Men

4 Ways to Spice Up the Sex Life

Posted on January 29, 2014. Filed under: Men, Sex & Intimacy, Women | Tags: , , |

sex in marriage

sex in marriage

Do you want a steamy sex life?  Well absolutely, who doesn’t want more affection and passion with his/her partner.

Did you know that according to Sarah Jio’s statistics about sex 84% of women have sex to get their guy to do more around the house; 12% of married people sleep alone; the average person has sex 103 times per year; and 48% of women have faked an orgasm?  Those are shocking statistics!!!

Since statistics also show that a sex life is an important part of a satisfying and fulfilling relationship-both for men and women- let’s talk about the 4 spicy sex secrets that you can start using ASAP that will knock both you and your partner’s socks off.

1. Advice for Men: Foreplay: Get out of your head and focus on the present moment.  Attend to gentle touch, kissing and the passionate thrill of the moment instead of the destination.  Afterplay: Stay away and cuddle afterwards.  Connect emotionally with her afterwards.

2. Advice for Women: Foreplay: Step outside of your comfort zone, connect with physical pleasure and let the sex diva inside come out and play.  Also remember to tell your man what you need and like, because he is not a mindreader.  Afterplay:  First, don’t take it personally if he is tired afterwards.  And secondly, don’t bring up heavy or serious topics afterwards.  Keep in mind that men are hardwired to crash after an orgasm and talking about heavy topics will seriously kill the mood.

2. Be respectful of physical changes in labido and sex drive.  Sometimes after pregnancy, enduring high levels of stress, various life changes and/or alternations in your hormones, ones sex drive can dip.  By reducing stress levels, getting adequate exercise, blocking out time for self-care and quality time with your lover and taking adequate vitamins and nutrients this can help jumpstart your sex drive.

3. Spice Things Up. You can expand your current sexual borders by reading books on sex enhancement or trying a tantric sex course in your local community.

4. Manage Negative Beliefs or Judgments. If you have negative beliefs about your body image you can begin doing affirmations such as: “I am beautiful and sexy.” If you carry any negative beliefs about sex that come from your family of origin or social messages, you can begin challenging those beliefs and redefining what sex can mean for you instead.

And as a special bonus to all my True Potential VIP’s and blog followers, I am offering an absolutely free webinar “Hot, Sexy and in Love” this Wednesday, January 29th at 1pm (Pacific), 4pm (Eastern) and 9pm (GMT), 10pm (CET).  Spaces are limited, so snag one of the last spots HERE for Spicy Sex Secrets.

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How to Resolve Conflict: 10 Best Kept Secrets

Posted on June 5, 2013. Filed under: Lifestyle, Men, Relationship, Women | Tags: |

How to Resolve Conflict

How to Resolve Conflict

Yikes!  Have you every been hungry, angry, lonely or tired and gotten stuck in an arguement with your beloved?  If you are like any normal couple, this has happened to you at one time or another.

In today’s True Potential TV episode we are covering How to Resolve Conflict: 10 Best Kept Secrets.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UK-05UM5U9o

How to Resolve Conflict

So whether you are married or in a committed relationship, knowing these simple secrets can save you a lot of time, energy and heartache.

Wouldn’t it be nice for there to be more harmony and understanding in your relationship?  TUNE IN and learn what steps to take the next time tension rises between you and the one you love.

Catch you next week!

Lots of love,

Andrea

P.S.  If you would like Additional Resources and Relationship Tips to Transform your Life and Create a Relationship you Love, make sure you head on over to True Potential Counseling to grab my 3 Part Video Series: Create a Relationship you Love absolutely free.  The series includes:

  • Avoid the 4 Common Mistakes Many Couples Make & What You Should Do Instead
  • 15 Strategies to Strengthen your Emotional Bond with your Partner
  • How to Deepen the Connection and Intimacy in your Relationship
  • Additional BONUS:  Get Unstuck! Improve Communication in 10 Minutes or Less.
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Shame: The Difference Between Men and Women

