Psychological Health Challenge, Day 1

The challenge is here! This is very exciting!

The challenge will be based on introducing small, very easy to do practices into your daily life. The idea is to turn them into a habit, so each new one should be added to the rest of them.

For the challenge, I recommend doing a Mediterranean diet or some other low-carb, no-processed-foods eating plan. I can quote studies showing the connection between that and mental health, if needed.

Make sure you start every day with making your bed. Really, it’s important.

Day 1 Activity (for 10/17).

Whenever you experience some sort of a sensory sensation, note when it ends. Let’s say you hear an ambulance sound. Take note of when it stops and say “over” to yourself. Or say you touch a cold doorknob. Take note of when the cold sensation subsides and say “over” in your head. Or aloud if you are alone. There’s no need to freak anybody out.

The goal of the exercise is to train the capacity to deal with painful situations. It’s something that people use, for instance, to do unmedicated pain management, both for physical and intense emotional pain. But that’s a skill you need to train. It doesn’t just surface when you need it.

I’ve done unmedicated pain management my whole life. There’s absolutely nothing that works better than the knowledge pain will end.

Welcome to the challenge and remember that the goal is to feel better.

13 thoughts on “Psychological Health Challenge, Day 1”

  1. “Welcome to the challenge and remember that the goal is to feel better.”

    Hah, I don’t need to do anything to feel better right now! I just found an e-mail in my inbox from the Maricopa County Superior Court telling me that I’m excused from from next month’s jury duty and don’t have to show up! (?? — don’t know why. DON’T CARE!)

    Happy dance tonight!

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    1. Jury duty is an an onerous process but it’s an important part of our democracy. 🙂 It would make my mother’s day to be on a jury.

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      1. “It would make my mother’s day to be on a jury.”

        Yes, I know that serving on a jury is a necessary civic duty in America’s justice system. But I’ve only been in Arizona for 21 years, and I’ve been summoned FIVE times, while a number of people I know who have lived here all their lives have never been called even once! (The selection is made blindly by a computer whose only criteria are age, legal residence, and lack of a criminal record.) The population of Maricopa County is almost 4.5 MILLION people, so it doesn’t need to keep pulling my name out of the hat every few years!

        Besides, I never actually get placed on the jury. As soon as they lawyers find out that I’m a shrink with expertise in treating criminals and other perverts, I’m always excused after wasting eight hours sitting in the courtroom.

        You want my jury summons, you’re welcome to it.

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  2. So far:
    I’m either not aware or hyper-aware of sensations. Complicating things is the fact my brain has decided to remix the “Les Poissons” song from The Little Mermaid” with “Money” from Cardi B. They don’t go together at all.

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  3. // Let’s say you hear an ambulance sound. Take note of when it stops and say “over” to yourself.

    You’re strewing salt on my wounds since the building of new floors in a house near us starts from the earliest morning and continues till around 6 PM. I’ve just noticed that the sound of drills and other tools has stopped at some point in the past. 🙂

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    1. It can be any sensory experience. Including the positive ones.

      By the way, I just had a breakfast of Israeli granola and Israeli honey. Had to wait for Klara to leave for school to have the honey because she doesn’t let anybody but herself touch it.

      We are also going to have an Israeli dinner tonight.

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