Tag: Control

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

Successful Goal Setting

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The start of a new year can bring out hope, excitement, and a resolve for personal growth. Often people will enter the year with goals or resolutions. Wellness goals are some of the more popular types of goals. You may want to begin a new fitness plan, lose weight, try to eat better, or work towards mental wellness. Setting goals can inspire you to focus on your future aspirations and work towards that. An important but often overlooked aspect of wellness has to do with setting appropriate, manageable, and attainable goals.

If you are considering coming to counseling, I would encourage you to think about one or two goals for your mental health that you are hoping to achieve from the counseling process. A common goal in the counseling realm is called “emotion regulation”. This is an all encompassing term for being able to control our reactions to situations around us, to display emotions appropriately, and to effectively handle the many stres ...

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Posted in:

  • Goals
  • Self-Care
  • Therapist

Tags:

  • Contribution
  • Control
  • Deep Breathing
  • change
  • self-care
  • story

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