Stop and Listen to Your Body to Reduce Stress

It seems like so many of us are running through life these days.  We’re busy getting from one place to another, juggling work, family and social commitments.  We don’t slow down or stop, if at all, until our heads crash on the pillow.  It’s stressful to keep up with. The good news is, finding ways to reduce stress might be simpler than you might think.

 

I want to encourage you to take a moment each day to listen to your body.  Pause, take a deep breath and really listen.  What is your body telling you?  Do you feel tight?  Do you feel the weight of stress on your shoulders?  Do you feel rigid or stuck?  Does it feel like you are almost holding your breath?

 

Sometimes a little physical movement or change is enough to release that stress in your body. What you need may be different from what someone else needs.  So, really think about what your body needs for movement and exercise.  Do you need to stretch, stand up or walk the dog?  Do you need to go to the gym or go for a bike ride?  Start with something small like a stretch and see how you feel.

 

Listening to your body and responding with movement, even just a simple stretch may be enough to reduce stress and change your mood for the day.

 

For more information on Dialectical Behavior Therapy or other stress reduction techniques, contact us at Healthy Futures today.

 

 

Jessica McCall:  Hi. I’m Jessica. I’m part of the Healthy Futures team. I wanted to talk to you today about healthy movement. I provide the movement groups here at Healthy Futures. I love to do different kinds of movement, bring some new stuff to the groups.

 

I wanted to talk to you today about listening to your body. You may have heard that phrase before. I wanted to talk about that, in particular. Listening to your body, being mindful of your body.

 

Too often, we’re literally running through life. We just go from one thing to the other. We don’t stop until maybe at the end of the day, sometimes not even then.

 

Taking a moment to pause and take a deep breath, and listen to your body. I want you to do it right now. What’s your body telling you? Is it a little tight, a little stressed out? Does it need a little stretch, a little move? Do you need to stand up? Maybe.

 

I want you to listen to it throughout the day and be more mindful. When we listen to our body, it’s more about tuning in to what’s going on. Are there emotions present?

 

Are there stressors in our life that are creating different connections and different messages that our body’s trying to tell us? We’re not listening very well.

 

Sometimes, it’s about I need to actually physically move and get my body going. Sometimes, it’s about I need to change something. There’s a rigidity in our behaviors and in our movement sometimes.

 

If you notice, the more stressful times in life, we are holding still. We’re holding our breath literally. We’re maybe stuck. There’s that rigidity. Sometimes, just moving physically can help move that forward, too, emotionally.

 

I want you to think about that mind‑body connection of physical movement. I don’t mean just exercise. Thinking about your definition of exercise and movement. Is it going to the gym? Is it running with a buddy? Is it walking the dog? Is it going rock climbing? Is it something different?

 

Is that your movement? Do you need something different? Do you just need to do a stretch every day? That’s something I would recommend every day to help you listen to your body more. How can you listen to it if you aren’t checking in with it?

 

Starting at the top. Doing some head, neck, and shoulders, and then stretching, and then go moving all the way to your toes is going to allow you to tune into your body and it give an opportunity to tell you what it needs.

 

If I need to work more on this area, I’m going to do that. Who knows? Wow, it might change my mood. It might change my whole day. I encourage stretching just to check in with your body and allow you to listen to it more.

 

Then it’s going to be able to tell you what it needs. Then it’s just going to create that overall health, which is going to be amazing and feel good. Do something every day.

 

There’s a lot of different…Everyone’s telling you do 30 minutes. Do every day. Do something. There’s so much out there, and it’s all generalities. You need to listen to your body to know what’s right for you, because everyone’s different.

 

Start with some stretching. Start with tuning in and being mindful of your body. Then find out what do you want to do with it. Have some fun with it. Try something different. Listen to it. How did it like it? Awesome.

 

My challenge today and this week, listen to your body. Do something movement-wise and check in, and see how it goes for the day. Thank you so much. Have a wonderful day.

