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Stress Management

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(no subject) [Jul. 21st, 2006|01:48 pm]
Stress Management

enterthesoul

Sorry yet again guys, due to unforseen circumstances I was unable to make any posting this week. I will say one thing though for managing stress, sometimes sitting down and having a good long cry can be the best thing for you.

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(no subject) [Jul. 15th, 2006|06:45 pm]
Stress Management

enterthesoul
Will be back up and running as of monday sorry about the delay guys but I have been unavoidably unable to have access to LJ.
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(no subject) [Jun. 24th, 2006|05:52 pm]
Stress Management

enterthesoul

The grief process
The following is the 6 stages of grief. No one person has to follow this process. Some people don’t experience all of the following, some people experience it in a different order. 


1.Shock/disbelief/denial
You tend to be in a state of has this really happened, then move on to this hasn’t really happened. In this first step sub-consciously we know that it has happened but our present state of mind tends to deny this event. 

2.Bargain
This step goes hand in hand with step 1. We try to bargain with the intent to change what had happened. Once again even though our sub-conscience knows that this won’t change anything we still tend to try.

3.Anger
After trying to bargain we tend to get angry weather it be with a certain person ie; in a death situation the person who is dead. Sometime we get angry with ourself asking why we didn’t do enough to prevent the situation from happening. During this stage we can be a danger to ourselves or others so it is rather important to seek help through a support network (friends, family, even life line or something similar).

4.Depression
As the full effect of the situation sets in we tend to break down and allow a deep sadness to take over. During this stage we can become very withdrawn and let ourselves go. This step will normally present its self in almost every situation. Depression does not mean you are mentally unwell, its’ place in the grieving stages simply implies symptoms similar to that of depression.

5.Acceptance
At the end of the grieving process there is only one thing left to do and that is accept the situation at hand. Regardless if we like it or not we do accept that something has taken place. Once you reach this step it doesn’t mean you won’t be angry or sadden by what has taken place but it means you have accepted that it has taken place. When one has reached this step they are ready for healing to take place.

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(no subject) [Jun. 24th, 2006|05:51 pm]
Stress Management

enterthesoul

Taking control of your emotions (ODA)

Emotions have a way of running away with us. Powerful feelings such as anger, fear, hurt, depression etc can often have us doing or saying things we later regret. One way to improve how you control strong emotions is the ODA method. Next time you feel ‘out of control’, try these steps…

1.Observe
Just try to notice how you feel. Step inside yourself and observe what thoughts and feelings you can detect. Focus on your thoughts and feelings without changing them, observe them as if you were watching clouds drifting by.

2.Describe
Put words to the experience. For example, say to yourself, “I’m so angry over this!” or “A sadness has just come over me” or “I’m so anxious I feel like running away”. Put a name to the feeling. Describe how it makes you think, describe how it makes you feel, describe what it makes you want to do.

3.Accept
What’s your philosophy towards negative feelings? Perhaps you attitude is…”I shouldn’t have these feelings, how dare this happen, I can’t stand it, other people don’t go through this”. If this is your attitude your ability to handle strong emotions is low.
However if you can accept that “it is ok to have bad feelings”, “everyone feels like this at times”, “this will pass” etc then your ability to handle strong emotions is high. So what’s your attitude toward negative feelings?

Taking control of your emotions (ODA)

Emotions have a way of running away with us. Powerful feelings such as anger, fear, hurt, depression etc can often have us doing or saying things we later regret. One way to improve how you control strong emotions is the ODA method. Next time you feel ‘out of control’, try these steps…

1.Observe
Just try to notice how you feel. Step inside yourself and observe what thoughts and feelings you can detect. Focus on your thoughts and feelings without changing them, observe them as if you were watching clouds drifting by.

2.Describe
Put words to the experience. For example, say to yourself, “I’m so angry over this!” or “A sadness has just come over me” or “I’m so anxious I feel like running away”. Put a name to the feeling. Describe how it makes you think, describe how it makes you feel, describe what it makes you want to do.

3.Accept
What’s your philosophy towards negative feelings? Perhaps you attitude is…”I shouldn’t have these feelings, how dare this happen, I can’t stand it, other people don’t go through this”. If this is your attitude your ability to handle strong emotions is low.
However if you can accept that “it is ok to have bad feelings”, “everyone feels like this at times”, “this will pass” etc then your ability to handle strong emotions is high. So what’s your attitude toward negative feelings?

