I found a simple coping mechanism, a calming exercise that I’ve been using lately. So I wanted to share it with you.

It works by thinking of words to describe feelings.

Nature As A Form Of Spirituality:

Nature is my spirituality. It calms me more than anything else. I only have to work with my plants. Or look at photos or paintings of nature and landscapes.

And of course, being out in nature is quite soothing.

This is why I have chosen to bring paintings of nature scenes into my apartment in the past few months.

Paintings Of Nature Scenes:

If, like me, you can stare into the painting and feel yourself become calmer, then this is a worthwhile addition to decorating your home.

The way I go about decorating my apartment is to evoke a feeling of serenity. Of providing a feeling of safety and happiness for myself.

Sometimes I just look out the French doors at my patio garden and I immediately feel my body relax.

The other day I read something that stuck with me. I can’t recall where I read it.

But I applied it and it works as both a coping mechanism and a calming influence for me.

How You Feel At This Moment:

You think of words to describe how you feel at that exact moment.

For instance: anxious, happy, calm. You don’t have to say them; just think the words to describe how you feel. Just 1-3 words are sufficient for me.

Tired, stressed, content, or any combination of feelings.

Maybe it is the distraction itself that calms me.

The Flood Of Hormones:

When you feel threatened, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.

The release of these hormones rouses the body for emergency action.

Your heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, and breath quickens. And also your senses become sharper.

Many feelings – such as fear, anger and joy – seem to be experienced more intensely by those with Asperger profiles than by average people.

What Is Asperger’s/ASD:

Asperger’s is considered a high-functioning form of autism. One of my grandsons has been diagnosed with it as well.

(Note: Many doctors still use the term Asperger syndrome, or Asperger’s, but all autism diagnoses are now formally ASD.)

For instance, I don’t like to go out among crowds or during the time of day when I think more people will be out and about.

I would be very hesitant to get on a bus or go to a concert or movie theatre. The older I get the more ingrained these responses seem to be.

Sounds combined with certain smells combined with visual stimuli can be overwhelming. It can bring on the fight or flight response.

Asperger’s/ASD Responses To The World:

People with Asperger’s syndrome may have high intelligence and better than average verbal skills. But have trouble with the regulation of emotions.

Or become easily stressed when sounds/noise persists.

However, adults with Asperger’s often have a remarkable ability to focus.

They may be able to concentrate on an issue or problem, especially if it interests them, for long periods of time.

This attention to detail may make them incredibly successful at problem-solving.

People with high-functioning autism often strive for perfection in everything that they do.

As a result, the efforts made by children or adults with Asperger’s represent attempts not only to solve a problem, but to solve it completely.

Try The Descriptive Words Exercise:

Try thinking of a few descriptive words to sum up how you feel right now. I’d be interested to read your responses.

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  1. Tired,sad,and fearful

    ( I spent my Monday at a doctor’s office out of town ,was not a good appointment )

  2. Stressed. Lonely. Old. Sad. I have a wonderful husband and everything I could ever want or need. I still can’t get it right. I’ll be 70 this year.

    1. Hey Susan, you are not alone. Same w/ me. I find myself beating myself up having such feelings when there really is nothing wrong w/ my life, wonderful hubs etc. I just think this past year of the pandammit and with that now amping back up and so much negative news weighs on us more than we know. And of course, so much has changed in the last year and I for one do not like the new “normals” and frankly resent all this added “change” in what should be my golden years. Just need to remind ourselves that we are resilient even when we don’t exactly feel it and also that our feelings are valid.

      1. The pandemic has been horrific and hard on us all. It’s something we didn’t expect in our lifetimes. I’m scared too. All I can do is keep wearing my mask and keep going I guess. I don’t think there are any answers. I pity the children going through this. They must be terrified. Traumatized.

        1. I agree Brenda. I feel like our way of life has totally changed. Some children, depending on their age will never know any other way of life.

    2. Susan, don’t beat yourself up. Accept how you feel. Fighting it probably just makes it more intense. Accept it and do simple things, like take a walk in nature.

  3. Just looking at the pictures in your post is a relaxing exercise. I’m going to try your little exercise. I love that last picture of the trees.

  4. Stressed, a lot of changes coming up. It’s actually for the better, but so much stuff to figure out. I especially like the picture at the top of the post.

    1. I got these photos from Pixabay.com. My garden is pretty much burned up and so I turned to this website for calming photos. They are all free.

    1. Me too, Naomi. Well, achy anyway. All my joints seem to be getting old too fast. I just woke up so I’m not tired. And I’m not frustrated. But achy, yes.

    1. I become annoyed so easily. In traffic, with people who don’t seem to think of others. The world can be a very annoying place, Carole.

  5. Gosh, I feel a sense of calm reading your post and the comments of others. I have social anxiety and it does make me feel like I am not alone when others share their stories. Have a good week!

    1. Cindy, I do pretty well when I’m at home. But when I’m out around others, the calm just evaporates. I just want to get back home.

  6. Thank you for your informative post. I am curious about the Asperger’s/ASD diagnosis. I had sent an email through the ‘contact me’ part of your site asking about this but not sure I finished it correctly. I too am an adult female (56) married w/2 grown children that have so many of the same symptoms that I’ve been masking most of my life. I actually retired early due to increasing issues with feeling uncomfortable with the public and social situations. Curious as to what type of therapist you went to for the diagnosis and what testing was involved. I score on the spectrum on any of the online ASD tests you find on various sites but not sure how accurate they are.

  7. I feel fine all day but at night if I wake up I start to worry, what will I do if anything happens to Simon (husband) it really tortures me as I would not want to go on without him.

    I would feel very calm if I could walk thru the trees as in your picture above. I also love to walk in the early morning along the seashore when no one else is about.

  8. Anxious, discontent, undecided. These feelings hv been persistent lately regarding at this time in life should we downsize to a one floor smaller home from a 4 story home? Living here 75 years where to go? Condo living doesn’t appeal at all!

    1. Wow ,,,,,
      A lot of space with 4 floors Kate!
      If affordable, it does take some time to get accustomed to condo living. Can be very fun!
      A much safer way to enjoy our senior years.
      Lots of (reasonable) activities.
      Also, very often places to shop.
      Makes it much easier on us I think.
      Our current home is way too much now. Too much work to do daily.
      Would consider moving to a condo in a heartbeat 💓
      Many of our friends are happier with less responsibility and worry.

      1. Marcee, since buying a condo won’t work for me at this time due to the market, if an apartment comes up in a 55+ place, I might just take it. I want to be around people my age.

    2. Kate, maybe you could meet in the middle. Four floors sound like quite a lot. Maybe a house on one level? My oldest daughter is 46 and has 3 floors and is getting the house ready to sell. Her back is like mine and she can’t handle it anymore.

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