Posts Tagged ‘Aerobic exercise’

My Top two skills for PTSD

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My focus skills have helped me the most, have always been there to access in low moments.

Meditation, the ability to focus on an object, the breath, mantra, etc. opens many doors.

My daily practice of sitting quietly, intensely focused on the tiniest body sensation or observing a trauma trigger thought from a safe distance, calms and soothes me.

Any therapy or skill is applied through meditations focus, it is a safe space to take risks.

My fight or flight mechanism calmed from firing by meditating everyday for hours.

In my mind, this is imperative and the first goal on the healing path.

I have been able to risk at times because of meditations power. Meditation allowed me to use exposure therapy in a safe place, over and over and over and over again, until I had enough courage to face triggers in real life.

Next I learned to separate from my Ego’s grasp, allowing me access to reality, my true self without bias or confusion.

To this day my wellbeing depends more on my ability to focus, then let go than any other skill in my tool box.

Aerobic exercise has always been beneficial in many ways.

It is a physical challenge where trauma thoughts die a fast death.

I flush the poisons from my system, gain achievement which is shared with my mind, deplete cortisol and adrenaline, then escape out of my head into my body.

Aerobic exercise is such a release for my body, meditation is a release for my mind.

If you are not using aerobic exercise, a great healing opportunity awaits those who can take action.

Start slow, focus and know you are actively healing.

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3 tools for calming the nervous system

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I know of three ways of depleting cortisol and adrenaline.

First is our diet, what we eat and how much body fat around our belly is influenced by our cortisol levels. Certain foods help deplete cortisol.

Second tool is Slowing the breath, focusing intently, activates our parasympathetic nervous system, applies the brakes.

This calms us, settles us down and lowers cortisol and adrenaline. It’s called meditation, it has many variations.

The third way is purely physical, aerobic exercise works like a charm.

Aerobic exercise to near failure works like a miracle. Start slow and adapt, then build up so you can exert maximum energy.

We have to want to heal more than any desire we entertain. I have never read that in any psychology book.

Therapy and my two therapists, one in San Diego then another in Eugene , helped me on my journey. I was encouraged to explore and try new things outside therapy.

Aerobic exercise and meditation were my two most valuable skills. Being a former pro jock, aerobic exercise was easy for me.

All my friends doubted I could ever meditate, I was always amped up, excitable and kind of high strung.

Do not let other people’s judgments rule our behavior. We get lost and run over by others because we are different, stay strong and try like hell in the face of worry and doubt.

I laughed at my friends, you think focusing on the spin of a baseball while hitting with 25,000 screaming fans can not be turned internally.

For a jock, being told we can not do something, is not something you want to bet against.

When my mind was frozen from trauma, my legs could still move and my willpower drove me to exhaustion.

Mechanically I can calm my body completely down.

We can not separate our mind from our body, they work as one.

There are many skills or tools we can learn to improve.

Yesterday, I started hiking to exhaustion again.

It’s half mental and half physical. It builds willpower.

How bad do you want to heal?

What is your level of commitment, are you in a little, a medium involvement or are you all in.

Intensity is a necessity for optimum results.

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Trauma froze my mind at times

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When my mind was frozen from multiple eruptions of my fight or flight mechanism, life seemed out of control, suffering was a daily companion.

An enormous pull, one reinforced by the sensing of imminent danger, powered by secretions of cortisol and adrenaline, supported by a biased storyline, draws us toward avoiding.

At first as a new chronic pain sufferer and when PTSD erupted at 55, I isolated from the crowd and felt damaged.

It takes a while for us to understand the enemy (challenge) and there is an all out war to be waged.

I love that image of waging war with Trauma. It sure felt like a war, I sure as hell felt mortally wounded mentally.

Waging war with trauma meant surrendering to its power while sitting quietly, focused while observing all the body sensations.

A different war, where we lay prone, vulnerable, exploring our traumas without judgment.

The road less traveled of course.

Part of our battle plan: Always incorporate your strengths in every endeavor you undertake. I was a former pro athlete, a typical gym rat, an athletic grinder.

My ability to make my body take action in the face of danger or pain was a great asset, a vehicle used to accelerate healing.

The ability to hike uphill to exhaustion, showered me with enormous reward. Even though my mind had betrayed me, frozen and terrified, I could push my body through pain and fear like a locomotive.

