My Peak Alpha Frequencies aren’t Peaking

Current research points to common underpinnings of neuro-inflammation and immune dysfunction for many chronic conditions like pain, MS, lupus, migraine, cancer, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) or Fibromyalgia.  One of the symptoms people with chronic conditions often experience are flu-like symptoms and brain fog.  The brains of people who have chronic conditions work differently from those of healthy people. 

  • A recent study done at Stanford looked at brain waves of people with ME/CFS and compared them to healthy controls. They found those with fibro or chronic fatigue have decreased  peak alpha frequencieswhich are associated with goal directed behavior being interrupted, and problems with attention and alertness. Getting moving at a task is difficult, and thus why we can feel resistance to everyday tasks.
  • A different study showed that neuroinflammation is higher in people with chronic fatigue or fibro and the level of inflammation correlated with the level of symptoms. One area with the most inflammation was the amygdala, which plays a role in procrastination.
  • Another study found that the reward center of the brain is less activated . Reducing the expectation of reward may contribute to difficulty in starting tasks.

What relief to read new studies that say “It’s not my fault I procrastinate.  I can blame my brain.”

You don’t have to have a chronic medical condition. Anyone who procrastinates or can’t get started on a task can benefit from this 3 step technique.

Focus on what you would like to accomplish: 

1. Stop thoughts of being overwhelmed or feelings of dread.

Let go of any thoughts of anticipatory dread and move on to a calming thought, or instead focus on sensations in the current moment. For example:

  • Look at a something neutral or pleasant – even a pillow’s colors and pattern.
  • At the same time, smile. It can be a fake smile.
  • Take in a deep, slow breath, then breathe out and let go of your negative thought.
  • As you breathe in again, keep smiling and focus on the present moment–what you are seeing, or what you are hearing or feeling.
  • Repeat this as often as you need to. You may need to every few seconds, especially at first.

2. Ask: “What is the next small, easy step?”

  • Break the task into very small, tiny steps. Focus on what’s doable.
  • Once you have taken a first step, repeat the question– What is the next small, easy step?
  • Make it OK to do only part of what you want to accomplish.

3. Focus on the finish line: 

  • Think about what you will gain by completing the task. Ask yourself “What pleasure will I get when I complete this task?”  OR
  • Ask “What pain will I avoid by doing this task?” Sometimes that works even better.
Sharing with others, or use a buddy system can  help you move forward. Call your buddy and tell them what your 3 steps are, and listen to their 3 steps. Then call again to see how you both are doing. This can magnify the power of the 3 steps.

When I’m not so overwhelmed I’ll think about focusing on which teeth I want to brush . . . the cooking and cleaning can wait.

(jw)

“Combating Feelings of Overwhelm, Resistance, or Listlessness in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”,

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Procrastination Style, Part III – Solutions

If you haven’t already . . .Take the quiz, Part I

Read the post, Part II –  My Inner Conflicts to see what YOUR Inner Conflicts are so you can solve them.

Beat Procrastination and Make the Grade: The Six Styles of Procrastination and How Students Can Overcome Them

by Linda Sapadin

“1) The Perfectionist: You’re overly concerned with not meeting high expectations; you work so hard you never finish (or, sometimes, never start).”

Alphabetize cans by Peggy

“Solutions: Appreciate that it’s your perfectionism, not external standards that make you do what you do. Set realistic (not idealistic) goals before starting. Focus on progress toward your goals. Engage in positive self-talk. Set time limits for each task. Learn to make mistakes—really—do so deliberately and see what happens!”

“2) The Dreamer: You’re great at planning and scheming but frustrated by the practical reality of sitting down to do hard work”.

“Solutions: Try turning some of your dreams into concrete goals and spend time on them regularly. Figure out how academic success can make you feel good about yourself (pleasure doesn’t only come from external sources). You’re not exceptional— the same standards and expectations apply to you. Don’t wait for the spirit to move you; learn to harness your energy.”

“3) The Worrier: “What ifs” get in the way. You avoid making decisions, resist change, and are fearful about the unfamiliar.”

“Solutions: Remember that not to decide is to decide; delaying decisions changes the course of your life. Turn nerves into excitement. Don’t “catastrophize”—not everything has to feel overwhelming. Believe in yourself—it’ll make you less fragile. Commit, then figure out how to accomplish something. Don’t let qualifiers and negative statements creep into your thinking. Answer your “what ifs” with a plan. Break bigger projects into pieces. Hang out with optimists.”

“4) The Crisis-Maker: You enjoy the last-minute adrenaline rush and tell yourself you work best under pressure.”

“Solutions: Think about multiple reasons to do an assignment (instead of only last-minute stress). Recognize that you don’t know if you’ll enjoy an assignment until you start it. You’re not a victim; see tasks as opportunities. Remember the positive aspects of your responsibilities. Reward yourself for getting started earlier. Get your adrenaline going with other activities.”

