Posts Tagged ‘Dissociation’

Amount of Doubt

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The greater the doubt,
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the greater the awakening;
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the smaller the doubt,
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the smaller the awakening.
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No doubt, no awakening.
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—C.-C. Chang, The Practice of Zen
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Negative core beliefs:

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From Coping with Trauma related Dissociation:
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Chronically traumatized people often suffer from persistent core beliefs. These are deeply rooted convictions that typically involve all-or-nothing thinking without balance or nuance.
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“Things never work out for me,” “People always try to hurt me,” I am completely stupid and unlovable,” or ” There is no safe place.”.
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These beliefs often contain words like always, never, or none. Such thoughts and beliefs can profoundly influence, reinforce, and intensify negative emotions.
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Negative core beliefs are reinforced over time by negative emotions, perception, and predictions, and by additional negative life experiences.
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The same is true for positive core beliefs and attendant receptions, emotions, and experiences.
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My two cents: Basic Neuroscience: What fires together wires together, where we place our attention grows, and where we withdraw withers and dies.
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Mindfulness then could help us let go of negative beliefs.
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We could focus on positive beliefs or let go and just be present empty of thought.
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Perfection is not the goal, improving daily is part of the journey.
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Difficulty

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In the middle of difficulty
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lies opportunity.
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ALBERT EINSTEIN

Why Meditate: Working with thoughts and emotions

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Altruistic love—also called loving-kindness—is the wish that others be happy and that they find the true causes of happiness.
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Compassion is defined as the desire to put an end to the suffering of others and the causes of that suffering.
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These are not merely noble sentiments; they are feelings that are fundamentally in tune with reality.
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All beings want to avoid suffering just as much as we do.
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Moreover, since we are all interdependent, our own happiness and unhappiness are intimately bound up with the happiness and unhappiness of others.
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Cultivating love and compassion is a win-win situation.
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Personal experience shows that they are the most positive of all mental states and create a deep sense of fulfillment and wholesomeness.
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Research in neuroscience also indicates that among all kinds of meditations, those focusing on unconditional love and compassion give rise to the strongest activation of brain areas related to positive affects.
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In addition, the behavior these forms of meditation give rise to is intended to benefit others.
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If the deeds we perform for the sake of others are to have the intended benefit, they must also be guided by wisdom—the wisdom that we can acquire through analysis and meditation and that gives us a more correct understanding of Reality.
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Excerpt From: Altman, Donald. “The Mindfulness Code.”

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Freeimages.co.uk
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“Whether you call it the ego (as Freud did), the pain body (as Eckhart Tolle does), or the self (as Buddhists continue to), there is a part of human awareness whose job it is to create a sense of self that is distinct and separate from others..
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The human brain, after all, is designed to construct an identity.
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Various areas of the brain are implicated in this capacity to create a solid self.
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The brain’s left hemisphere is especially good at this, making mental road maps and cobbling together stories about our lives.”
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“It does the heavy lifting in supporting the concept of self, or I, with which we strongly identify.
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Harvard-trained neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor describes the direct experience of losing this individuated self because of a hemorrhage in her brain’s left hemisphere in her book My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey.
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The experience helped her understand what happens when the left brain’s divisive, me-first sense of I stops totally dominating one’s reality.
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According to Taylor, “left-brain dominance produces “extremely rigid thinking patterns that are analytically critical (extreme left brain).
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Creating a healthy balance between our two characters enables us the ability to remain cognitively flexible enough to welcome change (right hemisphere), and yet remain concrete enough to stay a path (left hemisphere).”
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I’m not saying we don’t need a separate ego-self to get our needs met and exist in the world.
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Exploring Our inner World

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Tulip Farm, Tasmania
Photograph by Anthony Crehan, Your Shot
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Mindfulness is a tool, a focus exercise that allows us to explore our inner world.
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The two pauses, after the inhale and exhale, bring our bodies into a sort of suspended animation stage.
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The mind and body are still, nothing moving, a pure opportunity to notice, to observe any sensation, tightness, agitation, sound, twitch or inner feeling.
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Maybe we observe complete silence, a deep quiet, or extreme agitation, or internal anxiety or mild tingling sensations.
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We are detectives, tasked with mapping our emotions internally.
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Where does fear, worry, anxiety, and anger reside, manifest themselves in the body.
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Some  emotions maybe acute, sharp, while others are dull or diffuse, while other are choppy, scary and others agitate the nervous system.

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It maybe the throat area, solar plexus, between the shoulder blades or in the groin area.
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Become friends with your fear, your fight or flight mechanism and life will calm down.
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Mindfulness has far more power and application than you could ever imagine.
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If happiness is an internal condition, it follows we should explore and become familiar with our inner world.
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Systematic Desensitization (SD or Desensitization) .

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To begin the process of systematic desensitization, one must first be taught relaxation skills in order to control fear and anxiety responses to specific phobias. Once the individual has been taught these skills, he or she must use them to react towards and overcome situations in an established hierarchy of fears. The goal of this process is that an individual will learn to cope and overcome the fear in each step of the hierarchy, which will lead to overcoming the last step of the fear in the hierarchy.
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Systematic desensitization is sometimes called graduated exposure therapy.
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Clinical Procedure
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Specific phobias are one class of mental illness often treated through cognitive-behavioral therapy and the process of Systematic Desensitization (SD). When individuals possess irrational fears of an object, they tend to avoid it. Since escaping from the phobic object reduces their anxiety, patients’ behavior to reduce fear is reinforced through negative reinforcement, a concept defined in operant conditioning. The goal of Systematic Desensitization is to overcome this avoidance pattern by gradually exposing patients to the phobic object until it can be tolerated. In classical and operant conditioning terms the elicitation of the fear response is extinguished to the stimulus (or class of stimuli).
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Prior to exposure, the therapist teaches the patient cognitive strategies to cope with anxiety. This is necessary because it provides the patient with a means of controlling their fear, rather than letting it build until it becomes unbearable. Relaxation training, such as meditation, is one type of coping strategy. Patients might be taught to focus on their breathing or to think about happy situations. Another means of relaxation is cognitive reappraisal of imagined outcomes. The psychotherapist might encourage subjects to examine what they imagine happening when exposed to the phobic object, allowing them to recognize their catastrophic visions and contrast them with the actual outcome. For example, a patient with a snake phobia might realize that they imagine any snake they encounter would coil itself around their neck and strangle them, when this would not actually occur.
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The second component of systematic desensitization is gradual exposure to the feared object. Continuing with the snake example, the therapist would begin by asking their patient to develop a fear hierarchy, listing the relative unpleasantness of various types of exposure. For example, seeing a picture of a snake in a newspaper might be rated 5 of 100, while having several live snakes crawling on one’s neck would be the most fearful experience possible. Once the patient had practiced their relaxation technique, the therapist would then present them with the photograph, and help them calm down. They would then present increasingly unpleasant situations: a poster of a snake, a small snake in a box in the other room, a snake in a clear box in view, touching the snake, etc. At each step in the progression, the patient is desensitized to the phobia through the use of the coping technique. They realize that nothing bad happens to them, and the fear gradually extinguishes.
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Research has shown that systematic desensitization can be effective in treating fears, phobias, other anxiety disorders, and a wide variety of other mental health and behavior problems. The effectiveness of systematic desensitization does not appear to depend on the intensity of your anxiety or problem, the duration of your anxiety, or on whether the anxiety was acquired suddenly or gradually.
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