What a contrast to shaking uncontrollably, filled with cortisol, avoiding triggers, suffering, compared to exhilaration and accomplishment.

Whether it was the prison of chronic pain or Complex PTSD’s stress hormones (cortisol, Norepinephrine and adrenaline) the skill to take action, especially strenuous aerobic exercise was invaluable.

You do not have to be coordinated or athletic, all you need is the will to push your body strenuously.

Chronic pain and PTSD are usually isolating and depressing ways of life.

Adopt a sedentary lifestyle and you will suffer.

The ability to take daily action is the one trait I see shared by those who improve that I mentor.

Incorporate Strenuous aerobic exercise three times a week.

Our toxins and poisons are flushed from our system during strenuous aerobic exercise.

Cortisol is dissipated calming our nervous system. We are mechanically eating up cortisol, giving us a much needed break.

We need wins over PTSD when it is at its apex of power.

Use your body to energize your mind.

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Do you welcome Adversity as a challenge or a punishment?

e: Bob Beamon of the USA leaps a record-breaking 29ft 2.5in (8.9m) at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City © Tony Duffy/Getty Images

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Adversity uncovers strengths and weaknesses, character and character flaws.

 

Adversity brings fear to some, an opportunity to others.

 

Without adversity my life would be hollow.

 

Adversity has given me the greatest satisfaction and purpose in my life.

 

Athletically, it is my weekly anchor. Pushing this chronic pain filled body, four miles, to near exhaustion, invigorates my spirit.

 

It flushes poisons, gains accomplishment which is shared with my mind.

 

Pushing beyond wanting to quit, beyond pain, exerting great effort, is the most alive I feel.

 

I am in the moment, all focus on picking up one leg, followed by the other, thought has ceased, Worry and doubt have long left the building.

 

Challenge yourself, push beyond your perceived limits.

 

Without adversity how could you ever know what you are capable of.

 

Extend those false boundaries, push, risk, exert.

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Does your life with Chronic Pain feel like this?

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My chronic pain was like the wind, invisible, powerful and relentless at times.

How was I going to battle such a ghost. I named my pain Mr P. after the old Happy Days show, Mr. C.

Mr. P. Was my nemesis when I hiked. Mr. P. wanted to stop my legs from moving, from confronting my fear, from taking control of my mind back.

My mindset was centered around my greatest strength, my willpower, determination. Always incorporate your strengths as part of your solutions.

My mindset as usual, a jock accepts the challenge before him/her. No way was Pain going stop my legs from moving!

My exercise routine became an emotional battle between pain and my will.

In a way it was exhilarating. I convinced myself not many humans could hike in such pain day after day.

We jocks always imagined being at bat with the bases loaded, two outs bottom of ninth, game seven of World Series. This was my chronic pain version.

Visualization is powerful. I would imagine myself in “The Last of the Mohicans” running with Hawkeye, running for our life.

Music gave me a beat that I could synchronize my legs with. My legs would move to a beat when they were exhausted, ready to quit.

Chronic pain became a friend. Adversity makes us stronger.

Chronic pain strengthened my meditation practice. I truly learned how to focus and dissipate my pain level.

Pain constricted, became much more bearable, then faded as months passed. Aerobic exercise and meditation were my tools.

I would set in the middle of my pain with my breath, no judgments just observing.

My breath could dissipate my pain. My familiarity allowed me to sit calmly inside my pain. My pain received no energy from fear, attention or thought.

After a few years I had compartmentalzed my chronic pain.

Acute pain is a different animal.

Pain eats energy but does not touch my soul, or my enthusiasm for life.

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This emotion is different: Anger; part one

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5 Ways Anger is Not Like Other Emotions By Jonice Webb PhD ~

 

“Anger is not just any old emotion. It’s special.

In fact, it’s so special that a 2017 survey by the Mental Health Foundation of 2000 people found that 28% are sometimes worried about the level of anger that they feel.

First, let’s outline what makes anger different from other emotions, and then we’ll talk about how you can use this information to become happier and healthier in your life.

5 Ways Anger is Special

 

* It’s Motivating: Anger’s purpose is to push you to protect yourself. Anger gives you energy. It’s activating, and it drives you to engage, not withdraw, as most other emotions do.