Adjusting Emotional Control by Shifting Our Behavior

 

Emotions and behaviors go together.  Feel fear, take flight.  Feel angry, put up a fight.  This works great to regulate our emotions when our emotions are justified.  The cycle is complete and we come back to a balance. But, what do we do when we feel an emotion like fear, and there is no threat?  What if our bodies don’t know how to let go of that fear and therefore become unregulated again?  At those times, try to help balance emotional control by calling on the opposite behavior to flight.

 

So, instead of running away, maybe you stay put?  Maybe you try to become more familiar with your surroundings?  Or, maybe you watch a comedy and laugh really hard to force yourself into another emotion?  Now, you have regulated your body again and have worked through the fear.

 

Next time you are stuck with an emotion that is not justified, pause and think of what the opposite behavior would be to that emotion.  Then, act on that.  That little shift in behavior should help your emotional control and you feel better.

 

For more information or tips on DBT skills, coping skills or emotional health, contact the Healthy Futures team today.

 

 

Dr. Kim (Lipsman) DiRé:  Hi, my name is Kim Lipsman. Today, I’m going to talk to you about opposite emotion to action. What does that mean?

 

Well, we know that emotion and behavior are connected. When you’re feeling an emotion, we have a certain behavior that comes with it. For example, if you feel fearful, the action that usually goes with that is to run away. If we feel angry, the action to that, that’s connected, is to fight.

 

Well, sometimes that emotion is real justifiable. It really means we need to run away if a car’s coming towards us and we’re scared, or we need to really get in there and fight for ourselves and so we’re going debate or take action in order to advocate for ourselves.

 

Sometimes, the emotion is unjustifiable, and there really isn’t a pure threat that we can distinguish. When that happens, we want to make sure that we move to an action that’s going to be helpful for us. If we have an unjustifiable fear or emotion, then we want to move to a different behavior. If you’re feeling fearful — you’ve checked it out, there’s nothing scary around — now we want to work with that in opposite action.

 

Well, what’s the difference between running away, what’s the opposite of that? Ahh, staying put and maybe orienting to our surroundings, or turning on a comedy and laughing really hard, or watching a thriller movie that scares us into a different feeling or emotion.

 

Once we’re able to use opposite behavior to shift through an emotion that we’re feeling, then we’re able to regulate our emotions in a way that’s going to be really helpful for us.

 

Next time you feel something and you check out to see that it’s really not justifiable, but we want to shift it, try doing an opposite behavior and see what happens.

Learn How to Tolerate Distress with TIPP

 

There is a skill you can use when you are feeling distressed, extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain.  The next time you feel in a highly emotional state, use TIPPs as a way of managing stress, to change your physiology to feel more at ease.

 

TIPPs is an acronym for Temperature, Intense Exercise, Pace your Breathing and Progressive Relaxation.

  • Temperature.  Physically change your temperature by holding a cold compress on your forehead.
  • Intense Exercise.  You don’t need to do too much.  A run down the street and back or 15 strong jumping jacks is enough.
  • Pace your breathing.  Slow down your breathing.  Inhale on four counts, hold four counts and exhale eight counts.
  • Progressive Relaxation.  Progressively relax all your muscles starting at your toes and moving up.

 

It only takes a few minutes to use TIPPs and change your physiology.  But, the benefit of feeling better and emotionally less intense can last throughout your day.  Give TIPPs a try.

 

 

Dr. Kim DiRé: Hi, my name is Dr. Kim DiRé. I’m going to teach you a distress tolerance skill called TIPP. It’s an acronym; Temperature, Intense exercise, Pace your breathing, and Progressive relaxation.

 

The first part of this takes place when you’re in high emotional arousal, or you have that intense emotional state. We want to change your intense emotional state by shifting your physiology.

 

The T out of TIPP stands for Temperature. We’re going to try and change your temperature by putting a cold compress on your face or splashing your face with cold water. We want to be bent over, and we want to do it right here on the forehead.

 

The I in TIPP stands for Intense exercise. You don’t want to do too much, but maybe 15 jumping jacks or you run down the block and back. That will shift your physiology.

