Monday 20 January 2014

How Smart Is Your Right Foot?

Don't worry my friends I am not being very deep or insightful tonight. Last night my friend emailed me a little trick. I happened to be seated in a lazy boy recliner at the time so I figured the least I could do was lift up my right foot and give this a try. It sounds so very simple:

HOW SMART  IS   YOUR  RIGHT  FOOT ?    You have to try this please, it  takes 2 seconds. I could not believe this!!! It is from an orthopedic  surgeon................This will boggle your mind and it will keep you trying  over and over again to see if you can outsmart your foot, but, you can't. It's  pre-programmed in your brain !     1). Without anyone  watching you (they will think you are GOOFY....) and while sitting at your  desk in front of your computer, lift your right foot off the floor and  make   clockwise   circles.    2). Now,  while doing this, draw the number '6' in the air with your right hand.  Your foot will   change direction.    I told you  so !!! And there's nothing you can do about it! You and I both know how  stupid it is, but before the day is done you are going to try it again, if  you've not already done so. Send it to your friends to frustrate them too.

So of course I could not do it. My 11 year old son noticed me sitting in the chair reading from my smartphone and sticking my foot in the air doing circles and of course could not resist drawing everyone's attention to it.  I told him what i was trying to do and he of course wanted to prove that he could do it. I started laughing and my husband of course wanted to know what the the joke was. I read him the instructions and he began to try as well. My son and I were killing ourselves by this time as my Husband would not admit defeat. This was all so good I had to call me In-Laws to have them give it a try. My father-in-law said he could do it but until I see it in person I am sceptical. Next I called my Mom and had her and my Stepfather trying madly to prove they were more talented the rest of us. My Mother and I were laughing so hard I was short of breath and had to tell her I would call her back later. 

So simple....make my limbs overcome their natural programming and do what I want them to do. "Lightbulb" How is that any different than the panic/fear/anxiety responses that I struggle with every day.  I tell my body to move and some programming in my brain says "overruled, this is the way we do things around here." So the trick is....what do we need to do to change that programming? Is Cognitive or Acceptance therapy the key or is there something more?

Apparently there is an entire field of study that works on this very topic. Its called Psychotechnology. This is actually a really huge topic that explores many kinds of tests and interventions. In particular I was interested in the use of Virtual Reality type programs to do exposure therapy. This would mean I could, in safety, run a program that would allow me to, overtime, to expose myself to the very things that create my anxiety responses and learn to react differently. Whew, sign me up for the mobile app for that!

Read this excerpt from How Stuff Works
"After some additional research, Hodges created the company Virtually Better, Inc. The company designs and sells virtual reality systems that accurately recreate several different classic phobia situations, including social phobias involving crowds of people. Now a therapist can take a patient on a virtual flight without the hassle of scheduling travel, go on a virtual elevator ride without ever stepping out of the office, or give a speech in front of a crowd of people, all without leaving the office or compromising patient confidentiality."

That being said, I have several apps on my phone right now that I use for meditation when things start to unravel for me when I am outside of my very safe feeling home. They really seem to help. The trick is to remember to use them. I think that is where the CBT comes in. Take a pause, breathe, turn on my blowing wind or rain sounds. 

It is exciting to think of where this technology could lead. I would love to be able to buy a PS3 game that gently exposed me to my triggers. 

Take time to today to think about what new techniques you could try to improve your reaction to triggers. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


No comments:

Post a Comment