Archive for the ‘mind’ Category

« Older Entries |

Join DEFINE for Ladies Night at Luke’s Locker

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Ladies Night at Luke’s Locker Houston 
Thursday, May 22, 7:00-9:00 PM
1953 West Gray, Houston, TX 77019

Grab your gals arsz_ladies_night_-_half_page_copy-page-0nd join us for Ladies Night at Luke’s Locker with Kenyan Way Running Club.

Meet members of Kenyan Way, Houston’s premier training program for runners of all abilities here to help you improve as a runner as well as providing a social network to meet friends with similar interests and goals.

Join in or observe a DEFINE mind session sampler by our knowledgable Houston instructors. These movements are perfect for any athlete looking to increase flexibility and help with mental focus by relieving tightness in the hamstrings, hips and shoulders.

And if that doesn’t relax you, try a Zing-Zing Martini from Izkali Tequila, a chair massage from Koala Health and Wellness Center and 20% off all shopping in the store. With great giveaways from DEFINE, Luke’s, and Koala, you won’t want to miss it!

Posted in mind | No Comments »

FIVE QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR MOM, PART II: MOTHER’S DAY ENLIGHTENMENT WITH KATHLEEN O’ LEARY

Friday, May 9th, 2014

In honor of Mother’s Day, earlier this week DEFINE Founder Henry Richardson sat down with his mom for a chat about their relationship. Now it’s DEFINE Co-owner and DEFINE foods Chef, Erin O’ Leary Stewart’s turn.

Give your mom the gift of an intimate moment with a light-hearted Q&A. Ask your mom these questions and let us know what enlightening tidbits you found out about her.

For more bonding, bring mom to our body basics workshop on Mother’s Day 11:00am at West University with mimosas and shopping to follow.  REGISTER HEREFor Mother’s Day happenings at our other studios, learn more HERE .

IMG_0314

Erin: What characteristics do we share? Which of my characteristics differ from you?

Kathleen: We both are very driven to achieve all we can be and are constantly striving to be better and inspire others. We are independent, entrepreneurs, results oriented, love the arts, music and cherish our friends and family dearly.

We began dance classes around the same age and continued throughout college, though it became your profession post college and took your education in movement/health into the fitness industry today.

We also differ in that you love to cook and I love to eat!

Erin: What are the differences from being a mother now days to when I was a child? Which do you think is harder/easier?

Kathleen: Since I had a business career before my children were born, I knew I would continue to work throughout my life. Raising children while working was never easy and I suspect it is not easy today for the younger mothers.

Erin: What is your favorite memory of being my mother?

Kathleen: When you entered grade school, every year was exciting to experience your achievements as your mother. Your dance recitals, swim team races, tennis/golf lessons, cheerleading awards and student council elections kept us all busy!

Erin: What has surprised you about the path my life has taken as an adult?

Kathleen: I was very surprised you became interested in cooking since you never cooked in high school or college. Achieving a degree in the culinary arts was a big surprise but also obviously relevant to your industry, as what you put into your body goes hand-in-hand to the benefits of exercise.

Erin: What one piece of health and wellness advice would you give mothers in their 20s, 30s and 40s?

Kathleen: My advice to every person is to make sure you do something for yourself everyday. We all work very hard and our lives are hectic. It is important to take a small amount of time for yourself. Years ago, I would get up at 5:00am so I would have time to relax in a hot bath with no interruptions. Quiet time is important. When my children took naps, I would read a book or magazine even if there were many other chores waiting for me. Those 30 minute “time outs” gave me the energy I needed.

Posted in Baby, Kids, Mommy & Me, Relationships | No Comments »

Five Questions to Ask Your Mom: Mother’s Day Enlightenment with Anne Richardson

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, DEFINE founder Henry Richardson sat down with his mom for a glance at their relationship. Give your mom the gift of an intimate moment with a light-hearted Q&A. Ask your mom these questions and let us know what enlightening tidbits you found out about her.

For more bonding, bring mom to our body basics workshop on Mother’s Day 11:00am at West University with mimosas and shopping to follow.  REGISTER HERE. For Mother’s Day happenings at our other studios, learn more HERE .

photo

Henry and Anne Richardson

Henry: What characteristics do we share? Which of my characteristics differ from you?

