Monday, 1 June 2020

Worrying about everything

Dr Matt had assigned a 30-minute walk after she had completed the letter. She popped on her earbuds so she could listen to a playlist Ashley had shared with her, then slipped on her workout clothes and headed out the door, feeling fatigued and light at the same time. (Note: Felicia's Playlist is on our website. ) Observers would have witnessed a young woman speed-walking toward the nearby park, but Felicia fairly floated in her mind, carried by the celebratory thought of, I did it! Before she knew it, she found herself in a jog, which she held for about 3 minutes. Lighter, that's what it feels like. She visualized herself as strong and lean and recalled herself as El Viento, the name she'd been given as a youngster, when she ran like The Wind. It is something terrible that the narcissist is doing purposefully to their victim. That said, how the victim deals with that abuse is the key to whether the narcissist is set back on their heels or the victim goes on suffering and eventually develops narcissistic abuse syndrome. Later on, we'll give you tips on getting out of one of these abusive relationships. In the meantime, however, let's look at what not to do: Never Try to Appease the Narcissist. It didn't work for Neville Chamberlain, with Hitler in 1938, and it won't work for you because all you are doing is empowering the narcissist, who will see you as weak and will use the opportunity to exert more control. Forget Pleading with the Narcissist. Pleading just shows you as weak and the narcissist is likely to react with disdain and contempt. If You Withdraw, Keep it Short. You may need to temporarily withdraw to give you some breathing space in which to collect yourself, to get your thoughts and emotions in line, but it is not a long-term solution. To achieve this, Mark Antony will speak last, after Brutus, already knowing what he said in his defense. When Marc Anthony begins his speech, he, contrary to the expectations of the public, agrees with the general opinion and calls Brutus a worthy husband.

It is only after this that Mark Anthony resorts to rhetoric--when everyone is sure that he thinks the same way they do. In his speech, he uses clever tricks that convince listeners that this is still a murder and the criminal must be convicted. Begin it immediately with the charges, no one would listen to him, but Mark Antony was smart enough, to bring everything to a successful moment. Today Mark Antony would have had a black belt in aikido, and Shakespeare, who wrote this play, would have become a successful politician. Let's summarize. You do not need to compromise your own principles when practicing mental aikido. You do not need to lie. Rapport must be built on honesty. The 30-minute walk turned into a 45-minute workout as she approached her cottage-like rented home. She saw her cousin's car next to hers and glanced inside it, expecting to see Heather at the wheel, but no one was there. Then she remembered that her cousin had probably entered through the back door, and the horrifying thought flashed in her mind: The notearticle! Heather might read it! Felicia's hand shook as she inserted her key into the front doorknob, and her worst fear was realized when she charged inside, immediately focused on the table, and saw that the notearticle--the letter! --was open. Heather was weeping over it. Felicia's dog, Bella, seemed torn between whether to greet her newly returned mistress or maintain vigil over the broken-hearted woman at the table. Felicia lurched toward her cousin, swooned, and fainted, just missing the sharp corner of the end table in the living room. She awoke to Bella licking her still-sweaty arms. Fighting with Facts Doesn't Work. Facts don't mean anything to your narcissistic abuser.

Their sole interest is in justifying themselves and their position. It doesn't matter how right you are, how solid your evidence is, the facts you present will be twisted, denied or ignored and you'll be left fatigued, damaged, and victimized even more. Don't Explain and Don't Defend. Like fighting, it's pointless. If you go beyond a simple denial of the narcissist's ridiculous claims against you, you just give them fodder to dig into you even further. It's as if you've given them permission to judge you. Don't Look for Understanding. You might think that if the narcissist could only understand where you are coming from, things would be different. Finding a point of contact is usually easy, but there are exceptions. For example, public debates require political opponents to exchange views, not compromise. If your views on one subject are radically different, then I advise you to find something in which you nevertheless agree. If this is not possible, then use the technique that I have already described: If I were you, I would have thought the same thing. Moreover, it will be true because if you were a different person, you would have thought differently. If someone bursts into the room, punches the table, and shouts: It's disgusting! --you have no choice but to get up from the chair, hit the table with a cup or fist and exclaim, I agree! I understand you! If I were you, I would also say: this is disgusting! At this moment you are copying the body language, tone of voice and rhythm of the enemy. Emotions and feelings are the conscious experience that one is most aware of when dealing with stressful events: anxiety, fear, shame, anger, worry, and doubt, to name but a few.

All too often, victims of trauma have difficulty experiencing these strong feelings without triggering unhealthy avoidance and/or escape behavior referred to in the previous pieces of writing of this article. A significant part of recovery from trauma comes from improvement in recognizing and controlling these feeling-experiences. Hunter turning up drunk to Group showed how poorly he was dealing with the depression caused by the miserable state of his life. He wanted relief so much that he showed up to his therapy group in a highly intoxicated state of incoherent pain. Hunter was misery, personified. Jake discovered that the source of his anxiety could be the expectation that he will be imperfect, causing him to withdraw from major aspects of his life. Part of the reason Felicia has been stuck in the trauma process could be that she has not been in touch with angry feelings toward the perpetrator of her abuse. While cognitive distortions and erroneous beliefs may have a large part in causing us to have certain emotions, the emotional experiences must be dealt with. If you were dealing with a normal individual then you'd have a point, but you're not. Your narcissist doesn't actually want to understand you. They just want to win and maintain a position of superiority. Like explaining yourself and fighting with facts, you are just opening yourself up to more pain and manipulation. Remember, the more information about yourself you give the narcissist, the more ammunition they have to use against you. Don't Criticize or Threaten the Narcissist. You have to remember that narcissistic abusers are, for all their bluster and arrogance, very fragile and insecure. They are the perfect examples of people who can dish it out but can't take it. Criticism and threats will just escalate things by making them angry, vindictive, even violent. Don't Get Caught Up in Denial or Rationalization. Then you need to gradually lower your voice. You can sit on the edge of the table and say: But you know, I think we can solve this issue.

