Dancing. Well, the Honest God Truth of it is that NOBODY CARES! Even if the room erupts in hysterical laughter with people pointing at you with one hand and holding their sides with the other, you can bet the barn that 5 minutes later you will be the furthest thing from their minds. The Universal Truth that you really need to take to Heart is that ‘People are Preoccupied with Themselves, Not You’. Have you ever had the Archetypical Dream of suddenly being out in Public with no cloths on? For many people this is a recurring dream and they always find it very troubling. But there is always something they fail to notice, and that is that NOBODY CARES. People often wonder what a Dream ‘means’, but most of the time you simply have to just look closely at the details and they explain themselves. We often Worry about what other people Think of us, but the Real Truth is that PEOPLE ARE NOT THINKING ABOUT US AT ALL. That is perhaps the most Liberating Thing a Wannabee Extrovert can realize about people, that as long as you are doing no harm or insulting people, and keep a stupid smile on your face you can do and say about anything and be considered “friendly, cheerful, gregarious”, and will be invited often to parties, especially if you allow others to talk without interrupting them and show your appreciation for them. Oh, and in regards to Dancing, you should review your own appraisal of other clumsy and unskilled men who went out on the dance floor. Even while you can clearly acknowledge to yourself that they are terrible dancers, you must also realize within yourself that it doesn’t at all blend over into what you might believe about them Intellectually or Morally, and that you might even find it ‘cute’ in some funny eccentric way. Well, you could be that Same Guy in other people’s purview, which isn’t bad at all, is it. Also, if you have a room to yourself, you could put on music in headphones and practice moving to music. Once you get the ‘Feel’ of Music you can never dance Totally bad, but, as I said, it doesn’t matter anyway. Your Wife would STILL love to go out Dancing. Oh, and often times the Lady just wants her Husband to get up, as a sort of sign that you he is giving his Permission, then often the Girls run off and dance with each other most of the time (for, as I said, Women turn into Girls again when they dance, and ‘Girls’ like to flock together).

Oh, I just thought of something… in dealing with the more severe cases of Anger that I encounter here at the Forum I often speak at length about Adrenaline. Now, my first thoughts with you were that you did not have an Adrenaline Problem, but then it occurred to me that maybe Adrenaline ‘presents’ differently in your case. For instance, that your sense of Duty, or that kind of Judgmental Attitude Thing you have (note your son’s funny pair of favorite pants that drive you to distraction), may cause the release of enough Adrenaline to effectively keep you WIRED UP all the time. I won’t go into detail, since this is just a Hunch, BUT you could Test this Hypothesis by simply staying aware of your Jaw Muscles. If you notice that you spend much of the time with your Teeth Clenched or your Mouth firmly shut, especially when you FIRST notice a Trigger Event (like walking into the Kitchen and seeing a sink full of dishes, or your son walks into the room with his clown pants), THEN report back to me. This would mean you have an Adrenaline Problem. You could read the Daisyclose Thread for more details right away, but, long story short, all you have to do about Adrenaline is Learn to Instantly Relax your Jaw Muscles whenever they clamp down. This sends a Message to the Adrenal Glands that the ‘Adrenaline Emergency’ was just a cognitive misunderstanding and then the Process immediately shuts down. If you have been Wired Up on Adrenaline this whole time, than this New Awareness may go far toward fixing your problems.

Now, as for Books. Yes, there are books I can recommend. They might also help with your problems in regards to Depression and Anxiety. You see, across the entire spectrum of Psychology they have found that Cognitive Behavioral Methodologies are the most effective Therapies. And once you use the Cognitive Behavioral approach with One Thing, it is relatively easy to apply the same methodologies to everything else. My favorite Anger Management Author is Ronald Potter-Efron. You might look at 3 or his titles: “Letting Go of Anger”, “Angry All the Time”, and “Healing the Angry Brain.”
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#2

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:58 pm

BT-7274 wrote:To cut to the chase, two things that are wrong with me:
1) I can't enjoy myself doing anything.
2) I have trouble letting go of small things.


Incorrect. There is only one thing "wrong" and that is your lack of self-confidence. Your other thread, this thread and your issues with your sons pants, etc. are you simply distracting yourself from the actual, real issue in your life, your lack of self-confidence.

