We Are All Rhythm Driven

Being a percussionist for much of my adult life, learning the basics in elementary school, it wasn’t until I was in my mid 20’s that I became driven. Rhythm driven. Playing a variety of hand drums has certainly been fun, whether at home alone, with others in a drum circle or out performing on stage. I find drumming to be motivating, captivating, and an incredible form of self expression. It can also be very healing for the performer as well as the listener. I’d like to share some of the insight I’ve gained through my experience while playing at music events across the northeast. I believe we all have a purpose, a gift to share, a heart that lives deep inside. As a performer I recognize that becoming a member of a larger community enriches everyone. I also recognize the incredible blessings that come from coming together, celebrating, collaborating and creating.

I feel it is safe to say most of us can recognize the power of music. Often we feel a change affecting us when something in a song grabs us. Sometimes it is a song being heard for the first time. Other times it could be in one we have listened to many times before. It could be the melody, a lyric, or a rhythm. It could be an old song from just as far back as our memories can go. Music can relieve our stress, inspire us, make us feel creative or amplify our passion. It dissipates pain and can motivate change in our life paths. The healing power of music often brightens our days.

Drumming is an important bridge in music and certainly in its early history for storytelling. Drums can lead an event and they can help carry it along. Over the last several years I’ve played with musicians and dj’s, sometimes on stage, but more enthusiastically right on the dance floor. The real magic is when the music is played from the heart and the listeners dance from that same place. This creates an additional rhythm all its own. The smiles on the faces of those sharing the moment is inspiring and healing almost beyond measure.

I’ve often been asked about the way to start learning how to drum. Actually, I think drumming is in us all, in some capacity, and certainly practice is key. More importantly, just letting go of worry! Watch a young child get in the groove. We are born natural little performers. You don’t need anything fancy or even a drum at all! A kitchen sink can sound amazing as can just a bucket with some sticks. The simplest explanation I have come up with is to not have our brain move our hands at all, let the rhythm do that. We bob our heads or tap our feet to the beat of the music automatically. When we’re feeling the groove, the pulse, should simply be our guide.

In the busy, often complicated world we live in there is a need for more celebrating. We need more relaxation, fun and healing. We need more positive events to look forward to. We need to shake it on the dance floor! We need to let go of worry and stress. Human history has shown that drumming has always been an integral part of storytelling and communication. Drumming has existed for thousands of years providing entertainment, spiritualism and celebration.

It is my hope that the drums, along with the music and infectious rhythms created with them, will enkindle joy in all hearts. So turn on and turn up the music as often as you can. Keep your ears open to new and exciting rhythms. Get out and play! Get rhythm driven!

Jim Chiefari is a professional videographer and musician, working in the capital region and beyond for the past 15 years. He is launching a new multi-media and music project entitled Rhythm Driven Coalition. Its purpose is to combine live musicians with popular songs remixed. After attending college, Jim graduated from the Vt. Institute of Massage Therapy and New School for Television and Radio.

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Kicking the Sugar Habit

by Suzanne Golub

Sugar is a complex part of our diet – we know we should limit our intake, but how do we give up the taste we love so much? We turn to sugar for all the wrong reasons – for energy, for comfort, out of boredom, and when we’re stressed, but we also consume a large amount of hidden sugar. The typical American diet is filled with hidden added sugars, including most processed and pre-packaged foods. Sugar has been shown to increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. Then why do we find it so hard to give it up?

Natural sugars, such as those occurring in fruit, contain water and fiber, which slows the digestion in your body. Processed sugar contains no fat, fiber or protein, so your body absorbs it instantly (that’s why we get that sugar rush).  When you eat processed sugar, the pancreas releases insulin to take the sugar out of the bloodstream. If you are eating a regular diet of sugar and processed food, your body is used to it, so when you eat sugar, the pancreas overcompensates and secretes a little extra insulin. That is when you experience a crash. So the high of the sugar rush and the low of the crash is the blood sugar roller coaster that wreaks havoc on your energy, your mood and your cravings, and keeps you coming back for more sugar. When insulin removes the excess sugar, it can deposit it in three places – the brain, the blood cells, or the muscles. But if your regular intake of sugar has these receptors already full, then where does the sugar go? Unfortunately, it’s stored as fat and shows up on your abdomen, your hips and your thighs. And as long as you continue to eat sugar, that fat is not going anywhere.

