It's not as popular as it was a couple of years ago, but the term "anger management" was used SOO much, it got me thinking that for a pretty important emotion, anger gets quite the bad press. It's the delinquent emotion of the bunch, it's the emotion that "makes" people do the "worst things". The reality is, in my opinion; the term "Anger management" should really be " behaviour management", some of you know exactly what I mean, it isn't the anger itself that is the problem, aggression and the behaviour to which we place meaning on the emotion of anger is.
So what's the difference? I'm glad you ask :)... Our emotions exist to communicate with the rest of our body, it's role is to basically organize and motivate behaviour. This means it is inclusive to all emotions, anger is no exception. The louder an emotion gets the more intense it will probably show externally, once we've placed meaning to it, which is then what we call feelings, so then how do we not react to our emotions?
Most traditional models of "anger management" facilitated the discussion around helping people change what they believe about the world, relationships and themselves as a way to decrease the likelihood anger would overcome people. This unfortunately, leads people to try and block or suppress anger and this just tends to increase the intensity of emotions, and inevitably cause other problems. Almost all of these versions also advise "time out" or getting away from the situation that is frustrating you. That isn't always possible or it ends up being to late. Usually, when we are at the level of anger that is noticeable to ourselves, it makes it really hard to take a "time out" once we're at that level of upset.
Sometimes people will advise to just "let it out" the anger, that definitely has some downsides, because when you really think about it, "let it out" or "get it out" actually just means practicing aggressive behaviour when feeling angry.
So what can we do instead? First I think it is important to understand the difference between emotions and feelings. Emotions are based upon an event and how your body directs the message of that event, while a feeling is based upon the meaning you associate to that event, mostly it is a learnt behaviour. So let's say I went into a car accident, my emotion would be scared, however, if let's say I have a history and upbringing where anger was more encouraged, I will probably quickly feel angry and if not in check of that switch, behave in an aggressive way.
Second, I think reflective practice is so important when building a better understanding of your emotions and it's translations to feelings. Basically, what am I doing and why? by asking yourself this question, you are allowing your mind to reflect upon your feelings, urges, and reactions and also allowing time to process whether this reaction, feeling, urge, has to do with the present event, or perhaps the meaning of the event. From that point on, you basically have a choice, to accept it, let it go, or change it. By compassionately redirecting your attention inwards, you allow yourself the opportunity to simply be kinder to yourself and give the benefit of doubt that this experience is simply your way of communicating that something is up, without words.
This means that you are acknowledging what the actual feeling is ( consistant with your emotion), accepting the frustration (it makes sense for you to feel this way) and then, all of a sudden you actually got reins on this aggression ( well not right away, it takes practice, but you know what I mean!). The amazing paradox we experience here is only possible when we allow ourselves to experience and engage in how we actually feel and let ourselves observe without judgement, but with kindness inward, do we have the ability to truly manage ourselves. So engage with your anger, don't try to manage the anger...Until next time humans...
#breelove #breathe.trust.letgo #werejusthuman #bekindtoeverykind
Emotions have a big influence in our lives, sometimes it seems as though that it runs the "life show"... I know, you might be thinking "Kayla, what does this have anything to do with our immune system?"
Well... for one, emotions interact with the release and/or blockage of certain hormones and neurotransmitters (NT), that play a role in the way our body protects itself or gets stronger. The catch here is that by the time emotions have THAT much influence in whether your body fights off stuff or creates an environment of doom, your already knee deep : z...
Peoples ability to cope with stress and trauma across life is based upon our quality of our earliest relationships, that of the attachment of patient zero, which, for the most part is our mother. Research has shown us repeatedly that healthy relationships can single-handedly make certain that resiliency is exuberant to human beings facing stressful and potentially traumatic circumstances. Let's be real here, stress is good, stress is actually important for growth of self and of resiliency, but TOXIC stress is no good, toxic stress can create unhealthy coping strategies, injuries, and life long dysfunctions ( Check out the ACE study for the dets.).
So secure attachments/healthy relationships where adults in our lives are consistent, warm, attuned, and responsive to our needs, manifests this extraordinary gift of resilience to our developing nervous systems as kids. Even kids who grow up in the extremes of poverty, abuse, and neglect, the ones who amazingly get back up and beat the odds, those kids are the ones with at least one person in their life who cares for them and is consistent in their nurturing. Human beings, like other mammals and birds alike, are designed to thrive when they are nurtured through responsive and attuned relationships.
