Hormones and Exercise…A Key Factor For Your Health

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True Growth Coaching Website

Understanding the effects of exercise is key to understanding the relationship between insulin and glucagon. As your activity level increases, glucose uptake by the body’s cells also increases. This is because of an increased sensitivity of the cells to the insulin. Insulin levels will drop during physical activity. At the same time glucagon secretion by the pancreas increases to help maintain a steady supply of blood glucose.

Understanding Your Hormones

Catecholamines: There are two catecholamines, epinephrine or aka “adrenaline” and norepinephrine. These are hormones produced by the adrenal glands, which are located on top of each kidney. These hormones help prepare the body for activity. These hormones are part of the stress response also know as fight or flight response. In preparation for activity, the part of the brain called the hypothalamus, triggers the adrenal glands to secrete more epinephrine (adrenaline). This will give you several physiological effects that will help your body sustain exercise activity. Some of these include: elevates blood glucose levels, helps to redistribute blood to working tissues, opens up the airways and increases heart rate and stroke volume.

Testosterone and Estrogen: For both males and females testosterone plays a vital role in growth and repair of tissue. Raised levels of testosterone are indicative of an anabolic training status (tissue-building). Estrogen has many functions, but it mainly influences fat deposition around the hips, butt, and thighs. Regular exercise lowers estrogen levels, which in turn lowers your risk for such problems like breast cancer and added hormonal fat.

Cortisol: Cortisol is typically referred to as a catabolic hormone. This means it is associated with tissue breakdown. Under times of stress, such as exercise, cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands and works to maintain energy supply through breaking down carbohydrates, fats, and protein. High levels of cortisol brought on by overtraining, excessive stress, poor sleep, and bad nutrition can lead to breakdown of muscle tissue, along with other harmful side effects.

Growth Hormone: Growth Hormone is released from the pituitary gland in the brain and is regulated by the hypothalamus. Growth hormone is activated by several factors like: estrogen, testosterone, deep sleep, and active exercise. Primarily, Growth Hormone is an anabolic hormone that is responsible for most of the development and growth during childhood. Once one hits puberty the sex hormones take over from there. Growth Hormone increases strengthens the immune system, increases fat burning, increases bone development, muscle tissue, and protein synthesis.

Thyroid Hormones: The thyroid gland releases vital hormones that are mainly responsible for the human metabolism. The pituitary gland regulates the release of the thyroid hormones. The thyroid is responsible for regulating many systems in our bodies. Some of these systems it regulates are: basal metabolic rate, body temperature, breathing rate, heart rate, protein synthesis, metabolizing carbohydrates, fat and protein. Low thyroid function is a well-known disorder which causes fatigue, depression, weight gain, sensitivity to cold and low metabolism.

Research shows that after strength training and active aerobic exercise, testosterone and growth hormone levels increase, while estrogen levels decrease. Research has also shown that there can be negative effects after intense prolonged endurance training. It could lead to lower testosterone levels and a rise in cortisol levels. Exercising has a significant impact on hormone secretions and it is important to understand how they work. Having knowledge of these hormones can greatly improve your health.

 

I Was Nominated For The Sunshine Blogger Award

Thank you Louise’s Book Nook for nominating me for this award. It is always a pleasure to know other bloggers have you in mind when acknowledging one another for such awards. Kindly check out her blog and you will love it.

The Rules

Thank the blogger who nominated you in your blog post and a link back to the blog.

Answering 11 questions that the Blogger asked you.

Nominate 11 new bloggers to receive the awards and write them 11 questions.

List the rules and display the Sunshine blogger award logo in your post on your blog.

Here are the questions with my answers

1. What would be your perfect day?

A perfect day would be what I do most days. I get to spend quality time with my husband, kids and all of our animals.

2. How would you describe your year so far?

My year has brought me many accomplishments. By the year’s end I hope for many more.

3. Where do you turn for inspiration?

I read for inspiration. I also listen to the Joe Rogan podcasts. Some of his guest are so inspiring

4. What do you normally do for fun?

I like to do all sorts of things. I love to be outdoors, read, write, inspire people, expand my experiences and consciousness.

