How Your Indulgence Improves Your Friendship With Yourself

Ann Morgan Guilbert as Grandma Yetta.

Image via Wikipedia

I remembered my grandma’s hair today.  She had this little vanity.  Used to roll it up at night and put her net over.  In the morning she was careful about it.

She had good hair.  In her 80’s it was still pretty full and it was white.  Really white like forgiveness.  Something about it carried a message.  “Here is a woman who has beauty.”

When my grandfather died, I am told that there were men who wanted to marry her.  Men with farms, a business or something to offer.  Grandma, when she thought the time was right, would introduce them to her four sons.  Big sons, with big bones and the quietness from working in the inconsiderate conditions of nature and element.  Sons who had a father once but lost him, like a ring that slips off your finger in the water without you knowing it was gone.  Worse than that.

It’s important to have a message when you live under working conditions, where horrors happen.  A little sister burns to death in front of you.  Your finger gets twisted off in a washing machine like a bottle cap.  You canned.  Canning was never a hobby for Grandma but I never had the sense that she disliked it.

What made Grandma’s hair stand out so for me and my brothers was that it was her indulgence.  Why an old woman with no teeth, in a wooden farm-house sleeping next to a man she didn’t marry for love, (although she loved him), would roll her hair every night as if she was going to have family pictures in the morning – just has to make you smile.

She used to leave her dentures in a cup of water by her bed and her mouth would leak a little when they weren’t in.  How good her kisses were.  I’m glad I didn’t know to think they were gross.  Even when Grandma got really old, smelled like medicine and her rotting insides, I didn’t think so.

Mom would go in and roll Grandma’s hair for her because her fingers turned at odd angles.  She couldn’t do her hair and she couldn’t play piano.   Later, when moved into a nursing facility, there was a beauty contest.  My mom found out about it and enrolled my grandma without her knowing.  She told Mom afterward that she won because of her hair.  I had never heard Grandma talk about her hair like that, even though the rest of us had, and my brother’s and I laughed until we cried.  And then we cried some more.

Question:  What is your indulgence?  What is the message in it from your secret self out to the world? What does it bring to your ability to be your own friend.  Please tell me your story.

Self-Care Tip – Celebrate your indulgence, acknowledge its message about you and see what it brings to your ability to be your own friend.

Premises of being a “Friend to Yourself”

English: Object of perception in psychology

This is the skeleton of what we reviewed over three days of 1-2 hour workshop sessions (which ended last week.)  We named these the unchanging premises of being a friend to yourself.

 Everything starts and ends with Me.

Freedom to choose is here.

 I can see Me using various paradigms such as the Jungian Typology and the biopsychosocial model.

These are tools, not boxes.

 Me is never alone.

 Essence.

Essence is the part of Me that is timeless and unchanging.

 Truth.

There is our perception of reality – from the wind to the whim.  Then there is Truth that like the other premises to self-care are not dependent on my beliefs, emotions or behaviors.

Questions:  What do you think of these premises?  Would you change anything?

Self-Care Tip – Know and name your premises to befriending yourself.

Workshops Anyone? I’m goin’ a’travelin.

We’ve just concluding another workshop on becoming a friend to yourself.

We rocked this.  Everyone was fully present with their whole person, eager for growth, interesting and interested and left wanting more.  Me included, of course.  :)

So… if anyone else wants a two-hour one day workshop during these dates in these locations, please let me know for year, 2012.

Orange County, CA – May 4, 5, 6

Tennessee – May 25-30

San Francisco, CA – July 26-30

Des Moines, IA – August 9-15

 

* In truth, I’m happy to offer workshop services to you and yours mostly anywhere within Southern California.  Keep on.

When To See A Psychiatrist

Singer Brandy Norwood in September 16, 2010.

Even car accidents happen for “good reasons!”

Wanda didn’t want to hear the reasons.

Anything could sound like a good reason for bad performance.  It is what it is.  Just own it!

And Wanda was out.  And just as quickly as she concluded, I flashed back to the quivering resident who messed up on internal medicine rounds.  I stood there with my spine like a steel rod.  My white coat felt heavier with my fair-weather reference books bulging in my pockets.

Keep your chin up and look at her!  I told myself.

This wasn’t the first time for me, so I had the “luxury” of practicing a previous well-described lesson from my attending on how to respond to feedback.  Those days seemed like a series of stings, burns and frost-bite, but I am grateful for that at least – the knowledge of how I’m supposed to “take it.”

