Anxiety and Stress | Kay Trotter

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All Posts in Category: Anxiety and Stress

Reduce Stress in Your Life: Coping Skills to Live By

Whenever we experience STRESS it arises from the four core wounding emotions: loss, rejection, betrayal and humiliation.

We have a choice of “hiding” from or ignoring these upsetting experiences. The Mayo Clinic states that stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the ever-increasing demands of life. Our ability to effectively cope with these challenges and upsets requires learning and practicing skills so they become everyday coping tools. Just learning about these principles is not enough. Remember about 75% of what you do is out of HABIT. Training our brain to use health coping methods means we can heal our own emotional wounds so we also feel better about ourselves.

Believe it our not our brains are designed to help us cope. Every time we are challenged by new or upsetting experiences that causes us stress, our brain come up with ways to deal with our stress or worry. Our coping brain uses our thinking, feeling and self-protection, to help us get over experiences that make us stressed, worried, angry or upset.

C   O   P   I   N   G   –  P   R   I   N   C   I   P   L   E   S

TO REDUCE STRESS

  1. Recognize that no thought or feeling is wrong in itself, it is what we do with it that really counts.
  2. Become aware of the way your body feels as tension begins to build up— remind yourself to breath.
  3. Recognize that you don’t have to go through this alone — help is available from a wide range of sources.
  4. Work to improve communication with your family and friends
  5. If you are experiencing fatigue or feeling overwhelmed, reduce your responsibilities for a period of time.
  6. Recognize that family and friends have to deal with their feelings too.
  7. Share honestly and lovingly how you are feeling
  8. Do things each day that are nurturing to you. Include fun activities, relaxation, time alone, and exercise.
  9. You can work to solve some of the problems that are causing you stress.
  10. Accept that guilt and worry about things you CAN’T change are useless and energy-draining.
  11. Give yourself credit for whatever level of coping you are achieving.
  12. Remember, there is no “instant fix” for stress.
  13. Develop a love and respect for yourself — because each of us is, with our strengths, a special and worthwhile person.

L   I   F   E   S   T   Y   L   E    –  B   O   D   Y,    M   I   N   D,    S   P   I   R   I   T

TO REDUCE STRESS 

You can’t always avoid stress but being able to identify what causes it is the first step toward helping yourself cope better. If you have difficulty pinpointing the causes or “triggers” of your stress, try keeping a record to help you identify patterns of stress. Learn to identify your type of stress, is it a “social anxiety”  or “chronic stress.”

To effetely use a chart, make a note of all your activates during the day and how you felt at the time. Fill in the chart whenever a stress symptom occurs, noting what happened just before. At the end of the week evaluate when you felt stressed and when you felt relaxed.

R   E   L   A  X  A   T   I   O   N   

TO REDUCE STRESS

For long-term stress relief you need periods of mental and physical relaxation throughout the day. Relaxation is a set of skills that teach you how to combat the effects of stress and restore the balance between body and mind to enable healthy, happy living.

WHY: long-term stress changes the balance of hormones in the body and leads to exhaustion. A suppressed immune system, slower metabolism and slower cell repair, result in rapid aging, weight gain, and greater risk of degenerative disease.

C   O   P   I   N   G   –  S   K   I   L   L   S

TO REDUCE STRESS

  • Learn to become aware of when you are experiencing stress — listen to your body
  • Practice deep breathing – just 3 deep breaths will change your body chemistry
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Mindfulness practices – the state of being attentive to and aware of the present moment only
  • Guided Imagery or Visualizations
  • Journal about your feelings, thoughts and worries
  • Use Positive Affirmations to change negative self-talk
  • Exercise daily
  • Get a Massage
  • Pick a hobby
  • Cut down on activities
  • Unplug from technology – turn down the noise
  • Get outside – your brain is created to respond positively to nature — soothing your soul
  • Get enough sleep
  • Seek social support  – talk to someone

Things to Ponder to Help You Free Yourself of Stress

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.” ~Eckhart Tolle

“I vow to let go of all worries and anxiety in order to be light and free.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

“Some people think it’s holding that makes one strong – sometimes it’s letting go.” ~Unknown

“Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there.”‘ -Eckhart Tolle

“The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure criticism without resentment.” -Elbert Hubbard

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” –Socrates

“Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.” -Joan Borysenko

“Don’t let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries.”  ~Astrid Alauda

“I vow to let go of all worries and anxiety in order to be light and free.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

“Letting go of the past means that you can you enjoy the dream that is happening now.” -Don Miguel Ruiz

 

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De-stress: You have the power to reset

[callout1]You stomach clenches, your heart races, and you can’t catch your breath — all tell-tale signs you are getting anxious or overwhelmed. But while a slight from a co-worker or bad news from a family member can raise your blood pressure, you have the power to reset and focus on de-stressing.[/callout1]

Flight or Flight

When you’re stressed, your body instinctively reacts with the “fight or flight response,” which, in the pre-civilization world, helped us escape from predators and dangerous situations.

But, today, our bodies can’t tell the difference between an approaching grizzly bear or a difficult boss. So, our stress response is triggered when there’s no imminent danger. And, instead of helping us to escape, it can contribute to chronic conditions like hypertension and headaches, as well as mental health issues like depression and anxiety disorders.

The good news? Just as you have a stress response, you also have a “relaxation response,” during which you can slow down your breathing, decrease your blood pressure and use less oxygen.

Go For A 10-Minute Walk

While just about any walk will help to clear your head and boost endorphins, consider walking in a park or other green space, which can actually put your body into a state of meditation.

Breathe Deeply

Breathing exercises – or even just taking a few deep breaths – provide an extra boost of oxygen and help reduce tension and relieve stress. Best of all, deep breathes will help you calm down.

Visualize

A short visualization is an easy way to get back to center.

Simply make yourself comfortable (at your desk, on a park bench – wherever!) and then try to picture a peaceful scene: a future vacation, your favorite beach. You can even visualize yourself accomplishing a goal or maybe picture yourself in an elevator, happily sandwiched between two hot actors of your choice!

Eat A Snack

Stress-eating doesnʼt have to be bad. Pick a snack that will fill you up – half an avocado, a handful of nuts, a hard boiled egg. Then take your snack away from your computer and go sit someplace peaceful. Focus on your food: its texture, the way it tastes, how it makes you feel. Voila! Youʼve turned your snack into a meditation.

Step Away From The Screen

Uninterrupted computer use has been associated with stress, lost sleep and depression. Make sure to take frequent breaks from computer use during your day – and try to shut offline at least an hour before bedtime.

Or, On The Other Hand, Plug In

While screens can stress you out, you can turn to the Internet to get a little stress relief. Do a search for a web-based stress management program, like guided meditation, or watch a viral video that will make you laugh. Laughter is a great de-stressor because it first activates your stress response and then deactivates it, creating a kind of “rollercoaster” that leads to a feeling of relaxation.

Hang Up, Then Turn Off Your Phone

Cell phones stress you out, thereʼs no question about that. Smartphones, in particular, can make you feel pressure to respond to messages at all times and talking can even raise your blood pressure. So, consider shutting off your phone for an hour or so.

Put On Some Music

While classical music slows heart rate and lowers blood pressure, any music that you love will flood your brain with feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine. So, crank it up on the drive home!

De-stress: You have the power to reset  

You also might like these resources on reducing stress and anxiety by Dr Trotter

STRESS QUIZ: How Stressed Are You? Do you diminish or categorize your stress as “normal” or “it’s no big deal, everyone has stress?”

Belly Breathing – One of my favorite de-stressor or coping skills that I teach to all my clients young and old that can be done anywhere at any time is “Belly Breathing”. – See more at: http://www.kaytrotter.com/3-deep-breaths/#sthash.D9SldQh5.dpuf

Social Anxiety and Stress – Shyness is the tendency to feel awkward, worried or tense during social encounters, especially with unfamiliar people. There are many degrees of shyness.

Anxiety – Anxiety is the displeasing feeling of fear and concern. Anxiety can create feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness and dread. It is also associated with feelings of restlessness, fatigue, concentration problems and muscle tension.

