Friday, September 11, 2009

Getting back to all things psychological

I'm haven't posted anything on this blog because I have decided to put my political ramblings on a different blog- and keep this blog more focused on issues relating directly to mental health.

Also, I am now on a website which focuses on relationship issues.

However, I am planning to keep this blog going as I want to maintain my own focus on helping people be more mindful.

In that vein let me just say that I know this is a very stressful time for a lot of people. The economic condition is concerning, school is back in session, healthcare issues are being hotly debated, etc. There is a lot of agitation in the air. So now is a great time to practice some of those cognitive therapy skills of reframing. For whatever reason, brains seems to dwell more easily on negative things and it takes a conscious effort to redirect your mental energy toward things that are good. Your first assessment of a situation is going to be an emotional response-the fight, flight or freeze(that is a new stress response they have recently added)and it takes waiting a few seconds to run things through your prefrontal cortex to come up with a more reasoned response. So tell your amygdala to hold on while you allow your executive functions to do their thing and I guarantee that your stress level will recede at least a little if not a lot.

We are on top of the food chain for a reason-we are designed to be the best thinkers. Sometimes we forget to use this great gift of analysis. Reading, writing and pondering are all activities that can help strengthen and enhance your cognitive abilities. You make your mind, so give it the time and attention it needs. Hopefully, we exercise all parts of us-our bodies, our minds and our spirits-that is a recipe that leads to the best mental health I have ever witnessed.