emotions

Two helpful practices for easing into mindfulness

Margarita Tartakovsky, Psych Central: Mindfulness helps us move out of autopilot, where we think thoughts, feel emotions and act on behaviors without any awareness — without even realizing we’re having these experiences. Without any awareness of our thoughts, feelings and behaviors, we can get caught up in negative cycles.

Our mind buzzes with anxious thoughts. We engage in habits that aren’t fulfilling or even healthy. We get swept up in anger and lash out at our loved ones. We get caught up in judging ourselves, and our stress only expands.

Mindfulness also …

Read the original article »

Read More

Mindfulness in adolescence

Karen Pace, Michigan State University Extension: Research shows the practice of mindfulness can help youth navigate stress more effectively.

For many young people, adolescence is a time of opportunity and risk—as well as significant stress as they navigate school demands, body changes and sometimes challenging relationships with peers, parents and other people in their lives. Some youth experience the added strain and trauma of poverty, violence, bullying, racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of oppression and abuse. During this stage of life, adolescents are also tasked with developing a …

Read the original article »

Read More

Let the mind take over

Ayesha Singh, The New Indian Express: When you are in the moment, any moment for that matter, are you really in that moment? Ask yourself. Surrounded by 50,000 thoughts per day, that is about 48 thoughts per minute—positive, negative and neutral—we wonder how this state of constant distraction impacts our brain functioning. And it sure does, sometimes quite adversely. Mindfulness meditation, a profound but underrated approach, has now found its due place in the sun. According to a new report by Harvard University scientists, mindfulness meditation, a version of Buddhist Vipassana, helps …

Read the original article »

Read More

Please don’t start meditating (unless you’re willing to change)

Lodro Rinzler, Huffington Post: A Buddhist teacher I respect a great deal once proclaimed a warning about meditation: Don’t do it unless you’re willing to change. If you’re one of the two gazillion people aiming to launch a meditation practice in this new year, please heed that warning. But here is the good news about that warning: You will change for the better.

It’s that time of year when self-reflection is at an all-time high, so I shouldn’t be surprised at my wall. It’s covered in all the various activity …

Read the original article »

Read More

Introduce yourself to mindfulness, quiet

Monisha Vasa, M.D., Fredericksburg.com: As a psychiatrist, I have the honor of being with people through the ups and downs of life’s journey. I bear witness to joy, fear, anger and sorrow, and the ways in which we deal with these emotions.

My patients often say to me, “I think what I need is to just stay busy. I need to distract myself.”

Distraction certainly has its role. Sometimes keeping ourselves occupied with meaningful activities like exercise, time with friends or work can keep us out of our head. Sometimes distraction …

Read the original article »

Read More

Meditating for a healthy living

Helen Nieves, PsychCentral: Meditation transforms our mind. Practicing meditation can help develop concentration, awareness, positivity, clarity, and seeing the true nature of things. It promotes relaxation, compassion, love, patience and forgiveness.

I suggest to my client’s who have anxiety or are stressed to incorporate some form of meditation in their lives. It is simple and can be done anywhere. Whether they are walking, riding the bus, taking the train or waiting at a doctor’s office, they can implement meditation in their lives and promote a healthy well being. There are …

Read the original article »

Read More

How to use mindful communication and improve relationships

Joe Wilner, PsychCentral:

“Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people.” – Jim Rohn

The holiday season is often a time where we are around family members we may not see that often, or that we don’t always get along with.

The dreaded family reunion doesn’t have to be such a burden however if we have ways to communicate effectively that can help us improve relationships. …

Read the original article »

Read More

Helping yourself speak your truth

Old-fashioned rotary telephone off the hookNormal as they are, these inhibitions limit your autonomy, and consequently, your intimacy. Their regulation is excessive and thus unskillful. And they harm others by denying them important information about how you are feeling and what you really care about. Here are some ways to deal with them:

1. Draw on the slow but powerful prefrontal cortex to keep reminding yourself that you are entitled to the pursuit of your own happiness, to your own experience, and your own view – and that you will communicate in a virtuous manner. It could help to write out a kind of manifesto – usually for your eyes alone – declaring what is fair and just for you in your relationships. In actual conversations, particularly if they are over the phone or via email or texting, you could set your manifesto, or even just a few jotted notes, in front of yourself. The clarity in explicit language is a kind of secure base that establishes the moral, principled rationale for your self-expression.

