When I began studying modalities of energy psychology I was skeptical. The techniques and interventions were strange. But after using these techniques I realized energy psychology was fast and effective for many mental health disorders and clients were pleased by the relief they felt.
These are some physiological changes that occur in the body that explain how energy psychology works.
Tapping on acupuncture points is thought to down regulate areas of the brain such as the limbic system and amygdala which are activated during stress. These points help to turn off the fight/flight/freeze response.
Techniques used in energy psychology change brain wave patterns to lower frequencies. These lower frequencies indicate relaxed states and higher frequencies indicate greater arousal.
Hormones such as cortisol, are reduced. Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone” because it is used to activate the body’s stress response during anxiety or panic attacks.
Acupuncture points and meridians correspond with connective tissue in the body. Connective tissue is made of collagen which is a conductor. Therefore, tapping on acupuncture point triggers the endocrine system to regulate the body’s parasympathetic nervous system
The simplest answer may be that everything is made of energy and therefore our thoughts and emotions have energy. We can use the interventions offered in energy psychology to instill healthy thought patterns and diminish the intensity of unhealthy thought patterns through the manipulation of the associated energy fields.
The scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of energy psychology is mounting.
103 Studies have been reported in Scientific Peer Reviewed Journals. 102 of those studies reported benefits of Energy Psychology. This chart shows results after 49 vets used an Energy Psychology technique know as tapping. The results are astonishing.
Clients report that not only are the techniques effective but the benefits are lasting.
In 2016, 13.9% of Georgia residents were uninsured. For uninsured individuals, comprehensive mental health care, including therapy, is often a rare commodity. The following resource list contains agencies in Georgia who offer affordable counseling, and other mental health services.
Low cost clinics are available in two locations: Norcross and Gainesville. In addition to counseling, psychological assessments are available at a reduced rate.
A nonprofit, ecumenical organization offering low cost counseling, pastoral care and education to individuals, couples, and families. They have several counselors in training. Located in Decatur, GA; 404-636-1457.
Emory University Outpatient Psychotherapy Training Program
A Department of Psychiatry training program for new psychiatrists, providing evaluations and individual, couples and group therapy, as well as medication management, on a sliding fee scale; 404-727-0399.
A Psychology Department therapy training center providing individual, couples, family and group psychotherapy on a sliding fee sale. They also provide a variety of lower cost psychological testing, including IQ, learning disability, attention deficit disorder and neuropsychological assessment services; 404-727-7451.
An organization that provides health, career and human services, including low fee counseling services, serving people of all faiths. They have several locations and counselors in training; 770-677-9305.
Website where therapists register and clients can search for therapist by zip code. This site is for discount sessions $30.00-$50.00 per session. Client’s must pay an initial registration fee of 50$. Individual therapist set their own prices for their counseling services.
The Mission of the Sage Center is to promote comprehensive wellness in the community by providing quality support services through counseling, consultation, education, and mentorship to individuals, professionals and organizations. Sage Center is committed to serving with integrity, compassion and respect in a balanced and collaborative environment. Reduced fee counseling services available now between $40 – $95. Clients seeking services through the STEP program may complete a short application at www.sagecenteratlanta.com that will help identify the counselor that can best meet the client’s needs and also determine fee. For more information or to inquire about services, please visit www.sagecenteratlanta.comor call Sage Center at 404-419-4221 Extension 103. Sage Center is conveniently located in North Atlanta near interstates 85 and 285 inside the perimeter.
An outreach of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church serving people of all faiths, providing sliding fee scale. Located in downtown Atlanta just south of Crawford Long Hospital off of Courtland Street; 404-876-6266.
Authentic-Life Counseling does not have first hand experience working with any of these agencies.
The reference list of agencies offering affordable counseling in Georgia has been provided as a resource.
Special thanks to Allyce Wellons, psychotherapist, who originally posted this content.
If you love a person who is wish-washy, unreliable and commitment-phobic (WWUCP), I feel your pain. Many people feel your pain. The unreliable person is a far to common complaint. We give a pass to serial no-shows, last minute change of plans, and an inability to make a commitment. Because of the passive-aggressive nature of the WWCUP actions, we are made to feel unjustified in expressing our unhappiness with the constant disappointment.
