Manage Body|Mind|Emotions|Thoughts

Monday, February 12, 2007

How to control anger

1 Give Yourself Permission to Express Anger.

Our society does not allow us to express strong emotions. We are taught to hold in our emotions from the earliest age. This can have a profoundly negative effect on our overall health. It’s not wrong to express anger, fear, sadness, rage. In fact, it is healthy to release these emotions regularly. What’s wrong is when we hurt someone in the process. It is preferable to find safe ways to dump the negative feelings.

2 Combine Mental and Physical Effort.

Mental therapy alone may be extremely helpful for anger release, but it can only take you so far. Similarly, the physical act of doing exercise can help many people let off steam, but it may not remove deep-seated anger. The most effective process is when you can combine both the mental and physical effort. This is when you do a particular physical activity along with the mental intention of releasing the anger. Please see the next step for specific examples of how to combine the mental and physical effort to help release your anger. In each example, don’t just pound pillows, or rip paper, but REALLY FEEL the heavy anger emotion with it’s full intensity WHILE you do the physical activity. This is so important and will assist you to finally RELEASE the anger energy so that it won’t come back. You may have to do the process repeatedly because it releases layer by layer and it is doubtful that you will get to all of it in one session. There are many studies recently showing that doing this type of activity can MAKE someone more aggressive. This is a complicated issue. Let’s say that the type of people who hold in their anger their whole life NEED to learn to become more aggressive in order to become balanced. It is important to learn how to not be a doomat and have people walk all over you. It is important to speak up for what you believe and not take garbage from everyone. So, indeed, if this behavior makes a person RELATIVELY more aggressive, it is in the vein of becoming whole, and that is a good thing! If you are already an explosive person who throws temper tantrums and becomes violent, then this approach is not appropriate. This recommendation is more appropriate for the “quiet anger” that a person keeps inside for many years. This is the anger that causes physical illnesses, sleep disturbances and other stress-related conditions. Getting the anger out in these cases is extremely therapeutic.

3 Never Hurt Others in the Process.

Give yourself the opportunity to express anger in a safe way, without hurting anyone else. Most people will benefit by having a private room to pound pillows with their fists or legs, or with a plastic bat. Some people may prefer ripping pages of paper, screaming, throwing plates (old ones). Many people find it helpful to use anger-release music as a stimulus or catalyst for this process. Remember, NEVER hurt yourself in the process and never aim your anger literally at another person. What is important here is your expression of the negative emotion, NOT who receives it. If the anger (or other emotion) is traced to a specific individual, some people have found it helpful to have a symbol of this person at which they can direct the anger. This could be an enlarged photocopy of a photo on a piece of paper which you then scribble-over, tear, burn, or otherwise destroy. Be open to discovering your own dynamic anger-release method.

4 Totally Let Go, Without Hesitation.

It is also important to suggest that if you feel the need to express yourself in any of these ways, that you either are totally alone so that you don’t feel inhibited, or that you are in the surroundings of a group of people who are supportive of this type of activity. If you don’t have a private room in your house, maybe you can find a secluded area, where no one will hear or see you — even the inside of your car may work. (Don’t do any of this while actually driving!)

5 Strive to Forgive.

The final step in maintaining anger-release is to truly forgive the person who wronged you as well as to truly forgive yourself.


Wednesday, February 7, 2007

How do we dream?

Understanding the sleep cycle is the first important part of understanding dreams and how dreams happen. The average human being spends eight hours a day, fifty six hours a week, two hundred twenty-four hours a month, and two thousand, six hundred eighty-eight hours a year sleeping.

Sleep is thought to be made of two basic forms known as slow wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Humans seem to go through four really sharp stages of SWS and then enter REM sleep. The four stages plus REM are mostly happen various times every nightly sleep cycle.

While awake and alert, a human's EEGs (electroencephalograms) contain beta waves at 14-30 Hz, which is relatively high frequency and low voltage activity. When the human is resting and quiet, the EEGs have alpha waves at 8-13 Hz with slightly higher voltage. As humans begin to fall asleep, the EEGs have slower, higher-voltage delta waves, which are a large number of brain neurons (e.g., nerves) firing in unison. The myth is that we "drift off to sleep." The reality is that the onset of sleep is quite sudden. Stage ones sleep involves our breathing slowing, our muscle tone decreasing, and our body relaxing, with slow and low-voltage EEG. Stages 2-4 are notable for the person not awakening by outside push. These stages are marked by increasing frequency of delta waves, and the continued slowing of the body's functions. An exit from the pattern of Stage 1, then 2, 3 and 4 is a sign of physical and/or psychological disorder.

Rapid eye-movement sleep differs from the 4 stages of sleep. During REM sleep, EEG activity of the brain resembles the awake but resting pattern. During REM, there are no delta waves, and the voltage activity is low and fast. To an observer, a human in REM sleep's eyes are beginning to move rapidly beneath the closed lids, as if the human is watching a movie. Also, during REM sleep, there is almost a full clampdown of muscle responses of the body. The body almost seems to be paralyzed.During REM, dream activity is happening.

Dream research has tended to focus to a big degree on dream interpretation and meaning. It may be less interesting to consider how dreams happen. Recent discoveries find that dreams are neurocognitive in origin. To understand dreaming and particularly to understand dream content, it is necessary to better understand dreaming as a developmental cognitive achievement. The word "cognitive" refers to "thinking". "Neuro" refers to "the central nervous system". "Developmental" refers to the changes and maturation that occur from birth. Finally, the neurocognitive system, which is developing and maturing, suggests that there are several forebrain structures which are important to dreaming. Recent research states that the limbic, paralimbic, and associational areas of the forebrain are vital to visual dream imagery. Related research reports that dreaming is a cognitive achievement and in humans develops over the first 8-9 years of life and happens at about the same pace as other developmental areas such as cognition and language. Young children's dreams are very different from adolescent dreams or adult dreams. Until recently, dreams were believed to occur only during REM sleep. Some scientists, known as "brainstorm theorists" believe dreams may occur during Stage 2 Non-Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (NREM). These same scientists believe brainstorm stimulation is as important to dreams as stimulation of the forebrain areas mentioned earlier in this section.

Humans usually enter REM ninety minutes into sleeping and go through Stages 1-4, plus REM, 5-6 times per night. In one year, a human could have on average 1825 dreams of which the typical human remembers only a few of their dreams. REM sleep is thought to be vital for memory and learning. Sleep, particularly REM sleep, is hypothesized to be restorative in nature. If deprived of REM sleep, humans become irritable, anxious, and depressed. When deprived of REM sleep, some humans go into "REM rebound". In other words, REM periods of sleep would occur more often and for a longer period of time than is typical. Drugs and medications frequently interfere with dreaming which suggests that there is a neurochemical relationship to dreams. Recent research is looking at the relationship between the neurochemical dopamine and dream activity. Serotonin may also have a relationship to dreams.

 

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