5 Effective Stress Buffers

stressed-zebra

Whether you want it or not at some point in your life you will be effective by stress. Depending on what type of outlets you have, determines how well you will be able to deal with the stress. Researchers have suggested that there are 5 broad outlets you can use to modulate stress:

  • Physical outlets: exercising
  • Distractions: hobby
  • Displacement: taking it out on another (often not recommended)
  • Social support: family/ friends
  • Predictability: some of the time knowing the stress is coming your way, helps you to prepare.

Guess what you could win… FREE E-Book

Want to win a FREE E-Book copy of “The Mindfulness Response: Inner Happiness Every Day.”

For a limited time, I am offering 5 people the opportunity to learn the secrets for developing “inner happiness” for FREE!

Simply email me at debi@drdebimoore.org and you will be entered in a contest to win an E-book version of “The Mindfulness Response: Inner Happiness Ever Day.

Please include in email subject line:”E-book Contest”

Winners will be randomly chosen.

Contest ends July 15.

Mindfulness Response Book Cover

Listen to Your Heart and Mind

drdebimoore

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh

I read somewhere that happiness is all around us, even in the darkest of times. All one has to do is to be open and receptive. As a neuro-clinical therapist, who regularly sees clients who are experiencing depression, anxiety, and post trauma, part of my challenges have been to help my clients see “happiness” despite the sadness, confusion, and trauma they may be experiencing. And often that is not an easy task. A common response from my clients: “How can I possibly be happy when I am feeling so down?” A simple response would be: to tell the person, just be happy for the blessing you have. How many of you may have heard that very same statement when you were seeking support from someone? It is not that simple…

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Do you fight or flight?

autonomic_NS_diagram

DO YOU FIGHT OR FLIGHT?

Imagine you are walking in the woods when suddenly, you see a snake. How is your body going to respond? Will you fight or flight?  Most people will not have time to think about how they will respond; they will just respond. Thanks to an important system in your body, you do not have tell yourself if you should run from the snake. The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) regulates numerous involuntary physiological responses such as breathing, heart rate, hormone secretion, or body temperature. You are not concerned with these vital functions because they are usually controlled by the ANS. While for most of us the ANS is generally out of our conscious control, the truth is that the cortex of the brain, normally associated with conscious thought, is able to change the autonomic nervous system to some degree.

Sympathetic Division versus Parasympathetic Division

What exactly is occurring physiologically when you see a snake or sense fear? After you see the snake in the woods, your cortex sends this message to another part of your brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus sends a message to the amygdala (another part of the brain), which sends a message to the peripheral nervous and in turn this message gets sent to the ANS who routes this message to the sympathetic division. While this sounds like a lot of delivery of messages, neurons communicate each other at average of 275 miles per hour. Therefore, your brain is sending messages instantaneously throughout your body.

The sympathetic division, which is one part of the ANS is triggered by threatening or challenging physical stimuli, such as a snake, or by psychological stimuli, such as breaking up with your significant other. Once triggered, the sympathetic division increases the body’s physiological arousal. The flight- fight response, which is a state of increased physiological arousal caused by activation of the sympathetic division, helps the body cope with and survive threatening situations.

Sympathetic                                     Parasympathetic

Pupils dilate                                         Pupils constricted

Dry mouth                                            Salivation

Goose bumps                                        No goose bumps

Increased heart rate                            Decreased heart rate

Maximum supply of blood muscles  Maximum supply of blood to internal organs

Adrenal glands increased                   Decrease adrenal activity

Inhibited digestion                             Stimulate digestion

Sympathetic division increases heart rate, increases blood pressure, dilates pupils, as well as other physiological responses. After you have been physiologically aroused by seeing a snake, it will take some time before your body returns to a calmer state. The process of decreasing physiological arousal and calming down your body is triggered by the hypothalamus which activates the parasympathetic division. A shown in the above chart, the left column shows the body’s physiological arousal being activated by the sympathetic division, while the right column shows how the body response when the parasympathetic division is activated.