So, how do you quit sugar once and for all?

  1. Most of us reach for sugar out of habit. The first step is to eat mindfully and be in touch with whether you are actually hungry and if not, what is it that you are craving? Sometimes we just need some sweetness in our life, not actual sugar. Do you need a hug? Someone to talk to? Time for yourself? Drink a glass of water and wait a few minutes before you reach for that candy. Take a moment to be sure you are not just reaching for it out of habit.

 

  1. So often our cravings occur because we are dehydrated. You need a lot more water than you think. You should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces every day. Dehydration can make you feel tired, cranky and crave sugar.

 

  1. Check your protein – are you getting enough? A high protein snack, like an apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter or a handful of almonds will cut your cravings. Be sure your diet includes enough high quality protein.

 

  1. Are you a coffee drinker? Coffee can mimic the symptoms of sugar – feeling energized and then crashing. Coffee is also dehydrating. Limit caffeine intake to one cup in the morning and then switch to herbal or green tea. Are you a soda or other bottled beverage drinker? These are the worst culprits for added sugar. Cut back on your intake each day and replace with water with a slice of lemon or lime until you have eliminated all soda. Start drinking green juices. Loading up on fresh veggies helps cut sweet cravings.

 

  1. Replace sugar with sweet veggies, fruit and spices such as squashes, peppers, strawberries, pears, and cinnamon. If you are desperately craving something sweet, try an apple or a bowl of sweet berries, or a couple of dates or apricots. Even a cup of sweet herbal tea can knock out a craving.

 

  1. You will be amazed at the hidden sugar you find – yogurt, bottled sauces and dressings, low fat cookies, cereal. Take the time to read labels when you shop so you can make healthy choices.

 

 

There are many health benefits to eliminating sugar from your diet, including lower blood pressure, reduced risk of cancer, a sharper brain, clearer skin and fewer cravings. Take an inventory of how much sugar you are consuming. Slowly replace the sugar in your diet with healthier choices. You will be amazed that your cravings begin to disappear.

 

 

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Suzanne Golub is a Holistic Health Coach and owner of Life in Balance in Saratoga Springs. She has a Masters in Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University and is a graduate of the Health Coach Institute. She is also a Reiki Master Teacher and owner of Shaanti Energy Healing. She has been practicing Reiki for over 20 years. Suzanne offers a holistic approach to health and healing and helps clients lose weight, eliminate cravings, gain energy, manage stress and create new healthy habits. She is also a contributing author to the book, What We Talk About When We’re Over 60. She can be contacted at: libcoach1@gmail.com, or visit her website:http://www.lifeinbalancecoaching.net.

 

‘The Healing Springs’ Turns 15

For 15 years we have grown as a community through the pages of The Healing Springs Journal. While I facilitate putting together each issue, it is only because of the talented practitioners who write articles and advertise that there is anything to produce. We were the virtual community before the internet truly took us by storm. Thanks for coming along on the ride. In the first issue I wrote; “This is the beginning of a group journey. For the community, it is a visit back to our healing roots. For me personally, it is an adventure in learning how to live life authentically. New York, Saratoga especially, has a strong tradition in health. The Healing Springs will help maintain that history by creating a forum to unite wellness practitioners in informing the community of their choices. It is our mission to address the whole person by providing articles that allow the reader to make empowered decisions in relation to the wellness of their mind, body, spirit, environment and lifestyle.” (See cover below)

Because I created The Healing Springs Journal as a sole proprietor, I have been able to make decisions based on my own conscience rather than the dictates of a corporation. One choice is to keep articles and advertising completely separate. If you find an article written by an advertiser that is by the author/advertiser’s choice alone. Anything else seems a conflict of interest and a disservice to you as the reader. Another decision made 15 years ago is to allow each journal to shape itself. Of course, I have to do the gathering and design. However, I do not have agendas for each issue, or preplanned themes. This allows what I call the ‘self-organization of life’ to put out what the readers need in the moment. Countless people tell me that it feels like each issue is addressing them specifically. We do that not with the use of analytics and algorithms, but by trusting the flow of life.