 Anne: I think we share the characteristics of compassion for others and a deep love of family and friends. We also look very similar-we both definitely came from the same gene pool.

We differ in your never-ending energy for work and love of exercise.  You resemble your father more in these areas. I am not the morning person that you are!

Henry: What are the differences from being a mother now days to when I was a child? Which do you think is harder/easier?

Anne: I think being a mom has always been one of the most important jobs on earth. I can’t say it was harder or easier in my day because every generation has its own challenges. I do believe with all of the access to information and media today, some of it good and a lot of it bad; there are some really big responsibilities for moms to keep their kids protected.

Henry: What is your favorite memory of being my mother?

Anne: I have so many great memories of you growing up but some of the best were going to your diving meets and watching you compete with top athletes in the country and around the world when you were 11 to 21.  These were also some of my proudest moments of you.

Henry: What has surprised you about the path my life has taken as an adult?

Anne: Well…you’ve been full of surprises, but that’s what made you the unique individual you’ve turned out to be.  And I couldn’t be more proud of your accomplishments!

Henry: What one piece of health and wellness advice would you give mothers in their 20s, 30s and 40s?

Anne: Enjoy your health and beautiful bodies at every age. When you look back, you’ll wish you were less critical of yourself and appreciated your youth and good health.

Stay tuned later this week for answers by DEFINE co-owner and DEFINE foods Chef Erin O’ Leary Stewart’s mom, Kathleen.

 

 

Posted in living, Mommy & Me, Relationships | No Comments »

#WEDIDIT

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

WeDIDIT_DEFINEbunchgraphic200x200

This month we are sharing and celebrating goals we’ve accomplished! Here are a few of our teams stories and how DEFINE was there along the way!  Have YOU met your goals? Share with us at marketing@definebody.com or on instagram @definebody, #WEDIDIT

photo-7

“DEFINE has helped me accomplish a strong body and mind so I can be a healthy Mom!” -DEFINE experience expert,Danielle Rolfes

image-3

DEFINE has helped me take much better care of my body in the way that I warm-up before a show. I have so much more control of my body in my dancing, and it helps me stay in shape when we have down time during the performance season. DEFINE promotes balance as one of its core values, and without valuing balance in my life, I wouldn’t be able to juggle teaching my weekly classes, dancing with Urban Souls, and teaching Dance in a PK-8 school Full-Time. - DEFINE instructor, Marlene Watts

DSC_3685

Achieve physical and mental strength, pre and post pregnancy.  Each class at DEFINE challenges me to become stronger, and leaves me more energized for my little ones. - DEFINE senior instructor, Lori Bertrand

photo-9

“I ran my first half marathon!  DEFINE has given me endurance, strength, flexibility, and most importantly has taught me how to breathe while exercising. My body is forever grateful that I walked into a DEFINE for the first time 3 years ago!” -DEFINE instructor, Callie Anne Holland

photo-8

“I have stayed healthy, energized and fit throughout my pregnancy! I love the way I feel after taking and teaching! I’ve had a lot of people tell me I have “that glow”, which I attribute to getting plenty of sleep and taking DEFINE classes.”-DEFINE instructor, Emily Lewis

GriffinWedding

“I was a confident, happy bride on my wedding day! Through the stress of the wedding planning process I always would find peace and focus at DEFINE. The combination of the REV and Body classes helped to make sure I looked my best on my wedding day. The DEFINE mind was there when I needed a little time to unwind and relax and get away. – DEFINE instructor, Kate Cromwell Griffin

image(1)

“I’m a braver person now! DEFINE helps me try new things! I never would have para-sailed this year without building confidence through teaching class!- DEFINE instructor, Elizabeth Suffield Wilhite

photo 1

“After a lot of shaking, wobbling, and literately falling on my face a few times, I was finally able to master an arm balance! Last summer, I began incorporating a DEFINE yoga practice into my weekly fitness routine. Sometimes you need to step outside your comfort zone and really challenge yourself. Often times  you will be amazed at what you are able to achieve. .” -DEFINE instructor,  Alison Brookby