You begin to bring the interlocutor to the idea that you want to impress on him, at the same time laying the foundations for the successful completion of the conflict. In addition, it is a great way to calm an angry opponent. The angry person is looking for resistance, an enemy to whom he can turn all his (or her) anger, pin to the wall and continue to get angry. A way to calm him down has been shown to you. Your goal, as in establishing rapport, is to make the other believe that you understand him, that you think the same thing--that is you are the same as he. Only then will he want to hear your suggestions. Just seeing that you share common views, he will want to listen to you, and then consider that rapport between you is already established. If I were you, I would have thought the same thing--what could be simpler ? Trauma victims often do this poorly, which is why skills training in emotional management includes labeling the feelings truthfully, devising ways to get through such experiences without adding great damage to oneself and one's life, and communicating carefully with others about all of these steps. Writing about fear, anger, loss, and shame can be the first step in this process. Such writing often results in what psychologists call desensitization (ie becoming more used to those feelings). Beth's first article, Courage in Patience, written as a therapeutic assignment, is an example of this. Other exposure treatments attempt to gradually increase the amount of contact victims have with scary and/or anger-inducing events. Finally, communication techniques like The Four Steps of Careful but Complete Communication, suggested to Ben, are usually needed to let others know how we feel. It should be clear that all of these therapeutic processes take place in the group sessions that Dr Matt conducts. In addition, the core individual treatment, obtained in programs like Cognitive Processing Therapy, includes heavy doses of all these methods. In the interest of providing an idea of what treatment can be like, we provide fictionalized accounts of the group members you are getting to know. We can't describe in detail the many methods of treatment used to address the problems in living that trauma victims get tangled up in, but we can present brief references to methods used by professional therapists. Many victims end up denying the abuse. They rationalize it, excuse it, minimize it, and while it might offer the victim a way to cope with the abuse, it does nothing to stop it.

Stinking thinking

By having a direct effect on the body's response, we simultaneously have an indirect effect on our emotional reactions. Want to be fun--pretend that everything is just super, smile, chat and laugh as if you have never had so much fun! Another important tool for establishing rapport is to agree with the interlocutor in everything. I know it sounds trite, but let's take a closer look at it. Try to find something in the words of the interlocutor, with which you absolutely agree. This is especially important if you want to convince him later, make him change his mind. An attempt to explain to the interlocutor what his mistake is will meet strong resistance and rejection of your ideas. Instead of listening to you, he will begin to defend himself. The distraught woman sighed heavily and stared without seeing anything. What had Dr Matt said over and over again in the session? Oh, yes: Anger floats on a sea of fear. She shook her head and flipped to the inside cover of her notearticle, where she'd taped the doctor's instructions: Write as fast as you can. Don't worry about spelling or grammar. You are not going to show this to anyone. Felicia had read the second item repeatedly since the moment she'd agreed to this assignment. Felicia laid her head on the table and repeatedly whispered to herself, It's okay. You don't have to show it to anyone. Also, it creates a paper trail that you can use against them should the need arise. Just the Facts.

When you do communicate with your narcissistic ex, keep emotions out of it. Discuss things only in relation to the facts and the established orders and agreements, and nothing else. It may sound cold, but if you allow the narcissist to get you off track and begin feeding off your emotions, things can easily get out of hand. Create a Call Schedule for Child Visitation. Only allow the narcissistic parent to call during set times while you have the children. It's likely that the narcissist parent will demand to speak with the children during their time with you. If they call at an unscheduled time, do not answer. They can leave a message. Rapport is needed to convince people of the following: you understand them, you are just like them, and you share their views. Of course, it is not worthwhile to sacrifice your own principles and views. You only need to find in the words of the interlocutor something with which you can agree. For example, you and your interlocutor have nothing in common, except for the love of boats or fishing. Or both of you are playing the same computer game. Even if it seems to you that the other person does not understand anything at all, you can always mentally put yourself in his place and imagine how you would feel if you did not understand anything from the conversation. Even if you have to communicate with Pol Pot (who destroyed millions of representatives of his own people), you can still imagine yourself in his place. The phrase If I were you in this situation, I would have thought the same thing can work wonders. In fact, you only say one thing: if you were your interlocutor for yourself, you would behave the same. The same principle is used in Japanese aikido combat. She'd nearly freaked out when Dr Matt first proposed that she write a letter to Tio Tomas. No way was she going to contact that man.

Felicia was beginning to trust Dr Matt more and more, but NO ONE could force her to have dealings with that jerk uncle of hers. Felicia listened to Dr Matt's voice again in her mind: Writing this letter is solely for your benefit in clarifying feelings. Then he'd added the prompts beneath the instructions regarding spelling/grammar and whose eyes would see the letter. You took me to your house before we went to the track to practice. You said you had to help me warm up my muscles and you reached into my running shorts, sliding your hand between my legs. I tried to back off, but you grabbed my back and wouldn't let me go. I thought about screaming; I opened my mouth but nothing came out. If the children have cell phones, make sure you monitor them to enforce the schedule. Request a Parent Coordinator. In high-conflict cases, the judge can appoint a parent coordinator who will handle scheduling and communications. This will reduce a lot of the stress and anxiety you and your child experience. Ask for a Guardian ad Litem for your child. This person will work in the best interest of your child and serve as an advocate and support while you are working out the custody and visitation issues. Have your lawyer request one from the judge. Keep the Kids Out of It. This is between you and your ex, so keep it that way. Never use your child as a messenger, and never use them as a sounding board. With the words You are mistaken, you break the mental connection between you and your opponent, and then your struggle becomes unproductive. Instead of standing up opposite, you stand by and say: I think the same thing.

Now you can use all the energy not to overcome the resistance of the enemy, but to achieve your goal. Instead of being an obstacle, you take the lead role. And your opponent absolutely does not mind, because you no longer need to find out who is right and who is to blame. You together, between you installed rapport. Between you a complete understanding. In aikido, this means not getting in the way of the energy of another person, but using it for your own purposes to defeat the enemy. To a greater or lesser extent, our reality consists of what we ourselves think is true. Therefore, by influencing the ideas about the reality of another person, we change it in the most direct way. I shut my eyes and hoped you would stop--but you didn't. And when you pulled my shorts off, I ran to the bathroom in only my underwear. I could hear the guys who were doing that work on your house and I had nowhere to go, being undressed like that. I was terrified, and I just waited in the bathroom for what felt like forever. I started to lose my breath from crying. I heard my mom's voice when she came to pick me up, and I finally went to the door and pushed it open a bit to see you had gone. Then I went into the bedroom where you did that to me and I found my shorts. I pulled them on and pretended that I had just come back from using the bathroom. Mom asked me why I was still so sweaty and you told her that I had a hard workout. Thirty minutes later, Felicia looked at the four articles she had written and couldn't believe she had that much inside of her. That is what friends and therapists are for. Don't go digging for information, either.

