Friday, September 28, 2018

Why Is Mindfulness So Powerful?

*Photo Credit: my 14 year old son :D

Why do we need to practice being in the now? Right where you are. What benefits can we obtain from meditation? 

Neurological research on mindfulness, the practice of being in the present moment, shows many advantages to our health: a stronger immune system, better sleep, and a decrease in stress and cortisol levels in the brain. 

Negative cognitions and emotions, such as shame, shut down the brain. On the other hand, meditating on love and kindness physically changes the brain, sculpting and strengthening our neural pathways. 

Our brain flourishes on repeated good thoughts. Isn't this amazing?  

In today's video I try to remind myself why I need to meditate more, and keep doing yoga periodically, by sharing with you the benefits of being more mindful.

Breathe in... long breath out... you are already good at this! 

P.S. A Guided Breathing Meditation

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

What is Narcissistic Hoovering?

What is hoovering?

It's when the narcissist tries to suck you back into the relationship or into being available for them to obtain narcissistic supply.

It can happen in different ways. And it can look very different as well. Praise, flattery, a sudden crisis? Or maybe they are just criticizing you out of the blue. Whatever the excuse, it has only one goal. To engage you in the cycle of abuse yet again.

What does it feel like to be hoovered by a narcissist or a psychopath?

In today's video I compare it with a shark that is lurking an unaware happy go lucky swimmer. 

Oh, yes. It's weird.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Sleep & The Circadian Rhythm. Fill Your Cup Friday.

How many hours do you usually sleep? I'm a 6 to 7 hours of sleep kinda girl. 

I remember, growing up, I could never sleep more than 9 hours, 10 very rarely. And then when I became a mom something switched inside my brain. The thought of having an amazingly cute and tiny human being that depends on you for its sustenance made me remain so much more alert during the night.   

I still have that muscle even though my youngest is 12 and he definitely doesn't need me during the night! But still... The alertness is there. One of the many mom muscles that we didn't know we had, I suppose. 

What are the Recommended Hours of Sleep?

Younger Kids 9-11

Teenagers 8-10
Adults 7-9

 What is the Circadian Cycle of Wakefulness and Sleep?

It's your body's internal rhythm that helps determine when you fall asleep and when you wake up. This internal clock controls biological patterns, blood pressure, the release of hormones, and even body temperature.

In today's video I talk a bit more about this and three other components of sleep that have a lot to do with the science of sleep, along with a few natural remedies I tend to gravitate to. 

I'm curious to know, what are your tricks for a good night sleep? 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Narcissistic Abuse Cycle

Why is it so important to be aware of this cycle? Especially if you haven't bumped into a highly narcissistic person in your life? I think awareness and knowledge never hurt, if you ask me. 

Plus, Narcissist Personality Disordered people are one of the least diagnosed populations. They either don't go to therapy or if they do (usually the partner sends them) they are very likely to manipulate an unskilled mental health practitioner. This is why the possibilities of running into one during the course of our lifetime are pretty high. So, being better equipped to identify abusive behaviors can save us years of therapy.   

In today's video I go into the details of the cycle of abuse when it comes to psychopaths and narcissists.  

The Stages:

These happen over and over again without end, or until the final discard. However, it can continue after a separation or a divorce. This is why no contact is necessary. 

  • Idealization
At the beginning of the relationship. The narcissistic person idealizes the partner and "love bombs" him or her. Targets believe to have found a very kind, caring, warm kind of person, or everything they have always expected.

  • Devaluing
This is the stage where the target has not agreed to comply in some way with the narcissist, or has set up a boundary, and so as a result of a narcissistic injury, the abuser starts devaluing the target. A lot of gaslighting, cheating, lying, and manipulation occur here. Covert abuse is everywhere at this stage.

  • Discard
The highly narcissistic person discards the victim. This is the phase where the abuse appears to be more overt and obvious. Silent treatment (ignoring the target), and many other attacks towards the victim occur here, together with all the manipulative behaviors mentioned in the previous phase. If the victim is lucky, the abuser discards him or her abruptly. The behavior is not withing the  range of "normalcy" and so the victim feels completely confused and full of self doubt, guilt, sadness, and stress. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Benefits of Walking. Fill Your Cup Friday.