 

IMG_0277-3

“I am now training for my first 1/2 Ironman! Working at DEFINE has inspired me to dream big.” -DEFINE instructor & manager, Kristin Frizzell

photo-10

“I finished almost four minutes faster than my goal marathon time! I credit DEFINE revolution for my cross training, DEFINE body for my strength and DEFINE mind for  for injury prevention. I also felt so incredibly uplifted at miles four and seven in front of our studios as I saw my fellow instructors cheering us runners on.” -DEFINE instructor Jennifer Harkins

 

DSC_3495_retialimagenewsletter_copy

ENTER A CHANCE TO WIN $25!!!

Inspire us with a photo of you in your DEFINE Burnout Tank.Tag @definebody and #WEDIDIT on Instagram for a chance to win $25!Purchase a NEW DEFINE tank shop.definebody.com

Posted in living, mind | No Comments »

Human Kindness

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

HumanKindness

By: Lori Hudson Bertrand DC, RN

Last month our email and Facebook accounts were bombarded with reminders to be thankful this holiday season.  Hopefully, being grateful isn’t something just practiced around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but put into action throughout the year.  I’m sure every one of you can think of something or someone that has enriched your life or touched your heart in some shape or form.  The actions of kindness, giving, and loving can change someone’s life forever.  After all we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves.  So in what ways do you plan on helping others this month and in the year to come?

Helper’s High
Many people have reported euphoric feelings, much like the physical sensations you get after working out, when we help another person.  This “feel good” reaction can be compared to emotional wellbeing.  A. Luks & P. Payne, authors of The Healing Power of Doing Good, states, almost all helpers describe specific sensations that occur when helping others: warmth, euphoria, increased energy, and positive emotional and physical wellbeing result initially when helping others.  These sensations can all describe what is called, the “helpers high”.  This state is most likely linked to an endorphin release in the blood.   Endorphins are opiates that occur naturally within the body can aid in reducing pain and promoting sensations of wellbeing.  Endorphins are released in the body when helping others.  Maybe you give on a regular basis or can think back to a moment when you really touched someone’s heart through helping another.  Whether it’s giving your time or giving a gift, helping others is addicting.  It penetrates to every fiber of your being.  Helping others sparks a desire to want to share more, give more, and do more for those around you.

Help Others
Sure you could list ways to help others, but inevitably the list would probably get longer and longer the more thought you put into it.  The truth is, we all need help in some shape or form from time to time.  Whether if it’s having someone hold the door open when our hands are full, or help during a time of need, it all goes a long way.  Our challenge is to notice when help may be needed.  When we look for situations to help others, our attitudes begin to change, our state of mind becomes geared towards opportunities to make a mark on someone’s else’s’ life, and never expecting anything in return.  Helping from the heart with love, and unselfishly giving to others can be carried out in even the smallest of ways, such as paying for the order behind you in the drive through.  Leave a bigger tip than you normally would.  Take note of the person’s name checking you out at the grocery store tell them “thank you” and call them by name.  Other ways to give of your time and love would be donating to local shelters, organizations, disaster relief programs, and even local nursing homes.  All too many times we think of having to travel a long distance to help others, when needs can be met right here.

Physical Benefits
When giving on a regular basis, no matter if it’s big or small, it can change who we are, how we think, and what we value in life.  This giving state of mind affects us in many ways.  Studies show that 95% of people experience a helping high after giving.  Of those, 9 out of 10 people perceive their health to be good when compared to others who don’t give.1   This is critical to note.  Research indicates that when one believes their health to be good, actual improvements in health are made.  How often we help others seems to be a key element of increased well-being.  There is a 10 times greater chance in those who give several times a year to view themselves as healthier than once-a-year helpers.2   Physiological benefits are seen when we help others.  One instant change includes promoting a sense of calmness within.  When stress is reduced, and the body and mind are relaxed, blood pressure lowers, the immune system functions optimally, pain may decrease, and energy levels sky rocket. The ramifications of kindness not only reverberate to those around us in this world, but also affect us within.

