[Draft: 2nd Edition Book]
Chapter Seven: Final Notes and Thoughts
Gosh, this just gets better and better!
ASC Cannot Substitute for Growth and Development
Before concluding, I want to insert another warning. Because ASC relieves the pain associated with depression it can inhibit a desire or motivation to understand what's causing the depression to begin with (not unlike the anti-depressant medications from reports I read). I realized a long time ago, that to break this cycle of mood swings I was going to have to "do therapy", etc. and thus I have reduced substantially the need to elevate my mood routinely by finding out what my "triggers" to depression are, etc.. (My bias of course is that I am assuming there is a psychological component to be dealt with).
More on Relaxation Techniques - Coming off the ASC Highs
In summing up, I want to talk a little bit about alternatives (other than chemical) ways to dealing with hypomania. If you decide to use this routine, it’s important for you to know the signs that indicate you have not properly lowered your mood level after an ASC routine. That you have stayed too high on the mood scale and are close to a starting a hypomanic or even manic episode!
These signs could include sleeping less than usual, racing thoughts, unusual anxiety, irritability or increases in optimism leading to excessive spending and careless or high-risk behavior. If you think you are too high after an ASC routine (e.g. may have moved from hyperthymia to hypomania, etc.), the most powerful downer I've ever discovered is to deliberately go into slow motion! Whenever possible, literally slow down your body movements (and thought speed too if possible) at the slowest possible pace while staying totally focused on
your movements (and/or thoughts).
For example, don’t reach for your coffee cup with normal speed. Take about three or four times the amount of times normal take for this action. The effects are incredibly fast on slowing thoughts, perceptions, everything! Try it sometime for a full five minutes if you can! Your thoughts slow down, your heart rate slows down, and you start relaxing. You can even do it in a chair, in a crowded room.
Just totally focus on your hands for example and move them so slow no one even notices what you're doing. The key to it is total focus on moving extremely slow! This relaxation technique is so powerful it never fails to slow me down! One explanation may be that this exercise triggers all the "muscle-memories" that are associated with non-movement and non-action.
A more commonly used method of relaxation is known as "nitrogenous relaxation". Sit or lie in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Allow your jaw to drop and your eyelids to relax, but don't squeeze them shut. Mentally scan your body, starting with your toes and working slowly up through your legs, buttocks, torso, arms, hands, fingers, neck and head. Focus on each part individually. Wherever you feel tension, imagine it melting away. Allow thoughts to flow through your mind, but don't focus on any of them. Tell yourself that you're relaxed and calm, that your hands are heavy and warm or cool if you're hot that your heart is beating calmly and that you feel perfectly at peace. Once you're relaxed, imagine yourself in a favorite As you become skilled at using this technique, you will be able to recall the image of your favorite place or spot anytime and anywhere, eliciting a relaxation response from your body.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Another relaxation technique is known as Progressive muscle relaxation. This is a good method for releasing tension. Tighten the muscles in one area of your body, such as your face, shoulders, arms, legs or buttocks, and hold them for a count of five or more before relaxing and moving on to the next area. Repeat for specific areas of the body or until all major muscle groups have been relaxed. Rouse yourself gradually after 5 or 10 minutes of either nitrogenous relaxation or progressive muscle relaxation. Practice whenever you feel stressed out or as a preventive measure when you foresee difficulties.
Still another relaxation technique is known as Diaphragmatic breathing. Breathe slowly, regularly and deeply for several breaths. This too can be done anytime, anywhere, especially in meetings, before presentations or anytime you need a quick way to relax. Other extremely powerful tools for dealing with the hypomanic state are Transcendental Meditation , and "Chanting". Just type relaxation into an internet or library search engine and you will find dozens of techniques for calming down quickly and effectively!
Finally - Remember: Mood Follows Thought & Behavior
So, no matter how you feel, or "where you're at", remember, "mood" follows thoughts and behavior. So maybe, you too (or a loved one), can control your moods without medication or street drugs! Maybe you (or a friend) can weaken or even eliminate a troublesome illness by boosting the immune system. Maybe you (or an acquaintance) have the potential to feel "on top of the world" everyday of your life, chemical free, who knows!
There you have it! If you like these ideas; get a little high daily, (with Accelerated-State Conditioning that is!)..and I'll see you on the upbeat!