This leads you to not wanting to get into any sort of conflict with your wife, doing all sorts of chores, seeing yourself as a lover rather than a fighter, not liking to dance, getting angry, etc. etc. etc.

All of these issues stem from the one simple truism, you lack self-confidence. This doesn't mean you can't point to some areas of your life where you have strong or high levels of confidence. You might be awesome at XYZ activity, but generally speaking your lack of self-confidence leads to all of these other issues. It leads to anxiety, depression, etc. etc.
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#3

Postby BT-7274 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:10 pm

Woah woah woah. Stop the clock. I'm not discounting everything you said prior (I actually need to re-read and process) but my proverbial ears pricked up when you mentioned "adrenaline". Yes, I notice often that my jaw gets sore a lot for "no reason". And, whenever I'm getting anxious or begin to worry about a situation, especially one I don't like, I often go into another room and, how in the hell do I explain this, squeeze all my muscles in my chest and arms, and my face as well. Like Bruce Banner right before he changes into the Hulk. It's the only thing I have found that helps me deal with things. I've also just realized I do this with even remedial things. Like hand washing and body washing, I clench up my face muscles like I was struggling to lift a heavy weight at the gym or even trying to get the lid off a pickle jar. Could that be adrenaline?

Also to further explain "letting go" in my situation, it's about not getting the trivial things that just happened out of my mind. For instance, I had the mailperson flat-out accuse me of stalking her. It had no basis in truth, as I simply drove by her mail truck while she was parked having lunch, saw that she would soon be delivering mail to my mailbox, so I turned around and drove home and parked in my driveway and walked down to the public mailbox to pick up my mail (mind you, this is something I've done a few times before). I also had the intent of asking her if USPS was hiring. I didn't even get a chance to say anything. She gave me a strange attitude and basically told me to go away. Saw her the next day and she laid into me about how she almost called the police and wanted to have arrested for stalking. I apologized but I don't think she really cared. I think about that encounter to this day. And what I meant by my son's pants is that my wife has been into buying him leggings (female versions of tights). He lives wearing them, but ever since I was at his dance class and I heard another father say something like "is that boy really wearing tights?", that I began to hate those pants, and he has several pairs. When he's dressed with them, all I think about is what my family would say, what others will say, and how he doesn't dress like the other boys his age. The thoughts and worry never leave my head!
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#4

Postby BT-7274 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:42 pm

Hi Richard. You are 100% correct. I do lack self-confidence. I have a strong self-concept, but my esteem is certainly lacking. I know the origins and have tried to discuss this with several therapists, but I've noticed a trend in the ones I have seen - they don't want to talk about my past, only how I can change things for myself in the present and future.

However my past, I feel, is important. I was verbally told by my parents and family that I was, in short, no good. Often my Dad would call me comatose at a young age, because he said that I didn't understand things easily and had to be "woken up" by needing further explanation. I was also told I was stupid more times than I can count. I was also told the things that I was into, that I liked, were a waste of time and stupid. This led to my self-esteem issues which also led me to be picked on a lot in school because I was afraid to stand up for myself. I've never found a solid way to deal with this, and I believe it's why I can't stop thinking about what other people think of me and my hobbies/choices.
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#5

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:05 pm

BT-7274 wrote:However my past, I feel, is important. I was verbally told by my parents and family that I was, in short, no good. Often my Dad would call me comatose at a young age, because he said that I didn't understand things easily and had to be "woken up" by needing further explanation. I was also told I was stupid more times than I can count. I was also told the things that I was into, that I liked, were a waste of time and stupid. This led to my self-esteem issues which also led me to be picked on a lot in school because I was afraid to stand up for myself. I've never found a solid way to deal with this, and I believe it's why I can't stop thinking about what other people think of me and my hobbies/choices.


Okay, great...you talked about your past. What you typed about your past is your personal recollection, your personally held beliefs about what your past was like and how it impacted you. Terrific. Now what?

