Category: Emotional Health


Prevent Disease

9 Essential Mood, Memory, and Cognitive Enhancers That Boost Brain Energy Metabolism

Mood-stabilizing drugs are purely antimanic agents, which are mainly for treating mania. However, natural mood stabilizers help the body metabolize brain chemicals which enhance mood, something drugs can never do due to specific metabolic pathways necessary to metabolize the chemical constituents. These ingredients not only improve mood, memory and cognition, but they do it without long-term side effects associated with medication. Here are 9 essential ingredients to look for in any supplement designed to boost your brain.

 

 

Just like any fine, multi-functional computer, your brain requires all its elements to perform correctly and fluidly. It is entirely electro-chemical in nature, and scientists are increasingly leaning to the conclusion that the roots of many psychiatric illnesses and mental health problems might be found in brain dysfunction. This just makes sense: a tiny piece of code can mess up a fine computer, but with the right code reinstalled, the computer resumes normal operation. The same can be said of the brain, its need for proper nutrition, and the concept of feeding the brain what it most needs, in order to restore and maintain the brain in its best possible condition.

Encouraging evidence exists for the use of omega-3 fatty acids, SAM-e, Kava Kava, R-Alpha Lipoic Acid, GABA, and l-tryptophan to enhance response within the brain.

Investigators are examining children with ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) and adults with bipolar disorder and depression, along with a variety of other psychiatric conditions and types of cognitive impairments. Conditions such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), MS (multiple sclerosis), MD (muscular dystrophy), all inhibit cell function and hinder the brain’s responsiveness to stimuli.

Brain energy metabolism is very important to normal brain function, so it’s no surprise to find that this factor is reduced in Alzheimer’s victims and other dementia patients: the greater the loss of energy, the more severe the dementia.

Ensuring optimal intake of key nutrients such as vitamins and antioxidants throughout one’s lifetime may be an important wellness strategy to help prevent brain diseases and prevent the decline in our cognitive abilities. Approximately 6-8% of all persons aged 65+ have developed Alzheimer’s disease, and the prevalence of this disease is increasing. The current research lends further support to the use of antioxidants and a vitamin enriched daily dietary supplement program to help support the brain function as we age.

9 Essential Mood, Memory, and Cognitive Enhancers That Boost Brain Energy Metabolism

1. ACETYL-L-CARNITINE:
In a 2010 Tokyo study, the aged rats were supplemented with Acetyl-L-Carnitine to determine its effects on memory, learning capacity, and brain synaptic functions. For 3 months, 344 rats were given Acetyl-L-Carnitine (100 mg/kg bodyweight). At the end of the study, the scientsists concluded that Acetyl-L-Carnitine increases synaptic neurotransmission in the brain and consequently improves learning capacity in aging rats.

2. R-ALPHA LIPOIC ACID (R-ALA):
R-ALA reduces cataract formation, and reduces oxidative stress in the heart muscle while raising levels in the heart and liver. It also lowers glucose levels by increasing insulin metabolism and decreases numbness in Diabetics, increases energy levels within the brain cells, can decrease LDL cholesterol and remove protein oxidation for a healthy heart, and inhibits free radicals more effectively than vitamin E.

3. L-THREONINE:
Threonine is an essential amino acid and not synthesized by humans. Threonine supports cardiovascular, liver, central nervous, and immune system function. Threonine combines with the amino acids aspartic acid and methionine to help liver digest fats and fatty acids. L-threonine has been tried for ALS because, like BCAAs, it affects glutamate metabolism. Open trials and one double-blind study have shown some short-term improvement in symptoms. The research also demonstrated that symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), another disease that affects nerve and muscle, are alleviated with threonine treatment. Threonine is an immunostimulant, which promotes the growth of thymus gland.

4. L-TYROSINE:
L-Tyrosine has been proposed as a treatment for various conditions in which mental function is impaired or slowed down, such as fatigue and depression. It has also been tried for attention deficit disorder (ADD). Preliminary evidence, including small, double-blind trials, suggests that tyrosine supplements may help fight fatigue and improve memory and mental function in people who are deprived of sleep or exposed to other forms of stress.