We should recognize that trying to cultivate a meaningful relationship with unreliable people has a negative impact our mental health. It is not good for us. It is time to respond to the Wishy-Washy, Unreliable and Commitment-Phobic People (WWUCP) in your life.
Stop Feeling Guilty About Setting A Boundary.
If a friend or family member was stealing from you, you would set a boundary and put a stop to it. If you do not, you are enabling their behavior.
Unreliability and an inability to make a commitment is a passive-aggressive form of theft. It steals your time which is a precious commodity.
Time manipulation is often tolerated because of the passive-aggressive nature. We don’t see it as a form of disrespect and theft, but it is.
Stop Accepting The Never Ending Excuses
We all have busy lives. Your time is not more valuable than mine. Unreliable people cancel with weak excuses. Don’t accept them. Weak excuses include canceling plans at the last minute because “Something else came along” or “I changed my mind at the last minute” is more than inconsiderate, it is disrespectful.
Call Out Minimizing
WCCUPS friends and family members are great at minimizing their behaviors. “What is the big deal?” “You could have still gone without me.” “Why are you getting so upset?” are familiar justifications. Minimizing their inconsiderate behavior while attempting to shine a light of hard-to-please, demanding, and needy behavior on you.
Often used in business, an opportunity cost is defined as – A benefit, profit, or value of something that must be given up to acquire or achieve something else. Since every resource (land, money, time, etc.) can be put to alternative uses, every action, choice, or decision has an associated opportunity cost.
Your time is valuable, and when it is manipulated, unreliable people make you pay an opportunity cost.
Loneliness and social isolation has been linked to depression, low-self esteem and shame. If you are experiencing lack of social contact because of WCCUPS’s manipulation of your time, you should understand these mental health implications. It is time for you to set a boundary.
Setting Boundaries with Inconsiderate People
You should feel confident and assured when setting a boundary. You are not being mean or inconsiderate by expressing your feelings and insisting on respect. The longer you tolerate the WCUUPS behavior the more resentful you will become. Inevitably this leads to you expressing how you feel when you are angry. Don’t wait.
Boundary Setting With WWUCP
If you do not know what to say, use this basic boundary setting format. It allows you to express how you feel while minimizing the risk of creating defensiveness.
“I feel blank when you do blank.”
I feel manipulated when you cancel our plans at the last minute.
I feel sad that I missed the opportunity to go out and have fun on my only day off.
Use Appropriate Levels of Firmness When Setting Boundaries
Start with a lower level of firmness and increase as necessary.
A lower level of firmness might include explaining your feelings of disappointment. Lifting the firmness level up a little would include an more assertive body language such as raising your voice slightly, changing the tone. Be mindful that when you set a boundary you never use an apologetic tone. Use a tone of voice which is confident and assured but kind. Give the WCUUP the benefit of the doubt that they do not understand the impact of their behaviors.
Ask for what you want and need in terms of commitment and reliability. For example, canceling plans at the last minute without a good reason is frustrating.
Use Higher Levels of Firmness When Necessary
After determining your needs and asking for what wait to see how they respond. If your needs and desires continue to be ignored you have some tough decisions to make. This may include limiting contact and declining future invitations. The relationship may only be able to continue in a superficial manner. You may need to face the fact that it is time to find new friends.
I hope this was helpful. Please leave a comment below and tell me how you are affected by WWUCP’s. Be in peace – diane
Visions of the perfect story-book holiday is a particularly difficult idea for many people. Surviving Christmas in dysfunctional families requires us to pull out all the tools we have learned in therapy so that we are not triggered by mal-adaptive thinking and emotional patterns.
Let This Dose of Encouragement Strengthen You
You have probably survived a lot already and will survive another Christmas too. Strengths, capabilities and wisdom are in you. Feel them and know that they are in you. Access your strengths now. In the words of the remarkable Louse Hayes:
“You have the power to heal your life, and you need to know that. We think so often that we are helpless, but we’re not. We always have the power of our minds…Claim and consciously use your power.”
