Archive | Stress

Does IBS Cause Anxiety? 8 Tips For Anxiety Relief

Anyone with Irritable Bowel Syndrome knows that IBS causes anxiety. Not knowing when bowel symptoms will strike is enough to make the calmest person feel stress and anxiety.

Apart from being unpredictable, IBS symptoms may cause you anxiety in a couple of other ways:

– Chronic diarrhea is dehydrating, and your body reacts to dehydration as a threat to your survival because humans need water. Not having enough is a stress that makes you anxious, depressed and tired. It’s not a psychological problem; it’s a signal from your brain and body that you’re in danger.

– Chronic constipation is another stress that can make you anxious because of the build-up of toxins in the intestines. When your body is holding onto toxins, it can also react with headaches and nausea.

– In my experience, people with digestive disorders are often sensitive to chemicals and scents in common household and personal care products. Some chemicals are neurotoxins which means they disrupt the way signals are sent between your brain and your body. This is another cause of anxiety.

– When you are awake at night because of pain or several trips to the bathroom, you’re not getting the sleep you need. Sleep deprivation is a source of stress and anxiety for people with IBS and for millions of others.

– When you’re stressed by symptoms, anxiety can cause your mind to go blank. This can cause problems with work, school, or in any part of your life where you need mental concentration, which brings on yet more anxiety. It’s a vicious circle.

So what can you do about it?

When you’re feeling anxious because IBS is ruining your day yet again, here are some tips for natural anxiety relief:

1. A study at the University of Miami School of Nursing showed that taking an essence solution for anxiety had a comparable effect to pharmaceutical drugs but with no side effects.

What’s an “essence solution”? It’s a plant- or gemstone-based liquid that rebalances your nervous system for a calming effect. Two good ones are ETS+ by Perelandra Ltd and Rescue Remedy by Bach Flower Essences.

2. With two fingers, firmly hold these acupressure points for one to two minutes:

– Heart 7: Find the crease of your wrist at the base of your palm. Imagine drawing a line straight down your palm from your little finger to that wrist crease. Hold the point where that line would meet the crease. Good for fear, nervousness and anxiety.

– Circ 6: On the inside of your forearm, hold the point that is two and a half finger-widths up from the wrist crease. This point is in the middle of the forearm, not to either side. Good for nausea, anxiety and palpitations.

3. Use EFT tapping. EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique, works for both short- and long-term anxiety relief. You can also use it to relieve the physical symptoms and pain of IBS. If you don’t know how to tap, visit YouTube and look for Instant Anxiety Relief for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

4. Eat soluble fiber foods or take soluble fiber supplements to help with both diarrhea and constipation. Relieving these two digestive stresses will help to relieve the anxiety that comes with them.

5. Clear the chemical and chemically-scented products out of your life, and especially from your bedroom, to stop them from stressing your digestive system, your immune system and your nervous system, and keeping you awake at night. This will help to relieve physical symptoms as well as insomnia and anxiety.

6. Once you’re feeling calmer, drink some good, filtered water to get re-hydrated. Water can be calming all by itself.

7. Breathe deeply and slowly, while you walk slowly through your house, thinking calming thoughts. Your heart races when you are anxious. You can slow it down by taking a deep breath then exhaling more slowly than you inhale. Deep breathing is probably the oldest form of anxiety relief on the planet. And it’s free!

8. When your mind goes blank, breathe deeply and slowly. Now, using your fingers, gently feel your forehead moving from your eyebrows up towards your hairline. Do you feel those slight bumps that curve out about half-way up your forehead above your eyebrows? Hold those bumps with your fingertips or by placing your whole hand across your forehead, and keep breathing with long, slow exhales. Hold for at least one minute.

Holding these points will bring the blood back into the front part of your brain, which is responsible for language and analytical thinking, and will help to calm you down. This technique is especially helpful when you are in a test, exam or other stressful situation and need to be able to think more clearly.

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Myxedema Madness: When Being Crazy Isn’t in Your Head, But in Your Thyroid

Your husband watches in dismay as the men in the white coats chase you about the living room. Finally, with skill befitting a giant botanist, an attendant captures you in a large net and wrestles you to the ground. The second adds his expertise to the effort, his three-hundred-fifty-pound bulk, by sitting squarely atop your skull. You now consider your rage over the fallen flapjack to have been somewhat of an overreaction.

