Here's a very short, cute and informative video that explains how to meditate. Meditation is very effective for calming anger, anxiety and increasing focus, for folks who have problems with distraction or attention. It's also important to note that it only takes 5 or 10 minutes a day to make a difference! The only thing I would disagree with in this video is that I don't think you have to be sitting a certain way. You can do little meditations any time you have 5 minutes or even 1 minute! Take a look.
In our American society right now, we are chasing happiness. Other cultures think we are ridiculous! Why in the world would be expect to be happy so much of the time?!
Instead of pursing chronic happiness, I think we are better served by noticing how often we are content.
The dictionary describes the word content as "
Just in time for Valentine's Day (or Single Awareness Day, depending on your point of view) here is a link to a great Ted Talk by Esther Perel on desire in long-term relationships.
You may be surprised by what she says. This talk is packed with interesting information and may help you take another look at some of the relationships in your life! http://video.ted.com/talk/podcast/2013S/None/EstherPerel_2013S-480p.mp4
Emotional regulation is the solution to many of life's problems...even for the Seahawks. When you are losing, it can be easy to get caught up in the downward spiral of negative emotions, and that can effect your performance. This is true of football, but it's also true for all the rest of us too. When we are feeling sad or angry or ashamed, it is easy to let those emotions take us over and expand into other parts of our lives, usually causing more problems! However, if we can be MINDFUL for a moment, pause, take a few breaths and really look at our situation in a non-judgmental way, we can usually find a way out of the negative spiral. That's exactly what the Seahawks do! They train with a sports psychologist, Michael Gervais, who teaches many of the same techniques (cognitive behavioral training, visualizing, breathing, mindfulness) that we use in counseling sessions.
Here's an excerpt from the article:
"Gervais uses tactical breathing, visualization, and mental-imaging techniques to cultivate “full presence and conviction in the moment.”
"Gervais teaches players meditation, which he calls tactical breathing, as well as a broad range of visualization and mental-imaging techniques. He also helps them balance the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of sports and make mindfulness an integral part of their daily lives. While other sports psychologists focus on training players pre-performance rituals, Gervais uses a sophisticated blend of mindfulness and cognitive behavioral training to cultivate what he describes as “full presence and conviction in the moment.”
Click HERE for the online article and video clip.
Do you have a child with learning or attention issues? Here is a great resource for advice and information from experts!
Take a look: www.Understood.org.
We all experience stress.
There's a reason for that: it's good for us. At least, it is good for us sometimes and to a certain degree.
This article does an excellent job of explaining how some stress is actually healthy for us and also how to manage our reactions to stress so that it stays in the "healthy zone" and doesn't turn into anxiety or depression.
Click here for the article from Forbes: How Successful People Stay Calm.
Here is a good article from Scientific America that describes research about mindfulness and how helpful it is for depression.
Mindfulness is the practice of breathing and paying attention to what is happening right now, as opposed to worrying about the future or the past! If you have come to my office, we've probably done a little mindfulness practice together. Take a look at this article; I think you will enjoy it.
I like this simple video for kids to understand more about Sensory Processing problems. Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is not "officially" recognized, but from years of experience, I know that there are people who have difficulty with sensory issues. Take a look at this video for if you think your child might have sensory issues. There are lots of good resources online for help with this! Click HERE for Video
If you are one of my clients, you know that I am always nagging you about taking a moment to pay attention to what is happening RIGHT NOW, not past, not future and also to do breathing exercises.
Both research and experience indicate that these two things are the first-line defenses against anxiety and depression, and help increase focus and memory.
So let's go over them again!
First, mindfulness, or paying attention to what is happening right now: Remember that anxiety and depression are thoughts and feelings about what's going to happen in the future or what has already happened in the past. Ask yourself, “How am I feeling right now in this exact moment?” and listen for the answer from your heart and body, not just your mind. Unless you are in the emergency room being tended to by surgeons, or you've just been kidnapped by aliens, or you have fallen down a manhole, you probably will answer, "I'm okay right in this moment. In this moment right now I am okay.” If so, spend a few seconds just paying attention to that. Really note what it feels like to feel OK, even just in this one moment. Do that as often as you can during the day. It trains your brain to be able to pay attention to what is going on right now and to recognize and store times when you felt OK instead of upset.
The second item, breathing or relaxation exercises, or sometimes I call it "mini-meditation" is about relaxing your body and turning on your parasympathetic system. The sympathetic system, often triggered by anxiety , turns on your fight or flight or freeze reactions . The parasympathetic system, in contrast, is your rest and digest system. That's the one you want to make stronger!
How do you make it stronger? By activating it many times during the day. And you do that through the breathing and relaxation exercises that we go over in sessions. Click here for a YouTube link that will remind you how to do the Progressive Muscle Relaxation one.
Remember that this is all about practice! It's like training a dog or building a muscle. The more that you do it when you're not upset, the easier it will be to activate when you are upset.
PRACTICE!! That's right---that's me yelling. Just practice! It will get easier. Life will get better.
Cathy Jenner, Mental Health Therapist and Learning Specialist serving North Bend, Snoqualmie, Fall City, Carnation and other East Side Communities