5. What do you like best about yourself?

Honestly, what I like best about myself is that I have the courage to love myself as a whole person. I accept all things about myself including my least favorite things because everything in life has a yin and yang which creates a perfect balance

6. What question would you like answered?

There’s really no question I want answered. I have learned to let go of needing to know and understanding that answers come to you when you are ready for them

7. What’s the best advice you could give someone?

My best advice to someone is to first learn to love yourself. Also learn to master the ego. When you do these two things you learn to be your true self. Many people don’t live their true selves. Many people don’t know their true selves.

8. What are you hoping for right now?

I hope to inspire and help people change their lives and be their best selves.

9. What’s your favorite quote?

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.-

Soren Kierkegaard

10. If you had to eat the same meal again and again, what would it be?

Soup and Salad

11. What’s the last book you have read?

Emergence by Derek Rydall and looking forward to reading his new one The Abundance Project!

My nominees for the Sunshine Bloggers Award:

theglocaljournal.com

Christy B

Andrea

beauty beyond bones.com

Kristen’s Healthy Living

Brandon Knoll

eat live escape

Henry Lake

The Other Stuff

Raising My Rainbow

Monty’s Blog

Here are my questions for my nominees:

What’s the story behind your blog name?

If you could talk to your younger self, what would you say?

What do you do on a rainy day?

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

What is your favorite song?

What is your favorite book?

What are your three favorite blogs?

What’s your favorite inspirational/motivational quote?

If you had the chance to live your dream – where would you be and what would you do?

What question would you like answered?

What do you like best about yourself?

5 Life Goals to Build Your Best You

Are you clear with what you want out of your life? Have you ever thought about what life goals you have for yourself? What are the most important things you want for yourself in this life? Setting life goals is a very important step to becoming the true you. Only you know what you want for yourself and only you can accomplish it. Setting goals is a way for us to be able to track our success and know that we are accomplishing what we’ve set out for ourselves. Even accomplishing a small goal really builds self-confidence and keeps us moving up the ladder of success.

Here are 5 Life Goals to help Build a Better You:

Find what you love doing. Yes I know everyone says this, and it’s so hard to just up and quit your job, you’ve got bills to pay and mouths to feed. You don’t need to just stop your current job, but you should spend some of your free time working on finding what you love and doing it as a side job until you reach your potential to quit that boring dead end job. Most people go home and are tired and put off what they really want to be doing for another day. Believe me from experience, even just sitting down and writing it out on paper or talking about it with your partner or friend is setting this shift into motion. Any energy you can put into what you love will eventually come to fruition.

  • Take Care of Yourself: I just posted a blog on self-care in the recent days. This is so important on all levels. “You have to take care of number one” is what my Grandpa always said and it’s true. If you aren’t taking care of yourself then how are you going to be your best you? You can’t have a truly fulfilling life without taking care of yourself. That’s everything from the trifecta mind, body and spirit. If you are not balanced as a whole person you will always feel a sense of lack.
  • Keep the Ego in Check: When we live from the Ego(which most people do and aren’t aware) we lose touch with what life really is. The ego is really good at sabotaging our life. It makes irrational decisions for us and generally acts out of fear, fight or flight. The ego is not your true self, it’s just an outdated survival mode we can’t seem to shake. Getting a hold on your ego will save you a lot of heartache and unwanted emotions. The ego can and will sabotage any life goals you set. The ego loves to cause resistance.
  • Leave Your Comfort Zone: This is a hard one for most people. We love feeling safe in our little bubbles we create for ourselves. Security of the comfort zone is great but what’s not great is no growth happens there. When we are pushed out of our comfort we have to figure out how to deal with that. It’s actually a wonderful life skill to have because you will always be pushing yourself to great lengths and evolving into your true self. Some of life’s greatest achievements come from being nudged out of that comfort zone.
  • Be Kind and Giving: Being kind should be a no brain-er. Unfortunately these days I feel kind people are few and far. It’s a crazy rat race out there and most people think cutting the line will get them there faster. Kind, giving people always finish on top and don’t have to sacrifice anything to get there. Give when you can and that’s not money. Give your time, your energy, your love and give it with no expectations. Being a kind, giving person will come back to you ten fold. It’s the law of energy. What energy you project at life will be projected right back at you.
  • Hello Fresh Day 3 Review

    Today was the last of my Hello Fresh meals. I saved this one for last because I’ve just been a little unsure how a hunk of cheese for dinner was going to be. Today’s meal is called Za’Atar-Crusted Grilling Cheese with Sumac Roasted Veggies and Couscous.

