Tag: anxiety

What’s REALLY Happening In My Brain When I’m Freaking Out

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You feel your heart beating harder and faster in your chest. A lump forms in your throat. The sound of the person talking to you fades into the background as your own thoughts and concerns become all-consuming. Maybe you feel a turning in your stomach or no longer feel content to stand still. You feel like you are losing your mind!

Well, there’s a little bit of truth to that. Dan Siegal, an author and professor of psychiatry, uses a fun analogy to break down the brain and how it works in situations like these. At the risk of oversimplifying, we’ll name two main characters in our brain: the guard dog (aka our brain’s limbic regions) and the wise owl (aka our brain’s cerebrum). The main role of the guard dog is to protect us from danger, and to do it fast! The main role of the wise owl is to help us think through things, using logic and reason.

In these moments when we feel like we are losing our mind, our guard dog has sensed danger ...

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Posted in:

  • Anxiety

Tags:

  • Control
  • Emotions
  • anxiety
  • compassion
  • crisis
  • mindfullness
  • stress

Surrendering Control

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Over 10 years ago, I taped a prayer onto my kitchen cupboard where I would see it often. It was an extremely challenging time in my personal and family life. I felt anxious, stressed, burdened and grieved. I needed the daily (sometimes hourly) reminder that not everything was mine to worry about or control.

Perhaps you have heard of the Serenity Prayer. It is a prayer whose origins go far back into history. The first part of the prayer is used in many recovery groups. One version of the prayer was written by Reinhold Niebuhr.

“God grant me the Serenity to accept the things - I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; and Wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will; That I may b ...

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Posted in:

  • Anxiety
  • Control
  • Prayer
  • Stress

Tags:

  • Control
  • anxiety
  • focus
  • serenity

One Year of COVID-19: Finding Balance Amidst Chronic Stress

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For one full calendar year today, life as we knew it, has been on hold.

 

On March 11, 2020 local news stations began announcing the first big changes due to COVID-19. Colleges would begin the transition of classes from in-person to online learning or suspension of classes entirely. News of colleges plans spread among the state, and shortly thereafter K-12 schools followed suit. By March 13, it was no longer safe to visit residential, health care or juvenile centers. Shortly thereafter, restaurants, gyms, coffee shops, hair salons, and many more small businesses were closed. And on March 23, 2020 the first statewide stay-at-home order for all non-essential workers was implemented.

 

As I write this blog on March 11, 2021, exactly one year since this pandemic struck our mitten state, Nation, and globe, I noticed the presence of one of my first deep exhales since this halt on “real life” h ...

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Posted in:

  • COVID-19
  • Self-Care

Tags:

  • anxiety
  • coping
  • self-care
  • stress
  • uncertainty

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