Posts Tagged ‘Happy’

Building Self Compassion

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The Self Compassion Skills Workbook”:

1. “There is a specific circuit in your brain that scientists call the Care Circuit, which creates the experience of compassion, warmth, and love.

2. Self-compassion training strengthens your Care Circuit—like exercising a muscle.

3. With enough compassion training, your Care Circuit can literally grow in size so that the increase is visible on a brain scan.

4. The Care Circuit is one of the primary emotional circuits in the brain that creates happiness and well-being.

5. Activating the Care Circuit through self-compassion training reduces every form of emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and anger.

6. Compassion training for 30 minutes a day for 14 days creates significant changes in the brain and leads to more prosocial and altruistic behavior.

7. Eight weeks of compassion training can make your temperament or personality significantly more positive.

8. Scientists have documented that Buddhist monks with intensive training in compassion have the strongest markers for happiness in their brains that have ever been recorded.”
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There is no limit to the amount of compassion (for yourself and others) that you can develop in your life if you are willing to practice.

Your body and your brain are designed to feel compassion, and the more you engage your Care Circuit, the stronger and bigger it becomes.

There is nothing stopping you from developing a radically new way of relating to yourself—with kindness and love.
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My two cents:  This is a roadmap made by Neuroscientists, pointing out the road less traveled, “The Happy Path”.

 

If you want to be happy, adopt a daily mindfulness/meditation practice.

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Does wanting to be Happy take daily work, action?

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Ask anyone, Do you want to be happy. Of course. the overwhelming response will be an enthusiastic yes.

Next ask, What does happiness look like to you? That answer will be incorrect 95% of the time. True happiness is very elusive, hidden to us.

What are the physical and mental actions you take everyday to be happy?

Not many actions taken, the usual response.

Remember, one definition of happiness is being in harmony with our inner nature.

If I want to be in better shape, a plan is developed.

The way I eat changes, daily exercise routines are formulated.

I may research, inform myself better, raising my chances at success.

Matthew Ricard in “Happiness” says our goal in life is to be “Happy”.

I wholeheartedly endorse this view.

Happiness has nothing to do with chasing pleasure, or getting hooked on dopamine.

If happiness is harmony with our inner nature, what actions help me with my inner nature?

Affirmations, meditating, practicing awareness, entering a mundane task, letting negativity go, etc., are a few actions available.

Happiness is surrounded by gratitude, giving and humility!

Just wanting to be happy does not work.

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A few prerequisites for happiness

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First, we must have a worthy self image, a healthy ego. We must love (approve of) ourselves to be truly happy.

Our awareness must be focused in the present moment. Happiness does not exist in our memories or future predictions.

Desires and needs must be in perspective. To many needs or constant desire eliminates our chance for happiness.

Worry, doubt, Dissociation, fear etc. must be at a minimal.

When my PTSD was active and strong, being happy was impossible. Fear and anxiety stole much more than just my happiness.

If we have a disorder, we must take action or happiness will never visit us.

Happiness must be earned in spite of all the challenges we all face.

Happiness does not arrive easily or with half effort.

I believe we all can find happiness with practice.

It will look entirely different for some.

Extra credit: https://ptsdawayout.com/2017/03/14/ricard-happiness-2/

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Authentic Happiness

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“Authentic happiness is not linked to an activity; it is a state of being, a profound emotional balance struck by a subtle understanding of how the mind functions.

While ordinary pleasures are produced by contact with pleasant objects and end when that contact is broken, sukha (happiness) —lasting well-being—is felt so long as we remain in harmony with our inner nature.”

Matthew Ricard in his book “Happiness”

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My two cents: So long as we remain in harmony with our inner nature, seems to inform us pleasure objects, possessions, power, approval, or status are temporary imposters.

Being in harmony with our inner nature is the goal of our Meditating/Mindfulness practice.

For me, being in harmony happens when I am focused, aware of everything around me, observing without judgment, or maybe entering fully into a task.

The less I depend on possessions, power, approval and status, the better chance I have of being in harmony with my inner nature.

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Happiness seems elusive for most of us!

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Growing up being happy did not seem to be our goal. Being raised Catholic, I had responsibility to the church and God.