Quick tip: next time you are feeling overwhelmed decrease your sympathetic division response by taking a deep breath. This will help increase the parasympathetic division response.

As a neuro-clinical therapist, I assist clients in being able to regulate their ANS to have better control over their physiological responses and to decrease stress responses.  I teach many techniques to increase parasympathetic activity. If interested, please attend one of my FREE workshops.

~Dr. D. Moore

 

 

 

 

Brain Matters

Brain

How much do you know about the brain?

Quick Facts

  • 80 percent of the human brain is water
  • The average human brain weighs 3 pounds
  • One neuron may connect to as many as 25,000 others
  • Roughly 95 percent of what is known about the brain has been learned in the past 10 years
  • The brain of the Neanderthal was bigger than that of the modern man
  • Messages travel to the brain on average at 225 miles per hour
  • Humans have roughly 85 billion neurons

~The Mindfulness Response Institute

“Retraining the mind to think differently.”

Listen to Your Heart and Mind

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh

I read somewhere that happiness is all around us, even in the darkest of times. All one has to do is to be open and receptive. As a neuro-clinical therapist, who regularly sees clients who are experiencing depression, anxiety, and post trauma, part of my challenges have been to help my clients see “happiness” despite the sadness, confusion, and trauma they may be experiencing. And often that is not an easy task. A common response from my clients: “How can I possibly be happy when I am feeling so down?” A simple response would be: to tell the person, just be happy for the blessing you have. How many of you may have heard that very same statement when you were seeking support from someone? It is not that simple to tell someone to just get over their experiences and move on. There are number of factors that are involved when a person experiences depression or trauma. More importantly, a person may choose to remain unconsciously in their feeling. That’s is where I come in.

Trauma and depression are deeply held in our body and mind (Moore, 2015). In addition to feeling stress, sadness, anxiety from the trauma, the body is a storehouse for these experiences. It is not by coincidence that you are more vulnerable and susceptible to body aliments, increased sickness, and other complications. Over the last few years I have been examining the scientific inquiry in explaining the underlying mind/body effects and how retraining the mind to think differently can promote psychological and emotional well-being—“When you change your mind about stress, you change your body’s reaction.”
Taking time out to learn how to become mindful will help you see the beauty, connections, and happiness in life, despite life’s challenges. Our minds and hearts are so incredible busy that we do not stop to experience the beauty of life.

Practice:
Take this moment to take a deep breath and to listen to your heart and mind. What is your heart telling you? What thoughts are going through your mind? Is there something that you need to give full attention to in your heart or mind? Is there something you need to recognize in order to let go?
Don’t forget to stay mindful
~Deborah

References
Moore, D.C. (2015) The Mindfulness Response: Inner Happiness Every Day. Balboa Press: Bloomington.

No Sex Drive? No Problem

Romance

Does a lack of libido mean that one is not capable of experiencing love, affection, and even a healthy relationship with their partner? According to at least 1 percent of the population it is possible to enjoy the benefits of a healthy relationship with sex. Asexuality is being placed on the map as a sexual practice for sex- neutral individuals. The updated Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Disorders (DSM-5) is shedding light to this often bizarre sexual practice. The DSM makes the clear distinction between “asexuality” and from an individual who has a low- desire disorder. According to some researchers, asexuality is a distinct orientation which is being fueled by modern day technology. The Internet has provided a means for other like- minded individuals to find each other and to define themselves. So what exactly are the characteristics of a sex-neutral individual?
• They like being physically close to their partners
• Enjoy cuddling, kissing, and hugging
• Disconnected from any desire to have intercourse

Is a relationship without sexual intercourse all bad…well that depends. Some say when sex is not a factor, other conventions often go out the window too—and this can be liberating.
For more information on asexuality please go to The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN).

Mindfully,
~Dr. Debi