The Healing Power of Nature – Read how Dr Kay reduces her stress.

Kids and Stress—10 Parenting Tips -The way parents respond to emotional situations significantly affects how well children learn to cope with their emotions.

Dr Trotters Pinterest board Anxiety/Stress Management – Tips to Manage Anxiety and Stress.

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Cooking to Relax—Dr Kay’s Christmas Dinner Menus

The Holiday Season can be a stressful time as we all know, and my life is no different then yours. Sometime the demands and time crutch I feel can be overwhelming. One way that I unwind, “self-sooth”, relax is through cooking.

I find that the whole cooking process from planing and researching my menu, creating a cute menu graphic to be placed on everyone’s plate,  the cooking of each hand-picked dish to the grand crescendo…sitting down and enjoying the meal with my family and friends helps me unwind — relax.

Simply Said Cooking Grounds Me

I wanted to share with you four more of my Christmas Dinner Menu from 2009 to 2012. Be sure to watch for my 2013 Christmas Dinner Menu it will be in honor of my mom Sue Sudekum (1932-2013), this will be our first Christmas with-out her. Miss you mom. 

Christmas Dinner Menu 2009Dr Kay Trotter Kaleidoscope counseling

I think everyone’s favorite this year was the Whiskey Crab Soup. However, the Cranberry-Marinated Rack of Lamb was outstanding also.

Poinsettia Cocktail – is a fun colorful Holiday Martini

Fruit and Cheese Tray – if you don’t know what cheese and fruits to use on your cheese tray, I found the Best Fruit and Cheese guide very helpful.

Whiskey Crab Soup – This soup is the perfect way to start off your Christmas Dinner.

Roquefort Pear Salad – Ever since my daughter Kelly and her husband Josh took a trip to France we think and cook differently with pears. We now put them on pizza, salads, pearing with meats of all type. Yep pears are our new go to fruit.

Cranberry-Marinated Rack of Lamb  – We love lamb, and marinated the rack of lamb with cranberry or pomegranate juice was outstanding. This recipe is no longer on-line, please email me if you want it Kay@KayTrotter.com

Almond Wide Rice and sautéed Green Beans

Southern Pecan Pie – this is a Sudekum family tradition and by the way our family recipe is the best ever.

I wanted to share with you my Sudekum family recipe for Christmas Raisin Bread. This recipe has been in our family since the 1800s – maybe even longer 

For more of my family recipes, please check out my Pinterest board Yummy Sudekum Family Favorites Recipes

Also check out my Yummy Holiday Pinterest Board

Dr Kay Trotter

Christmas Dinner 2010

Raspberry Champagne

Sun-Dried Tomato Dip, served with crackers and bread sticks | Recipe courtesy of Cuisine At Home Holiday

Feta & Pepper Dip, Served in a Tuscan bread bowl | Recipe courtesy of Cuisine At Home Holiday

Seafood Chowder | Recipe courtesy of Cuisine At Home Holiday 

Pork Wellington, wrapped in a puff pastry, stuffed with prosciutto, spinach & chèvre (goat cheese), drizzled with roasted mushroom sauce. | Recipe courtesy of Cuisine At Home Holiday

Steamed Broccoli and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Southern Pecan Pie | Recipe courtesy of Sudekum Family Favorites Recipes

Dr Kay Trotter

2011 Christmas Dinner Menu

Raspberry Champagne | Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

Seven Layer Salmon Bits, Stuffed Mushrooms | Recipe courtesy of Epicurious

Bloody Mary Shrimp | Recipe courtesy of Gourmet

Gourmet Cheeses Tray

Seafood Chowder | Recipe courtesy of Cuisine Holiday

Rack of Lamb with Marsalis and Crème Fraiche over Spiced Lentils with Roasted Carrots | Recipe courtesy of Cuisine Holiday

Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan Pie | Recipe courtesy of Food and Wine

Dr Kay TrotterChristmas Dinner Menu 2012

Cocktails – Disaronno Cosmo | Recipe courtesy of Disaronno

Tapa – Tortellini Caprese Bites | Recipe courtesy of My Recipes and White Bean-and-Back Olive Crostini | Recipe courtesy of