― Louise L. Hay
Create Your Own Traditions – Surviving Christmas in dysfunctional families requires an authentic expression of new traditions. We do not have to engage in traditional rituals that do not work for us. If traditional family dinners or family visits create arguing and fighting, you might consider not participating. Emotions run high during Christmas and maladaptive patterns run rampant. If Christmas creates the perfect storm for family members to act at their worst, give yourself permission to not participate.
Be Aware of Your Expectations – For years I tried to create an ideal Christmas despite a great deal of dysfunction in my family. Of course, after the “big event” was over, I felt exhausted, anxious and sad. I had to accept that my expectations were irrational. An idyllic Christmas was not in my future. Once I accepted this reality, the holidays became much easier.
Set Boundaries – Surviving Christmas in dysfunctional families involves understanding your personal limits when you are exposed to mal-adaptive or abusive behaviors by family members. Perhaps that line in the sand is when too much alcohol is consumed, or passive aggressive actions are directed your way. Know what your limits are, and plan your escape strategy. Perhaps setting boundaries is limiting the time you spend with dysfunctional family members, or declining to participate in gift exchanges. Know your limits and protect your sanity.
Lean into Your Coping and Self-Care Strategies – If you come from a dysfunctional family, hopefully you have developed coping skills and self-care strategies to get you through the holidays. Lean into them or develop new ones. Be creative and give yourself permission to do what you need to do. Practice self-compassion.
If you have established a new traditions or coping strategies that has helped you survive Christmas in your dysfunctional family, please share your wisdom. It may help those of us who are still trying to master the art of Surviving Christmas in a dysfunctional family.
Although anxiety is classified as mood disorder, there are physical and cognitive (thinking) patterns that maintain the condition. Effective anxiety treatment not only addresses the anxious mood, but also the physical and cognitive aspects that support the anxiety.
At Authentic-Life Counseling, anxiety treatment utilizes traditional Western medicine and non-traditional Eastern healing techniques. The top five anxiety treatment approaches include:
5. Anxiety treatment – Addressing the Physical Aspect
When our body relaxes our mind relaxes. Many techniques are effective in calming the body. Progressive body relaxation is an example of an anxiety treatment frequently used to relax the body. Many guided mediation apps and YouTube videos are available to teach and guide individuals in learning this technique. The important thing to remember is to practice. The goal is to train the Central Nervous System to calm down so that the fight/flight/freeze response in the body is not so easily triggered.
4.Anxiety treatment – Life-Style Assessment and Changes
This may be a no-brainer but, anxiety treatment must include a thorough assessment of life style patterns. Poor sleep hygiene, exercise habits and diet contribute to the anxiety epidemic. Most people fail to honestly evaluate their life-style habits. Formulating a plan to make changes begins with setting small goals. Be mindful of realistic pacing to reach your goals. Ask for support from your family and friends. Be aware of your accomplishments and reinforce them in a meaningful way.
3.Anxiety treatment – The cognitive Aspect
Mindfulness. Many anxiety producing thoughts project a fear into the future. Mindfulness practice anchors us in the here and now. We are not in the future, we are in the present. The only place you can touch your life is in the present moment. In the present moment you can begin to notice the coming and going of sensory input. Your eyes, ears, and body are perceiving sights, sounds and physical sensations. Just let the sensations come and go. Something in you is witnessing the sensations. This is your consciousness or observers mind. Try to be a mindful witness of the present moment. Do not add anything to the present moment.
2.Anxiety treatment – Meditation
I teach all clients how to meditate, because I believe that meditation improves mental health. The intensity of racing thoughts determines how to begin your meditation practice. The easiest level of meditation is guided meditation. After learning to relax and concentrate during guided meditation, practice evolves into sitting meditation with a mantra. The purpose of a mantra is to stabilize and concentrate the mind, and relax the body. More difficult still, is releasing the mantra and sitting in observer’s mind. In this meditation practice we let mental processes arise, with acceptance and observance. We do not let the content of the thoughts hi-jack our emotional reaction. The thoughts are simply mental processes.
