Posts tagged "exposure"

cognitivedefusion:

Meditation for panic attacks.

Aka…

EXPOSURE THERAPY.

*High five* Buddhism.

(He describes meditation amidst a panic attack where he “makes friends” with the panic - not avoiding it or telling it to leave - and this results in the panic going away. That is, mindful awareness of the panic with the intention of “befriending” it!)

Great advice on how to have a “nervous breakthrough”. “If you tell panic to get out, panic will become your enemy, and then you won’t be able to get rid of it.”

Lessons from 100 Days of Rejection

At 30, with a home, a wife, and a baby on the way, Jia Jiang quit his job to become an entrepreneur like he’d always wanted to. But after building a prototype, when he made the pitch to funders that he thought was going to end with the money he needed to take his plans to the next level, he got rejected. 

And then he embarked on 100 days of rejection therapy. 

The 100 days of rejection is a great example of how behavioral therapy techniques can be applied in anybody’s life. We all have fears and assumptions that could get in the way of being who we know we are. You don’t have to wait until you practice those fears and assumptions so much that they become a diagnosable mental illness or derail your plans. Check out Jia Jiang’s videos of his rejections (and acceptances!) here: www.youtube.com/user/DukieAjah and follow along with his story on his blog, where you can also recommend things for him to try: www.entresting.com/blog/100-days-of-rejection-therapy/

When it comes to avoiding anxiety triggers, approach them in the same way you would if you had a physical injury: understand what’s causing the pain and stop that, do specific exercises to recover from the injury, and then gradually but consistently reintroduce the trigger, learning to embrace it in a healthy way so you don’t run into the same problems again in the future.

Oh the holidays! They can be a real mental health balancing act. For a lot of people, the holidays are full of compulsive traps to set your recovery back. Here are two things that I keep in mind:
1. Accept.
Just like Daniela mentioned in her post, you’re going to be practicing acceptance with a lot of emotions, people, events, and things that you haven’t been around all year. It’s going to be a great time to experience those—the healthy or unhealthy, the good and the bad—and really experience your feelings, without judging them or controlling them, and instead doing what you know is right for you.
Like Matt mentioned, it’s going to be a fantastic time to dive into the unknown and be open to experiencing things you’ve often been afraid of or reacted to in unhealthy ways. This is a great time to practice accepting the thoughts in your head and not reacting out of fear. Throw yourself into the experience, feel all of the emotions of the season!
And make sure you have a plan…
2. Have a plan.
Prepare for what you know is going to happen—and I’m not referring to all of the paranoid and anxious things you worry about. I’m referring to things that are going to interfere with what you do on a daily basis to maintain and improve your mental health. Have a plan for how you’re going to eat healthy, sleep well, exercise, meditate, communicate effectively, and not engage in your compulsive behaviors. If you’re on a recovery program and doing something like Exposure & Response Prevention, make sure you don’t have to take a holiday from your health during the holidays—talk to your psychologist about homework you can do while your regular schedule is disrupted. 
You know what’s going to happen during the holidays, you know it’s going to be a bit more difficult than usual to do what you know keeps you healthy, so make plans that put your health first. 
And have a healthy, happy couple of weeks!
- Mark

Oh the holidays! They can be a real mental health balancing act. For a lot of people, the holidays are full of compulsive traps to set your recovery back. Here are two things that I keep in mind:

1. Accept.

Just like Daniela mentioned in her post, you’re going to be practicing acceptance with a lot of emotions, people, events, and things that you haven’t been around all year. It’s going to be a great time to experience those—the healthy or unhealthy, the good and the bad—and really experience your feelings, without judging them or controlling them, and instead doing what you know is right for you.

Like Matt mentioned, it’s going to be a fantastic time to dive into the unknown and be open to experiencing things you’ve often been afraid of or reacted to in unhealthy ways. This is a great time to practice accepting the thoughts in your head and not reacting out of fear. Throw yourself into the experience, feel all of the emotions of the season!

And make sure you have a plan…

2. Have a plan.

Prepare for what you know is going to happen—and I’m not referring to all of the paranoid and anxious things you worry about. I’m referring to things that are going to interfere with what you do on a daily basis to maintain and improve your mental health. Have a plan for how you’re going to eat healthy, sleep well, exercise, meditate, communicate effectively, and not engage in your compulsive behaviors. If you’re on a recovery program and doing something like Exposure & Response Prevention, make sure you don’t have to take a holiday from your health during the holidays—talk to your psychologist about homework you can do while your regular schedule is disrupted. 

You know what’s going to happen during the holidays, you know it’s going to be a bit more difficult than usual to do what you know keeps you healthy, so make plans that put your health first. 

And have a healthy, happy couple of weeks!

- Mark

If you find running difficult, the way to make it easier isn’t to avoid it, but to do more of it.  If you avoid it, the next time you try to do it, it’ll be even more difficult. This is true not only of running, but pretty much anything, and it’s especially true when it comes to mental health. 

So if you went for a run, and it was difficult, and you felt bad afterwards, I wouldn’t suggest going to do something to make yourself feel better. There’s nothing wrong with feeling “bad”. Trying to avoid feeling bad is where mental health problems start. Your body is telling you that you need to take better care of it. That’s not a good time to ignore it. Running from bad feelings generally causes more harm than good. If something hasn’t gone well in your life and you’re feeling bad about it, feel that. Embrace that feeling, experience it, recognize what it means. Trying to get rid of it only takes you down to depression and anxiety. Whatever caused that has already happened. You can’t change that. Your brain has already had its bad run. BUT what you can do is help get your brain ready for the future.

We can do so much to be preventative and proactive about mental health, to get our brains ready for the intense exercises we put them through. Over the last couple of years I’ve developed a couple of routines that really help me maintain great mental health and prevent the kinds of mental health disasters/illnesses I experienced in the past. Here are five of them: 

1. Cooking lots of healthy food on the weekends so I have it ready for the week. It saves money and helps me make sure I have easy access to brain fuel.

2. Eating lots of healthy food throughout the day so my blood sugar isn’t on a roller-coaster. When we’re tired, we make bad decisions, we communicate poorly, we have trouble concentrating, all of which can create an environment for mental health problems to thrive in. Eating well helps mitigate those factors and gives you the energy to be awesome.

3. Meditating every day. Meditation is like weight training for your brain. It helps you be more aware of what’s going on around and inside your head, and makes it easier to recognize thoughts and make healthy decisions about what to do with them. Meditation has helped me so much to recover from OCD. It’s produced noticeable changes in how my brain works and I only wish I’d started sooner.

4. Exercising. The benefits of exercise for your brain are well-documented in research studies. It boosts all sorts of wonderful things, from mood, to cognitive ability, to neuroplasticity.

5. Being anxious. There’s nothing wrong with anxiety. It’s avoiding anxiety that causes the problems. Exposing myself to things that make me anxious and learning not react to it in an unhealthy was the type of therapy (ERP) that I did to get over OCD and it’s become a way of life.

- Mark