Psychological Effects

Emotions Affect Healing

6977_10151373588542650_572368770_nWhen we are under stress it causes a cascade of hormones and reactions to flow throughout the body. Non-essential bodily functions shut off, energy producing functions kick in, blood (along with it’s immune and repair gadgets) goes to where it’s needed most to get us out of danger. When we’re running from a tiger that makes sense, the body doesn’t need to be digesting food or healing wounds when you’re about to be eaten alive.  Once the threat is over the body goes back to healing and repairing, sending the relaxation hormones into motion and putting the fight, flight, or freeze hormones back in the box until next time.

We Must Grieve

When we experience an injury that potentially limits or ends our ability to perform physical activities, there is a loss of something important that is created.  Whether athlete, weekend warrior, or parent chasing after little ones, there is often a sense of longing for what was once but will no longer be.  Well-meaning friends and family may say that we need to just get over it or find something else to take its place, but that beloved activity was more than just a past-time; it represented, in some ways, the personal power and control over our own bodies that has been taken away.

Things You Need to Know about PTSD-Guest Author

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If you have experienced a significant trauma in your life you may be suffering from the lingering effects of Posttraumatic Stress.  If the following guest article reminds you of your own feelings, or of a loved one,  know that there are natural methods available to help…

Things You Need to Know about PTSD

by Ryan Rivera, www.CalmClinic.com

To feel terrified, dejected, restless, and disconnected are but natural for people who have witnessed a very traumatic event. The emotions that make us human are sure to be shaken up as we try to internalize and make sense of the disconcerting experience. With time, the feelings will soon fade. The once happy and carefree “us” will soon be back. We will regain our normal life.

Self-Coaching in 10 Steps

Something has happened to change your life.  It may be an injury, illness, surgery, or other loss of health.  It may be a change in lifestyle, career, or the role you play in the family.  Or maybe it was the death of a loved one, end of a relationship, or loss of a dream that kept you going.  Now what?

Transitions in life are often difficult and energy draining.  Our brain can get stuck on what has happened even though life continues to move on all around us.  How can we take care of our need for processing all the emotions and still prepare to recharge our batteries and re-enter “real life” as it is now?  Coaching can help.

Is Happiness a Choice?

Believe it or not, it is within your power to create positive thoughts allowing you to accomplish anything you set out to do.  Can you really think yourself happy?  The answer is a qualified yes. Research proves that how we think can directly affect how we feel.  Here are the ways in which positive thoughts can help you accomplish many things in life.

What Events Cause Feelings of Loss and Grief?

Sad events can cause sad feelings. But what if a happy event causes sad feelings, is there something wrong with me?

Even events that might seem like positives can cause stress in our lives. An example would be a promotion. Of course there are benefits, but there might also be a loss of free time, loss of anonymity at work, loss of being able to make your own schedule if you are responsible for more projects or more people, etc. The following is a list of events that have been shown to cause stress, and which may provoke feelings of grief and/or loss. If any of these have  happened to you, recently or in the past, perhaps it would help to take some time to explore how they may be affecting your ability to be happy today.

‘Tis the Season to be Lonely

Are the Holidays a Difficult Time for You?

Many people have lost loved ones, relationships, or health throughout the year. Often the first holiday season that comes along without the loved one, or without the ability to do the things you usually enjoy creates a deeper sense of loss than other days. The following article helps many of us realize that it is normal to want to skip the holiday season.

Uh-0h, It’s That Time Again!

By Russell Friedman, Co-founder Grief Recovery Institute

Many Grievers Wish They Could Skip The Holidays And Jump From Late October To Mid-January

Your Body Eavesdrops on Your Thoughts

The way we think can affect the way we feel, not only in our emotions but in our bodies. The following article from Neil Neimark, MD sheds some light on the ways in which our bodies can listen in on the content of our thoughts and manifest them in ways we may not realize.
Say “YES” to Life!

Research in the field of mind/body medicine tells us that all our thoughts and feelings are chemical. In fact, every thought and feeling we have is translated in the body into neuropeptides, which are the chemical messengers of thought and feeling.

I’m Fine… and other lies

QUESTION: Sometimes I tell people “I’m fine” and they don’t believe me. Why not?

ANSWER: Approximately 20% of your ability to communicate is verbal, leaving about 80% as non-verbal. Non-verbal communication includes tone of voice as well as facial and body signals. When our verbal and non-verbal signals don’t match, most people will respond to the non-verbal. So when you lie, most people can SEE it.

A common thread running through many of our articles is the mis-information we were all subjected to about processing the normal emotions caused by loss.

Killer Clichés about Loss

QUESTION: I have heard that it takes 2 years to “get over” the death of a loved one; 5 years to “get over” the death of a parent; and you never “get over” the death of a child. Is this true?

