For What It's Worth


Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Resolutions and words for 2022

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. 

It is co-hosted by (Linda from Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell, Roberta from Offbeat YA, Jen from That’s What I’m Talking About, Berl's from Because Reading is Better than Real Life  and me) 

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Question: Resolutions/words of the year - do you do them? What are they for 2022?

Answer:       


THIS


I usually do a word (past words have been laugh, disconnect, simplify and joy. I like my words to be ideas or feelings rather than concrete things. Something to set a mood heading into the new year.

Last year my phrase was "My tranquility needs to be refurbished" lol A line from The Queen's Gambit. It seemed fitting after another chaotic year. 

*Heads up - this is going to be a bit rambly and personal so bail now if you'd like lol

2022 was a rougher year, mentally for me. I mean, I know it has been for everyone! but I really struggled at times. Overall, I am happy and doing well but I had a return of panic attacks - which I hadn't had for years. And sleeping/focusing is a struggle and I was developing OCD tendencies (but that started a bit after losing Fonzi in 2020). 

I got called for jury duty back in October (so many things about that trigger my anxiety and attacks) and I knew I needed to address things so I decided to finally get a therapist. She has been helpful and I've started practicing Cognitive Therapy.

Brief explanation from Very Well "Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on changing the automatic negative thoughts that can contribute to and worsen emotional difficulties, depression, and anxiety. These spontaneous negative thoughts have a detrimental influence on mood.

Through CBT, these thoughts are identified, challenged, and replaced with more objective, realistic thoughts." 

This is not a magic bullet and it's not easy but these techniques have done more for me and my panic than anything else I ever tried before. Hello - just breath & think positive through it, it only last 5 minutes advice person. 

So much of it is retraining the brain. There's a lot of fascinating science to it about why the brain overreacts, or focuses on negative more than positive events and why we can't let things go. I think I'm going to save that discussion for a post during Mental Health Awareness month though.

But to the point of choosing my word for 2022 - the thing that comes up over and over in therapy and meditation is that you need to be present - meaning don't let your brain go to the past or the future but just stay here in the this. 

I know it's more complicated than that and I still get caught up and worry about things that have happened or will happen but I want to remember that THIS - this is where I am at any given moment. You can always return to the THIS.

I know it sounds a little new agey/woo-wooey and that's not really how I mean it lol It just reminds me when my brain is spiraling into dozens of different thoughts to come back to myself, challenge some of my thinking and then move forward again with a better sense of clarity and balance. 

If you are interested in learning more about cognitive therapy or anxiety, but aren't ready or unable to go to therapy - this is a YouTube channel that's been invaluable to me. Therapy in a Nutshell with Emma McAdama Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Probably more helpful than actual therapy. I find her to be relatable and pragmatic with concrete answers and solutions (if you do the work!) and I learned so much about the science of anxiety and why we can't just *turn our brain off* and other bad advice. 

Just a note that the videos all have one quick ad at the beginning and she's talking about mental health so it's better to watch several videos rather than just one. A 7-10 minute video on it's own isn't going to give you all the information you need but put together she's incredibly helpful. She also discusses depression, trauma, OCD and other things - although less than anxiety and panic. 

Do you make resolutions? Have a word? What are yours for 2022?


46 comments:

  1. When you explain it and understand the meaning behind it, THIS is such a powerful little word. I'm so glad the therapy and CBT are working for you and that you're seeing/feeling the changes. Good for you for being so proactive.

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    1. *the this* kept getting repeated and I was like wtf... you can't always just live in the THIS. Lol But that's not really what it means and now that I get that it's one simple word that jars me out of my racing thoughts.

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  2. Good luck with your word! I'm glad therapy is helping. I used to love New Year's Resolutions and make tons of them, but I haven't accomplished anything in the last few years, so I didn't bother making any this year. :)

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    1. They're really helpful to so many people. I sit down any time I set goals, or lists type things lol

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  3. I really like THIS! 2020 and 2021 were such stressful years, I totally get the return of panic attacks. Good for you taking the first step and finding a therapist. I still need to find one. I'm happy you're able to explore some coping techniques. Sending love this 2022!

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    1. It's not ideal since it's still virtual and, in my case, by phone since we can never get the cameras working lol

      Honestly, it's more about learning why my brain does what it does from a science standpoint and ways to interrupt and live with it - instead of TRYING SO HARD to stop it. It's been a totally different way of looking at it.

      I handled the jury duty so well! better than I even have in those situations. having said that, I completely melted down the week after it was over lol It's a process!

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  4. I hope you make lots of progress with your goal, and that 2022 is better than the previous year.

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    1. I wish this everyone! It's been a rough few years all around.

