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With days getting full of commitments and so many small things to do, we have the feeling of not having time to devote ourselves. But are we really sure we did not have it? Can we cut out some time for us? And to do what?

It may vary in detail, but in essence, the daily sequence of most of us is composed of repetitive actions. Our lives, in practice, tend to resemble a mad ride in a wheel of hamsters, and we often suspect that these rhythms are inevitable.

Some things are definitely unavoidable. If you have children, it is inevitable that you have to take care of them and adjust your time to them and to those in the school or sports associations. If you have a job, it is inevitable that you have to go to the workplace and spend your time on certain activities. Unless you live in a hotel or a quick grotto to clean, it is inevitable that you have to deal with your homework. And so on.

However, not everything that is part of our daily life is inevitable. One thing that certainly may be different is the way we approach everything we cannot avoid. Let’s mean: I’m not here to tell you that it’s all about giving up everything and going to live on a mountain hut (boredom!), But it’s possible to put aside all that’s more than we are given .

And I’m not just talking about delegating to others some of your commitments (which is, however, good and just for you at least), but rather starting to re-evaluate the way we usually do what we do: as it goes away from our lives and of our own happiness.

Who hesitates is lost

It comes to us that if what we do is a matter of life or death, even the smallest of the commitments assumes gargantuan proportions. And if we feel that we cannot stop or rest or be happy and satisfied if, before completing everything or arriving where we wanted to arrive, it is clear that we could rarely give us the luxury of appreciating ourselves and the moment we are staying.

We are always under pressure, overwhelmed by a huge pile of things-to-do and expectations about things-to-do. Moreover, more often than we realize, and just because of this heavy burden, we end up saying that we cannot even do the “how-to-do” the many things-to-do. If we are always agitated, worried, distracted, tired, how can we be really effective and efficient?

Stop? Why ever? No, this is too important! But if it’s too important, do not you just want to stop for a moment, refocus, and think about how to do it, rather than go ahead like robots?

If we do not stop, we also run a risk we are rarely aware of, namely to completely neglect our needs and desires but also not to be present at others, to whom we love and who care more about us. In the meantime we keep repeating that much of what we do we do it only for ourselves or for them.

Free time

To put it all, we have a great fear of stopping. The test is the tendency to fill every single moment with something to do. Apparently for the fear of getting bored, but in my opinion is the fear of silence and quiet. In the scary void where our thoughts are echoed.

Because we just drop the guard, here they come back to infest us all our worries, our anxieties, our fears, our grievances about who we are, what we do, where we are going. No: Better turn on TV, play Candy Crush, lazy slide through Facebook feed, open the fridge, and ingest. Everything, in order to fill the time.

So, let’s move from things-to-do-to-the-boredom, in an incessant sequel of actions to fill our lives. And then we say we do not have time.

And in all this, where are we? What do we really do for us? And the others? Are we for the others (outside of Facebook, I mean)?

“Let’s go” the time, but we do not live it.

Take time

Beyond the things-to-do, what we consider unavoidable, what does it take to occupy the short time available to us to do something else-to-do? What impulses push us to fill our lives so that we occasionally perceive it as “too full”, without a moment to refocus, and maybe even suffer from it? What brings us to fill our hourglass, and then ask where did the whole sand go?

When we are in the things-to-do, why not stop for a moment and see what we are doing, what are we trying, what are we thinking? Maybe, maybe so we might be able to take a slightly different perspective, be able to lighten the load that we add to things-to-do. See the mental traffic while we are in road traffic, and find out the effect it does. At work you have to go the same, you will not be able to avoid traffic, but who knows you do not find something different.

When we are about to do things-against-boredom, why not stop for a moment and find out what drives us to do something? What do you feel, what do you feel? Where are you at this moment, among the remorse and grudges of the past or between anxieties and things-to-do of the future? What emotions do you face? Can you stay in touch for a while? What do they say? Can you stay a few more seconds? What effect does it make? What happen? Even so, who knows not to find something different?

A minute

Ask yourself how many questions! I make you another (the last, promised!): Why not try it?

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing or feel the need to do, try to stop, close your eyes (not if you’re driving) and hear what’s going on at that time. Even for a minute, try to get in touch with what’s happening. Breathe, do nothing else, what you have to feel will come by yourself. And do not be afraid of what you will find, at most after that minute there will be no more and you will be able to come back to full immersion in the usual trance if you want.

One minute, and find out what’s happening. Take it as a game. Perhaps, minute by minute, we could figure out how to manage the time in our lives better.

Recognizing and understanding what we feel and how we react to situations is the basis for change. To do this, you must learn to look inside and observe what happens when we are in contact with ourselves or with others. Let’s look at some of the strategies to begin observing your thoughts, the first step to knowing really.

A few days ago, my friend and colleague was telling me how she had met a very interesting person who had made her hear, after so long, the famous “butterflies in her stomach”. He also told me how he had often been fantasizing about a possible future with him, and how, inevitably, these fantasies would always go wrong!

