Dr Akilah – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

The Natural Health and Holistic World According to Dr Akilah

Tag Archives: emotional health

Love Study: Brain Reacts To Heartbreak Same As Physical Pain

Love hurts, and that is not just a saying for the broken hearted. Heartbreak is a very strange distress. It is exquisitely painful, and yet we cannot find an injury on our body. New research finds that when you reminisce about the one that got away, the brain actually triggers sensations that you also feel in times of “real” physical pain, making heartbreak truly, physically painful to add to the emotional distress it sometimes causes.

Heartbreak is like one big emotional pain but it also seems to spark off hundreds of other emotions. We hate the feeling of heartbreak, and yet we find ourselves compelled to go over and over memories, ideas or fantasies which make the feeling worse.

Edward E. Smith, director of cognitive neuroscience at Columbia University explains:

“This tells us how serious rejection can be sometimes. When people are saying ‘I really feel in pain about this breakup,’ you don’t want to trivialize it and dismiss it by saying ‘It’s all in your mind.’ Our ultimate goal is to see what kind of therapeutic approach might be useful in relieving the pain of rejection. From everyday experience, rejection seems to be one of the most painful things we experience. It seems the feelings of rejection can be sustained even longer than being angry.”

Forty people analyzed from New York City and all of whom felt “intensely rejected,” took part in the study. While participants were told to look at photos, including photos of their friends (they were directed to think positive thoughts about them), and photos of their exes (they were directed to think about their breakup), their brains were scanned for changes in activity. The participants also underwent brain scans as they felt pain on their forearms similar to the feeling of holding a hot cup of coffee in comparison. Several of the same areas of the brain became active when the participants felt either physical pain or emotional pain.

The research shows that rejection appears to be in a class by itself in terms of its similarity to physical pain. Future research could examine how emotional pain due to rejection affects how people feel physical pain.

Here are some tips that may help you get over the pain:

  • Breathe. All you can do is survive this first and difficult day. Take one day at a time. Give yourself permission to mourn. Call in sick at work, sleep all day, eat too much ice cream, sob.
  • Congratulate yourself for being human: It is only when you open yourself to love that your heart can break. Develop and repeat a helpful mantra to get you through the initial shock and pain, such as “This too shall pass” or “I will survive.”
  • Reach out to a close friend or family member. It helps to share your thoughts with others. Watch a movie to distract yourself. Choose a comedy that has cheered you up in the past. Or watch a movie that’s guaranteed to make you sob–it may surprise you how good that feels.
  • Surround yourself with friends. This may mean reaching out to people you fell out of touch with during the relationship. Make lists to help you regain your confidence and identity: a list of your friends, of things you like, of what you want to accomplish in the next decade. Spoil yourself: Get a new hairstyle, have a spa day or go shopping. Resist the urge to call your ex.
  • Assess the experience. Have you learned anything about yourself? Does the experience make you more empathetic to others who’ve suffered a hardship? Begin an activity that will fill your time, distract your mind and rebuild your confidence. Train for a marathon, take up yoga or learn a new language. Resist the urge to call your ex. Volunteer your time at a local homeless shelter, soup kitchen or tutoring center. It will take your mind off your own woes and keep your suffering in perspective.
  • Force yourself to go on dates. You’ll be surprised to discover that your heart can still flutter over someone. It’s part of the healing process.
  • Consult a psychiatrist if you are experiencing symptoms of depression, such as lack of appetite, insomnia or too much sleeping, low self-esteem, and an inability to concentrate or carry out routine tasks. Ask a friend or physician to recommend one who is experienced in treating depression.
  • Remember that healing is a process that takes time. Expect waves of sadness, anger, guilt or fear even after you think you are over it. Give your heart time to heal.
  • Compartmentalize the experience in your memory: “My heart was broken once. It really hurt and I’m glad it’s over.”

As one popular quote goes, “Love is like falling down… in the end you’re left hurt, scarred, and with a memory of it forever.”

www.healingpowerhour.com

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How Negative Emotions Affect Your Health

by Vera Stark

Have you ever considered the affect that emotions have on your physical body?