Ignite Change
When we shift our focus from ourselves, to others, we find that the problems we thought we had, become small.  Helping others can make our problems seem insignificant.  All to often we get caught up in the busyness of the season that we forget that there are many in need.  Make this mind set of giving and loving others last not just through this month, but also into the year to come!

1Luks, A., Payne, P (1992).  The Healing Power of Doing Good. The Health and 

Spiritual Benefits of Helping Others. New York: Fawcett Columbine, 81.

2 Luks, 82.

Lori_frontblogImageDEFINE’s senior instructor and anatomy specialist, Lori Hudson Bertrand D.C., R.N. is a doctor in chiropractic and registered nurse. Her love for helping people through education about anatomy and physiology drives her to continue to share her experiences and knowledge with others as they pursue their journey towards health and restoration!

Posted in mind | No Comments »

The November Mindset: how one month can affect the body and mind

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

DEFINE’s Thanksgiving Party Pics on Facebook!

 

The Physiological affects of gratitude on the body

By: Lori Hudson Bertrand DC, RN

 

“When we are grateful, we affirm that a source of goodness exists in our lives.” Dr. Emmons*

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is already here, but it is!  This month brings with it more time with family, friends, and loved ones.  November is set apart to express those things we are thankful for and to spark feelings of gratitude.  Expressing gratitude is good practice.  It not only generates kindness and love for those around us, but also ignites a calmness and peace that is penetrated from deep within.  Dr. Stewart, Medical Director of the institute for Health & Health explains, being mindful of what we are thankful for can create positive emotions, and when this becomes a daily occurrence, more positive feelings emerge. Aside from uplifting those on the receiving end with a “thank you” or, “I appreciate you,” the one who expresses gratitude can benefit greatly as well.  Dr. Emmons*, professor at the University of California and scientific expert on gratitude and positive psychology movement studied thousands of people from young to old and repeatedly found that those who practiced gratitude, consistently benefited physically and emotionally.  Here are some ways the body and mind are affected when gratitude is practiced regularly:

Lower stress levels

When the body is stressed, there is an increased risk for getting sick.  Chronic stress has been linked to cardiovascular disease and cancer.  According to Dr. Emmons, over 90% of doctor’s visits can be tied to stress. Gratitude can have tremendous positive effects on helping people manage stress on a daily basis.

Healthier immune system

The immune system has a better chance of fighting against illness and protecting the body from pathogens when stress is reduced.  Research suggests that being grateful creates more optimism, which is a characteristic that can help improve the immune system.

Protective measures

Gratitude affects the body both mentally and physically.  When we practice being appreciative the calming part of the nervous system (parasympathetic) is triggered.  Research shows that daily gratitude generates protective effects on the cardiovascular system, reduces depression, increases alertness, ignites a passion to help others, reduces blood pressure, stimulates enthusiasm and determination from within, and creates more energy.

Creating a mindset of gratitude

Being thankful and being appreciative for the good things in life can awaken the body and mind, making us feel alive.  Where we are in life and the journeys we have been through (or still going through) make us who we are. Adversity promotes growth, so even in the midst of struggle or loss, practicing a positive and grateful attitude can change your focus. When focusing on what we do have instead of what we don’t, goodness – no matter how big or small – is brought to attention.  Don’t just focus on materialistic things; invest time and express love to those around you. Dive into a mindset of talking to yourself in an optimistic way.  Consistently practicing this mindset can create positive emotions.  Creating a mindset of gratitude creates feelings of forgiveness and compassion towards othersIt strengthens relationships, reduces feelings of isolation, and stimulates feelings of joy and hopefulness.

While it is easy to concentrate on these things during the month of November, positive feelings and being in a thankful mindset can ware off quickly.  Being grateful calls us to be present in the moment, to participate in life, and celebrate the things we have.  I think all to often we get caught in a worldly view of “deserving” something or someone, that we lose sight of the goodness around us.  Gratitude isn’t something that happens over night, but rather when practiced, little by little the door is open to appreciate the gifts that have been given to you.  According to Dr. Emmons research, the following practices can help you keep a grateful mindset:

  • Journal of gratitude–writing each day can illuminate sources of goodness
  • Keep three things in mind daily: The gifts you receive in life, on giving to others and acknowledging how our actions or words can hurt others–this allows us to understand ourselves better and realize the grace we live by
  • Remember the bad­­­ – We all like to remember the good things, but we also need to remember the difficult times in order to put our current circumstances in perspective and be thankful for where we have come.
  • Prayers of gratitude–pray words of thanks
  • Surround yourself with visual reminders (notecards, plaques, magnets etc.) that encourage thoughts of gratefulness
  • Breathe–try to make a conscious effort at least three times a day to slow down and focus on your breathing.  When you exhale, speak words of thankfulness, reminding yourself of those things you’re grateful for
  • Commit to be grateful- committing to be grateful to yourself or in front of others can create accountability to keep a grateful mindset
  • Make a conscious effort to smile more­–studies have shown that when facial expressions, correlated with happiness are mimicked, happiness is felt
  • Pay attention to your language– language influences thought process.  Focus on the good things that other people have done for you

The month of November can generate appreciation for others, leaving them with a since of positivity and hopefulness.  A grateful mindset is something that may take practice, but when repeated on a continual basis, can change the way you act, how you feel, and the way you live. Encouraging others is a reciprocal act. I challenge you as the holiday season approaches to be thankful, not just this month, but in the months and years to come.

 

Lori_frontblogImageDEFINE’s senior instructor and anatomy specialist, Lori Hudson Bertrand D.C., R.N. is a doctor in chiropractic and registered nurse. Her love for helping people through education about anatomy and physiology drives her to continue to share her experiences and knowledge with others as they pursue their journey towards health and restoration!

 

 

* Emmons, R. A.  (2007).  Thanks: how the new science of gratitude can make you

happier. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

 

* Emmons, R.A. (Nov. 2010. The Greater Good, the Science of a Meaningful Life. Why Gratitude is good.  Retrieved from

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/why_gratitude_is_good/

 

Posted in mind | No Comments »

A love letter to DEFINE

Friday, October 18th, 2013

CandaceAnother

An inspiring story from our devoted client, Candace. We couldn’t be more thrilled about being partners in her transformation. Check it out on her blog, LUXE WITH KIDS!

LuxeWithKids

 

Posted in Giving Back, mind | No Comments »

Stress: No one is exempt Part 3 of 3

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

KidsStress2

Stress: No one is exempt

Part 3 of 3

Lori Hudson Bertrand DC, RN

Stress can be defined in many different ways.  Emotional and physiological aspects are factors when defining stress.  Basically, it’s an imbalance between the coping skills of the person perceiving stress and their environmental demands.   It is important to remember that some stress can be good or bad, excessive or severe. Although we all experience stress in some shape or form, some children (and adults) seem to be more vulnerable to it than others.   A child’s age, health, reaction, and temperament can all contribute to how a child handles stress1.  As much as we would love to protect our children from stress and worry, it’s impossible.  We can, however, equip them with coping strategies that can be used throughout life when they encounter stress.

 

It’s important for caregivers and parents to be attentive to signs of stress in children.  This will help them process and deal with stress before it gets overwhelming.  It is important to remember that stress can be displayed in many different forms and each child is unique.  If a child is exposed to several stressors at the same time or in succession, they are more vulnerable to experiencing behavioral or health changes.  Remember, stress is real even at a young age.  When helping a child, try to recognize, understand, and anticipate the nature of stress in their life.  Do this by really listening to them.  When we listen we can become aware of concerns and fears.  Validate that what they say and feel matters; let them know they are important.  Comforting a child through physical contact like hugging or holding can be reassuring and can also foster communication.  Spending time with them, unhurried and uninterrupted time can build up security and strengthen your relationship. This can be done throughout the day, (placing the phone and computers aside!) or during family vacations and outings.  Listening, providing physical contact, and spending time with them are essential to children’s well-being.