If your child wants to talk about something, they will. Get Therapy for Your Child. Your child knows more about what is going on than you think, and they are more affected by it than you imagine. Moreover, they are also likely to be subjected to the same narcissistic behavior that led to the break-up in the first place. As they mature, your child will naturally become more independent, which will lead to more and more issues with the narcissist. You need to minimize the fallout from all of that by making sure that therapy for your child is in the parenting agreement and that they go. Abuse is the fault and responsibility of the abuser. There is no question about that. To politicians, this truth has long been known. It is better to first accept the views of those in opposition, and only then propose changes. In the play of Shakespeare Julius Caesar Brutus, the closest ally of Caesar is accused of killing the dictator, and accused, with good reason. And you, Brutus--remember? But at Caesar's funeral, Brutus delivers a fiery speech and convinces people that he has done a great service with his act. Brutus loved Caesar very much, but he saw that his madness would lead the people to poverty and misery. The murder was the only way to prevent this. Well, how can you not believe Brutus? The people are ready to believe and forgive, but behind the scenes, Mark Antony is plotting new intrigues. He, too, must give a speech at the funeral, and more than anything, he wants Brutus to be convicted of murder. Her breathing was shallow, but she recognized it as she took a deep sigh. She relaxed her shoulders and got up from the table.

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Never taking time for yourself

But I do know that you will need to set a firm limit with them if they don't agree to open up a therapeutic dialogue. Ben sniffed and asked, Set a limit? What's that? Like an ultimatum? Ashley chimed in. Oh, I remember, like the four steps of being blunt? Patty asked, That's on the back of your business card, isn't it? Dr Matt stood and strode to his desk, where he retrieved a stack of business cards. Even worse, what had once been said behind closed doors goes public, usually in front of family and friends. This pattern of growing hostility and verbal abuse continues to grow until it becomes the primary way the narcissist interacts with their partner. Cruelty becomes the norm, fighting escalates, and physical abuse becomes a real possibility. Anyone can suffer from narcissistic abuse syndrome. Women, men, adults, children, young, old, it doesn't matter. Nor does it matter how smart you are, how grounded you think you are, or how well you think you can read people. Why? Because narcissists are masters of deceit and manipulation, anyone can be made a victim and suffer abuse at their hands. Those that do are likely to develop some level of Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome. In any abusive relationship, it's not unusual for the victim to suffer fear and anxiety over the relationship, what the narcissist is doing, and what they could have done differently. They also contain declarative information, causal information about how components of a system interact and procedural information about how to operate the system to achieve the desired outcome. Mental model structures are typically organized as a network with information bits that are interlinked representing interconnected concepts of a larger system.

The structure of the mental model provides the foundation for behavior to be established. Mental models are predictive in nature and create simulations that arise from the underlying knowledge and information contained in the structure of the model. These simulations give possible outcomes based on possible scenarios. Organized knowledge is easier to recall and put to use hence mental models also facilitate recollection of information. Construction of a mental model normally occurs in stages, Identifying the components of a system. Inter grating the components of the system based on their interactions Testing and running the model. It is. `The Four Steps of Careful but Complete Communication' are printed on the back of my cards because it's so important and so often needed, I got tired of writing it down. He grinned at that bit of lazy efficiency. Ben snapped, Well, what is it? The doctor handed a card to each person as he explained, It's one of the communication skills often needed in life, but--since communication is so difficult--especially when one is in the midst of high emotion. I think it may be better to use a `fill-in-the blank' structure rather than trying to remember in real time, under the gun, all you want to say. So, there are four steps in formulating each message. First, say what you think or feel; second, say what is happening to make you feel that way; third, say what you think the other person thinks or feels; The victim might start believing that they are the cause of the trouble and even suffer from mood swings and a deterioration of their self-image and self-esteem, all the while being unable to break away. These are the hallmarks of narcissistic abuse syndrome, which is a type of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Intense Loneliness. Sure, the narcissist is there with you, in the house, in your bed, but you still feel utterly alone. They are with you, and yet you feel abandoned and completely disconnected. They don't seem interested in spending time with you, learning about you, or even making you feel safe. When you interact with the narcissist, you feel frustrated, as if they don't hear you, and they simply want to use you as a tool. The narcissist will go out of their way to make you feel like a loser, no matter how successful you've been, how intelligent, kind, creative, even good-looking you are. It doesn't matter what it is, the narcissist will pointedly pay no attention, and if they do, their response is a mockery. It's a very effective tactic, and victims are sometimes too broken to carry on and lose everything from families to careers to finances and homes. Mental model structure development has been found to differ based on the level of experience. In highly experienced individuals, there is a high level of linkages within the networks that make up the mental model. Subnetworks are also common in highly experienced individuals' mental models. The level of abstraction in these mental models is also higher with associations and a concept is based on abstract information rather than surface features as is the case in amateurs or individuals with little experience. In individuals with more experience, sub-groupings and interactions are based on frequently used procedures. When it comes to language, the associations are based on the meaning of words in the context of the domain of the system. The structure in amateur individuals' mental models differs from the structure in the models of experts or highly experienced individuals. The models in this group have a lower level of abstraction with concepts being based on surface characteristics rather than abstract concepts. The mental models in amateurs have fewer interlinkages between concepts and the networks within the model are not as dense as those in the mental models of experts. The language used is also a key difference between the structures of the two types of mental models. and fourth, say what you want the other person to do. Dr Matt returned to his seat.