 

The first P in TIPP is Pacing your breathing, slowing it down. You want to do a mental count of four in slowly, four hold, and eight out, and then do it again. Four, four hold, and eight out in a slow and steady stream on your exhalation, through a dropped jaw and loosened tongue. Push the air all the way out, so the next inhalation has a place to go.

 

The last P in TIPP, T-I-P-P, is Progressive relaxation, relaxing your muscles slowly, starting at your toes, and moving up. I do have a progressive relaxation skill video that you can find on kimdire.com, if that helps you. There are other ones as well, including lying in bed. Start thinking about your toes, and then scanning up through the rest of your body, until you change your physiology by relaxing your muscles.

 

Next time you find yourself in a high emotional state, or high emotional arousal, and you use those four skills, you’ll find that you’ll change your physiology and start feeling better, emotionally less intense. Then you can go on with your day.

 

Thank you.

Practice Calming Mindfulness Exercises to Alleviate Stress

A good way to bring balance and peace to your life is to do daily mindfulness exercises.  If you are not familiar with this, take a look at a three-step summary of the mindfulness exercises that can change your life.

 

The first part of the exercise involves noticing your breathing.  Notice yourself coming back to it again and again.  And, rest your mind on your breath.  Feel your breath flow through your nose, expand your lungs, hold it, and let it flow back through the nose.

 

Second, as you rest your mind on your breath, use your imagination.  Imagine yourself breathing in pure relaxation as your breath comes into the body and into the lungs.  Let that relaxation go into your heart and spread to every cell in your body.  Let relaxation illuminate your whole being and allow yourself to be more mindful and relaxed with every breath.

 

Third, gradually move that awareness from within back into the room and your surroundings.  Listen to the sounds.  Smell the aromas.  Notice the taste in your mouth.  And feel the temperature and pressure points of your body on the chair, sofa or bedding.  Notice where you are in relation to your surroundings.

 

Practicing mindfulness exercises every day is a simple way to change your life.  It allows you to release stresses, pain or illness from your mind and body, and feel more relaxed.  Give it a try.

 

 

Dr. Kim DiRé:  Hi. My name is Dr. Kim DiRe. I’m going to take you through a mindfulness exercise so you can practice and have this for use at home.

 

What I’d like you to do is get into a nice, comfortable place either sitting, ideally if you’re laying down. If you’re sitting, have that imaginary string that goes from the ceiling all the way down through the spine so you have this nice, gentle support.

 

If you can use your attention that your backbone is the center of your being and whatever you’re sitting on to allow the backbone, in your chair, your sofa, or your bed to support you. A lot of times we manage way too much and we don’t have to. You can use those two tools in order to let down and let go.

 

Now what I’d like you to do is just notice the breath, how it flows in, expands the lungs and flows out. You can self‑focus or shut your eyes as I continue. Your mind will wander. Go ahead and notice the breath come back to it again and again.

 

What we’re doing is we’re resting our mind on the breath. I’d like you to be really curious, curious about how the breath flows in through your nose, expands the lungs, and comes back out through the nose.

 

As you do that, your mind will wander because you’re human. You can’t get this wrong, but notice when it wanders and rest your mind on the breath. You could say to yourself, “I’m now breathing in, I’m gently holding, I’m now breathing out,” as a way to stay mindful of the breath.”

 

Some people count four in, four hold, and four out. Just notice and do that, and it will come back in.

 

[pause]

 

Dr. Kim DiRé:  Nice. As you rest your mind on the breath what I’d like you to do is use your imagination and imagine that you’re breathing in pure relaxation as it comes in through the body, into the lungs.

 

That a pure relaxation goes over to the heart, and then the heart and blood take it all the way down to touch every cell, every pore, every system, and every organ of your body so that the relaxation illuminates your whole being.

 

Then, there’s an exchange of carbon dioxide that using your imagination I’d like you to release any stressors, any pain, any illness, any judgment. As that relieves and goes into the bloodstream and comes back up into the heart, exchanges over into the lungs.

