Trauma – From anger to empowerment

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WHAT IS TRAUMA?

We hear the term used all the time. “He or she was traumatized”. Often the impression we get is that trauma makes people go a little crazy and maybe do crazy things. Both of these can be true. To define trauma what I will do is first identify the types of experiences which typically can cause trauma and then identify some of the emotional effects seen with trauma.

In general, the type of experience that will create trauma is one that invokes fear combined with a loss of control. It can be as simple as that. More

Oh for crying out loud, just let it go

Have you ever been in traffic and all of a sudden you hear someone just lay on their horn without letting go for a long time? It is loud and obnoxious to hear something like that and clearly whoever is doing it is in an extremely heightened state of frustration and anger. Or maybe that person laying on the horn is you. Anyway, you may hear yourself saying to that person, “Oh, come on, just let it go”. Yes, it’s true that someone getting themselves that angry does have something to let go of. If we are getting ourselves that upset at everyday inconveniences than we better start letting go for the sake of our health. But what is it that we need to let go of exactly? See below for some of the main issues and you can decide which might pertain to you. We can all benefit from letting go of something. Don’t forget that letting go of these issues will result in us letting go of anger and will enable us to lead a much more peaceful life. More

With liberty and justice for all

One of the challenges for parents in the upbringing of their children is to teach them empathy for others. This is a higher level skill and for those of us that acquire it out lives and relationships are generally more fulfilling. One of the more effective ways that parents teach this skill is by teaching a child to take care of and be respectful of a family pet. They teach them to first recognize and identify that an animal has feelings and what these feelings may be and then to consider and honor these feelings without having to control the animal. This willingness to be understanding, non abusive and non controlling hopefully will transcend to human interactions. But I believe empathy for humans should not necessarily be the end goal. What happens is our empathy often does not seem to transfer to certain other animals as it does to our pet and the importance of our empathy for animals seems to take a back seat to the importance of our empathy for humans. Let me suggest that we should work towards empathy for all animals and to work towards the belief that empathy for animals is valuable within itself and not just because it helps us learn empathy for humans.

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Family Violence – An Intergenerational Problem

You would think that anyone who grew up in a home with family violence, the last thing they would want in their adult relationships would be more family violence. Unfortunately, the truth is that if you grew up with family violence you are much more likely to be either a victim or perpetrator of domestic violence in your adult life. And of those that have domestic violence in their adult life, most have domestic violence or some form of abuse in their past. More

How to say no, mean it and reduce our anger

How often do you want to say “no” to someone but you hear yourself saying”yes” instead, and you just feel so angry at yourself afterward. For some of us the problem is more dire than others. Some of us may only have a problem saying “no” to a significant person in our life while others may even have trouble saying “no” to a salesman on the telephone. Most people report feeling trapped and powerless in their own lives because they can’t say “no” and I can fully understand that. The good news is that this is a learned behavior and therefore, with practice, can be unlearned. More

Mourn the loss, resolve the pain

I have mentioned this before and will mention it many times in the future. You can only resolve your anger through the pain of the primary emotion. More

Wash away anger and anxiety with meditation

I know of no other method that is as effective as meditation to reduce stress and anxiety. You just have to be willing to make the time commitment, which is 20 minutes twice a day. There are many forms of meditation but they all have certain things in common. They all teach us how to relax. They all break the day to day buildup of stress and they all teach us how to be in the here and now. More detail below. More

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