Sometimes, `filling in the blanks' can be the structure that makes it easy to remember: I feel ______ when you do ______. I realize you must feel ______. But what I want from you is ______. Ben fidgeted with the business card. Wow. That would be intense with my parents. Dr Matt nodded. It's hard to express to you how powerful such direct communication is, Ben. You find that your relationship with the narcissist completely consumes your world from the barrage of calls, texts, and emails, the displays of excessive jealousy, the wedge placed between you and your friends and family, even demands placed on how you dress, style your hair or eat. As if that's not bad enough, you find yourself in a constant state of anxiety, fearful of accidentally setting off the narcissist. This leads to constant second-guessing, but you never really know what will do it, and that leaves you drowning in feelings of hopelessness. You no longer stand up for what you believe in. Instead, you've stopped doing things that made you feel good, like donating time and money to worthy causes, or you've started to tolerate or even take part in activities that would have once been deal-breakers for you. Why? Because this is what your narcissist wants, and you want to show them how much you love them, hoping that it will turn them around and they'll treat you the way they did when you were first together. If you have to turn away from things and people who are important to you in order to prove your love to someone, that's abusive. Like bullying, name-calling isn't confined to the schoolyard. Narcissists use it to demean you and undermine your self-esteem. In amateurs, the meaning of words is based on natural language rather than the language of the system in question. In these mental models, the concepts are not arranged in a procedural format unlike in the mental models of people with more experience.

The principle of accumulating mental models is instrumental in improving our thinking capacity and our ability to see situations from multiple perspectives. When we rely on a fixed number or set of mental models, we in effect limit our range of thought, our capacity to generate new ideas and the aptitude for finding solutions to problems. To improve ourselves we must first change the way we think and how our thoughts influence our actions. This is only possible if we are willing to expand our set of mental models. By considering mental models as tools that we can use to facilitate effective thinking we can comprehend that the more mental models we have at our disposal, the better the decisions we are able to make and to best utilize our knowledge when interacting with different systems. Our attitudes, values, beliefs, actions, and behavior are shaped by our thoughts. To achieve something, we must first conceive it in our minds before we can bring it into reality. The importance of mental models can thus not be stressed enough. It's intense. Many times, others find the directness too blunt, and it can backfire. Ben folded the business card in half and folded it again. He looked scared. Backfire. What do you mean? Well, the initial reaction when such a blunt message is sent is to perceive it as an attack on the person to whom it is said, but if your goal is to set a limit, that's one way to do it. Would you like to practice it? Well, yeah, but what do I say? Ben leaned forward. It will erupt during fights, but the narcissist will other times as well and claim they were only joking or that you are being too sensitive. These names are used intentionally to hurt you and undermine your confidence.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Too little blood glucose

Perhaps you've heard the story about the little swallow . It was covering one eye with its wing and crying bitterly. An owl flew by and asked, Little bird, what's wrong? The swallow pulled away its wing and showed a gash where once it had an eye. Please. Get some help. Patty grimaced and tried to return the card. I'm not to that point, but thanks. I don't go to other people for. that. I don't talk to-- Listen! Angela's eyes filled with tears as she took Patty's hands in her own, folded her fingers over the card, and whispered, I care about you. I know you're in pain. The blue light from the screens will trick your brain into thinking it's daytime and will suppress your melatonin production. In addition, most people find email and news agitating - taking you out of the relaxed state required for sleep. If you have to use electronic devices in the evening, keep the screens dim. Hold the screens as far away from your face as possible. As of this writing, it is unclear whether using a yellow tint (like the iPhone's Night Shift) will improve sleep. While it was initially thought that converting the blue light to yellow would be beneficial, the current state of research now makes this uncertain.

DO get at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Remember, you want a minimum of seven hours of sleep, which means you need to be in bed (with your eyes closed) more than seven hours. I would shoot for at least eight hours. And, if you think you're one of those people who only need five hours of sleep, you're wrong. Would you rather be working against your gift, or helping yourself stay balanced so that you can really explore the possibilities of what it means to have such an exciting ability? The long and short of it is that if you are studying this material, you might already know you have empathic tendencies and are looking for ways to cope with the reality of how it can feel if you are not in control of your power. If you are not sure whether you are an empath or not, you can review the list of sensitivities and gifts and decide what is resonating with you the most. There are so many ways that our lives can be influenced by other people, places, and circumstances, for everyone, not just the empath; and if you are the empath, then you know how hard it can feel when you are hyper-aware of everyone else's experience and not just your own. The gifts of being an empath are so supportive, heartfelt, and creative, and you can do some pretty amazing things in the world with how you align with your abilities. If you have any ideas about how you are going to make it work for you, then you are already off to a good start. There can be some major obstacles and roadblocks to achieving that level of self-confidence and overcoming any fears you may have about that process. Consider just how valuable your skills are to the world and the people in your life. Career and Profession this is called bio-directionality. You can use your imagination to develop your focus and power of concentration and you can use focussed thought to encourage and facilitate moments of creative insight. When you have one of these creative moments, perhaps an idea or realisation (sometimes referred to as an `aha' moment), your brain and autonomic nervous system shut down just for a fraction of a second. All `power' is concentrated into the insight. Isn't that amazing? It also means that your increased ability to focus through doing the work in this article will enable you to have many more of these creative moments.

For experienced meditators, it becomes a state they can call up at will. Our imagination isn't centred in one part of the brain. In fact, when we use our `imagination', over 40 different areas of the brain are used. New ideas come from new connections, when neurons fire and wire together. But for Navy SEALs, self-talk can mean the difference between passing or failing. Welcome to the Pool Comp. The Pool Competency Test is all about staying calm and positive when everything around you threatens danger. Imagine this: you're underwater, decked out in scuba gear. Everything is normal, in the surreal kind of way the world feels underwater. Suddenly, the equipment feeding oxygen to your mouth is ripped out, and the tube filling oxygen to that mouthpiece is tied in a knot. If we went into this exercise cold-turkey, without any training, our hearts would be racing. This is a matter of life and death. You have to get your equipment back under control. But your hands are shaking, your mind is racing, and your heart rate won't relax for an instant. Now I understand, hooted the owl, blinking, You're crying because the crow pecked out your eye! No, replied the bird sadly, I'm not crying because the crow pecked out my eye; I'm crying because I let him. Is there someone who is pecking away at your vision? Is there anyone who tries to blind you from seeing your dreams? Hey, it's easy to let influences shape our lives, especially negative influences.

