Thursday, October 31, 2013

Self Care: Monitor Your Intake

I was recently discussing books with some people I know and they suggested certain books to me that are not in my usual genre. As an avid reader, I generally read 4 books at a time: 1 audio book in the car (fiction or biographical), 1 for-fun fiction book, and 2 non-fiction books, generally related to psychology or another of my work-aspirations. Whatever I'm in the mood for, I'm partway through one of them. But my for-fun book is always fiction, always set in some fantasy place or completely made up setting of a real place. I like wizards and dragons and magic and being transported to somewhere completely new and outside of my reality.

So when these other avid readers suggested murder-mystery books and books about interesting serial killers and the like, I wasn't interested. In my practice, I hear a lot of stories and many are quite unpleasant, which is why they need a professional to clear that stuff away. I'm very skilled at leaving other people's problems in the office and not letting that bleed into my life. I don't stay up at night thinking about the terrible things that happened to my clients - not ever. This isn't callous, this is how you keep from burning out and stay with the client in that moment, in control of the situation and not get pulled into the story. You don't want me crying with you in session, right? Me either! How unprofessional.

Similarly, my husband and I were talking about horror movies recently and I discerned that I no longer like the kind with "realistic" happenings in them - serial killers, madmen, psychos - but I still like the kind with supernatural appeal - haunted places, things come to life, mythological creatures. Those just aren't as scary to me as they could be real or not. There are really killers in the world. It doesn't interest me to spend my free time on that stuff.

My free time is for fun and I want it to be completely fun. I also limit what sorts of depressing media I take in. I never watch reality TV shows - it's all over-produced and parts are scripted anyhow, so it's not "reality" anyhow - because it's all drama and arguments and physical fights. That's no way to act. I don't want to see people behaving badly. I don't watch the news, almost ever, and if I do, it's BBC World News America because they don't throw in a bunch of sensationalism and make you terrified. Who needs that? I sometimes watch The Daily Show, but it's comedy and not all truth.

Think also about who you allow in your life and what they bring to the relationship. Take care of you in your way. Limit what you take in. Monitor your intake and do what is right for you.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe on the right under Follow by Email for the weekly blog delivered directly to you.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Living in the Now

I was at a hockey game last week and there were two little girls in the row ahead of me. One was there with family and was was the friend. I'm going to guess they were about 9 years old. Both girls had on their team hats. At one point, the friend spent about 15 minutes fixing her hair, fixing her hat, and taking photos of her self until she got one she liked. She then posted it to Facebook with "I'm at the hockey game!"

Indeed, she was physically at the hockey game. But was she really at the hockey game? She didn't see those 15 minutes of play. She wasn't enjoying being at the game, or even with her friend and her friend's family. I'd venture to guess she didn't even enjoy her personal photo shoot but rather it seemed time that was simply gone. She was creating her highlight reel for others, but there's no value in that.

Your highlight reel is what it is. If professional athletes were playing for their highlight reels, their attention would never be on the game, but on how they look to the cameras. That would make for bad sports. Living for your highlight reel makes for bad life.

Be. Be where you are. Do what you do. Enjoy this moment; the next is not promised.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe on the right under Follow by Email for the weekly blog delivered directly to you.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Mind-Body Healing

I've had a bad back for years. I treat it with acupuncture and chiropractor visits and use an amazing heating pad. Sometimes, though, I throw my back out and it's a few days where I'm benched until it's better. That happened a few weeks ago. I was packing for a move and I wish I could say it was lifting a box, but it was getting up from the bed playing with the cat, just twisted wrong and that was it. No time to be sidelined, though, there was too much to do, and I had another training coming up. These trainings are 3-day long-day events in uncomfortable conference room chairs.

At the training, my back was killing me. I wasn't whining about it on the outside, but I was going through Advil at an unhealthy rate and halfway through the day was needing half a muscle relaxer just to not whimper. On day 2, we did break-out practice groups to increase responsiveness. How you take your trance state is uniquely yours. So how I took mine was uniquely mine. I believe that the mind controls the body in most everything and that the signals, if not going to the mind, are not going to be received, coded, or perceived, so the mind is the key to all this. Thus, I believe that the mind can make the change in all this, speeding healing, blocking pain, and increasing the time needed to receive and process the message of discomfort and what the body needs.

In my trance state, my partner effectively increased responsiveness in me. This meant, to me, that my body and mind were not more than twice as responsive from before this trance state session. My body and mind were optimized, turned up, in line. I took my symbol (I'm not going to tell you what it is as it is only useful to the user anyhow) and used it every time my back twinged. One deep breath, eyes closed, and thanked the messenger for the message that something was amiss and I needed to give extra care and healing to that part of my body. Second deep breath, eyes closed, dissipate the pain (I pictured it pixelated and expanding away). Note: none of this was part of what my partner did in the trance state, but since my body and mind were already optimized for responsiveness, they were responding to one another in an advanced way and I was building on that. This did not remove all pain; there was still an error in my body, a problem to be healed, but I could increase healing and decrease pain.

A couple of days later, my husband and I met up after my training was over and he was rubbing my back and said "I can see this is the muscle you pulled; it's raised, but your whole back isn't swollen anymore. Does it still hurt?" "Some," I answered, "keep looking." He did and I took a few breaths, visualizing my symbol and dissipating the pain. He said it looked a little flatter and how did I do that? This stuff, it's good stuff! 

I also got an emotional issue for me unstuck this weekend at the training and am looking forward to using that energy for being awesome in the moment and seeing how it frees me up for health and happiness.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter and FacebookSubscribe on the right under Follow by Email for the weekly blog delivered directly to you.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Changing Personality

Sometimes people wonder if the process of therapy will change their personality, if they will be someone other than themselves once they fix the troubling pieces. Good therapy is meant to change the parts you want changed, on your agenda, not the therapist's. If Oscar the Grouch wanted to process the death of Mr. Cooper, he would still leave therapy a grouch. If Oscar ever wanted to be less grouchy, that would be his choice. Therapy is never meant to make you anything that you are not, except a better version of yourself, fixing what you want changed.

I'm currently reading Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and came upon this quote:
“I'd rather be myself," he said. "Myself and nasty. Not somebody else, however jolly.”

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter and Facebook.
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