We often take our bodies for granted and neglect to maintain them in the way that they need.

Your body is a machine not much different than that of your vehicle which has parts that need to be kept in functioning order.  Imagine never changing the oil in your car; how long do you think it would continue to run?

And yet when it comes to your body you take it for granted and hope that it will keep going forever without having to do anything.  Even the energizer bunny runs out of fuel after a while.

We currently live in a time of fear based energies which all negative emotions fall under.  Whether its, anxiety, anger, resistance, guilt, shame, lack; they all result from fear.

Research has proven that positive emotions are critical for upkeep of physical health for people worldwide, and above all, those that are deeply impoverished.

In most cases we repress our emotions or deny that we even have them or we suppress them because somewhere in our lives we were told that they were bad.  Look at how boys from a very young age are taught that only sissy’s cry.  As a result they grow up not allowing their emotions to be expressed which is very damaging to their health.

When you repress or suppress your emotions it causes a block in your energy system which if not cleared out will eventually manifest in physical form in or on your body.  Disease as we know it refers to dis-ease in the body.

Every emotion that is held in the body affects the organs by slowing down the circulation which allows for toxins to accumulate.  For example, anger can eventually cause problems in the liver, sadness can create problems in the lungs which could result in respiratory problems, fear can cause blockages in the kidneys and intestines, worry to the spleen and lack of joy to the heart.

This is why your body may start to deteriorate or certain organs may begin to slow down and are no longer as effective.    It takes a lot of energy to repress your emotions and thus you begin to feel like your energy is depleting and you become very tired and less motivated.

So you can see that there is a direct link between our emotions and our health.  It isn’t that negative emotions are bad in any sense of the word in fact they are an expression of who you are.  What is harmful is when you deny either consciously or subconsciously that the emotion even exists or when you decide not to express it or for that matter you just plain ignore it.

All emotions come as a gift including the negative ones.  It is how we handle them that can create the problems.

So what are the solutions?

I’m going share a couple of the things that I teach people that work really well and that you can do right away to begin clearing any negative emotions that may arise.

1. First and foremost make the decision that whatever emotions arise for you, you will let them be there.

2. Secondly, ask the emotion to intensify itself. This may sound off the wall, however it does work.  We know that whatever we resist persists so if we are not allowing the emotion then we are resisting it.  By asking it to intensify we are accepting it for what it is and this alone will sometimes be all you need for it to release.

3. Thirdly, if you haven’t already let go of it then ask yourself why you are hanging onto it. If it is still there then it is serving you in some way.  This could mean that by holding onto it you don’t have to be responsible, you get to be right about something, or you get to blame or judge someone or something.  There is always a reason why you hang onto your negative emotions and there is also always a cost.

4. And fourthly, acknowledge yourself for doing the work. It is important to give yourself credit where credit is due.  You only have one body so treat it with tender loving care.

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For more tips on relieving emotional pain from the past please visit our Emotional Wellness Page or click on this link http://www.celestialhealing.net/emotional_stress_therapy.htm

HOW PETS CAN MAKE YOU HAPPIER AND HEALTHIER

Pets are great for childrenProfessionally trained helper animals—such as guide dogs for the blind—offer obvious benefits to us human folk. However, the average domestic pet, such as a dog, cat, rabbit—even a goldfish—can also provide us with many therapeutic benefits. Pets can ease our loneliness, reduce our stress, promote social interaction, encourage exercise and playfulness, and provide us with unconditional love and affection.

Of course, pet ownership also comes with many responsibilities, and should not be undertaken lightly. To best enjoy a healthy, nurturing relationship with a pet—and experience the many therapeutic benefits a domestic animal can offer—it’s important to choose a pet that’s right for your lifestyle.