I'm speculating here, but probably the reason the people you have talked to have been more focused on the present or future, is:

-1- Our memories are rewritten or adjusted each time we recall them. This doesn't mean your past didn't happen, rather it means we tend to have inaccurate memories that change slightly over time. Each time you bring up a negative memory, you are past focused and reinforcing a negative past event, modifying that event and solidifying a belief or rational that I can't do X today, because Y happened in my past.

-2- Focusing on the past wastes time and energy. It is great to acknowledge the past. We can and do learn from the past. I stuck my finger in a light socket! I won't be doing that again. But, now what? Should I relive my negative light socket memory again and again and again, making it to where I won't go near a light socket?

-3- Focusing on the past is a way to avoid discomfort, to avoid change, to avoid the present, to avoid the future. What? But I feel miserable thinking about that day I stuck my finger in the socket! When I think about, I feel stupid, I feel regret and it is something I wouldn't wish on anyone. It really hurt and it was such a negative experience in my life. Yes, but now what? Confront my fear of light sockets!? Hell no! That is even more uncomfortable, there is no way I can possibly get over my fear of light sockets! Don't you know my PAST!?

Now what?

Acknowledge your past, learn from your past, but my friend, the only path you have is forward. You are avoiding the future and using the past as a reason. By reason, I mean it is something that sounds reasonable to you. And why does it sound reasonable? Because the discomfort or fear you experience living in your past is still more comfortable than the anxiety or fear you have of moving forward. The past is behind you, the only thing you must do is ruminate each day. The future is in front of you, that requires action and the thought of needing to act drives anxiety, frustration, fear, and sometimes anger.

For instance, writing down a list of chores and having a conversation with your wife is a future task. It is a task you wish to avoid. So, let's ruminate and focus on my past.
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#6

Postby BT-7274 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:50 am

Richard are you sure you're not a clinical psychologist, because if not you'd make a great one! Your thoughts on how people should look at the past make sense to me. It's a good point; stuff happened, now what do I do now that I recognize it happened. I can make use of that. Thanks!

Now I just need to just work on my inhibitions so people don't think I'm a crab all the time and I'm good to go.
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#7

Postby Leo Volont » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:25 am

Good Morning Mr. BT

I’m glad you got back to me. And, Please, call me Leo. I couldn’t help to notice that you called me nothing at all. Well, I may be overly fussy about the little things, but so are a lot of other people who seem to like the sound of their own Names, and then there is the Thing about calling people by name, that it makes them feel more at ease, like you are one of ‘Us’ and not one of ‘Them’ . And, yes, thanks for taking the time to go over what I wrote… it does take a number of hours to write and then edit Posts of that nature and so I am grateful that they are not largely dismissed.
Yes, you DO have a Big Adrenaline issue. Not only are your Jaw Muscles chronically sore because of repeated Adrenaline Rushes, but the tension is apparently chronic throughout your entire body. So, yes, the Advice I gave about simply Relaxing your Jaw Muscles every time you feel the First Reflex of your Jaw Muscles clamping down, well, you really have to take that advice to heart. And in your case it may be more difficult than for most because you seem to be Always ‘reflexing’ or ‘wired up’ with Adrenaline. So I would suggest that you need to be Become Aware when you first wake up in the morning and check the Condition of your Jaw Muscles. First thing in the morning your jaws should be as loose as they ever could be, unless you also have Nightmares that trigger Adrenaline Rushes. If your Jaw Muscles are relaxed in the morning, then you have to Protect That Status Quo. If Anything makes you Tighten Up, you must immediately Relax the Reflex. Time is crucial in this. I have learned to Relax an Adrenaline Jaw Reflex in just milliseconds after they occur (my four very naughty kitty cats help me practice a lot). Oh, and you will be surprised at how many various situations can trigger an Adrenaline Reflex, besides the expected Dangerous or Threatening ones. One Member wrote back to say that even ‘affectionate acts’ trigger her jaw tightening. Then I realized that not only do my jaws tighten up when one of my cats act up and misbehave, but also when I go to pick one up for Quality Time. Apparently the way Humans evolved was to be Cautious and Alert about ANY close encounter with either other Human Beings or Beasts. But, again, Nature has given us the Built-In Shut Off Valve for Adrenaline – simply Relax the Reflex the Instant it is noticed. To get a perhaps more detailed explanation about Adrenaline, you could read my posts to Daisyclose in her threat “How to stop inside anger pouring out on to those you love??” – it’s not very far down on the List.

