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The experience of pain is like a complex symphony; every pain experience is unique and each person's brain will play a different "pain song" when it processes danger messages. After the pain signals have traveled to the different areas of the brain, the brain automatically decides how best to interpret these signals. In our example of pricking a finger with something sharp, the brain will consider the following: I used to get angry at myself for not being tougher, but now I can see why I get so emotional when the pain is really bad--the pain signals go right to the parts of the brain that create feelings! One morning I awoke to the familiar cavalcade of regret and worry that made up my panic attacks, but then I reminded myself of the housework that I had done the previous night. The memory of my productivity pierced the fog and haze of that morning's attack like the beacon from a lighthouse. My panic attack then began fading, all because I put the memory of my previous day's productivity to practical use. Sometimes, it's more important to get just one task done, if only to disprove your irrational belief that you're an incapable person. So get something done, because that first completed task will be like a small snowball that when rolled around and around, eventually creates a tremendous snowball. In the same exact way, after you've handled a bunch of tasks, you'll soon feel pride in your newfound abilities! Going through a panic attack is like being in a building where a loud fire alarm has gone off, but after the firefighters show up, they discover the alarm is faulty. Unfortunately, they can't shut it off, so it continues to loudly shriek--despite the fact that there's no real danger. If you're approaching a task that you truly dislike, remind yourself that although you may not feel comfortable being in that particular situation, that you're O.K., and aren't in real danger. Continue telling yourself that and write it down if you need to. list, and then act upon it. Before going to sleep, set your alarm for a reasonable amount of time, and when it goes off, get out of bed, and then make your bed. list, put make my bed immediately after getting up, as your first task to complete tomorrow--then do it, and draw a line through that first task of the day. You'll feel better for it. Not sure? Don't just take my word for it. Try it yourself and see what happens.

If the brain decides that feeling pain is the best way to protect you and change your behaviour, then you will have a conscious experience of the pain. For example, if you pricked your finger with a sharp needle while sewing, having a conscious experience of pain would likely get you to stop, change your grip and proceed more carefully. In this way, the brain would have succeeded at keeping you safe and preventing further injury. Once you're out of bed, stay out of it. If you are strong enough and only if you can safely do this, pull your mattress and box spring out of your bed's frame, and stand them against a wall. Then do the same with the frame. list and immediately strike a line through them. Warning: This may cause you to feel invigorated. If you're suffering from a difficult bout of depression, know that this is an awesome time to clean. Dust a little, mop a little, organize some files, or alphabetize your collection of 12-inch disco re-mixes. Whatever it is, just keep on the move. Remember: Move a muscle, change a thought! list. As long as it's approved by your doctor, fight depression the natural way, with exercise. It doesn't need to be much, as long as you get your heart pumping blood to your brain. Push-ups are great at helping you fight depression because you can feel both your weight and gravity against your muscles. You only need to do a few of them and you will feel better! If you're really feeling down, don't be afraid to admit to someone else that you need help. Consult a psychiatrist or a trained therapist. Write down the telephone number of a crisis hotline, such as The Samaritans, and don't feel ashamed to call them.

They're there to listen to you. Sometimes I need to re-start my day. We all have days when we seem to have gotten up on the wrong side of bed, days when nothing seems to go right. Luckily for us, we can always re-start our day whenever we want to. Let's talk about what happened to me for a few moments. For many years, I overlooked little telltale health signals that were telling me to slow down or stop. I just kept going day after day. I worked through pain. I worked through injuries. I ignored doctors' advice. On some level, I thought I was a superwoman. Why not? I saw myself as young, healthy, and full of energy. I was successful and disciplined in my work. Others perceived me as highly competent and efficient. I was juggling many things and was sure I was doing it well. I believed it, and so did the people around me. Then I ended up as a patient in an orthopedic surgeon's practice due to excruciating back pain. On one of my visits, he gave me a referral to see a clinical psychologist. I immediately resisted his recommendation.

In fact, I was quite put out: What does my chronic back pain have to do with seeing a psychologist? I'm coming to you to make me better. That's your job. The doctor disagreed strongly: Ms. Brent, this is part of your self-care. Your body has been traumatized, and you might never be the same again. In fact, your condition may get worse as you age. I always recommend my patients speak with a clinical psychologist when they are facing life-changing health conditions. Even though my doctor told me that I could end up in a wheelchair due to the damage I had done to my back and that my life would be changed forever, I resisted the idea of seeing a psychologist for weeks. Then I decided to comply with his recommendation. I can't exactly tell you why. Maybe it was to prove him wrong. Maybe it was because I was feeling desperate and would try anything. Maybe it was divine intervention. I don't really know why, but I can tell you that I immediately felt comfortable during my first appointment with the clinical psychologist. I was in the right place. Challenging negative thoughts can help you to see whether your view is reasonable and helpful. What you don't want to do, though, is to start arguing with yourself. Simply telling yourself you're wrong' to think the way you do won't work. <a href='http://www.autosite.ua/redirect.html?url=http://articlebank.co.uk'>You</a> won't win! <br /><br /><a href='http://www.autosite.ua/redirect.html?url=http://articleleads.co.uk'>Your</a> negative thoughts will probably win because they are so strongly established. <a href='http://www.autosite.ua/redirect.html?url=http://articlelistings.co.uk'>Instead,</a> start by asking yourselfAre these thoughts helping me?' Think about how your thinking is helping your situation. For example, if, a few weeks before a driving test you think I'm going to fail my driving test. <a href='http://www.autosite.ua/redirect.html?url=http://latestthoughts.co.uk'>I'll</a> be hopeless', the answer to the questionIs this thought helping me?' could actually be Yes, it is helping me. <a href='http://www.autosite.ua/redirect.html?url=http://meltingdish.co.uk'>It's</a> making me realize I need to practise more.' But if an hour before the test, you thinkI'm going to fail my driving test. I'll be hopeless', then the thought is probably not helping you. Instead, it's overwhelming you and undermining your ability to think straight! It would be more helpful just to replace your negative thoughts with positive ones, such as, I've been taught well. <a href='http://www.autosite.ua/redirect.html?url=http://veganonline.uk'>I'll</a> do the best I can.' Let's take another example: imagine that yesterday you stayed at work an hour late to complete a report for your manager. <a href='http://www.autosite.ua/redirect.html?url=http://comp.org.uk'>This</a> morning she tells you she doesn't need it for the meeting any more. <a href='http://www.leggmason.co.jp/redirect.html?to=http://articlebank.co.uk'>You</a> think:She must know how much time I spent writing this up! I've done all that for nothing. Again. What a complete waste of time. She's obviously decided to wind me up.' Ask yourself, `In what way are these thoughts helpful?' I keep my appointment book with me everywhere I go, even if it doesn't seem to make sense. I'd feel naked without it. Ok, I don't sleep with it or take it into the shower, but everywhere else. Have I made it clear that the appointment book is vitally important and that you not only need to have it, you need to use it, and it needs to become a habit? And my to-do list. Very necessary to have it, but there are tricks I need to do to make it work.