5. PANTOTHENIC ACID:
Pantothenic acid is used in the manufacture of hormones, red blood cells, and acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter (a signal carrier between nerve cells).

6. CO ENZYME-Q-10:
C0-Q-10” prevents oxidation of the cell membrane and mitochondria within the cell, thereby preserving youthful neurological function, and protecting the capillaries from becoming fragile; it also enhances cerebral oxygenation.

7. METHYLCOBALAMIN:
The neurologically-active form of vitamin B-12, Methylcobalamin is effective in slowing the progression of untreatable diseases and neurological aging. Japan’s scientific literature reveals 334 published studies on methylcobalamin; the studies consider the treatment beneficial for any neurological disease. For example, in patients with MS their cynocobalamin is destroyed, and methylcobalamin attempts to reverse this process.

8. DIMETHYLGLYCINE (DMG):
DMG is a dietary supplement which supports the immune, circulatory, and cardiovascular systems. It is useful for controlling epileptic seizures, and for improving neurological functions, as well as muscle recovery and endurance. DMG is a nutrient that is found in the cells of both plants and animals. The human body produces DMG in very small amounts. Supplementing the diet with higher levels of DMG greatly improves the nutritional environment of the cell. DMG has been found effective in supporting immune system function and better utilization of oxygen at the cellular level.

9. GAMMA AMINO BUTYRIC ACID (GABA):
The ability of the limbic system and the rest of the brain to communicate in an orderly manner depends critically on inhibition. GABA inhibits the cells from firing, diminishing the anxiety-related messages from reaching the cortex. GABA, glutamine and glycine are vital for energy and the smooth running of the brain functions. B6 (pyridoxine) is GABA’s most important partner.


Life Choice Neurotransmitter Support contains all 9 of the above ingredients which is why it’s one of the best formulas available in the natural healthy industry. If you’re not familiar with Life Choice, discover why few supplement brands compare in terms of quality, purity and effectiveness.

  • This formulation is a vast improvement over any other for its bioavailability with added the patented Sigma-Tau’s Acetyl-L-Carnitine with advanced delivery, complete with clinical studies showing the effectiveness of this material opposed to other forms of Acetyl-L-Carnitine.
  • Instead of using DL-Alpha Lipoic Acid, instead the Life Choice Neurotransmitter Support uses R-Alpha Lipoic acid. This formulation matches the same two principle ingredients used in the clinical Study of Berkley School of Medicine and from that stage Life Choice created an even more advanced delivery with the unknown amino acid L-Threonine, not to be confused with L-Theonine.
  • Through research and investigation, Life Choice have further advanced the relationships between neurological biochemistry and bioavailability for an ingestible supplement.

This isn’t just any natural health supplement. Neurotransmitter Support’s precision formulation acts to improve brain energy metabolism, and with it, brain function. It’s one of the most advanced formulas I’ve seen on the market that synergistically uses this 9 ingredients to effectively change the way the brain responds to the body and its environment.

Sources:
psych.med.nyu.edu
life-choice.net
science.gov
elavtoit.com

Dave Mihalovic
is a Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in vaccine research, cancer prevention and a natural approach to treatment.

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“Why we are the way we are: the Internet of our brains. These are axonal nerve fibers in the real brain as determined by the measured anisotropy (directionality) of water molecules inside them. 3T 30 channel GRAPPA DTI scan protocol, deterministic tractography performed using TrackVis/FACT algorithm. You might know the subject :-)”

jgmarcelino from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Wikimedia . org

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LiveScience

Disaster Survivors: How Stress Changes the Brain

How well a person recovers from traumatic events may depend  in part on their self-esteem, according to researchers who examined the effects of a major earthquake on the survivors’ brains.

The researchers had conducted brain scans of university students for a study before the Great East Japan Earthquake struck in 2011. After the earthquake, they repeated the scans on 37 of the same people, and tracked stress-induced changes in their brains in the following months.

