Tag: Emotions

Vulnerability is Not Weakness

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I grew up in a culture where opening up emotionally, or being vulnerable, was seen as weakness. It was for the gullible and naive - not the courageous.

Men were discouraged from ever showing sadness or fear. If they did, they were called names and made fun of for being “weak.” The only “negative” emotion that was socially acceptable to show was anger. If the men dared to show any sign of emotional vulnerability, their masculinity (a core identity for many) was instantly placed under public scrutiny.

Likewise, women were labeled as “overly emotional” if they cried in public. Women who were emotionally “stable” were the ones that cried in private and didn’t “make a fuss.” Another way of putting this is that they silenced their hearts and didn’t let others know how they really felt.

Many parents discouraged their children from crying in public to avoid embarrassment around onlookers. Parents cared more about the opini ...

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Posted in:

  • Vulnerability

Tags:

  • Emotions
  • courage
  • shame

What’s REALLY Happening In My Brain When I’m Freaking Out

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You feel your heart beating harder and faster in your chest. A lump forms in your throat. The sound of the person talking to you fades into the background as your own thoughts and concerns become all-consuming. Maybe you feel a turning in your stomach or no longer feel content to stand still. You feel like you are losing your mind!

Well, there’s a little bit of truth to that. Dan Siegal, an author and professor of psychiatry, uses a fun analogy to break down the brain and how it works in situations like these. At the risk of oversimplifying, we’ll name two main characters in our brain: the guard dog (aka our brain’s limbic regions) and the wise owl (aka our brain’s cerebrum). The main role of the guard dog is to protect us from danger, and to do it fast! The main role of the wise owl is to help us think through things, using logic and reason.

In these moments when we feel like we are losing our mind, our guard dog has sensed danger ...

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Posted in:

  • Anxiety

Tags:

  • Control
  • Emotions
  • anxiety
  • compassion
  • crisis
  • mindfullness
  • stress

Get in The [Green] Zone!

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“I didn’t mean to hit them! I just got really mad all of the sudden.”

“I can’t concentrate on anything right now!”

“I wasn’t trying to distract the class, I was just feeling kind of hyper.”

“I planned to go home to finish that project...next thing I knew, I had finished 4 episodes and a pint and half of Ben & Jerry’s.”

“I know I have to get my work done, but I don’t really feel like it.”

“I didn’t really want to snap at you like that...I guess I was just hangry.”

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My guess is that you’ve heard one if not all of the above statements at some point. Whether you’re a student, a parent, a teacher or an employee, chances are high that in the past week you or someone you care about has felt unmotivated, unable to focus, out of control of impulses and/or emotions. If you’re a kid, or if you’ve ever been a kid (that should pretty much cover everyone, I think) then you know the feeling ...

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Posted in:

  • Goals

Tags:

  • Communication
  • Emotions
  • Parenting
  • Self-Regulation

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