ANSWER: Part of the problem is the phrase “get over.” It is more accurate to say that you would never forget a child who had died, anymore than you would ever forget a parent or a loved one. Another part of the problem is one of those killer clichés we talked about, that time, of itself, is a recovery action. Although recovery from loss does take some time, it is the actions within time that lead to successful recovery.

Grieving Loss of Health?

Injury and illness are losses that may need grieving.

There are at least 43 losses which can produce the range of emotions we call grief. The long list includes:

  • Death of a loved one
  • Divorce or end of a relationships
  • Major financial changes
  • Loss of health

Grief is normal and natural, but many of the ideas we have been taught about dealing with grief are not helpful, for example:

  • Time heals all wounds
  • You must grieve alone
  • Be strong
  • Don’t feel bad
  • Replace the loss
  • Just keep busy

Tapping for Injury Healing

109721440While searching for tools that help people deal with the emotional pain of a physical injury, I remembered Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or what’s more broadly now called Meridian Tapping Techniques (MTT). I have read quite a bit about how following a simple pattern of tapping on specific acupressure points can release the emotional energy that gets trapped following a traumatic or painful experience. I realize not everyone will be interested in using this type of healing modality, but for those who are, here is a very interesting story about one woman’s injury and the amazing results she gained from tapping and talking about her fall…

6 Steps for Managing Stress

6 Steps for Managing the Stress in Your Life

We all experience it at one time or another; this trespasser called stress.  It is perhaps the number one cause of most health problems today.  Let’s explore 6 ways to deal with the stress in your life in a healthy and effective manner.

* Talk about the problems you are experiencing with friends, loved ones or a professional. Keeping everything bottled up will only create more problems later on. Join a support group with people experiencing similar problems.

Sports Psychology – Not Just for Athletes Anymore

Sports Psychology Can be Used by “Regular People”

Part of my training as a certified coach has been to read and absorb a book called, Your Performing Edge: The Complete Mind-Body Guide for Excellence in Sports, Health and Life by Dr. JoAnn Dahlkoetter.  My goal from the very first chapter was to take the concepts used by athletes and sports coaches, and translate them for use by the “rest of us.”

Below is an article by Dr. JoAnn along with my take on how to use the “3 P’s,” which are the core of the Performing Edge Method, for helping people to heal and recovery from injury, surgery, or both.

Using Mental Training to Recover from Injury

People from all walks of life may at some point in their lives experience an accidental injury.  Trainers and coaches have been using some powerfully effective mental training tools to help athletes return to their sport, while the rest of us have probably only just heard of them.  The mental training tips listed in following article can be used by anyone who is experiencing a season of healing and recovery.  Just exchange any references to athletes and sports with activities related to physical therapy and rehabilitation.  Welcome to the exciting world of sports psychology!

How to Deal with Everyday Life Grief

How to Deal With Everyday Life Grief

What comes to your mind when you think of the word grief? Most people think of death. Even if you Google it, the listings that come up are related to the emotional response that surfaces from the death of a love one. There is very good information and help out there related to that topic. So the purpose of this article is to talk about the silent discounted grief that is part of our daily life but we don’t even know is there for the most part. Believe it or not we all grief since we are born and our emotional health depends on grant part on the mastering of this process. We all hear the word grief here and there but even people who are in the midst of the process don’t know what the word grief means or what the process really involves. The English word comes from the Old French grève, meaning a heavy burden. This makes sense when you consider that grief often weighs you down with sorrow and other emotions that can have both psychological and physical consequences.

There are many unconventional situations that produce grief reactions and most of them are just part of being alive. Judy Viorst in her book “Necessary Losses: The Loves, Illusions, Dependencies, and Impossible Expectations That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Grow” talks about most of them in great depth. She mentions how since the moment that we leave our mom’s wound we experience our first loss which is necessary to being alive. Why? Because loss is not a one-dimensional process. When we loose we also win but sometimes the pain from the loss might blind us from seeing the winning aspect of it.

Everyday we confront different and many type of losses – loss of independence, loss of a loved one, break ups and divorces, loss of security when we move to a new place or loose a job, disappointments, pervasive loss of one’s personal sense of well being and adequacy. . . so forth and so on. Even each positive stage of life carries on a loss, going to college, getting married, having a baby, retiring…just to mention a few. So if we can look at grief, sometimes, in a different way, as an essential part of living and growing, we could start understanding and accepting grief as a normal part of life. Here some tips to help you cope with it:

• Like with any sad or uncomfortable feeling or part of life, our reaction might be to try to run away from it. With grief the same happens. Contrary to what we do, it is important to understand that it is better if we welcome and try to go through it. “Easier said than done,” you might be thinking but you just can’t go around it. Grief is a process and you have to move through it to come across the other side.