Posted on December 26, 2012. Filed under: Children and Adolescents, Healing, Lifestyle, Men, Parenting Tips, Relationship, Sex & Intimacy, Trauma, Women | Tags: , , |

Since men and women experience shame differently, it is important to understand how it may play out in a romantic relationship with your partner.

shame girlTypically shame presents itself in woman as having to do it all, do it perfectly, and never let others see you sweat.  For women, shame is a web of unobtainable conflicting competing expectations of who they are supposed to be.

boy ashamedAlternatively, men feel the pressure of not being perceived as weak or needing.  They are encouraged to be vulnerable, yet get ridiculed and beaten up if they fall or fail.  For men shame is a competition, a game of proving yourself, and the pressure to hold in emotions or not show sensitivity or softer emotions. And thus the automatic and familiar emotion that is expressed is anger, irritability or violence.

If you would like assistance in reducing the shame you experience in your life and improving your sense of self-worth contact True Potential Counseling to schedule an appointment today.

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The Shame Game

Posted on December 6, 2012. Filed under: Communication, Lifestyle, Men, Parenting Tips, Relationship, Women | Tags: , , , |

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt

This inspirational quote by Theodore Roosevelt exemplifies the essence of daring greatly and having the courage to take emotional risks, be innovative and face uncertainty bravely.  In life, many of us find ourselves working very hard to be seen, but at the same time are working very hard to stay small.  Why is that?  Are we fearful of being vulnerable? shamed? rejected? being exposed?

These are probably all true.  But another important factor, is that it is safer, easier and more comfortable to be in the crowd, commenting and critiquing, than it is to be a gladiator on the field of your own life, with its trials, tribulations and victories.

Sometimes I hear people say that vulnerability is a weakness; however, on the contrary.  When people take emotional risks, expose themselves openly and face uncertainty with honesty and valor, it is the most accurate measure of courage and strength that I have ever witnessed.  Vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, innovation and change and if we want to have breakthroughs we have to be willing to accept that we will also have some breakdowns too along the way.

Unfortunately we can’t achieve greatness and evolve if we are only willing to get into the arena when we are as perfect and possible and wearing our bullet proof vest that protects us from the unknown.  Plus that is not what spectators want to see anyways.  They want to be with us as we dare greatly, step into the unknown with courage, ready to face vulnerabilities, shame, and fears that all human beings face.

Brene Brown, PhD, LCSW at the University of Houston is a researcher on vulnerability, shame and courage, and reports that shame is an epidemic in our society and affects not only our relationship with ourselves, but also our relationship with our partner and children (i.e. parenting styles).   She mentions, “If you put shame in a petri dish you need three things for it to grow exponentially:  secrecy, silence and judgment; if you douse shame with empathy it can’t survive.”  She states that empathy is the antidote for shame and if we can begin to show compassion for ourselves and then ultimately to others. we as a society will be able to find comfort in one another again.

A key distinction between guilt and shame is that guilt is when we say, “I am sorry.  I made a mistake” and shame is when we say, “I am sorry.  I am a mistake.”  For many who believe the latter, there is a high correlation with addiction, violence, bullying, depression, aggression, suicide and eating disorders.  The first step to shifting out of shame, is being empathetic with ourselves.  And since we typically are our own worst critic, we need to start there.

The main two messages my clients mention when dealing with their shame and pain is either “I’m not good enough” or if they begin to believe they are worthy their internal critic says, “who do you think you are?”  In order change patterns of avoidance and hostility, you can begin to break free from these negative belief patterns with the help of a professional can resolve painful memories and deep rooted hurts.  Using a technique called Eye-Movment Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), is an effective and evidenced-based treatment that get results quickly.  For more information on how to get assistance in healing from the past or present, please contact True Potential Counseling for more details.

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The Power of Vulnerability

Posted on November 29, 2012. Filed under: Communication, Healing, Lifestyle, Love, Men, Relationship, Women | Tags: , , , , |

Often times shame and fear stand in our way from taping into our power and true nature.  The beliefs “I am not good enough” or “I am unworthy” can cripple our mind and spirit from living our life purpose and connecting to our sense of self worth.