With the straightjacket chaffing at your neck, you call to your husband for help. Though his hesitation is brief, you see the fear in his eyes. He thinks you’ve lost your mind. You begin to tear up but, in a flash, you see that fatally wounded flapjack laying helplessly on the kitchen floor and the nightmarish rage overtakes you once again. Feeling it all slip away as they carry you to the ambulance, you make one last desperate effort to escape the beds at Bellevue. Looking over your shoulder you spot your husband, take deep breath and shout, “It’s not my fault – it’s my thyroid!”

Your thyroid? Yes indeed – a condition known as Myxedema Madness mimics many psychiatric conditions.

Myxedema, the medical term for hypothyroidism, is most commonly recognized by well-known physical symptoms: weight gain, puffiness about the face, dry skin, fatigue and a general slowing of the metabolism. However, the emotional signs and symptoms are quite often overlooked. Or, even more disturbingly, are attributed to non-existent mental health and psychiatric conditions.

Myxedema Madness is a catchall phrase, coined by Dr. Richard Asher in 1940, that encompasses a broad swath of emotions ranging from minor anxieties, doubts and worries to full-blown panic attacks and classic psychiatric conditions like schizophrenia. Myxedema Madness typically manifests as a simple bout of depression and is often treated as such, with antidepressants and advice to, “Slow down – take it easy for a bit.” Unfortunately, neither the pills nor the pontification strike at the root of the issue.

If let untreated, Myxedema Madness can quickly devolve into a deadly serious condition. Minor anxieties may give way to major psychoses, delusions, hallucinations and paranoia. An otherwise affable person may snap at the slightest annoyance, exhibiting a degree of rage previously unseen. The patient may be diagnosed as schizophrenic, psychotic or manic-depressive.

The risk of misdiagnosis is increased because hypothyroidism inordinately impacts women – particularly women over the age of forty. As a result, the emotional difficulties are often attributed to the “natural” process of aging, possibly due to the empty-nest syndrome, the onset of menopause or other adjustments and changes in life. The elderly, especially those already living in a group home setting, face a doubly difficult task in receiving both the proper diagnosis and treatment for this condition.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that diagnosis is actually quite straightforward. A simple blood test is all that’s needed to identify a thyroid problem. The best news? When properly treated with a daily thyroid hormone you’ll be your old self in no time flat. No more outbursts, no more voices and no more men in white coats. Which, unfortunately, means no more shouting, “It’s not my fault – it’s my thyroid!”

Yes… modern medicine is a double-edged sword indeed.

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3 Must Have Essential Oils to Calm Your Pet

The reason I love animals so much is that they give off an attitude of happiness, innocence and unconditional love to their people.  Our pets are just as happy being a part of our household as we are of having them with us.

But sometimes an animal comes into our life that is a bit “out there!”

For instance, the dog that has an irrational fear of rain and won’t for the life of him go outside to potty during a rain shower.  Or the cat who hides for hours when a friend comes over.  Or, how about the dog with attachment issues that destroys the house while you’re at work?  Any of these sound familiar?

My cat’s, Sammie and Max, love to hang out on our screened-in patio.  But whenever the garbage truck comes rolling in, they flee for their lives!

It might sound crazy to us, but whatever your animal’s fears or wacky behaviors may be, they are completely legitimate in their minds.

Using essential oils on your animals can really take the edge off of their anxiety, big time!

Because of an animal’s heightened senses, they respond very well to essential oils.  In the wild, animals eat specific plants to heal themselves.  In captivity (our homes), the plant kingdom is not readily available.  Using essential oils on your pet gives them access to the vast healing properties of nature.

The three best essential oils to calm your pets are:

Lavender

Roman Chamomile

Peace & Calming® (a blend from Young Living)

These essential oils can be used to support your animal with; fear of rain and thunderstorms, separation anxiety, hyperactivity, trauma/abuse, depression, Illness, trips to the vet’s office, grief/loss of another family pet and any other situation that causes great stress for your animal, such as garbage trucks!

When you apply essential oils to animals, always remember less is more as animals are very sensitive to essential oils.

Also, with animals, it’s best to dilute essential oils with a carrier oil such as organic olive oil.  I recommend one part essential oil to 1 part carrier oil for all animals EXCEPT cats. The dilution ratio for cats is 1 part essential oil to 10 parts carrier oil.

Use caution with cats!

