October 5, 2017

Turbulent Times

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:24 pm by kellyfdennis

KellyHandsWe are living in turbulent times. That statement has been made many times throughout history; however, it still seems true, especially recently. Natural disasters, a troubling political climate, events in which many people are killed for reasons we don’t really understand, are all contributing to an unsettled feeling that many are experiencing right now. Those of us who are in tune with the feelings of others can sense it all around; in the people we walk by on the street and those who enter our offices.

Did you know that, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), women are 60% more likely to experience an anxiety disorder; 8 out of 100 people will experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at some point in their lives; and according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), depression is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 14-43?

For those who are in relatively good psychological health, these turbulent times may cause some worry, sadness or fear; occasional difficulty sleeping; preoccupation with thoughts surrounding the events. For people who deal with a mental illness, however, the responses to these events may be quite different. They may feel very anxious, have many sleepless nights, cry frequently, become angry, or even have trouble thinking clearly and carrying out normal tasks. Recent traumatic events may exacerbate already existing Anxiety, PTSD, or Major Depressive Disorder Symptoms.

The events of the past several months have caused many people to walk around with their body’s fight or flight response (amygdala) being constantly activated. So even though we aren’t (probably) being chased by a tiger, some of our bodies experience these events as of we were literally fighting off a threat. So, if you are among the many people who are experiencing the symptoms I mentioned above, taking some time to figure out how to return to a state of living well is important.

Pay attention to how the turmoil affects you. How do you feel after news watching or reading, being on social media, talking about the recent events? Do you find yourself being short with family and friends; irritable with the lady taking too long at the check out line; feeling extra tension in your neck and shoulders? If so, you might need to find some balance. Finding moments of peace in between the periods of stress is important for your well being. Mindfulness is a great way to create those hopeful moments of peace in your day. I’ve created a mindfulness meditation to help you do just that. It is available for purchase by clicking the link above.

There are many other activities that can help you find balance as well: listening to  music, taking a walk in nature, watching a funny movie, taking with a trusted friend. Whatever you chose to do in order to find balance, try to incorporate it periodically throughout your day. Give that amygdala a break!!

Be Well and Have a Wonderful Day!

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ponderings on life, food, God, and love

Grace on the Moon

Do Not Weigh Your Self-Esteem on a Scale

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