• Be careful with judgment and allow all your feelings to come up. Since judgment is part of being humans we tend to classify feelings as good and bad. While grieving something or someone, try to stay away as much as you can from judging what you feel. Just feel it.

• Be patient and give yourself time. When there is a change it takes sometime for our internal worlds to adjust to a new reality. Grief requires adjustment and is a healing process. Notice the word process, which means takes time. Even though it doesn’t feel good, it is invaluable for the redefinition of our core self.

• Allow yourself to have fun. Sometimes because something bad happened we don’t allow ourselves to have some joyful moments. Why? Because we tell ourselves that might mean that we don’t care or that we are bad people. Judgment again! Well, let me tell you that the human nature has the amazing capacity to tolerate or do more than one thing at the same time. So you can be grieving and can fun at the same time.

• Surround yourself of familiar things and faces. A change increases uncertainty and vulnerability so the more you can be around routine and all time friends and family members the better.

• Tolerate the discomfort and hang in there. Try to do it without resorting to substances or unhealthy behaviors. Knowing your coping style when under stress might help you to know what to do while grieving. Easy recipe to follow: do exactly the opposite. Eg. If you tend to eat, try to exercise; if you tend to isolate, call a friend, if you try to overdo things, try to relax etc.

• Do not compare yourself to others. This is an easy trap. Because we know other people that went through a similar situation we push ourselves to heal as other did. Celebrate your uniqueness and allow yourself to have your own process.

• Keep in mind that grief is about remembering while attaching to something new. It is not about forgetting the past but it is about finding a way to keep people, places or experiences as part of who we are but being able to look into what the new horizons offer to us and see the beauty of it.

• Ask for help if necessary. If things get out of hand, the pain becomes intolerable for too long or adjustment doesn’t happen, do not hesitate to ask for professional help. Sometimes friends and family mean well but they don’t really give you the best advice.

As Karen O. Johnson MEd, founder & CEO of Everyday Life Grief Consulting says: “Life is made up of loss and it needs to be accepted and addressed to survive it in a healthy manner. Transforming the shattered dreams of grief can be a painful, but illuminating experience.” And remember that there is not a typical response to loss, as there is no typical loss (regardless of its nature). Our grieving is as individual as our lives.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Isabel_Kirk

Five Steps for Managing Depression

Take Charge of Your Depression in Five Simple Steps

Depression is one of the most common experiences in the United States today, but it doesn’t have to be YOUR experience.

Yes, it’s true that depression is ‘biochemical’, that it happens in your brain. And yes, it’s true that your brain processes change what you think and how you feel. And your brain processes change what you do and how you choose.

But luckily, what you think and how you feel, what you do and how you choose, also change the way your brain works! And that gives you power. You can manage, reduce, and even reverse your depression!

Here are some points of power that have been proven by research to change how your brain works. They rebuild healthy brain structure and healthy brain function. And when you choose to do these things, you don’t just change your brain. You also change your experience. You feel happier, more energetic, hopeful and free. You sleep better, and you’re more fun to be around! No, change won’t happen overnight. But when you use your power, when you tip the scales-the changes WILL happen!

#1: Exercise
I know. You can’t. You don’t have time, you don’t have a place, you hurt too much, and you just aren’t motivated. Yep, that’s depression talking! You can exercise at some level, and you gain power when you discover what that level is, and do it! The more you do, the more you can do, and your power grows. Aerobic exercise causes a wash of healing biochemicals throughout your brain and body, and it’s been shown to be as effective as an anti-depressant for many people. And the biochemical changes from exercise help your brain re-build. Exercise is one powerful way to change your brain.

#2: Thought Patterns
Automatic negative thoughts-ANTS! They dig ruts in your brain, so your thoughts just automatically slide into the same old patterns-negative, self-critical, hopeless. Stop! That doesn’t get you where you want to go! Find your affirmations, statements of worth and meaning, purpose and love in your life. Don’t have any? Then write some-it will be hard, but energizing. Nourish the little green shoots of love and acceptance that are struggling to grow. As you do, you will develop your power, and build hope. And at the same time, you’ll develop the healthy brain you need to enjoy your life.

#3: Meditation
When you meditate, you ‘turn on’ the well-being biochemicals in your brain, and let them wash away the damaging effects of stress biochemicals. Then the well-being biochemicals go to work rebuilding, soothing, growing healthy new neurons in your brain-and rebuilding health throughout your whole body. It’s like washing out your brain, and then nourishing it with a rich biochemical chicken soup! Don’t know how? Try one of the many resources you can find on the web, and check it out. Meditation is a gift to enrich your life-mind and brain, body and soul.