1Anxiety treatment – The Subtle Energy System and Energy Psychology
In the East, the subtle energy systems of the body are utilized to support healing. The subtle energy systems include the Chakra and Meridian Pathways. Energy Psychology is an evidenced based treatment which combines Eastern subtle energy healing with Western psychological modalities such as exposure therapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are. In the treatment of anxiety, the intensity of anxiety producing thoughts are reduced by moving the subtle energy associated with and maintaining the anxiety producing thought. Conversely, reinforcing belief systems to promote our strengths and capabilities are strengthened through the manipulation of the subtle energy systems.
Of all the clinical interventions that I might use, I find mindfulness to be one of the most effective for clients. Using Mindfulness vs. not, is akin to using a navigation system or not. Mindfulness is a constant gentle awareness of where we are and where we are going. It prevents us from getting lost. Even in situations like an overcrowded shopping mall.
While Christmas shopping is a buzz-kill for many of us, you can get transcend the manic energy of it all by practicing Mindful Christmas Shopping.
The key to cultivating mindfulness is simply practice, practice, and more practice. When a person is learning mindfulness, they will often slip in and out of awareness frequently, especially in the beginning. The more they practice they longer they will stay in a state of mindfulness, and the deeper their practice will become. It is that simple.
Practice mindfulness during daily activities such as eating, walking, or driving.
You do not have to be sitting in lotus position in an ashram to practice mindfulness. Try to practice regularly throughout the day. And Yes, you can even practice Mindful Christmas shopping while you are at the mall
Be present. The most valuable energy you can give to yourself, relationships, and your work, is your full presence. Multi-tasking does not bring right action or right effort to most situations. It does bring scattered-ness and impatience.
Follow your breath.
Unite your body with your mind. Through mindful breathing to return to the present moment.
Use a phone app.
Several mindfulness apps have been made available which can be quite helpful. My favorite is a mindfulness bell which chimes at specified intervals to remind me to come back to the present moment.
Mindfulness strategies could be useful to curb any compulsive or obsessive behavior. To apply mindfulness to curb compulsive spending an individual might find these strategies useful:
Know when you are in a trance.
Being unconsciousness or unaware lends itself to acting on urges in a trance-like state. To be fully in the present moment, one is aware of their actions, perceptions, and feelings. Know when the energy of compulsive behaviors rise up. A conscious awareness of the unwanted urges is a critical first step to change.
Are you a puppet and your emotions the puppeteer?
Identify the emotional levers manipulating the behavior. Compulsive behaviors often point to unpleasant feelings we are trying to deny or minimize. Feelings that could be a precursor to compulsive spending include boredom, anxiety, or sadness.
This too will pass
Realize the nature of Impermanence. Mindfulness points to the impermanent nature of all phenomena. For example, our likes become dislikes and our dislikes become likes. Realize the impermanent nature of desire and attachment. The next purchase that we think we have to have in just a matter of time will become the thing you no longer want.
Attaching ethical guidelinesto your mindful life
Understand your consumption. Consumer spending is as much an expression of consumption as what you had for breakfast. Who or what are you supporting through your next purchase? Understand that our spending habits influence economics, the environment, and human rights. Consider passing on those purchases which have ridiculously wasteful packaging or limit spending with companies who have notoriously working conditions for their employees.
The Connection Between Your Mental Health and the 2016 Presidential Election
There seems to be a new issue in the offices of many psychotherapist around the country. People are coming to therapy to discuss the connection between their mental health and the 2017 Presidential election.
Our relationships with family and friends are taking a hit as well. The discord in inter-personal relationships make us feel more isolated, invisible and alone which intensifies these emotions.
These “clinical issues” are certainly not new for therapist. However, a collective emotional reaction being triggered by a presidential election is a new phenomenon.
If you feel as though your mental health has deteriorated since the presidential election, understanding your reaction, and knowing how to respond with right action and right effort, can help balance and equalize your well-being
Understand Your Emotional Response
If you have been a victim of, or witnessed acts of violence such as sexual assault, bullying or racial discrimination, re-exposure to a similar threat can trigger responses associated with the fight/flight/freeze response such as fear, anger, or sadness. For example, the sexual predatory language used by President Elect Donald Trump may trigger a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder flavored reaction for women who have been sexually assaulted. The same is true for victims of racial discrimination and bulling. The exposure to the recent racially charged acts of violence can trigger a fight/flight/freeze response in those who have been a victim or or witnessed this type of violence.
