On Thursday, April 7, Amber gave her presentation entitled, “Somantics With Breath” which was an experiential adventure into using Somantic (body movements) with breath to calm an anxiety attack.
Amber told about her life experience where as a massage therapist in California working for chiropractor she could not get her patients to heal with just touch massage along. Something was still impeding their recovery — the willingness to drop their beliefs, judgments, thoughts and negative emotions about their illness or injury.
Amber’s class started with shaking off the stresses of the day and then she walked us through the 5 stages of healing an anxiety attack. They are:
Recognize the symptoms of an anxiety attack
Find your self love which so you can start your healing journey
Set an intention to heal this anxiety situation
Find the inner courage— Your “why” you want to heal this situation
Doing the techniques that work
To help us remember the characteristics of a anxiety attack, Amber played several minutes of comic, Adam Ferrari doing a sketch called It’s Scary in Here from YouTube.
This was followed by a few minutes of an anxious cat acting out and attacking a dog from Cats Being Superjerks on Youtube. This was to illustrate the anger and crazy behavior that can follow not effectively dealing with your anxiety.
Amber explained that the most immediate concern in conquering an anxiety attack is calming down the panicky mind, restoring some balance to the brain and integrating the Left and Right Hemispheres so you can find a solution to the problem causing your anxiety.
The group shared their symptoms of an anxiety attack which involved feeling warm, spinning mind, shallow or lessened breath, hypertension, headaches, tight neck & shoulder muscles & queasy stomach.
The various breathing techniques—deep abdominal breathing, and expelling the anxiety—that she demonstrated energetically relax the body and brain and help it to release anxiety.
Then Amber said it was important to build the self love, strong intention and inner courage to deal with the anxiety situation. She demonstrated several imaginative and body focused techniques to deal with this.
Amber said we have to rebuild our self love and willingness to overcome the anxiety challenge so we have the momentum, stamina and courage to deal with the situation.
Then she walked us through some movement exercises from Brain Gym called Cross Crawl, walking backwards, and Brain Buttons which also coordinate the Left and Right hemispheres of the brain and promote problem solving.
She ended the evening with a song, Brave, by Sara Bareilles also on YouTube.
Amber loved the laughter, sharing and open mindedness of the group.
On Thursday March 31st, Becki gave us her presentation entitled “ Mindfulness “
Becki’s presentation on Mindfulness was very informative, and explained to us that when it comes to mindfulness, there are three states of mind;
1) Emotion mind- is where you make snap decisions, and tend to have lots of judgment of others
2) Reason mind- Uses facts, acceptance and observations
3) Wise mind- Is a balance of Emotion and Reason mind.
Becki advised neither emotion mind or reason mind are sustainable, and it’s better to have a balance of both with Wise mind.
She advised that awareness is the first step to becoming more non-judgemental. That trust begins with having basic trust in yourself, and you should honor your feelings, and take responsibility for your own well being. In life there is no goal, but to just be yourself. When it comes to mindfulness, we need to use acceptance and acknowledge things as they truly are. We all have to learn to let go of the negativity, and just notice, observe and cling to nothing, and decide what comes in and what goes out.
Becki advised when it comes to mindfulness, it’s important to practice being grateful, and pay attention to the small moments. Don’t take life for granted, and learn to notice your environment more. Try to be still and completely open to your field of awareness, and learn to stay centered!
She also advised mindfulness is a way for someone to gain awareness of their feelings, so that you can help make more informed choices. Becki encouraged us to develop mindfulness to use as a tool in our own tool box of coping skills. She advised we should use it as a tool to slow down and center ourselves.
Also when it comes to mindfulness, there is what’s known as a Beginner’s Mind, where you should train your mind to be willing to see anything, and maybe next time you are talking to a family member, take time to listen to their voice, and take each experience with them as unique. Practicing Mindfulness will allow us to be mindful in nature and play everyday. Learn to not take everything so seriously, and pause and respond to nature. Most of all. how we center ourselves will bring us wisdom and peace.
