May 28, 2007
This item could have been called “How to out-psyche yourself”, it is not exactly rocket science, but then rocket science is not one of the common topics on Sciencebase, anyway. It’s a public holiday here, today. Yes, I know…again? Oh, and over there too? Anyway, I’ve pulled together some of the chillingest out posts from the last week or so and brought them together in an easy to catch, laid back post with few words, and a hammock on stand by in case the sun comes out. Incidentally, almost all these tips, or life-hacks as some people are wont to call them basically boil down to a simple phrase, that any analyst, physician, or psychiatrist could do well to hang on their surgery door, desk, and above their sphigmomanometer – Don’t Worry, Be Happy.
So, over on lifehack itself, they posted a top ten of simple ways to save yourself from messing up your life. Seems like heavy psychological stuff from the title, but it boils down to not worrying about your feelings, taking life in your stride, and avoiding dwelling on the ramblings of your internal critic. So far, so good.
Next, over on the American Lung Association site – heart I could understand, but lung? – they are touting, not ten, not twenty, not even fifty, but fifty-three (don’t ask), surefire ways to help you chill on any day of the week not just a public holiday. Among my favourites, is “Count to 1,000, not 10, before you say something that could make matters worse.” This goes for commenting on blog posts too: “Look, before you leap”, as my grandma used to say.
Some of the more “new-agey” stuff on the web often has a decent list of howtos for relaxation and such. I am not saying that WikiHow is new age, perish the thought, but they do have a how2relax section, with the classic: “Find a quiet place when you are feeling overwhelmed. Even the stall of a bathroom will work if you have no other place to go.” You can just picture all those overwhelmed office workers, “relaxing” in the bathroom, or maybe not, we do not want to revisit any kind of Ally McBeal moment on this site, thank you very much.
At this time of year, many poor unfortunates (PUs) will have to put aside worries about who is buying the next round, and concentrate on their exams. Thankfully, the venerable University of Cambridge offers those PUs, some useful advice on simple exam-time relaxation on their student counselling website. A classic tip offered there is: “don’t use your bed as a place to work during the day”. As if, have you ever heard anything so preposterous? Students using their beds to work on during the day? Of course not…
We now know how they do it in Cambridge, England, but what about across the Pond in that other townwise homonymous centre of excellence, Harvard University? Well, Harvard U, has a Relaxation Room, of course. “The body responds to stress with increased muscle tension,” so says the RR’s website and apparently in said room you can get a massage or give a massage. Now, I don’t know about you but I don’t recall any such offers while I was studying at university. How the times change.
Finally, an NYT article discusses how to deal with past bad experiences, not by ignoring them, but by retelling them in your internal narrative as if there happened to a third party rather than you.
Anyway, deciding the best way to relax is getting too stressful, I am going to fix that hammock and take that initial advice…the bit at the end of the first paragraph.