Politics and political decisions both locally and nationally can feel threatening and leave us feeling out of control. These threats can cause tremendous stress.

Our polarized world leads to a sense of constant threat and fear which can result in a sense of unrelenting stress and anxiety.

Our brains are naturally wired to notice the negative. Great when we were not top of the food chain, but not so great in our modern world. We can counteract this natural tendency with mindful attention to the positive.

In our busy lives we are often stretched to capacity. If we aren't mindful of what fills our time and attention, our finite capacity may be used up with busyness rather than the "good stuff" of life.

Anxiety and stress are a given. You're not alone. There are things you can learn to reduce stress and better cope with anxiety.

It can be easy to fall into negative thinking, but that limits our potential. Noticing the negative patterns is the first step in making a change and reorienting to the positive.

When we have a traumatic experience, our brain may be unable to accurately process and store what happened. This can leave us with beliefs which are inaccurate and unhelpful, but which continue to affect the decisions we make today. The good news is that these inaccurate beliefs, these old messages, can be updated with new, more adaptive learning and beliefs.

When you break your leg, if everything is working as it should generally the bone heals. If, however, you break your leg badly and do not have it reset, it will not heal properly and you may lose some function. You may live with a limp for the rest of your life. We seem to understand this with regard to physical health and rarely hesitate to seek help when our physical bodies don’t seem to be healing as they should. Unfortunately, we often give our mental health the short end of the stick, not realizing our minds sometimes also need help to heal.

EMDR therapy sessions utilize dual awareness to allow for processing traumatic material with an emphasis on safety here and now. This can decrease distress around troubling memories, and increase ability to cope with triggers.

EMDR is a therapy tool which can be effective treating a number of issues including those related to trauma. It can be helpful in updating outdated beliefs about ourselves and the world.

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About Julie Shewman LPC

April 19, 2017

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