Brene Brown PhD, LMSW, a research professor at the University of Houston, has spent the past decade researching vulnerability and shame and has discovered some pretty facinating data that can begin to allow us to free ourselves from the chains of shame and begin to move through fear with strength and compassion.

In her research she discovered the main factor that gives us purpose and meaning in our lives in connection with others.  She also mentioned that worthiness, defined as a strong sense of love and belonging, is another important factor to evaluate when studying shame and vulnerability.  In her studies, she discovered that the only variable that differentiates those who feel worthy vs. unworthy is the belief that they are worthy of love and connection.

The common themes and patterns when analyzing the data, was that these whole-hearted people who believed they were worthy of love and connection, posessed the courage to be imperfect, had the compassionate to be kind to themselves and others, had connection with their authenticity, and were willing to let go of who they should be to be who they were, which is necessary for connection. The other factor is embracing vulnerability and not viewing vulnerability as being comfortable nor excruciating, but rather necessary.  These individuals believed what makes us vulnerable, makes us beautiful. Typically they were willingness to say I love you first, invest in a relationship that may or may not work out or take action even when there were no guarantees.

Alternatively, she found those who were uncomfortable with vulnerability or felt unworthy of love and connection tended to numb hard feelings and would try to manage the discomfort by numbing through addiction, eating, alcohol, trying to control uncertainty, being perfect, blaming others to discharge pain and regret, or pretending what they do doesn’t affect other people.  Unfortunately, by using these numbing strategies to escape the inevitable vulnerability that all humans face, they consequencially also numb themselves from the joy, gratitude, happiness that life has to offer.

The hope is that if we can heal the hurts and transform the negative beliefs of shame and unworthiness, we can begin to know on a deep level that we are worthy of love and belonging.  And thus, we can stop screaming and start listening; we can be kinder and gentler to ourselves and others; we can let ourselves be deeply seen; we can love with our whole heart without any guarentees; we can begin to practice gratitude and joy; and we can begin leaning into the discomfort of hurt with courage and embracing the joy we are worthy of receiving.

For more information on how to heal old hurts and limiting beliefs, please contact True Potential Counseling for more information.  If you would like to receive a blog post on a bi-weekly basis please subscribe on True Potential Blog.

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What is Sex Addiction?

Posted on July 15, 2012. Filed under: Addiction, Lifestyle, Men, Relationship, Women | Tags: , , , , , , |

Recognizing that you may have an addiction can be scary: You want to know what to do, but you’re afraid to learn any more about yourself. You want to talk to someone about your problem, but you’re afraid to trust anyone.  This blog post is a starting point to explore what sex addiction is, what are the causes and a quiz to assess your level of addiction.

What Is Sex Addiction?  Sexual addiction is best described as a progressive intimacy disorder characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts. Like all addictions, it negatively impacts the addict and the family members as the disorder progresses and the addictive behaviors intensify.  To learn about the 5 Tips to Changing Impulsive Behavior click on the link provided.

The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity has defined sexual addiction as “engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior acted out despite increasing negative consequences to self and others.” For example, someone with a sex addict will continue to engage in certain sexual behaviors despite facing financial problems, shattered relationships, potential health risks, or even arrest.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders, Volume Four describes sex addiction, under the category “Sexual Disorders Not Otherwise Specified,” as “distress about a pattern of repeated sexual relationships involving a succession of lovers who are experienced by the individual only as things to be used.” According to the manual, sex addiction also involves “compulsive searching for multiple partners, compulsive fixation on an unattainable partner, compulsive masturbation, compulsive love relationships and compulsive sexuality in a relationship.”

For some sex addicts, behavior does not progress beyond compulsive masturbation or the extensive use of pornography or phone or computer sex services. For others, addiction can involve illegal activities such as exhibitionism, voyeurism, obscene phone calls, child molestation or rape.

What Causes Sex Addiction?