“Most importantly, what these findings show, is that the brain is dynamic — that it’s responding to things that are going on in our environment, or things that are part of our personality,” said Rajita Sinha, professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, who wasn’t involved in the study. [Top 10 Mysteries of the Mind]

In the brain scans taken immediately after the incident, the researchers found a decrease in the volume of two brain regions, the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex, compared with the scans taken before the incident.

One year later, the researchers repeated the scans and found that the hippocampus continued to shrink, and people’s levels of depression and anxiety had not improved.

 

Read More Here

 

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Japan Quake Shows How Stress Alters the Brain

HealthDay April 29, 2014 SHARE

TUESDAY, April 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) — A small study of people who experienced the devastating 2011 earthquake in Japan shows that although traumatic events can shrink parts of the brain, some of those regions can rebound once a person’s self-esteem returns.

“Higher self-esteem is one of the most important traits of resilience in the context of stressful life events,” said study author Atsushi Sekiguchi, who noted that these latest findings also illustrate that brain changes are dynamic and fluid over time.

Sekiguchi’s prior research had already demonstrated that people with lower self-esteem following a traumatic event are likely to experience a quick, short-term drop in the size of their orbitofrontal cortex and hippocampus. The first brain region is involved in decision-making and emotions, while the second area is involved in memory.

But by tracking the same individuals over time, Sekiguchi’s team observed that the “part of the brain volume which had decreased soon after a stressful life event [ultimately] increased, especially in individuals with [renewed] high self-esteem.”

Sekiguchi, from the division of medical neuroimage analysis at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, and his team report the findings in the April 29 online edition of Molecular Psychiatry.

To gain insight into how the 2011 earthquake — and ensuing tsunami that heavily damaged several nuclear reactors in northern Japan — affected its victims, the researchers focused on 37 men and women who were about 21 at the time.

All had MRI brain scans right after the earthquake, and then again one year later.

At the same time, the earthquake victims were given psychological assessments to gauge anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and other characteristics of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Investigators concluded that none of the patients ever developed full-blown PTSD.

Yet, the group did experience a big dip in self-esteem immediately following the earthquake. And by comparing their brain scans with those of 11 other people taken before the earthquake, the team determined that the loss of self-esteem was accompanied by a downsizing of the brain’s orbitofrontal cortex.

 

Read More Here

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Lives ‘left in ruin’ by rising tide of depression drugs

More people are being put on the pills but some experts are now warning they do more harm than good. Julia Llewellyn Smith reports

Jo Thompson

Jo Thompson ended up in hospital on anti-anxiety pills, and wanted to die when she stopped them  Photo: Geoff Pugh/Telegraph

Twenty years ago, Henry was living a fulfilled life. A happily married father from the Home Counties, his sales career was going well, he had a wide social circle and played football and golf regularly. “I was a conservative, head-down, career-minded person who enjoyed my life,” he says.

But in 1995, a bout of flu left Henry, then 31, exhausted and lethargic. He visited his GP, who told him he was depressed, and prescribed the world’s most popular antidepressant, Prozac. “Everything appeared completely benign — he said depression was a common complaint, the drugs would fix it and then I’d stop taking them.”

More than a decade later, Henry was far from cured and still taking antidepressants. “None of the drugs I was prescribed made me feel better, and most made me considerably worse. But every time I stopped them, the symptoms of what I thought was depression — but now know were of withdrawal — returned even more strongly, so I went back to the pills.”

By 2009, he was so unwell that he had to give up work. Finally, suspecting the drugs were the cause of his problems, he quit them, only to enter a new hell.

“It was torture. I thought I was going to die, and I didn’t care. For two years, I was in severe physical pain and so weak I lay all day on the sofa. My cognition was severely affected, I was dizzy, with blurred vision, I couldn’t read a bedtime story to my son and couldn’t remember things that had happened just a few seconds previously.”

Henry — who does not want to reveal his last name because of pending legal action against the drugs manufacturers — is just one of an estimated four million people in Britain taking antidepressants, a number that is rising sharply.