They usually started with beautiful scenes of them walking along the promenade, candlelight dinners, squirrels that roam here and there … and in the end, inevitably, he saw himself sad and alone, again single after happy years with him, he had left because he had become ugly and boring now.

Of good psychologists, of course, we were confronted with the reason for these dramatic finals, following images of love and happiness (but of which they are psychologists), and the answer came immediately: they are the reflection of his fears. In particular, the fear of being abandoned because it is not worthy of love.

My friend was already well aware of this underground fear, in fact once it emerged, there was nothing wrong with it. She knows very well that this is a weak point and she is able to see the mental phenomena that come from her fear and to counteract them by not engaging emotionally from these fantasies. Another strangeness from psychologists!

Thoughts out of place

In literature, there are several ways to define those thoughts that have a particularly disturbing effect on the emotions we experience and our behaviors: irrational thoughts, dysfunctional thoughts, inadequate thoughts. In this case, I came spontaneously to call them thoughts out of place effects at that time really had nothing to do with the fantasies of my friend’s love and happiness.

And even the reaction they immediately triggered was out of place: a shadow of sadness on a joyful and luminous painting. Fortunately, being aware of the process, my colleague did not let “hook up” from these thoughts and sadness was just a passing cloud.

Fortunately, she is well aware of these phenomena and how to handle them. But most people are not and often gets involved. And I’m not just talking about those out of place thoughts that seem completely out of the fantasies of the moment, the same argument applies to all those events of the mind that in one way or another have an effect on our mood and our way to behave. Whether they are thoughts, images, fantasies, internal or external stimuli.

The ape monkey

Our mind snoozes here and there, is a ceaseless stream of words, images, sensations that never stops. In some traditions, the “monkey mind” is defined precisely because it is unstoppable from one branch to another, an image that in my opinion makes the idea very good. Therefore, it is difficult to be able to “stop” our inner monkey and look good in the face.

Often we do not even know about this waking-up of our minds, because most of the time, we are too busy to “live” our lives and we can hardly ever stop for a moment to observe what’s happening inside us. To move from the role of actor to spectator.

That is, it is, therefore, that we are “undergoing” what our mind proposes, without even being aware of what the spring was causing some emotion or any other kind of reaction. Without any observation ability, we are at the mercy of what our deeper needs, our habitual ways of doing and seeing reality impose on us automatically. A-critically.

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An emotion represents the response of our body to a given event. Something happens, our brain records it, interprets it, and our body responds with physiological modifications that prepare us for a congruent reaction.

Everything happens in a few milliseconds, it is not possible to break the path already started and prevent the “feeling” of emotion. So let us put the soul in peace: emotions are there and they are felt in all their bullying.

But this does not mean that you cannot do something about it. Taking note of the inevitability of emotions, we have to ask ourselves: is it possible to live the emotions without being overwhelmed by these?

But let’s start from the beginning, from where everything comes in some way: our brain.

Emotions and brain

The sequence described above is of a unique complexity and magnificence, as are all the expressions of our organism, which is a wonderful “machine” and unparalleled in its efficiency and rapidity.

Mechanisms related to the expression of emotions have an ancient origin, so that responsible brain circuits reside in the most primitive brain parts. Always to simplify: the ones that we share with animals. Precisely for this “instinctive”, fast and automatic character, it is by no means easy to control these processes. In fact, to say it all is practically impossible.

But for a long time, human beings have developed new and unique brain areas that go beyond the oldest circuits and allow us to experience emotions in a more complex way by recognizing, labeling and, to some extent, even inhibit emotional reactions.

Ultimately, therefore, we are not completely slaves of our emotions, even though the archaic mechanisms that are at its core escaping from any of our attempts to control. But if we cannot control the emergence of emotions, what can we do to manage them?

Attack and escape

By summing up, the first mechanism that is triggered is an automatic sequence that is outside our range of action: the brain interprets events and prepares the body to react.

Take for example one of the most basic emotions: fear. When we are afraid is because there is something happening (or we think it is going to happen) and it is a threat to our person. The possible answers to our instincts are two: either we attack or flee.

If there is a weeping, clearly angry and threatening mastin in front of us, we will surely be afraid, but before we realize it, we are likely to have gone out of the way (the “attack” does not speak right). Here we see the power of our automatic system of emotional reaction and reaction: we do not need to think about what to do. A little more time to think about the situation and the cunt could easily make us small.

In these cases, managing emotion would not make much sense. But if the dog is not there? That is, if the danger was not real, but only imagined?

Danger in preview

We can say that, for the sake of security, sometimes our brain tends to overestimate the danger. It is, for example, what happens when we experience anxiety. Anxiety, always simplifying, is the result of an exaggeration of the likelihood that there may be a danger, or an event that is against us.