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  5. I think THIS is a perfect word. A couple of the skills we learn in DBT is mindfulness or being present. It's hard. It takes a whole host of other skills to do. Two of my favorites are radical acceptance, which is basically realizing that you can't change what's happening. A favorite saying in DBT is "it is what it is." And, the other one is opposite action, which is verifying that my emotion doesn't first fit the facts (ie afraid to go to school--I'm not in imminent danger) and then acting opposite of the emotion's urge. It's hard to do AND it helps over time.

    Good luck with your THIS. I know it'll be hard and I know you can do it. {{{HUGS}}}

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    1. It is hard! And totally different than the typical - think positive, there isn't really anything to worry about, breath through panic and all that. It is the same end game but acknowledging and accepting your fear and anxiety when it's happening as ok feels so counter productive but it works!

      I have to challenge my thoughts - which sounds similar to *opposite action* One of mine is that I have passed out during panic attacks before so to me I ALWAYS pass out during them. Once I write that down though, it has happened but only 3-4 times - not EVERY time. Or that I feel I'm trapped in a room when it's something I don't want to do. It may be awkward to walk out in the middle of something but I can do that - I'm not literally locked in a room.

      It's not easy but these new techniques have helped me more than anything I've ever done before.

      Good luck to you too Jenni. I know it's a lifelong process but at least you found someone you can trust to talk to and these new methods to deal with things.

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    2. Thanks, Karen. I appreciate that. I'm also glad you found someone to help you. :) Like you said, it's a lifelong process and having someone in your court makes all the difference!

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  6. 2021 was rough. I think 2020 it was easier to ignore problems as we all put our hopes on 2021 being better and poor 2021 suffered for that fact. I'd convinced myself 2021 would miraculously cure all problems and that it would be like 2020 hadn't happened which just wasn't feasible. This year I'm all about being kinder to myself and trying not to dwell on negatives when I know good things are happening too. I suppose it's a bit like the CBT in trying to change my mindset but on a much smaller scale. It's good you saw a therapist and it's been helping you to try and change your mindset, I think sometimes the hardest part is figuring out where to start.

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    1. I feel like 2020 was an all of us are in the same boat situation. We were ALL dealing with the same thing at the same time and supported each other. Then everything went off the rails and we're fighting - not caring about each other or the pandemic anymore. It's just depressing at this point.

      But...we're here and have to power through and find what works for us because life keeps moving on and there are food things and people in the world still.

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  7. Yes, the last few years have really been a strain on mental health and good on you to take steps to fight back. I love your word and the association it has for you. I think I'll be sticking with 'thankful' for mine since it was a good focus for me and helps me re-shape my thinking.

    Have a great year, Karen!

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    1. I did well for so long and I don't want to back slide but felt I needed help this time.

      Thankful is great. It's hard to remember these days and it does help you refocus.

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  8. I'm sure it's been sort of cathartic for you just to come out and talk about these things, since I know you're a very private person. I'm glad you were able to find the help you needed, and I hope you'll continue to improve in the new year. You've got "THIS" 😉💙.

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    1. Not so much cathartic (because I left a lot out lol) but it always helps me to say things like this out loud (well on the blog) to keep me accountable.

      It's not like anyone is holding me to it but it's a reminder.

      If only it could work with reading goals lol

      "You've got THIS" - I like what you did there 😆

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  9. Good for you for taking plunge. I think that's the hardest part sometimes.

    I think it's fascinating the idea of retraining the brain. There's so much we don't understand about all this- mood disorders, OCD, anxiety, all of it.

    I told myself today it's anew day and it's up to me what kind of day I have. Try to be grateful and not always worrying about whatever's bothering me!

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    1. Yes! We can literally rewire our brain. And the studies that one negative thing will stick in your brain almost instantly and stay there while dozens of positive things can happen but you don't store it the same way - instead rehashing the negative.

      Basically our brain is reacting to social media the same way we would when under attack by a saber tooth tiger lol

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    2. I do that - focus on the negatives. I think rewiring our brain is wild.

      I can seee that. LAtely on Twitter my stress level rises practically every time O log in because I see all this bad stuff. I've been checking mssages, doing a quick scan, and getting back out lolol.

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    3. It's so wild. I'll have to look up the actual study but if you briefly experience one bad thing - like a negative comment or something mild that upsets you - even for a second - it sticks in your brain and it (over)reacts to *save you* from it from then on. But you have to experience dozens of a positive event and for much longer for your brain to remember it. But scans show that if you work to overcome it & retrain your brain - you actually expand that part of your brain so you react more calmly in the future.