Last year, 53 million prescriptions were issued for antidepressants in England alone, nearly double the number prescribed a decade ago, and a six per cent increase in the past year. According to recent research, one in three British women and one in 10 men now take the medication, including popular brands such as Prozac, Cipramil and Seroxat, at some point in their lives.

But a growing number of experts now believe depression is vastly overdiagnosed and the drugs can cause far more harm than good.

This week, a new organisation, the Council for Evidence-Based Psychiatry (CEP), whose members include psychiatrists, academics and withdrawal charities, is launching, to educate the public about the risks of antidepressants. A keynote speech will be given by Prof Peter Gøtzsche, co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration, an international, non-profit organisation that examines vast amounts of medical data to help doctors and patients reach informed conclusions about health.

 

Read More Here

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Vets, Docs Worry Fort Hood Shootings Will Deepen PTSD Stigma

The word “PTSD” had barely left the mouth of Fort Hood’s commander late Wednesday when, across the nation, many veterans with those symptoms and doctors who treat the malady understood they faced a renewed battle: a resurgence of the stigma that comes with that diagnosis.

The Fort Hood tragedy –- 16 wounded and four killed, including identified shooter Ivan Lopez, a soldier being evaluated for PTSD –- is precisely the type of event that makes combat veterans cringe. Many worry they’ll be further mislabeled as dangerous time bombs, as the next to snap, and that post-traumatic stress will again be misrepresented and misunderstood as a condition that sparks public, violent outbursts.

“That is not what post-traumatic stress is or what it does,” said Ingrid Herrera-Yee, a clinical psychologist in the Washington, D.C. area who treats veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health issues as well as their family members and civilians. Her husband, Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Ian Yee, spent three combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Yes, there is anger and irritability (associated with PTSD), but it’s usually internalized. You’re more likely to see it as someone who is withdrawn, anxious and numb, who’s lost interest in life. Some veterans explain it to me this way: ‘The last thing you want is to go out and lash out,” said Herrera-Yee, adding: “Just like any victims of a trauma –- rape or domestic violence -– they can become fearful of their surroundings, but they’re not going to react angrily toward their surroundings. For them, it’s all about avoidance.”

“You’re more likely to see it as someone who is withdrawn, anxious and numb, who’s lost interest in life. Some veterans explain it to me this way: ‘The last thing you want is to go out and lash out.'”

For years, Pentagon brass and branch commanders have urged troops and veterans to seek mental-health help if they feel the need, while repeating the message that, if they do see a doctor, they will not be viewed as weak but as strong. That campaign seems to have finally dented the macho-military mantra that every soldier can handle his or her own business. Many veterans are turning to doctors to begin addressing post-service anxiety issues, often fueled by repeated or long deployments.

Read More Here

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Gunman in Fort Hood shooting had behavioral issues, authorities say

 

An Iraq war veteran who was grappling with mental health issues opened fire at Fort Hood, Tex., in an attack that left four people dead and 16 wounded Wednesday afternoon, according to preliminary law enforcement and military reports. The gunfire sent tremors of fear across a sprawling Army post still reeling from one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.Many basic details about the shooting remained unclear in the chaotic hours after the first calls for help around 4 p.m., but senior U.S. law enforcement officials said the incident did not appear to be linked to any foreign terrorist organizations. The shooter was among those who died, the officials said.

The officials identified the shooter as Army Spec. Ivan Lopez, 34, a military truck driver, who was dressed in his standard-issue green camouflage uniform. Lopez opened fire in two locations on the vast central Texas post, inside a building housing the 1st Medical Brigade and in a facility belonging to the 49th Transportation Battalion.

Police spent Wednesday night searching his apartment in Killeen, the city that abuts the Army facility. Gen. Mark A. Milley, the commander of Fort Hood, said the soldier, whom he did not identify by name, served four months in Iraq in 2011.

Milley said the shooter “had behavioral health and mental health issues.” He said the soldier, who self-reported a traumatic brain injury and was taking anti-depressants, had been under examination to determine whether he had post-traumatic stress disorder. “We are digging deep into his background,” Milley said.