Salad  – Crispy Goat Cheese – Topped Arugula Salas with Pomegranated Vinaigrette | Recipe courtesy of My Recipes

Veggie Mashed Potatoes En Croute | Recipe courtesy of My Recipes

Main Course – Honey-Curry Glazed Lamb with Roasted Grapes and Cranberries | Recipe courtesy of My Recipes

Dessert – Elegant Eggnog Dessert | Recipe courtesy of Taste of Home

If you have any problem find these recipes please email me at Kay@KayTrotter.com

On this Christmas I offer this prayer to you and your family

May the Lord bless you and keep you;  

May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you;

 May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

 

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Get Unstuck with EMDR Therapy

RE-WORK THE WAY BAD MEMORIES AND TRAUMA

ARE STORED IN YOUR BRAN AND GET

UNSTUCK

EMDR is a well-researched and highly developed way to work with anyone child to adult who has experienced trauma or disturbing events in their lives and for whom the bad feelings, images and memories don’t just go away.

Did you know that EMDR can:

  1. Alleviate PTSD related stress
  2. Resole issues at any age —from children to adults
  3. Overcome persistent blocks
  4. Relieve chronic symptoms
  5. Neutralize negative thoughts and feelings, and strengthen positive feelings.
  6. Reduce physical symptoms such as flashbacks and disruptive physiological (body) reactivity
  7. Increase achievement by removing blocks to peak performance at work, or at home
  8. Break free from old patterns by unblocking negativity from past distorting your present and future
  9. Build resilience by increasing your ability to tolerate negative experiences and recover quicker
  10. Reclaim personal power by supporting your body’s natural healing process.

Visit the EMDR Institute, Inc. to learn more about this power therapy

 

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Childhood abuse still impacting your day-to-day life? Read this!

 

adult survivor of abuse

This blog is for you if your an Adult Survivor of Childhood Abuse and or Neglect

A few years back I started to notice that I kept seeing the same type of adult client coming to me. As I did an inventory of these clients I began to notice that they all had many similarities but the key factor was the transformation that took place during counseling. In each session I consistently found that I moved back and forth between talking to the 30 something man or women then talking to their 3-year-old inner child.  That’s right these adult clients were all survivors of childhood abuse or neglect coming to me unaware of how their childhood abuse was still impacting their day-to-day life as an adult.

This blog is dedicated to all my brave soul survivors who challenged themselves to look at their dark emotions and work to  overcome their fears.

Childhood Emotional Wounds

Research is just now beginning to understand how profoundly the emotional trauma of early child hood affects a person as an adult. They realized that if not healed, these early childhood emotional wounds, and the subconscious attitudes adopted because of them, would dictate the adult’s reaction to, and path through, life. Thus we walk around looking like and trying to act like adults, while reacting to life out of the emotional wounds and attitudes of childhood. We keep repeating the patterns of abandonment, abuse, and deprivation that we experienced in childhood.

The Brain and Childhood Abuse or Neglect

Research consistently supports that abuse in childhood can dramatically alter the way the brain copes with stress in adulthood. Consequently childhood trauma can shape the way your brain works. The limbic system sometimes called ‘the emotional brain’ is the area in the brain that initiates the fight, flight or freeze response, for surveyors of childhood abuse their amygdala which perceives danger is immune to the effects of stress hormone cortisol designed to regulate it’s response it may continue to sound an alarm inappropriately. This is because the production of cortisol in children with histories of abuse and neglect is stuck in a chronic ‘hyper-arousal’ state and may persists for many survivors throughout their adult years as well. Even when the abuse and violence has ceased and the environment is ‘safe’, many adult trauma survivors still perceive the threat to be present.

So Now You’re an Adult

As an adults survivor of childhood abuse or neglect you may find that you produce too much of the stress hormone cortisol which causes you to be in a state of ‘hyper-arousal’ which in turn decrease the volume of  your  hippocampaal causing poorer functioning of declarative memory placing you to be at a  greater risk for experiences of depression and physical inflammations. As an adult survivor you will be more likely to be highly stressed, have difficulties with anger and emotions, and be prone to self-harm, anxiety, suicide and depression.

