Friday, July 5, 2013

Disinhibition or Obsession?

©2008 J Picken

It’s a known fact ,that when online some people change and not always for the best. There are articles written about the psychology of cyberspace. Author Suler, J. (2004). CyberPsychology and Behavior, 7, 321-326, outlines several behavioural issues that some people indulge in whilst online. In general, people feel less inhibited online and are more then willing to open up and perhaps display their true nature. For now we’ll focus on the more negative aspects, which include:
  • Dissociative anonymity  or just plain “ well you don’t know me so I can tell you whatever I want, be who ever I chose to be”. Yes well talk about taking liberties, not everyone online are idiots.
  • In visability or “Hey you can’t see me so I can type whatever I want and you’ll never know what I am really thinking.” Well true to some degree, but guess what? Words and how they are used can disclose much.
  • Asychronicity or “I don’t have to deal with that person, issue or discussion now it’s only the internet”. So not dealing with others in “real time” permits running away because the internet provides a great big space. Hello…ever heard of the old line “You can run but you can’t hide?”. Running may work on line for a while, but eventually that even catches up.
  • Solipsistic introjection or “ Lets make these people I type to online what I want them to be” hmmm…so the illusion begins, now there is the non-reality factor creeping in. Some people cannot see the tree for the forest. Wonderful apparatus, the mind, it can create all types of illusions, even about people online.
  • Dissociative imagination , oh now this is really fun, now we combine solipisistic introjection with the creation of an imaginary dimension that all our online buddies inhabit. How cool! Our very own dimension!

In my opinion, all these aspects are ego based and provide valuable insight into ones psychological well being. Makes me wonder just how many people are not only wandering around in society with undiagnosed mental health issues, but also the number that flow over into cyberspace. Is it so difficult to conceive that there are living breathing people behind the typing , emails and messages? Now wouldn’t it be interesting just for a moment to get into the headspace of someone with the negative aspects outlined above. Couldn’t you just make someone elses life a living nightmare? Most definitely, all those aspects are rather obsessive, possessive and manipulative and you know what they say…”one thing leads to another”.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Expressing Your Emotions, Your Way

It's strange that, in a highly publicly emotional age, so many people find it difficult to express emotion. We are surrounded by images of people being emotional. Every news item includes an excited journalist asking someone who's just come through some trauma or triumph, "How does it feel?" So why do so many people struggle with emotional expression? How can you learn to express emotion freely and appropriately?
Representations of emotion are confusing and misleading
There's a curious gap between the emotions displayed on TV and on public occasions and the private emotions of individuals. When you look at emotional expression in the media, whether it's the news or a drama or a sitcom, you could be forgiven for thinking that emotions are rather extreme things. Everybody seems to be going over the top! What have these melodramatics got to do with what you feel every day?
Are other people leading a more emotionally rich life than you?
Of course, you have to bear in mind that representations you commonly see in the media tend to focus on the unusual, the out of the ordinary. The 'ordinary', by definition, isn't 'news'. Nor is it 'drama'. Ordinary, everyday emotions, like ordinary, everyday life, rarely feature. This has the odd effect of creating the impression that 'other people' are leading much more dramatic and interesting lives than we are ourselves.
Learning the wrong lessons about emotional expression
And it creates the impression that other people are much better at expressing their emotions. And much more demonstrative overall. This can leave you feeling ill at ease about your own emotions, and even less likely to express what you feel. If, on top of that, your upbringing downplayed emotions, or taught you that certain emotions are 'bad', it is not surprising that emotional expression can seem like a minefield best avoided.
The high cost of not being able to express your emotions
But there is a high cost to emotional shutdown. You have to pretend, to yourself and others, that you don't feel things. Or that you feel something other than what you really feel. You can reach a stage where you are no longer sure what you really feel. Constant pretence and denial leads to a lack of authenticity - not being 'real'. It can feel as if nobody knows the real 'you'. That's very lonely. And it can make life very flat and dull.
What happens when you learn to express yourself more freely
Conversely, when you break out of these confines and rediscover how to feel what you feel and show what you feel in appropriate ways, life suddenly gets a lot more interesting! When you start to openly express positive emotions like joy, fascination, love, humor, enthusiasm, etc, you become instantly more appealing and attractive to other people.
It's not just about positive emotions, either. Everybody experiences negative emotions like anger or jealousy or boredom too. There is nothing 'bad' about these feelings, in themselves. They are just your response to certain situations. When you can handle them appropriately, and acknowledge them in constructive ways, your life becomes rounder, fuller, more mature. Your self-respect and self-understanding grow.
But where do you start?
Using your unconscious mind to acquire emotional freedom
Express your emotions is an audio hypnosis session which utilizes the innate capacities of your unconscious mind to bring about beneficial changes in your life. It will take you into a profound state of relaxation - the state in which we learn best - and help you begin to explore your real potential for emotional expression.
The powerful hypnotic suggestions you will hear in Express your emotions will make it easy for you to absorb and integrate new patterns of behavior in ways which are appropriate to your specific situation. You will find that you feel more and more at ease with yourself - and therefore relaxed about expressing what you feel when it's right to do so.
Download Express Your Emotions and discover a whole new world of feeling.
Mark Tyrrell, with Roger Elliott, provides the most effective range of Hypnosis Downloads available. State-of-the-art hypnotic sound-tracks are available for you to use in the privacy of your own home and just a download away - powerful solutions for each of your problem issues. If you need the very best help with self-confidence, social skills, and self-help in general, this is the place to go.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Caring For The Carer? Does Anyone?