 

As you release your breath, you’re breathing out all the stress of the morning, the week, and the month. You can now say to yourself, “I’m breathing in pure relaxation, allowing it to touch every cell in my body. I’m breathing out all the stress of the morning, the week, and the month.”

 

With each inhalation and each exhalation, you’re becoming more and more relaxed, more and more mindful of this life giving breath. One that you don’t need to think about, just do and be aware.

 

Nice. Good job. As you do that, just notice, become aware, allow the tools to support you, your backbone and the chair, sofa or bedding that you’re lying on. When your mind wanders, that’s the mindfulness practice, just notice.

 

It might be two minutes, it may be two seconds when it wanders away. When it does, come back to the breath and the steady flow of it coming in, expanding the lungs and coming out.

We’re going to tap back into the parasympathetic nervous system a little bit more by dropping our jaw and loosening our tongue so as you breathe in that pure relaxation, allow it to expand in you body and illuminate it.

 

As you breathe out, breathe out through the dropped jaw and loosened tongue, releasing the breath, releasing a slow and steady stream beginning, middle, and end, and releasing it all the way so the next inhalation has a place to go.

 

I’m now breathing in pure relaxation, allowing it to touch every cell and illuminate my body through the dropped jaw and loosened tongue I’m releasing all the stress of the morning, the week, and the month.

 

Go ahead and practice that and then I’ll come back in.

 

Dr. Kim DiRé:  Nice. Now we’ll bring awareness back into the room that you’re in or the place that you’re in. First, by listening to the sounds inside the room or outside the room or if you’re outside, around you. Just listen.

 

Notice the aroma that comes through your nose even if there is none. None is an aroma. Notice the taste in your mouth, even if there is none. None is a taste. Notice whatever’s at your fingertips even if it’s your other hand. Notice the texture, the temperature, the quality of the touch, and notice the pressure points of your body on the chair, sofa, or bedding that you’re lying on.

 

Follow that breath in, expansion and out. Nice. And again, expansion and out. With this next exhalation, go ahead and flutter open, refocus your eyes into the area that you’re in, whether it’s a room or outside.

 

What I’d like you to do, I’d like you to turn your chin and neck so we we can engage that brain stem. I want you to notice where you are in relationship to the four corners of the room or the things around you. I’m noticing where I am in relationship to the trees and the sounds around me, the buildings.

 

I want you to turn your chin and neck up, look at the ceiling. In my case, the sky. Notice where you are in relationship to the ceiling or the sky. Turning your chin and neck down at the floor, the ground below you, looking and being real curious with new kid eyes as if you’ve never been here before.

 

If you have a doorway, turn your chin and neck and look at the doorway. That’s your exit out. That’s a calming factor for you. Nice.

 

If you’re with other people, you can turn your chin and neck and notice where you are in relationship to each person in the room or the surroundings. That’s your mindfulness exercise.

 

If you do that once every day, just something simple like that, you’ll notice things start to change for you — your brain will, your being will, how you look at life. Also, it’s nice to relax the body, as well.

 

Thank you.

Are You Focusing on Fun this Summer?

 

Summer is celebrated as a time to soak up some sun in a bathing suit, to break out the sun dresses for those barbeques, and to get a break from the daily heat in some shorts. But, for those who have a negative body image, summertime is not a welcomed or celebrated time.  It can be a time plagued with negative thoughts about appearances, that can lead to anxiety, depression, and shame.

 

Don’t let that happen to you this summer!  Start with a few simple ideas to shift your thinking from something negative to something more positive.

 

Try to appreciate what your body can do, like waking up in the morning, carrying in the groceries, walking the dog, or giving you the good feeling of laughing with your friends.  Then, get out there and accept those invitations!  Your friends don’t care what you look like, they just want to be with you.  Focusing your attention on your friends is much more positive.

 

So, this summer, shift your thinking and have fun!