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(no subject) [Jun. 24th, 2006|05:50 pm]
Stress Management

enterthesoul

                                            Relaxation


The following is a commonly used method in meditation and relaxation.

1. Place yourself in a comfortable position; be that a chair with your feet flat on the floor or laying down. Ensure that the room is quiet.

2. Close your eyes.

3. Commence slow deep breathing.

4. After 3 minutes of slow and deep breathing commence this muscle relaxation exercise: Tense each of the muscle groups for ten seconds. The relax for ten seconds, in the following order.

        
Hands- Clench your hands into fists
Lower arms- Bend your hands up at the wrist
Upper arms- Bend your arms at the elbow
Shoulders- Lift your shoulders up
Neck- Stretch your neck gently to the left, then forward, then to the right, then to the back in a slow rolling motion
Forehead and scalp- Raise your eyebrows
Eyes- Close your eyes tightly
Jaw- Clench your teeth
Chest- Breathe in deeply, then breath out
Stomach- Pull your tummy in
Upper back- Pull your shoulders forward
Lower back-  Roll your back into a smooth arc
Buttocks- Tighten you buttocks
Thighs- (for the sitting position) push your feet firmly into the floor (for the laying position) Tense your thigh muscle
Calves- (for sitting position) lift your toes off the ground (for the laying position) Pull your toes in toward your body
Feet-gently curl your toes down

This can be done feel to hands or hands to feet which ever way you feel most comfortable. Remember to hold for ten seconds then relax for ten seconds.

5. Continue your slow deep breathing for five more minutes enjoying the feeling of being relaxed.

6. Slowly allow yourself to become aware of the room around you stay in either your sitting or laying position whilst taking in your environment, when you feel ready rise slowly.

(A full session of relaxation takes about 15-20 minutes.)

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(no subject) [Jun. 24th, 2006|05:50 pm]
Stress Management

enterthesoul

                                       Grounding

Sometimes when we get extremely worked up or over stressed we become very tense and cause ourselves to stay that way. A good technique for de-stressing is grounding. Grounding is a simple exercise that we can practice at anytime. We use this to allow ourselves to calm down and there for become grounded.

One commonly taught method of grounding involves using a simple cold cup of water.

 

1. Feel the cup that you have the water in. Does it feel smooth rough, is it plastic or maybe glass, can you feel the waters temperature?

2. Smell the water. Does it have a smell if so try and identify what it is.

3. Get some water in your mouth and swish it around. Notice how the water turns from cold to warm. Swallow. 

4. Get some more water in your mouth this time swallow it straight away and feel how far it goes down. If your water is cold enough you should be able to feel it go down your oesophagus.

5. Repeat step for until the cup is empty. Do this slowly.

Once you have done this you should feel a lot more calm and have a back to earth feeling.  

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(no subject) [Jun. 24th, 2006|05:49 pm]
Stress Management

enterthesoul

                                    Emotional reasoning

Emotional reasoning can be defined as allowing your emotional reaction to an event determine what you believe about the event. For example you might feel anxious whilst talking to someone you have just met and you then believe that the conversation must be going badly.

Other examples include:

~”I feel guilty so I must have done something wrong.”
~”I feel overwhelmed and hopeless, therefore my problems must be impossible to solve.”
~”I feel angry at you so you must have done something very wrong towards me.”

This kind of reasoning can be misleading because our emotional reactions to events are a result of out thoughts and beliefs about these events.  If our beliefs aren’t 100% reasonable, if we have used any kind of distorted thinking, then our resulting emotions are unlikely to give us totally accurate information.

So does this mean we should ignore our emotions? No! It just means we sometimes need to question the thoughts behind our emotions before making decisions.

Emotions are not right, wrong. Good or bad, but they can be comfortable or uncomfortable. Emotions are information. You can use them to help you figure out what you are thinking about an event so you can check out if these thoughts are reasonable, but don’t assume that your emotions always reflect the truth about an event.



