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Comment author: Clarity1992 11 April 2012 10:53:40AM 4 points [-]

Why "summary for impatient readers" not "summary"?

Comment author: eugman 11 April 2012 11:52:50AM 8 points [-]

To me, it signals "If you are likely too impatient to read through the entirety of a science-heavy article, here is a rough summary. However, be warned that this is a compromise and doesn't capture the whole essence of the article." Whereas summary means "Here is everything you need to know, in short."

Comment author: FiftyTwo 19 December 2011 10:02:24PM *  0 points [-]

I've been trying it for the last couple of days. Current I have a gesture where I trace a lower case letter 'n' in the air for negative thoughts (I've had similar depressive tendencies to you) and 'd' for 'distraction' (my anxiety issues cause me to find distracting activities rather than concentrate on the task at hand that is causing me distress). So far it has been quite helpful its definitely interesting to notice when I'm distracting myself semi-subconsciously.

I'm also trying a 'p' gesture for when I'm going over past thoughts, a sideways gesture of dismissal to get something true but irrelevant off my mind and consciously smiling when I notice I'm thinking happy thoughts. But these aren't as rigorous as yet.

I'll report on my results later. Any comments on my methodology?

Comment author: eugman 19 December 2011 11:48:36PM 0 points [-]

It sounds like a very good start. I can easily see how the use of letter can help with remembering the gestures. Let me know how the distraction one goes especially, because I have similar issues currently.

I'd say just monitor the process carefully. One, by trying to learn multiple gestures at once, you risk burning out on all of them. The two week timeframe seems like a good counter to that. Also, as I mentioned, be careful with a gesture for negative thoughts, especially because you have it linked to a letter. The gesture should be as general and sensation-linked as possible. That way you don't ever spark negative thoughts as a result of the gesture.

Comment author: SilasBarta 19 December 2011 09:37:34PM 1 point [-]

I think you tend to get that signal for a very good reason, and it's not generally not a signal you want to turn off.

Comment author: eugman 19 December 2011 11:21:35PM 3 points [-]

I should have clarified. It helps me deal with the heebie jeebies of walking in my backyard alone at night.

Comment author: Bobertron 18 December 2011 12:28:41PM *  3 points [-]

The amount of worry and anxiety some people have in regard to their problems (say, health or financial problems) might not be healthy at all, and might lead to depressive moods. And yet, avoiding those problems by avoiding to think about them would be really bad.

Rumination and worrying are a habitual, unmindful and irrational type of thinking. They are just replaying cached thoughts, and that shouldn't even be dignified by being called "thinking". It's not good for depressed people, for anxious people or for anyone else. I absolutely agree that one shouldn't dwell on such thoughts. I'm just saying that instead of automatically stopping your thoughts, or doing anything automatically, one should have at least one good look at those thoughts and think. And I mean think mindfully, rationally and critically. I'm not saying one should necessarily think about the "problem", but rather about the thoughts themselves. Are they rational? How would I think about that if I weren't depressed? And no, don't feel depressed about being depressed or worry that you will never stop worrying ;-). Once that's done, you can let that thought drop, but not before.

Comment author: eugman 18 December 2011 12:43:34PM *  3 points [-]

May I make a comment? So first let me say you are right, it's bad to avoid negative thoughts. I think you made a very valid counterpoint and I updated on it. So I (now) think this is something one has to be careful with.

However, at times in one's life these depressive thoughts can be so overwhelming that none of them get the attention they need because the person just doesn't have the energy for them. So this has at least given me the chance to start fixing these thoughts, one at a time, instead of all at once.

Comment author: eugman 16 December 2011 02:08:04AM 3 points [-]

More data! This apparently is also an awesome way to deal with the heebie jeebies of walking alone at night.

Comment author: argumzio 15 December 2011 07:29:25PM 3 points [-]

The other effect is that it seems to function as some sort of intra-brain communication.

This is not so surprising. Intra-brain conflicts are well-established neuro-psychological phenomena, primarily on account of the presence of two hemispheres being thinly connected by axon fibres. There is a degree of modularity in the brain, because each hemisphere tends to work within its own sphere as a general rule.

I am curious to know: which hand/finger generally exhibits these non-verbal cues for you to recognize and label particular thoughts consciously?

Comment author: eugman 15 December 2011 08:02:12PM 3 points [-]

My dominant hand, the right. Specifically the pointer finger. Sometimes, if my right hand is occupied, it will happen with my left hand. However, I usually get upset if it does, because it feels like I'm messing something up. I hate how bizarre this sounds, but it's as if my hands are speaking in homophones and the left hand has a slower, deeper pitch, so the word/gesture has a different meaning when coming from the left hand.

Comment author: thomblake 15 December 2011 06:37:15PM 5 points [-]

Being long is not a disqualifier for being in discussion. In fact, every main post could go into discussion; the question is whether a post deserves to be in main.

Comment author: eugman 15 December 2011 06:52:35PM 7 points [-]

After reflecting upon your statement, I believe that I committed a case of attribute substitution. I substituted "Is this a fully fleshed out idea?" with "Is this a long post?". Although, on further reflection, being fleshed out is perhaps necessary but definitely not sufficient for main.

Comment author: eugman 15 December 2011 06:25:14PM 0 points [-]

This seemed long enough that it shouldn't go in discussion. However, if anyone thinks otherwise, let me know and I'll move it.

How to label thoughts nonverbally

35 eugman 15 December 2011 06:23PM


Recently I've been attempting to put a damper on my ruminations. Sometimes they can get out of control and be somewhat self-sustaining. These negative, repetitive thoughts can be harmful and make depression worse. Accordingly, I've been looking for techniques to help manage this.

In a previous post, I talked about how I stumbled onto a way to track emotions through kinesthetic memory. Specifically, I am using a checkmark gesture to mark negative thoughts, and at this point it has become semiautomatic. The results have been quite interesting.

A little later, someone wanted to know about the process in detail. My first impulse was to shout "MU!". It seems contradictory to try to use words to describe something that is inherently and intentionally a nonverbal process. However, I decided that is was worth a shot. Below, I cover the skills that you will need, how the process works, and my personal experiences with it.

continue reading »
Comment author: [deleted] 15 December 2011 05:26:20AM *  4 points [-]

Fascinating! Maybe you could write a step-by-step post, and elaborate on the specifics?

Personally I'd like to have the following questions answered:

Edit: Do you tag both emotions and thoughts?

  • How do you define emotion?
  • How specific/big is your Tag-cloud?
  • Does it ever happen that you are unsure what to tag an emotion as e.g. what you are really feeling? (I guess you could tag that as feeling confused)
  • Does tagging have any reinforcing effect?
Comment author: eugman 15 December 2011 11:47:35AM *  4 points [-]

I could do that. I feel a little silly writing a post right after this one. It feels redundant or like karma-hogging. Can anyone deprive me of my delusions?

Edit: Done

View more: Next