It's easy to let associations determine our direction, to let persuasion overwhelm us, to let tides overtake us, and to let pressures mold us. The question is, is this what you want? Are you becoming, achieving, and acquiring what you want, or are you letting others steal your dreams? If after analyzing your present relationships you determine that you have some weeds in your garden of association, there are a couple of things you can do. But there is a way out, if you'll take it. She turned and walked briskly away, not giving Patty a chance to argue. Two days later, after Kyle left to meet a friend for a movie, Patty attempted suicide by mixing anti-anxiety medication with alcohol. Kyle returned home to find his mother passed out on her bed, a suicide note on her nightstand. He called 911, praying silently that his mom would not die, too. Patty survived. She was hospitalized until stable, released to Jolie's care, and promised her anguished sons that she would seek help. Periodically throughout this article, we provide an entire piece of writing that does nothing but describe a session of Dr Matt's Thursday Night Group. After all, the article is titled Trauma Recovery: Sessions With Dr Matt. DON'T work or watch TV in your bed . You want to associate your bed with sleep and relaxation, not with stressful activities like work. If you need to work in the evening, go to a desk or your kitchen table. DO go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. The goal is to train your brain when it's time to go to bed. Avoid staying up late on weekends.

Bedtime is bedtime. Your brain will thank you. DON'T have a lot of light in your bedroom. The darker the room, the easier it will be for your brain to up-cycle melatonin production. Bringing your gift into the work that you do can be a huge benefit to being an empath. When you use your natural ability as a healer, mentor, advisor, and counselor, you can really make a lot of headway in life, offering your specialized skills to a wide range of people and situations. If you have an interest in doing healing work as a profession, then there are numerous ways you can actualize that in your life. You might not consider being a lawyer or an environmentalist a healing profession. However, the empath is always looking for a good cause, and you may discover that some people in these professions decided to do this work because of their devotion to healing the earth, or to seeking justice where justice is needed, to heal the system. Any of these jobs and so many more not on this list can be of great benefit to the empath, and not just to the people that they serve. If you are working in a profession that is connected to your special gifts and skills, then you are more likely to give yourself a greater life balance to achieve the mental wellness, confidence, and power that you desire to do good work and enjoy your ability. You don't have to be a doctor to be good at having empathic skills. You could simply be a volunteer at a Women's shelter and help people in need of support on the weekends. You can also follow your own nose and determine which profession suits your personality the best. If we asked you to close your eyes and think of a pink elephant, you would be able to see one, although your brain cannot draw upon a memory of you having seen such a wonderful beast. That is because your brain can take familiar pieces and assemble them in a different way. There will be an ensemble of neurons that would collectively call up the image of an elephant and others that would be used to visualise the colour pink. You can even add in that this elephant is wearing a crown and waltzing. The really clever part of this mental synthesis is that each ensemble of neurons will take a different amount of time to fire, but the brain can balance this out so that there is a unified conduction time and the elephant does not have to wait to go pink or begin to dance. Think of it as being like an orchestra finding new sounds and combinations, new ways of expressing a thought or story.

Not knowing how to boost your metabolism

CPAP is a medical device that requires a prescription. Your sleep specialist will pick the right machine for you and adjust the settings to meet your needs. There are a variety of mask sizes and shapes, and your sleep doctor will find the right one for your face and breathing style. Some empaths will start to feel something like insecurity or self-doubt out of nowhere and will believe that it is their own feeling, rather than what they perceive from another person. It can be a very challenging experience to really understand who is feeling what when you are an empath and discovering your true gifts is part of what this article aims to teach so that you can get out of the emotional traps and fears, and begin to live more gracefully and self-confidently with the power of empathy. There are so many influential ways that you can use empathy to help you achieve greater happiness and confidence in your own life. You can also utilize these gifts to help others and be more available to giving people what they want and need without taking it on as if it is your own problem. When you have the mental skills and emotional mastery to support your abilities as an empath, you can really enjoy and appreciate all of the ways that it will be a good influence in your life and the lives of others. Here is a list of some of the gifts of empathy: Natural healers - empaths are often likely to choose careers that allow them to use their gifts for the benefit of many people Very creative - will find a lot of joy and pleasure in living an artistic and creative life, even choosing it as a profession Sensitive to the needs of others - can be incredibly giving and helpful in a variety of ways, especially with friends and loved ones, but also with strangers Non-judgmental attitude, making the empath an excellent diplomat and mediator through a variety of life experiences '2 Creativity is sometimes called the bridge to innovation. In order to create something new, an inventor has to be able first to imagine it, whether this is a piece of kitchen equipment or an equation. Most scientists and mathematicians say that imagination lies at the heart of their work. Similarly, a concert pianist practises in his mind; he also composes there. Now, with our understanding of neuroscience, we know why imagination rules the world.

We know that it drives not only social change but all change; it is imagination that is enabling you to successfully reframe your thoughts and unlock your potential. In the first half of this article, we'll reinforce some of the concepts and techniques from previous articles that have used imagination. The second half of the article will be a comprehensive set of exercises to sharpen your creative skills and to use imagination to bring about further positive change. If you want to clean up your finances, maybe your mental toughness training for the week is making dinner every night instead of succumbing to ordering takeout. If your goal is to be more knowledgeable this year, commit to reading a article a week for the rest of the year. If you want to work on sharpening your self-discipline skills, work your schedule so you can fit in a good habit, like meditating or jogging. If you've been really bad lately about being present in your relationships, maybe your first step is deciding to leave your phone somewhere out of sight and spend half an hour with your spouse and your kids. Notice how none of these tasks seem to be mountains you couldn't climb. The task itself doesn't have to be gigantic. The hard part is doing it consistently, every day, working at it even when you don't want to. There will be days you don't feel like cooking. Grit is grown by doing it when the motivation is at an all-time low, just because you know you should. When creating these goals, keep in mind where your roadblocks will be. But it goes even further. If you're around people who think it's all right to cheat a little, you, too, might be persuaded to cut a few corners. People can really nudge you off course until one day, ten years down the road, you wake up asking yourself, How did I get here anyway? And that's not a very happy moment . It's so easy to dismiss this question of influence. The guy says, I live here, but it doesn't matter.