I found your Story about the Mail Carrier interesting. It reminds me of a book I read a while back, still available in Kindle form: “Difficult Personalities It’s Not You; It’s Them” by William Donahue. The book reminds us that we are not the only crazy people out there. One thing I especially liked about the book was that it was organized into sections where it dealt with Disorder after Disorder, and each section would begin with a little informal Quiz you could take to see where you yourself were on the Scale of that Disorder. It was reassuring for myself because I was not very ‘far up the ladder’ on any of the Disorders, and was also reassured that many of the Disorders were actually a kind of Excess of Virtue (Obsession Compulsion is Responsible Reliability run amuck, and Narcissism is Self Esteem taken way over the top). So oftentimes ‘a little bit of a bad thing’ is actually good for us, and of course we all already know there can be ‘too much of a good thing’. So in regards to that Postal Carrier, well, apparently she saw herself as ONLY a Woman, and failed to realize that other people would see her as the Mail Person. Yes, I have had Crazy People go off on me too, and, yes, it is natural to think about what we ‘must have done’ to provoke such outbursts, but you need to be fair to yourself and ask about whether you were within the normal range of Acceptable Social Behaviors, and if you were, you need to let yourself off the hook… well, mostly. After years with Anger Management I have learned to refine my Social Manners. I smile to reassure people. I am always ‘excusing me’ and giving slight submissive bows and nods of the head, and I make eye contact but break away if it seems to make anybody feel uncomfortable, and I always TIME my encounter with Strangers, realizing that any conversation without some distinct purpose, will quickly make a Stranger nervous, and so if the Stranger does not ‘pick up the thread’, then in less than 20 seconds, I’ll ‘tip my hat’, say “Well, have a nice Day”, turn and go and won’t look back. Anybody who was on the edge of feeling ‘threatened’ would be put at ease by my ‘splitting’ without waiting for a hint. I also realize that many women feel very vulnerable around men. I can say I know how they feel because I had become an Old Man and a while back (before my Operation) I was almost completely crippled by Osteoarthritis of my Hip Joints and so I could not Run or Fight like back in my Glory Days. It made me feel vulnerable when I would be approached by ‘Men’ whose motives I felt may have been suspicious, as it would have been easy enough to ‘toss me’ for my wallet and car keys in just seconds. And Women generally have More to worry about. So with strange women I take the precaution of sounding at least a tad ‘Gay’, you know, like their hair stylist or their interior decorator. Indeed, not ALL people who Sound Gay professionally are Gay. For instance it would be silly for a Salesman in the Ladies ‘Apparel section of a Department Store NOT to sound Gay, as it instantly deals with the tacit question of “what the heck is a man doing in the Ladies’ department?” It also shows that the Man is dedicated enough to his Job to adopt a Fitting Persona for it – you know, if you can’t BE competent then at least you should ACT competent. So, yes, while we must use these Encounters with the Crazies to refine our Social Personas, still, as long as we are solidly within the Accepted Social Behavior Zone, we should not allow ourselves to be too troubled by it. Don’t deal with such things Emotionally but Intellectually. For instance, I no longer ask myself “What did I do Wrong?” but “Where did THAT come from?” One response is Emotional and Personal, and the other is Intellectual and Curious.