Wanda came back into my mind’s focus as memories of internship faded.  Wanda wasn’t even mad at me.  She was telling me this story as an example of her difficulty coping with anger.  Here she was asking for help while justifying her position.  Don’t we all, though?

I saw the irony in her criticism of those who gave reasons for their foibles as compared to her own explanation for anger and medical care.  Yet again, aren’t we all inconsistent like this?  Wanda is not alone.  She even had good insight too.  Explaining away our mistakes is shabby, lacks class and is insincere.

Some time ago in a post, Please Don’t Say “But”, we talked about this, which later we termed “presence.”  But why see a psychiatrist about these things?  Because insight is only worth so much.  If the mechanics to respond to the insight aren’t well, then you’ll be able to withdraw from your self just that.  In Wanda’s case, it was spitting anger, hot to the touch and not much safe.  It had quite an effect on her interpersonal relationships and quality of life.

But Wanda was suffering in more than her apparent psychological and sociological selves.  She was also suffering in her biological self.  (See biopsychosocial model.)  Wanda, was ill.

When we find that we can’t do what we want, don’t respond the way we intend, have negative emotions and behaviors we didn’t invite, see the associated deterioration in our connections and quality of life – when we are suffering, we need to look for help.  It’s hard to be productive and survive without support.  Any bit of nature will tell you that.  Ask a peach tree if you don’t believe me.

Question:  Does it make sense to you that emotions and behaviors might be all we have to show us that we are medically ill?  If not, please tell us why.

Self-Care Tip:  When insight isn’t enough, consider a medical consult.  Be a friend to yourself.

Self-Care Workshop Notes, by An Attendee

Sharon Profile

Image via Wikipedia

We have been meeting Thursdays, as you know, for our workshop.  Every meeting takes me by surprise by how well it goes, which may be a bad sign but that’s just how my nerves go – setting me up for some denuding catastrophe.  I don’t think Billy Graham or Martin Luther King had that problem.  Even so, pressing forward, I and the rest of the group have done the hard work to get ourselves there – and the inherent energy and brilliance natural to being good to oneself did the rest.

One of the attendees spoke for a couple minutes and I thought you might want to know what her prompt notes looked like.  This woman is one of the courageous.  She has been victimized horribly but she is not a victim.  She has chosen freedom.

I WAS ASKED WHAT IT MEANS TO ME TO BE A FRIEND TO MYSELF

  • Had no idea 
  • hadn’t thought about changes made in my life as if in doing them I was “being a friend to myself”
  • Only have learned what I need to do to stay emotionally healthy and balanced
  • Some of these things cannot be compromised and yes, I do catch flak occasionally, but as I stand my ground it becomes less frequent
  1. Friday group with friends
  2. Aftercare group once a month
  3. Meds (acceptance, cooperation with dr)
  4. Saying “No”
  5. Responsible for only me
  6. Reaching out (for myself and for others)/ Connecting
  7. Recognizing when I need help
  8. Faith (new)
  9. Setting boundaries
  10. Therapy as necessary

Starts and Ends with Me

  1. Don’t give power over myself to anyone else
  2. Always have a choice, yes or no, but consequences go along with each choice

Awareness of situations and circumstances that are unfriendly to me

  1. Drama: the friendly action => minimize exposure
  2. Confrontation:  When it came to Tall Poppies, I wanted to rip out at roots and crush into ground; 
    1. can’t allow myself to get to that point; 
    2. wait until not angry or just let it go; 
    3. use insight to figure out other person’s angle or underlying issue

My employment:

  • loved it
  • my identity
  • first priority in life
  • many years of discussions about it killing me and need to give it up but wouldn’t at any cost
  • after truck crash, priorities changed
  • few more years passed and realized time to give it up
  • still miss it very much but cost to my overall well-being is too high
Questions:  Since becoming a better friend to yourself, what has changed in your life?  What does it mean to be your own friend?  Please tell us your story.
Self-Care Tip:  Take inventory on what you have done for yourself differently when you were being friendly.  

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Calibrate the forces in your life

Calibration

Calibration (Photo credit: Kyle McDonald)

I’ve taken this week off, mostly at least. Besides a couple half-days, I’m living the non-income life, otherwise known as “vacation.” In any sort of self-employment, that’s what vacation is – a carefully calibrated force with another opposing, calibrated to keep me from mutating. All for the price of income.

