After several days of fluctuating moods and anxiety, I thought I would write a blog called “What Is Right and What Is Wrong.” But as soon as I started thinking of things that are “right” about me at this moment, they were all “nots.” Things like:
- I am not huddled in bed all day.
- I am not living in filth.
- I am not crippled by anxiety.
As you see, my mind immediately picked “right” things that were negative wrongs.
I can’t say:
- I have a positive outlook all day.
- My home is clean.
- I am free of anxiety.
Instead, the initial “rights” all have a “wrong” associated with them:
- I’m not huddled in bed all day, but my moods are switching frequently between depressed and decent.
- I’m not living in filth, but my house is messy and badly needs a thorough cleaning.
- I’m not crippled by anxiety, but I’m definitely having problems with it.
It’s really easy to think of “wrongs”:
- I drink way too much Frappuccino, often to the exclusion of any solid food all day.
- I smoke WAY too much (up to 3 packs a day).
- I am 70+ pounds overweight and am doing nothing about it.
- I make no effort to exercise.
- I still don’t open and deal with mail regularly.
- I can get things clean, but I can’t keep them clean (like my desk. It took me two days to trash it from being completely cleared off).
- My diet is very, very bad for a diabetic.
It’s very hard to think of “rights” that aren’t negatives:
- I take good care of my cats.
- I’ve kept my closets pretty well-organized the way the professional organizers did them.
- I take my meds on time.
Things that are right about a person should be better than just “not wrong.” And while a little more thinking does yield things that are really right, like “I love my children and they love me,” what springs to mind first is always the most revealing.
Tomorrow my mood may be worse. Or better. I’ve been cycling every day or two. Depending on the day’s mood, my responses to this exercise might be different. It’s scary to think that they might be the same.
Why Bird Music is Great for Relaxation, Stress and Anxiety
From the article: “Bird sounds enforce a human’s innate connection with nature; when birds sing, we know we are safe – when they quiet down, we panic.
“This instinctive familiarity with bird songs plays a subconscious role in our stress recovery.”
Here’s why I believe this:
I have a vivid memory of hearing, on a morning when I was in high school, a sound that sent a lovely picture cascading through my head. It was simply the cawing of a crow somewhere outside my window. It transported me to a cabin in the woods by a lake, awakened the scent of the breakfast my mother was cooking, and woke in me the eager anticipation of taking the boat out onto the lake with my dad and brother to go fishing.
On a slushy March morning, the call of one crow took me back to a summer vacation when I was eight years old and utterly happy. And it wasn’t even a songbird.
Updated blog, originally published January 21, 2016.