The other day I read Chief Seattle’s letter to the president from 1852. 165 years ago wasn’t that long ago for how much has changed. This letter has been quoted often in short bits; the full-length version is amazingly touching and poignant. The following paragraph really caught my heart’s attention…

“Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted by talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is it to say goodbye to the swift pony and the hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.”

That last sentence especially intrigues me; “the end of living and the beginning of survival.” For the modern human, this may seem preposterous. Aren’t we thriving with our conveniences? Weren’t the primitive Indians focused only on surviving? Yet, what if the opposite is true? Would this explain why so many people are afflicted with depression, lack of satisfaction or addiction today?

After that last big snowstorm, I did a live Facebook video while trudging through the snow (I do this outdoors every Thursday to flood Facebook with nature. If you want to come along find me there). My friend, Virginia, asked “no snowshoes?” It’s true that I was not wearing any and my feet sunk deep with each step. I have snowshoes—thought I needed them back in Vail, Co where I lived through my 20s, as everyone there did. I also really liked gear at that time. Today I’d prefer having my feet unencumbered of metal shoes. Boil down the why of that and its my preference for direct experiences. For instance, I want to be with horses or lions, not watch them on a screen. In this scenario, it means I want to have my feet directly on the ground not with a snowshoe in between. This is also true in my spiritual practices. I like them simple and direct. To muddle them with techniques feels less sincere for me. I say, “To complicate is human, to simplify is spirit.” This is not true for others, which is what makes the human species interesting—our differences. Plato said, “As youth fades and time brings changes we may change many of our present opinions. So let us refrain from setting ourselves up as judge of the highest matter.” Whatever creates a feeling of love, life, peace, or connection is our best spiritual practice. Whether that’s sitting in the woods alone, or chanting with a thousand people. We are in the time that Chief Seattle spoke of; let us stay true to what fills us with life, as a swift pony and the hunt did for the Chief. The key is to be genuine to our inner impulse, for it is that self-organizing life force that, among everything else, puts together each Healing Springs. No one else can dictate what this will be for us as individuals, nor will we know what it is by simply thinking our way to it—it takes action and discernment. Think of it as an adventure in harmony between our distinct Soul and the collective of life.

Trust and enjoy, Katrina

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Taming Fear

I see fear as one of the greatest challenges facing humans in this embodied existence. Some say that the whole point of embodiment is to experience the dance of love and fear, and that the point of soul growth for a human is when they can bring themselves to choose love over fear. I know this to be true in my own life.

As humans we have the potential to bring reflective, heart centered mind functions to bear on situations. However, those functions come on-line as a result of conscious choice. Our default reactions to situations come from our mammalian brain, structured to promote survival by reacting quickly to situations of perceived or actual threat.

Bad enough that we are wired to look for threat which primes us to see it where it is not, but that there is enough real threat to keep us all justifiably nervous. Trying to push through fear may not be what we need. Checking our reality, respecting our limits, and knowing the difference between limits and avoidance is important.

What can we to keep fear from taking over? Here are some things that I have found to be helpful in my own life and with clients:

  • Just knowing that our mammalian minds are wired for fear, for recognition of danger cues and to trigger mental/ emotional/physical responses, can be enough to help us step back from fear and check our reality before plunging into a fear response.
  • Bringing in acceptance and humor, and keeping out judgment, can help us to deal with fear more quickly and in a healthy way.
  • Having a multitude of ways to help ones nervous systems reset when it has been activated into a fear response is very helpful, e.g. bringing ones focus of awareness to what’s going on here and now, breathing, making conscious connection to the earth, focusing on a physical activity, focusing attention on my senses: using vision, hearing, touch to stimulate here and now attention.
  • Holding a touchstone, something that anchors what one wants to remember about fear, and that focuses sensory attention here and now as one feels its smoothness, its contours, its weight, looks at its color, patterns, marks. I always have a pink rose quartz heart around. It acts as a touchstone and reminds me to connect with my heart.
  • Inviting in a protective power animal.
  • Doing a re-setting practice such as sitting quietly with one hand on your heart and the other hand on your belly below the belly button. Begin with breathing quietly and listening for your pulse, noticing where and how in your body you can feel it. When you have that, bring your attention to the other hand on your belly. This area is connected to your adrenals which shoot chemicals into your bloodstream when fear is activated. Many of us live with chronic adrenal activation. Talk to them. Let them know that there is no threat in this moment and that they can, like a scared cat up a tree, come down, relax, and rest..
  • Do relaxation breath (Herbert Benson). Breathe slowly and deeply and on the out breathe say something reassuring to yourself, e. g. “I am safe now,” or, “I can deal with this.”
  • Practice confronting manageable fear-provoking situations to build skill and the confidence that comes with that.

I think the point is that for many people fear is our default response. It is a well oiled response that comes by itself without thinking. What happens next for many of us is an automatic response to avoid fear by responding to unconscious, habitual impulses to distract or soothe ourselves. We all know our preferred ways of avoiding the discomfort of fear. Generalized anxiety is the experience of fear without awareness of where it started or what it is about. Phobias are ways we have learned to avoid anxiety. Panic is runaway fear. To reduce or deal with any of these fear responses requires conscious effort to do something different. That requires us step out of our mammalian brain and into the more recently evolved higher reasoning brain, to stop and orient, and engage in a practice that grounds, calms, reassures, re-sets our nervous system.

Finally, love and connection are truly the antidote to fear. The trouble is that the ability to connect and feel connection is activated differently than fear in our nervous system. One might say we have several nervous systems and when the nervous system that responds to perception of threat fuels fight and flight is on, the nervous system that supports connection is shut down. When in fear, connection is difficult. But if we can bring ourselves to reach out, to our own heart, to our love of another, to an other or others who share our concerns or who might understand, in that act we re-set the fear response. “When we are in the grips of fear we close down and can’t be compassionate or generous. To love others we first have to be loving and gentle with ourselves….to accept ourselves, including our suffering and happiness at the same time, and then be able to wish other well.” (Thich Nhat Hanh – Fear, essential wisdom for getting through the storm.)

May you be well, and happy, and free from fear.

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Wendy Ball LMHC has a counseling and shamanic energy healing practice in Albany NY. You can reach her at phone: 518-813-8524, email: wendy.ball@yahoo.com.

Publisher’s Corner June/July

“How do you value your life, Katrina?” This question was asked of me by Harrison Jim Sr., a Navajo Medicine Man coming to the Northeast as part of the Navajo Horse Healing Project. We were discussing his upcoming visit and other potential ways to bring their teachings to our community. I was stumped by the question, in part because of the use of the word “how.” All the quick answers that came would have answered, “what do I value?” The conversation at that moment was about charging a fee for their talks and healings, so I knew his question was not a matter of semantics. After some silence and then my answer “I’d have to give that some consideration.” Harrison added, “what value do you place on having peace and harmony restored in your life? That is what we ask for in exchange of our knowledge, gifts and healings.”

This question was bouncing around my head when an old note showed up on my desktop. It was recording a time while driving down the Northway and a Target delivery truck passed me. I noticed the tag line “Expect more. Pay Less.” I’d probably seen that line many times prior, however, this time the symbolic imbalance caught my attention. Expecting more and paying less seemed like an American Mantra. What does this say about our culture’s idea of reciprocity? While the Target tag is referencing money in exchange for goods, we cannot separate that belief out from other areas of life, such as interpersonal relationships and how we make a living. With the assumption that we should pay less and get more, there is no equal exchange, creating imbalanced transactions—including the one we have with life in general. On the surface this may not seem important, on an energetic level it leaves everything in disharmony.

I hadn’t yet found my answer to Harrison’s question, so I continued to ponder values in general. We all can come up with a list of them—perhaps peace, joy, friendship, equality, love, family and so on. However, our behavior speaks to what we actually value more than a list of words. Rarely would someone openly include their ego on such a list or big business, yet many people display these as their priorities by how they live their lives.