Why some people, and not others, develop an addiction to sex is not fully understood. Since antidepressants and other psychotropic medications have proven effective in treating some people with sex addiction, some suggest that  biochemical abnormality or other brain changes increase risk.

Other studies indicate that food, drug abuse and sexual interests share a common pathway within our brains’ survival and reward systems; which thus short circuit the are of the brain responsible for our higher thinking, rational thought and judgment.  For example, the brain tells the sex addict that having illicit sex is good the same way it tells others that food is good when they are hungry. As a result of these brain changes, the sex addict becomes preoccupied with sex, participates in compulsive sexual behavior despite negative consequences and fails at attempting to limit or terminate sexual behavior.  This biochemical model helps explain why competent, intelligent, goal-directed people can be so easily sidetracked by drugs and sex.

People addicted to sex get a sense of euphoria and use sexual activity to seek pleasure, avoid unpleasant feelings or respond to outside stressors. This is not unlike how an alcoholic uses alcohol. In both instances, any reward gained from the experience soon gives way to guilt, remorse and promises to change.

Research also has found that sex addicts often come from dysfunctional families and are more likely than non-sex addicts to have been abused. One study found that 82 percent of sex addicts reported being sexually abused as children. Sex addicts often describe their parents as rigid, distant and uncaring. These families, including the addicts themselves, are more likely to be substance abusers. One study found that 80 percent of recovering sex addicts report some type of addiction in their families of origin.

Sex Addiction Quiz: The Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST) is designed to assist in the assessment of sexually compulsive behavior which may indicate the presence of sex addiction. Developed in cooperation with hospitals, treatment programs, private therapists, and community groups, the SAST provides a profile of responses which help to discriminate between addictive and non-addictive behavior.  We strongly urge that diagnosis and treatment be done with a trained professional. This assessment is designed to help you decide whether you should seek further help.

For more information on how you can begin your recovery process, please contact True Potential Counseling today.

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Sensitive Person Quiz

Posted on July 7, 2012. Filed under: Health, Lifestyle, Men, Women | Tags: |

Instructions: Answer each question according to the way you personally feel. Check the box if it is at least somewhat true for you; leave unchecked if it is not very true or not at all true for you.

I am easily overwhelmed by strong sensory input.
I seem to be aware of subtleties in my environment.
Other people’s moods affect me.
I tend to be very sensitive to pain.
I find myself needing to withdraw during busy days,into bed or into a darkened room or any place where I can have some privacy and relief from stimulation.
I am particularly sensitive to the effects of caffeine.
I am easily overwhelmed by things like bright lights, strong smells,coarse fabrics,or sirens close by.
I have a rich,complex inner life.
I am made uncomfortable by loud noises.
I am deeply moved by the arts or music.
My nervous system sometimes feels so frazzled that I just have to go off by myself.
I am conscientious.
I startle easily.
I get rattled when I have a lot to do in a short amount of time.
When people are uncomfortable in a physical environment I tend to know what needs to be done to make it more comfortable (like changing the lighting or the seating).
I am annoyed when people try to get me to do too many things at once.
I try hard to avoid making mistakes or forgetting things.
I make a point to avoid violent movies and TV shows.
I become unpleasantly aroused when a lot is going on around me.
Being very hungry creates a strong reaction in me,disrupting my concentration or mood.
Changes in my life shake me up.
I notice and enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, works of art.
I find it unpleasant to have a lot going on at once.
I make it a high priority to arrange my life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations.
I am bothered by intense stimuli, like loud noises or chaotic scenes.
When I must compete or be observed while performing a task, I become so nervous or shaky that I do much worse than I would otherwise.
When I was a child, my parents or teachers seemed to see me as sensitive or shy.

Copyright, Elaine N. Aron, 1996

Scoring:
If you answered more than fourteen of the questions as true of yourself, you are probably highly sensitive. But no psychological test is so accurate that an individual should base his or her life on it. We psychologists try to develop good questions, then decide on the cut off based on the average response.

If fewer questions are true of you, but extremely true, that might also justify calling you highly sensitive.

