Read more Calvin and Hobbes.

Calvin-and-Hobbes-hugging-calvin-and-hobbes-1395524-1024-768

There’s not much more to say. I honestly believe that if everyone read 10 minutes of Calvin and Hobbes every day, the world would change immeasurably in a fairly short space of time. The only challenge i had was which image to use – Every one invoking a smile – sometimes a “laughter” smile, other times that smile that comes with something that is so moving, so heart warming that it (almost) brings a tear to your eye.

So – Read more Calvin and Hobbes – It’s great for your health and it’s fun.

cheers

andy

The basic principles.

Stress, Trauma and over stimulation create tension. Many things in our modern lives create tension. We carry tension in our bodies – In our muscles, fascia, even bone.

We have lifestyles that immerse us in this tension/stress day in day out – We adapt to that environment – we become more efficient at becoming “stressed”.

This tension has a detrimental affect on the performance of our bodies and minds. Tense muscles – especially the psoas and the muscles of the face/eyes/tongue/jaw – affect the messages sent by the nervous system to the limbic system and endocrine system. This affects our mood, behaviour and performance of other systems due to, amongst other things, chronic inflammation and chemical imbalance. Breathing is also negatively affected and the importance of this is hard to over state – When you don’t breathe “well”, you are not “well”.

The body has an innate healing mechanism to rid us of this tension – The challenge for us today is that it evolved to cope with massive traumatic events and is not activated by small amounts of cumulative “stress”, especially when our response is most often “freeze” as we don’t fight or “flight” (run away) in many of these situations as it would be an inappropriate response in the society we live in – You don’t physically fight with someone that you are annoyed with at work (usually!), you “hold it in”.

The mechanism by which we can release the cortisol, adrenaline etc in these “freeze” situations is called neurogenic tremors. A prime example is shaking with fear. You were unable to fight or flight so you “froze” – The event was traumatic enough that your body was triggered to release the excess adrenaline, cortisol etc – the chemicals involved in this “process” – through shaking. Another challenge for us in more recent times is that we have become so conditioned not to show weakness or stand out from the crowd that we suppress these emotions, making the situation even worse as the chemicals get no outlet – The “outlet” is chemical imbalance, causing inflammation and mood/behavioural changes – Anxiety, depression, dis-ease.

In the same way that we adapt to become more efficient at sitting from sitting for long periods of time, the more we suppress these “outlets”, the better we becoming at suppressing them. Being good – more efficient – at something that is harmful to you is not a good thing. Our body/mind has forgotten how to use this mechanism as we never use them – Use it or lose it.

The good news is that we can re-activate this healing ¬†mechanism. And once we have, it doesn’t need a daily reminder – Just now and again – and that’s really easy to do once you’ve reminded your body/mind that it is there. I would love to help you do this as once you have the tools to do it, it is yours to keep and use whenever you want/need. Which shouldn’t be very often once you’ve released that build up of tension that is stored within you right now.

And just in case you are thinking that you don’t want to suddenly start shaking the next time you have a run in at the office – Don’t worry, that’s not how it works. You will gain total control over this through simple “focus” and relaxation that can be done in seconds once you have practiced a little.

You will be able to release what has built up over time and ensure that these challenges don’t come up again through simply sleeping well (we’ll cover that in another piece) and short periods of “meditation”. Even this may be unnecessary (the meditation, not sleeping ūüėČ ) once you have released the existing tension but it’s fun to do so why not.

If you want to arrange a 30 (ish) minute call with me to see if this has merit for you, get in touch and we can take it from there.

cheers

Andy

 

 

Talking to anxiety.

I should be upfront and say that i removed this post for a day as i was conflicted as to whether or not to leave it up – The reason being that you won’t need to work on the language you use when working with your anxiety if you do the Kisssmilebreatherepeat and “going reptile” as your language will change automatically as your perceptions change due to feeling different/better. However, i had a message from a friend who really liked it so it’s back up – And even though i know you don’t need this, here it is anyway.

“Hey, how you doing there buddy – say what? – OK, i’ll check that out, thanks for the warning. You know what, i checked it out and it’s actually ok but thanks for the tip off, you are a legend”.

I don’t know where that little scene came from but i wanted to write some thoughts about the subject of language and how we communicate with anxiety – and the massive impact that language (and “approach”) can have.

When anxiety rears it’s ugly head – and i’m talking the unhelpful, debilitating type, not the type of anxiety that keeps you alive in the jungle or some other truly “wild” place or situation. The kind that says “better wash your hands for longer -actually, do them again, there may still be germs or something on there and you have to get them off” – The worse thing that you can do is tell yourself you are being stupid or to “stop worrying” – or the anxiety to shut up or go away. No one likes being told to shut up or go away, especially not a part of you – by you. One of the things that helped me recover just started happening naturally as “triggers” were “released” by the release of “tension”/trauma via musculoskeletal relaxation/release – And if you are working with me already¬†you will almost certainly have this experience too – But if you’ve not yet reached that stage, let’s try and get a head start.

As said above, how you communicate with your anxiety is important and above is an ideal (if a tad hollywood) example of how to do it. Don’t try to stop it, berate it or tell it to go away and stop ruining your life – It’s part of you and it sincerely believes that it is helping you – It ¬†doesn’t realise it’s ruining your life. We need to talk to it the way we would talk to a friend – to our own child.

A little education can help in these situations. Let’s say we are talking about germs/germophobia – a mixture of “contamination” and “checking” and a common “form”/symptom of anxiety/OCD. Knowing a little about how germs actually spread, how bad they actually are etc gives you the “soft ammunition” to talk to your anxiety with. So, the next time it pops up – triggered by your approach to the sink – or the running water – and does “it’s thing” – say “hi buddy – yeah, just washing the hands – oh and guess what i read the other day – washing too much actually reduces the protective oils and can cause the skin to crack, making it easier for viruses to get in – You know what, we should actually just use a normal soap and do 15-20 seconds and that’s ideal – that cool with you?”. And the next time they don’t even (really) need a rinse, the same approach but take it to the next stage – “You know what buddy, we’ve only been out and about and i don’t feel anything on my hands – we’ve not been exposed to anything harmful – we are not about to eat – Let’s let those oils and good bacteria get a chance to recover and give us even more protection – after all, from the day we’ve had and the protection our immune system gives us, even if we did have something on our hands, it’s not going to be any worse than a slight stomach upset – and that’s absolutely worse case scenario – remember that article we read about poison and the dose being important?”.

I know my description above isn’t perfect and i’ve avoided getting “technical” as in my experience, that can often make things worse, “analysis paralysis” as you go through the minutiae of the science.

The language/approach above applies particularly to 3 of the most common forms of OCD, whether checking, contamination or hoarding. Rumination/intrusive thoughts are different and my experience with them very limited – however, by being curious, asking questions of your anxiety in a friendly way, you interrupt the process (and “befriend” your anxiety) which is powerful in itself. Add to this the work being done by the other methods and powerful change is possible. These conditions are “caused” by a type of fear – and that’s a perception – and when you “feel” differently (chemistry, energy) you perceive differently – Trust that as you “feel” better, the triggers will just disappear ¬†-i know it sounds simple but it really is – the best things always are.

 

Thanks and don’t forget – read more Calvin and Hobbes.

 

Andy.