I'm around these people, but they don't bother me. Well, he's wrong. Everything matters! This is a good phrase to remember: EVERYTHING MATTERS. She jumped when she found Angela, her neighboring teacher, immediately behind her. Angela, who had recently emerged from a painful divorce and an ensuing mental meltdown, gave Patty a closed-mouth smile as she held out a business card. Patty took the card without thinking, read aloud the heading: Clinical Psychologist, and looked at Angela questioningly. Angela shrugged. What can I tell you, Patty? This man--Scott Matthews--everyone calls him Dr Matt--pulled me out of myself and helped me figure out why the sun still comes up each day. I had assumed that it flamed out with my marriage, you know? . I've been watching you, and I think you need help. I'm worried about you. It may take a bit of trial and error to make it comfortable, but it will soon feel as natural as breathing. I should note, there are tons of sleep disorders besides OSA, including insomnia, narcolepsy, sleepwalking, teeth grinding, and restless leg syndrome. I chose to focus exclusively on OSA in this piece of writing because it is common, causes excessive daytime sleepiness, and is easily treatable. If you're concerned that you have any kind of sleep disturbance, please go see your doctor or sleep specialist. Let's end this piece of writing with a summary of what you should do to improve your shut-eye.

These best-practices, otherwise known as sleep hygiene, are scientifically established ways you can enjoy the restorative sleep you deserve. Most of these techniques are easy to follow, and I hope you'll put them to use tonight. Share them with your friends and family and you'll be their hero. DON'T check your email, read the news, use your cell phone, or laptop before bed. Open-minded to all different kinds of people, cultures, attitudes, and beliefs Excellent at spending time alone- several empaths have noted enjoying solitude while other people seem to have difficulty being on their own Talented advisors, counselors, mentors, allies, and friends Gifted at spotting a lie and seeking out the truth Talented at hearing the core of an issue, not just what is reported by someone Talented at seeing and hearing how someone else is feeling and understanding how to handle that circumstance or emotion Aptitude for more heightened awareness, sometimes even clairvoyance or psychic abilities Incredibly strong senses, allowing for a much more pleasurable and exciting life Powerful connection to the emotions and thoughts of others which can be helpful when treated well, in romantic partnerships, friendships, and business relationships As you can see, there are a lot of wonderful ways being an empath can represent in your life and if you are already experiencing some of these gifts, then you will need to be able to ask yourself what matters the most to you in your life. Imagination is a private individual activity. Creativity is the outward expression of imagination. Having said that, imagination is also what we use to immerse ourselves in the social world. We spend a huge amount of time using our imagination to read the emotions of other people. It is what engages us in any story or situation. Have a look at a TV drama or movie and see how much of the camera time is given to close-ups.

Whether in real life or if we are being an `audience' (which actually demands a substantial creative output), we want to share in the emotions of others and to do this we use our imagination. As we said in the Foreword, scientists used to believe that there was very little connection between the imagination and the prefrontal cortex, the higher thinking brain. Now it is known that the links are incredibly strong. As with most connections, it works in both directions; Make sure the tasks you create to accomplish your goals are built into your routine to become a habit. When you don't want to or don't feel like showing up, accomplishing your task out of habit will save you. Remember that being mentally tough isn't about what feels good. It's about sticking to the schedule regardless of how you feel about it. It's about being consistent with your habits and your routine to get to your goal. That's what's going to set you apart. Every day when you complete your task, be sure to celebrate your progress and your wins. Every step you take is getting you closer to the person you want to be. Your brain is a powerful machine, and it's constantly working. It might not seem like a big deal when you mutter, Oh, that was stupid, to yourself after making a mistake, or, Yikes, that could've gone better, when you bomb a presentation. This article is different from many others because it deals with reality, not wishful thinking. In fact, one of the main purposes of this article is to get you to say: The days of kidding myself are over. I really want to know what I have become and what I am becoming. I want to know what my strengths and weaknesses are, what has power over me, what's influencing me, what I've allowed to affect my life. So take a look and then another. Everything worthwhile deserves a second look, especially the power of influence.

You're just not motivated to work out

Research is tying the relationship between mind and body ever more tightly. We aren't fully aware of the impact of, say, an outburst of anger. But the relationship is something we must embrace rather than fear because the positive potential is enormous. Our minds can help us to be more in tune with our bodies and our bodies can help us to be more positive, to be fully engaged and to reap more pleasure from our lives. Once you create a goal, consistently striving toward it every day, one step at a time, is what's going to earn you grit. If you're an artist or want to be, that looks like creating something, even if it's small, every single day without failing. If you're an athlete, it looks like showing up early to practice every single time, completely focused and ready to go, and never missing a workout. If you're a nurse, it looks like showing up for your patients, even when you're tired, in any form they need you to be. The great news about mental toughness is this: you can have it. That voice in your head, that's been telling you someone else deserves your dreams because they're just more talented or have better skills than you, is wrong. Talent and genetics can be completely overrun by one person who has the drive and the willpower to focus hard on getting where they want to be. Anyone can achieve mental toughness. That anyone includes you. Being mentally tough means, you'll be better prepared for change. They are painful because they keep reminding you to get on with your plans. They are also painful when you fall behind schedule. But they are exciting, too, because you see the magic of dreams and plans turning into reality. This is immensely rewarding. The feeling you get is not unlike that of a great artist surveying a completed canvas. It's the incredible feeling of being in charge.

A well-fashioned day, with a beginning and an end, a purpose and a content, a color and a character, a feel and a texture -- this well-fashioned day takes its place among the many and becomes a valuable memory and treasure. And as one well-fashioned day turns into another, a life emerges that is a masterpiece, an equity of experience and spirit. For as someone once said, At midnight the winged messengers come and gather up all these pieces and take them off to wherever the mosaic is kept. And surely, on occasion, one messenger says to another, Wait 'til you see this one. Suck it up and deal, Michael. As usual, Michael gave in to her iron will. Fine, we'll go in your death machine. I'll drink enough tequila that I can't see the Grim Reaper coming for me when I die. Patty went back to work two weeks after Michael's death. She was emotionally flat, unable to think well enough to construct lesson plans, and prone to breaking down in class then bolting from the room, leaving the students unattended. Still, trudging through work was preferable to being alone in their house. When she had a good day--which meant she'd made it through without breaking down even once, at least not in front of the students--she could almost forget that her husband was dead, and that she had killed him with that goddamned car. Once a social butterfly, Patty stopped eating lunch in the teachers' lounge with her friends. The heavy cloud of grief darkened every aspect of her life. CPAP, short for continuous positive airway pressure, is the leading treatment for obstructive sleep apnea in adults. For people that use it, it feels like nothing short of a miracle. Here's how it works. You wear a soft, customized mask at night that fits over your nose and/or mouth. The mask is connected to a machine at your bedside that detects when you're breathing. The machine delivers a boost of air when you inhale and keeps your airways open when you exhale.