For more information on how to deal with a high level of sensitivity, please contact True Potential Counseling for a consultation.

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Angry Quiz

Posted on July 5, 2012. Filed under: Health, Lifestyle, Men, Relationship, Women | Tags: , , , |

Instructions: The items below refer to how you have behaved during the past year. Please indicate whether each question is TRUE or FALSE as a description of you during the past year.

NOTE: If you suspect that you have an anger management problem you should seek help from a health professional regardless of how you score on this screening test.

1. I don’t show my anger about everything that makes me mad, but when I do – look out.
True False

2. I still get angry when I think of the bad things people did to me in the past.
True False

3. Waiting in line, or waiting for other people, really annoys me.
True False

4. I fly off the handle easily.
True False

5. I often find myself having heated arguments with the people who are closest to me.
True False

6. I sometimes lie awake at night and think about the things that upset me during the day.
True False

7. When someone says or does something that upsets me, I don’t usually say anything at the time, but later spend a lot of time thinking up cutting replies I could and should have made.
True False

8. I find it very hard to forgive someone who has done me wrong.
True False

9. I get angry with myself when I lost control of my emotions.
True False

10. People really irritate me when they don’t behave the way they should, or when they act like they don’t have the good sense of a head of lettuce.
True False

11. If I get really upset about something, I have a tendency to feel sick later, either with a weak spell, headache, upset stomach, or diarrhea.
True False

12. People I’ve trusted have often let me down, leaving me feeling angry or betrayed.
True False

13. When things don’t go my way, I get depressed.
True False

14. I am apt to take frustration so badly that I cannot put it out of my mind.
True False

15. I’ve been so angry at times I couldn’t remember things I said or did.
True False

16. After arguing with someone, I hate myself.
True False

17. I’ve had trouble on the job because of my temper.
True False

18. When riled up, I often blurt out things I later regret saying.
True False

19. Some people are afraid of my bad temper.
True False

20. When I get angry, frustrated or hurt, I comfort myself by eating or using alcohol or other drugs.
True False

21. When someone hurts or frustrates me, I want to get even.
True False

22. I’ve gotten so angry at times that I’ve become physically violent, hitting other people or breaking things.
True False

23. At times, I’ve felt angry enough to kill.
True False

24. Sometimes I feel so hurt and alone I feel like committing suicide.
True False

25. I’m a really angry person, and I know I need help learning to control my temper and angry feelings because it has already caused me a lot of problems.
True False

From: Of Course You’re Angry: A Guide to Dealing with the Emotions of Substance Abuse by Gayle Rosellini and Mark Worden, Copyright 1985, 1997 by Hazelden Foundation. Reprinted by permission of Hazelden Foundation, Center City, MN.

Score Interpretation
10 or more, or any of the last 4 questions True Anger Management Problem: Help Required
5 – 9 Normal Anger Management Skills: Clinical Help May be Useful
0 – 4 Better than Normal Anger Management Skills

Scores on this test are not meant as a diagnosis tool! You should not take this score to represent a mental disorder diagnosis or any type of behavioral healthcare treatment recommendation. Always consult with a trained mental health professional if you are experiencing feelings, thoughts or difficulties that cause you or people you love to be concerned. Seek immediate treatment from a licensed mental health professional or physician within your community if you are having thoughts about killing yourself or someone else!

For more information on resolving anger issues, please contact True Potential Counseling to schedule an appointment.

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Daily Routine for Stress Relief

Posted on July 3, 2012. Filed under: Health, Lifestyle, Men, Women | Tags: , , , |

According to Ayurveda Philosophy there is a simple and easy stress reduction routine you can use daily to feel a deeper sense of peace and relaxation.  The full routine takes approximately 1 hour to complete and it is recommended to do the full sequence in the morning.  However, if necessary can be broken up into smaller portions throughout the day.  The routine goes as follows:

1)  Start everyday with a large glass of warm water.

2) Wash your face.

3) Brush your teeth and scrape your tongue.