It was getting close there, and just in time, after the significance of making wrong change and missing signatures finally broke through, I found myself here. Vacation. #gratitude.

But what does one do, “relaxing?”

Yesterday, someone asked what Adam and Eve did before the fall. I loved that question. What did they do all day? Reminded me about my thought-thumbing through what a heaven or eternity would be like. Where’s the delicious tension from living this way, dynamic and traveling persons? I’m very interested to know what will keep my attention for eternity.

Anyhow, vacation is like what one patient described as counting the days, either with anxiety or happy anticipation, of when you will be going back to work. I would say that it’s an exercise in calibrating the forces in ones life, before she mutates.

I remember as a little girl, with tangled hair in my eyes and muddied toes, hearing, “At the end of someone’s life, no one ever says they wished they worked more.” It scared me. I sensed the intent behind these words to threaten whoever was out there working and not spending time with their family. I was scared for them and at the same time for myself. This has replayed many times in my mind since then, in shifting sounds and shapes as my thoughts took on the years and experience of what family time offers/takes verses work time. And then finally one day, I said to my sister, “When I’m in the dying stage, I don’t think I will agree with that. I can’t imagine ever not wanting to work more.”

When one gets to do something as fun as work in psychiatry, with heroes and see magic and watch what all that does to their own person in a process no less than what a dreamers canvas would display – they don’t ask for less. They will always want more, and so will I. This is not a qualifying statement of how much of my family I want in my life at all. One of the major problems with the original scare is that it is based on assuming either-or, either work or family. That’s ignorant, same as my fear.

So tonight, after a pajama day cleaning out the toy room, kids and movie time, my flow was interrupted by thoughts of patients’ narratives and personalities, and I missed them. Vacation, against that, makes for a pretty relaxing time. #gratitude.

Self-Care Tip – Calibrate the forces in your life. Be a friend to yourself.

Questions: How do you relax? Do you enjoy your work? What will you still want more of when you are in the dying process? Please tell us your story.

Work can be fun! – Guest Post by DeeAnna Merz Nagel

Work can be fun! 

Guest Post by DeeAnna Merz Nagel

I mostly work from home and that can be challenging. How do I adjust my days so that I stay in flow and practice self-care?  The balance is not always easy but the balance is important. I started the Online Therapy Institute a few years ago and anyone who has started a business knows how much time and energy the effort takes.  I had already started a part time private practice seeing just a few clients a week in the office and a few clients a week online.  After a couple of years (literally) of trying to find my work groove, balancing work at home, work in the office and occasional travel to conduct seminars and workshops, I finally found a rhythm that works for me.

I am an introvert by nature, so give me a cozy environment and a laptop, access to coffee and tea and a pastry or chocolate here and there, and I am golden. Sometimes the challenge is not to indulge my quiet side too much.  So instead of stacking my client appointments to one day a week, I found it works better for me to see clients a few days a week. Even if I have one client during the day at the office, that gets me out of the house. So while I could arrange my work week so that I only go to the office one day a week, I purposefully plan my schedule differently.

I also found that when I work from home, I do well to move around in my space. I might sit at the desktop (properly- in an ergonomic chair at a desk) or I might sit on the sofa, or lounge in the guest room when on my laptop. Moving around gets me up and out of that “headspace” for a bit.

I also move around with my tasks, perhaps answering a few client emails in the morning and answering a few in the late afternoon. The rest of my day is filled with writing curriculums and answering trainee and consultancy questions.  I use social media as a way to relax online. It is my communication portal and draws out the engaging side of me. I like the conversation and dialogue that social media can foster.

I also take breaks during the day to just play – whether that is reading something really gossipy or juicy on my new Kindle Fire, or watching a talk show, going to lunch with a friend or a colleague, or taking a few hours during the week for shopping or spa-like activities.  Mostly, I try to lean into the mood I am in and when I am not creative or ready to begin work, I don’t fight it. I allow myself to putter and trust that the work mindset will kick in (it always does).

I am fortunate that my office is 5 minutes from my house and that I live in a small village on the Jersey Shore. I can live the quiet life and wave to the Manhattan skyline – only a ferry ride away!  Working for myself allows me different luxuries that I do not take for granted. A nice spring day might give rise to seeing a matinee on Broadway.  It is all right here at my fingertips – the world in cyberspace and the world outside my door.  Finding balance to enjoy both the online and the offline world is important.