Any of the essential oils listed in this article are safe for dogs and horses, however; cats are a different story! Cats are extremely sensitive to essential oils containing phenols, such as oregano and thyme. Cats can not effectively metabolize phenols because they lack an enzyme in their liver to digest the phenols. Avoid Peace & Calming® essential oil blend on your cat, as it does contain phenols. Lavender and Roman Chamomile essential oils ARE safe for cats.

How to apply essential oils on dogs, horses and cats:

For calming dogs:

Mix 1 drop Lavender, Roman Chamomile or Peace & Calming® essential oil with 1 drop carrier oil.  Rub this mixture on your dogs pads, ears or comb through their fur.  Apply any time you sense your dog is stressed.

For calming horses:

Mix 1 drop Lavender, Roman Chamomile or Peace & Calming® essential oil with 1 drop carrier oil. Rub this mixture on your horse’s muzzle, ears or cornet bands. Apply any time your horse is stressed.

For calming cats:

Mix 1 drop Lavender or Roman Chamomile essential oil with 10 drops carrier oil. Rub this mixture on your cat’s pads, ears or comb through their fur. Apply any time your cat is stressed.

By the way, the essential oils in this article are also good for easing your anxieties, too!  Dilution is not required on humans.  Just apply a drop or two on your wrists, shoulders or behind your ears.

And the next time you’re opening up a bottle of lavender essential oil, share some with your animal friends!  They’ll thank you!

© 2008 Christa McCourt

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Hyperacidity Cure – Effective and Permanent Natural Treatment

Acid dyspepsia or hyperacidity is presence of excess acid in the stomach, it needs to be cured effectively and permanently because if it stays for longer period can cause serious damage to the health. According to medical experts acid and alkali are present in the human body and are part of the body, however healthy body is an alkaline body, which means that alkali shall be present in the larger part than the acid. The most serious unhealthy conditions are acidic conditions. All the foods which a human being eats either leaves an acidic ash or alkaline ash which forms the nature of the body.

Acid is important for digesting the food effectively, sometimes due to different reasons gastric glands situated in the stomach secrete more than required acid which creates condition of hyperacidity in the body. There are many factors which work as triggers for gastric glands to secrete more than required acid in the stomach. Lifestyle related issues, eating habits, foods, sleeping pattern and environment, all play an important role in affecting the secretion of acid in the stomach. Certain types of food are known to promote excess acid secretion and some drinks like tea, coffee, habit of smoking and alcohol also promote excessive acid secretion.

To get an effective and permanent treatment of the problem one must consider all the possibilities which can initiate the problem to identify the root cause. There are many remedies which can provide immediate relief from the problem but without treating the root cause of the problem the treatment will not be permanent in nature. Some commonly associated problems which may initiate hyperacidity are constipation, flatulence, indigestion, malfunctioning of liver and stress. Hyperacidity in a person having any of these problems subsides with the treatment of the problem itself.

Consuming buttermilk after meals is an excellent remedy for hyperacidity and if taken regularly can provide effective and permanent treatment. Eating jaggery or a piece of clove after meal also helps in treating the problem. Lemon may be acidic in nature but contains digestive enzymes and good acid, consuming sweet lemon juice before meals helps in digesting the food and nullifying the acid in the stomach.

Increased intake of fruits like banana, melon, pineapple, apple and guava are very useful in treating the problem of hyperacidity. Consumption of water shall be paid importance not only to avoid the excess secretion of acid but also for good overall health, an adult shall consume 8-10 glasses of water everyday. Avoiding spicy food and fried food is a good practice to prevent hyperacidity.

Ginger is an excellent remedy for all sorts of stomach related issues; it has medicinal properties as well as acts as a good digestive aid. Preparing traditional tea mixed with ginger can also work as a good remedy for hyperacidity. Consuming ginger juice with honey after meals is a sure remedy for curing excess acid secretion and good digestion. Apart from remedies healthy habits are equally important for treating the problem effectively and permanently. Do not lie down immediately after the meals, take a mild walk after meals, most of the time people eat contradictory foods like milk after meat or lemon in the diet and milk later, such habits surely promote excessive acid during digestion to cause hyperacidity.

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5 Benefits of an In-Home Massage Vs A Day Spa

In home massages have lots of benefits over traveling to a day spa or massage center. Here are just a few benefits of receiving spa therapies in the comfort of your home.