 

* It Never Stands Alone: Anger is always a result of feeling something else. You feel hurt, marginalized, overlooked, targeted, mistreated or vulnerable. Anger isn’t just an emotion, it’s a constellation of emotions. There are always layers of feelings underneath it, feeding it.

 

* It Seeks a Target: Other emotions can simply be. Anger cannot. Like an arrow shot from the bow, it looks for a target. This is what makes anger so easy to misdirect. It may erupt at the wrong person, in the wrong way and at the wrong time so very easily.

 

* It Can Be Turned Inward or Outward: Sometimes directing our anger at its true target can be acutely uncomfortable, and sometimes we aren’t aware of the true target. This is when we are at risk for turning our anger inward, directing it at ourselves.

 

* It’s Capable of Damaging Your Health: Research has shown that anger prone individuals and people who express their anger as rage are more at risk for heart attacks and cancer.

Anger is a powerful, protective, complex emotion.

Yes, it has potential to do great damage.

But used properly, it also has potential to help you mightily.“
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What do you do for your mental health, daily?

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People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.
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Thich Nhat Hanh
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Getting people to take action is the toughest thing a therapist or life coach faces.
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People want a pill to cure them or a therpast to heal them inside that hour session.
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We convince ourself to suffer what habit has taught us over and over.
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Do you work on your mental health?
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Why not?
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Our purpose in life is to be happy, says Matthew Ricard!
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What have you done to cultivate happiness?
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Possessions, approval, success, achievement are just impermanent possessions, surely not happiness.
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Maybe we need to explore our inner world to know what happiness is and where it hangs out.
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Is change so scary or the unknown so terrifying or are we lazy?
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Washington Post: This no mess approach to fighting depression may work

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Funnel Cloud, Minnesota
Photograph by Mitch Dobrowner
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By Nancy Szokan:  February 15, 2016;
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It’s well known that physical activity is a mood elevator. But writing in “The Athlete’s Way” blog on Psychology Today’s website, endurance athlete Christopher Bergland discusses a study indicating that combining movement with the attention-focusing benefits of meditation can be an extra-effective tool in fighting depression.
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The small study, conducted at Rutgers University in New Jersey, was based on a set of assumptions: Healthy brains are constantly producing neurons.
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Brains of people under stress or suffering depression produce fewer neurons.
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Physical activity increases neuron production, as do antidepressant medications.
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(Meanwhile, a certain number of newborn neurons die off.)
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Mental exercise — “effortful learning,” which requires focus — reduces those deaths. People with depression often have problems with focus.
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The researchers tested a novel intervention — it’s called MAP because it involves mental and physical training — aimed at both increasing neuron production and keeping those neurons alive.
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Fifty-two people completed the study — 22 with major depressive disorder, or MDD, and 30 who were not depressed.
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Twice a week, they performed 30 minutes of meditation during which they were directed to constantly focus on their breathing; they began each session seated, but for the last 10 minutes they meditated while walking slowly.
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Then they performed 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on a treadmill or stationary cycle.
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After eight weeks, the researchers found that the MDD patients’ depressive symptoms had been reduced by 40 percent. (The non-depressed participants also said they felt happier.)
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“Although previous research has supported the individual beneficial effects of aerobic exercise and meditation for depression,” the researchers wrote, “these findings indicate that a combination of the two may be particularly effective.”
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Or, as Bergland puts it, it’s a “double whammy” against depression, And the best part is, both aerobic exercise and meditation are universally available, nonpharmaceutical and free.
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Shaila Catherine::: Ownership!!!!



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“On the surface it seems like we are asked to give up everything,
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but simultaneously comes the realization
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that there is actually nothing possessed
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and consequently nothing
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that can actually be given up.
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The great abandonment is to let go of the concept of ownership.
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Letting go in meditation is the relinquishment that involves no loss.”
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Meditation also is a safe exposure therapy with no risk of harm or loss.
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Release judgment and ownership will decline.
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Ownership is important to the ego.
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How to Train a Wild Elephant: And Other Adventures in Mindfulness ::Prayer and deep listening

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“True prayer

is not

petitioning,

it is

listening.

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Deep listening.

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When we listen deeply,

we find that even the

“sound” of our own

thoughts

is disruptive,

even annoying.

Letting go

of thoughts,

we enter

a more

profound

inner stillness

and receptivity.

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If this open silence can be held at our core, as our core, then we are no longer confused by trying to sort out and choose among our myriad competing inner voices.”

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