LEARN HOW TO READ BODY SIGNAL TO AVOID ANXIETY
- Take a deep breath. …
- Get active. …
- Sleep well. …
- Challenge an anxious thought. …
- Say an encouraging statement. …
- Stay connected to others. …
- Avoid caffeine. …
- Avoid mind-altering substances.
The ability to perceive the signals of your body is known as interoceptive accuracy (IAc). There are, different psychosomatic cues that you pick up within yourself during states of anxiety. But above all, a beating heart is the hardest one to ignore.
It’s for this reason that heartbeat perception, as brain scientists call it, is a direct proxy for measuring people’s IAc and reported anxiety and stress levels.
IAc and a beating heart
Having the ability to accurately detect your own heartbeat is critical for reappraising your anxiety on a moment to moment basis. We know that anxiety is as much in the body as it is in the mind, and that a (mis)perception of a fast heart rate can easily contribute to the catastrophization of a panicked state.
It’s why some of the most effective anxiety-related therapies, like progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing, tend to focus on muting a physiological response followed by a cognitive reappraisal technique.
Now in terms of IAc, the longstanding view was that it is an inherited trait, similar to eye color or height. Your IAc is immutable, unchanging. But now there’s new evidence suggesting that the situation matters just as much as the person: While some people may have inherently bad interoceptive ability, we can’t ignore the influence of the broader context. And this, if it turns out to be true, is a definite win for anyone looking to reverse a certain anxiety-based predisposition.
The study and findings
A team of researchers led by Martin F. Whittkamp out of the University of Luxembourg set out to investigate just how much of a role the environment plays in determining our ability to self-reflect on accurate biofeedback.
The researchers relied on two methods to measure IAc via heartbeat perception. The first, called the counting task is simply a comparison between actual measures of your heartbeat with your self-reported measures. Another method, called the heartbeat discrimination task, measures how accurately you can rate whether or not your heartbeat is in sync with an external stimulus such as a blinking light on a computer screen.
The team in this newest study compared the results of both a heartbeat counting task and discrimination task in two conditions: a resting state and a stress state. Mental stress was induced by having participants match the color of a flashing light bulb with a corresponding button as fast and accurately as possible. If this wasn’t stressful enough, the experimenter also chimed in with a few verbal cues urging the participant to perform better so as to not ruin the entire experiment.
In addition to comparing stress state IAc with resting state IAc, the researchers also designed a number of computational models. These models aimed to measure how much of one’s interoceptive accuracy is owed to individual ability versus the situation.
The results found that about 40% of a person’s IAc can be explained by his/her individual traits, while around 30% can be explained by the changing situation, leaving the remaining 30% to measurement error.
What this says is that your ability to detect and therefore modulate your bodily responses during an anxious state is not fixed. These signals are amenable to change. You can learn to more accurately perceive your beating heart in a high-stress environment. You can apply reappraisal techniques in mitigating your anxiety.
The findings of this study have the potential to inform research on stress and anxiety management. For example, having a general idea of how much your IAc is dependent on biological predisposition could provide leeway to pharmaceutical interventions to help combat debilitating responses to stressful situations.
For now there’s therapeutic power in knowing you can improve your IAc and work towards minimizing your anxiety.
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SUICIDE ATTEMPTS AND SUICIDE DEATH
Suicide can be preventable since infancy. Having caring parents and relatives who really love their children and look out for them, creating an optimal and loving environment for their healthy and happy growth.
However, this almost seems like a utopia in the world we live in. But it is not impossible, we have to have hope, always, and have love, for ourselves, our children, our family and friends.
But, even when we have had been raised in loving homes by caring parents, in a healthy social and mental environment bad things happen to good people as we all know: a failed marriage, the death of a loved one, the loss of work or income, a traumatic accident; things that could trigger an acute depression and if not treated immediately it could develop into a severe case of suicidal depression.
When a friend, a child, a patient, anybody tells us that “I don’t want to live anymore”, or that “I am going to kill myself tonight or tomorrow”, we have the responsibility as human beings to believe him/her and help in anyway possible and as soon as possible.
“There is a critical window in which depressed patients who are suicidal need rapid relief to prevent self-harm,” said Michael Grunebaum, MD, a research psychiatrist at CUMC, who led the study.
“Currently available antidepressants can be effective in reducing suicidal thoughts in patients with depression, but they can take weeks to have an effect. Suicidal, depressed patients need treatments that are rapidly effective in reducing suicidal thoughts when they are at highest risk.
Currently, there is no such treatment for rapid relief of suicidal thoughts in depressed patients.” — Read more here
DEPRESSION … YOU CAN FIGHT IT!
Depression: Sadness, feeling down, having a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities – these are symptoms familiar to all of us. But, if they persist and affect our life substantially, it may be depression.
The World Health Organization estimates that 121 million people worldwide suffer from depression. I am one of those 121 million people. Maybe you are too. Maybe you know someone close to you who is affected by depression.
Although it may seem trivial to some, I have found great comfort in dark times in some of the following inspirational quotes about depression. To know others have experienced the darkness of depression and have seen the light at the end is sometimes all we need when we feel we are alone.
“Do just once what others say you can’t do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again.” James R. Cook
“Don’t let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.” Richard L. Evans
“It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly.” Isaac Asimov
“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” Robert Schiller
“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” St. Francis of Assisi
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.” Mark Twain
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can change his life by changing his attitude of mind.” William James
“Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Edison
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Wayne Gretzky
“There are two ways to live your lif e. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein
“Accept challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.” George S. Patton
“Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget about everything except what you’re going to do now – and do it.” William Durant
“Minds are like parachutes, they function only when open.” unknown author
“Pursue, keep up with, circle round and round your life, as a dog does his master’s chaise. Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.” Thoreau
“When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we don’t see the one that has opened for us.” Alexander Graham Bell
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INSPIRATION: Work hard for your dreams!
We all have ups and downs. The key is to know that we can lift ourselves up whenever we start feeling apathetic, getting some strong motivation.
INSPIRATION TIPS TO GET YOURSELF OUT OF BLUE TIMES:
Once we notice that our mood starts going down, it’s time
- For some inspiration quotes,
- Funny videos,
- Happy music
- Getting away from toxic people
- Take a sunbathe
- Plant a seed or bulb
- Dress up!
- Wear some make up
- Get that expensive perfume you love
- Call your best friend or friends
- Treat yourself to a superb meal.
- Drink your favorite wine
- Take a bath in a tab full of majestic aromas
- Remember everything you are good at
- Be proud of yourself
- Don’t give up on your goals
- Read some good jokes and laugh out loud
- Write down all the wonderful qualities you have
- Love yourself
INSPIRATION: Never give up!
Nothing in this world has the power to make you feel bad, you should not let anybody to have that power over you. Take that power away from them and give it to you.
Situations could be hurtful but don’t allow them to rule your life. Take them as an experience in life to shape you and make you a better and stronger person, somebody who can break any limits that would seem impossible to reach for others.
Nothing is impossible in this life: NOTHING. If you really want something, you will get it. Remember that.
“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me” — Carol Burnett
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it” — Charles R. Swindon
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence” — Helen Keller
“Don’t count the days, make the days count” — Mohamed Ali
“If you are going through hell, keep going, never, never, never give up” — Winston Churchill
Designing Your Life