No driving afterwords

When you receive an in home massage, you don’t have to worry about driving home or getting stuck in traffic. You have to be alert to drive, and alertness can cut short the relaxation benefits of your massage.

Pro-long the relaxation benefits

An in home massage enables you to really prolong your relaxation. You can schedule the appointment right before retiring for the evening. Or you can plan a warm bath or other relaxation ritual before and after your massage.

Experience deeper relaxation

Relaxation requires focusing your attention within and withdrawing it from your five senses and the external world. When you travel to another location to receive massage, your senses are usually on high alert because of the sensory input of the new space.

When you’re at home, you’re so accustomed to the space, that you’re better able to relax more quickly. This helps you move deeper into relaxation during the session. So if you’re receiving a massage for stress relief, then in-home massages can deliver more stress relief in one session

Receive a full hour, not 50 minutes

Did you know that when you go to a spa to receive massage, you only receive 50 minutes? Spas do this to fit more appointments into the day. Many times when you get an in home massage, you’ll receive an hour or a little longer because the therapist is not is as much of a rush since they usually schedule plenty of time in between clients to allot for travel time.

You’re not just a number

At spas, massage therapist usually have about 5-10 minutes in between clients to change the sheets and set the room up for the next client. Talk about stressed out. They also do anywhere between 5 to 7 massages a day. So naturally, the quality decreases.

When a massage therapist comes to your home to do massage, they see your home, family pictures, and maybe even family, so they have more insight into you as a person needing their services rather than just a number. This can mean a higher quality massage.

Before booking an in home massage, keep in mind that when you book from an agency, especially one that’s not local, many times they have never even met the massage therapist they send to your house. So there’s no guarantee of professionalism or quality.

The best case would be to search for independent massage therapist who is licensed in your state. Google is a great tool where you can put in “in home massage” and your city, state to find a massage therapist. Once you find someone you like, just verify their certification before booking an appointment.

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Sedona Method Six Steps – What The Sedona Method Is

Lester Levenson purported that there were Six Steps involved in attaining the goal of the Sedona Method – freedom and impeturbability. By following the guideline of these six steps, the achievement of goals generally using the Sedona Method becomes easier and more effortless because the correct order of the steps to the Method are in place.

Step 1: You’ve got to want freedom more than you want the three basic wants.

The three basic wants are what are learned in training on how to use the Method. So they won’t be listed here. But what can be said is that they are the root of all problems. They are the “master programs” that have been installed as pro-survival but are in fact anti-survival. The awareness of this can be understood intellectually (or else the Method could not be taught) however, it’s usefulness comes from it’s application and understanding through experience (“taking it for checking” and proving it out for oneself).

Step 2: Decide that you can release and have the goal

In other words, decide you can let go in this moment and have what you want. You know from releasing that by releasing you can have your goal drop in to your awareness effortlessly – you don’t have to “do” anything – you just need to release and let go in order for it to come in. This is a way to explain the “BUTT” method that Larry Crane teaches. You don’t “do” anything – you release and let it come to you. Seemingly contradictingly, that doesn’t mean you don’t take action – but it means that the action, if you need to take any – flows effortlessly – it comes naturally and intuitively from your knowingness – or you simply just “be”.

Step 3: Let go of the wants that underlie your feelings

Releasing the aforementioned three wants means you are getting rid of the root causes of limitation and problems. You therefore become freer, lighter and happier. You become free enough to “have” without having to “do” and your goal comes in for you. No problem.

Step 4: Release continuously – with others and without others

Make releasing contestant – let go in the morning, in the evening, whatever you’re doing. It can be helpful to set aside time to release so that there is dedicated releasing time and you can focus on the goal and releasing the feelings that have been stopping you from having the goal.

Step 5: When encountering stuckness or resistance, let go of wanting to control or change it so that you naturally let go of it.

By letting go of wanting to change the stuckness that may come about you can cut through that resistance. This is very freeing because the next feeling can come up and you can let go of the underlying want.

Step 6: Each time that you release and let go, you will feel lighter, happier and freer.

These steps are “The Method” that Lester Levenson taught his students. By letting go using the steps, the Method tends to make a lot more sense. Again, it is not about intellectual getting, it’s about putting it in to practice and proving it out for yourself. Kind of like a very pleasant and positive experiment.