    I must say it was pretty darn good! These ingredients pulled together so well. The flavor was very fresh and tasty. I would definitely eat this again. The cheese has a really good flavor and with the added za’atar spice I felt like I was in the Mediterranean. The calories were only 490! The only ingredient I needed to have on hand today was olive oil. This was a very fun dish to prepare and start to finish only took about 30 minutes. The fresh basil and lemon zest really set this dish off. The flavors in this dish were bold but non-offending.

    Here are some pictures from tonight’s dinner.

    Wrapping up my 3 day Hello Fresh Review I can say I’m pretty impressed. I would like to move on and try some of their meat dishes. Here are my pros and cons of Hello Fresh:

    Pros

    • They lived up to their hello fresh name with fresh ingredients
    • Meals are easy to prepare and can boost cooking confidence
    • The meals are creative and not just boring everyday food
    • The app and website are both easy to use
    • The portions even though look small once cooked are plenty of food
    • I was able to recycle most of the packing and ice packs
    • I didn’t have to worry about what’s for dinner it was already in the fridge ready to go
    • I didn’t have to spend a lot of time hunting down my items to cook
    • The food had good flavor
  • Cons
    • The price, You will really have to weigh out what it’s worth to you.
      You can only get 3 to 4 meals a week depending on the plan you pick. If I were to continue I would want at least 5 nights a week. I would be willing to pay to stay out of a grocery store as much as possible.
      If your looking for high quality organic food this wouldn’t be for you. Their food is fresh and had good quality but some people really like to know that everything is sourced from a good quality organic farm.

    That’s really about it in my opinion. I didn’t have any problems with shipping or my order so I did not have to deal with their customer support. Overall I would recommend this company for people who are on the go and don’t want to come home and spend a few more hours in the kitchen planning and cooking. This service will not work for a big family. I have a family of 9 and they do not have a plan that feeds an army! My husband and I did enjoy the recipes and I will be looking into trying their other menus!

    10 Habits for Practicing Self-Care

    Self-Care is becoming a popular topic these days. It’s something that most older generations will tease the newer generations about. They say millennials are more sensitive, that we don’t want to work hard and expect everything handed to us. Hey, maybe there are some of us out there like that but I think they are in all generations. There is always someone looking for handouts.

    I’d say that maybe the older generations just haven’t woken up to the fact that life isn’t just about grinding so hard in your work life that your actual life passes you by. Now, I’m not saying don’t go out and work hard to achieve your goals, you most definitely want to do that. But what are those goals? Are you passionate about them? Do you love these goals so much you feel like you’re on vacation?

    Older generations don’t get us. I’m sorry guys but we don’t want to stay at a horrible dead end job just because it pays the bills. No! We don’t want to slave away making pennies while someone at the top is raking in millions! We want a piece of that pie and we are taking a new aged approach to it!

    So Self-Care relates how?…

    Self-Care is what will help drive us to success. If we are meeting our own personal needs instead of everyone else’s, we will be living a more balanced life. When our life is in balance opportunities seek us and life becomes a lot easier to manage.

    So what are some habits to help push you along in self-care?

    Know your worth: Self-care is important to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself as it produces positive feelings and boosts your confidence and self-esteem. Also, self-care is necessary to remind yourself and others that you and your needs are important too.

    A healthy work-life balance: Overworking, and the stress and exhaustion that comes with it can make you less productive, disorganized and emotionally depleted. It can also lead to health problems, from anxiety and depression to insomnia and heart diseases. Professional self-care habits like taking intermittent breaks (for lunch, calling your friends or taking a walk in nature), setting professional boundaries, avoiding overextending yourself, etc. ensures that you stay sharp, motivated and healthy.