On a different note, it came up in a few conversations recently that I am seen differently by others than how I witness myself. The differences were not necessarily negative, as one said she thought I was girly. Who is right? The person on the outside doing the seeing; or me on the inside who is doing the feeling? Perhaps both. While I am more comfortable with being well-liked, having a nice reputation, and being perceived my way, I place greater value on being true to my inner world, and authentic to my own experience of life no matter how that appears on the outside. Acting from the inside out means giving up impressing a specific image outwardly. In reality, this is never truly possible anyway; how we are perceived has more to do with the perceiver than it does with us. Which is perhaps why we are both right. Even so, when we are not paying attention to our inner world, falseness can fool others more easily, usually because it fools ourselves first. Life seems to ask us at times “are you truthful about your priorities, or do you only mean it when receiving approval, recognition, and adulation in return? Knowing I still hold blind spots causes me to continually question my genuineness.

While there are times I’d rather feel certain about myself, I have realized that without questions, habitual responses and or addictive behavior replace real presence in each moment. So, I will continue to examine my truth. Just as there is no way to peace, peace is the way. There is no right way to authentic expression, living it is the way. In doing so, we sometimes get it wrong. Sounds contrary, but true all the same.

Going back to where we started, how do you value life? In what way do you want to experience it—through peace, health and harmony or stress, illness and worry? What are you willing to exchange in order for that valued experience? Our human world has created money as a symbol of exchange; it is the main way in which we support what is important to us. Where we spend our most dollars is where our values truly lie, regardless of whether those things are on our list of principals. The same holds true for where our time is spent, the activities as well as the motivation behind them—such as fostering an ego or satisfying our soul. Questioning ourselves regularly will bring about authentic alignment, much greater than rigid rule-following will.

Come out and hear Harrison and Gino talk about the Navajo culture on July 14th. We will be at Coesa Holistic Wellness Center in the Saratoga State Park starting at 7. It will be a powerful and valuable evening. While the suggested donation for this experience is $20, you may choose what to pay. In deciding the amount, consider what you’d pay for an night of entertainment. If you receive something more substantial, perhaps inspiring and or perception changing, offer an amount in accordance of value to that which you received to the best of your ability. The funds will be going to Gino and Harrison so they may continue to provide for their family while they are away from home. The following evening, on the 15th, they will be creating ceremony for the waters of Saratoga. Again you are welcome to join. The waters are not only important to those who choose to drink their healing properties, but because they run under the ground on which we walk they influence us all. In addition, please read about their Navajo Horse Healing Project on page 10. It is going to be a great summer. My choice is to experience it through peace, harmony and love. What’s your choice?

Ghee

Ghee 
by Kathryn Kos
Ghee is clarified butter-the butter is heated and milk solids (proteins) have been removed. The protein casein found in dairy is difficult for many people to digest. Casein is a large foreign protein that can pass through the human gut easily, contributing to what is known as “leaky” or permeable gut. When these proteins pass through the gut, they can contribute to inflammatory conditions in the body.

Many people think they cannot digest the lactose in dairy, but may in fact actually be reacting to the protein casein. Because the casein is removed from ghee, ghee is much easier for many to digest than butter. Ghee is a stable, healthy, saturated fat. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature. Contrary to what you’ve probably heard in the past, these are the very beneficial fats for our body! Saturated fats are fully saturated with hydrogen bonds (NOT to be confused with hydrogenated oils). Saturated fats are stable, and do not easily oxidize when heated (break down) or go rancid. These can be heated to higher temperatures, unlike liquid vegetable oils that have been highly processed.

Ghee is very beneficial to the body. The fatty acids insulate myelin in the brain (memory, mood stability, alertness), strengthen the immune system and help to regulate hormones for normal hormone function. Ghee contains short-chain fatty acids as well. Short-chained fatty acids are easily metabolized by the body. What this means is that the body can digest and utilize these fatty acids efficiently, reaping benefits to the body.