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Calcium Carbonate for Treating Anxiety

Calcium Carbonate otherwise known as or Cal Carb, Calcium Carbonate, Oyster Shell, Mother of Pearl or Carbonate of Limeis is the mineral that all sea shells are made of, and is not too different from the calcium in human bones. The homeopathic remedy is made only from Oyster shell with the mother-of-pearl removed. They are then triturated with lactose sugar and what remains after the thorough and very careful preparation is calc carb.

Its chief action is cantered in the vegetative sphere, impaired nutrition being the keynote of its action. It is very often used to treat the symptoms of depression and hypothyroidism.

The profile of the Calc Carb person will be the shy and sensitive type. These people are rather contemplative in nature but have an easily agitated side to them. They will become excitable in the face of cruelty as they have no tolerance for it. They tend to be forgetful in nature and often lack energy, and may even come across as clumsy. They rely on security quite heavily throughout their daily lives.

Calcarea Carbonica is indicated for people who suffer from anxiety and phobias. The following symptom are often treated with the remedy fear of failure, restlessness, anxiety, night sweats, obsessive or compulsive behaviour or related feelings and emotions, acute or chronic disturbances in sleep, forgetfulness, confusion, low-spirit.They tend to be worry warts and need constant reassurance and often drive their close friends and family to distraction by talking too much about their problems and concerns.

When ill they can become extremely lethargic and tend to self pity. The smallest exertion can leave them weak often close to collapse. They cannot stand the cold but if they overheat just a little it enervates them to the point that they must rest.

Calcarea Carbonica can be taken whenever there is a lack of Calcium in the body and one of the chief indications is Discharges that smell sour.

Apart from emotional symptoms this homeopathic remedy is often used to treat a variety of other problems including.

  • Stomach acidity
  • Menopause – helpful to a woman with heavy flooding, night sweats and flushing (despite a general chilliness), as well as weight gain during menopause.Bronchitis – especially after a cold. The cough can be troublesome and tickling, worse from lying down or stooping forward, worse from getting cold, and worse at night.
  • Pituitary and thyroid dysfunction
  • Constipation – often feel more stable when constipated, and experience discomfort and fatigue when the bowels have moved
  • Eczema – suited to people who are chilly with clammy hands and feet, and tend to develop eczema and cracking skin that is worse in the wintertime.
  • ear infections that result in discharge that is sour in smell
  • Tonsillitis
  • Eye infections
  • Malnutrition
  • Neuralgias
  • Anaemia
  • Gallstones – the abdomen may feel swollen on the right and be very sensitive to pressure, with cutting pains that extend to the chest and are worse from stooping
  • Backache – useful for low back pain and muscle weakness, especially in a person who is chilly, flabby or overweight, and easily tired by exertion
  • Joint or bone pain
  • Fractures that are slow-healing
  • Some digestive problems
  • Slow bone or teeth development.
  • During periods of physical exertion
  • Mouth ulcers – when infants and small children have recurring canker sores
  • Thrush – this remedy is indicated, burning and itching feelings may occur both before and after the menstrual period. Discharge from vaginitis is milky and acrid or thick and yellow.
  • Acne -with frequent pimples and skin eruptions is chilly with clammy hands and feet, easily tired by exertion, and flabby or overweight
  • Varicose veins – veins that hurt while the person is standing or walking may respond to this remedy.

Factors/Conditions that make the symptoms worse

  • Cold
  • Damp
  • Exertion
  • Climbing stairs or hills
  • Before menstruating

Factors/Conditions that improve symptoms include

  • Warmth
  • Rest
  • Dry Weather
  • Mid day

Calcarea Carbonica is sometimes used in combination with other homeopathic remedies or in herbal tinctures to produce the desired effect.

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Double Vision Causes – Natural Eye Exercise Remedies for Double Vision

Good eyesight helps make life a little easier for you so that you can drive, read and study with far less difficulty, stress and strain. There is a vision disorder called Diplopia, commonly known as Double Vision that hinders the ability of the eyes to function normally. Fortunately, a series of specific vision exercises can alleviate the symptoms related to this vision condition.

What is Double Vision? According to Medical News Today, a respected authority on vision care in America, if you are seeing Double Vision, a single image appears to you as 2 images simultaneously.

What causes Diplopia? Allaboutvision.com identifies a series of different causes of this vision imbalance. One of the primary causes is Binocular Double Vision. In such a case, the patient’s eyes are misaligned. As a result, there is an imbalance that causes the eyes to point at different angles at varying degrees. The brain perceives images that are not identical enough in order to form a single image. Hence, two images are created; causing double vision. Damage to the third cranial nerve that is responsible for eye movement causes the affected eye to move outwards when the healthy eye looks forward causing this visual abnormality. The following conditions are also contributing factors to double vision: a thyroid disease, diabetes, a stroke, an injury, astigmatism and dry eye syndrome.