Make sure and join us next Thursday at 7pm, when facilitator Amber will be presenting “ Somatics with Breath”
On Thursday March 24th, Steve gave a very informative presentation entitled “ Stress vs. Anxiety “
Steve began his presentation by discussing what the basic differences are between Stress and Anxiety. Steve advised usually the origin of stress is external, whereas anxiety is internal. Stress tends to be short term, and anxiety can be long term and persistent. Stress has a recognizable trigger, however a trigger may not be identifiable with anxiety. The basic emotion of stress is feeling overwhelmed, and the distress caused is mild. The basic emotion of anxiety is feeling worrisome and fearful, and anxiety can cause severe distress. The outcome of stress can be burnout, whereas you may experience some form of panic attacks with anxiety. Treatment for stress is building healthy coping skills, and coping skills along with therapy and medication may be needed for anxiety.
Steve advised that he has been experiencing a lot of stress at his job recently, and that he was grateful for his many outside activities that help him to balance out the stress. He advised that anxiety is often a response to fear or uncertainty, or doubts you may have about something that’s causing you stress. Anxiety normally will not stop when the external stressors stop, and sometimes more stress may cause more anxiety.
Steve also talked about differences between everyday anxiety, and a possible anxiety disorder. He advised normal anxieties can be a reaction to difficult times, and extreme anxiety usually comes out of nowhere. Everyday anxiety has a start and an ending point, where extreme anxiety can be ongoing and last for weeks or months, interfering with day to day life.
Steve gave a few techniques/ reminders to help reduce stress and anxiety;
1) limit caffeine and alcohol intake
2) make sure you’re getting enough sleep
3) get regular exercise
4) meditate or do yoga
5) set aside time for hobbies
6) practice breathing exercises
7) try keeping a diary of your feelings and things that cause you stress
8) open up to loved ones about your feelings
Also, Steve gave us a few fast-acting stress relief ideas that work well:
1) Get a hug from a loved one, or anyone you know who doesn’t mind hugs. Just the act of physical touch can relieve your stress. When you hug someone, oxytocin ( aka as the cuddle hormone) is released. This hormone is associated with greater happiness, and can lower stress levels.
2) enjoy aromatherapy…as it has real benefits of stress relief. It may help you feel more relaxed, and more present in the moment.
3) Meditation…can bring short term stress relief, as well as lasting stress management benefits.
4) Create artwork ..sometimes getting in touch with your creative side may be a great way to reduce anxiety or stress, such as adult coloring books, or maybe take up crocheting.
Steve advised the most important thing is to have social support, and having supportive people in your life is very helpful with stress management. This may mean reaching out to your network of friends, or if you don’t have a good support group, go find one, such as our great friends here at DBSA!
Make sure and join us at 7pm on Thursday March 31st, when Becki will present the topic “ Mindfulness “
On Thursday March 17th, Carolyn gave a very informative presentation entitled “ Decluttering at the Speed of Life”
Carolyn began her presentation by giving her definition of clutter;
What is clutter- a confusing, disorderly state, and anything you can’t keep under control. She advised time can be cluttered, as well as your mind. If you happen to have a space that gets out of control and is closing in on you, or maybe interfere with your life, that can be clutter.
When it comes to clutter, just knowing that you’re not alone, does help with the struggle. Dealing with the clutter won’t be easy, and you do have to be ready and in the right mindset. Carolyn advised that we don’t know what causes us to hold onto certain items. A lot of us tend to focus on the future rather then focus on the current, which may be one reason clutter develops.
The Container Concept;
Carolyn went on to say that the purpose of a container, is to keep things under control. Each room in our houses is a container, and consider your entire house as a container as well. However our houses, rooms, closets, drawers and cabinets all have limits as containers. Carolyn said it never has occurred to her before that there could be limits on space in your house. Once you learn to accept these limits, it can be very freeing.
So, how do we de clutter? You begin by focusing on one room at a time, doing what you can, when you can, or “ decluttering at the Speed of Life “
Decluttering is simply getting rid of stuff you don’t need in your house anymore. You will be functioning better with less, and realize less is good.
