Any type of stress, anxiety, anger, or conflict makes my pulling worse. It is a self-soothing behavior that helps me calm down and often dissociate from my feelings. Over the past few years, I have been working to use helpful strategies that help me relax without pulling my hair (which only leaves me feeling worse in the end).
As a high stress person, I have suffered with anxiety for most of my life. It still plagues me at times, but I have learned strategies to calm my mind and body. Taking a quick break from the situation, praying, practicing deep breathing, and trying to find a more positive outlook are some simple tools that have helped me.
If I catch myself being negative or getting stressed out, I try to take a step back and look at the situation objectively. In the past, I would catastrophize my situation. Now, I can identify those feelings and look for the truth.
- Are my concerns based on truth?
- Can I do anything about this?
- Is there a more positive outlook I can strive for?
- If the worst case senario does play out, is it really that bad?
Beyond my stress and anxiety is anger that can cause relationship problems. The following article presents 3 ways to create conflict (and therein, 3 ways to avoid it). I know I am guilty of these and am making it a priority to avoid them. Reducing conflicts in our relationships, greatly increases our overall well-being.
Three Sure Ways to Create Conflict
By Rick Warren
“Any fool can start arguments; the honorable thing is to stay out of them” (Proverbs 20:3 TEV).
Wise people are peacemakers, not troublemakers. Wise people don’t carry a chip on their shoulder. They’re not always looking for a fight, and they don’t intentionally antagonize other people.
The fact is, if you’re around anybody for any length of time, you’ll figure out what that person does that irritates you, and you file that information in the back of your mind as a tool to use when you get in an argument. It becomes a personal “weapon of mass destruction”! When you get in an argument, and that person says something that hurts, offends, or slights you in any way, then you pull out the big gun. You push the hot button. And it works every time!
You know what the Bible calls that? Foolishness! You’re not getting any closer to the resolution. You’re not helping the relationship. In fact, you’re hurting it. It is not wise.
Proverbs 20:3 says, “Any fool can start arguments; the honorable thing is to stay out of them” (TEV).
We all use tools, tricks of the trade, and skills in relationships that are actually counter productive. They’re hurtful, they’re harmful, and they don’t get you what you want out of relationships. In fact, they get you the exact opposite behavior. But when we lack wisdom, we use them anyway.
There are many of these tools, but here are just a few:
1. Comparing. Never compare your wife, your husband, your kids, your boss, or anybody else, because everybody’s unique. Comparing antagonizes anger.
2. Condemning. When you start laying on the guilt in a relationship, all you’re going to do is get the exact opposite of what you expect. It doesn’t work. It’s foolish.
3. Contradicting. William James, the famous psychologist said, “Wisdom is the art of knowing what to overlook.” There’s some stuff you just need to overlook.
The Bible says in Proverbs 14:29, “A wise man controls his temper. He knows that anger causes mistakes” (TLB). Have you ever said or done anything stupid out of anger? Yes? Because when you get angry, your intelligence goes out the window. When you get angry, you say and do foolish things that are actually self-defeating.
Did you ever think about the fact that there is only one letter difference between “anger” and “danger”? When you get angry, you are in dangerous territory. You are about to hurt others — and yourself — with your own anger.
This past month marks a change in the way I view myself. For years, I thought trich had bested me and I was weak because I did not have the will to fight with the level of intensity needed. Now I have renewed faith in myself. I decided to give this my all after recently losing my teaching job in June. I thought I could fight this as I finally had more time and energy to devote to my recovery process. In addition, I assumed my life would be less stressful as I was not trying to juggle a demanding teaching position with all of my other responsibilities as a mother of 3. I have been proud of my progress and hoped I would be able to sustain this level of devotion when I return to the stressful rat race.
The funny thing about life is that you can’t outrun it. Life happens. There is never a dull moment. You are never free from stress, it just changes forms. There is always something you could ruminate on- if you allow yourself to go down that path. This week, my life took a definite turn for the unexpected, but I refuse to be paralyzed by stress.
If I could credit one thing with my success over trich this month, it is my mindset. I will not be squelched. Instead, I choose to give my fears to God and ask for His continued strength to help me push on. With Him, I can do anything.
It has been one month since I began this blog. My goal was to have more good days than bad days in regards to my pulling. I used Claudia Mile’s recommendation to rate my pulling from 0-10 each day. The rubric I created to rate my pulling is below. I defined good days this month as 0-3. I have been pull free on my scalp for the entire months and have accomplished my goal of more good days than bad.
This month’s totals:
|# of Days||14||2||4||5||3||1||1||0||0||0||0|
|Good = 25||Bad = 5|
Score #Pulled Rules Broken Time Spent Pulling Areas pulled From 0 0 0 0 0 1 1-3 1 2 4-10 1 <5min 3 <20 2 4 20-30 2 <15min 5 30-40 6 40-60 3 <30min 3 7 60-80 8 80-100 4 ~1 Hour 9 100+ 10 Way too many to count 5 Hours