If some people have had problems in those particular early relationships, then they will most likely be avoidant, ambivalent, and disorganized. Some may also experience, as the ACE study suggests; chronic illnesses and diseases.
GOOD news is, even if you recognize a lot of these things in yourself and that you can attest to not having such a great start in life, your brain can still adapt to becoming resilient, our brains can learn, adapt, and change based on experiences. The same way that your brain has learned, adapted, and changed based on your unhealthy experiences, it can do so for healthy ones. This is what we call epigenetic, in which nurture ( what we learn and experience) can change nature ( how our system reacts, expression of our genes,etc...). The other good news is that positive, nurturing and compassionate adult relationships can help create resiliency and a healthy system overall, PLUS, it doesn't take a lot of people to achieve this, just one or two close committed and ongoing interpersonal relationships can make a huge difference to your emotional and physical health... Therapy can also help get a kick start on things!
So look after yourself, reflect on the types of relationships you have and don't be so quick to think that your health is only related to physical situations, much of our health issues can be connected to our experiences and how that data is transported within our body, both through hormones, and NT's. Look after your friends, especially the good ones, the ones that listen and take time to hear how you are REALLY doing and support you when you need it most.
Always remember... We're just human... #wereonlyhuman #acestudy #emotionaleimmunesystem #thewoketherapist
Sometimes science is really cool. We’ve always known that as humans we are able to feel others pain and connect with how others are feeling, pretty interesting to see that this was figured out with the help of science!
This discovery of course relates to what some of us call empathy.
In the nineties, some very insightful Italian neuroscientists were able to discover that while mammals observe something consciously, the motor cortex is activated. This means your brain retains information of what you are observing as if you are also doing it... Wow.
Other people learnt about it and studied this more, they ended up finding that this also associated with our learning, communication and in our ability to be empathetic.
On a good note, some researchers had been able to show that when we practice being compassionate we are better able to connect emotionally with one species to another, and thus able to be more empathic : ).
"This can't be real" is a popular motto in life, sometimes. We get to thinking this way when things simply aren't working for us. In our bubble, we may start reflecting on how life is flying by and, like, were just going in endless circles! I remember back in my undergrad, I read about theorist/psychologist Abraham Maslow. He mentioned that at one point in a mature persons life, they come to a point where the questions go more like, "Is this it?" In my opinion, probably one of the most important parts of human life, and all of its' awesomeness that comes with it, is what Abraham coined as "self-actualization."
What is self-actualization? Like happiness, it is a level of satisfaction that arises from within ourselves- yup, that's right and it has been there since your very existence ; ). Self-Actualization is like how, you know how you feel when you somehow make a difference in someones life, for just being in their life... or maybe you can see how your life has some kind of purpose and meaning... or maybe simply that in some way or another, our life is worth living.
I've heard people suggest that happiness is all about money and power. That you can only really live happy once things are good financially and you have control of everything. I don't agree nor do I believe this! For me, happiness is about a deeper meaning, intellectually but also mindfully. We all as human beings, have unique talents and abilities. In my opinion, most of us forget to recognize our own birthright and find ourselves cornered by beliefs that limit our potential as a person and most importantly, as a human being. Over the years, I've really started reflecting on happiness and feel that it is about using those talents and abilities to its unlimited potential, all while supporting our inner self who is encouraged by making a difference within our life.
Well, that's enough wisdom for today, check out this short crash course series on perception and our beliefs!
Have you ever wondered what really is the difference between a Psychotherapist, Psychologist, and Psychiatrist? What really happens when you go to therapy?
There are many professions out there that overlap. This ranges from Counsellors and Psychotherapists to Psychiatrists and Psychologists.
The aim of Psychotherapy is to help clients overcome a wide scope of concerns.
Some Psychotherapists/Counsellors teach skills to help you manage difficult emotions more effectively. For more severe conditions, such as psychosis, a Psychotherapist will normally work with other professionals (such as Psychiatrists). This allows for an effective, robust treatment plan.
Psychologists are normally described as being 'applied' or 'research-oriented'. Psychologist also have the licensing to diagnose individuals based on their assessments.
A psychiatrist is someone who has had medical training . The term psychiatry refers to the study of mental disorders. This includes their diagnosis, management and prevention.
Ensuring you can find someone who has suitable training and a background to match is essential. Finding a person who you feel comfortable talking to is equally important.
For more information on when you know or what to expect in therapy, check out our "getting help infographic".
For more in-depth views on psychotherapy, watch crash course psychology.
I hope this post has been helpful.