Also go by the visibility rule, and determine what does a guest see when they come into your home? Start by decluttering the most visible room first, and then work onto the next room. Carolyn advised the two most important things you need are a black trash bag ( to throw things away) and a donate box, for the things you will donate.
Also when it comes to decluttering, don’t think about being perfect, just give yourself permission to declutter. Clutter can give you anxiety, and may interfere with your relationships and make you not want to have people over.
1) first step, pick up trash and remove
2) do the easy stuff now, once you remove the trash
3) de-clutter, these items go into a donate box
4) ask the question, if I needed this item, where would I look for it? And if you don’t have space for the item, just make it fit!
Carolyn advised that the best thing about de-cluttering is that it will make it easier to clean!
Make sure and join us at 7pm on Thursday March 24th, when Steve will present the topic “ Stress vs Anxiety “
On Thursday March 10th, Don made a presentation entitled “ Overcoming Failure “
Don began by sharing a personal story with our group, a story of failure.
What Don has learned is that failure can rear its ugly head at any time. So, what do you do when you fail?
1) For the first 24 hours, just accept how you feel. Remember to eat, and get your rest. You can actually grieve over your failure. Let it hurt for awhile and process the hurt. Your job is to feel the feels, and get through the first night.
2) You are not a failure, you had a failure. A rejection may become a feeling that all people are rejecting you. You may have failed, but you are more than your failure. Start an argument with those negative voices in your head.
3) Processing the situation is essential, and the past is what we evaluate and learn from. Think about what part of your failure you can control, as you are not responsible for it all. When you have the answers you are looking for, forgive yourself and don’t look back.
4) Remind yourself anyone who wants to do anything of value will fail.
5) Let it out into the light, don’t keep it bottled up inside. Talking with others releases that inner pressure. Share your story, as it can help others.
6) Make an action plan. It’s where you start, if you don’t make a plan and start down the path, you may have a fear of failure. The important thing is that you start!
7) Realize while today is painful, tomorrow does not have to be. Tomorrow is about hard work and faith. Work to make changes where you have failed, so you don’t fall again. Just keep going and keep trying and failing in new ways.
When you fail, just walk on!
As always, a great presentation to reflect on from Don. Please join us next Thursday March 17th, when Carolyn will be presenting the topic” Decluttering at the Speed of Life”
On Thursday February 24th facilitator Miriam began our meeting by giving us a presentation on “ Things Mentally Strong People Don’t do, Part IV“
Miriam began by reviewing some reminders of things mentally strong people don’t do from previous segments of her series;
1) They don’t dwell on the past
2) They don’t waste energy on things they can’t control
3) They don’t fear change
4) They don’t give up after the first failure
5) They don’t isolate
6) They face their fears
7) They don’t fear alone time
Miriam discussed how important forgiveness is, and how forgiveness is really giving up any hope for a better past.
When you are dwelling on the past, sometimes you may be dwelling on the negative. Being stuck in the past can keep you from moving on in your life. When you focus too much on what happened in the past, you may lose sight of your future. And don’t romanticize the past, as it can be bad for your mental and your physical health.
Miriam went on to mention that her Father will sometimes remind her and say be sure you “ engage your brain, before engaging your mouth “ In other words, we need to remember that instead of dwelling on emotions, we should dwell on facts!
Miriam reminded us that making peace with the past is a sign of strength. Making peace with the past will make you stronger. When reflecting on the past, dwell on it just long enough so you can learn from it.
Working on the now really is more beneficial!
Please join us next week, when on Thursday March 3rd, Amber will be presenting her topic on “ Humor “
Our first Friendship Project event was a great success. We met at Scorz in Ralston and played games for three hours Saturday afternoon. Best part of all, everyone got to know one another a bit better. As a bonus, some of our members even got to meet Deb and Todd, our long time Secretary and Treasurer. We played Apples to Apples, Pit, some card games, and Smart Ass. A few even bowled a few games.
We ended up playing two truths and a lie, and a real fun game where we had to give answers to questions based on a random letter of the alphabet. Pizza and pop and more than a few cookies and chips were consumed. We finished up by announcing our next Friendship Project event for late April. Come to our weekly meetings to find out what it is and to sign up!
