Mindfulness and Gratefulness

Meditation, Mindfulness and Gratefulness

 

When most people think about meditation, they imagine a person sitting in the lotus position trying their best not to scratch those itches. Because once you put yourself in the lotus position and stop moving, everything starts itching.

The bad news is that you WILL start feeling itchy the second you close your eyes. The good news, however, is that once you start doing it right (meditating), your itches go away. Your stressful thoughts go away. Your never-ending problems go away. 

Everything goes away.

Except you. 

You and the universe. 

You become one with the universe. 

You feel connected to everything and you feel compassion for everything.

You still feel good about the good stuff, and bad about the bad stuff. But you stop hating, you stop spiting.

You feel at peace.

You realize how bad it is and feel compassion for those who do wrong.

You feel their pain and you understand them.

You understand they’re wrong, you understand that they don’t understand.

And you realize that you can’t feel anger anymore, you can’t feel bored, you can’t feel pressed or stressed.

And you’re fine with it.

You’re fine.

If doing push-ups is a way of working out your body, meditation is a way of working out your brain.

Many people will feel a sense of entitlement once they start meditating. They will undoubtedly feel better than before, but unfortunately feel better as a person than every other person they know. That’s the path to enlightenment, but don’t worry, it will pass.

Meditation can also be done in groups. The most enlightening type of meditation I’ve tried was active meditation. We would spread out evenly in a large room, close our eyes, and let ourselves be guided by the guru. A tribal music would be beating away in the background, but as the time would pass, the beats would sound stronger and stronger. We would be instructed to forget about our thoughts and concentrate on our body. Later in the exercise we would move, jump and stretch with our eyes closed. That alone would disrupt us from our smartphone-driven lives. Half an hour later we would open our eyes and see everything in a new light. Our phones would now look more like a bunch of props from a movie scene, other people would look more like weird curious creatures in the wild. You would think everything would seem distorted, but the feeling we all got was that of clarity, focus, and presence.

I wish I could be more of a guide to you in your path to enlightenment, but this is not the kind of journey you read in article. The purpose of the article is to make you hungry, curious about your personal path, your personal development, and to make you realize you need a master, to teach you how to be better every day, and one day even outshine him, your master. You can!

 

What’s your personal experience with Mindfulness and Gratefulness?

Share your thoughts in a comment below, or respond in a new post and share the link.

I look forward to read your responses!

 

 

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Trauma Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy, as the name implies is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that addresses the specific emotional and mental health needs of children, adolescents, adult survivors, and families who are struggling to overcome the destructive effects of early trauma.

Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) is especially sensitive to the unique problems of youth with post-traumatic stress and mood disorders resulting from abuse, violence, or grief. Because the client is usually a child, TF-CBT often brings non-offending parents or other caregivers into treatment and incorporates principles of family therapy.

When It’s Used

Anyone who has experienced a single or repeated experience of sexual, physical, or mental abuse or who has developed post-traumatic symptoms, depression, or anxiety as a result of the loss of a loved one or exposure to violence in the home or community can benefit from TF-CBT.

If a child or adolescent also exhibits serious behavioral, substance-abuse, or suicidal-ideation problems, other forms of treatment, such as dialectical behavior therapy, may be more appropriate as an initial intervention and can be followed up with a trauma-sensitive approach.

There is little evidence that trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy is the best intervention for adult war veterans with complex post-traumatic stress disorder.

What to Expect

TF-CBT is a short-term intervention that generally lasts anywhere from eight to 25 sessions and can take place in an outpatient mental health clinic, group home, community center, hospital, school, or in-home setting. Cognitive behavioral techniques are used to help modify distorted or unhelpful thinking and negative reactions and behaviors.

At the same time, a family therapy approach looks at interactions among family members and other family dynamics that are contributing to the problem and aims to teach new parenting, stress-management, and communication skills.

How It Works

The trauma-focused approach to psychotherapy was first developed in the 1990s by psychiatrist Judith Cohen and psychologists Esther Deblinger and Anthony Mannarino, whose original intent was to better serve children and adolescents who had experienced sexual abuse. TF-CBT has expanded over the years to include services for youths who have experienced any form of severe trauma or abuse.

Early trauma can lead to guilt, anger, feelings of powerlessness, self-abuse, acting out behavior, and mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. Post-traumatic stress disorder, which affects children and adults, can manifest in a number of ways.

Most likely as bothersome recurring thoughts about the traumatic experience, emotional numbness, sleep issues, concentration problems, and extreme physical and emotional responses to anything that triggers a memory of the trauma.

By integrating the theories and techniques of several therapeutic interventions, TF-CBT can address and improve the symptoms of post-traumatic stress in youth.

What to Look for in a Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist

Look for a licensed mental health professional with specialized training and experience in cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy as well as further training and supervised experience in trauma-focused therapy. In addition to these credentials, it is important to find a therapist with whom you and your child feel comfortable working.

References

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Child Welfare Information Gateway. Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy for children affected by sexual abuse or trauma. August 2012.
  • Gillies D, Taylor F, Gray C, O’Brien L, D’Abrew N. Psychological therapies for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in children and adolescents (review). Evidence-Based Child Health. May 2013;8(3):1004–1116.
  • Bisson JI, Roberts NP, Andrew M, Cooper R, Lewis C. Psychological therapies for chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2013;12.
  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy National Therapist Certification Program website.

 

Yoga Breathing Techniques for Weight Loss

5 Yoga Breathing Techniques for Weight Loss

5 Yoga Breathing Techniques for Weight Loss

 

https://bootcampmilitaryfitnessinstitute.com/2019/01/07/5-yoga-breathing-techniques-for-weight-loss/
— Read on bootcampmilitaryfitnessinstitute.com/2019/01/07/5-yoga-breathing-techniques-for-weight-loss/

breathing exercises

How breathing exercises help with my anxiety level?