Yes I have been a carer, many more times then I wish I had. Now you will be judging me, thinking “How awful for her to say that, does she not have feeling or compassion?”
Well come to what conclusions you wish, for I know I did the best I could during those times. Unless you’ve walked in my shoes, experienced what I have, ridden the emotional rollercoaster I have lived, you have no right.
Let me give you some insight into caring, into providing 24 hours care to someone who you love during a terminal illness. Easy you say? Actually, if you think that then you certainly need to keep reading.
Lets take a walk back in time, back to the year 1994…Christmas time.
This year I had a great gift, my father was diagnosed with lung cancer. Think a minute on the implications of this announcement at this time of year. Just for a minute try and actually feel the full range of emotions from sadness, devastation, loss, grief, hopelessness…great Christmas gift huh?
So now we have a family in an emotional mess, knowing full well that there is no cure for cancer, knowing that lung cancer has one of the highest death rates of all cancers, knowing we were on borrowed time.
With both my mother and I being nurses, we looked after my father at home where he died in 1995, not even 12 months post diagnosis.
Yes he did the radiotherapy, we suffered as much as he did, we suffered his temper, his frustration and his pain 24 hours a day. Plus having to grieve. Yes, when someone you love is diagnosed with a terminal illness the grieving process begins immediately; inevitably life as you know it is on borrowed time, you know that you will lose that person regardless.
Turn the clock forward to 2005, history has a bad habit of repeating…
Yes, once again it’s Christmas. Yet another wonderful gift, my mother is diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, yes, cancer , this time a blood cancer which affects the blood marrows ability to maintain blood cell production. This time I’m alone, I know there is no cure, I know I will lose Mum, it’s just a matter of time.Once again good old grief kicks in, but this time I am faced with being the sole carer, the only one who will provide the care to my Mum 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Caring has far greater implications then just attending to the everyday needs of the physical, it also incorporates the emotional, the psychological, the spiritual.
Stop and think for a minute how you would feel if you had to listen to someone you love beg every day for you to let them die. You are already in a constant anxiety state, constantly fear “Is today going to be the day?” do you truly know what it’s like to fear the phone ringing when you’re at work, fear because just perhaps your loved one has passed. Do you know how it feels to wake up every morning and wonder if you’re going to find your loved one dead in their bed?
Besides that, you’re already severely sleep deprived because your loved one needs something, needs medical assistance or needs comfort all through the night. Exhaustion becomes your greatest friend, friend because it’s with you all the time.
No, I didn’t always have the greatest amount of patience with my mother, we had some horrific arguments and no she was not always easy to deal with as her illness progressed, in fact our arguments used to end with her saying “you want me dead”. As if I was not going through enough pain and grief.You see people who are terminal also experience many stages on an emotional level, stages us carers find it difficult to deal with, stages that scare us.
Even being a registered nurse, a trained health professional, you could say well you have the training and knowledge to cope with this. Hello, this is my mum, not some patient I do not know from a bar of soap. Bottom line is I had a hard job dealing with my own grief, pain and exhaustion and then lump on top of that the pressure of not knowing, the need to provide care for all aspects of her being, not a conducive mix to staying healthy and alive.
Again lets move forward to 2007…the end of July.
Mum was officially in remission,she was feeling great and beginning to live again, we both were, things were looking great, we’d planned our future, set some common goals, I could actually shake off the feeling of being in constant limbo and feel like I had a future. Yes, when being a fulltime carer 24/7, you are in limbo, you cannot plan, cannot hope to dream because you know that at any time these can be easily shattered.
Mum got a virus, developed into pneumonia, the extensive chemotherapy and the stem cell transplant had diminished her immune system to zero, leaving her highly susceptible to anything.
Within 5 days I was sitting in intensive care with the head medical practitioner explaining to me why I needed to turn off the life support which kept my mother breathing. Total organ failure. The only thing that was keeping her alive was a machine, the only fully functional organ left was her brain.
Well, I’ll leave you to imagine what that was like, imagine because unless you’ve been there one that you really would not know…
And know I ask who will care for the carers? Does anyone?