Ghee contains omega 3 and omega 9 fatty acids, along with Vitamins A, D, E, and K. Grass-fed or pastured ghee is a very high source of CLA, aka conjugated linoleic acids. CLA is a potent cancer fighter. The digestive systems of grass-fed ruminants produce CLA. CLA is associated with superior heart health, suppression of tumors, reduced belly fat and overall increased fat loss. Pasture raised (grass-fed) cows lead to dairy CLA levels 3-5 times that of grain-fed cattle! Always look for grass-fed butter if you are making your own ghee, or grass-fed ghee if you are buying it. Ghee is excellent for nerve conduction and insulation of the brain. Ghee is great for skin, eyes, and joints-it is rich with antioxidants and boosts the immune system. Ghee is high in butyric acid which has anti-viral properties and may inhibit tumor growth.

How do you use ghee? Ghee is great for all your cooking and baking needs. It adds amazing flavor to sauteed or roasted veggies! You can melt it and bake with it. You can serve it on top of potatoes just like butter. Grass-fed ghee is an all around healthy super food that adds superior flavor and healthy benefits to all your dishes!

Kathryn Kos is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP)  through The Nutritional Therapy Association, and a Certified Lactation Educator/Counselor through The University of San Diego. Her undergraduate degree is in Movement Science from Westfield State College. Her Master’s degree is in Rehabilitation Counseling from Springfield College. She specializes in healing digestion, balancing blood sugar, balancing hormones, and autoimmune conditions. Call 260-9749 for a free consultation.

Stress vs Anxiety

by Donna Bird, LCSW
Stress vs Anxiety – Stress develops when forces from the world affect us in negative ways. Like life changes, negative and positive events and daily challenges. Many of us can deal with those things without experiencing long-term negative effects.  People with Anxiety Disorders, like General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), experience constant physical and emotional affects on a regular daily basis.  They worry about every day problems like: their job; money; family; health; household chores; their car; appointments; daily details, etc. They live in perpetual fear.  GAD affects about 6.8 million Americans.  It also affects twice as many women as men. Some possible physical symptoms of Anxiety are: headaches; heart palpitations; colon spasms, diarrhea/constipation; dry mouth; shallow breathing; frequent urination; sexual problems; aches and pains; trembling of the body (inside or outside); feeling “on edge”, impatient or irritable; poor concentration; forgetfulness; sleep problems; hyper vigilance, etc. People with anxiety want to be “in charge” of their environments to reduce the fear they experience. Anxiety feels like a constant turbulent river running inside.

When I work with people with anxiety, I help them to understand anxiety is not their fault, and that it is caused by 4 factors:
• heredity
• brain chemistry
• personality
• life experiences

Heredity and anxiety disorders:
Research shows that anxiety disorders run in families.  If you think about your relatives, some may have behaviors that are annoying and unexplained, until you become aware that the causes of their overreactions may be due to the fact that they live in fear.  Many people who are:  perfectionist types; abuse drugs/alcohol; seem controlling or angry;   worry excessively; are shy or aggressive; restrict life; fear rejection; don’t feel safe; etc. may suffer from anxiety.

Brain chemistry and
anxiety disorders:
Because symptoms of anxiety disorders are often relieved by medications that alter levels of chemicals in the brain, scientists believe that brain chemistry appears to play a role in the onset of anxiety disorders. I believe that some types of anxiety can be managed by using life-style change and symptom coping skills.  It is my opinion that medication should be given as a last resort, because all medications have side-effects.

Personality and
anxiety disorders:
Researchers believe that personality may play a role in the development of an anxiety disorder, noting that people who have low self-esteem and poor coping skills may be more prone. If a person has an “easy going” temperament  instead of an intense one, they will be able to deal with life in a calmer, more manageable way.

Life experiences and
anxiety disorders:
Researchers believe that the relationship between anxiety disorders and long-term exposure to abuse (physical, emotional, sexual); violence; rape; or poverty as a child or adult may affect an person’s susceptibility to anxiety. Contributing factors could also be, if you had a childhood where your parent abused alcohol; were neglectful of you; abandoned you; or your parents had a relationship filled with conflict; etc.