How pets can affect mood and health

While most pet owners are clear about the immediate joys that come with sharing their lives with companion animals, many remain unaware of the physical and mental health benefits that can also accompany the pleasure of playing with or snuggling up to a furry friend. It’s only recently that studies have begun to scientifically explore the benefits of the human-animal bond. Studies have found that:

  • Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
  • People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets.
  • Playing with a pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
  • Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.
  • Heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without.
  • Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.
  • A pet doesn’t have to be a dog or a cat. Even watching fish in an aquarium can help reduce muscle tension and pulse rate.

One of the reasons for these therapeutic effects is that most pets fulfill the basic human need to touch. Even hardened criminals in prison have shown long-term changes in their behavior after interacting with pets, many of them experiencing mutual affection for the first time. Stroking, holding, cuddling, or otherwise touching a loving animal can rapidly calm and soothe us when we’re stressed. The companionship of a pet can also ease loneliness, and some pets are a great stimulus for healthy exercise, which can substantially boost mood.

 How pets can help to make healthy lifestyle changes

Adopting healthy lifestyle changes can play an important role in easing symptoms of depression, stress, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and anxiety, Caring for a pet can help with those healthy lifestyle changes by:

  • Increasing exercise. Exercise doesn’t have to involve boring repetition at a gym. Taking a dog for a walk, riding a horse, or simply chasing a kitten around are fun ways to fit healthy daily exercise into your schedule.
  • Providing companionship. Isolation and loneliness can make disorders such as depression even worse. Caring for a living animal can help make you feel needed and wanted, and take the focus away from your problems. Most pet owners talk to their pets, some even use them to work through their troubles.
  • Helping meet new people. Pets can be a great social lubricant for their owners. Dog owners frequently stop and talk to each other on walks or in a dog park. Pet owners also meet new people in pet stores, clubs, and training classes.
  • Reducing anxiety. The companionship of a dog can offer comfort, help ease anxiety, and build self-confidence for people anxious about going out into the world.
  • Adding structure and routine to your day. Many pets, especially dogs, require a regular feeding and exercise schedule. No matter your mood—depressed, anxious, or stressed—you’ll always have to get out of bed to feed, exercise, and care for your pet.
  • Providing sensory stress relief. Touch and movement are two healthy ways to quickly manage stress. This could involve petting a cat or taking a dog for a walk.

Health Benefits of owning petsPets and older adults

The key to aging well is to effectively handle life’s major changes, such as retirement, the loss of loved ones, and the physical changes of aging. Pets can play an important role in healthy aging by:

  • Helping you find meaning and joy in life. As you age, you’ll lose things that previously occupied your time and gave your life purpose. You may retire from your career or your children may move far away. Caring for a pet can bring pleasure and help boost your morale and optimism. Taking care of an animal can also provide a sense of self-worth.
  • Staying connected. Maintaining a social network isn’t always easy as you grow older. Retirement, illness, death, and moves can take away close friends and family members. And making new friends can get harder. Dogs especially are a great way for seniors to spark up conversations and meet new people.
  • Boosting vitality. You can overcome many of the physical challenges associated with aging by taking good care of yourself. Pets encourage playfulness, laughter, and exercise, which can help boost your immune system and increase your energy.

Pets and adults with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia

As part of the disease, Alzheimer’s patients may exhibit a wide variety of behavioral problems, many related to an inability to deal with stress.

  • Research at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine concluded that Alzheimer’s patients suffer less stress and have fewer anxious outbursts if there is a pet in the home.
  • Pets can provide a source of positive, nonverbal communication. The playful interaction and gentle touch from a well-trained, docile animal can help soothe an Alzheimer’s patient and decrease aggressive behavior.
  • In many cases a patient’s problem behavior is a reaction to the stressed response of the primary caretaker. Pets can help ease the stress of caregivers. Cats or caged animals may be more suitable than dogs, which generally require more care and can add to the burden of someone who’s already looking after an Alzheimer’s patient.

Pets and children

Not only do children who grow up with pets have less risk of allergies and asthma, many also learn responsibility, compassion, and empathy from having pets. Unlike parents, pets are never critical and don’t give orders. They are always loving and their mere presence at home can help provide a sense of security in children. Having an ever-present dog or cat, for example, can help ease separation anxiety in children when mom and dad aren’t around. Studies have also shown that pets can help calm hyperactive or overly aggressive kids. Of course, both the pet and the child need to be trained to behave appropriately with each other.