 © 2008J Picken

Thursday, June 20, 2013

How do we define freedom ?

Wikipedia defines freedom as follows:

Freedom (the idea of being free) is a very broad concept that has been given numerous different interpretations by different philosophies and schools of thought. The protection of interpersonal freedom can be the object of a social and political investigation, while the metaphysical foundation of inner freedom is a philosophical and psychological question. Both forms of freedom come together in each individual as the internal and external values mesh together in a dynamic compromise and power struggle; the society fighting for power in defining the values of individuals and the individual fighting for societal acceptance and respect in establishing one's own values in it.

In philosophy, freedom often ties in with the question of free will. Libertarian philosophers have argued that all human beings are always free - Jean-Paul Sartre, for instance, famously claimed that humans are "condemned to be free" - because they always have a choice even an external authority can only threaten punishment after an action, not physically prevent a person from carrying out an action. At the other end of the spectrum, determinism claims that the future is pre-determined and freedom is an illusion.”

Freedom exists on many levels, emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental. We, as the wonderful beings we are, also have a tendency to self limit our own freedom. We place constraints on our behavior, how we think, how we feel and what we do.

We desperately yearn to be free, but strangely enough, we tend to be our biggest jailer. Why? Is it because we have lost touch with what we truly desire? In essence yes, we have forgotten that we possess the strength to make our own decisions, determine our own existence. We have become rather complacent and have capitulated to the pressure of the majority of our society and have readily accepted concepts and belief systems that inhibit the very same freedom we seek.

When one begins to question “is this what I really want?” and begins to delve into the deeper regions of their being, further questions arise, questions which have perhaps laid dormant and unanswered. Questions regarding mindset, values, objectives and achievement, arise and slowly recognition of the need for personal freedom in thought, emotion, spirit and physical presence blossoms. Once the blossoming begins we search for ways to break free of the shackles that we have created for ourselves, which we have permitted to develop.

Can we really achieve true freedom on all levels? I think we can, I believe it is possible, but also to make this possible we need to recognize factors which keep us prisoner.

© 2008 J Picken

Monday, June 17, 2013

“Gifting To Oneself”


The general consensus suggests that the art of giving to ones self is, in essence, selfish behavior. 
The constraints of societal conditioning would have us believe that we would 
not only be selfish, but also greedy, thoughtless and self centered. 
So tell me… if one spends all their time giving to others in some, way shape or form, do they not, at some time, deserve something?

The necessity or need to please others, to give to others, to self sacrifice is
endorsed. If this is endorsed for others, then why can we not endorse it for our own
selves? Interesting is it not… give something to yourself, whether small or large,
and start feeling guilty. Hey those well programmed thought patterns leap up and
start blabbing about the need of others being so much higher then your own.
At this stage we begin believing others are more deserving, needier then ourselves.
How have we allowed ourselves to be manipulated to such a degree that we have
forgotten the importance of wholeness of our own being, to be holistically complete
is quite interesting at best. If we are not complete within ourselves how can we
effectively give, help and support others? How can we give something that we do
not have to give?

In order to provide the necessary assistance to others we need to assist ourselves
and learn to give to ourselves and accept this. It is imperative if we wish to give to
others in any capacity. We need to break free of the illusion of selfishness,
greediness thoughtlessness and self centeredness
and do what we need to do to keep ourselves whole and functioning to the optimum ability possible.

