What can you suggest I do for peace of mind instead of talking to anybody about private matters?
November 24, 2012 12:56 PM   Subscribe

What can you suggest I do for peace of mind instead of talking to anybody about private matters?

I have tried writing some thoughts down, but I wonder what else there is to do. I'm not even sure if writing things down can help much.
I'm out of options for open conversation with humans about anything that bothers me.
posted by Ingenting to Human Relations (18 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Can you dogsit a friend's dog? Dogs are good listeners and are pretty good at keeping secrets.
posted by phunniemee at 1:06 PM on November 24, 2012 [12 favorites]

Physical exercise, time in nature and a regular meditation practice could all help some. But I'm not sure what you want is possible. Sharing, unburdening, is the only way I know to really find peace of mind about things that trouble me. It involves risk - you might be betrayed - so being careful about who you share with makes sense - but avoiding it altogether strikes me as rather unsustainable.
posted by latkes at 1:08 PM on November 24, 2012

There are all kinds of internet forums on which you could be anonymous and still converse with people directly. It would be a way of getting sympathy or feedback without having to expose who you are. One place I've seen this sort of thing happen is r/self. People go there and talk about anything and everything, and other people comment on it.
posted by Brody's chum at 1:17 PM on November 24, 2012

Writing things down helps a lot, because it's a way you can organize your thoughts. If you don't like writing, perhaps speaking to a recorder?

Running helps me a lot. Many people run with headphones, but I have long learned to just zone out in my own head, so that's when I get my peace of mind. Others try yoga or meditation, or just some simple quiet alone time thinking.
posted by I am the Walrus at 1:17 PM on November 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Another option might be something like meditation to help eliminate private things that bother you.
posted by rhizome at 1:41 PM on November 24, 2012

Sing. Try different songs until you find one that matches your voice; or try singing a song higher or lower than it's usually sung, to make it fit. Don't worry too much about finding lyrics that match your feelings or situation exactly; in fact, wordless singing on "ah" or another sound you like would be fine.

If you wish, just make your own song. It can be literal or metaphorical. Just let yourself be immersed in the emotion.

Then make sure you have a follow-up activity, maybe something like dancing or cleaning house. Something to get you into a different emotional state.
posted by amtho at 1:42 PM on November 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thank you. I'll start with more exercise and singing, and try to keep the writing up. No dog available, I'm afraid.

I'm not worried about being betrayed. Sharing details is just problematic.
posted by Ingenting at 2:13 PM on November 24, 2012

This is one of the reasons people see therapists--the opportunity to discuss highly personal matters with a well-meaning yet uninvolved party can be in and of itself a benefit.

Some people also feel that sense of confidence in talking with religious professionals, from the highly structured interaction of the confessional to a more informal talk with a minister, priest, rabbi, imam, or other religious.

I wish you all the best in coping with the challenges you are facing!
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:32 PM on November 24, 2012 [4 favorites]

Some people find comfort for this in reading poetry. Poke around a bit and see if you find something that resonates. Once in a while I find something that seems to express something difficult I've been feeling, and it can be very cathartic to see it expressed so artfully. Just as an example, the book Blue Peninsula does this with great grace and intelligence. It's good to have something like that around as a mental health first aid kit.

And art -- making art can help. Even if you're no maker or appreciator of art, and it looks like messy crap and you destroy it before anyone else ever sees it, the creative process can clear out some of the internal yuck.

When words don't help, expressing yourself physically sometimes does (safely! never, ever risk hurting yourself or any other living thing, or make a serious mess for anyone else to clean up). If you want to cry, or yell, find a private space and do that for a little while. Find something you can safely kick or wallop. Move your body in a way that expresses your feelings, then try moving it in a way that expresses how you imagine you'd like to feel. When I feel angry or depressed, I sometimes get down on my knees and pound my fists on the floor and howl. Once I put on an old shirt so I could rend my garment. That felt really good.

Clean or organize something in your environment. Just washing the dishes usually makes me feel better, or cleaning out the junk drawer.

Doing yoga (or tai chi, or some martial art etc.) can work -- the focus and physical balance strongly affect your mental state, too. There are good reasons why, for hundreds or thousands of years, people seeking mental peace have turned to these practices. They often help.
posted by Corvid at 3:23 PM on November 24, 2012

Nature. Nature has been proven to have a positive effect on people's emotional state and thoughts. As if we were wired to find spiritual sustenance there. As if... we came from there.

Find a forest. :)
posted by nickrussell at 3:43 PM on November 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'm as atheist as anybody can be, but some people find comfort in talking to god, as you see god.
posted by xingcat at 3:46 PM on November 24, 2012

Meditation - the simplest answer.

And the most complex - as "meditation" has no easy definition. Still, one of the oldest forms of meditation works pretty well for many people across many cultures and millennia.

Find yourself a quiet spot and focus your attention on your breathing. Simple as that. Breathe in, breathe out. Other thoughts may intrude: "What am I to do about this? What am I to do about that?"

Every time these thoughts arise - return to paying attention to breathing in, then breathing out. If you need to, remind yourself that this is the most essential part of being alive in the world. And then return to simply breathing in, and breathing out.

It doesn't seem like much - but it works wonders.
posted by jammy at 4:36 PM on November 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

I agree with meditation and physical exercises (esp yoga) which are forms of meditation.

actually, I often find that talking to others about my problems sometimes increases my feelings of unease, because I am often just regurgitating negative emotions and complaints. Friends, who are not trained therapists, don't often know how to process the negativity or steer me away from it. They may even make comments that make me feel worse. Also, I may make them feel worse by being negative. I've found that for me, yoga, journaling, and have quiet time to myself goes a long way towards processing negative events and emotions.
posted by bearette at 7:47 PM on November 24, 2012

Playing guitar does it for me, when nobody is around to hear. When the muse rises I'll do about forty minutes without knowing where the time went, and when it's good, it's a literal buzz. Sketching, and modeling with clay also works for me.

I write stuff. I no longer journal. Nowadays I work up anecdotes or stories from journals I've kept over the years. This is just a way of organizing something, or show one of its meanings, not solve any sort of problem. I always write for a specific reader. If I write something to my brother in California I would show it differently than I would show the same event to RedBud (my SO). The difference sometimes reveals a something about the event I'd not seen or understood. Sometimes I destroy the anecdote, because its value was in its creation, and I'd just as soon that nobody ever saw it.

Reading poetry sometimes works, but it usually feeds the wrong dog.

Keep in mind that I'm thinking of ways to calm the waters, so to speak, not work out problems. Even so, these things have helped me work out stuff that didn't seem to have a handy solution.
posted by mule98J at 9:53 PM on November 24, 2012

I find prayer very helpful. Its the only thing that can bring me peace even in the midst of very painful or difficult circumstances.
posted by cantthinkofagoodname at 12:57 AM on November 25, 2012

Lots of interesting advice. Most of it physical, so that seems like a good place to start.

Remaining calm is the most I can do about it, so thanks.
posted by Ingenting at 3:07 AM on November 25, 2012

You can make an anonymous blog and put it all on there (with names changed), you might have no audience but I think that its out there, sort of like being written on a random wall in the world, might help you feel like its less secret and not bottled up anymore.
posted by meepmeow at 11:56 AM on November 25, 2012

I would also say prayer. I have seen it do miraculous things.
posted by sybarite09 at 5:23 AM on November 27, 2012

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