Fear is having a threatening dog in front; anxiety is foretelling the possibility of finding it ahead. And here things get complicated. If we think we are in front of the dreaded Cerberus on the way to go, we will clearly experience anxiety in making that way. How do we react then? Quite simply, let’s avoid that path.

So far nothing bad. We set the mental navigator to take an alternative route and everything will be fine. Maybe we stretch a bit, but at least we’ll be safe. However, it is not always possible to go another way. And what if we were not an animal (that is, something tangible, concrete), but something more abstract, such as the fear of feeling bad? How do you get away from it?

Side effects

Our brain, though bound to some rigid mechanisms, is actually very, very creative. Being a “physical” or “mental” danger will always find ways to avoid it. You can find out and learn, for example, that if you are afraid to feel bad; having a person who can help us when needed can make us feel safer.

Solutions like this though, though genial and helpful in the immediate aftermath, can have important side effects. Often, even worse than the danger initially feared. Those who seek psychological help for anxiety issues often do so because the solutions implemented so far have gone out of control.

Of course, the person is aware that the underlying cause of all is the fear behind certain behaviors, but he would not ask for help if the solution found worked really well. The problem then is that the strategies implemented are no longer functional.

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Bipolar Disorder is part of the Mental Disorders and is characterized by a continuous alternation of periods with Depressive Symptoms and Times with Maniac Symptoms.

Bipolar Disorder is also called Maniac Depressive. It causes serious alterations in mood, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Those who suffer from it swing between emotions of exaltation in some periods and total despair in others.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

Those suffering from bipolar disorder may have both hypomanic, mixed and depressive episodes, and manic episodes. But also manic, depressive and mixed episodes.

Symptomatology is characterized by rapid and sudden change from one stage to the other, where there is an increase or decrease in sleep, isolation or disinhibited search of contact with others, low or excessive loquacity, weeping without reason or hilarity, psychomotor slowdown or troublesome activity research.

During the Maniac Phases, the person may have excessive disinhibition and socially inappropriate behavior.

Feels particularly euphoric, with the feeling of having tremendous personal potential, everything seems possible and feasible, so much so that it often does impulsive actions, even dangerous for itself or for others.

The thoughts are very fast and also the eloquence.

People suffering from Bipolar Disorder alternate between phases of shyness and confidentiality and phases of total exaltation and disinhibition.

Mood swings usually occur suddenly and are of short duration.

The Maniac Phase

During the manic phase, there is excessive excitement and the person may have excessive disinhibition, with socially inappropriate behaviors. The mood is particularly euphoric and there is a tendency to megalomania and omnipotence. Limits are lost and everything seems possible and feasible, so that impulsive actions are often carried out, even dangerous for themselves or for others.

It is paramount the feeling of having enormous personal potentials so much that it can result in the delirium of omnipotence.

On the other hand, the actions taken are not completed and projects are permanently suspended.

It strikes the great energy and the lack of need to eat and sleep.

Behavior also becomes disorganized and each activity is left in half to pass immediately to another without completing anything.

The speed of thoughts is a primary characteristic, as is the speed of speech. Sexual desire can also be increased, becoming an urgent and irrepressible necessity.

In other cases, the manic phase is characterized by disfellowliness and feelings of injustice and suffered harm. Strong irritability and anger escalate.

It can accompany delirium of persecution and aggressive behavior, with little ability to assess the consequences of their actions.

The Depressive Phase

The depressive phase usually follows the maniacal one and represents the opposite. The mood is depressed and the meaning of life is lost. Sleep and appetite may increase or decrease. There is great fatigue and difficulty in concentration.

At this stage of deep depression, serious self-inflicted acts may appear. The depressive phases are long, persistent, and more frequent in life.

The Mixed Phase

This phase is characterized by the simultaneous presence of depressive and hypomanic symptoms. At this stage, the person often suffers from a pervasive anxiety and irritability.

The Bipolar Disorder is one of the most common mental disorders.

It affects three to five percent of adults in the world, affecting men, women and even children indistinctly.

For many people it is a condition for living for several years or even for a lifetime.

Sometimes it improves, sometimes it resumes even months or years after the onset.

Causes of bipolar disorder

The causes of Bipolar Disorder can be explained by bio-psycho-social patterns. There is a lot of contact with parents who suffer or have suffered from this disorder.

Other factors can play an important role, such as stressful life events or failures, alcohol and drug consumption, severe sleep irregularities, low quality of life, and psych pharmaceuticals.

How to cure bipolar disorder

In treating Bipolar Disorder, the goal is to stabilize mood.

This is why an appropriate combination of pharmacological treatment and psychotherapy is needed.

It may also be helpful for the family to help understand and manage the emotional impact the disorder can have on the life of the individual and his / her family. It is useful to acquire appropriate tools to deal with manic and depressive phenomena, learning to recognize them in advance so that they can deal effectively with them.

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