Empowerment and Healing
If you have felt emotional upset by recent current affairs, this does not make you weak or thin-skinned. Don’t buy into this perspective which only re-victimizes the victim.
Although you may have been victimized, you are still responsible for your own actions, thinking processes and how you regulate your emotions.
Victims have a responsibility to understand and take care of the part of themselves that is wounded.
When we begin to feel in control again, our sense of autonomy, confidence, and self-mastery is enhanced. Walking a path that empowers, although not easy, is the path which leads to healing.
What You Can Do?
Engage in Self-Care – Do the things that make you feel cared for. Approach yourself with the nurturing love of a mother or father that protects, heals and soothes. Self-care does not mean you must spend a lot of money. Self-care might include subtle actions such as speaking meaningful words of affirmation and encouragement to yourself.
Therapy – Release some of the pain by talking about it. Express your emotions. Therapist are trained to help us understand how we internalize emotions in a hurtful manner such as self-blame. If you cannot talk to a therapist consider a faith leader, a trusted friend or family member who will listen with compassion.
Master Yourself – Every long journey begins with the first step. Take the first small step to self-mastery. You do have the capacity to feel in control, safe and connected. Take risk and be willing to try new things. There are others out there who have suffered similar traumas, and like a phoenix, they have risen out of the ashes.
Unplug – Many of us have become obsessed with the latest political developments. If watching the news upsets you beyond what might feel like a normal response, take a break. Unplug. You don’t have to put your head in the sand or become uninformed, just take a little break. Instead, allow something uplifting to become the object of your mind such as spiritually uplifting material.
As a psychotherapist, I offer clients skills which promote emotional and mental well-being. If I could give my clients one gift, it would be that they learn to meditate . For new students, practical questions such as what is the best time to meditate are important.
“If I could give my clients one gift, it would be a regular meditation practice. ”
Find a teacher:
When learning to meditate, having a teacher is important.Different types of meditation should be matched to fit the needs and personality of the student. Also, new students may experience periods of frustration as they begin to meditate. Attempts to control a racing “monkey mind ” is difficult in the beginning. Individuals may experience difficulty sitting still. Zen Meditation practice teaches to face your discomfort with the energy of a smile. In other words, you lovingly observe the discomfort without attaching to it.
As far as time – there are specific times of day to meditate that are particularly conducive to a experiencing a deep meditative state.
“Rolling in or out of bed and directly into your meditation practice provides an obvious advantage. Your brain is already humming at a frequency that is conducive to a meditative state”
There are two times of the day that are particularly advantageous, for meditation but any time of the day will be beneficial to your mental and emotional health. If you cannot accommodate these suggested “best” times it is better to practice when ever you have a chance. Be as diligent as possible with your practice. Daily meditation is like a savings account. You are making deposits into the account of calmness, clarity and peace and you make withdrawals on those feelings when they are most needed such as during times of stress.
However, if possible the best times of the day to mediate are:
First thing in the morning
Before bed time
These times periods are optimal because of corresponding brain wave activity. Meditative states have a corresponding brain wave frequency. The brain wave frequencies observed in meditation are the same frequencies experienced when we are coming in or out of sleep cycles. Rolling in or out of bed directly into your meditation pillow provides an obvious advantage. Your brain is already humming at a frequency that is conducive to a deep meditative state. Add a dose of focused awareness, and you have a deep meditation experience.
Why are these times of the day better?
Explanations of brain wave frequencies and brain functioning help us understand why meditation in the morning or at night has advantages.
Beta (14-40 Hz) – The waking consciousness and reasoning waves: Beta brain waves are associated with normal waking consciousness and heightened state of alertness, logic and critical reasoning. Beta waves are important for effective functioning throughout the day, they can also translate into stress anxiety and restlessness.
Alpha (7.5-14Hz) – The deep relaxation wave: Alpha waves are associated with deep relaxation. This usually occurs when you close your eyes, when you slip into a lovely daydream, or during light meditation. Alpha is responsible for heightening your imagination, visualization, learning and concentration. The voice of Alpha is your intuition which becomes clearer and more profound the closer you get to 7.5Hz.