4) Yoga Routine: Do the following poses while breathing in through your nose and with your mouth closed exhale from your throat making an ocean-like sound.  Breathing this way will allow you to fully exhale all the carbon dioxide and receive fresh oxygenated air with each breath.  The combination of movement and deep breath allows the central nervous system to relax and calm down fully.

2 minutes in child pose

2 minutes in downward dog

 

 

 

30 seconds each arm doing the threading the needle pose

2 minutes in the sphinx pose

 

 

 

Then child’s pose again for 2 minutes

Then downward dog again for 2 minutes

Mountain pose for 1 minute

1 minute warrior pose both sides

 

 

 

 

1 minute rag doll pose

2 minutes bridge pose

 

 

 

2 minutes knees hug

2 minutes corpse pose

 

 

 

5)  Alternate Nostril Breathing exercises for 5 minutes: Please see the video for details.

6) Meditation exercise for 5 minutes:  Please see the video for details.

7) Walk with a Nasal Breath outside for 10 minutes:  Same breathing routine while doing yoga.  See above.

8) Massage body with oil for 5 minutes: Massage the body starting with the feet and then up your  legs.  Next massage your hands and your arms in the direction of your heart center.  Then your scalp, face and neck in the direction of your heart center.  Next your shoulders, back, stomach and heart.

9)  Take a Shower: Wash the body using the same routine as the body massage with each stoke moving in the direction of the heart center.

10) Eat Breakfast:  Sit down and eat your meal slowly.  Savor each bite while drinking a warm cup of water or tea.

For more tips on managing stress or learning relaxation techniques you can contact True Potential Counseling for more details.

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10 Suggestions To Managing Anxiety and Stress

Posted on April 4, 2012. Filed under: Lifestyle, Men, Tool, Women | Tags: , |

Do you feel excessively anxious and worried more days than not?  Has your anxiety lasted for at least 6 months in different areas of your life (i.e. events or activities)?  If you answered yes to either of these questions, you may meet the criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).  The specific symptoms are associated with three (or more) of the following:

  • Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbance

Often times when we feel scared or overwhelmed we may either find ourselves trying to control our environment to gain a sense of peace and calm or we try to escape by avoiding or withdrawing from the situation.   However, these strategies are often short-lived and lead us eventually down the path of restlessness, uncertainty and self-doubt once again.  If you feel powerless and overwhelmed by excessive worries, ruminating thoughts and/or the external stressors in your life, you may find yourself overly stressed, tired, irritable, depressed or uptight.

An alternative strategy is implementing habits and practices in your daily routine which help calm down your central nervous system and cultivate a sense of peace and inner tranquility.  This post will offer you some helpful suggestions on how to slow down, manage your thoughts and start investing in your emotional, mental and physical well-being.

1.  Take Action- Keep in mind GAD is not a life sentence if you are committed to taking action and making some changes in your thinking and behavioral patterns.  The first step is choosing to commit to a new way of operating and prioritizing your self-care time by removing distractions and creating boundaries around your anxiety manage routine.

Invest time and energy towards improving the quality of your body, mind, heart and soul.   Remember you are worth it and are more valuable than all the tasks you have to do.  Although it may seem counter intuitive to put your well-being above your to-do-list, studies show that by taking occasional self-care breaks you are not only more efficient and effective, but also more productive and focused when doing your work.  By practicing the following suggestions regularly and making them part of your daily routine, over time you will begin to find inner peace and clarity of mind.

2.  Slow Down-People living with anxiety often are in survival mode (i.e. fight, flight or freeze response).   When our defenses of Fight and Flight are set in motion the body releases an enormous amounts of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol.

The brain is flooded with norepinephrine to increase alertness and our ability to act.  However, too much over an extended period of time causes the brain to malfunction.

Cortisol rearranges the distribution of energy to assist with prolonged stress (i.e. increases heart rate and increases blood pressure, etc.).  However, elevated levels of cortisol and stress hormones can: damage the Hippocampus, cause a breakdown in memory and consciousness, affect mood leading to depression and fatigue, negatively impacts the immune system, creates Amygdala confusion, elicits an overabundance of fear response to non-threatening events (i.e. startle response, and Frontal Lobe difficulties).