What to do Now

Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCA) is an international self-help support group program designed specifically for adult survivors of neglect, physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse suggest that you take some time with the following two self-assessment scales to help you determine your current level of safety. After each checklist and the scoring information, there are some recommendations, which are designed to help you determine whether you are ready to progress with a recovery program.

Safety Checklist

Check “Yes” or “No” to answer each question:

1. Do you have impulses to harm yourself?                                                        Y:___ N:___

2. Do you find yourself in unsafe situations?                                                     Y:___ N:___

3. Do you easily feel overwhelmed by feelings, thoughts,

memories or bodily sensations?                                                                            Y:___ N:___

4. Do you currently feel threatened by someone close to you?                       Y:___ N:___

5. Have you ever attempted suicide?                                                                     Y:___ N:___

6. Have you ever “lost time” or lost sense of being yourself?                           Y:___ N:___

7. Do you use alcohol or drugs to excess?                                                             Y:___ N:___

8. Is there a firearm or other potentially dangerous

weapon at your residence?                                                                                       Y:___ N:___

9. Have you been victimized by someone within

the last three years?                                                                                                    Y:___ N:___

10. Is someone close to you involved in illegal activities?                                   Y:___ N:___

SCORING: If you checked “YES” to more than three questions, your current risk level is HIGH.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Let this checklist tell you what you must do to lower your risk level and create more safety in your life. Some of the situations, such as that posed in question eight, concerning firearms or dangerous weapons, can be resolved easily: remove the firearm or weapon from your residence. With other situations, such as past victimization (question nine), there is little you can do except to make every effort to prevent a recurrence. In most of the other questions, the issues are somewhat complicated but not unsolvable. You can (and should) seek professional help if you lose sense of time or of your self or have impulses to harm yourself. If you are being threatened or abused by someone close to you, you need to take steps to protect yourself and to make the threats or abuse stop  even if this means ending the relationship. If you are unsure as to how to address any of these questions, then you may need help to figure out how to create SAFETY FIRST!

Suicide Behavior Checklist

Check “Yes” or “No” to answer each question:

1. Do you feel chronically depressed?                                                                Y:___ N:___

2. Do you have recurring thoughts of killing yourself?                                  Y:___ N:___

3. Do you have a specific plan to kill yourself?                                                Y:___ N:___

4. Have you acquired the means to kill yourself,

such as a supply of pills or a gun?                                                                       Y:___ N:___

5. Do you intend to carry out this plan to kill yourself

within a specified time frame?                                                                            Y:___ N:___

6. Do you have thoughts of actually killing or harming others?                   Y:___ N:___

7. If yes, have you made specific plans or arrangements

for this to occur?                                                                                                     Y:___ N:___

SCORING: If you answered “YES” to ANY of the above questions, your suicide/harmful behavior risk level is HIGH.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Get professional help IMMEDIATELY.

You need to first lower your suicide/harmful behavior risk before attempting to initiate or continue recovery from your child abuse. The two are probably connected, but it is very important that you concentrate first on stabilizing yourself before delving deeper into your abuse issues.

Resources:

Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCA) is an international self-help support group program designed specifically for adult survivors of neglect, physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse.

The ASCA program offers:

  • Community based self-help support groups
  • Provider based self-help support groups
  • Web based self-help support groups
  • Survivor to Thriver workbooks

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group or find out more about Kaleidoscope Counseling please call 214-499-0396

Dr Trotter also post regularly on her: Facebook Fan Page and Pinterest.

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EMDR – help for anxiety and trauma

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a psychotherapy used for individuals who have experienced severe traumatic events and have not resolved these experiences.

While originally developed to treat adults suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), the use of EMDR has successfully been implemented for children, especially those who have experienced a trauma or loss. Events such as a car accident, playground injury, abuse or neglect, or the loss of a family member or friend can often begin to trigger fear and anxiety. Separation and divorce are also sometimes a starting point to fears of abandonment in children. And, EMDR therapy has effectively been used with foster and adoptive children due to loss and many changes in their lives.

