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Posts Tagged ‘play’

Overthinkers have a tough time with play. This is a symptom we have in common with overachievers. In fact, it’s possible to be an overthinker and an overachiever at the same time. If so, you’re doubly miserable.

Overthinkers might be persuaded to play, but overachievers can turn even play into something that feeds the addiction. I know. I live in Colorado, home of 10,000 cyclists. If God had wanted our butts to be that hard, he wouldn’t have invented cellulite. I’m just sayin’…

Play is difficult, I’ll admit. It’s easier to think about play than to actually do it. As a therapist I not only get to think about play, I get to push the benefits of play onto others, and get a certain smug satisfaction from doing it…while never actually playing myself.

You see the challenge?

As adults we struggle with play because of its childlike, unguarded nature. We don’t want to be thought silly, or vulnerable. Wouldn’t want to lose ourselves in something delightful and simple, lest we be found to be less than completely composed at all times.

Overthinking makes us appear cool.

So antidote #2 is play. Go out and play.

But be advised, there are many counterfeits, activities that feign play, but actually feed what ails you. As an overthinker, you must be constantly vigilant, on guard against the sinister seduction of your disease. Watch for these subtle traps:

– going for coffee with a friend, overthinking your life under the guise of social contact

– reading Anna Karenina (or similarly meaningful literature) for fun

– Majong on the computer. ditto facebook, free cell, etc. etc. It might be escape, but it ain’t play

– Over-consumption of food and alcohol

– watching sports on TV

– watching TV

Play must be simple and spontaneous, physical and sensory. LIke…

Like…um…let’s see…

I’ll get back to you with this. I need to think about it some more.

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Sometimes the “cure” of psychotherapy is worse than whatever disease you might be in therapy for. This is certainly true of this psychotherapist – yes, moi. I’ve been hyper-thinking lately and, to answer Dr. Phil, no it’s not really working for me. Introspection, journaling, getting in touch with my feelings, and increasing self-awareness – logical tools in the heady realm of self-analysis – sometimes go awry.

I’ve been awry lately. Very very awry. And my handy therapist’s toolbox is making it worse.

Here’s what’s been saving my sanity lately:

Venting at the top of my lungs on Judi’s answering machine

The F word

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert

Santana

Guitar Hero on Wii

My new church – AMC Fellowship – did I mention movies are $5 before noon on Sunday?

A night of packing books, eating nachos, drinking daquiri’s, and playing – you guessed it – Guitar Hero at Caren’s

Friday night open grill on the patio at our place

My new bike

…these are good for what ails me

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