Computer addiction, stress management and showing up

Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

In the Spirit of Improv, I’m working to look on the bright side of being disabled on the computer front. To be honest sitting in this humid internet cafe it’s a bit of a struggle!

But there’s nothing like having your computer disabled to highlight how big a role it plays in your life. I realise I spend a lot of my time at the PC – way too much time. I realise the shock and anxiety I felt at its failure was actually disproportionate to the real problem. I’ve become an addict, shoved into Cold Turkey against my wishes.

Filling the void – emptying the flat

Filling the void over the last few days has been challenging and a definite learning experience.

Without the PC to entertain me, I started to pay more attention to the state of my flat. And this has set in train a quite remarkable surge of throwing things away. I took at least 200 books to the charity shop yesterday. Books I knew I was never going to read again. Quite a few that I’d actually not read in the first place! (and far too many of these were overlong business books). I also have three big sacks full of old clothes I realise I’d not worn for years and never will. Also bound for the charity shop.

And now I’m in this sort of mood, I’m frankly horrified at all the other old junk that I have cluttered my life with. All sorts of decrepit bit of PC gear and goodness knows what else. A series of expeditions to Islington Council’s skip are planned for Sunday morning.

And now for the psychological bit

I talk about managing stress when I’m running courses, so this has been a good chance to remind myself of some basics that work for me: be willing to feel the fear rather than struggle against it; and socialise the anxiety – just having a friend listen to a good moan did me a power of good.

What I was also reminded of was that some people’s first response to other’s distress is to make suggestions (witness all those “buy an Apple” comments earlier this week.) Suggestions are ok, but often what’s more useful is a simple acknowledgement of the feelings.

For me, this all forms part of my General Theory of Showing Up. Which includes the idea that acknowledgement of feelings (both my acknowledgement to myself and the acknowledgement of others) is a powerful way of showing up, and moving away from panic.

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