Theta (4-7.5) – The deep meditation and sleep wave: Theta is present when sleeping, when in deep meditation and light sleep. It is the realm of your sub consciousness and only experienced momentarily as you drift off to sleep. Research has shown that a sense of deep spiritual connection and unity with the universe can be experienced at Theta. Theta is where you experience vivid visualization, great inspiration profound creativity and exceptional insight. The voice of Theta is silent.
Delta (0.5 – 4Hz) – The deep sleep wave: The delta frequency is the slowest. It is experienced in deep dreamless sleep. In this state, awareness is fully detached. It is the only brainwave that is important for the healing process. Not having enough Delta can be dangerous to health.
Gamma (above 4OHz) The insight wave: this brain wave is the most recently discovered. It is the fastest of all frequencies. It is associated with burst of insight and high level of information processing.
The ego. An elusive but dominating force. It sneaks up on us and takes control of our thoughts, words, and behaviors in a wink of an eye. I have had many discussions with clients, friends and family about the importance of understanding one’s ego. I have been trying to understand mine for a long time.
The persona of my ego is a ninja. It is shadowy, elusive, potentially dangerous but never far away.
When the conditions are right my ego-ninja takes control of the wheel by hi-jacking perceptions, emotions, rational thinking and behaviors. Often the agenda of my ninja are at odds with my true objectives.
The Latest Coup Attempt
Please let me provide a little background information for the recent conditions which made a coup attempt perfect for my ninja . My family, like many families, has suffered a great deal due to alcoholism and substance abuse. If you have or have had substance abuse in your family, you know that it is the bad gift that keeps on giving through the years and sometimes, sadly through generations.
The conditions could not have been more perfect for my ninja ego. It’s summer and I’m at a pool party. An acquaintance, I will call Dean, is drinking shots of Jack Daniels. And…as people do when drinking Jack Daniels…. Dean is becoming obnoxious and loud. A group of vibrant 20 year old girls are at his table. Dean tries to convince the young women to drink shots with him. None of them do thank goodness. However, Dean was perfectly modeling a crash course in Binge Drinking 101. Responsible Drinking 101 is the course that would benefit the young women. Not to mention Dean’s is breaking the law. And, not to mention, maybe the families of these young women would like to be the ones who introduce them to alcohol by modeling responsible drinking ie Now that you are legal drinking age, would you a glass of wine with dinner?
The Ninja Takes Control
After observing Dean’s actions, I was quite angry. After calming down, I decided to talk to Dean and explain why his actions were not OK on many levels. The discussion I planned to have with Dean began running through my head. It was only through a deep awareness that I understood what Ninja Ego truly wanted. My true objectives were to try and help Dean see how his actions encourage binge drinking of hard whisky to young women and why that is dangerous. Ninja had a different agenda. Because of my past pain, Ninja Ego wanted to make Dean feel stupid and ashamed. Trying to shed some light on Dean’s behavior had taken back seat to Ninja Egos objectives. Ninja Ego wanted Dean to pay… a little. And at the end of the conversation, Ninja wanted to feel superior and smarter. Yes, Dean should be told that what he did was not smart and explain why. But Ninja wanted more
Surprise….You Too Have an Ninja Too
Your ego has ninja qualities too. Look for them. Understand them. What makes your ninja ego plan a coup? To answer this ask yourself, what do you defend? Is your existence or worth based on some idea of what it is to be a good man/woman, Republican/Democrat, vegetarian/meat-eater, victim, Protector of Young Women?
When anger, frustration, judgement, intolerance arise, your ninja ego ninja is close by. She is elusive. She is in the shadows, but she is there. Before you know it your good intentions are vanquished.
The most interesting aspect of this experience was the subtle nature of ninja. I barely saw the true intentions, which were to make Dean feel bad, and for me to feel superior and smarter. It was if ninja ego was somewhere, very, very far back in my subconscious mind.
I know you are there ninja ego. I am watching out for you.
Images in the news of police violence, racial tension, domestic and international terrorist attacks, and a divisive Presidential Election are constantly streaming. These images become part of our conscious mind. The result is that
Watching the news is having a negative affect on our mental health.
