THE CONCEPT OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY THINKING
This concept is central to everything you will see written here/in my book. It is about a process called cutting-off, or coming 'out' of our thoughts. We all do it and it's the subconscious process that protects us from holding on to thoughts too long, it keeps us sane and in the moment. Just like the time when we snap out of a daydream, you will see that our panic problem is us simply unwittingly forcing ourselves to go beyond these natural cut-off points and back 'into' those thoughts - even re-inviting any bygone intensity. Those cut-offs stand out we we are stressed and this is when we have a choice - whether to avoid any forced and 'conscious' controlling or engage in it? So, there is no need to forcibly tense up scrambling for complete 'answers', or to obsessively control - but these are the outcomes if we get stuck in that loop. So, we consciously and unnecessarily after-tense, over-reacting to our stress caused by that momentatary temption to break our flow at that stand-out cut-off point/spike.
Ok, so I 'did' get round to writing a book! What this book does is further outlines with examples ans simple diagrams etc how we veer into conscious over-controlling - soon this becomes a constant process that eats us up. Understanding that awareness to calm from overdoing 'it' is something that will eventually see us flowing more regularly. As you will see from the next page, flow is calm because it's momentary though - not because it's perfect.
Both Paperback and Ebook versions are available - please see attached review and 'Book Review' sections.
On Fri Apr 25 14:59, firstname.lastname@example.org sent This book was written by Will Beswick, who is one of the very few people whose views I respect on the subject of anxiety and the recovery from it. He is also a very nice, genuine person who in the past has given up a lot of his own time to help other sufferers. Will and I have kept in contact over the years since I first developed my site and in one of his emails he mentioned that he felt the time was right for him to write his own book on the subject. I told him I thought that would be a great idea as I admire his work and have always thought it should be available to a wider audience. Once completed, Will sent me a copy of his book and asked if I would review it for him and offer my opinion on it. This book proved to be a real eye opener for me and is one of the very few books I have read on the subject to which I could completely relate and which helped to increase my knowledge. I passed the book on to a couple of friends who were suffering from anxiety in the hope that it would help them also. They thought it was fantastic. I 'genuinely' believe it will help sufferers who are plagued with scary thoughts and obsessive behaviour. Scary thoughts are one of the most common symptoms of anxiety and Will does an excellent job of explaining this frightening symptom in more detail and, more importantly, gives a far better understanding of how to break the cycle, which has also helped me personally.
About The Book
Will, like me, never promises overnight cures; he understands that recovery does not come this way. He teaches that recovery comes through understanding and knowledge. The book tells his own story of suffering and how it affected his life for many years. While at University and at the height of his own suffering he went on to develop his own ideas and beliefs of what was truly wrong with him and how he could help himself (re COPAST). I have read the book from start to finish and believe that it can do nothing but help people to truly develop their understanding and knowledge on the subject, knowledge that can take them a lot further towards their goal of recovery from this terrible illness. Anyone who knows me can confirm that I don't advertise anything and never affiliate myself to any product. Regards Paul
...So, basically, I came to realise that we can't help what thoughts come in, whether they're internally or externally prompted. Whilst they can be negative or positive (see 'Method Of Recovery Diagram' MORD pts 1/2 - Ch 1) - it's pointless trying to alter this, as these just happen, almost like some pre-destined event - and that's why I also think this concept does imply there 'is' a fateful line for us all to follow - but - more importantly this is a path where we can flow through life picking up our momentary positive habit as we go along.
As you will see, this soon becomes a situation where we can successfully control our own destiny in our more calmer AND rational primary 'autopilot', as our growing knowledge leads to an improved ability to shape our futures. We can more smoothly glide through life and also the cut-off processes which bring us out of our thoughts, with less of our extreme intense controlling, worrying, or self-doubting leanings ...which were responsible for moving us into that reactive and secondary panic in the first place.
As my discussion with Abid revealed ('Advice Column' - Ch 6) - it's when we deviate from this positive flowing path that the problems start to occur.
Due to our varied character types - our reaction to our thoughts is characterised by fighter or flighter responses. Fighters tend to internalise their tension, whilst flighters tend to externalise theirs - over-control vs complete loss of control if you like (ref also MORD pt 3 - 'The Panic Scramble').
In TMW, you will also see how this has benefitted many other sufferers, showing you 'can' recover from panic and the associated repetitive behaviours that come with it if you understand how the mind really works ref 'Advice Column' sections Rob/Anna (Flighters), SJ, Nick, Emma, Terese and Candie (Fighters).
Before my next Recovery page, suffice it to say that COPAST is about two strands of thought -
1. being the person in positive, though imperfect flow, who thinks automatically, subconsciously and in the moment and who doesn't unnecesarily highlight/over-react to their negative experiences...
2. the person who compulsively and consciously reacts to what they've just thought/felt (secondary), spurred on by that catalyst 'spike/cut-off' point, which creates that 'complete-seeking' fight/flight response (see 'Recovery Page' Diagram). As detailed, it's not just a reaction to negative thoughts here - but can also be positive thoughts of control which can cause this overdoing panic reaction... such is our confusion.
On Fri 28/11//08 11:45 AM, Amanda sent: Hi Will, just to say – you taught me one very important thing – that we tend to go too far in our minds and that we don't have to follow this temptation, that really made it all so clear for me. Life is, indeed, a delicate balance, but this can be achieved – if we understand that staying ‘in the moment’ will see us through life, actually getting better at it. Paul’s site/book has been a great tool in helping me and I thank him particularly for introducing me to your work. Thanks again Amanda D Nov 08
Having that intense mind can be either very destructive OR productive/creative - we feel uncomfortable and 'think' we need to consciously and retrospectively correct or run from that feeling of stress. This just sends us into a mind spin of confusion and cumulative anxiety (see also 'Doubles' - Chapter 3).
'If we carry on breaking the flow of our thoughts, we can end up with repetitive coping behaviours/actions/reactions/predicaments, all due to the confusion this illness brings – this could be anything addictive, obsessive/compulsive: from checking to aggression, excess worry, 'blushing', voices, ruminating/running commentaries, depression, addiction, vomiting, over-eating or under-eating, self-abuse, abusing others, nervous tics/habits, stammering, phobias, constant running away/hiding, illusions/feelings of grandeur etc etc etc (ref MORD pts 3/4)'