Milley said the soldier opened fire with a .45-caliber Smith & Wesson semiautomatic pistol that was purchased recently but was not authorized to be brought on the post. He was eventually confronted by a female military police officer. He put his hands up but then pulled out a gun from under his jacket. “She engaged,” Milley said, and then the soldier put the gun to his head and shot himself.

The shooting was the third major gun attack at a U.S. military installation in five years, leaving the nation grappling with the prospect of yet more flag-draped funerals for troops killed on the homefront. A government contractor went on a shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard in September, leaving 12 people dead. In 2009, Army Maj. Nidal M. Hasan opened fire on a group of soldiers at Fort Hood preparing to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan, killing 13 people and wounding more than 30.

Doctors at the Scott & White hospital in Temple, Tex., said Wednesday that they have treated eight of the wounded and that one more was on the way. Three of the patients were in critical condition in the ICU, and five were in serious condition. Seven of them were male, and one was female. Their injuries ranged from mild to life-threatening, a majority of them caused by single-gunshot wounds to the neck, chest and abdomen.

President Obama said he was “heartbroken that something like this might have happened again.” Speaking during a fundraising trip to Chicago, he pledged “to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”

 

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Four killed in shooting at Fort Hood; gunman dead, multiple injuries

A shooting at the Fort Hood military installation in Texas left at least four people dead, including the gunman, and more than a dozen were injured, according to authorities.

The gunman, identified by multiple government sources as Army Specialist Ivan Lopez, took his own life, officials said.

Lopez, 33, of Kileen, Tex., was wearing an Army uniform at the time of the shooting, Michael McCaul (R-Tex.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told reporters.

Four people were taken to Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Tex., and another two are being brought there, said Glen Couchman, the facility’s chief medical officer. Their injuries that “range from stable to quite critical,” he said.

The installation was locked down for much of the afternoon and into the evening after the shooting before being lifted shortly before 9 p.m. local time.

Speaking in Chicago, President Obama said his administration was following the shooting closely.

“I want to just assure all of us we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened,” he said. “We’re heartbroken something like this might have happened again.”

The base was the site of a shooting in 2009 that ultimately killed 13 people and wounded another 32, the worst mass murder at a military installation in U.S. history. Nidal Hasan was sentenced to death last year for the shooting after being found guilty of premeditated and attempted premeditated murder.

 

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BREAKING: Shooting at Fort Hood Military Base – 1 Death Confirmed

 

Published on Apr 2, 2014

SHOOTING SITUATION STILL ACTIVE, Multiple Gunned Down
FORT HOOD (April 2, 2014) At least one person is dead after a shooting late Wednesday afternoon on Fort Hood, a post spokesman confirmed.
Others were injured in the shooting, but the spokesman didn’t say how many.
The gunman is still at large and the spokesman said the incident is being treated as an active-shooter situation.
Warning sirens sounded late Wednesday afternoon at Fort Hood because of the incident.
A man who said he was a witness told News 10 that about 20 shots were fired in a post motor pool in the area of Motor Pool Road and Tank Destroyer Boulevard.

He said at least three people were hit.

He said the three victims were taken to a hospital.

The post was on lockdown as a result of the shooting, which occurred at around 4:25 p.m.

People on post were told to stay indoors.

A message that scrolled across the top of the post’s website said, “Shelter in place immediately. This is not a test.”

The 1st Calvary Division, which is based at Fort Hood, sent a Twitter alert telling people on base to close doors and stay away from windows.

Texas A&M Central Texas in Killeen canceled evening and night classes Wednesday at Fort Hood and at its Fairway building because of the situation on post.

First responders from surrounding communities were headed to the post.

Bell County sheriff’s deputies and Department Public Safety troopers were also responding, sheriff’s Lt. Donnie Adams said.

Media were being directed to the post’s Visitor’s Center.

On Nov. 5, 2009, Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire at Fort Hood’s Soldier Readiness Center, killing 12 soldiers and one civilian and wounding 29 others before two Fort Hood civilian police officers shot him.

He is now on the military’s death row.