#4: Touch
In your heart, you know the power of touch. Caring, gentle, loving. What a wonderful way to change your brain! Yes, you can even pay for touch-with massage! Massage does change the biochemicals your body makes, and over time, it will begin to change your brain. But you don’t have to pay for touch. Embrace your child, sit and rock-kids eat this up! Snuggle with your dog, pet your cat, hug a friend. And do it every day, at least 5 times a day.

#5: Sleep techniques
You may already sleep all day. Or perhaps you CAN’T sleep at all! Either way, it’s true-depression changes your sleep patterns. But in this area, as in all the others, your choices also make changes, and you can make the choices that will get your sleep back on track. Healthy sleep choices are clear and easy to follow-and there are resources here on the web.

You’ll need to explore each of these areas, to learn more-changing your brain takes time and practice. But you want to learn, and you believe there’s help-that’s why you’re reading this article.

Keep it up. You are changing your brain!

Dr. Deborah Kukal is a licensed psychologist who has been teaching patients how to change their brains and change their lives for more than 10 years. She has engaged patients from virtually every walk of life in the successful and rewarding practice of health focused meditation.

Dr. Kukal’s Christian meditation CDs nourish your physical health and enrich your emotional life, as well as deepening your intimacy with the Lord.

Try a FREE guided Christian meditation by Dr. Kukal at her website, http://www.joyofchristianmeditation.com Learn to meditate and experience the healing joy of Christian meditation.

Seven Steps for Managing Anxiety

Seven Steps for Managing Anxiety

Have you ever been in a situation that brought on sweats, rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath? You probably weren’t having a heart attack but an anxiety attack.  If you suffer from anxiety disorders, learning to manage it is the first step to overcoming it.

Anxiety is characterized as extreme reactions to fearful situations.  When someone follows you into a dark alley, those anxious feelings of a racing heartbeat and sweaty palms gives way to heightened senses and a rush of adrenalin that can save your life.  This is the fight or flight syndrome.

In the case of frequent anxiety, the fearful feelings are dread of a particular situation and not the situation itself.  Getting caught in traffic can cause an anxiety attack over what might happen when you get to work late.  Starting a new job can bring on anxiety attacks.  You don’t know anyone and fear of that unknown can send you into a panic.

Everyone experiences panic or anxiety in small ways.  Like the fight or flight example, it can save your life.  In new situations, we get panicky but when the outcome we fear fails to materialize, the anxiety stops.  For someone with chronic anxiety, this is not the case.

Every situation that brings anxiety is not life-threatening.  More than likely it is an extremely stressful situation that has brought on the anxiety as a way of dealing with it.  Unchecked anxiety of this type can lead to depression.

If you suffer from anxiety attacks on occasion or a more frequent anxiety disorder, there are steps you can take to keep your anxiety under control.

1. See a professional.  This is always a good first step.  Self-diagnosis of any type of physical or mental condition is unwise and can be dangerous.  A professional psychologist can help you understand your anxiety and prescribe medication or other effective techniques.

2. Get a good night’s sleep.  During the sleep cycle, your body repairs itself.  You feel more rested after several hours of restorative sleep, reaching the REM stage.  Most people need eight hours a night which varies within an hour or two each way.

3. Exercise on a consistent basis.  Exercise helps you to use oxygen more efficiently.  It helps to get more oxygen to the brain.  It also increases focus which may help you see solutions to problems rather than simply worrying about them.

4. Meditate.  Meditation is more than chanting mantras.  Yoga is an exercise that involves quieting the mind and controlling your breathing.  Simple mediation such as taking 5 minutes to clear your mind everyday can work wonders in the fight against anxiety.

5. Manage the worry.  When you feel your pulse start to quicken, count backwards from ten.  As you count, focus on the situation.  What has actually happened? Resist the urge to read anything more into the situation.

6. Don’t use alcohol.  You might think that the glass of wine is relaxing your tension but alcohol is a depressant.  In anxious situations you could rely too heavily on it and gain another problem in the process.

7. Find some relaxing activities.  Stress can rob you of your energy.  On a regular basis, do something you like such as gardening, painting, reading or listening to music.

Anxiety can come into your life at any time.  It’s normal.  When the anxiety becomes frequent you could be at risk for more serious conditions.  If you feel your anxiety is starting to take over your life or increasingly causing you problems, seek professional help immediately.  There is no need to suffer this terrible condition in silence.

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"Sue was tremendously helpful for me in recovering emotionally from injury. A lifelong athlete, I felt devastated after a knee injury which prevented me from participating in my favorite activities. Sue helped me identify the deeper issues behind this loss, which was critical for my being able to address them and begin the emotional healing process. Sue is an excellent listener and was able to gently guide and encourage me along this path."
-K.S., Private Coaching Client


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