 

Breathing exercises are an effective, quick, and easy solution for stress and anxiety relief. Proper breathing exercises techniques work on anxiety on a physiological level by automatically slowing your heart rate.

The effect on anxiety is almost instant. Because calm breathing is a physiological strategy, this approach is also virtually universally effective for getting anxiety relief. It’s hard to go wrong with it!

 

Super Simple Meditation Breathing

Breathing techniques don’t need to be complicated. This very simple breathing exercise is one of the most effective anxiety relief techniques. The only instruction is to breathe out slowly. The key is to focus on your out-breath and ignore your in-breath. Your in-breath will naturally lengthen when your out-breath is longer. Therefore, you don’t need to actively focus on your in-breath at all.

Try to make your breath out slow, steady, and gentle. Some people find it useful to imagine they’re blowing up a balloon, slowly and steadily and with the absolute least amount of force. Breathe out until the last drop of breath is released.

While you’re slowly breathing, you can also scan your body for anywhere you’re holding tension. Typical places are your lips, jaw, and shoulders. With each slow out-breath, allow the tension you’re holding to flow out, and relaxation to flow in.

Deep Breathing or Slow Breathing?

People often think you should use deep breathing exercises for anxiety, but focusing on slow breathing is easier. Using a slow breathing approach is also less likely to induce deep breathing anxiety that many people feel when told to take depth breath.

Slow breathing is one of the best breathing techniques for panic attacks because it helps slow your heart rate, and naturally calms all of the body systems involved in your body’s fight-flight-or-freeze response (what produces panic attacks). Because the basic slow breathing technique outlined above is very simple, you won’t forget the instructions when you’re in the midst of a panic attack.

A Slightly More Involved Breathing Exercise

 

If you’d like to learn several different meditation breathing techniques, you might consider trying alternate nostril breathing. This is also a very simple, natural breathing technique for managing stress and anxiety.

Close one nostril by placing your finders gently over it. Breathe out, then in, through the uncovered nostril. After each breath cycle, switch sides (a breath cycle is one out-breath and one in-breath). Do one out-breath, followed by one in-breath through each nostril, leading with your out-breath.

 

Other Stress Relief Methods That Utilize Breathing Techniques

Three other kinds of stress relief methods also utilize relaxing breathing—guided relaxation, meditation, and yoga. Yoga and meditation, in particular, are useful when you feel a sense of constant anxiety; they can help you break a habit of anxiety breathing because they increase your awareness of how you’re breathing.

Physical activity also naturally regulates your breathing, and is another option if breathing exercises aren’t appealing to you. Simple guided meditations, around 10 minutes in length, are easy to find online and are not too time-consuming.

How Can You Tell If Breathing Exercises Are Working?

If you’re someone who likes to measure your results, you can download a smartphone app to track your heart rate. These apps work by you placing your finger over your phone’s camera; the app then uses the camera to measure your pulse. When you slow your breathing, your heart rate will naturally slow, and you’ll notice your stress and anxiety reduce immediately.

Note that your heart rate will naturally speed up when you inhale and slow down when you exhale. Therefore, you’ll see a pattern of variability when you’re monitoring your heart rate with an app. If your heart rate is above 90 beats per minute when you’re feeling anxious, you’ll probably find it difficult to think and communicate clearly.

Use one of the breathing techniques outlined above to bring it down below that level for instant anxiety relief.

 

Source: Psychology Today

 

Tips to Change Your Mood

Tips to Change Your Mood Right Now

Change, as you know, can take time. It takes practice to un-learn things, to relearn things, to work at finding the path and staying on it until the changes come. The journey can be a long one.

Sometimes, though, you just want to feel a little something RIGHT NOW. Long term sustainable change is awesome, but every once in a while there’s nothing wrong with making a little mid-course correction that you can feel right away. Here are three things you can do that will help right now.

 

Give a call.

Everyone, I mean everyone, has a call they can make to someone who could use it. A friend, a parent, a coworker – someone could really use a call from you that simply says, “I was thinking about you. How are you doing?” The trick here is to not expect anything in return. Call with the simple goal of listening, and caring. Truly listen. Truly care. The rest will follow.

 

Lend a hand.

Unexpected help lifts the mood on both sides of the equation. Carry a grocery bag. Open a door. Take a minute to find a volunteer effort that could use your help. Write a check to a charity and mail it. Donate online to a friend’s fundraising walk. It should be pretty easy to find an opportunity.

 

Drop some praise.

“Your yard looks amazing.” “I love that coat.” “Your smile always brightens my day.” Just say something positive to someone. If you’re the shy type, push yourself a little. Or, leave a note for the restaurant manager to talk about great service someone gave.

Write a letter to someone you admire. The way you do it doesn’t matter. The fact that you give appreciate and praise without any expectation of return is what counts.

All of these decidedly little things can do decidedly big things for your mood, but here’s the big secret: they can also be completely lame. The key is in your approach. If you’re just making another obligatory phone call, that’s lame. That won’t do a thing for you. If, on the other hand, you decided to completely engage in that moment, if you can find yourself completely in love with that little piece of the path, if you can give all the love you have within yourself through the act of making that phone call, then you’re onto something.

It’s like everything else – nothing has to be boring, or worthless, or stupid, if we choose to engage in it to the peak of our abilities.

Flow is flow, whether you’re doing brain surgery or cutting up a piece of celery. Find yourself there, give of yourself, and watch your mood change for the better ! 👍

 

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