 

Some sources of stress can be from school, family, friends, and other organized activities.  These combined with pressures to score well on exams, preform in sports, and other daily requirements can create unrealistic expectations on school-aged children1.  Incorporate open communication into your daily routine as a tool for identifying sources of stress.  Some of the following signs can be displayed in children experiencing stress:

 

  • Bed-wetting
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Regressive behavior
  • Changes in academic performance
  • Alteration in sleep or nightmares
  • Stomach aches
  • Change in eating habits

 

Children around the ages of 7-12 years of age are capable of identifying how their body reacts to stress.  A description such as their heart beats fast, headaches, goose bumps or stomachaches are all phrases used by children to denote stress1.   Children are encouraged to identify some of these physiological responses as reactions to stress in order to better manage stress in their lives. Learning tools like deep breathing exercises, physical activity, and other relaxation techniques can reduce anxiety in children.  When finding a technique that works for them, children can use that coping strategy in other situations.  Obviously, each child is different. This isn’t to say that these signs and symptoms always signify excessive stress in a child. It is to draw light on the fact that stress is real in all ages, and when both the child and caregiver are aware of what’s being experienced along with how to address it in a healthy and productive way, children are better equipped to cope with stress now and in the future.

 

Fears leading to stress vary based on age.  Common fears in elementary school age children that are considered normal are being scared of the dark, need for reassurance, and stress over past behaviors.  As children approach middle school and high school, fears shift more into family and school related issues1.

 

Children face stress so why not equip them with ways to handle tension in a healthy and productive manner? Coping strategies are how children can deal with stress.  Studies show that as children get older, they develop a more vigilant means of coping.  Like adults, children respond to stress by trying to adjust to their environment or change their circumstances1. Incorporating effective ways to reduce stress in their lives and have them utilize these activates as they grow can help them in the future. Listening to music, playing sports, reading, drawing, writing, taking a nap and physical exercise are all ways children can cope with stress.

 

Stress reduction techniques can be taught to children.  Stress truly exists in their lives.  First, recognize signs and symptoms that can manifest from tension then adapt healthy ways they can cope with stress.  These can be different for every child.  Second, as a parent or caregiver, try to anticipate possible stressful situations and talk it out with your child beforehand.  One of the most beneficial tools a child can learn is solving problems.  When they learn how to solve a problem they begin to see new situations as a learning experience1. This creates the knowledge that they have the ability within themselves to solve problems and better handle situations that come their way.  Children gain a since of confidence when they learn to solve problems.  They also do better when they know who to go to when they are in a difficult situation.

 

Bottom line- Life gets busy; schedules get packed between kids, work, and chores; stress begins to take over.  Take a moment to sit back, breathe, and enjoy those around you. If you feel rushed, how do you think your kids feel?  They pick up on more than we realize.  So begin to adapt healthy, stress reducing habits and model this for your children.  Spend quality time with them and really get to know what they’re thinking. Enjoy the time you have with them, they grow up so fast!

 

Lori_frontblogImage

DEFINE’s senior instructor and anatomy specialist, Lori Hudson Bertrand D.C., R.N. is a doctor in chiropractic and registered nurse. Her love for helping people through education about anatomy and physiology drives her to continue to share her experiences and knowledge with others as they pursue their journey towards health and restoration!

Source:

1Hockenberry, M., Wilson, D. (2009). Wong’s Essentials of Pediatric Nursing, 8th ed. St. Louis, Missouri: Mosby Elsever.

Posted in Kids, mind | No Comments »

The Key to Stress-Free Relationships

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Stress-Jessica-Relationships

This week I’ve had the privilege of being a part of an intensive couples retreat as a guest therapist. Sequestered in the middle of the Texas panhandle, The Hideaway Experience, located on the cliff of Palo Duro Canyon, guides four couples pained by the negative patterns in their marriage to meet their fears head on, dive deep into the origins of their struggles and create a new way of relating that for most, has never been felt before.

These past few days have not been easy and that’s just from my perspective as a therapist;I can only imagine what it has been like for the participants. What I’ve witnessed here and in my own personal life, is that when it comes to relationships (especially those closest to us; spouses, children & partners), we can be quick to react and slow to respond.

Let me break this down a bit further. Just as we react without thinking when we’re in physical danger (jump back, defend, run, attack), we react in this same unconscious way to emotional distress (argue, attack, yell, flee). In the moment, when fear is activated (physical or emotional) all our brain knows to do is “fight or flight,” attack or escape.