2. Similarly, remind yourself that you are responsible for conducting yourself in an honorable way, but not for all the other things affecting a person’s reactions to you.

There are 10,000 causes upstream of this moment in that person’s life that are not wearing your name tag. Fundamentally, each of us is responsible to our reactions to stimuli – including the person with whom you’re communicating. Just because he or she feels bad does not in itself mean that you did anything wrong. In fact, you could be helping a person by bringing something to light that, unfortunately, also makes him or her uncomfortable.

3. Keep exploring your experience. Think of it as a multi-track song, the major tracks being perceptions, body sensations, emotions, thoughts, images, and wants. Particularly sense into the tracks you’re least aware of. Even if you feel out of touch with yourself at first, continuing to gently investigate your inner world and treating what you find with curiosity and kindness, will forge neural connections and increasingly bring unconscious material into awareness. I once did a stint of Jungian dream therapy with a wonderful analyst who had this saying: “When your unconscious knows you’re listening to it, it’ll start talking to you.” (The important exception to this general advice is for people with a trauma history, who are advised to steer clear of painful material until they’re really ready to go there.)

4. Consider how your upbringing, gender, culture, and life experiences have shaped your communication style. Sense their impact in your body, in body sensations, constriction of breath, posture, shoulders hunched forward protectively, etc. For example, for a long time my feelings were blocked by a kind of valve in my throat; I knew what they were but just couldn’t get them through that choke point. Awareness alone often slowly dissolves these patterns. Additionally, there are formal methods for opening up self-expression, such as bioenergetics, psychodrama, counseling, and somatic experiencing.

5. Off-line, not in the moment with the other person, practice expressing the things that you usually avoid. Write and say sentences out loud (by yourself) that would be tough to express directly, such as “I feel really needy” or “I’m very angry with you.” Yes, it’s artificial and theatrical, but you could also act out certain strong feelings just to break the logjam around them – what body-oriented therapists refer to as “armoring” – such as by venting loudly in suitable situations. Until I did an “anger release” workshop in my 20’s, it was nearly impossible for me to express that emotion, but just one day of role-playing and a fair amount of yelling cracked open that capability.

It’s not just the “negative” emotions that are locked up; often the biggest undelivered communication is “I love you.” Here’s another quick story from my 20’s. I was getting Rolfed, a form of deep-tissue bodywork that back then was routinely painful, and in the hands of my particular no-mercy Rolfer sometimes actually led to rising screams coming from her office as I fidgeted in the waiting room: “Stop, Myra, please stop, oh God, please stop!” So I anticipated the fifth session in the series with dread, since it plunged into the abdomen, where I figured buckets of tears were buried. But when she got in there, an incredible wave of love poured out, which had been suppressed for many years.

In your mind or on paper, make a list of your major undelivered communications, past and present. Be sure to include positive emotions and statements which haven’t been expressed. Then decide what you want to do with this list. It will be too late or inappropriate to deliver some communications directly, though you can still experience a lot of benefit from saying them out loud or writing them in a letter that does not get sent. For the rest, it could be good to get them off your chest!

Methods like these can really help you communicate autonomously – and thus help you connect intimately.

Read More

Is self-compassion more important than self-esteem?

wildmind meditation newsSteven C. Hayes, Ph.D., The Huffington Post: Is it important to love yourself?

It seems that depends on how you do it.

Few concepts in popular psychology have gotten more attention over the last few decades than self-esteem and its importance in life success and long-term mental health. Of course, much of this discussion has focused on young people, and how families, parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors can provide the proper psychological environment to help them grow into functional, mature, mentally stable adults.

Research shows that low self-esteem correlates with poorer mental health …

Read the original article »

Read More

How mindful children react differently

Renee Jain, Psych Central: Growing up, I was a firecracker. I reacted quickly to situations and never hesitated to express my “passionate” opinions. This often led to hurt feelings. I remember once, after a heated discussion with my brother, he asked my parents to put a coffee filter over my mouth to “keep the yucky stuff inside.”

My dad later took me aside and said, “Renee, you need to think before you speak. You’re going to hurt people with that sharp tongue. This is something I really want you to work on.”

“I’m …

Read the original article »

Read More
Menu