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Old 04-19-2003, 10:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Montreal
Methodical rituals that calm you down.

For some reason, when I'm at work and feel to stressed out to actually do something productive, I head for the coffee machine and make myself a nice cup of generic coffee (2 creams/2 sugars), which I then proceed to NOT drink. I just bring it to my desk and let it sit there. I'll occasionally pick it up, maybe even smell it, but then I'll just put it back down. I throw it away when it gets too cold. I even do this in the summertime.

If there's tea, then my ritual goes on even longer, what with the fusion process involved, which I calculate methodically.

I don't know why I do this, but it calms me. It all started when I was a college freshman... I'd bring coffees to class, exams, the library... It baffles me and yet I can't stop doing it.

Anyone else have these weird little habits/rituals to calm down or otherwise occupy time?
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Old 04-19-2003, 10:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: The North
Haven't ever been able to figure out why, but flame meditation's always worked pretty well for me. I'll try to explain it, but no promises on how coherently it'll come out.

Basically you start by sitting down and closing your eyes. You picture an unlit match on a dark background. You "light" the match in your mind and let it start. You gradually increase the size and number of the flames from one match to a candle to many candles to a small fire all the way up to a raging bonfire.

The idea is to focus your negative thoughts and feelings into the fire to maintain it and that they are burned up as you focus on them like this. Once you've run out of "fuel," i.e. negative thoughts, you gradually let the fire die down, leaving you calm and cleansed. Yup, that's what I've got.
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Old 04-19-2003, 10:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: lost
Lets see....
Breath in all the way, count to 10 slowly, then let the air out slooowly. Repeat until calmed.
This one I think is funny.
Alternate nostril breathing: Using your fingers, close one nostril, inhale. Open the closed nostril, and close the other one. Exhale. Repeat.

Both are things i've picked up from musicians as ways of calming yourself before performances.

Other than that, I climb things. If I'm really stressed or something, I go find a brick wall or tree or something and climb it. While I'm climbing, I forget about everything else except for what I'm doing, and when I reach the top I feel like I've acheived something. Oddly enough, this usually calms me down.
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Old 04-19-2003, 10:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: The Netherlands
Hmm...
1) Exercise. Also good against my RSI problems.
2) Pet the cat.
3) Close eyes, shut down brain, calm down.

All work.
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Old 04-19-2003, 10:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i bounce My leg
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Old 04-19-2003, 11:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Greater Vancouver
i religiously drink tea
running is also a great way to work off stress
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Old 04-19-2003, 11:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: Berkeley
Hmm, I go for goat sacrifice!

Oh, wrong ritual.

Fortunately, I'm one of those laid-back types. I listen to a lot of music and play some computer games, though.
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Old 04-19-2003, 11:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: Dallas, TX
Same with redrum, I bounce like crazy ><

/twitch
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Old 04-20-2003, 01:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
Here
 
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Location: Denver City Denver
Touch myself.
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Old 04-20-2003, 01:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: Oregon
i have a hard time dealing with stress, and i have no particular "ritual", say, to dealing with it. i do meditate a bit and do something called biofeedback (the idea is to master your body's responses to stressors so that you have control and not your body's involuntary reaction). i've also managed to learn to direct my chi, which is very helpful in releasing tension and dealing with various aches and pains. long showers are also great relief as are back rubs from willing givers
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Old 04-20-2003, 06:46 AM   #11 (permalink)
Tilted
 
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
I think about sex,
I think about it a lot anyway, but when I need to remind myself that whatever I'm doing doesn't matter, I think about sex.
Or else I take drugs - whatever.
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Old 04-20-2003, 06:48 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: Some place windy
I try to focus solely on what I am doing at a given moment. So if I am washing dishes, I pay as much attention to the movement of my hands, the feeling of the hot water, etc. If I am walking, I focus on each step, on the feeling of the ground against my feet, etc. It usually clears my mind of whatever I am obsessing about.

By the way, nice topic for a thread, thanks.
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Old 04-20-2003, 06:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Location: Somewhere in Ohio
Go to the gym or go on a 20 mile bike ride.
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Old 04-20-2003, 06:56 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Location: Northcoast
I'll go into the darkroom and make some photos. Three hours seem like three minutes and all my stress has melted away.
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Old 04-20-2003, 07:03 AM   #15 (permalink)
Insane
 
My brother taught me this: Inhale deeply, hold your breath until it becomes uncomfortable, then exhale as slowly as possible. I don't know why, but it works.
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Old 04-20-2003, 07:38 AM   #16 (permalink)
Insane
 
Masturbation. Seriously.
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Old 04-20-2003, 07:40 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Listening to music really loud and screaming, that helps me
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Old 04-20-2003, 07:43 AM   #18 (permalink)
Insane
 
Quote:
Originally posted by sapiens
I try to focus solely on what I am doing at a given moment. So if I am washing dishes, I pay as much attention to the movement of my hands, the feeling of the hot water, etc. If I am walking, I focus on each step, on the feeling of the ground against my feet, etc. It usually clears my mind of whatever I am obsessing about.

That sounds like Vipassana.[www.dhamma.org]
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Old 04-20-2003, 10:23 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Location: tentative, at best
Well, I used to smoke a cigarette - that always calmed me down (one of the reasons they're so hard to give up).
Since I quit, I'm still looking for a substitute ritual.
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Old 04-20-2003, 01:48 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Location: BEAN_TOWN
In the lifestyle I lead, ritual and calmness are imperatives.. for being (SSC)
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Old 04-20-2003, 02:42 PM   #21 (permalink)
Upright
 
Go to the gym and Squat heavy. That'll distract you sufficiently.
Sounds like you're a tad obsessive compulsive.
Take up a hobby that requires discipline and use that discipline to control chaotic areas of your life.

Try yoga. Seriously. Like teh breathing tricks mentioned above by phoenix, yoga extends that physical discipline to the whole body.
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Old 04-20-2003, 04:55 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I can keep myself calm most of the time. If I ever get so stressed out that it starts having a negative impact, I usually turn up some really heavy music and start working out, or practice playing the guitar.
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