To shift this negative cycle of stress and anxiety, we need to learn to be still and silent, to become conscious and aware of our urge and behavioral tendencies and to slow down the process so we are not automatically responding to thoughts, feelings and events in old, familiar, and unhealthy ways.

3.  Meditation:  Learning the art of meditation and practicing it regularly has many healthy benefits such as: reducing fears, helping to control thoughts, helping with focus & concentration, increasing emotional stability, improving relationships, lowering oxygen consumption, decreasing respiratory rate, increasing blood flow and slowing the heart rate, decreasing muscle tension, helping to keep things in perspective, providing peace of mind, increasing happiness, helping to discover your purpose, increasing  compassion, growing wisdom, deepening understanding of yourself and others, and bringing the body, mind, spirit in harmony just to name a few.  The following video is an example of a mediation exercise.

4. Exercise:  Cardio exercise and physical movement is an incredible stress reliever.  Just choose your favorite physical activity: dancing, running, outdoor biking, yoga or kick-boxing and get your heart moving today.

5.  Get Connected To Your Body: Connecting to your body is an effective strategy to calming the mind.  Our body is an important, yet often overlooked aspect, of our well-being.

In our fast paced world there are demands and pressures coming at us from all directions including ourselves.  When we are under stress, our mind begins to process and solve problems to gain a sense of order, control and certainty; however, over-analysis and worry can become counter productive and lead to an increase in anxiety and tension.

A helpful way to get your body back into a state of balance is by connecting to the powerful resource of our body.

6.  Hypnosis:  Hypnosis is a state of focused attention and inward concentration. The hypnotherapist brings about deep relaxation and an altered state of consciousness, also known as a trance which allows people to tap into their internal resources, be able to make personal changes and learn how to manage their own lives more effectively. In using hypnosis or self-hypnosis people are allowed to gain more self-control and access more of their potential.

7.  Just Breath: If we have a shallow breath our brain is not getting the appropriate level of oxygen it needs to manage stress effectively.  By deepening your breath and practicing breathing meditations regularly you will begin to improve your mood and state of mind.

8.  Get Out Of Your Head And Into Your Life: Over-analysis leads to paralysis.  By using a thought stopping techniques you can begin to stop your active mind and begin taking action in your life.  It is hazardous to over-think and ask fear-based questions without answering them.  Start by saying STOP to the ruminating thoughts and begin to answer ONE of the questions you are asking yourself.

By just answering the questions in your head is not sufficient because you are maintaining an activated emotional state of mind.  Instead get it down on paper by journal or writing your rational thoughts on a paper.  A way of challenging unproductive thoughts is to use a Thought Regulation Technique.

9.  Manage Your Time Effectively: Being realistic about how much time there is in a day is the first step towards time management.  The second is learning to say no to yourself and others.  Often times we become stressed and anxious because we have overextended ourselves or set unrealistic expectations on ourselves.  Begin setting boundaries around your time so various aspects of your life are not blending into one.    Review the Effective Time Management List to make positive behavioral changes in your life.

10.  Build Mastery:  Instead of being filled with self-doubt and rumination begin integrating these skills one at a time.  Instead of getting stuck in the cycle of indecision and procrastination, get some perspective and start taking action.   Begin focusing your attention on progress, NOT perfection otherwise you will self-sabotage your efforts. Fortunately with time, effort and consistent application of these strategies you can begin to enhance your well-being and decrease your anxiety level.

If you feel overwhelmed about implementing these strategies or have tried them but don’t make as much progress as you would like you may benefit from one-on-one attention with a Licensed Professional Counselor.  EDMR is an effective and brief approach used in a counseling setting to decrease triggers, PTSD symptoms, Social Anxiety, Phobias, Obsessive Compulsive or Addictive tendencies as well as Depression and Complex Trauma.  For more information you can contact me at True Potential Counseling.

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