ROADS TO RECOVERY: DO SOMETHING… ANYTHING…
Take the Negative Thought Action
and Shift It Into a Positive Action
Women are so much more highly critical of themselves. I’ve only met one guy who I knew picked and he was in my screen-writing class, He was always nervous. During class he would sit there and pick at his pimples. In front of people!
If you have a picking habit it has not gone unnoticed by the people around you. They just don’t talk about it much.
Some of the worst culprits of this silence are often your very closest loved ones. Husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, co-workers and friends all have noticed the little red bumps, the scars on your face, or the way your fingers look no matter how hard you’ve tried to cover it up. It’s not that they don’t care. Just how do you bring up such a subject and express concern over such a thing. It is not uncommon to hear somebody say, “hey, I think you’ve had too much to drink,” to an alcoholic or, “Tell me about the food you’re eating,” to someone with an eating disorder. But how do you talk about something so personal or so… taboo.
People Know – Nervous Energy
While at the poetry reading yesterday, I noticed how almost all of the women around me, and one of the men, were “leaking energy” by wiggling their foot or moving their hands/fingers in some way. But I was sitting there STILL. One of the women wiggling her foot (actually swinging her leg from the knee down) has a Ph.D. in psychology! It showed me that a person can have all the knowledge about self-awareness and yet not be centered themselves. So much energy wasted on non-purposeful activity! I wonder what message our brain is sending to our wiggling foot or picking fingers to fire the activity. In the Emotional Intelligence tapes, the author says that every emotion is an impulse to act. What emotion precedes the impulse to pick?
Once in a great while it happens. My friend, Maggie, was shamed into stopping the picking habit, when staying with a family on an overseas trip. They simply said to her, “You touch your face too much.” I don’t think people in Western Culture would ever be that candid.
As I was sitting at my job one day towards the beginning of my recovery, I was feeling exceptionally fidgety. I knew I could not pick at myself in front of my co-workers, nor did I want to. But I had this thought of – what if I never pick again…what am I going to do with my hands?
My first and best advice to you if you are having problems with your skin in any way is to STOP EVERYTHING you are doing to heal it! When you focus attention your attention on something, you magnify it and encourage its growth. Normally this is something that has a positive effect, such as focusing on meeting a goal on the job, paying really close attention to how you decorate that cake, or lavishing attention on your garden. But with habitual picking it has the opposite effect. I have found from personal experience that the more you think about your face, your hands, or picking, the more of a problem it becomes. Attention on the skin becomes self defeating – The more you obsess, the more you fret.
After I stopped picking I started to realize just how much ‘loose’ energy I was putting into the habit. The first few weeks were the hardest, because I literally had to retrain myself to ‘do’ something else. But in going through that process, miraculously my skin started to look better. Yes, I still got breakouts, but they didn’t have the same look anymore, There weren’t scabs on my face, just embarrassing pimples. And I eventually even got over being embarrassed by them. And my cuticles healed all by themselves. I actually did not cleanse my face on a daily basis. I washed it in the shower when I washed the rest of my body and hair ever 2 to 3 days or so. And that was it!
No nightly ritual, no toner, no moisturizer, no nothing. I gave my skin the message that I was giving up and letting it do its job again. And as I said within days I started noticing a difference. My partner remarked on how healthy my skin was looking.
Although I was not picking at my face any more, I found myself drawn to picking at my cuticles. That nervous energy had to go somewhere and it went to my hands. I would catch myself starting to pull on a loose cuticle end, only to admonish myself and stop. I knew I needed to do something with my energy. I needed to start some new habits.
People Know – Neck Exercises
Doing neck exercises will serve 2 purposes for you. It will help expel nervous energy and also make your neck muscles stronger so you won’t be tempted to rest your face in your hands. Every time your head feels heavy enough to rest. Do neck exercises. Try it right now:
- Stretch your head so your chin touches your chest.
- Now slowly tilt it back, but not too far, because it is not good to overextend your neck.
- Tilt your head slowly from side to side so that your right ear tries to touch your right shoulder then your left ear touches your left shoulder.
- And lastly turn your head so you are trying to look over each shoulder one at a time.Do these exercises slowly and sensually. Get back in touch with your body. And don’t roll your neck around like you are trying out for a lead in “Flashdance.” This really isn’t good for the vertebrae in your neck. Every time you start to rest your head choose a different exercise.
- Next time do shoulder rolls or do shoulder shrugs by lifting up your shoulders and squeezing them close to your head and holding them that way for a moment and then releasing them. Do this a couple of times and see if you still feel like resting your head on your hands.
This will help increase the blood flow to the area and temporarily alleviate muscle fatigue. Plus, your chiropractor and orthopedic doctor will be very proud of you!