    Stress management: While a little dose of stress is a healthy way to give us a push that we need to meet the deadlines or finish that overdue task, constant stress and anxiety can have negative effects on your mental and physical health. Smart self-care habits like eating healthy, connecting with a loved one or, practicing meditation cuts down the toxic effects of stress by improving your mood and boosting your energy and confidence levels.

    Start living, stop existing: Life is a precious gift. So why waste it when we have the choice to have a more meaningful existence? Yes, you have a lot of responsibilities like paying bills, but it’s important to remember that taking care of yourself is also your responsibility. Little things like sipping tea while looking at the raindrops racing down the window pane(one of my favorite pass times), enjoying a bubble bath, or reading a book are essential for your daily happiness. Things like taking up a new hobby or learning a new skill can make your life more purposeful by giving you a new reason to get up in the morning.

    Better physical health: Self-care is not just about your mental health. It’s also about caring for your physical self, by eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, caring about your hygiene, exercising regularly, and anything else that is your own personal need.

    Here are 10 habits to form:

    1. Learn to say No! This one took me a while to achieve but I am really good at it now. You can only give your best you to the world when you don’t overwhelm yourself with everyone else’s needs or problems.
    2. Choose wisely who you spend your time with. That old saying “You are who you hang out with” , is true. Hang around like minded people. There are some serious energy vampires out there waiting to draw you down into their negative world.
    3. Avoid emotional eating. Yep…You Are What You Eat! And when we emotionally eat we don’t make good choices. So do your best to recognize and train yourself to make healthy choices in those moments.
    4. Stop overthinking everything! Overthinking sends you down a rabbit hole and you’ll only get trapped there so don’t do it. Get self-aware of your thoughts and process them quickly and move on. Don’t give extra thought to anything that isn’t going to improve your life.
    5. Take a break when you need it. We all get overwhelmed at times or irritated, don’t be afraid to remove yourself from the situation. Maybe you just need a break from the world for a day. Take it! Lay in bed and watch some Netflix. Whatever it takes get that R&R because you will be a better you if you do.
    6. Get out into nature. Nature is one of the most healing places. Just a simple 20-30 minute hike in the trees or walk on the beach will give you those feel good endorphins and reset you.
    7. Laugh! Everyone needs at least one good heavy laugh a day to help the body release some stress and endorphins. People don’t realize how much of an impact laughing can have on your health. Think about it, would you rather be laughing or crying? Which one usually feels better?
    8. Eat Green Foods daily. Green foods are just so important for our everyday life from the nutrients they provide to the detoxing effects they have on the body. These foods are full of oxygen and oxygen is life!
    9. Journal. A journal or just simply writing everyday will help keep life in perspective. Get in the habit of a gratitude journal. This will help you see all the positives in your life. You will all of the sudden stop feeling a sense of lack.
    10. Mediate or breathe deeply for 5-10 minutes a day. This will help you just quiet your mind. Many of us need our minds quieted. Just sitting in a still silence at least once a day will help you feel more relaxed. Let go of everything for those 5-10 minutes and just exist.

    Could these foods be causing your Depression?

    Too much of some of these foods and you may become unlikeable, to yourself and to everyone around you. A lot of new research shows that what we consume goes right to our limbic systems, the emotional headquarters of our body.

    If we feed it horrible food, we will feel horrible. If we treat it with kindness, it will return us the kindness.

    Here are seven foods to try to avoid to help out our emotional headquarters:

    1. Refined sugar

    A snickers bar sure does taste good and can provide us with a rush of energy for about 20 minutes; however, that treat and all the refined sugar causes our blood glucose levels to plummet, resulting in a sugar hangover that disrupts our mood, depletes our energy, and is linked to sleep disorders.

    2. Artificial sweeteners

    Aspartame is bad stuff. We’ve all been hearing this lately. It’s even worse for you if you are prone to depression. It blocks the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin and causes mood dips, headaches, and insomnia. The artificial sweeters Sweet n low and Equal have also been found to be bad news as well. If you really need a soda fix, go for no diet but I wouldn’t recommend any soda.