Today I woke up with every intention of finishing up a curriculum. Instead, I puttered with Polyvore and created an expressive piece about work:  http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/set?.svc=twitter&id=43800377

tee hee!

Questions:  What’s fun about your work?  How do you keep it about you?  Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip:  Keep work about you and you’ll have more fun.  Keep on.

DeeAnna Merz Nagel is psychotherapist, coach and consultant. She co-founded the Online Therapy Institute and the Online Coach Institute and is Managing Co-Editor of TILT Magazine ~ Therapeutic Innovations in Light of Technology. Her counseling and consulting specialties include relationship issues, alcohol and drugs, surviving abuse, internet addictions and understanding how technology impacts our lives. She offers online counseling and in-office psychotherapy in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. Find her at http://www.jerseyshoretherapy.com & http://www.trainingcoachesandtherapiststoworkonline.com 

I Am A Poster Child For Sinners

IMG_4706 Leather pants

I am a poster child for sinners.

Sitting with a respected mentor, a leader of women in medicine, I couldn’t stop myself as usual from playing with the ideas of being a friend to yourself.  She caught on quick with where I was going and I felt wishes winging in.

I wished I could have practiced with her, have had her for a peer, a voice in the room that gets me, a mind that might even have resonated and crescendoed the healing process that comes from being a friend to Me.

Oh that guy is as stiff as they come!  She knew.

He always made me feel like I was a poster child for sinners.  …And I knew I loved her.  It wasn’t just me.

Sometimes, remembering that “it’s not just me” seems like reciting folklore.  The longer that Time clutters up between real encounters with like-minded folk, the more magical the thoughts brew of being chosen to suffer, I am alone and I am special for what hurts me.   However, perhaps a good this or that can come out of even things such as these (insert, “human connection.”)  Is that so much to ask?  Do I really have to sacrifice a chicken on a full moon over whitened unicorn bones to make it happen?

In becoming a Friend to Yourself, we know there are many times when living with not much more than our better choices for company is almost more than that stringy thin young muscle of self-care can sustain.  But know this.  Just when you think you might collapse, the Truth that “you are not alone” will wing in.  More than a wish or a perception of reality, “you are not alone” is Truth.  Something great comes to us, like,

I am a poster child for sinners.  

Stigma comes from ignorance after all and in being a friend to Me, well, our community has undeveloped awareness about it.  Some who don’t know that everything starts and ends with Me feel threatened, angry and even verbally aggressive toward us.  But, just when we think that the whole world is touched with ignorance and cruel responses except for Me, we find Thee.  (Yet another variation on the  quote by a Yorkshireman –  “Everyone in the world is quite mad, except for me and thee.  And sometimes I have my doubts about thee.”.)  Me finds Thee, just in time.

Suddenly we see ourselves for the stud-muffins that we are, courageous and in company.  Leather pants may be included if you like.

Self-Care Tip – Remember the Truth – you are not alone, even in being a friend to yourself.  Keep on.

Questions:  How’s your company these days?  Do people ever treat you like you are a wrong-doer for loving yourself?  How does that go over?  Please tell us your story.

Medical Therapies Are Like Old or New Rugs

English: Physician of Rome During the Empire -...

The older I get, the more reputation I accumulate.  I am an old rug.

Have you ever seen a child – their smooth, unblemished skin like marsh-mellows;

their eyes, cupcakes, (my children’s are chocolate);

the way they look at the world open-mouthed swallowing flies;

the way the world looks at them?  Both sides hungry.

We say about these kids in contrast to us old property, “They have it all.”  They have it all because they just have not been around for very long.  They do no have a bunch of mistakes accumulated, crafted and woven into their lives; mistakes that could not be outed.  

Children do not have a limited supply of first beginnings.  When you have been around a while like us, first beginnings seem like they have changed their constitution.  On this side of the freeway, even though we have the freedom to start over at any point in our lives, starting over means something different when you have been around.  

It is not a matter of value.  Being around does not devalue Me.  It does not take away our worth.  It does not improve our worth – the Me we speak of.  Perhaps it will improve our worth in other ways or lessen it – but it won’t touch Me.  

