Category Archives: Mental Health

Valentine’s Day is Every Day

Not all counseling visits are to work on problems, sometimes they are just to make a good relationship better?  What a great way to celebrate Valentines Day than with a counseling for your couple to celebrate  and  reconnect in your commitment.  Why is it that we shower our loved one with unconditional love, sweet words, acts of affection and gifts only once a year?   Make every day Valentines Day!!

 

 

Use it or Lose it, your best self as you age.

Getting older sometimes sneaks up on you and suddenly there you are and in part one needs to be very thankful for making it  as  far as you are in your journey in life, but some how doing what we used to do gets that much harder for some over fifty.

Some things one can do to enhance your bet self both mentally and physically is to keep your energy flowing and moving.  Keeping moving in one way or another can reduce the process of what we know or call  “aging” in both body and mind.

Increasing your movement increases your stamina and confidence in your ability to take care of yourself thus increasing your freedom.  Improving your balance through repetitive motions that many sport, dance, or yoga offer helps with right left /brain hemisphere balancing to reduce stress and it will also help you be more flexible as well as keeping your metabolism active.

The idea is movement helps keep your body’s internal functioning moving better and keeps your mind and memory sharper.  Movement can help prevent falls, accidents, improve digestion, improve sleep, it reduces the chance of cancer and high blood pressure and may prevent stiffness and many aches and pains that seem to sneak up on us.  Over all the idea of keeping your body in the movement to  feel better is not new,  nor is it  ever too late to start moving.  .

A good reminder to motivate your self can be to remember one of Newton’s law of physics,….

“A  body in motion stays in motion.”

Having trouble asking for help?

Wow that was an unexpected surprise!

So are you having trouble asking for help? Yup, there you are, and yes every is thing is just fine and thank you for asking.  You have it completely under control and in fact its not going to change any time soon, with out you reaching out and asking for help.

So how long to wait is the question? Days, months, years? Many people wait in anger or in silence till its sometimes too late, they end up loosing their job, relationship, opportunities, or their health.  Sometimes they wait till later in life to make changes when they could have made many years earlier.

So why is it so hard saying, I need help or I need support?   Or life threw me a real curve ball and I am having trouble adjusting?  Getting a new perspective or adding a few new tools or maybe just being listened to and sharing the story and understand it a different or new way?

That last bump in the road was a tough one and there you are, and it’s ok to ask for help to get back on your feet by going to counseling.  It is not a sign of weakness, but of strength to know when to ask for help.

Road is long ….you are moving right along, back on your feet now, carry on!!

 

Attachment styles and your relationship?

Attachment styles and your relationships?  What is your attachment style in your relationship?

John Bowlby (British) and later Mary Ainsworth (Canadian ) pioneering research in developmental psychology, known for their work in early work in attachment.  Ainsworth research in attachment styles explored how a mother’s (ie. caretakers) and infants bond to each other.   She described  3 types of attachment styles in infants. Secure, Ambivalent and Avoidant attachment style.  Suggesting that these early attachment styles are learned from our primary care giver)s) in our early years.  We internalize them as road maps  to then later repeat as adults in our adult relationships.

Secure attachment style is of course the most stable style, yet only about 50% of population is able to create a secure attachment style.   This can create less than stable relationships and over all difficulty in long term relationships or marriage, if we do not fall into a secure attachment style. Secure attachment It is  stable, honest, intimate and manifests as a willing commitment to the other and to the relationship in the long run, even in hard times.

New research shows that attachment styles are both environmental meaning they can be learned by modeling and some speculate, some part might be inherent to us when we are born, as well. Also attachment styles  are now considered more fluid than before, where they were considered unable to change.  The new research shows that  if  some one can model a secure attachment style in a relationship or marriage to an ambivalent or avoidant  that is anxiously attached,  this person might in four or more years have a chance at being  able to change their style to a more secure attachment style.  How ever this is not a given and there are many other factors.

Ambivalent or Anxious attachments manifest with an inherent need to get a lot of affection and attentions, sometimes it never seems to be sufficient.  They are often insecure about  themselves and need a lot of affirmation form others.  They have a fear that their partner will some how  or abandon them, because they are not worthy  or they have a fear that their partner will cheat on them.  Worry seems to over ride trust, and they seem to pursue the other more.  They are usually uncomfortable alone and seek to be in a relationship at all costs even if it is not a healthy relationship.  Sometimes anxious attachment can manifest as a high need for control, or neediness vacillating with anger if unable to get needs met..  Having said that, all manifestations of control attempts of one partner over the other are not always just anxious attachment issues.

An Avoidantly attached person will feel suffocated with real intimacy or too much closeness and have the need for alot of alone time, a high need for privacy and possibly even stray to have other relationships.  They might find a securely attached person too regular and too boring.  Avoidantly attached individuals, like change and excitement they are not very emotionally vested in a relationship, and will be quick to end and restart another relationship without too much time in between.  Their focus is more on themselves and their work. They will be less interested in sharing intimate feelings/ Avoidant often will often leave their relationships when times get  difficult and they feel stressed.  Avoidant  have difficulty establishing a sense of “we” identity.

Newer research from Mary Main now points to fourth attachment style, the Disorganized Attachment style. This is created when the parent has unresolved abuse, trauma or loss, and disorientates the child growing up.  Parents are frightening or frightened and struggle with emotional regulation, the world is an unsafe place.  Disorganized attachment style is full of mixed messages, creating a very unstable environment for the child and later in adult their relationships. Often manifesting as a difficulty in managing stress and self regulation, poor social skills and trust issues.  The adult them will have difficulty with later parenting or in relationships over all.  People with disorganized attachment styles are less likely to feel they need help or to seek help. These styles can be explored in therapy as to how they impact the couple or the individual.

Once you are able to better make sense of what attachment style you developed as a child and how this map is still guiding your life today,  you will be able to gain insight and learn new skills.  Most people can learn to develop  a secure attachment style with time  and therapy or  a securely attached partner.   This information might be useful to know about yourself and your loved one when dating or when looking for a life partner.

 

ONE BODY TWO BRAINS? YOUR GUT INSTINCT?

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gut-second-brain/

Surprising article in Scientific American Journal that explores the mind body connection. Scientists are now discovering that  people’s “gut instinct”  or “butterflies” are connected with mind and emotions through our body.  This gut instinct or some call it intuition, can process information much faster than our rational mind and it is usually accurate.

This other gut brain “second brain” is composed of many neurons in your intestinal tract and is connected with the brain in your head. The article points out that  it is the seat of your unconscious thought.  It can alert you very quickly to  danger, suspicion, excitement.

People  often say,” I just knew it in my gut”  that is because this second brain contains 100 million neurons,  give or take a few. That is more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system.  The second brain can control gut behavior independently of the brain in our head, and it is very connected with our emotions and with our physical illness or health.

More research is needed in the future but preliminary research shows that maintaining a healthy gut contributes to good mental health and vise versa.  So notice your hunches and your gut feelings and be open to their influence, they can provide valuable information.

Carmen’s Blog

CarmenThank you for stopping by and welcome to my blog. I hope to share useful information and experiences with you here.