(it works both ways)
For a long time, because I learned that “to talk it up is to work it up”, I did my best to religiously avoid complaining about my symptoms. Report about them? Yes. That’s all. What was even more important was not “talking up” my symptoms to myself – in my mind. I learned that every insecure/fear thought I continued to think was attaching danger to the discomfort. Those thoughts, my thoughts of danger, were the very reason the discomfort turned to stronger panicky feelings, and if I didn’t actively change my thoughts, the physical sensations would grow more severe, and I ended up feeling worse. Much worse.
After learning to control the intensity and duration of the strong anxiety symptoms, I used “to talk it up is to work it up” as a tool to not complain about something ‘bad’ that happened to me (or to anyone else for that matter). It’s interesting… Have you ever listened to someone talking about something that upset them, and actually observe the tension they’re feeling as they speak about the incident? Talking about a unpleasant past event can and does bring back the same kinds of symptoms, and the sensations are experienced again in the present moment. The right/wrong, good/bad judgments are once again in the here and now, and so is the tension. It’s an interesting phenomenon.
The Flip Side: It was several years before I discovered that “to talk it up is to work it up” works both ways:
Talk up the ‘bad’ stuff, and you feel bad.
Talk up the ‘good’ stuff and you feel good.
When we spew out our problems, other people often ‘feel the pain’ and worry about us. It brings them down. I know I can get that first response of concern when I hear or read about a not-so-pleasant event.
There’s nothing I like more than hearing about something good & happy. I love to see the joy on people’s faces as they tell about something pleasing!! It brings me Joy. Joy with a capital “J”. It makes me smile. It makes the other person smile. In a very real sense it’s passing along some joy.
And smiles are happy things… which come from happy thoughts. Yes, it all goes back to our thoughts.
Now, especially in casual encounters when I’m out and about, I make every attempt to steer comments or brief conversations to pleasant, happy, enjoyable, nice topics. I do it for my mental health. And the other person’s mental health too!
Would I much rather spread joy (comfort) or gloom, doom & sorrow (discomfort)??
I’ll let you guess what my answer is.
© 2009 Rose VanSickle ~ All rights reserved