As promised, here are the questions from my presentation. ( and a few more we did not get to because of time)
Now do your homework and start discovering your “Why”!
On Thursday February 3rd, facilitator Steve began our meeting by giving us a presentation on “ Goal Setting for an Inspired 2022 “
Steve began by going over three important areas for achieving goals for the new year.
1) Goal setting..we need to determine why you might be willing to give your time and energy to a certain goal.
2) Follow through…how will you stay on track with what matters to you, and maintain your goals?
3) Action planning…what will you do to complete your goals?
Steve went on to advise that an acronym sometimes used for goal setting is
The S.M.A.R.T. acronym stands for:
In relation to the S.M.A.R.T. acronym, Steve gave an example. Imagine your goal is to make five new friends.
1) your goal is specific ( 5 friends)
2) measurable ( whether or not you meet this target)
3) attainable ( if you work hard at meeting new people)
4) realistic ( many people have at least five friends)
5) and time-bound ( to be achieved in the next 12 months)
Steve also mentioned a few other things to keep in mind when it comes to goal setting:
1) goals should be clear and well defined
2) goals should be achievable, but make them challenging
3) you should evaluate your goals often to stay on track
4) take small, important steps
5) try and reward yourself along the way
6) the why…write down your reasons for choosing a certain goal, which will help you understand the positive affect it may have.
Steve mentioned that you must learn what is most important to you by defining your priorities. He advised that we all have values that are an important part of who we are. And the reason it really matters for you to realize what is most important to you, is that many people might fill their time with things that are important, but aren’t really what they value most in life. If you determine what’s important to you, and what your priorities are, you’ll be able to set goals that will make what’s important a bigger part of your life.
Steve advised that an important thing he has learned in goal setting and in life is you don’t have to “ have it all together “ in order to meet your goals. You can make mistakes and have some unanswered questions, or even be confused about it. Just as long as you show up, you will make progress.
And most importantly, you’ll need to have an action plan. He advised that even though it may feel unnecessary, it’s important to write down your goals.
Keep your goals in a visible place, such as your refrigerator or on your nightstand. You will also need to have action steps, and try and condense it down to three or four steps. Add them to your calendar as a constant reminder to help you meet your goals. Also have a plan and review it often, and know the timeframe in which you want to achieve your goal.
Also determine a daily or even weekly habit that may keep you on track with your goal. One idea, put your phone in airplane mode while working. One less distraction!
If you get off track in reaching your goals, just start again and keep going. Don’t waste energy on how far behind you might be. Adjust some deadlines if needed, and keep your goals in mind. You’ll find a way to get there!
On Thursday January 27th, our DBSA meeting began with facilitator Becki giving us a presentation on “ The Four Agreements”
This past Thursday, Becki gave us an informative and amazing presentation on a recent book she read titled “ The Four Agreements” .The “ The Four Agreements” examines Toltec wisdom, and the Toltec belief that the outside dream, or the world we are experiencing now, is full of unpleasantness and fear. The Toltecs believed that the beauty and joy of the world can be our own personal dream, however sometimes the inability to see this truth is called “ mitote” , or when we can’t clearly see who we really are.The Toltecs believed every human has an “emotional body “ covered with wounds, and they believed that forgiveness is the way to heal these wounds.Toltecs believed that the most important agreements are the ones that we make with ourselves. However there are “ Four Agreements “ in particular that Becki went over with us:
1) Be impeccable with your word…..You should use your energy towards saying only what you mean, and avoid using words to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.
2) Don’t take anything personally…..nothing others do is because of you, what others say or do is a result of their own perception. Taking nothing personally helps break sadness and suffering .
3) Don’t make assumptions…..sometimes we are afraid to ask for clarification, and we may fear being ourselves around others. Ask questions, and communicate with others to avoid misunderstandings and or drama.
4) Always do your best!…..if we do our best, we are enjoying life, and you learn to accept yourself. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, be mindful and learn to stay in the present moment!
Be sure to join us next week, when facilitator Steve will be presenting the topic; “ Goal Setting for an Inspired 2022”