There is nothing like a veteran office staff who knows how to do everything that your office needs.  That person is different from somebody out of high school.   Better for the position – yes, but not a better Me.  There is nothing like having a physician who has practiced for ten or twenty years and seen patients walk out angry, has seen patients die, has seen in action which treatments do what.  There is nothing like a physician who has worked with a medication long enough to know the inside of it; that there is good and there are things that happen that are not so good and that when you cannot unravel those things from that therapy, you try to see it together.  A more valuable physician for the job, but not a more valuable Me.  

The office staff, the physician and the child have reputations.  Those who have been around would take up more ink.  

Treatments are like that too.  The longer they have been around, the more reputation they have.  It is like being at a party and you see somebody who has been to all of the parties.  Somebody who has been the first to come and the last to leave, who has hurt people and been hurt and who has gossips surround them.  When you see that person, you walk in the door and think, “Oh boy!”  Or, “Yes! the party girl is here.”  But no matter what you think of them, there is something to say about them lasting as long as they have in these circles.  There’s a reason they keep getting invited and a reason they weren’t taken off lists.  

A treatment that’s been around a really long time, that has gotten a bunch of heat and perhaps even been referred to as “barbaric,”  has remained in circulation for reasons worth knowing.  If it didn’t offer lasting and unique benefits, if it’s benefits weren’t considered greater than the risks and potential negative outcomes, if people’s lives weren’t improved more than they were damaged – that treatment, like so many others, would have extinguished on their own much earlier in history.  

Questions:  What do you think when you see the treatment that you have been offered.  Has it been around long enough to get a reputation.  Or is it the new kid, the new child with velvet for skin?  Their eyes have not woven in shards of particled light that tangled the loom perhaps?  You with reputations, who are older than this and still around, tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip:  When considering treatments, consider their age as you consider their reputation.  Be a friend to yourself.

If You Don’t Take Care of Yourself Someone Else Will

Suburban Girl

Image via Wikipedia

If Archie isn’t going to take care of himself someone else will.

Whoever wrote that line, should have written the rest of the script of Suburban Girl (2007).  The movie moved from something I couldn’t believe I was watching, to worth it; just to hear those words.

If Sana isn’t going to take care of herself someone else will.

Taking care of ourselves is what we have to participate in freedom.  Not taking care of ourselves is as much as saying, “Here.  Take my freedom and make my choices for me.”

Self-Care Tip:  Take your freedoms back by taking care of yourself.

Question:  What does your name sound like in this space?  “If _________ isn’t going to take care of herself/himself someone else will.”  And what does that mean when read that way?  Keep on.

Guest Post by Michael Cornwall PhD – Bandaid Your Emotional Injury

The Brain Limbic System

Image via Wikipedia

The physical home of emotion – the limbic area, is located in the center-region of the brain. The limbic system consists of a series of interconnected structures that include the frontal area, the hippocampus, amygdala, hypothalamus (anterior thalamic nuclei), septum, limbic cortex and fornix.  It is believed that these structures support a variety of cognitive, emotive, behavioral and biological functions including emotional behavior and long-term memory often necessary for emotional behavior to occur.

It is NOT essential for you, the reader, to know the names and functions of these structures – although it could benefit you.  Knowing that there are anatomical, electro-bio-chemical and hormonal correlations between your emotions and your brain is, however, critical to improving your emotional intelligence. Although you may decide not to know these structures, you will have to remember, at minimum, where your emotions live.

Your emotions live in your head.

More specifically, your emotions are an expression of your thoughts.

Without thought, you would have no emotion.

If you wish to change your emotion, you will have to change your thinking.

The limbic neighborhood, when in balance, can be described as resting.  While at rest, however, it can be instantaneously energized by thought and perception in an all-out effort to protect the body from real or perceived harm or the threat of harm. The stress response will cooperate with your thinking and automatically release neurochemicals and hormones into the bloodstream that are intent on providing the fuel you will need to protect yourself  from real or perceived threat. You can expect a sudden increase in heart rate, perspiration, flushing of the skin, hair standing on end, etc. All designed by Nature to give you the strength, energy and focus to run away very quickly, fight very bravely or just to freeze, motionless, in the hopes you will appear unthreatening to your attacker.

Let’s find a more familiar image to understand this phenomenon.

Imagine that you have a paper cut.

Blood flows from the cut, no matter how much you are against that from happening.

It is an automatic response to injury.