The thinking behind EMDR is that, when a traumatic or distressing experience occurs, it may overwhelm normal cognitive and neurological coping mechanisms. The person then inadequately processes the memory and associated stimuli and dysfunctionally stores the memory in an isolated memory network.

EMDR therapy involves focusing on the memory while following eye movements or bi-lateral movement, similar to REM sleep. It reprocesses the memory from past to present and gives the mind a new way of focusing toward mental healing. EMDR does not re-traumatize though because retelling is not processed, thus making it effective for children or clients who were wounded at a pre-verbal age.

The goal of EMDR therapy is to process these distressing memories in order to reduce their lingering influence and allow clients to develop more adaptive coping mechanisms.

One reason EMDR can be so effective is because it happens inside the client’s mind. Since people think, on average, seven times faster than they talk, and since EMDR doesn’t require the client to talk through everything he or she is mentally experiencing, it enables individuals to deal with traumatic memories more quickly.

Typically, the use of EMDR can cut therapy time from years to only months. While it takes a few sessions for children to learn the therapy before being used, some adults can find relief almost immediately. It is a gentle method and parents can participate in sessions with their young child.

According to the EMDR Institute, Inc. with children, “children most likely to benefit are those who have seen or experienced a trauma or loss.  A car accident, playground injury, abuse or neglect and the loss of a family member or friend can often begin to trigger fear and anxiety.  Separation and divorce are sometimes a starting point to fears of abandonment. “

 

EMDR can also be useful in treating children who have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) because clearing away fear, or the “emotional noise,” helps children and families tackle the complexities of ADD. Sometimes medication may be needed, and coupled with EMDR, children are better able to focus, are less impulsive and more organized. In some cases, they may be able to leave the medication behind.

 EMDR can also treat other psychological problems, including:

  • Panic attacks
  • Eating disorders
  • Addictions
  • Anxiety, (such as discomfort with public speaking or dental procedures)
  • Trauma

 

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How Stressed Are You?

Stressed

Do you diminish or categorize your stress as “normal” or “it’s no big deal, everyone has stress?”

It is not uncommon for people to downplay the stress in their daily lives, not really knowing the true amount of stress they are under, or what is considered a stressful situations. It is important for you to know what causes your stress and stress needs to be understood, especially how stress can impact your health. This STRESS QUIZ is designed to help you discover the amount of stress you may be under and do not even realize it.

Rate yourself as to how you typically react in each of the situations listed below. There are no right or wrong answers. Circle the statements in each column that apply to you. If a particular area of your life doesn’t generally cause you stress, skip it.

Cause of Stress
Mild – 1 pointModerate – 2 pointsSerious – 3 points
WorkI work part-timeI work full-timeI work more than 40 hrs wk

Number of kidsOneTwoThree or more

ParentsMy parents occasionally need my helpMy parents have chronic problems and need my help more and moreMy parents live with me because of chronic problems

In-lawsMy in-laws occasionally need my helpMy in-laws have chronic problems and need my help more and moreMy in-laws live with me because of chronic problems

HealthI have typical complaints for my ageI have mild heath problemsI have moderate to severe heath problems

MoneyI manage to save a little but not muchI am often worried that I don’t have enough moneyI have serious money problems

WeatherI experience seasonal problems, such as depression on gray daysI experience severe weather problems, like hurricanes and tornadoesMy home has been affected by a weather related disaster.

SpaceWe are crowded at homeWe have just barely enough space at homeWe have fights over space every week

CommutingI commute less than half hour a dayI commute from a half hour to an hour a dayI commute more than one hour a day

Support SystemI have some friends and family near by but not enoughI have family and friends, but most are not nearby.I have almost no one I can talk to or get support from.

Family ProblemsMy family has normal problems with friends, and neighborsMy family has moderate problems that affect our happinessMy family members have serious learning, physical, or mental problems

NeighborhoodIt could be betterIts marginalIts not safe

Other ProblemsI have occasional other problems at home, work or schoolI have frequent other problems at home, work or schoolI have multiple other problems at home, work or school, that never seem to get better

Total

If you score in the 0-13 range, you have a MILD amount of stress.