The extra support makes it much easier to breathe at night. With a properly-functioning CPAP device, you won't struggle for air. You'll breathe comfortably without all the nighttime awakenings and sleep disturbances. Once you're used to the CPAP machine, your snoring will disappear. Many of the animals will gang up on one member of the pack who is acting strangely or off-kilter and will bully them out of the group, letting them fend for themselves, or go off and find another pack. Group mentality is a very powerful energy and can be felt in a variety of ways. Many people don't seem to notice these group dynamics, but an empath can walk into a room and almost immediately sniff it out. People, in general, can be a subject of sensitivity for the empath, even in one-on-one situations. You could be having a conversation with someone who you just met who is interested in renting the other room in your house. You could be enjoying the conversation, but after a while, you notice that you are feeling especially drained and tired, after just 20 minutes of meeting this person. You can begin to notice how loud they are talking all of the time and how strong and intense their energy is. You may even be able to read under the surface and be able to tell that they are not entirely honest with you, and you are able to pick up on that. When you are sitting across from someone and sharing a conversation, you are also sharing energy. Most people don't actually feel that energy, unless they have trained themselves to pay attention to it, but an empath is always receiving it and will be able to honestly sense how someone is feeling and really notice their hidden feelings, even without clearly noticing that that is what they are doing. By this point in the article, you have already employed your imagination in a wide range of exercises. Sometimes, when we're running the course, we have someone who is worried when they hear that imagination is used throughout because they don't see themselves as creative. A handful of people have even told us `but I have no imagination'. As you have become familiar with the way the mind works, you may have noted that, for most people, our imagination actually plays a huge part in the negative emotions that can dominate our lives. It is what we do as we self-talk, when we perceive a danger that may not be there. It is what we do when we perceive ourselves as weak, incompetent, overweight.

Our brain is showing us an image of this negative version of us. Mind Fitness uses the imagination to undertake the same process but in reverse - to visualise a competent and successful you and then guide your brain to make this your new neural pathway. We have long known the importance of the imagination in driving invention and social change. Even Napoleon said, `Imagination rules the world. It means you'll be more positive under pressure, more productive during the workday, and harness more emotional stability. It means you'll grow into the part of yourself that believes your happiness has nothing to do with your external world and everything to do with your internal world. Being mentally tough means, you'll focus on your goals and dreams instead of just reacting to life as it comes. You'll be more patient with the outcomes because you can see clearly how you're getting there, and you'll experience a more relaxed, content countenance. All of this can be yours. Are you ready to begin? Training Yourself to be Mentally Tough You have to be able to picture it clearly in your mind. The first step is to make a clear, attainable goal. Define what being mentally tough looks like in context for you. One of the major influences shaping the person you want to be is also one of the least understood. It is your association with others -- the people you allow into your life. Have you ever thought about how others shape your life? The thought didn't even occur to me until Mr Shoaff said, Jim, never underestimate the power of influence. Of course he was right. The influence of those around us is so powerful, so subtle, so gradual that often we don't even realize how it can affect us.

Think about it. If you're around people who spend all their income, chances are excellent that you will become a spendthrift. If you're around people who go to more wrestling games than concerts, you're likely to join in with them. Such is the power of peer pressure. As a mentor, department head, and outspoken (of course) leader, Patty found much satisfaction in being an educator. But since returning to work and discovering herself to be a fundamentally broken person, she discovered a new normal that included increasingly terse emailed reminders from her principal about missing lesson plans and unreturned parent phone calls. Seven months after his death, Patty could not get the image of Michael's bloodied face out of her mind. She avoided sleep out of fear of the recurring nightmare in which she is thrown from the car and finds Michael's severed head in a ditch. She no longer attended Kyle's sporting events because she believed all the other parents were talking about Michael's death and her role in it. In addition to being lonely and isolated, she became increasingly angry that Jordan and Kyle seemed to have bounced back and gone on living: Jordan followed his job out of state, and Kyle was excited to be leaving soon for a university hundreds of miles away. Patty felt abandoned by her children. She didn't want to live by herself. The school year concluded the following week. After her students departed on the last day, Patty locked her classroom door and turned to leave. Finally, your partner will be able to sleep in the same room as you. Since you'll enjoy the benefits of quality sleep, you'll feel more refreshed in the morning. You'll have more energy, vitality, and focus. Your memory will improve and so will your mood. Note: there's more information about the importance of sleep on mood and depression in the depression piece of writing 6. With CPAP, you'll feel better and experience a higher quality of life.

Lack of discipline now

Then, on the left side of the paper make a heading called activities. Under this heading list all the activities to be performed within that time frame. For example, let's say you're working on launching a campaign for a new product. For each activity required (sales conferences, advertising support, packaging, market research), determine the deadline that must be met and plot it on the spread sheet. It was a question better left unasked. Patty didn't want people to know that the phone had distracted her; that she'd lost control of the car; and that Michael never wanted her to have that goddamned car in the first place. The months-old fire-engine-red micro-car was no longer Patty's cute little car or Patty's birthday gift to herself. It was that goddamned car. In the months prior to the tragedy, Patty and Michael had fought about Patty's purchase of the micro-car. A biology teacher, Patty was in love with the idea of driving an environmentally friendly car, plus she loved that it was built for two. Just two. Ecstatic to shake off the aged minivan she'd driven for years, her new car was more than a replacement for the soccer mom minivan that had wheezed its last. By the same token, the more obese someone is, the worse their OSA. It isn't just that obesity worsens sleep apnea. Sleep apnea contributes to obesity. People with severe OSA develop a different mix of appetite-controlling hormones which causes them to eat more and feel less satiated. Moreover, people with OSA feel sleepier during the day and are less likely to go out and exercise. It becomes a vicious cycle where obesity leads to OSA which leads to more obesity.