    3. Processed food

    Consuming refined or processed carbohydrates, such as white bread, cereal, pasta, or snack foods will cause the same impact on your blood sugar levels as eating a basket of jelly beans. Bagels are processed the same way donuts are. After the initial insulin boost, you will end up fatigued, irritated, and out of whack.

    4. Hydrogenated oils

    Stay away from anything fried! Chicken, the fried cheese sticks, fried jalapeños, fried calamari, and, of course, French fries(which are sometimes fried twice!). Anything that is cooked with hydrogenated oils and contains trans fats could potentially contribute to depression.

    5. Foods high in sodium

    Fat-free foods tend to claim to be so healthy but turns out your probably better off eating the non fat free items. The fat free foods have to get taste somewhere and they will add a ton of salt which is not all that great for your emotions. The excess sodium in these products can disrupt your neurological system, contributing to depression, and can muck up your immune system response, causing fatigue. Too much salt also leads to fluid retention and bloating, and I don’t have to tell you how depressing that is. Most places use iodized salt which is not your friend.

    6. Alcohol

    Do I really even need to tell you this one! Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. If you have a history of a mood disorder, proceed with extreme caution. Your central nervous system is responsible for taking in information through the senses, controlling motor function, as well as thinking, understanding, and reasoning. It also controls emotion. Alcohol slows all this down, exacerbating symptoms associated with depression. Most people believe Alcohol makes them happy but they couldn’t be more wrong!

    7. Caffeine

    According to some experts, even a modest amount of caffeine can contribute to depression and anxiety. Caffeine disrupts sleep, making it more difficult to fall asleep and to stay asleep; those disturbances affect mood. It can cause agitation, tremors, and nervousness. Energy drinks, particularly, are bad news as most of them contain the caffeine equivalent of 14 cans of soda.

    If you are really looking to get a handle on your moods and overall feel better, you should start with diet. The gut brain connection is a connection we want to pamper. Our body is this amazing organism that knows what it’s doing to survive, but when we feed it things it was not set up to process how can we expect it to not malfunction?

    Hello Fresh Review Day 2

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    Yesterday’s recipe was so yummy I actually couldn’t wait to try tonight’s recipe! Tonight we tried the vegetarian recipe Paella Con Huevos with Bell Pepper, Peas and Smoked Paprika. Don’t be fooled by how little ingredients it seems! Once the meal is prepared it actually turned out to be a little more than the two of us could eat.

    This meal’s prep time says 10 min and that was about right. Tonight all I needed on hand again was olive oil, butter, salt and pepper. The total cook time from start to finish was right about 35 minutes so not too bad. This meal’s calories weigh in at 600. Not too shabby!

    The aroma for this meal was amazing! This recipe included smoked paprika, garlic and turmeric. My house smelt delicious. The flavor of this meal was really tasty. Once you make the plate you squeeze fresh lemon over it. I wasn’t to sure how the lemon would match up with egg but I was proven wrong. The lemon added the perfect twist to the dish! Here are some pictures from tonight’s meal.

    Looks pretty good right?! I would say so far that for someone who doesn’t have much confidence in cooking this could give you a little boost. As long as you follow the REALLY simple instructions you can’t mess these dinners up. The ingredients have been pretty good. It is fresh food but if your looking for top of the line organic food you may not be totally in love with these meal kits. For those of us just looking to cut out meal planning, shopping and all the hassle of trying to hunt down ingredients for certain recipes Hello Fresh is a pretty decent alternative.

    Check back tomorrow for our day 3 and final meal from the vegetarian kits.

    Day 1 of Hello Fresh Review

    As a Fitness Nutrition Specialist I am always looking for new innovative ways for my clients to be able to eat a healthy diet on the run. We live such busy lives these days that cooking seems like an impossible task to get done regularly. So we sacrifice healthy eating for fast unhealthy choices just so we don’t get HANGRY!

