where does your mind go?

i’m reading an interesting book that my friend annie recommended called change your brain change your life. it talks about brain function and how it can affect your thought patterns, your personality and of course, your life.  it’s fascinating!  one of the little nuggets of self-awareness i’ve taken with it is a realization that my first reaction to things is often a worst-case scenario one. for instance- a man in a truck driving slowly down the street- HE’S TRYING TO ABDUCT ME!  a mysterious lump or pain anywhere in my body- IT’S CANCER, I’M DYING!  a tiny rumble of an earthquake- THE BIG ONE, ANY SECOND NOW! it seems funny, now that i’m writing it, but it’s not funny as it’s happening. my body, mind and spirit all immediately react with panic. just a little overdramatic, at best. 

and currently, of course, we’re loading up on all the necessary grown-up insurance plans…life, disability, homeowners,etc.  that really gets my worst case scenario juices flowing!  i’m an insurance agent’s DREAM! i’ve already listed the top twenty five catastrophes that could happen to us and asked for an insane amount of insurance before she’s even started in on her sales pitch. ahhhhhhhhhh!

what the book discusses regarding this, which is helpful for me to know, is that my brain might be sort of wired for this- my formative years were unstable and there’s certainly reason my mind might immediately start preparing for trauma with even the slightest hint of it.  but more importantly- there are ways to counteract it (and awareness is most certainly step one).  this book recommends meditations, an activity called “squashing the ANTS” (automatic negative thoughts), and as a last resort: medications.  at the very least i’m now aware of this tendency and that it’s important for me to challenge these little thoughts that pop up into my head before i go down the mental path of DOOM AND GLOOM!

anyway, all of that to get to the fact that i think you might really enjoy the book. i think most anyone could pull something out of it that might help them!  

lastly can we talk about that gorgeous girl and those irish wolfhounds?  i just about fell off my chair when i saw that photo, it’s so beautiful.  and this is what it reminds me of: “Old age means realizing you will never own all the dogs you wanted to.” -Joe Gores

have a fantastic weekend my friends! xx sarah

photo: truls bakken via a well traveled woman

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Reader Comments

  1. Notes from the Pack|

    I came to this post because of the gorgeous dogs, but found you writing about the very thing that's been on my mind a lot lately – isn't it funny how the Internet can take us down these rabbit holes? Thank you for an interesting read – I will be picking up a copy of 'Change Your Brain Change Your Life' – and checking back here often for more great dog photos. (Bean is a charmer.)

    Reply
  2. Tracy|

    I call this phenomenon "disaster head" and just recently wrote about it on my blog too: http://bit.ly/O9x0Qa. I'm so glad I'm not alone…although, I'd prefer that no one suffer the same. It's a goal of mine to flip a switch on this scourge, so many thanks for suggesting this book! And, for the incredible photo.

    Reply
  3. thefolia|

    Thanks another summer read for me along with Clean. My children are learning how to be mindful in school. They listen to a singing bowl, meditate and then draw or write in their journal. I can't wait to read this and incorporate it into our nest.

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  4. sarah yates|

    thanks everyone! Atracy- your post is awesome, and our thought process is exactly the same!
    @thefolia- Clean is on my list too! and that's amazing that your kids are learning that in school- the times they are a changing! so good.

    Reply
  5. anne|

    It sounds like this is the book for me! I recently started a intensive program for eating disorder recovery, and we talk all about this stuff. Mindfulness is one of the big ones! And it's so interesting to learn that my tendency to be anxious is something that was modeled to me, and was also a coping skill I developed because I had an unstable childhood. So interesting! Thanks for the suggestion.

    Reply
  6. sarah yates|

    it's a good one, and definitely an eye opener! best of luck to you anne! xo

    Reply
  7. Erin|

    That quote really struck a chord with me – thank you for sharing! I'll be checking out that book too!

    Enjoy your weekend =)

    Reply
  8. Jennifer|

    I love those dogs! We have a Golden Retriever/Giant Schnauzer mix that people sometimes mistake for a Wolfhound, although he is much smaller. Thank you for your positive message and I should look into that book!

    Reply