A natural alternative remedy for this vision disorder are eye exercises. Before beginning any kind of eye exercise program consult your physician. Eye exercises improve this vision problem in cases whereby an individual suffers from what is known as convergence insufficiency. According to the Mayo clinic, convergence insufficiency means: “your eyes don’t turn inward properly when you are focusing on a nearby object. When you read or look at a close object, your eyes should converge- turn inward together to focus so that you see a single image” (Mayoclinic. com, 2012).

Here are some eye exercises for Double Vision:

Swinging: This technique is helpful in cases whereby there is damage to the third cranial nerve that is responsible for controlling eye movement and because of this visual malfunction, the eye that is affected tends to move outward while the healthy eye looks forward creating double images. In order to perform swinging stand up and select an object in the distance and focus on it. Then, gently sway your body from side to side while you maintain your focus on the distant object to the best of your ability. You may blink while you perform this exercise. Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions.

Pencil Push ups: According to a study by the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, patients suffering from convergence insufficiency who were prescribed this particular eye technique saw a significant reduction in their symptoms. For this exercise, you will need a pencil. Sit in a comfortable chair while you hold a pencil in front of your face at a distance where you can clearly see the letters on the side of the pencil. Gradually move the pencil to the point where it is about six inches close to your nose. The objective of this vision exercise is to maintain your focus on one particular letter of the pencil as you move it toward your nose. In the event that the letter appears as a double image move the pencil farther away from you. Perform this exercise for 10 minutes as you continue to move the pencil back and forth in front of your face.

Eye rolling: roll your eyes in a clockwise direction and then in a counter-clockwise direction. Make sure that the rotations are slow, controlled and try to avoid any jerky movements. Smooth rotations can be achieved through regular practice. Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions each.

Double Vision is a disorder that is caused by an imbalance in the position of the eyes that causes the brain to transmit double images rather than single images. It is also triggered by a variety of other factors. For example, vision disorders and health conditions such as Diabetes, stroke, injuries, Binocular Double Vision, astigmatism, and dry eye syndrome. While the symptoms of Double Vision may seem distressing, specific eye exercise techniques practiced regularly, are an effective remedy for the problem.

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Meditation – Learn to Meditate Constantly

There is a huge misconception amongst Americans concerning meditation. It is basic and paramount. Most Americans perceive meditation as something that you engage in periodically – say once a day. The truth is that meditation is a constant activity; it is something that you never stop doing.

While it is certainly beneficial to find a quiet spot during a quiet time each day to sit down and devote your attention to your breathing, a mantra or some other type of meditative technique – you have to learn to do it at all times. In order for this to happen, you have to understand what meditation truly is.

In a nutshell, meditation is the control of your breathing, thoughts, speech and actions simultaneously at every given moment of your life. You do not meditate for 15 minutes and then cease to meditate. You do not engage in controlled, appropriate thinking for a small period of time and then allow your thoughts to run rampant again. While that is better than nothing, it is not good enough.

You have to learn to “check yourself”. Of course, you can’t do it all in one day. Meditation is a lifelong process. You start out slowly. Ask yourself: Am I behaving in the manner that I wish to? Am I representing myself appropriately? Do I display the actions, speech and thoughts that I would wish upon myself? Am I an example for my fellow human beings to follow?

One of the underlying philosophical foundations of wisdom is to realize that the answer to all of those questions is always: No. We will not be perfect. We will continue to make mistakes. We will continue to find ourselves in states that lack awareness. We will continue to let ourselves down time and time again. Meditation only combats these truths. Meditation is a vehicle that we can utilize in order to minimize our failures.

When we meditate, we give our attention primarily to our breath. We give our attention further to our thoughts, words and actions. The goal of meditation is to progressively check ourselves more and more throughout every given day. The goal of meditation is to become aware of how we are and what we’re doing at every given moment in time.

Go ahead, sit down and meditate for 15 minutes or so. There’s nothing wrong with it. When you rise from your meditation session, try to let it live on. Try to never let it end! Attempt to develop the habit of checking yourself in a nonstop fashion. As the days pass, you’ll find that your skills increase. Your mind will naturally want to incorporate these positive changes.

