Making the beast beautiful

Cover image by Viergacht

I just finished reading “First, We Make the Beast Beautiful” by Sarah Wilson. It’s the first book I’ve read, maybe ever, in which I was frantically taking notes while reading it. My spouse and I have been struggling with anxiety lately, and this book really got to me. I found the words and exercises very helpful, and I figured I’d share my rather unfocused notes with you. Maybe they’ll spark your interest and you’ll read the book too! I should note that I’m also seeing a therapist to help with my anxiety and depression. I wouldn’t want you to think that reading alone is a viable treatment for anxiety.

  1. Have an imaginary talk with a kid. A kid you like, or even your younger self. Imagine that kid is having a rough time. Comfort them. 
  2. View insomnia as a way to get reacquainted with oneself. Maybe it’s your body’s decision, perhaps unconscious, that thinking will be more productive than sleep. 
  3. Write a “No Wonder” letter to your funny, little anxiety. “No wonder you are feeling this way…”
  4. Just say “I’m anxious” it takes power from the amygdala, the animal part of our brain where anxiety lives.
  5. Make your bed every day. Daily rituals that we complete without exception can quiet the brain.
  6. I should research Vedic meditation 
  7. Have a daily gratitude ritual in which you list things you are thankful for. This can shift perspective. It works!
  8. Does the problem that is making you anxious exist right NOW? Or is it something from the past, or something in the future. Think about the problem in terms of NOW.
  9. Weekend Panic. Learn to back off from weekend expectations. Quell your FOMO by staying inside on a sunny day. You’re not really missing anything.
  10. Flânerie: a wandering walk
  11. Eat more veggies and fruits. 5-9 servings/ day
  12. Eat more fermented stuff.
  13. Check with a nutritionalist to see what supplements would benefit you. 
  14. Research Brené Brown and vulnerability ( Thanks for using WordPress to power your website. )
  15. Shake up routines, try something completely different. Let go. Back the fuck off.
  16. Research Andrew Solomon ( Thanks for using WordPress. )
  17. The knotted ball of yarn. Slowly loosen it. Cannot be done in a day, it takes time.
  18. Find space been breaths. Smile with your eyes. 
  19. Sit in the grime. Develop a tolerance for anxiety.  Get wabi sabi. 
  20. Research Chris Barez-Brown. ( Yay, WordPress! )
  21. Go directly to being cool with the unknown. 
  22. Give up on yourself, on trying to be the perfect being.
  23. Don’t wait until the conditions are perfect. Take action, now, while you at imperfect. 
  24. Explore Sarah’s Website ( Bazinga, WordPress! )

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