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  10. This is such a wonderful post. I'm so glad you've gotten into therapy. I'm also in CBT therapy and it has helped so much with my anxiety. I hope 2022 is a better year for you!

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    1. It's very counterintuitive to sit with your feelings instead of trying to push past them but it's been so helpful!

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  11. Thank you for sharing your story, Karen. Mental healthcare is suffering right now, and I'm so glad you have found someone to work with. It's a life-long journey. And now that I read your post, I see how our two words, This and Now, are of the same intent. Let's try and help one another stay present more. *HUGS*

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    1. I do think we have the same intent & I'll take that help.

      It is a life-long journey because the brain keeps fighting back lol

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  12. I don't do this. I don't make any kind of resolutions at all.

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    1. A weird works better for me because it sets a mood for the year but I hate anything concrete or that has a pass/fail feeling to it.

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  13. I love this so much, and thank you for being willing to be vulnerable with us and share about your experiences. 2021 was also a hard year for me-- I experienced a lot of challenges in my personal life that hurt my mental health, and I hope to continue processing and healing from these experiences in 2022. I am so glad to hear that cognitive-behavioral therapy has been helpful for you ♥. Wishing you all the best this year.

    claire @ clairefy

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    1. Thank you Claire. I think it's really important to be open (if you can and ok doing so) because almost everyone thinks they are the ONLY one going through things. Especially with social media showing a glossed over version of life.

      These past few years have added an extraordinary level of stress to our lives in addition to a feeling of hopelessness.

      I hope you find whatever support you need the tools that help you through.

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  14. This is so amazing that I happened upon your blog today, via Shybiker. I've been working with a therapist using the DBT workbook and like you say, it's a game changer. Today I noticed that I actually made a few thought changes without think about correcting it after the fact, if that makes sense. With habit it can get easier. I've been a negative thinker most all of my adult life and now that I'm 60 I feel it's even more important to make improvements.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and sharing.

      I really fought the journaling but it's been the most helpful and showing me how out of control my catastrophizing gets and how much it's not based in fact.

      Continued success with your DBT therapy Joni and great word!

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    2. Yes, catastrophizing! What a mess in my head with negativity.

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  15. Oh, and my 2022 word is Positivity!

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  16. I think this sounds like a great word for you :-) And I'm glad you've found something that's helping.

    I just noticed the picture in the sidebar of you taking out the 2021 trash, cute lol.

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    1. I feel like there should be one with a full dumpster starting back to bags from 2016 lol

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  17. Yay for therapy! And thank you for adding "if you do the work." So many people complain about the same things over and over again, but never seem to be doing anything towards finding a solution. 🤗

    I don't do resolutions. I usually have a short list of "strive fors," that way if they fall by the wayside I haven't failed. Ha ha. I haven't done a list in the last couple of years and I didn't feel like doing one this year. Hopefully maybe I'll be inspired in 2023. I also choose a new skill to learn every year, but it's been stalled a making macrons for the past two years. 😅

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    1. "strive fors" I like that and that's really what my words are. They're like a mindset I want for the year.

      It is work. Never ending work. I think a lot of times we want everything around us to change and not upset us anymore. And that would be GREAT lol but isn't going to happen so you have to earn techniques that change your own reaction. And so much marketing makes it seem like this one thing will change your life if you just journal/meditate or whatever and it's not that simple.

      MAKE THOSE MACARONS!! lol

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    2. The macarons I think I might be able to manage this year. 😊

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  18. THIS
    Yes, what more do you need. This is everything.

    I am glad you are getting some help :)

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  19. Ooh I'm always excited to learn about your word of the year. I love this one and that story behind it!

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    1. Thanks - person who keeps me in the this a lot of times lol

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  20. I LOVE your word. I think that choosing a word is a very personal thing and when it makes so much sense personally and has a direct impact on something you're working on, it's a perfect word. And I'm so glad you were able to get into therapy and it sounds like you found a good therapist match, which isn't always so easy to do. I also do CBT and find it immensely helpful. I wish therapy were more readily available to everyone. Wishing you the best THIS year <3

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    1. Thanks Berls. I was really hesitant to start therapy in the middle of all of this. I couldn't really choose a specific therapist or see them in person because it's hard to even get an appointment these days. But I lucked out and she's great.

      It's a never ending process but I've dealt with several really stressful situations lately better than I ever have.

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  21. I don't really have a word for the year, but I think it's wonderful you have a therapist now that is helping you. I've had one for the past few years or so, and it's made such a world of difference when it comes to my anxiety and depression. It's not a cure, but it's a good method of helping! He's been especially helpful lately with me starting a whole new job.

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Yes, it doesn't *fix* things or prevent all problems but it helps control the spiraling.

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