You can commit to do something about the cut by attending to it. You might wash it, put it in your mouth or cover it with a Band-Aid (or plaster).  Your effort to stop the bleeding will likely shorten the time the wound is active and susceptible to infection. While attending to the cut, you commit to memory how the accident occurred and tell yourself how to avoid similar injuries in the future. Injury and trauma are, in many ways, opportunities for learning.

But how does cutting your finger and attending to it compare to the expression and remediation of emotion?

Your perception of an event as threatening or dangerous is like injuring the nuclei of your brain.  Your thoughts activate a response in the brain that starts an automatic flow of neurochemicals and hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones and neurochemicals:

  1. Increase heart rate and blood pressure;
  2. Dilate the pupils;
  3. Constrict the veins in skin and send more blood to major muscle groups;
  4. Increase blood-glucose levels;
  5. Tense up the muscles that have been energized by adrenaline and glucose;
  6. Relax smooth muscles in order to allow more oxygen into the lungs;
  7. Shuts down the digestion and immune system to allow more energy for emergency functions; and
  8. Improves the ability to focus on the task of determining the location of the threat and how to respond to it.

Much like cutting your finger, there is an automatic flow of neurochemicals and hormones into the bloodstream that happens without your consent.  Similar to tending a paper cut, you can be a passive observer or you can actively respond by providing wound care.

You can put a Band-Aid on your emotional injury.

Here I will provide you with some self-care techniques and suggestions.

First, it should be noted that if the injury to the emotional areas of your brain were visible – if the flow of neurochemicals and hormones rushing here and there inside your head could be observed, rather than having it all happen deep inside your skull, you may be more active in responding to it, without all this comparison to a paper cut.

Instead, we will just have to imagine and increase our awareness of the phenomenon.

Wounds inflicted by thought require as much attention and enthusiasm for treatment as an injury to skin or bone.  We might imagine the paradigm from the following perspective:

  1. An Event Occurs: “You did a horrible job!”
  2. An Injury Results from Thinking About the Event: “You have no right to talk to me like that! I am a good employee.  I am a good person. I should be treated better.  It is awful that you are treating me this way.  I need your approval in order to be happy in my life.”
  3. An Automatic Protective Response Results from Thinking:   Your threatening thoughts instigate the flow of neurochemicals and hormones into your bloodstream, causing your body to go into a protective mode (a stress response).  These chemical will flow for some period of time specific to you.  The longer you ruminate about your perceived threat, however, the longer the chemicals will remain flowing through your bloodstream. It could be minutes, months or even years (chronic stress).  If you do not tend to the wound, you will be susceptible to infection, fatigue and a continued loss of homeostasis and likely reopen the wound each and every time you encounter the same or a similar misfortune.
  4. Attention to Thinking: “I am not in dangerI am viewing this situation as threatening. I don’t have to view the situation as threatening.  I can view it as unfortunate. It is unfortunate that I am being talked to this way.  It is regrettable that I am being criticized this way.  I am being treated badly and that is difficult, but it is not awful. I can stand it and I will.  I can express my concerns.  I have a right to ask for respect, but I have no right to get it. I don’t need approval in order to be happy in my life.  It would be nice to have approval, but it certainly isn’t a necessary element of my continued happiness.”
  5. Interfering with the Flow of Neurochemicals and Hormones: Using more rational thought is the essential part of attending to the emotional wound.  It is also the first step toward improving emotional intelligence.
  6. The fact that the hormones and neurochemicals are already in your bloodstream will present some problem.  Although you may be thinking more rationally, your physical body will need time to readjust and return to balance.
  7. Be assured that these hormones and neurochemicals will dissipate, if you stop them from flowing using more rational thought.
  8. Your new thinking will eventually win over the process and you will be free of these toxic substances.  At least until you encounter misfortune, again – something you can certainly expect.
  9. To encourage the return to balance, you may breathe deeply, stimulating your vagus nerves.
  10. Breathing deeply (through your mouth, into the pit of the stomach and out your mouth) sends a message to the brain that all is well and that it is safe for the body to return to balance.

The next time you encounter some perceived danger or harm, try these techniques and suggestions.  How did it work for you?  Would it help to keep the suggestions in your purse or wallet, for when you find yourself in the middle of misfortune and want a quick guide?

Michael Cornwall, PhD  is an author, lecturer, clinical supervisor, educator and child behavior therapist in private practice.  In our community, you may know him as the author of blog, Emotional Intelligence Theory.

(502) 564-4321 x 2008