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Monday, February 21, 2011

Negative Thinking is Very Common

Do negative thoughts enter and consume your mind often? Do your thoughts leave you feeling negative about yourself? 

Possible reasons for negative thoughts if you are a survivor of abuse, combat or trauma experiences or just experienced hurtful situations. 

Negative thinking generally can be a result of your daily life. Events in your daily life can remind your subconscious of past traumatic situations.  
Negative thoughts can be a side effect of PTSD symptoms surfacing after a latency period. 

Elements of Memory

To deal on a daily basis with traumatic memories or flashbacks, you first have to understand the elements of memory and what gets attached to them. Memory has three compartments: content (what you saw), associated emotions (what you felt) and audio (sounds you heard or not). Separate from the memory in another part of the brain, a core belief about yourself forms in your subconscious mind and attaches to each memory recorded. Meaning an embedded core belief will surface each time along with a memory when that memory is triggered.

That being said, let’s look at how negative thoughts are routed into your thinking.

2 ways on how negative thoughts get into your mind: 

Route #1 is when negative thoughts surface as the result of a current situation stimulating a visual memory of a previous event. The memory would then cause an associated core belief to surface and be released from your subconscious mind into your conscious mind. You are not always aware that a core belief has surfaced or why. Then the surfacing core belief directly influences the content of your thinking unknowingly to you.  A negative core belief would generate negative thinking.

For example: Something happens and a core belief is released such as “I am not good enough”, “I don’t deserve anything” or I am not worthy of any one”.  The core belief then silently influences how you think like; “no one will ever like or love me” “I am not good enough to be successful and so on. Yet the thoughts seem like they come out of nowhere or you think you are just negative toward yourself.

Route #2 is when the current event stimulates the audio portion of a memory and releases the direct statement recording into your brain, like “You will never be any good at anything” in the voice of the person who said it. So you think you are bad, no good or negative because someone else says so.

Understand that both routes of delivery are extremely dis-empowering and self-defeating as well as generate influential content for negative thoughts. The sad thing is you have no idea where your negative thinking came from. 

Both routes heavily influence you and run quietly in the running in the background. Each route causes you to think in negative ways and as a result you think you are going crazy or just simply hate yourself. You know nothing going on or happening in the moment to cause you to think so the negative about yourself, so you must be crazy. But be assured that you are not crazy. Nothing happens in your mind unless it has be written as a result of your life experiences

TakeAway


The positive thing is once you learn and understand the reasons why you are thinking negatively today, you won't feel like you are crazy anymore. 

Another positive thing is that it is possible to make a shift from negative thinking to positive thinking. It is also possible to neutralizing the influence negative thoughts have on you, so the thoughts no longer dis-empower you or causes self-sabotaging thinking. 

Shifting negative thoughts can be as easy as changing your negative core beliefs. Once your core beliefs are changed to positive then the content your mind generates to your thinking process will be positive.

Check out the possibilities at my website and click here to download a free eBook as a gift.

    Coach Bill                                    

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Hey to all my Followers!!!!!

Guess what? I am on Twitter now. If you would like to follow me or tweet me, my username is @DrBillLifeCoach

I am real excited about being on Twitter.com. This is a platform for my Life Coaching practice. I want everyone to know that Life Coaching is so powerful. I can help anyone to achieve their full potential, gain happiness and accomplishing success in his or her life. 

To learn more by going to my new Life and Post Trauma Coaching website also at http://www.drbilltollefson.com/drbilltollefson/ 

Friday, February 4, 2011

7 Tips on Reducing the Effects of Secondary Trauma

In this modern age of technology, you are bombarded by images of traumatic events from around the world in real time. Events in Egypt, Chilean Mine Accident, Iraq War, Afghanistan War and 9/11 are streamed right onto your computer or into your living room. 

Whether you are aware of it or not subconsciously you are being deeply affected. These images and reporting produce strong emotions and alter your perceptions. The in result is your thinking is affected. You have thoughts like “why am I feelings such strong emotions when the event does not affect or involved me?" "All I was doing was watching what happened.”

Another issue is if you are have personally experienced an abusive or traumatic life event in your childhood and the memory of it has been buried, viewing a present catastrophic event live on TV can trigger images from your past buried in your subconscious to surface into your conscious mind. So now your perceptions, emotions, thoughts, behaviors and reactions are being generated by your past traumatic events not your present. So it is important that you learn about Secondary Post-traumatic Stress (PTS).

2 Types of Post-traumatic Stress

There are two types of Post-traumatic Stress. 

Type one is primary PTS where you are traumatized by an act that happens directly to you. 

Type two is secondary PTS where you are traumatized by witnessing the traumatic act that happens to someone else. Secondary symptoms have powerful effect on your subconscious and could cause you to be dysfunctional without you knowing why. You question your symptoms and why they are happening because you never had any direct abuse or trauma that happening to you that you can remember.

Secondary Post-traumatic Stress is a aftereffect of witnessing a life threatening event that happens to someone else. The resulting symptoms are indistinguishable from exposure to primary trauma experiences (when it directly happens to you).The results of experiencing Secondary Post-traumatic Stress symptoms is a normal response to witnessing an overwhelming painful emotional experience. 

The symptoms that might be felt from experiencing secondary exposure to terrorizing images maybe anxiety, fear and uncertainty, dissociative reactions, flashbacks, feeling of emptiness, feeling of loss, detachment from yourself, hypervigilance (heightened awareness), hypersensitivity, being hyper emotional, impulsive, a need to isolate and of course depressed moods. You may also experience poor sleeping and eating patterns. 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms from past primary trauma events, your PTSD may very well be increased disproportionately higher by secondary exposure. It is important to know that what you are experiencing is a normal reaction. Understand that for every action (witnessing a traumatic event) there is an equal and opposite reaction (aftereffects). These aforementioned symptoms are the equal and opposite reaction.

Secondary Exposure can be trigger Old Buried Primary Traumas 

Another factor that may occur as a result of the secondary exposure to witnessing a current traumatic events that happens to another person. Your reaction to the event may trigger other past buried memories of primary traumatic exposure that have remained inactive deep within you without you being conscious of it. If you are experiencing some or all of the symptoms listed above, then it might be the result of too much exposure to live traumatic media coverage (fires, robberies, tornadoes, floods...) and causing past recollections to surface.

It becomes so important for your physical health and emotional well being that you accept that what you are feeling is normal response to what you saw. Give yourself permission to experience your strong sympathetic feelings for what the other person went through. 

7 Tips on how to reduce the horrible aftereffects of 
    witnessing abuse or trauma that happened to another 
    person and not to you:

1. Reduce exposure to the media.

2. Recognize that what is happening is not and did not happen 
    to you in the moment.

3. Resume normal activities.

4. Monitor your emotional reactions.

5. Nurture yourself. (Do not judge or second guess your emotions).

6. Give yourself permission to go through the grief. Witnessing 
    loss cause grief reactions for others.

7. Talk to another person about your feelings and reactions to 
    these ghastly events you witnessed as a way to appropriately
    vent, validate and normalize your emotions.

Click here for more information on secondary trauma
                                            
                       Coach Bill