My parents demanded proper behavior at home, school and in public. Somehow out of this indoctrination and proper behavior, happiness would be attained.

Well that never worked out. I studied hard, accomplished a college degree, added seven years as a professional baseball player, before a successful working career, but lasting happiness was a complete stranger.

Now I knew possessions, accomplishments, power or approval were not connected with true happiness.

Happiness is hidden, in some of the simplest thing we do.

Hidden in the mundane, clouded by bias and thought, happiness eludes us.

Emotions lead us away from happiness. Try being angry and happy at the same time. Many emotions are connected to negative thought and judgment.

I have found peace and happiness inside mundane chores at times.

Happiness only exists in this current moment, so we need to be present first to enjoy.

Thought seems to chase away happiness for me.

There is a time to think but continuous thought like we get involved in, is destructive.

An example: I have found peace doing laundry.

My purpose: Make my grandkids look as good as possible.

How: Enter the chore completely. Each piece of clothing I pick up, receives total attention and energy. I feel like part of each piece of clothing when my focus is strong.

Time ceases, thoughts fade while a quiet calm envelopes me.

I have felt my nervous system dissipate all its anxiety and aggravation in this space.

Being totally present with laundry, has settled my being and brought a grounding, a smile to my being.

Is this a happy moment?

For me it has the correct elements.

We are Ever present while focused, observing and acting without thinking.

Happiness does occupy spaces like this.

Thoughts?

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’YOU are NOT your THOUGHTS’

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Those with PTSD, anxiety, depression or another mental disorder, live with a constant, seemingly unending flow of negative, maybe even scary thoughts.

In a strange way I honored these thoughts as reality, as true.

It was all I had ever been exposed to. The totality of my experience yielded an extremely unworthy self image (Ego).

My Mindfulness/Meditation practice helped me explore my inner world, the place these unworthy thoughts hide.

Mindfulness teaches us to observe our thoughts without judgment or influence.

Look how fixated we become when someone angers us, disrespect us, or tries to harm us.

The more I identity with with my unworthiness, the more biased and violent my response will be.

My thoughts stole forty plus years of my life, so do not underestimate there power.

Now, I have learned to let thoughts fade.

I have learned my best chance at a happy life is multiplied a 1,000,000,000,000,000 times if I can stay present, observing the now.

It is true. My life sucks if I allow trauma thoughts to percolate for any amount of time.

Any thoughts?

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Chronic Pain group and Suffering

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After my triple rollover on I-5 south, after the fusions, many doctors and therapies I was left with serious chronic pain.

Along with 14 other unfortunate souls, I joined a real chronic pain group. It was depressing knowing this was my peer group.

Group was stressful at first, so many medications and fear of the unknown. You find out quickly that you share five or six different traits.

I ranked myself in the middle of the group, and damn glad I was not hurt as bad as some. Mostly spinal injuries for all 15 of us.

We all just wanted to go back to our life as it was. Hold on to that desire and suffering will be your partner.

After six months my inner guide knew it was time to change.

I threw out my pills and started to hike. My pain increased and desperately wanted me to stop.

As a jock, this was a battle I knew well. After a month of hiking everyday, my chronic pain began to compress.

I learned my thoughts and emotions could increase or decrease my pain.

I challenged another in group to follow me.

His name is Rick and this is a response from this post:

https://ptsdawayout.com/chronic-pain/

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“Everything in this article is true! I personally witnessed Marty go through this. My name is Rick and I was in the same pain management group when I met Marty and he can a test to the fact that I was close to death! A lot closer then I am today. Let me explain…

I have had 5 back surgery’s. I have a Med. Pump implanted in me which was maxed out feeding me Dilotded 24 hours a day and a spinal cord stimulator implanted in me and at the time I was taking Morphine,Percocet pulse Soma nothing helped the pain! I wanted to die! I thought my life was over.

I was only 34 when I got hurt at work and after 8 years of uncertainty and the thought of not being able to provide for my family I was at my end!