Embrace the power of constant meditation!

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Are You Suffering From Confinement Phobia? – Tips to Reduce Your Anxiety!

Answer true or false:

o I get anxious in most situations where I have to stop and wait, for example, stoplights, standing in line at the grocery store.

o I avoid or am afraid of traveling on public transportation, trains, buses, commercial jets.

o It´s uncomfortable for me to be in a closed-in place or in a crowd of people.

o I often feel trapped by something in my life situation, such as my job, marriage, family responsibilities, health, or debt.

o It´s difficult for me to make a long-term commitment to someone or something.

The fear of confinement runs through a number of different phobias including: fear of flying, fear of elevators, fear of crowded public places, fear of small enclosed places (claustrophobia), and fear of being “stuck” anywhere in traffic, bridges, tunnels, or riding on public transportation. Of all of the types of fear, I believe that fear of confinement most frequently disguises an underlying fear of something else, what some psychologists would call a “displaced” fear.

Growing up in a dysfunctional family situation; for example, if your parents were physically or sexually abusive, or perhaps alcoholic, can instill a fear of being “unable to escape or get away.” A child has no choice but to endure such mistreatment: it´s easy to understand how a fear of being trapped might develop under such circumstances.

If the fear of confinement has its origin in childhood trauma, including birth trauma, where you literally were confined or trapped, you may benefit from seeking the assistance of a therapist skilled in treating post-traumatic stress difficulties.

It may be necessary to recall the incident, fully express the feelings you had at the time, and then make a new decision, a reinterpretation, of the meaning of the incident so that you can let it go and be free to go on with your life. Techniques such as hypnotherapy and eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing, EMDR, may help in this process.

Fears of confinement are more frequently related to present circumstances than past. The fear may serve as a metaphor for some way in which you feel confined or trapped in your present life, whether in your job, your relationship with your partner, your economic constraints, your health limitations, or even your daily schedule.

By addressing and freeing up the problem in your life, you suddenly find you can drive at rush hour or stand in line at the grocery store more easily. This is not to deny the importance of exposure therapy in overcoming situational phobias. Yet it may be necessary both to do exposure and address issues of interpersonal or existential confinement in your current life to ensure long-term recovery.

If you happen to be dealing with a phobia where you have a problem with feeling trapped, you might ask yourself whether there is any broader sense in which you feel trapped by the circumstances of your current life.

Finally, the fear of confinement may arise simply from feeling trapped in your own body without the ability to easily move. When you are anxious, your muscles tighten up and your body naturally prepares for “fight or flight.” However, if you´re in a situation where it really is difficult to move, for example; the window seat on an airplane or next in line at a checkout counter, you may suddenly feel very stuck.

There you are, in a sense “locked” within the tightening muscles of your abdomen, chest, shoulders, and neck with no way to actively channel the sympathetic nervous system arousal or adrenaline surging through your bloodstream. If the sensation grows strong enough, you may perceive it as entrapment, not just being stuck, especially if you tell yourself you´re “trapped.”

At this point you may escalate to a full-blown panic reaction with a strong urgency to run. Had you been able to move more easily in the first place, perhaps the perception and fear of entrapment would have never occurred.

In my experience, the most effective way to handle this situation is to go with your body´s need to move, wherever possible. If you´re standing in line at the checkout counter, put your bag down and leave the store for a minute, walk around, and then return. If you´re stuck in traffic on the expressway, pull over to the shoulder if possible, get out and move about. If you´re seated on an airplane, get up and walk to the bathroom and come back, repeating this several times if necessary.

If you have to keep your seat belt fastened and can´t leave your seat, shake your leg, wring a towel, write in your journal, but do something to channel the excess activation in your body. Keep telling yourself, “This restriction will be over in a while and I can get up and move again,” or “There’s nothing dangerous I’ll be able to move about soon,” or “I may be restricted”, but ‘trapped’ is a false perception.” The better you become at perceiving the situation for what it is, restriction and not entrapment, the less anxiety you are likely to experience.

If fear of confinement is a problem, you need to address the underlying issue. Is your fear left over from a previous trauma? Is it a metaphor for some current restrictive situation in your life? Or is it simply your way of perceiving situations where your mobility is limited? Perhaps two or three of these possibilities are simultaneously true for you. When you understand the source of your fear, you can overcome it.

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