Are you sane? And if you are, how do you stay that way?
Two groups of personality disorders:
People in chaos, who lurch from crisis to crisis.
People in a rut who operate in a rigid fashion.
You need to be on the path between those two extremes and maintain a stable, flexible demeanor. In other words, the path to staying sane.
If we are falling deeper into a rut or deeper into chaos, we need to interrupt our fall. We need to change. We need a new focus in life. We need new behaviors and thinking.
Change Happens In Four Areas: They are the cornerstones of sanity:
- Relating to Others
- Personal Narrative
SELF-OBSERVATION—We learn to stand OUTSIDE of ourselves to experience and access feelings and thoughts as they occur and see how they affect us.
It gives us space to decide: HOW TO ACT. We need to develop self-observation to increase self-awareness.
Self-observation is a tool that enables us to become less self-absorbed, because it teaches us NOT to be taken over by obsessive thoughts and feelings.
The ability to observe and listen to feelings and bodily sensations is essential to staying sane.
We need to be able to USE our feelings but NOT to be USED by them.
We should try to separate ourselves from our feelings. Also, it is necessary to be able to observe our thoughts.
Then we can notice the different kinds of thoughts we have, and can examine them, rather than BE them.
This allows us to notice which thoughts work well for us and which are self-defeating.
To begin self-observing ask yourself these questions:
What am I feeling NOW?
What am I thinking NOW?
What am I doing at this moment?
How am I breathing?
After answering, the next question is:
What do I want for myself in this NEW MOMENT?
These questions are the “GROUNDING EXERCISE”.
When you do the grounding exercise it helps to place ourselves in our INTERNAL EXPERIENCE. This tells us how we are functioning at any one moment.
There are two groups of people: those who externally reference and those who internally reference.
Externally referenced people are more concerned with the impression they make on others.
Internally referenced people are concerned with what something FEELS like. Do I like how it feels or do I want to change?
Internally referenced people want to feel comfortable with themselves.
A helpful exercise—repeat out loud:
I have thoughts and emotions, BUT I am NOT my thoughts and emotions.
My thoughts and emotions are many, contradictory and changing.
Yet, I always remain I, myself, whether in joy or pain, whether calm or annoyed, whether hopeful of despairing.
Since I can observe, dismiss, understand and label my thoughts and emotions, it is evident that they are NOT me.
I am NOT my thoughts and emotions.
I am separate from them!
Relating to Others—people need people!
We all need safe, trusting, reliable, nourishing relationships.
We need nurturing relationships, someone who listens to us and reads between the lines and even challenges us.
Would we exist if NO ONE witnessed our existence?
We need others to check in with and pass the time of day with.
We need to be affected by and to affect others.
Stress—moderate levels of stress keep our minds in condition and help keep us sane.
It keeps our brains plastic so we can adapt and cope with the changes that life brings. It feeds our curiosity and habit of leaning.
Learning gives us more things to think about so we have less time to get bored, depressed and under-stimulated.
What’s Your Story?—personal narrative.
Your autobio tells your story which you live by, but you can edit and change it if you need to.
What do you think is important in life?
We live by our stories!
The definition of Sanity:
You are sane if you do the daily jobs you need to do to take care of yourself and live up to your responsibilities.
You need hopes and dreams.
Do you have a passion, a hobby or interest? You need them for sanity.
The world is our school. We are not alone. We are all in this asylum together!
Are you aware of yourself, your surroundings and circumstances? If you are, you are sane.
You should be able to deal with stressful situations and if you can’t, you should ACCEPT the fact and come to terms with your reality.
Or are you just ECCENTRIC? These are people considered strange. They have strange habits and behavior. But they are usually harmless.
They are NOT insane!
Insanity in humans is characterized by dangerous behavior to themselves and others.
IF YOU CAN QUESTION YOUR SANITY, I’D LIKE TO THINK YOU ARE SANE!
I hope this blog was helpful.
Also published on Medium.
The simpler your life, the easier it is to dwell in experience and to seek joy.
ENJOY THE PRESENT!
Not sure why I’ve stayed sane,Dave !
In the 90s my late OH suffered from Vascular Dementia & my son from Schizophrenia…glad to say he’s now stable…caring roles reversed to some extent …he does all the top-up shopping….need online orders from JS less…
I’ve always kept mentally active …eg used to be national level at Sudoku…now social media has taken over !
AS A PERSON OF UNKNOWN SANITY, I FEEL THAT I HAVE BEEN PUT IN A POSITION OF HAVING TO DEFEND MYSELF AGAINST THE POINTED FINGER OF MY ENEMIES. I REFUSE TO ACCEPT THEIR JUDGEMENT OF ME IN THAT I AM AWARE OF THEIR FEELINGS AND DO NOT ACCEPT THEIR DECISIONS THAT THEY WANT TO FOIST UPON ME.
I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT.
DAVE, PLEASE DISREGARD THIS POST AS I AM ALMOST AS OLD AS YOU AS JUST AS ………….. YOU CAN FILL IN THE BLANK.
ENJOY YOUR EIGHTIES PAL. I’LL BE THERE IN 12 DAYS.
Interesting I think you are what you think, if depressed that is you elated still you. Hard to fight stress and depression