The good news is that if obese people lose even ten percent of their body weight, they can reduce or even eliminate their OSA. An overweight person with OSA should speak to their doctor about a diet and exercise program. Consider intermittent fasting. The weight loss can make the difference between a healthful night's sleep and the dreaded alternative of sleepiness, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. This kind of emotional collecting is what can build up over time and lead to a lot of mental and emotional issues for the empath. You may just be used to having emotional mood swings, highs and lows, and not really interpret the true source of those feelings. As a result, empaths are prone to depression and anxiety, feeling what others have going on under the surface and carrying their baggage around as though it were your own. This is also what can lead to other issues like low self-confidence, feeling guilt or shame for unclear reasons, or feeling passive and disorganized about your life. Not all of your feelings belong to you when you are an empath, and there are a lot of ways to uncover this sensitivity and begin to understand it better so that you are not an emotional sponge, taking in the whole world of emotion around you and not living as your happiest and most balanced self as a result. In addition to the mental and emotional issues that can manifest if you are an empath, this absorption of other people's emotional energy can actually be stored in the physical body and manifest as illness, exhaustion and other physical problems. Not everything you might be suffering from can be treated by a doctor but can be treated in addition to medical and professional advice. A Therapist might be more likely than a medical doctor to confirm that you are an empath and are therefore more likely to feel other people's emotional discomfort. All of that can build up over time, like with the mental and emotional issues, and develop into chronic problems. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a greatly misunderstood disorder and can be very hard to treat in a doctor's office. Our relationship with our body, or perhaps more accurately our `oneness', is particularly important at this time when we are considering future technologies such as neural prosthetics, implants and wearable robots that could become an extended part of `us'. The Mind/Body question moves up to a whole other level. From what we now know of the adaptability of our body and brain, it is even possible that, by extending our sense of self to new wearable devices, our brains may adapt to accommodate a restructured version of self with new sensory representations. In other words, we may start to sense and have `feeling' in these new extended parts of us. We already have to accept a new set of responsibilities that come from understanding that our biological future is not solely determined by our genes. We know now that our genes respond to our environment.

Signals come in from the external world. Your brain responds to the world and then sends chemistry into the blood. This controls the behaviour and genetics of your cells. It is called Signal Transduction. When you sit down with a friend to have a serious conversation about an argument you had the week before instead of avoiding the confrontation, you're practicing good self-discipline. Celebrate the small victories and pat yourself on the back when you recognize yourself adhering to a habit that will lead to better self-discipline. You can do this! You will also find stories of how people just like you used this high-class skill to reach new heights in their own lives. Mental toughness is the key skill that makes the difference between a benched high school baseball pitcher going pro and never playing again. It's the difference between the Etsy shop that just kind of peters out and one that becomes the owner's full living. It's the difference between your stagnancy and your glowing future. It's the drive to achieve long-term goals, even when it's tough, or you don't feel like it. Even when roadblocks rise up to defeat you, with grit, you won't back down. At the very core of mental toughness is consistency. Then calculate the days it will take to accomplish the task and block them on your game-plan sheet. The final result is a clear visual presentation of the tasks before you. Game plans are frustrating to create. You may tear up several before producing the perfect one. But they are frustrating only because you're finding it difficult to prioritize all your projects. However, once you put your game plan together you will enjoy an enormously satisfying feeling.

Keep your game plan where you can see it. Display it on your office wall or in your project article. It will serve as a constant reminder of the tasks at hand. Game plans are both exciting and painful. Patty's Cute Little Red Car was a symbol of being kid-free, yet still young enough to run around and have fun. Michael, on the other hand, regarded the micro-car as a death machine, and that's exactly what he called it. I just want there to be more metal between you and whatever's ahead of you, he'd insisted. What's wrong with getting an SUV? You can still buy a bright red one. Patty huffed, I am 47 years old, and that is more than old enough to make my own decision about a car. I make my own money and whether you approve or not, I'm buying myself a cute little red car for my birthday. At least one of us still wants to have fun. That rainy night in November, they'd argued about which car to take to their usual date-night restaurant. When Michael balked at riding in her car, Patty accused, Your pride is hurt because I made a decision without you, and I didn't need you on the title to buy it. I can't emphasize this enough. If you're obese and have sleep apnea, the best thing you can do for your health is to lose weight. And, you'll find that once you start losing weight and sleeping better, it will be easier to lose more weight. You just have to get the ball rolling. I should mention that you can have OSA even if you are not obese. It is estimated that one in four people with sleep apnea has a normal weight.

Therefore, don't assume that you don't have OSA just because you're skinny. You can still have sleep apnea. That's why it's critical for all adults who snore and feel sleepy during the day to go to their doctor or sleep specialist for an exam (or order an at-home sleep study). What might not be considered regularly by the medical community is that this type of chronic issue may be closely linked to how you relate to the world around you. For an empath, taking on all of the negative emotions of others can lead to exhaustion in the physical body and leave you bedridden and unsure of how to heal your fatigue. Your body can get sore and achy from your high sensitivities, and you may even find that you are getting colds more frequently because your body is unable to process the emotional energy you continue to collect from the people around you that always gift you with their problems. Being careful and cautious with your physical health might not be as simple as getting good exercise, a healthy diet, and regular doctor exams. If you are an empath, you will be dealing with a lot more than that, and it may be helpful for you to recognize when these symptoms start to show up and if they seem always to happen when you are around the same person, or people, or after certain events or situations. Another sensitivity for the empath is being in highly stimulating environments, or being in large groups or crowds. When you are a strong sponge for energy, activity, sensory input, and emotions, you are turning that up a lot when you are in a situation involving a lot of people. There are plenty of ways to allow yourself space to enjoy a crowded party or musical concert, but sometimes it can feel overwhelming, depending on what the situation is. The groups you interact with will continually cause ripples in your own emotional energy, and so you might find that you are a little more discerning than others about who you are choosing to spend your time with, or where. You can see examples of this in nature when you are looking at a group of animals who are challenging an opponent. What environment they respond to is largely up to us. Some see this as being as empowering as the discovery of neuroplasticity. But it means we have to work harder to clear our cognitive bias because otherwise the cells will be responding to messages and beliefs that we have not chosen to guide our life. What's most important is that we choose to look after our body and, in doing so, look after our mind. We can choose to eat well, drink enough, get enough sleep, exercise and relax. We can also choose to help our body by thinking well, by not allowing the ANTs to lead us down the spiral of negative thought and worry.