Find today's video here.                                                                

I love to go for walks. I feel like it’s a mild exercise that clears my mind and gives me a chance to listen to podcasts. I always feel better after a good walk in nature, ideally, and if not, just around my neighborhood. However I felt I wasn’t committed to walking periodically until the other day, my lifelong friend told me she goes for a walk daily, right after she drops the kids at school. And so I felt inspired by her commitment to walk more regularly.  

Now, let me tell you, I’m not going for walks absolutely every day. I have a problem with commitment to working out. But I must say I’m doing pretty good.

So I hope I can inspire you to do the same, especially if you are recovering from narcissistic abuse! Do it! In nature if possible, if nature is not easy to access, any extra step that you can add counts. It's all good when it comes to walking!

What are the Benefits of Walking?

1) Your Mood Improves

It’s what I would prescribe for clients fighting signs of depression, recovering from narcissistic abuse, or even when it comes to winter blues. Research shows that regular walking modifies your nervous system and reduces anger and hostility. Plus you get some Vitamin D from the sun.  

2) It Boosts Your Creativity.

Feel stuck? go for a walk.

3) Great for the Heart and Chronic Disease.

4) You Tend to Reach For Healthier Foods When You Get Into a Routine.

5) Your Jeans Fit Better!

A Harvard Study:

"1. It counteracts the effects of weight-promoting genes. Harvard researchers looked at 32 obesity-promoting genes in over 12,000 people to determine how much these genes actually contribute to body weight. They then discovered that, among the study participants who walked briskly for about an hour a day, the effects of those genes were cut in half.
2. It helps tame a sweet tooth. A pair of studies from the University of Exeter found that a 15-minute walk can curb cravings for chocolate and even reduce the amount of chocolate you eat in stressful situations. And the latest research confirms that walking can reduce cravings and intake of a variety of sugary snacks.
3. It reduces the risk of developing breast cancer. Researchers already know that any kind of physical activity blunts the risk of breast cancer. But an American Cancer Society study that zeroed in on walking found that women who walked seven or more hours a week had a 14% lower risk of breast cancer than those who walked three hours or fewer per week. And walking provided this protection even for the women with breast cancer risk factors, such as being overweight or using supplemental hormones.
4. It eases joint pain. Several studies have found that walking reduces arthritis-related pain, and that walking five to six miles a week can even prevent arthritis from forming in the first place. Walking protects the joints — especially the knees and hips, which are most susceptible to osteoarthritis — by lubricating them and strengthening the muscles that support them.
5. It boosts immune function. Walking can help protect you during cold and flu season. A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less. And if they did get sick, it was for a shorter duration, and their symptoms were milder."

*Harvard Health Publishing

So next time you find yourself looking for the nearest parking space to the store, go wild and leave the car a little further away. Your body will thank you.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Fill Your Cup Friday

I'm starting a Fill Your Cup Friday series of videos today in which I will be giving tips, ideas, and things you can do to know yourself more, feel better in your own skin, and just feel good. These are also great ways to heal from bad experiences, recover your self worth, or just be a happier version of yourself.

In today's video I mentioned the MBTI test, and how it can help you know yourself more so that you can be more forgiving and understanding of why you do what you do. Why you are the way you are. Everybody is different and this 16 personality types test is a great way to know your unique self.

There are also a few other updates. Thank you! Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

What is Covert Narcissism? Why do we need to know?

I wanted to specifically make a video about Covert Narcissism because it's the type of narcissism that is not obvious. The obvious one, overt type, would be the grandiose, flamboyant, highly narcissistic person who believes is better than the rest, and let's us know he or she is convinced about that. Easier to spot. 

However, the covert narcissist, in spite of sharing many of the qualities mentioned above (not flamboyant and flashy), is highly dangerous because it operates in a hidden manner. Back handed compliments, covert aggression, gaslighting, lies and manipulation abound when dealing with these people.  The thing is it's done pervasively over long periods of time and in a subtle, hidden (covert) way. So it's hard to realize you are dealing with one until the abuse is taking its toll.

Adults and children that stay in contact with family members that tick many of the boxes for a narcissism diagnosis develop serious health issues. It's like being on watch 24/7, like keeping your stress levels up all the time. Adult children of narcissistic parents live in a constant state of worry and guilt that destroys the immune system. Hormonal imbalance, anxiety, muscle pain, depression, insomnia, and irritable bowel syndrome, to name the most common.

By learning the signs we can be more aware, and by being aware we will have more power to spot them and be able to go no contact if possible, or set healthy boundaries.