The nervous amygdala
The Over-Stimulated Amygdala
The amygdala is a structure located in the mid-brain. It is one of the first weigh stations that information encounters as it is entering our body through the senses. The amygdala is part of the body’s early warning system. It processes information from the standpoint of “How can this hurt me?” It looks for similarities between the current event and previous events that may have resulted in pain. The amygdala is not very discerning. It can find similarities between events that may be quite obscure. When the amygdala becomes too sensitized as a result of repeated trauma or over-stimulation, it begins to see similarities and, thus, threat in many things. It can become so sensitized that it perceives any emotion as threatening.
Tapping to calm the amygdala
Emotional Freedom Techniques or Tapping is a tool that allows us to discharge the negative emotion behind bothersome memories. The energy associated with these negative memories results in a disruption of the flow of energy through the body’s energy system. EFT allows for the systematic, methodical and, above all, kind means of collapsing the emotional charge that contributes to these disruptions. EFT utilizes the Meridian System that was mapped by the Chinese many thousands of years ago. It is the same system used by acupuncturists. Instead of using needles, in EFT we use physical tapping on the meridian points to dislodge emotional disruptions.
More About Emotional Freedom Techniques (Tapping)
There is more about EFT located on this web site. For additional information, visit www.emofree.com. For a very in-depth article about the amygdala, go to Ashok Gupta’s article on ProHealth.com.
Feel free to message or call me with any questions or to find out if EFT might be a good therapeutic tool for you.
The many benefits of exercise
What if there were a treatment that could do the following:
- Reduce the pain and disability of people suffering from knee arthritis by 47%
- Reduce progression to dementia and Alzheimer’s in older people by 50%
- Reduce progression into diabetes by 58%
- Reduce hip fractures in post-menopausal women by 41%
- Reduce anxiety by 48% & depression by 47%
- Lower the risk of early death by 23%
- Decrease fatigue
- Increase quality of life
Turns out, there is.
Exercise WILL make you feel better
So often, I hear myself reminding my clients, once again, of the benefits of exercise and the importance of including it in a comprehensive program of self-care (see S.T.R.E.S.S.S.S. Formula for Wellness). The evidence to support the value of exercise is continually mounting. It’s simple: Exercising (30-60 minutes of brisk walking) regularly will help us feel better, physically, emotionally and mentally. What other treatment can make that claim?
Get out there and move your body
Walk like it will help you feel better. It will.
I’ve been in the health and fitness industry for over 30 years, first as a exercise leader and personal trainer and, now, as a licensed mental health counselor and yoga teacher. I have seen the benefit to others as well as experiencing it myself. It’s real.
Check out this video (9:19) People Are Dying Early Because They’re Not Doing Something Most 1-Year-Olds Can Do from Upworthy and Dr. Mike Evans. It confirms what I say to each of my clients during most every session and what we know intuitively. We can’t expect our minds to operate optimally if our bodies are not being cared for. Committing 30 minutes every day to exercising your body leaves 23½ hours for all the other stuff. It’s an investment that will pay back many times over.
Understanding depression for someone who has never experienced it can be very difficult.
Depression is a complex illness. This can make it very difficult for the friends and family members of a person with depression to understand. Most people have experienced periods of feeling bad which they have been able to overcome. This can lead us to believe that people with depression should “just let it go” and “move on.” Depression is neither simply a period of feeling down nor something that someone can just “get over.”
The Science of Depression
This 3-minute video does a good job of explaining depression.
What can I do to help someone with depression?
While you can’t force someone with depression to seek help, there are some things you can do to encourage them and some behaviors that are not at all helpful. PsychCentral has some good suggestions for both what to do and what not to do. This video from Upworthy and The World Health Organization is also quite good: Let These Drawings With A Dog Show You What You Should Do When You Approach Someone With Depression by Joseph Lamour
It is important to understand that depression is affecting the life of your loved one in many different ways including energy level, motivation, ability to make decisions, self-esteem and world outlook. Let them know that they don’t have to go it alone. Encourage them to seek the help of a qualified mental health professional. If that feels too daunting from where they are sitting, try walking with them. As simple as that sounds, walking briskly for 20 minutes per day can be very effective in elevating mood. With even a slight elevation in mood, your loved one might find the motivation to take the treatment of their depression to the next level.
Don’t give up on your loved one. If you understand that it is not your job and, even, beyond your power to make them stop being depressed, it will remove a lot of pressure. Keep encouraging and supporting. Don’t take anything that looks like rejection of your efforts personally. The best tool in combating depression is persistence.