 

 

Sheri Robenstine:  Hi. I’m Sheri from Healthy Futures in Scottsdale, Arizona. Because it’s Arizona, I want to talk a little bit about body image and summer weather in Arizona.

 

With over 100 degree temperatures, that means shorts, summer dresses, and swimsuits, which, of course, if you have negative body image, that brings up a huge issue in the summertime.

 

A couple things that I’d like to say about improving body image and enjoying your summer is number one, when you’re having negative body image thoughts, start to appreciate your body for what it can do.

 

Appreciate that you woke up today, that you’re able to carry something to that party, that you’re able to walk there, that you’re able to swim. Really look at the capabilities of your body, rather than being so negative about the outside appearance of your body.

 

Number two, when you go to those summer events, actually be there. Be present in those summer events. When you’re invited, don’t say, “I’m not good enough to leave the house,” and stay home.

 

When you’re invited to Memorial Day barbecues or something that happens over Fourth of July weekend, actually go. Laugh with your friends. Feel what it’s like to be at those events.

 

If you feel comfortable being with friends and family, they don’t care what you’re wearing. It doesn’t matter to them if you have shorts on or a swimsuit. They just want you to be there and have fun with them.

 

When you tell yourself really negative things about your body, those things tend to become true. They don’t actually help you change the outer appearance of your body.

 

You just tell yourself negative things and your brain starts to believe them, which ends up in anxiety, depression, and shame. It doesn’t actually end up with positive body features.

 

We want to start doing things that are opposite when it comes to body image. When you have yourself hear negative things, tell yourself something positive. Enjoy time with friends and get your attention off of your body and on to the people that you’re around, on to the actual activity that you’re doing.

 

When negative body image thoughts come up, what you want to do is appreciate your body for what it actually can do. Number two, have fun at the events that you’re going to go to. Get yourself out of the house and go to those events. Bye.

 

Thank you so much. Enjoy your summer.

 

Managing Emotions with Mindfulness Breathing Exercises

 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a great way to help clients cope with different issues.  And, at its core is mindfulness, staying present.  This is where we can stay focused and control our thoughts and feelings.

 

When our thoughts go to the future, we often experience greater feelings of anxiety.  We play out the what ifs and sometimes imagine the worst.  Other times, our thoughts may go to the past to feelings of regret, shame or guilt.  Once this type of thinking begins, it’s hard to stop and regain control.  So, staying present and in control is where we want to be.

 

The best way to stay present is by being mindful of our breathing and practicing that in a very specific way.  Follow these steps and give it a try.

 

  1. Elongate your torso and sit up nice and tall.
  2. Take the curve out of your spine by tucking your tailbone under.
  3. Relax your jaw and loosen your tongue.
  4. On the count of four, breathe in through your nose, expanding the lower abdominal diaphragm.
  5. Hold four counts.
  6. Then, gently and steadily exhale all your breath through your mouth for four counts.

 

The more you practice this mindfulness breathing exercise, the better your body will feel.

 

 

Kim R DiRe’   Hello, my name is Kim Lipsman. I’m a mental health therapist that uses Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, or DBT, to help clients with different issues.

 

The thing about DBT is that it’s a wonderful skill set for people. The basis, or foundation, that DBT lands on is mindfulness. Mindfulness, in simple terms, is staying present on purpose, staying in the now.

 

It sounds like such a simple concept, and yet it is one of the hardest things to do. What’s easy for us to do is we move too far in the future which causes a lot of anxiety. Sometimes, just an hour in the future can accelerate that anxiety.

 

When we move into the past, sometimes shame and guilt comes up. What we want to do is lessen those activating feelings by staying present.

 

One of the simplest ways to do that is to breathe. If you’ll just do that with me right now, we can practice for one moment in time, mindfulness ‑‑ staying present on purpose. If you’re sitting in a chair watching this, just sit up nice and tall. Take the curve out of your spine by tucking your tailbone under.

 

Imagine that there’s a string that goes from the ceiling all the way down through your spine, so you have this nice, gentle support without any arches in your back. That way we have this elongated torso, so that the lungs can expand, give us a full range of breath.

