Have you ever driven a sport’s car? If you have then you know the exhilaration of pushing the car beyond normal speed limits, feeling it respond. Also, you have noted how supple that car is when needing to break. However, in that experiment have you paid attention to your heart rate and the effect of driving a race car on your nervous system? Maybe you have, maybe you have not… Maybe you don’t need to drive a race car to understand that phenomenon. Maybe you can just imagine driving one!
It is common knowledge that experiencing trauma can have significant repercussions on one’s health. However, these repercussions are also associated with mental health, such as anxiety and depression. So, which comes first? Trauma or tummy trouble? The answer is complicated.
Trauma affects your brain; we know this with certainty by diminishing the hippocampus, the emotional memory receptacle of the brain. Trauma also affects other organs because the brain and the body are in constant communication.
It turns out that there is a connection between experiencing trauma and the well-being of your gut. …
What??? What do you mean??? This is not WAR; it is just the holidays!
Life is just so busy, and it seemingly never slows down!
So many of us feel pulled in a dozen directions at once during this season. Maybe work, school, and family obligations pile on layers of pressure. Perhaps “to do” lists and tomorrow’s worries also impact sleep. Stress and anxiety leave us feeling overwrought and overwhelmed by all we have to accomplish. Is there anything to slow down this hectic pace and restore peace of mind?
Take heart. With a commitment to positive change, self-care, and…
Perfectionism is such a sneaky trait. On the one hand, striving to be one’s best is a natural desire. On the other hand, if such striving tips over into perfectionism, then it carries impediments. And it sure can be a challenging line to walk.
People with problems of perfectionism do not just aim to be great. They set high standards that need to prove their sense of value. And falling short of those standards induces anxiety that sets the cycle anew.
Aiming to be your best self is a great thing. Working towards that goal is lovely. …
Assertiveness is a skill, and as such, it can be learned. A common misconception is that you need to act like an extrovert to assert yourself. Yet, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Being assertive means being direct about what you need, want, feel or believe in a way that’s respectful of the views of others. It’s a communication skill that can reduce conflict, build your self-confidence, and improve relationships.
Asserting yourself can feel empowering and freeing without downplaying anyone else’s dignity or damaging your connections.
In fact, there are some key, straightforward ways to make yourself seen, heard…
Our modern world is flooded with electronic communication devices.
Of course, gadgets such as computers, smartphones, and tablets represent a revolution in the way we exchange ideas and consume media. In many ways, they make our lives more comfortable, and the technological revolution is only getting faster and more compact.
However, what are the effects of so much screen time, especially for our kids?
Research is finding that technology is having both a startling physical and cognitive impact on the brains of our children.
The ABCD Study
Also called the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study, the ABCD study looked at…
How to manage conflict successfully is a skill that can make or break a marriage and is therefore extremely important. The good news is that we can learn successful conflict resolution. “It takes two to tango” so when one partner moves into conflict management, the other usually follows or can be coaxed into following…
Couples with excellent conflict resolution skills tend to “wow” most of us. From the outside looking in, they have it all — romance, friendship, loyalty, many other enviable qualities. From the inside looking out, as any successful long-term couple can tell you, the “wow” factor took…
As life in the Kalahari is governed by the seasons, the Moon, the Earth, and the ever present Sun, dance is the purest expression of communal and individual life to these Stone Age people. Ritualistic dances accompany many an occasion. There are two dances that are danced throughout life, one is the dance of the Little Hunger and the other is the dance of the Big Hunger. The dance of the Little Hunger is danced to meet the need for food and the dance for the Big Hunger underlines the need for love and belonging and meaning. …
You spend a lot of time on what you consider to be “improving yourself.”
Perhaps you’ve worked hard to complete a degree or training program. In your work, maybe there’s required professional development that you do to stay current in your field. In your personal life, you might practice a long time to master a musical instrument.
Yet, have you spent much effort on creating more self-awareness?
Do you feel that you truly accept yourself for who you are? Or, do you just keep pushing forward without a true understanding as to why?
You may find that mindfulness can help…
Trauma is epidemic in our day and time as we are now globally connected through technology. A 24-hour cable news cycle inundates us with disasters of every type. People suffer accidents, human-made and natural. Neighbors and family members treat each other outrageously. Tragedy seems to strike randomly and, too often, in everyday places.
Do you know survival, grief and the process of recovery all too well having been impacted directly or indirectly by trauma?
If so, how are you now? Have you been able to reconstruct the confusion of your life and identify what a traumatic experience forces you redefine?
Engracia Gill has been a psychotherapist for 16 years. Her deep, varied experience makes her uniquely qualified to bring warmth & insight to couples counseling.