I have noticed relationships between family and friends straining and breaking as we argue and disagree about the causes and solutions to our problems. What I know about problems and solutions is this: Creative and solutions focused thinking, deep listening and flexibility are the ingredients needed to solve the complicated problems we face in our families and communities. Stress, worry, ego and anxiety will always prevent collaboration and understanding.
If you are stressed out, understanding the root cause is critical, and will dictate the best course of treatment. The root causes of anxiety vary a great deal from one person to the next. Some of us are predisposed to anxiety because of heredity factors.
We inherit personality types from our parents which make us susceptible to becoming easily excited, aroused or threatened.
Anxiety might also be sustained through our beliefs, behaviors, or emotions. When we sustain anxiety we are often engaged in anxious self-talk, irrational beliefs, or disassociating from feelings.
Irrational beliefs often have their genesis in childhood. We inherit them from our family of origin.
For example, if the unspoken family rule was “We don’t talk about feelings”, we may assume this behavior. Irrational beliefs further support the behavior. We may subconsciously think “I am weak when I talk about feelings”. As the cycle continues as we begin to disassociate. We try not to feel anything when in reality, anger, worry and fear is marinating somewhere deep inside, waiting for the right conditions to erupt. The final nail in the coffin occurs when we begin to only pay attention to the stimulus that supports our entrenched beliefs and perceptions. We see what we want to see. We only tune in to the news or radio shows which will support our pre-existing beliefs.
Short-term causes of anxiety are driven by experiences we have in the world. A personal experience with a traumatic event is the hallmark experience which leads to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Witnessing a traumatic event in which we feel threatened or in danger can create PTSD symptoms.
PTSD is particularly relevant concern today. When we turn on the news we risk witnessing a traumatic event in which we feel personally threatened.
Here are a few solutions to reduce anxiety, stress and worry.
A healthy mind must be supported by a healthy life style.
If your lifestyle lacks exercise, a healthy diet or adequate rest, try to address these issues first. Begin with small changes. If a gym membership makes you feel overwhelmed, begin with a 15 minute walk.
Minimize the personality traits that feed anxiety.
If you are a glass half-empty personality, try to see the glass half-full. Don’t expect changes to come all at once. This will be a gradual process. Start with a paradigm changes few times during the day. I like the book Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson which provides great exercises for changing how we internalize environmental stimulus from a half-empty to a half-full paradigm.
Maintaining causes or short term causes of anxiety, are often sustained through a complex interplay of cognition, behaviors, perceptions, and emoting. It is very helpful to have an objective person to help you figure it out, provide support, and offer specific treatments. Use list services such as Psychologytoday.com or Networktherapy.com to find therapist in your area. These websites also allow for searching by criteria such as areas of specialty, treatment options, gender and religion
Breathe and be in the present moment. Learn to turn down the racing thoughts. Stop right now and practice. Find something in the present moment that is beautiful, graceful, calming. Often we over-look stimulus in the present moment that will bring us peace, joy, or calm. There are many options for learning mindfulness. Meetup typically offers local groups that provide instruction and support for learning and practicing. I learned a great deal about mindfulness from reading books. You A. re Here by Zen Master Tich Nhat Hanh is beautifully written, simple and easy to apply. If you are new to meditation, begin with guided meditations which can be found on-line for free.
Use a comprehensive treatment approach.
.We are holistic beings. A change in our physical behavior can change our attitude and vice versa. Do not limit your treatment to one area. If you take up exercise, that will likely reduce anxiety or other psychological symptoms. Try to expand your consciousness and be willing to try changing your behaviors, thinking patterns and how you emote. You can then learn to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety.
I often tell clients to try and be the best version of you. This best version is not a version that is hyper-vigilant, afraid, or worried. The best version is flexible, expressive, authentic, happy and calm. Be this. The world needs you at your best.
Hi, my name is Diane and I provide a variety of counseling services to foster the emotional and psychological well-being of individuals and families. I believe optimal health requires achieving balance between our mental, physical, emotional and social functioning. I consider it an honor to help people find this balance and improve their lives. To view more about me and my methods, please click to read more.