So next time your inner self screams for a moments peace and needs to get away,
do not permit that martyrdom mentality, that we have all been so well conditioned
by... to overcome our own natural need for inner peace. In fact, view it from this
perspective… a brief respite now will maintain and assist the wholeness I need to
continue to give what I need to give to others. Giving to others means you also have
the ability to give to yourself.

by: Jodie Picken CoAuthor
(all rights reserved)
From “The Reverse NeuroLinguistic

Programming Internet Series” ©2008

Friday, June 14, 2013

Steps to Quiet the Chaotic Mind

By Art –

Worry, frustration, confusion, sleeplessness and fear are all components of the chaotic mind, making just one simple goal difficult to achieve and the success you greatly desire remains elusive.There is no success in a mind of chaos! One needs to attain peace and calmness in the mind in order to encourage positive thoughts. A daily regiment of positive affirmations is paramount to your success!Normally one finds it very difficult to manage and control the mind. Sometimes, one may feel that the mind is similar to a balloon, blown by the wind, taken to any direction and circumstance the wind takes it.

When things come out well, the mind is contented, but when things go badly, instantly the mind becomes very unhappy.Because the mind and one's emotions are connected, a disturbance in one will distract the coordination and harmony of the two. For instance, when one gets the result or the relationship that he wants, such as a partner, a job promotion or a new car, one bonds to it very tightly.However, because often, these possessions and relationships are uncontrollable, the moment that one is separated from all these causes so much pain, And all the negative emotions causes chaos.Such mood fluctuations arise for the main reason that one is closely attached with the outside situation. However, when the mind is relaxed, one makes an inner room and clearness which enables one to control and manage the mind despite the external situation.

Gradually one develops mental balance, which is a state of the mind that is happy and positive always; confused mind moves back and forth between the intemperance of despondency and excitement.In meditation, one can achieve a peaceful and calm mind that is free of worries and anxiety, so one can experience happiness, encouraging and attracting positive behavior; a chaotic mind, only attracts negative feelings and behavior, therefore it is a barrier to setting and achieving goals.With a chaotic mind one will have a hard time experiencing happiness, even when one is already in the best of circumstances. Constant meditation trains the mind to gradually be more and more cheerful and peaceful, eventually experience balance and happiness, being able to stay positive even in the most complicated or worst situations. This is a state of mind that is very crucial to achieving success.The mind is like a station, sending out energy or power signals (your beliefs and thoughts). These energy and power patterns are then grasped by the subconscious mind that is responsible for creating the circumstances, situations and events to assist one in achieving what one's beliefs, thoughts and goals are.

The subconscious mind never distinguishes what is bad or good for you; it only acts on what instructions it receives from the conscious mind, meaning what your thoughts and beliefs are.So while there is that desire in you that you want to accomplish a certain goal, if you do not truly believe and truly trust that will be able to, if you, with your chaotic mind constantly think about the reason why you can not achieve something rather than why it will be easy for you to do it, then you will be sending instruction to your "subconscious mind" to establish certain circumstances in which it will be difficult for you to accomplish your goals.This is the reason why negativethoughts should be eliminated and only entertain positive thoughts, all the time.Constant positive affirmations likewise attract positive situations, and influence the subconscious to create a situation favorable to you. Affirmations are positive thoughts spoken with great trust, faith and absolute power that what you say, you will accomplish.

In addition to these positive affirmations your goals success can be insured by writing them down.Remember, first and foremost to keep a focused mind and never entertain negative thoughts. However, should a negative thought enter your mind, block it off with positive thinking and never, ever affirm it. For like the chaotic mind, verbal affirmations can greatly affect your attitude towards accomplishing your goals.Never be a prisoner of the chaos in your mind. Release all those hurts, frustration and anger that you feel deep inside. Look at the world in a different point of view and believe that you can accomplish anything as long as you have faith in you that you can.There is no success in chaos, and chaos will not lead to success. It is balancing the mind, releasing all stress that the mind feels, letting go of all negativethoughts and making a clear image of the life that you want to live, can there be success.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

How Fear Makes You Sick

  • You're afraid to start your own business because you might fail.
  • You're afraid to go to the doctor because she might find something wrong.
  • You're afraid to get married because you might wind up divorced.
  • You're afraid to travel to Africa because Africa can be so dangerous.
  • You're afraid to do what you love because it might not pay the bills.
  • You're afraid to ask out the object of your affection because you might get rejected.
  • You're afraid to go for that first kiss.
  • You're afraid to take guitar lessons because you might suck.
  • You're afraid to quit your soul-sucking job because you might never find another one.
  • You're afraid to retire because you might not have enough money.
  • You're afraid to buy your dream home because you might not be able to make the mortgage.
  • You're afraid to take French lessons because it might mean you'll actually have to go to France.
  • You're afraid to let them see you cry because they might think you're unprofessional.
  • You're afraid to let them see the real you because they might not like you.
Fear Is Everywhere
It surrounds us. Many of us are completely ruled by it, moment by moment, day after day. We're panicked rats, racing around in a maze while being chased by dragons. Life is scary. But did you know that, even more so than smoking or boozing it up or eating fried food or being a couch potato, fear is bad for your health? There. Now you have something else to be afraid of. (Just kidding.)
Seriously, though, we experience fear for a reason. It's meant to protect us, so that when we're being chased by a cave bear, our fear response triggers the body's "fight or flight" mode and we're better able to outrun the bear. But I have news for you, darling. There is no cave bear. It's all in your mind. Well… really, it's all in your body. Here's how.