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Published on Jan 3, 2014

“I have cerebral palsy. I shake all the time,” Maysoon Zayid announces at the beginning of this exhilarating, hilarious talk. (Really, it’s hilarious.) “I’m like Shakira meets Muhammad Ali.” With grace and wit, the Arab-American comedian takes us on a whistle-stop tour of her adventures as an actress, stand-up comic, philanthropist and advocate for the disabled.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.
Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at http://www.ted.com/translate

Follow TED news on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tednews
Like TED on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TED

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Jan 7, 2014 by MICHAEL FORRESTER

Emotions coordinate our behavior and physiological states during survival-salient events and pleasurable interactions. Even though we are often consciously aware of our current emotional state, such as anger or happiness, the mechanisms giving rise to these subjective sensations have remained unresolved. Brilliant research by Finnish scientists has mapped the areas of our body that are experiencing an increase or decrease in sensory activity when we experience a particular emotion.

emotions In a new study, Finnish researchers have published visualizations describing how human emotions affect the body.  PNAS

Depending on whether we are happy, sad or angry, we have physiological sensations that are not located in different areas of the body. We overlook this reality from one day to the next (the famous “lump in the breast” generated by anxiety, the feeling of warmth that pervades our face and our cheeks particularly when we feel the shame…), and do not consciously realize how much the location of these body areas activated by our emotions and how they vary considerably depending on the nature of the emotion.

Researchers around the world are slowly integrating research on how our energetic and emotional states cause health and/or disease. How we connect emotionally to our overall wellness and wellbeing may indeed be more relevant than any supplement, food, exercise, medical intervention or health treatment.

Finnish scientists have for the first time mapped areas of the body activated according to each emotion (happiness, sadness, anger, etc). This map was compiled following a study of 700 Finnish, Swedish and Taiwanese volunteers.

They used a topographical self-report tool to reveal that different emotional states are associated with topographically distinct and culturally universal bodily sensations; these sensations could underlie conscious emotional experiences. Monitoring the topography of emotion-triggered bodily sensations brings forth a unique tool for emotion research and could even provide a biomarker for emotional disorders.

Read More Here

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Healthy Living

How Returning a Rescue Dog Made Me Re-Think Who I Am
I was blown away by the incredible, inspiring, and compassionate responses after writing a post about returning our dog, Rocky Blue, to his rescue group. After six months and with a baby on the way, we just knew he wasn’t a good fit for our home, resulting in my heartbreaking decision. (Of course I received some emails and responses from people that were outraged or felt like they didn’t want to be in my community anymore. And I honor that too … I knew it was a risk and am still proud I told the truth about my experience.)

The very day we dropped off Rocky Blue at the rescue group’s adoption fair, he was adopted by a young woman who fell in love with him. YES! That means that he never had one night without a home. And I know in my heart he was meant to be with us as our teacher for 6 months and is now settling into his forever home. I’m eternally grateful when The Universe conspires like this.

Among the dozens of lessons this experience has taught me, one in particular stands out: the idea of who we THINK we are. The story of who our ego tries to convince us we are and when we bump up against a situation or challenge that pushes us outside our perceived identity, it kind of … well … messes us up.

For me, I never thought in a million years I’d be the type of person to return a rescue dog to a rescue group.

The act of doing just that shattered a part of my identity and had me look at myself differently. I had an “Inner Mean Girl attack,” where my Inner Critic raked me over the coals for a day or so. (Thank goodness I have so many tools to help!) When we commit an act that feels contrary to who we think we are we open ourselves up to some very harsh Big Fat Lies. (i.e. “I should be better than this.” “I hate people who do things like this and now that person is ME!” etc.)

But it also showed me what my highest priorities truly are: to honor my husband, to honor my family, and to honor my limits. (Guess I’m not superwoman after all. DARN!) And it allows me to have access to compassion that I didn’t even know existed. I stop the harsh judgments of others who have done such things and realize that I can never know what others are going through.

This “who you think you are” phenomenon can also work when we do things beyond what we perceive our limitations are.

Read More and participate in the exercise Here

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