If your score is 14-26, you have a moderate amount of stress. You are approaching the DANGER ZONE

If your score is 27-39, you need to understand that stress is a SERIOUS THREAT TO YOUR HEALTH. You need some extra support from a counselor, or close friend. I urge you to make your health a priority for you and your family.

How Stress Impacts Your Health – short-term stress can keep you awake at night and make you feel irritable and edgy. High stress levels over a long period of time can cause serious health problems such as high blood pressure. And high stress can weaken your immune system and make it difficult for your body to fight disease. Stress is linked to health conditions such as depression, heart disease, and asthma.

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group or find out more about Kaleidoscope Counseling please call 214-499-0396

Dr Trotter also post regularly on her: Facebook Fan Page and Pinterest.


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How to De-Stress

HOW-TO-DE-STRESS-

One of my favorite de-stressor or coping skills that I teach to all my clients young and old that can be done anywhere at any time is “Deep Breathing.”

Deep Breathing is a very powerful and very simple technique. It’s amazing how just taking just 3 deep breaths changes your brain chemistry proving you with instant relief to stress and tension.  This type of breathing teaches you to breathe slowly from your “diaphragm” or belly. Deep breathing relaxes you and directly reduces many of the symptoms of anxiety and panic – Don’t believe me! Give it a try

Just 3 deep breaths changes your body chemistry

HERE IS HOW

  1. First sit comfortable with your legs uncrossed and place one hand on your belly about 2 inches below belly button.  Let your eyes close.
  2. Focusing your attention on your belly as it rises and falls as you slowly breathe in and out. Now let your breathing get even slower, and count one…two…three as you breath in and one…two…three as you breath out. Expand your belly as much as you can – like a balloon.   You know you’re doing “belly breathing” right when you can feel your belly expand.  Then, exhale to the slow count of 3, just letting all the air out of the balloon.  As you exhale, just feel yourself letting go of tension.
  3. Keep repeating the belly breathing to the slow count of 3.  As you breath, try to keep a continuous flow of air without thinking about the beginning or end of each breath.
  4. Pay attention only to the feeling of the breath.
  5. If other thoughts wander in, just let them wander out again.
  6. If you have trouble getting the hang of Belly Breathing, try lying down and putting something on you’re belly. Then put all your attention into making it go up and down with each breath.
  7. Once you have mastered your Belly Breathing, you can use it when you have symptoms of anxiety or panic.  Many of the “scary sensations” of panic are related to “hyperventilation”, which simply means rapid breathing.  Also, during panic, people tend to breathe from the chest instead of from the belly.  Breathing rapidly from the chest increases anxiety.  Breathing slowly from the belly lowers anxiety and reduces many of the “scary sensations” of panic.If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group or find out more about Kaleidoscope Counseling please call 214-499-0396Dr Trotter also post regularly on her: Facebook Fan Page and Pinterest.

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Coping Skills

S  T  R  E  S  S:   the problem

Whenever we experience emotional distress arising from the four core wounding experiences – loss, rejection, betrayal and humiliation – we have a choice of “hiding” from or ignoring these upsetting experiences.

Our ability to effectively cope with challenges and upsets requires learning and practicing skills so they become everyday coping tools. Just learning about these principles is not enough. Remember about 75% of what you do is out of HABIT.

Training our brain to use health coping methods means we can heal our own emotional wounds so we also feel better about ourselves.

We need all three coping brain functions, thinking, feeling and self-protection, to get over experiences that make us stressed, worried, angry or upset.

C   O   P   I   N   G:  principles

  1. Recognize that no thought or feeling is wrong in itself, it is what we do with it that really counts.
  2. Become aware of the way your body feels as tension begins to build up— remind yourself to breath.
  3. Recognize that you don’t have to go through this alone — help is available from a wide range of sources.
  4. Work to improve communication with your family and friends
  5. If you are experiencing fatigue or feeling overwhelmed, reduce your responsibilities for a period of time.
  6. Recognize that family and friends have to deal with their feelings too.
  7. Share honestly and lovingly how you are feeling
  8. Do things each day that are nurturing to you. Include fun activities, relaxation, time alone, and exercise.
  9. You can work to solve some of the problems that are causing you stress.
  10. Accept that guilt and worry about things you CAN’T change are useless and energy-draining.
  11. Give yourself credit for whatever level of coping you are achieving.
  12. Remember, there is no “instant fix” for stress.
  13. Develop a love and respect for yourself — because each of us is, with our strengths, a special and worthwhile person.

