Posts Tagged ‘ACCEPTANCE’

Are Your Hitting Your Losada Line of Happiness? By Claire Dorotik-Nana, LMFT ~



It has been said that positive emotions expand our consciousness in ways that help us solve problems. For Barbara Frederickson, the author of Positivity: Top-Notch Research Reveals the Upward Spiral That Will Change Your Life, positive emotions build upon one another in ways that extend beyond the present moment.


Rather than focusing on developing an overarching or all-encompassing habit of happiness, Frederickson argues, we should focus on small “micromoments,” or opportunities for happiness. It is from these moments that we can then broaden and build upon a larger goal of more lasting happiness.


So just how many “micromoments” do we need?


In her early work with Marcial Losada, Frederickson answered this question. In what is now known as the “Losada line” Frederickson and Losada showed that the ratio of positive to negative emotions that fosters flourishing, learning, optimism, and even overcoming various negative physiological factors that accompany negative emotions, is effectively 2.93, or three positive emotions for every negative one.


In one study, Frederickson asked 86 participants to submit daily emotions reports – as opposed to focusing on larger and more general questions such as: “Over the last few months, how much joy did you feel?”


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Traumatized human beings need?



A van der Kolk wrote:


“Traumatized human beings recover in the context of relationships:


with families, with loved ones, AA meetings, veterans’ organizations, religious communities, or professional therapists.


The role of those relationships is to provide physical and emotional safety, including safety from feeling shamed, admonished, or judged, and to bolster the courage to tolerate, face, and process the reality of what’s happened.”

My two cents: Our therapist must care, must be invested in our healing for us to feel safe.


A therapist who calls for action, who calls for us to face imminent danger, must give us a strong feeling of security, courage.



Next, unplug from negative relationships while on the healing path.



The calmer we can be the greater chance we have of healing.

“Perfect Breath”: wave Breathing




Exercise: Energy Wave Breathing 


This is an excellent exercise for ridding yourself of tension and giving yourself a quick energy boost. 


It can be done anywhere (even at a stoplight). 


Sit comfortably with your hands in your lap. 


As you slowly inhale, progressively tense your muscles and hold them in the following order: 


– Feet 


– Calves 


– Thighs 


– Buttocks 


– Pelvis 


– Stomach


– Forearms 


– Upper arms 


– Chest (pecs) 


– Neck (front, back, and sides) 


Keep all of your muscles tense for a few seconds. 


Exhale and relax all muscles in the opposite order. 


Repeat 3 times (total). 



“Perfect Breathing”: Focus


Image credits: Gordon Wiltsie25



Simply, the single most important effect an awareness of your breath brings is focus. 


If you are focused on even a single breath, you aren’t distracted by the regrets of yesterday or the anxiety of an unknown tomorrow. 


That breath brings you to the here and now. 


Being conscious of a single breath, 


as we learned earlier with the Six-Second Breath, 


and staying in the moment, 


is a simple yet valuable perception for easing anxieties about the past and fear of the future, 


keeps you tuned to whatever task is at hand, 


and provides a strong bridge between mind and body. 



“Altered Traits”: IN A NUTSHELL




Although meditation was not originally intended to treat psychological problems, 


in modern times it has shown promise in the treatment of some, particularly depression and anxiety disorders. 


In a meta-analysis of forty-seven studies on the application of meditation methods to treat patients with mental health problems, 


the findings show that meditation can lead to decreases in depression (particularly severe depression), anxiety, and pain—about as much as medications but with no side effects. 



Meditation also can, to a lesser degree, reduce the toll of psychological stress. 



Loving-kindness meditation may be particularly helpful to patients suffering from trauma, especially those with PTSD. 



The melding of mindfulness with cognitive therapy, or MBCT, has become the most empirically well-validated psychological treatment with a meditation basis. 



This integration continues to have a wide impact in the clinical world, with empirical tests of applications to an ever larger range of psychological disorders under way. 



While there are occasional reports of negative effects of meditation, the findings to date underscore the potential promise of meditation-based strategies, 



and the enormous increase in scientific research in these areas bodes well for the future.



“Perfect Breathing”: Parallel Tracks

7A539D2B-E756-46AC-A69B-0A24602B21FC Image credits: Corey Rich
Another interesting aspect of our brains is the interplay between our emotions and thoughts or tasks that require our attention or concentration.



Researchers at Duke University discovered that the path that “attentional” thoughts (i.e., threading a needle) take through the brain is different than the path that emotional responses take, although both streams have a common destination: the prefrontal cortex.



This area of the brain is responsible for moderating conflicting thoughts and emotions and determining the correct behavior or course of action.



Interestingly the Duke researchers determined that there is an inverse relationship between the attentional and emotional path.



When the emotional path is active and emphasized, the attentional path is deemphasized and dampened, and vice versa.



This may possibly explain why people under the spell of surging emotions behave irrationally and oftentimes in ways that are clearly not in their best interest or aligned with their beliefs, ethics, or goals—hence the phrase crime of passion.



However, we can manipulate this inverse relationship to our advantage.

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“Perfect Breathing”: Creating Your Emotions

1F44AA16-2E19-4E5D-96CB-1C3E55DD5D01.Image credits: Desre Tate

In the opinion of many researchers, we can control our emotions because we can control the two major factors that make up our emotions—our mental perception of the experience and the associated physiological response.



By developing or increasing awareness of our thoughts, and awareness of our bodies, we can take control.



If we don’t, both will continue automatically, but with results that may not always be in our best self-interest.



According to Karen Stone-McCown, chairman and founder of Six Seconds and author of Self Science,



“Emotions are our responses to the world around us, and they are created by the combination of our thoughts, feelings, and actions.



What is most important is for each of us to learn that we create our own emotions.



Our responses are shaped by our thoughts—by what we tell ourselves.



As we clarify our understanding of our own beliefs and patterns, we learn that we are actually choosing our own lives.



We take responsibility for our thoughts, feelings, and actions; we become accountable.”

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