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(no subject) [Jun. 24th, 2006|05:49 pm]
Stress Management

enterthesoul

Emotional Health: Some guidelines

Emotional health like physical health requires persistence, knowledge and a willingness to take responsibility for one’s actions and attack negative thinking.

  Characteristics of emotionally and psychologically healthy individuals include the following:

Self-direction
. They assume responsibility for their own lives while at the same time cooperating with others. They do not need or demand continuous support from others to survive.

Flexibility. They are flexible in their thinking, open to change and unbigoted in their view of other people. They do not make rigid rules for themselves and others.

High frustration tolerance. They give both themselves and others the right to be wrong. Even when they intensely dislike their own behaviour and that of others, they refrain from condemning themselves or others completely for unacceptable or destructive behaviour. They are willing to put up with difficult circumstances in order to achieve goals, and even though they enjoy pleasurable activities, they are willing to defer them to achieve more satisfying pleasures and happiness in the medium to long term.

Acceptance of uncertainty. They acknowledge and accept that they live in a world of chance, where absolute certainties do not, and probably never will, exist. They enjoy planning and a good degree of order, but do not demand to know exactly what the future will bring or what will happen to them.

Absorbing activities. They are usually vitally absorbed in something. This may include some creative activity, or some major human involvement. It does not have to be altruistic, but many find that helping others is rewarding.

Enlightened self-interest. They are interested in themselves, and balance their own interests against the interests of others. They are willing to make sacrifices for those for whom they care, but not to become martyrs.

Social interested. Their interest in others is usually sensible and self-helping because most people choose to live and enjoy themselves in a social group or community. If people do not act morally, protect the rights of others, and help in the social survival of their society, it is unlikely that they will create the kind of world in which they and their children can live comfortably and happily.

Risk-taking. They are willing to take risks, and try to do what they want to do, even when there is a good chance they may fail. They are adventurous, but not foolhardy.

Responsibility. Refusal to blame: they don’t blame others for their woes or failures to achieve certain goals. They manage their lives as best they can, practising assertion where necessary and refusing to be walked over. They do not indulge in “whingeing and whining.”

Opinions of others. They don’t allow other people’s opinion of them to matter too much. They will listen to criticism from others, even those they don’t like. Because there may be one or two elements of truth in it.

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(no subject) [Jun. 24th, 2006|05:48 pm]
Stress Management

enterthesoul

                               Distress tolerance

Crisis survival strategy: Self soothe using your senses

With Vision:
Buy one beautiful flower, make one space in a room attractive, light a candle and watch the flame. Set an attractive place at the table, using your best things, for a meal. Go to a museum with beautiful art. Go and sit in the lobby of a beautiful old hotel. Look at nature around you. Go out in the middle of the night and watch the stars. Walk in an attractive part of town. Look at beautiful pictures in a book. Go to the ballet or other dance performance, or watch one on TV. Be mindful of each sight that passes in front of you, not lingering on any.

With Hearing:
Listen to beautiful or soothing music, or to invigorating and exciting music. Pay attention to sounds of nature (waves, birds, rainfall, leaves rustling). Sing to your favourite songs. Hum a soothing tune. Learn to play a musical instrument. Be mindful of any sounds that come your way, letting them go in one ear and out the other.

With Smell:
Use your favourite perfume or lotions, or try them on in a shop; spray fragrance in the air; light a scented candle. Put potpourri in a bowl in your room. Boil cinnamon; bake biscuits, cake or bread. Smell the roses.

With Taste:
Have a good meal; have a favourite soothing drink such as herbal tea or hot chocolate (not alcohol); treat yourself to a dessert. Put whipped cream on your coffee. Sample food in a shop. Chew your favourite chewing gum. Get a little bit of special food you don’t usually spend the money on, such as fresh-squeezed orange juice. Really taste the food you eat; eat one thing mindfully.

With Touch:
Take a bubble bath; put clean sheets on your bed. Pet your dog or cat. Have a massage; soak your feet. Put creamy lotion on your body. Put a cold compress on your forehead. Sink into a really comfortable chair. Go to a shop and try on a silky top, dress or scarf. Hug someone (if appropriate). Experience whatever you are touching; notice that touch is soothing.

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(no subject) [Jun. 24th, 2006|05:14 pm]
Stress Management

enterthesoul
This community should be up and running with in the next 24 hours.
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