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Our Mental Health Blogs

You Want Me To Focus on Anxiety? Seriously?

You Want Me To Focus on Anxiety? Seriously?

To focus on anxiety is not typically people want to do. To focus on anxiety is not typically advised to people who want to overcome anxiety. Of course, to successfully overcome anxiety and find inner peace, it’s wise to focus on anything but anxiety. Ignoring anxiety — paying attention to what anxiety isn’t — is a powerful way to train the brain to think about other things. However, there are times when it’s actually helpful to focus on your anxiety; seriously. 

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Using Mindfulness in PTSD Recovery

Using Mindfulness in PTSD Recovery

Using mindfulness in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recovery can be a lifesaver. One of the most difficult things about having PTSD is dealing with the PTSD symptoms — but mindfulness can help, even when triggered. There are a number of things that I know will trigger me, and I do my best to avoid those triggers. Some things sneak up on me, though, and I have to deal with the anxiety and fear that is caused by the fight or flight response my body has. One of the most effective ways I have found to get through those types of situations is by using mindfulness in my PTSD recovery.

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Beauty for Ashes: Finding Peace Amidst the Pain

Beauty for Ashes: Finding Peace Amidst the Pain

I’ve written about my abuse at the hands of the Antioch movement and my escape. It took a long time before I could attend church again, and the abuse did much to exacerbate my symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD). I had to find what the Bible calls “beauty for ashes.” I had to find peace amidst the pain.

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Quest for Mindfulness? – 5 Tips for Practicing Mindfulness

Quest for Mindfulness? – 5 Tips for Practicing Mindfulness

Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Do you hurry to finish important everyday errands and responsibilities? Have you found yourself losing touch with what is happening in the present moment? Do you remember driving into work today?

We live in a frenzied world and sometimes life can be a zany ride. This leaves the window open just enough for the daily barrage of stressors to negatively affect your wellbeing. It numbs your ability to reason, feel and be responsive in the present moment and leaves you mindlessly functioning on autopilot. I’ve been there, you have been there. But, no one wants to stay there. Why? It can create an internal stream of stress and diminish happiness. What to do? If you haven’t started the journey already, begin your quest for mindfulness.

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Mindfulness-Based Therapies for Combat PTSD

Mindfulness-Based Therapies for Combat PTSD

As I’ve mentioned previously, medication and psychotherapy (such as prolonged exposure therapy) both have a place in the treatment of combat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, there are additional therapies that can help veterans. One such type of therapy is mindfulness-based. You might have heard of this as mindfulness meditation and you might have thought that meditation wasn’t right for you, but mindfulness is much more than that and a 2013 study shows that veterans found mindfulness-based therapy was accepted by, and effective for, veterans with combat PTSD (more below).

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How To Stop PTSD Anxiety, Flashbacks and Panic (Part 2)

How To Stop PTSD Anxiety, Flashbacks and Panic (Part 2)

A few weeks ago I wrote about how to stop PTSD anxiety, flashbacks and panic from the perspective of putting mindfulness and intention into action. My colleague, Megan Ross (Trauma Therapy Coordinator at Timberline Knolls) and I had a whole conversation about this and I wanted to share her insights with you.

But there was a cliffhanger: Once you understand PTSD symptoms and how mindfulness can help change your physiological experience, the question arises, “What do I do now?” Specifically, what can you do to interrupt or stop flashbacks?

Megan Ross and I talked about this too. See what you think about the tips that we covered.

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How To Stop PTSD Anxiety, Flashbacks and Panic (Part 1)

How To Stop PTSD Anxiety, Flashbacks and Panic (Part 1)

When Dr. Dan Siegel talks about posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and integration in trauma recovery, he explains PTSD symptoms as pulling survivors between the two extremes of a riverbank: On one side is rigidity and on the other side, chaos.

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When Mindfulness Doesn’t Calm Anxiety

When Mindfulness Doesn’t Calm Anxiety

Mindfulness is an amazing tool for all types of anxiety. Except when it isn’t. Wait. What? Mindfulness is touted, rightly so, for its ability to lower blood pressure, reduce the amount of stress hormones in the blood, relax tense muscles, quiet racing thoughts, and soothe roiling emotions. Experts from all disciplines, from the sciences to the spiritual, offer solid evidence of the ability of mindfulness to decrease anxiety. Yet there are times when it does more harm than good. What do we do then?

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Adult ADHD and Relaxing, Part 2

Adult ADHD and Relaxing, Part 2

I know you have all been wating with bated breath for this follow-up post to last week’s discussion about relaxing and Adult ADHD. Let’s have a quick refresher of the definition of “relax” we are using:

  • make or become less tense or anxious;
  • rest or engage in an enjoyable activity so as to become less tired or anxious;
  • cause (a limb or muscle) to become less rigid; and,
  • straighten or partially uncurl (hair) using a chemical product

We agreed (at least in my head) not to tackle the fourth, so let’s go ahead and dive into numbers two and three!

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Adult ADHD and Relaxing

Adult ADHD and Relaxing

I have a three day weekend and I think it’s time to talk about the interaction I’ve experienced between having Adult ADHD and being able to relax. Let me start off by defining the word “relax.” This is the definition I found during my quick internet search:

  • make or become less tense or anxious;
  • rest or engage in an enjoyable activity so as to become less tired or anxious;
  • cause (a limb or muscle) to become less rigid; and,
  • straighten or partially uncurl (hair) using a chemical product.

I’m going to address the first one today and the next two next week. As someone with insanely curly hair (when long) I’ve tried the fourth and felt no less anxious after, [insert smiley face here] so it will not be discussed.

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