I met Marty in my pain management group and I saw someone who had a way out! I started to walk more and stop feeling sorry for myself and realized there is more to life and I cant give up! Now I’m 51 years old, Marty and I still keep in touch even though I live in TX. now. I visit with him every time I get back home. I am now doing some Acting in films and enjoying life with out all the drugs.”

Thanks Marty

Rick

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Internal family system: part two; Managers, Firefighters, and Exiles

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Are there common roles for parts across people?

After working with a large number of clients, some patterns began to appear.

Most clients had parts that tried to keep them functional and safe.

These parts tried to maintain control of their inner and outer environments by, for example, keeping them from getting too close or dependent on others, criticizing their appearance or performance to make them look or act better, and focusing on taking care of others’ rather than their own needs.

These parts seemed to be in protective, managerial roles and therefore are called managers.

When a person has been hurt, humiliated, frightened, or shamed in the past, he or she will have parts that carry the emotions, memories, and sensations from those experiences.

Managers often want to keep these feelings out of consciousness and, consequently, try to keep vulnerable, needy parts locked in inner closets.

These incarcerated parts are known as exiles.

The third and final group of parts jumps into action whenever one of the exiles is upset to the point that it may flood the person with its extreme feelings or make the person vulnerable to being hurt again.

When that is the case, this third group tries to douse the inner flames of feeling as quickly as possible, which earns them the name firefighters.

They tend to be highly impulsive and strive to find stimulation that will override or dissociate from the exile’s feelings.

Bingeing on drugs, alcohol, food, sex, or work are common firefighter activities.”

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Stuck parts one: Parts of the personality that hold traumatizing experiences:

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From Coping with Trauma Related Dissociation:

Younger parts

Most people with a dissociative disorder who experienced childhood trauma will have parts of personality that experience themselves as younger than the persons actual age: adolescents , child parts of primary school, or even toddler and infant parts.

It is as though these parts are stuck in various developmental time periods of the past. They often hold trauma memories, distressing, painful emotions or sensations, but sometimes also have positive memories.

They typically are unresolved feelings of longing, loneliness, dependency, and need for comfort

Helper Parts

Some people but certainly not all, have helper parts in their inner world that take care of the well being of other parts, an inner form of regulation that can be a resource and basis for leaning further self soothing skills.

Sometimes helper parts are modeled on a kind person from the past or an appealing character from a book or movie or television.

These parts are the traumatized child’s attempt to soothe and comfort himself or herself.

For some people, the major part of the personality who functions in daily life can learn to be quite empathetic and helpful for inner parts as well.

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Trust we are exactly where we should be, in the exact situation that faces us today, no need to fix, correct or alter anything, just accept everything.

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Mindset before meditating::

Trust we are exactly where we should be, in the exact situation that faces us today, no need to fix, correct or alter anything, just accept everything.

Can we tolerate accepting our weaknesses, flaws and unworthiness without trying to hide or deny them?

That means we do not have to accomplish or overcome anything or anyone.

We do not have to change anything for the next half hour, then we can go back to chasing pleasure.

That means our cognitive engine can rest for little while, thinking can rest, like a fast for the mind.

Now, we slow the breath and heighten our listening skill, searching for the tiniest sound.

Basic focus on the breath, meditation is simple.

What to look for on our journey.

Know Inhaling requires energy to expand the chest cavity, inflating the lungs like a balloon.

Exhaling requires less energy to release the carbon dioxide.

The pauses find the body at rest, no energy used, no movement.

This special calm I call suspended animation.

The perfect time to feel our inner world, anxiety, fear, tenseness, spasms, hot or cold sensations, etc.

Focus can expand during these calm pauses.

With each breath more pauses are available to deepen our journey.

The body is making no noise, exerting no effort during the two pauses.

Experienced meditators say these pauses can expand and help drop us below consciousness.

Our goal is to reach the left hemisphere, a place where words, dialogue, good and back or right or wrong do not exist.

The only time that is known is this present moment, the past and future do not exist here either.

Start small, simple and specific.

Master one breath while increasing our focus on the pauses.

Happy meditating.

Extra credit: https://ptsdawayout.com/2016/01/02/the-gaps-between-thoughts-similar-to-the-pauses-between-inhale-and-exhale/

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