The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive. To put it more accurately… you usually don’t use it at all. It uses you.
~~ Eckhart Tolle
Rest assured that for me living in reality can be a constant battle. Or if not a battle, NOT living in reality is a habit that sneaks up on me quietly and insidiously. It occurs to me that talking to myself and role-playing scenarios is an addiction. Again, I’m not talking about a writer acting out dialogue to be written down. I’m not talking about self assuring myself. I’m talking flat out talking to people who aren’t there.
Rest assured also that I’m not talking schizophrenia.
I’m not hearing voices (accept the ones an author creates).
I’m not talking a little healthy role-playing to be prepared for an interview, Dr’s appointment, meeting, possible confrontation.
I’m talking about that conversation with the ex l haven’t been with in fifteen years. That detailed conversation with the unemployment judge. That defending myself against a hostile manager. And losing myself in these not-real realms in my head and realizing l was doing it for hours!
And l could have been working out how to get from point B to point D in my latest story…figuring out what point C actually is. A much more healthy use of my brain and FAR less stressful.
Did you know that imagined stressful situations and REAL in-your- face situations are equally stressful to the body and both cause all kinds of harm?
The body doesn’t know the difference.
Stress messes us up bad! It raises blood pressure, effects the immune system, increases the risk of stroke or heart attack, contributes to infertility and speeds up the aging process as well as eventually re-wiring the brain to make it more susceptible to anxiety and depression.
I’ve realized l don’t want to have a heart attack because of an imagined stressful situation!
So what to do? Well to start with, l wrote this throughout the day (on breaks) to keep me from imagining stressful situations.
I thought about the powerful scene I’ll be writing next and had a breakthrough (and figured out that “point S”). And l stressed a lot less….
Just keep practicing. Maybe one day I’ll get it perfect.
Or if not, perfect for me.