Sub-personalities of
people with anxiety
The Worrier  (what if, what if)  anticipates the worst scenario; overestimates the chances of something bad or embarrassing happening; creates grandiose images of failure or catastrophe.
The Critic: (promotes low self esteem) constantly judges and evaluates your behavior; points out flaws and limitations about you; jumps on any mistake you make; compares you with others performances and sees them excelling; ignores the positive qualities you have.

The Victim (promotes depression) sometimes feels helpless or hopeless; tells you that you’re not progressing; believes there is something defective about you; perceives insurmountable obstacles to your success; believes nothing will ever change.

The Perfectionist: (promotes chronic stress & burnout) nags you to “do better” because your effort is not enough; hounds you to work harder, faster, longer, to be more productive; wants you to be the best; intolerant of mistakes/setbacks; pushes you into exhaustion and burnout over time.

Anxiety seldom disappears completely. Learning how to manage it can help you to feel empowered and “in charge” again.
How To Tame The Anxiety:
• Take multiple B vitamins
• Do yoga and/or bodywork
• Recite positive self-statements throughout the day
• Learn meditation and/or self-hypnosis
• Focus on your good qualities and accomplishments
• Exercise regularly by doing something you enjoy
• Eliminate as much “simple sugar” and starches from your diet as you can
• Expect to feel uncomfortable from stressful situations
• Talk with friends or someone you can trust about your worries/problems
• Recognize and accept your limits (remember we are all unique and different)
• When you choose specific tasks and goals, make sure your expectations are reasonable
• Become aware of how/when your body and mind are reacting to stressors, so you can manage them
• Practice Diaphragm Breathing Breaks, 3 times a day, and when you’re feeling anxious
• Eliminate or reduce stimulates such as caffeine from your diet (i.e. coffee, tea, chocolate, colas)
• Set your own priorities and ask your boss to set priorities for you at work, if necessary
• When studying for an exam, or working on a large project, work in short blocks of time and take frequent short breaks
• Allow yourself  2 hours to “unwind” before you actually lie down to sleep (guided imagery and/or nature sound CDs, with headphones help promote sleep) .

Still A Problem?
If you’ve previously tried the above suggestions and are still having problems, you may benefit from going to a Licensed Holistic Therapist for alternative help.  I use a combination of breathing methods, energy medicine techniques, self-hypnosis, guided imagery CDs and the most up-to-date Power Therapies.  Sometimes people with anxiety have experienced trauma and need additional/alternative treatment. Talk therapy mostly addresses only the right side of the brain, so healing can be a lengthy process, and sometimes doesn’t integrate the trauma. Whereas, therapies such as Hypnosis, interacts with the subconscious mind, and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) address both hemispheres of the brain, so healing trauma is usually much quicker.

Sometimes it’s difficult to find the time for daily self-care to ease anxiety. However, you are responsible for your well-being and you deserve to be healthy. Because you have anxiety, you may have to devote more time and effort into Taming your anxiety than you thought, similar to a person with diabetes who has to take time daily to plan meals, take  blood sugar readings, etc. to maintain their health. Anxiety maintenance is similar.  Set your intention to make time for yourself each day. Try actually writing your breathing breaks, self-hypnosis, exercise times and nightly wind-down time into your daily planner/palm pilot, to make sure you don’t schedule over your time. You are just as important as those other appointments.  Remember people with anxiety have a way of burning themselves up and out because they “drive” themselves into burnout at an early age, unconsciously. You deserve more than that.  Be kind to yourself. Find time for the self-care and your anxiety will decrease.

Donna Bird, LCSW, CCH is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in Mind-Body Counseling and Coaching. She is nationally certified in Hypnosis, E.M.D.R., Interactive Imagery, Hypnobirthing, TFT and Wave Work. She has studied meditation since 1984. In 1990 she began teaching stress reduction and meditation in the government sector. Donna also produces Self-Help CDs that are available in her offices and on her website:www.donnabird.com. She has a private practice in Saratoga Springs, NY. You can contact her through her website, or at (518) 584-0698.