Oh, back to the Pants… which aren’t really ‘pants’ are they? I understand your concern, but not the priority or the fixation you have about it. After I wrote to you yesterday, it occurred to me that what I said about People Not Caring about anybody but themselves, that while that is Generally True, it is not Universally True. The biggest ‘For Example’ there is with Adolescents. Adolescents DEMAND Strict Conformity within their Peer Groups. They Criticize each other’s Hair, Cloths, Shoes, the Words and Expressions they use – Everything! It is as though Adolescents form some IDEAL IMAGE of the Perfect Teenager to which they must all Conform to – down to the most minute details. This is what makes High School such a Pain for so many young people and why Adults will often counsel troubled High School Students with advise that they only have to get through the next couple of years and they will find that their Peers will grow out of such Adolescent Behavior. College is Infinitely different from High School simply because of the space of a year or two. Even in High School it can be seen that Seniors are far less insane than Sophomores. But this brings us to yourself. Now we have you, an adult man who is fixating on some Perfect Expected Image that your Son must Conform to. Wow! Shouldn’t you be beyond that? Oh, and I have More Bad News for you perhaps. In regards to your son and the choices he makes you should begin to consider giving him some latitude, for the reason that he might be more comfortable in borderline feminine attire. You know people in the LGBT Community come from Somewhere and the Parents really have no reason to feel ashamed. And there is a Bright Side. I believe that People who ‘Cross Identify’ in regards to their born gender or sexual preferences are actually MORE successful in our Greater Society, though often times they are driven out of their Small Towns which may stifle them with their generally provincial attitudes about such things. So, no matter HOW our children turn out in that regards, there is Always Good News as long as that is what we are Looking For.

Well, that seems to be enough for today. So, BT, let me know what you think. And don’t forget to work on that Adrenaline.
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#8

Postby laureat » Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:47 am

I believe Its about priorities :

When you have no "important" things to think about you will worry about " small " things

When you start to worry about small things you make them important to oneself

And when you make them important to oneself you obsess with that and try to do the best with that: you fight to do the best, even if its your sons pants

And now you think from nowhere you just worring about the pants: well it didnt really came from nowhere, it is your way of thinking lack of priorities that have lead you nowhere and obsessing with nothing/small things

but another good point has been made : that lack of confidence can also lead to extreme defensive mode

When someone is not confident with himself : and so he always tries to conpensate about that on other ways: sometimes even weird ways

I have been the person with no confidence who try to impress the other with paying the drinks most of the time: the problem is that you never feel good enough and you try to compensate about it: now im a little better because i paid the drinks

But another thing to think about is the skills to manage obsession: when you learn how to ignore , how to surrender on something , and quit foghting about it

And the expectations you have from onself and the others have to be reasonable: like you cannot expect the others to dress how you like it because they dont have your brain and your knowledge and your creativity: they have their own ways their own way of thinking their own priorities and so: but you can make a proposition of what you think it looks good and thats all about it: you dont obsess with it


How to let things go?

You simply quit fighting it

You find something else to do
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#9

Postby Leo Volont » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:05 pm

Hi Everybody,

Yes, it might look like BT has insufficient confidence, but is that a Cause or a Symptom? Let’s look at the Behaviors that he does have Confidence in – while many men would lay back and let the none ‘life and death’ household chores go undone, BT feels it essential to do them “or they won’t get done”. Also, BT can be very judgmental. We can see this in regards to his Son’s unisex pants of which he strongly disapproves. So he is not afraid to assert himself with Confidence. This seems to point to his problem being one rather of Anxiety. Then, in his response to me regarding Adrenaline, we find that he has a high degree of Muscle Tension which is consistent to an overdriven Adrenal System. I have heard that Adrenaline tends to cut out the Higher Cognitive Functions of the Brain and so ‘thinking’ becomes a function of the Emotions – the Anxious Safety-Survival Emotions mostly. Human Beings are Social Animals and cannot survive on their own, at least not in Evolutionary Terms, and so estrangement from the Social Group could be just as fatal as being eaten by a Sabretooth Tiger, and we can also consider that Higher Status in Social Groups might also strongly correlation to Survivability. So I would suppose that BT’s Mind is continually racing with Social Anxieties – “What will the Social Group think of my Sloppy House?” “What will the Social Group think of my Undignified Dancing?” “What will the Social Group think of how I raised my Gender Unspecific Son?” I do not believe that these are not his Thoughts of Choice. These are thoughts where his Adrenaline relegates him. Effectively his Higher Cognitive Centers are being cut off. So I believe we should concentrate on getting this Guy to relax. As I have been Posting a lot lately, I believe that Adrenaline Releases can be monitored and controlled if one learns how to do it. I think that once BT gets a handle on his Adrenaline, then the rest will fall in line of its own. Maybe.
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