 

Now if you’re standing, it’s easier to do. Then laying down is just the ideal place to do this breathing, Whatever is going to fit for this moment for you. If you can just unlock that jaw and loosen your tongue, we’re going to breathe in through our nose, and we’re going to exhale out through our mouth.

 

On the count of four, please breathe in through your nose, expanding that lower abdominal diaphragm, a gentle hold, and then release out through your mouth in a gentle, steady stream, your breath.

 

Make sure all the breath comes out so the next inhalation has a place to go. Inhaling in, two, three, four, a gentle hold, two, three, four, and exhalation, two, three, four. One more time, OK? Inhale in, a gentle expansion of that lower diaphragm, and then exhale out through our loosened jaw, loosened tongue, breath, exhaling all the way out.

 

I just want you to notice, notice what that was. Notice how your body feels, staying present on purpose. What’s really great with mindfulness, the more you practice, the better you get at it, the better you’ll feel. So, enjoy.

ARFID – Sensory Based Food Avoidance and Restriction

 

While Avoidant-Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) may be new to the DSM-5, it’s not a new eating disorder. This eating disorder seen in children and adolescents is not about food preferences. These children will not outgrow their aversions to Brussel’s sprouts or mushrooms. These aversions are rooted in symptoms that are much more sensory.

 

Often, the children who suffer from ARFID experience a choking sensation from the smells or the feeling of certain foods in their mouths. Vomiting is also not unusual. The experience of these sensations leads to the child avoiding or restricting certain foods. Malnutrition then becomes an issue with this disorder.

 

Fortunately, treatment is possible and children can learn to tolerate more foods. The approach includes a rebalancing of the sensory pieces. And, while it’s common for these children to also have some anxiety or depression, decreasing those is part of the treatment. The goal is to find a balance between the outside and internal worlds and give these children skills, so they can cope on their own.

 

If you have a concern about your child not getting a nutritious and balanced diet that’s easy to eat, seek help. With ARFID in children and adolescents, the earlier it can be treated the better outcome possible. And, ARFID is now part of the DSM-5 for insurance coverages.

 

 

Dr. Kim DiRé:  Hi. My name is Kim DiRé. I’m a psychotherapist. I’ve worked with people that have had eating disorders and eating issues for a long time now. One of the things I’ve seen in my practice is working with children that have eating issues.

 

Now there is a word for some of the symptoms, or the treatment, that I’ve been working with. It is called, Avoidant/Restrictive Feeding Disorder in Children and Adolescents. It’s now in the DSM-5, so we have a coding for it for insurance purposes.

 

What you need to know as parents and family members of children that are having eating disorders is it’s not just children that have idiosyncrasies, like they don’t like Brussels sprouts or mushrooms and they’re going to grow out of that and adapt to taste.

 

The symptoms have qualities of sensory pieces. A lot of times the smells of foods, or putting foods in their mouths, creates this choking feeling. Oftentimes, it creates a vomiting, also. It’s very perplexing to parents that this would cause this type of severe reaction. What happens is it happens over and over again.

 

The children start to avoid certain foods, and they also start to restrict their variety of foods. They eat very little. Sometimes I often hear parents say, “My kid only eats four foods, and they’re all white.” Usually it’s very carby food, one that has a real benign taste.

 

A lot of times, the symptoms with this disorder are the children often have high anxiety and

depression, so there’s a lot more going on. Sometimes they have OCD, obsessive compulsive pieces to the disorder, thoughts or maybe behaviors that go along with this.

 

There is treatment though for ARFID, Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake for Children and Adolescents. It is that I work with these children in rebalancing the sensory pieces so they’re able to tolerate different foods and smells.

 

Oftentimes, working with decreasing their anxiety and lessening their depression. Then, we work over and over with how to balance their world around them and the internal world with giving them great interpersonal effectiveness skills to ask for what they want or what they need. All the time we’re being real careful to make sure that they’re balancing their nutrition.