The Body's Stress Response
Your lizard brain is a computer that can't tell the difference between a cave bear chasing you and less life-threatening fears. When your brain registers the emotion of fear – whether it's fear of being rejected by the one you love, fear of quitting your job, or fear of losing money – it trips a switch that triggers the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, activating the hypothalamus and releasing corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) into the nervous system. CRF stimulates the pituitary gland, causing it to secrete prolactin, growth hormone, and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which stimulate the adrenal gland and cause it to release cortisol, which is responsible for helping the body maintain homeostasis when the brain experiences fear and assumes that a threat – like the cave bear – is a clear and present danger.
When you're scared, your lizard brain also turns on the sympathetic nervous system (the "fight-or-flight" response), causing the adrenal glands to release epinephrine and norepinephrine, which increase pulse, blood pressure, and affect other physiological responses. The secretion of these hormones leads to a variety of metabolic changes all over the body.
Blood vessels traveling to the gastrointestinal tract, hands, and feet constrict, while vessels traveling to the heart, large muscle groups, and brain dilate, preferentially shunting blood to the organs that will help you get out of dodge in an emergency. Your pupils dilate so more light can get in. Metabolism speeds up in order to jolt you with a boost of energy by breaking down fat stores and liberating glucose into the blood stream. Your respiratory rate increases and your bronchi dilate, allowing more oxygen in, and your muscles become tense and ready to sprint away from the cave bear.
Stomach acid increases and digestive enzymes decrease, often leading to esophageal contractions, diarrhea, or constipation. Cortisol suppresses your immune system to reduce the inflammation that would accompany any wounds the attacking cave bear might inflict. Reproduction gets shut off (sex is a luxury when there's a cave bear around!)

There Is No Cave Bear
Basically, if you're getting attacked by a cave bear, your body ignores sleeping, digesting, and reproducing, while it focuses on running, breathing, thinking, and delivering oxygen and energy wherever it deems it necessary in order to keep you safe. When you're scared about losing money, getting rejected, or failing at a professional venture, the body doesn't realize that there is no cave bear. It just flips on the physiological stress response, and over time, when this stress response is repetitively triggered, nature's biological response winds up actually doing more harm than good.

Here's The Kicker
When your body is in the stress response, it can't repair itself. Bodily functions break down every day, but they can only repair themselves when the body is in a state of physiological relaxation. When the stress response is repetitively triggered, organs get damaged and the body can't fix them. The cancer cells we naturally make, which usually get blasted away by the immune system, are allowed to proliferate. The effects of chronic wear-and-tear on the human body take their toll, and we wind up sick.

It Doesn't Have to Be This Way
The body knows how to relax with a scientifically proven counterbalancing relaxation response. (For more details, read Dr. Herbert Bensen's bestselling book The Relaxation Response). When the conscious forebrain thinks and feels positive thoughts, things like love, connection, intimacy, pleasure, and hope, the fearful emotions dissipate, and the hypothalamus stops triggering the stress responses. When you feel optimistic and hopeful, loved and supported, in the flow in your professional or creative life, spiritually tapped in, or sexually connected to another person, the relaxation response takes the place of the stress response.

Fear Predisposes You to Illness and Makes Recovery Difficult
Love, faith and pleasure are preventative medicine and highly effective treatment. When the body relaxes, the sympathetic nervous system shuts off. Cortisol and adrenaline, which damage the body over time, drop. The parasympathetic nervous system takes over. The immune system flips back on. And the body can go about its natural self-repair process. Voila! Your mind can heal your body, and it's not some New Age metaphysical thing. It's simple physiology.
Lissa Rankin, MD: Creator of the health and wellness communities LissaRankin.comand, author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013), TEDx speaker, and Health Care Evolutionary. Join hernewsletter list for free guidance on healing yourself.