“5) The Defier: You rebel against external deadlines and expectations. You might be overt about this, or you might exhibit a more passive-aggressive kind of defiance.”

“Solutions: Take responsibility for where you are and the choices that got you there. Negotiate when possible—you just might get your way. Choose your battles and consider the consequences. Remember the relationship between short and long-term choices. Set aside time to do the things you enjoy. Channel your rebellious side into a cause you care about.”

“6) The Overdoer: There’s too much on your plate because you can’t say no or set appropriate boundaries. As a result, there’s never enough time to do it all.”

“Solutions: Remember that no one has it all; you have to prioritize and decide what to care about. Your academic success should come before making others happy. You’re in control—take control. Learn to say no. You’re entitled to relax and reward yourself; don’t feel guilty for doing so. Be more proactive than reactive. Ask for help!”

https://www.amazon.com/Its-About-Time-Procrastination-Overcome/dp/0140242716

https://www.reed.edu/academic_support/pdfs/handouts/6%20kinds%20of%20procrastinators.pdf

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Procrastination, Part I – What’s Your “Style” Quiz

I prefer to call myself a multi-tasker who has so many projects going there’s never enough time to finish any . . .  rather than a procrastinator

I prefer to call myself a planner who takes planning so seriously that there is never enough time to finish the planning stage . . . rather than a procrastinator.

I prefer to call myself a creative type who is more invested in the process  than the product . . . rather than a procrastinator.

I took this quiz to make sure I was right in my self assessment.

Your Procrastination Style Quiz

from: It’s About Time:  The 6 Styles of Procrastination and How to Overcome Them
by Dr. Linda Sapadin

Directions

If MUCH OF THE TIME” is MOSTLY correct for you with each question just circle the question number.  Otherwise, go on to the next question

1.   Do you have difficulty completing a project because your own high

standards have not been met?

2.   Do you get preoccupied with details, rules or schedules that others don’t

seem to care much about?

3.   Do you think a lot about things you want to accomplish, but rarely get them

off the ground or finished?

4.   Do you wait for opportunities to drop into your lap rather than take an

active, “go-get-‘em” approach?

5.   Do you paralyze yourself before starting a project, worrying so much about

the “what ifs” that you are too anxious or out of time to do the task?

6.   Do you hesitate to leave your comfort zone, avoiding situations that might

cause stress or anxiety?

7.   Do you become sulky, irritable or argumentative when asked to do a task

that you don’t want to do?

8.   Do you take offense or are annoyed at suggestions from others regarding

how you could be more productive?

9.   Do you ignore or put off deadlines, then at the last-minute work frantically

to get things done?

10.   Do you enjoy, or take pride in, taking risks or living on the edge?

11.   Do you have difficulty saying “no” to other’s requests and then feel

resentful or overwhelmed when it’s time to do them?

12.   Do you run around doing things, without really feeling that you’re

accomplishing very much?

Your Procrastination Style Answers

If you’ve answered “Yes, that’s frequently me” to any of these questions, you probably know you’ve got a procrastination problem (You probably knew it before you took the test)

Now take a look at your “Procrastination Style(s)

scan-10

If you:

  • Answered Yes to Questions     1 & 2   You are a Perfectionist Procrastinator
  • Answered Yes to Questions     3 & 4   You are a Dreamer Procrastinator
  • Answered Yes to Questions     5 & 6     You are a Worrier Procrastinator
  • Answered Yes to Questions     7 & 8   You are a Defier Procrastinator
  • Answered Yes to Questions     9 & 10   You are an Crisis-Maker Procrastinator
  • Answered Yes to Questions 11 & 12 You are an Over doer Procrastinator

Here’s a summary of what fuels your procrastination style:

  • Perfectionists procrastinate because they want everything to be perfect (that seems obvious!)
  • Dreamers procrastinate because they hate dealing with all those pesky bothersome details and enjoy the “what if”.
  • Worriers procrastinate because they are afraid of change and worry about “what if”.
  • Defiers procrastinate because their difficulty with authority makes them resent and resist doing tasks.
  • Crisis-Makers procrastinate because they love living on the edge, only get motivated at the last minute to enjoy the adrenaline that comes with crisis.
  • Over doers procrastinate because they have too much on their plate, don’t prioritize well and have difficulty getting it all done

If you want more details check out this post http://wp.me/p18HbQ-zt

Now I’m completely confused.  I answered yes to half of each in perfecting, dreamer, over-doers.  Luckily, I’m not a  worrier or defier cuz I always defy myself to worry.

(jw)

What did you learn from taking the quiz?  Let us know in the comments.

Coming!

Part II, Procrastination – My Inner Conflicts

Part III, Procrastination – Solutions

Want to buy the book?  Click here:  https://www.amazon.com/Its-About-Time-Procrastination-Overcome/dp/0140242716