Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Anger (Friend or Foe?)

Greetings All: Anyone every get angry? What a question. I am pretty sure that we can all give a YES to that one. There are actually times that anger can be a bit of a friend (not all the time, however). We do get a bit of an adrenalin rush when we get angry, and therefore, seem to have a bit more energy or strength. That can be a plus at times. Anger can also be a motivator to bring about positive change in our life. Anger can also assist us in learning what kind of personal boundaries we need to have. Most of the time, when anger goes unchecked, it become more destructive, than constructive. Here are a few simple (not always easy) techniques to manage anger, rather than letting anger manage you. (And as usual, you will need to practice these techniques when you are calm, so that your brain will code them in and they will be more natural to use when the anger bomb is building. First and foremost - Anger is a Choice. Anger is not a primary emotion. Anger is always covering another emotion such as shame, sadness, fear, anxiety,depression, embarrassment, resentment, irritation, guilt, jealousy, hurt, betrayed, etc. Learn to identify the "REAL" feeling driving the anger. Anger is a "CHOICE." People or things, do not make us angry. We choose to be angry, because of another feelings. Some people will use anger to control and get their way most of the time. "When you are right, you can afford to keep your temper, and when you are in the wrong, you cannot afford to lose it." My dad use to tell us, "When you are right, you do not have to say anything. When you are wrong or angry you should usually say less." "You put your life in the hands of any fool who you think can make you mad." Be sure to practice deep breathing daily. When you breathe deeply, you are less likely to get stuck in the feelings that drive anger. Practice asking yourself, "What do I really want to accomplish at this time?" Learn to take 1 minute breaks (I like to take 1 minute vacations), to breathe, get a drink of water, move my body and my eyes. These skills will also assist in dealing with feelings of anger. Happy emotional management:) Make a Great Day. Dr. Susan Nate

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Calm Mind/Relaxed Body

Good Day All: Calm Mind/Relaxed Body - easy for me to say, you say! Actually it is possible for each of us to attain a calm mind and a relaxed body. Just like ot6her skills you have learned, calming and relaxing are also skills, that must be learned and PRACTICED every day. Most of us do not remember how we began walking, talking, feeding ourselves, dressing, toileting, etc. These seem so natural to us, most of the time. (I do admit I have to check my buttons to see if I have them all lined up. I also have to occasionally wipe food off my clothes, or face, and I have been known to trip and fall on occasion. But, alas, I digress.) The reason that we are accomplished at the every day tasks is that we practiced them daily. Fast forward to Pre-school, Kindergarten, or First Grade (no Pre-School, in my early days). Then began the more difficult task of tying, skipping, reading, and the ever dreaded MATH. (Math would some day turn into more terror, with Algebra, when we were told we have to combine numbers and letters and solve for X. (I am still trying to solve for X. What does it mean anyway?!?!?!) Actually, algebra is the way the brain works. The brain is constantly trying to balance and solve and look for what is missing. This is part of the reason it seems difficult to calm and mind and relax the body. A few tips to do this is by simply repeating the phrase, "Calm Mind/Relaxed Body." As you learn the words (simple) and then practice them several times a day (not always easy, will become easier and very effective), you will feel more natural doing them, and you will be surprised and delighted at the effects. If you do not like, the phrase, "Calm Mind/Relaxed Body" you can substitute what seems more comfortable and natural for yourself. (Example: Clear Mind/Peaceful Body, or any other combination of a direction for your mind and body.) Enjoy this new exercise. Make a Great Day Dr. Susan

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sweet Dreams

"Now I lay me down to sleep" is the beginning of a poem most of us learned as a child. Many of us remember a pleasant comforting bed time routine of a story, prayer, hugs, kisses, and being tucked in. Some of had to have special or favorite animal with us. I, actually loved having a stuffed animal and music. I still keep stuffed animals on my bed (I no longer sleep with them), and I enjoy music or nature sounds at times to go to sleep. As adults we often are not privileged to have such comforting, soothing, bed time routines. We are stressed, worried, anxious, depressed, angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, etc., at the end of the day. We know we have a finite amount of time to get sum precious, much needed rest. So, rather than quieting our mind, relaxing, praying, having a good bed time story, a hug and a kiss, we let our thoughts run helter skelter. We then worry even more that we are not going to sleep. If you find yourself in this situation, ask yourself, "What is the best use of my time right now?" The best answer, is "relaxing and sleeping." "Easy for her to say," you think to yourself. Actually, I would like to teach you a few techniques that will assist you in providing yourself with a lovely bedtime relaxation. Be sure to spend a few minutes before you are preparing to go to bed to meditate. Meditation can be done in a variety of ways. Look at a beautiful sunset for a few minutes. Breathe in and out with slow deep breathes. Watch a child or a pet at play. Write a gratitude list. Thank someone for helping you during the day. Listen to soothing music. Read a poem, or inspirational thought or story. Write in a Gratitude journal. Speak softly what you are grateful for, what has been positive in your day, or qualities that you like about yourself. When you have TAKEN (it really is a choice) a few minutes to relax finish getting ready for bed. To begin the relaxation process, you only need about 5 to 10 minutes. It may well be the best 5 or 10 minutes you have spent all day. When you are in bed, breathe deeply, in and OUT about 5 times. Then notice 3 things you can see in your room, 3 things you hear (in the room, not in your head), and 3 things you feel (externally). As you focus on the here and now, your brain will quiet, you will relax more and sleep better. (More relaxation tips will be coming). Sweet Dreams Make a Great Day Dr. Susan