Tuesday, 20 October 2020

How do you feel emotionally?

The only way you can find out for sure is to ask before you send your little one over to play. Here are some tips to make asking less awkward: Ask the other parent when the kids aren't around. Some parents aren't comfortable talking about guns in front of their children. Don't make it about gun ownership. Make it about gun safety. Instead of Do you have a gun in your house? Don't make a big deal about asking. THE `P' WORD I encourage you to play with defusion throughout the day; Remember, if we want to become good at anything, there's no getting away from the need to practise. So, as well as practising these ultra-quick defusion exercises, I invite you to try a longer one, also by Steven Hayes, called `leaves on a stream'. Ideally you'd practise this for five to ten minutes, once or twice a day; Many people find it works well to slot five, ten or fifteen minutes into a lunch break, or to do it first thing in the morning, as soon as they're out of bed. Please read through the instructions at least twice, then give it a go. LEAVES ON A STREAM Note: if you have difficulty visualising (ie creating images and pictures inside your head) then you will need to modify this exercise. You'll find out how as you read on. PRACTICE EXERCISES Do a formal mindfulness practice exercise yourself.

Read the mindfulness script from earlier in this article into a recording device or an app on your phone. Then find a quiet space and get comfortable. You can sit on the floor or in a chair, lie down, or stand in one spot. Close your eyes (unless you'd prefer to keep them open). If you worry or ruminate too much, if you criticize yourself, if you try to avoid internal experiences such as negative emotion or negative thoughts, or if you're experiencing pain or craving, then try to reproduce the thought process or uncomfortable internal experience. Don't criticize or judge yourself. Just bring your attention back to your breath whenever you notice your mind has wandered. See how you feel after the meditation as compared to before. These abilities have been proven to surpass high cognitive intelligence (IQ) in predicting success in all types of relationships, at home, at work, and in all other areas of our lives. For example, when most people seek relationship help, they have problems in mind that they deem responsible for their conflicts--that is, their IQs have determined these problems to be the cause of their woes. What they don't realize is that usually more fundamental issues, which can be identified only by emotional intelligence, are creating and sustaining the difficulties they encounter in their relationships. Consider these examples: Fred, who experienced emotional and physical pain early in life, is determined to keep his family together. His wife is threatening divorce. A bestselling article has outlined for Fred the steps he needs to take to change his behavior and to open up dialogue with his wife. Sadly, Fred cannot convince his wife of his good intentions, because most of his nonverbal, emotionally intelligent communication--the true language of love--conveys only his needs and ignores hers. Bonnie, whose parents died when she was an infant, is determined to put aside her depression, as well as her false expectations for emotional communication in her marriage. Men, the article suggests, aren't meant to be emotionally receptive; Think of it as just another question on the list of details you need to discuss before the playdate and work it into your casual conversation. Don't worry about offending the other parent.

Most parents will understand you're just looking out for your child's safety and should not be offended by the question. Unfortunately, studies have shown that many children who have been trained not to touch a gun still can't resist. The only guaranteed way to prevent your kids from a gun accident is to keep your guns unloaded and locked away. Store unloaded firearms in a locked cabinet, gun vault or safe. Store the ammunition in a separate locked location. Hiding a gun in a drawer or on the top shelf of your closest is not safe. Kids are experts at finding things we think are hidden from them. Even if the guns in your home are stored safely away from little hands, you can't assume every gun owner takes the same precautions. Find a comfortable position, sitting or lying, and either close your eyes or fix them on a spot. Imagine a gently flowing stream. Imagine there are leaves floating on the surface of the water. For the next five minutes, take every thought that pops into your head - whether it's a picture or a word - place it on top of a leaf, and let it float on by. If you find visualisation hard, or you can't get the stream to look the way you want it to, then instead imagine an expanse of black space. And imagine there's a gently blowing breeze. Take each thought that pops into your head, release it into the breeze, and let it float off into the blackness. Alternatively, you could imagine a moving black strip, like a conveyor belt, and place your thoughts on that. Do this for each and every thought, whether it is happy or sad, positive or negative, optimistic or pessimistic. You may find yourself trying to `hold on' to the happy, positive, optimistic thoughts. Also, take 5 minutes now to do an informal practice. Look out the window or at a painting or take a walk (or engage in another activity).

Use your senses to become fully aware, accepting, open, and curious about the experience. Every time your mind wanders, avoid criticizing yourself, and gently bring your focus back to the experience. INTRODUCTION TO BELIEFS In previous articles, you learned how to identify and modify automatic thoughts, the actual words or images that go through a client's mind in a given situation and lead to distress or unhelpful behavior. This article, and the next, describes the deeper, often unarticulated ideas or understandings depressed clients have about themselves, others, their world, and their future that give rise to specific automatic thoughts. These ideas are often not expressed before therapy, but for the most part, you can easily elicit or infer and then test them. Traditional CBT puts a greater emphasis on the maladaptive (negative, unhelpful, dysfunctional) beliefs clients have when they're in the depressed mode. In a recovery orientation, adaptive (positive, helpful, functional) beliefs are emphasized to move clients to the adaptive mode (Beck, Finkel, & Beck, 2020). Bonnie's husband is relieved to be off the hook. She, however, is anything but--her depression is worse and she has begun to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. Joseph has been threatened by his colleagues to go get help for your anger, or we are through. A local therapist refers him to an anger management program. There he learns to recognize some warning signs that he can anticipate to know when he might blow up and some techniques to cool off. But after a few successful cool downs, Joseph and his management team become frightened when he goes into a rage over a minor disagreement. Allison gets a lot of attention for her good looks and sense of humor, but she never feels comfortable in her own skin. She dates a lot, but every time she finds someone she really likes, he stops calling after two or three dates. It never occurs to Allison that perhaps she does not know how to convey her interest. Instead, she finds a way to fault those who have disappointed her, instead of looking to herself as the cause of her problems. Therefore you still need to talk to your children about the dangers of guns. Talk about what they should do if they see a gun when away from home.

Quiz them regularly. Make a lesson out of the violence you see on television and in video games. Stress how it differs from violence in real life. Bullying is when one kid tries to have power over another by repeatedly being mean or hurtful. Bullies may physically or verbally attack, threaten or spread rumors about their victims. Intentionally excluding someone from a group is also an example of bullying. Kids who bully may have never learned it's not right to pick on others who are different. Or they may feel insecure and preying on weaker kids makes them feel better about themselves. If so, remember the purpose of the exercise is to improve your ability at unhooking yourself, at `letting go' of your thoughts, so if you want to get good at this, you need to practise on every thought that arises, both pleasant and unpleasant, helpful and unhelpful. You are not aiming to get rid of the thoughts. You are aiming to `step back' and watch their natural flow. If your thoughts stop, watch the stream (or the blackness). It won't be long before they start again. If your mind says, `This is silly' or `It's too hard' or `I can't do it', put those thoughts on to leaves too. Most people get hooked early on by thoughts like `I'm not doing it properly', or `It's flowing too fast', or `I can't get the stream to look how I want. If a leaf or a thought `gets stuck' and doesn't move on, let it stay. Don't fight with it. Sometimes thoughts hang around for a while before they eventually move on. As described in article 3, beliefs may be classified in two categories: intermediate beliefs (composed of rules, attitudes, and assumptions) and core beliefs (global ideas about oneself, others, and/or the world). Maladaptive intermediate beliefs, while not as easily modifiable as automatic thoughts, are still more malleable than core beliefs.

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