 

Oftentimes, malnutrition is the piece to this disorder that is the part that’s really devastating. Children that aren’t eating well, or can’t get in proper dietary needs, they can’t think well in school. They aren’t able then to interact in sports or going out and doing things socially because they’re extremely tired.

 

If you are having an issue with your child, and you see some of these symptoms, please give me a call. It’s something that is treatable. It’s something that we want to treat while your child or adolescent is young, so it doesn’t go into another other type of eating disorder.

 

Then, the effects are often medical, if you’re not getting a good nutritious and balanced diet that’s easy to eat and not something that feels pushed upon or forced. Give me a call. We’ve got a name for this thing now that I’ve been treating for years, and I’m happy to help. Thank you.

Coping Skills to Deal with Annoying People

Are there some annoying people in your life that just get under your skin?  You get stuck talking to them and leave feeling frustrated or even angry?  They are people you’d just rather not talk to, but can’t avoid.

 

Well rather than let them get the best of you, use some coping skills to deal with them.  The first thing you can do is gently avoid them.  This is to say, keep the conversation to things that are more superficial like the weather.  Second, try to avoid them by engaging other people in conversation.  And third, try not to take what they do personally.  For example, try to justify their annoying behavior or habits as their natural behavior and not something directed at you personally.

 

Whether at work, in the neighborhood, or within your extended family, there are likely to be people you find annoying.  Next time you encounter these annoying people them, practice these new coping skills.  When you manage your reactions in these situations, you’ll find yourself coming away happier and keeping your emotions in balance.

 

 

Sheri Robenstine:  Hi. My name is Sheri. I am one of the therapists here at Healthy Futures, and just wanted to discuss today a couple of strategies that anyone can use when you have to be around people that you don’t necessarily choose to be around, but you don’t have a choice of another place to be, whether that be at work, whether that be at a family reunion, whether that be anywhere where there’s a person that you would choose not to be around.

 

One of the strategies that you can use is to gently avoid that person. When I say gently avoid, I mean that you would have conversation with that person that you would have if you had just met them. You might talk about the weather. You might talk about the events that you’re at. You might comment on something that is happening in news today, a current event, but you wouldn’t discuss anything more than that. It would be a very basic conversation that you would have with that person.

 

If you can avoid them, great. Have conversations with other people that you truly enjoy having a conversation with. Be involved in activities that you truly enjoy. That person can be there, but you don’t necessarily have to be involved with that person.

 

Another thing that you can do that works well with people that you don’t necessarily get along with is by not taking anything that they do personally. When I say that, I mean that don’t assume that they are doing things to frustrate you, to annoy you, to upset you. Just assume that they are doing things because this is their natural behavior. It’s some habit that they have that might be annoying, but it’s not necessarily directed at you.

 

That person just becomes another person that you encounter, and they don’t necessarily have to be someone that’s frustrating to you or someone that is very angering to you. They just happen to be another person that you might have to encounter on a daily basis.

 

If you are a client of Healthy Futures, feel free to ask for any sort of advice, maybe some role-playing techniques or how to handle a specific situation. If not, good luck with all of those situations where you might have to encounter people that you don’t always have fun with.

A Word About Bullying in Schools from Dr. J.R. Evans

Unfortunately, bullying in schools is common.  It typically occurs in places out of view of an adult, such as on the playground, on the school bus, in the cafeteria, hallways or locker rooms.  And, in this modern society, it also happens via technology on social media.

 

If you are being bullied, there are things you can do to help the situation.  Tell someone.  Find someone you trust.  It could be a family member, friend or a teacher.  Most schools have training to deal with these situations.  So, you don’t have to be afraid or live with the shame of being bullied.

 

Bullying in schools or anywhere is not okay and should be dealt with.

 

 

Dr. J.R. Evans:  Hi, my name is Dr. J.R. Evans. I’m a licensed psychologist here at Healthy Futures. As school is back in session, I imagine bullying might become an issue that we’d want to address.