This type of stress the body experiences cuts straight to the core of our being. Meaning, a feeling is activated deep inside based on our confirmation bias (the tendency to favor information that confirms our belief about ourselves or the situation), that sends us into an emotional panic where the limbic system (which is responsible for how we process emotions, as well as encoding and storing memories) engages and sends messages dictating how the body will respond [escape or attack]).

In effect, the frontal lobe of the brain that houses our impulse control, reasoning and logic shuts down and before we know it we’re reacting out of our previous pain, rather than what might actually be happening in the moment.

For example, for someone whose parent left the family when they were young, the belief might be that everyone will end up abandoning them at some point– so why trust? These beliefs are not usually a conscious thought;they are stored away in the brain and easily accessed when the limbic system senses fear, hurt, shame or distress.

Our logical mind becomes disabled during times of high emotional stress and can cause strong reactions in an attempt to protect from further disappointment or hurt. I’m sure we’ve all been there. We get angry, maybe even enraged or shut down and withdraw on the drop of a dime. We aren’t sure what caused such a strong visceral reaction…all we know is it happened and more times than not, we’re left with a mess to clean up. The situation could have escalated to one person walking out, something said that wasn’t meant or periods of silence that can go on for days.

If you’re anything like me,when this happens I tend to try and overanalyze the situation, punish myself for not reacting “better,” and get stuck in what I should have done. Although this may provide some new insight to why I reacted in the first place, focusing on what I ‘should‘ have done, generally just ends up in feelings of guilt (the belief that I did something bad) or even worse… Shame (the belief that “I” am bad).

When in fact, the best thing I can do in this moment is recognize what happened, track back to before my reaction and with curiosity, ask myself these important questions:

  • What am I feeling?
  • What is this reminding me of?
  • What is this causing me to believe about myself?

These questions have the ability to shed a bright light on what triggers my emotional responses and subconsciously leads to the awareness of reactions that might create a larger disconnect with me and the other person involved (usually my husband).

Not only that, they increase my self-awareness for the next time I start to feel those strong emotional responses again. It allows me to challenge my confirmation bias and allow my partner (or whoever else is involved) the opportunity to be separate from my experience long ago and possibly even prove my own belief about relationships or people wrong.

Once I’ve understood what I am feeling, what it reminds me of and what my belief is, I can then be sensitive and curious about what might be going on with the other person as well.

  • What might he/they be feeling in the moment?
  • What could he/they be reminded of or fear?
  • What might he/they believe about himself/themselves?

 

This type of questioning with sincerity calms my defenses to attack or escape and actually brings me closer to the person I am interacting with. When my posture is engaged and wanting to know more to understand them, I am less likely to respond out of anger or resentment and believe that they, just like me, have their own confirmation bias that has been triggered and their belief about me could me similar to what my fear is about them. Make sense?

Essentially, we then start to see how each person is affected, we can then respond and work to better understand one another without jumping to our own pre-determined conclusions about what we “think” or “feel” will happen based on what has hurt us in the past.

Taking these steps to slow down the process in communication and understanding can dramatically change your interactions with others and instead of creating a divide that gets greater and greater over time leading to disconnect and discomfort, you can begin to rewrite your interactions to be ones that bring you closer, keep you engaged and build compassion for the other.

Being known is the goal of relationships — we just need to first get past ourselves.

 

JessicasHeadshots001

DEFINE’s Emotional Wellness ExpertJessica Pass, LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Instructor at DEFINE body&mind. She has a private practice in Houston, Texas, specializing with children, adolescents, individuals, couples and parents. Jessica’s approach incorporates mind-body integration, education and practical strategies to improve emotional wellness, emphasizing all aspects of who we are to live fully and thrive in our relationships.







Posted in Relationships | No Comments »

Can You Pass The Stress Test?

Monday, September 9th, 2013

ChapterThree_Blog

Chapter 3: Balance

Balance is active.  Like a tightrope walker on a wire.  Creating balance takes both strength, length & an awareness that comes with practice.  At DEFINE all classes are based on the principle of both physical and mental balance so you can move with the natural ebb and flow of life.

April and Ashley are wearing  flattering looks from Splits59 Get the look here!






Posted in Body, mind, Retail | No Comments »

« Older Entries |