Children and adults alike can benefit from playing with pets, which can be both a source of calmness and relaxation, as well as a source of stimulation for the brain and body. Playing with a pet can even be a doorway to learning for a child. It can stimulate a child’s imagination and curiosity. The rewards of training a dog to perform a new trick, for example, can teach kids the importance of perseverance. Caring for a furry friend can also offer another benefit to a child: immense joy.

Children with learning and other disorders

Some children with autism or other learning difficulties are better able to interact with pets than people. Autistic children often rely on nonverbal cues to communicate, just as pets do. And learning to first connect with a cat or dog, for example, may even help an autistic child in their interactions with people.

    • Pets can help children with learning disabilities learn how to regulate stress and calm themselves, making them better equipped to overcome the challenges of their disorder.
    • Playing and exercising with a pet can help a child with learning disorders stay alert and attentive throughout the day. It can also be a great antidote to stress and frustration caused by the learning disability.
    • Learning to ride a horse can help elevate the self-esteem of disabled children, putting them on a more equal level with kids without disabilities.

Finding a pet that meets your needs and lifestyle

While people who have pets tend to be happier, more independent, and feel more secure than those without pets, it’s important to select the type of pet that is best for you. You’ll benefit most from having a pet whose needs are compatible with your lifestyle and physical capabilities.

Lifestyle considerations that influence your choice in a pet

  • Little outdoor activity– If most of your time is spent at home, consider pets that would be happy to stay with you in that environment. You may enjoy playing with or cuddling a cat or a bunny; watching fish or reptiles; or talking or singing along with a bird.
  • High activity level– If you’re more active and enjoy daily activities outside of your home, especially walking or running, a dog might be right for you. Canine companions thrive on outdoor exercise, keeping you on the move.
  • Small children and the elderly – Families with small children or elderly living in their homes should consider the size and energy level of a pet. Puppies and kittens are usually very active, but delicate creatures that must be handled with care. Large or rambunctious dogs could accidentally harm or knock over a small child or adult who is unsteady on their feet.
  • Other animals in household– Consider the ongoing happiness and ability to adjust of the pets you already have. While your cat or a dog might love to have an animal friend to play with, a pet that has had exclusive access to your attentions may resent sharing you.
  • Home environment– If a neat, tidy home, free of animal hair, occasional muddy footprints and “accidents” is important, then a free-roaming dog or long-haired cat may not be the best choice. You may want to choose pets that are confined to their quarters, such as fish, birds, hamsters, or reptiles.
  • Landscaping concerns– With certain pets, your landscaping will suffer. Many dogs will be tempted to dig holes in your lawn, and dog urine can leave yellow patches—some say unaltered females cause the most damage.
  • Time commitment – Finally, and perhaps most importantly, keep in mind that you’ll be making a commitment that will last the lifetime of the pet – perhaps 10, 15, or 20 years with a dog or cat; as many as 30 years or more with a bird.

Animal-assisted therapy and animal-assisted activities

Animal-assisted therapy involves the use of volunteers’ animals such as horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, and fish to interact with patients suffering from disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism and a host of developmental disabilities. The animals have been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety.

Pets can also be used for animal-assisted activities. A variety of different organizations offer specially trained animals to visit people in children’s hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospice programs, shelters, and schools. During these visits, people are invited to pet and stroke the animals. Some might groom a dog, hold a rabbit in their lap, or have a cat sit on their bed, for example. Some dogs perform tricks or obedience routines to entertain patients and help take their minds off their problems.

To arrange for pets to visit your facility or to volunteer your pet for animal-assisted therapy or animal-assisted activities, see Finding Therapy Pets in Resources and References section below.

If you are in the Atlanta Georgia area and would like to adopt a cat please call or visit our sponsored Animal Resue Center FurKids