 

For all those kids out there who may be struggling, one of the things I encourage you to do is to talk to somebody. Find somebody, whether it’s at home, within your friends, or at school, that feels safe. Tell them what is happening. Please do not hold on to that shame inside.

 

Bullying is not OK.

Trauma and Anxiety Explained by the Triune Brain

 

We all experience trauma to some degree or another in our lives.  But, why do some people experience profound effects on their emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing?  This can lead to symptoms of anxiety, depression, anger, addiction and chronic pain.  To recover from trauma, we need to understand the triune brain.

 

The triune brain is made up of three areas.  The reptilian brain controls self-protective responses.  The limbic system controls memory and emotion.  And, the prefrontal cortex controls thoughts.

 

In the face of trauma, the reptilian brain needs to release energy to carry out its physiological survival responsibilities.  This cycle can become interrupted when the limbic system holds a memory or emotion related to or the prefrontal cortex generalizes thoughts associated to the experience.  Those can sometimes mask the threat, whether there is a real one or not.  When this happens the reptilian brain in a way, becomes confused and cannot respond appropriately.  That’s when we hang on to that trauma.

 

The good news is we can work with our body system, to complete the self-protective responses that didn’t get completed.  That trauma can be released, or the blocked energies of trauma can be released.  Once this happens, we can stay present in our lives and begin to recover.

 

 

Dr. Kim DiRé:  Hi. My name is Kim DiRé. I’m a psychotherapist. This is part two of a series on our brain puppet. I was telling you in the first part, that I created a brain puppet to help adults learn about their three-part brain. Here’s the first part. I don’t know if you remember but it’s the reptilian brain built-in safety.

 

It’s the one. The hardwired mechanism. Very simple, simple system that is built in this hardwired piece that under threat there’s fight, flight, freeze for this piece of the brain to do. It will do it as long as it’s instinctual and isn’t covered up by anything, or didn’t learn anything that was new, which the limbic systems can oftentimes do.

 

The limbic system is the one that holds the memory. Here’s the amygdala. It holds the memory for emotion. Sometimes emotion can be held in this memory so that when the feeling comes, there is still the threat or the feel that, “OK. We need to be under safety or on guard.” Some anxiety might come up.

 

The last time anxiety came up there was a fear over life, a justifiable threat of life. That’s when this mechanism is going to be perhaps not instinctual anymore, but covered up by emotion. A lot of times then when anxiety comes up for humans, the limbic system has literally masked the instinctual piece for the reptilian brain to actually see if there’s a justifiable threat.

 

Now we’ve got another mask also, is that prefrontal cortex, the third piece. It can come over here and create thoughts, wonderful thoughts, but also thoughts maybe that we’re not in threat and we put ourselves in harm’s way, or that we are under threat.

 

Everything that the prefrontal cortex sees can be generalized so much, that life is so threatening that we can feel sometimes as if the person is going to die or under threat. This happens a lot of times when people are traumatized. They’re traumatized in a way where there’s actually maybe an actual event that says, “I’m under threat.”

 

An event that causes fear, but a person is immobilized. What happens then is this logical brain and the limbic system creates this memory, and generalizes or fogs over the instinctual piece, and then when a four-legged creature comes around it’s so generalized that even this feels threatening.

 

This explains some of the pieces that happen in trauma for humans. No one really gets out of our life without feeling some trauma. Sometimes there’s big traumas, and the self-protective responses that are happening for and by the reptilian brain don’t get to be completed in the physiological piece or in the body piece.

 

This continues over and over for the past event till they come present. We want to work with our body system, to complete self-protective responses that didn’t get completed. That trauma can be released, or the blocked energies of trauma can be released, and someone can stay present on purpose.

 

I’m going to continue to give many lessons about the triune brain, and how our bodies respond and our brains respond to trauma, the neurophysiological feedback that happens for us as humans. We can help you become aware of maybe perhaps some things that you go through, and some of the things that you can help to create safety for yourself.

 

Please stay tuned. I’ll teach you some of those techniques for the next brain puppet lesson. Bye-bye. Thank you.

 

Contact Us