L   I   F   E   S   T   Y   L   E:    body – mind – spirit

You can’t always avoid stress but being able to identify what causes it is the first step toward helping yourself cope better. If you have difficulty pinpointing the causes or “triggers” of your stress, try keeping a record to help you identify patterns of stress.

To effetely use this chart, make a note of all your activates during the day and how you felt at the time. Fill in the chart whenever a stress symptom occurs, noting what happened just before. At the end of the week evaluate when you felt stressed and when you felt relaxed.

 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
Morning
Afternoon
Evening

R   E   L   A  X  A   T   I   O   N:   restores balance

For long-term stress relief you need periods of mental and physical relaxation throughout the day. Relaxation is a set of skills that teach you how to combat the effects of stress and restore the balance between body and mind to enable healthy, happy living.

WHY: long-term stress changes the balance of hormones in the body and leads to exhaustion. A suppressed immune system, slower metabolism and slower cell repair, result in rapid aging, weight gain, and greater risk of degenerative disease.

S   I   M   P   I   L   E:  coping skills

  • Learn to become aware of when you are experiencing stress — listen to your body
  • Practice deep breathing – just 3 deep breaths will change your body chemistry
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Mindfulness practices – the state of being attentive to and aware of the present moment only
  • Guided Imagery or Visualizations
  • Journal about your feelings, thoughts and worries
  • Use Positive Affirmations to change negative self-talk
  • Exercise daily
  • Get a Massage
  • Pick a hobby
  • Cut down on activities
  • Unplug from technology – turn down the noise
  • Get outside – your brain is created to respond positively to nature — soothing your soul
  • Get enough sleep
  • Seek social support  – talk to someone
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10 Parenting Tips: Children and Stress

10 parenting tips - children stressThe way parents respond to emotional situations significantly affects how well children learn to cope with their emotions.

  1. Children are continually learning how to care for themselves and need guidance in how to express and understand their feelings.
  2. Stay attuned with your kid’s feelings—ask how they are doing, provide environment so they feel safe talking about how they feel.
  3. Children who learn positive coping skills, such as stress reduction and relaxation, are better able to respond to and recover from difficult situations. This ability will serve them not only in childhood and adolescence but in adulthood as well, and will benefit their physical health and academic/work performance.
  4. Positive coping skills will likely also decrease anxiety and behavior problems, while increasing self-control, self-confidence, and positive interpersonal relations.
  5. The first step to reducing stress is helping your child become aware of when he/she is experiencing stress. The experience of stress exhibits itself in three ways: • Physiological (increased heart rate, headaches, nausea) • Behavioral (disturbed sleep, getting easily annoyed, being avoidant), • Cognitive (difficulty concentrating, worrying, negative thinking).
  6. By helping your child learn to identify when he/she is experiencing stress, your child will learn when stress reducing or relaxation activities would be useful.
  7. Help your child learn deep breathing – this is a highly effective way to decrease stress. Practice breathing in deeply and then breathing out slowly. Repeat this a few times. With younger children deep breathing can be easily practiced when they are put to bed.
  8. Progressive muscle relaxation is another effective relaxation technique. Focus on an area of the body, such as the arms, and tense them as much as possible for a count of ten. Then release the muscles for a count of ten. Progress through the major areas of the body (legs, arms, shoulders, etc.). This too can be practiced before going to sleep.
  9. Make sure your child has enough rest— but not over sleeping. Children need between 11 to 12 hours per night.
  10. Further, there are many daily activities that can lower stress, such as regular exercise, engaging in hobbies, write in a journal, meditation, yoga, listening to soft music, and visualization.

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group or find out more about Kaleidoscope Counseling please call 214-499-0396

Dr Trotter also post regularly on: Facebook Fan Page and Pinterest.

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