    I’ve been hearing about Hello Fresh for some time now but wanted to do some good research about the company before I spent the money to try their service. While doing some research I came across a deal for a 3 dinner meal kit for $30 oppose to their $60 plus regular fee. So I said why not give it a shot! They get an A+ on the BBB and many of the negative reviews had more to do with shipping and customer service calls rather than the actual food. But the company had always responded to their negative reviews and tried to make it right.

    I signed up and decided to pick their 3 dinner vegetarian kit to see what kind of variety they have. I like to do a few nights a week meatless so this to me was a great first pick. You have choices of fish, meats and veggie based kits. When I signed up with the discounted price code it would not allow me to change out my recipes but on your regular membership you can switch recipes if you don’t like what they show you will be coming in your next box.

    Shipping was great! Right on time like they said and it was packed really good with gel ice packs which are all recyclable. Each dinner was separated out into its own brown paper bag. The recipes are printed on nice large paper and very clear and easy to follow. The ingredients looked very fresh and amazing. I was able to transfers the paper bags with the meals right into my refrigerator so all I had to do is pull one out and cook!

    So tonight my husband and I decided to try their “Hall of Fame” recipe Butternut Squash Agnolotti. The card states 5 min prep time, with a total cook time of 20 min. Calories per serving are at 620. The ingredients it required me to have were olive oil and butter so that was great I always have those on hand. Here are my pictures from tonight’s prepared Hello Fresh Dinner.

    So now drumroll for the taste test please……

    It was DELICIOUS! Both my husband and I were highly impressed! My 18 month old daughter as well thought it was good! She wouldn’t stay out of my plate! I can say I am actually excited to try my next two meals. From the prep to cooking and clean up it really didn’t take more than 30-40 minutes of my night. The meal wasn’t heavy and it’s most definitely a better choice than fast food!

    Check back for day 2 and 3 reviews! I hope the meals are as TASTY as this Hall of Fame was.

    Learn how to free yourself from anxieties with these 8 easy steps

    Living with anxiety is not easy by any means. There are millions of people out there who struggle with anxiety daily, looking for ways to get relief. Being able to have control over anxiety is a life long process, but there are ways to combat your anxiety that can be integrated into your daily life. If you regularly suffer from anxiety and you need some relief, try some of the following strategies.

    1. Control Your Breathing:

    This is a big player in controlling your anxiety. Severe anxiety symptoms are linked to poor breathing habits. Some people with anxiety suffer from poor breathing habits that contribute to anxiety and can be one of the most upsetting symptoms. Taking control of your breathing will help you without a doubt. Here is what you need to do:

    • Breathe slowly and gently through your nose for about 5 to 7 seconds. Hold your breath for about 3 to 5 seconds. Breathe out gently through your mouth with your lips puckered like you are going to whistle for about 6 to 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise as many times as needed to gain complete control and prevent from hyperventilating.

    2. Be Self-Aware of Your Thoughts:

    Our thoughts can create a quick pathway to having a full on anxiety attack.  Learning to be aware of your thoughts will help you to combat them.  When a thought wonders into your mind that makes you feel uneasy, you should stop from thinking further about that thought and ask yourself is this something I should let take over me? This one thought has the potential to snowball into several other negative thoughts and cause you some horrible symptoms that can take minutes to hours to bounce back from. Twist that thought into a more positive thought. Sometimes just breaking the habit of letting your mind wonder from thought to thought going deeper into an anxiety rabbit hole will keep you grounded. Be aware of your thoughts and get used to changing your thinking pattern to be more positive.

    3. Find What Relaxes You: 

    There are already things in your life that relax you. Don’t avoid them and try to fight out the anxiety. Instead, do the activities as fast as possible. For example, if you find that a warm bath is relaxing, don’t wait to take the bath. Jump in the bath, light some candles, add a few nice scents, and get to relaxing. Whether it’s a bath, a shower, drawing, getting a massage do it if it works and do it right away, rather than letting yourself become overwhelmed by your anxiety. You will be amazed at how quickly you will become side tracked from your anxiety.

    4. Exercise: 

    During periods of anxiety, your body is filled with adrenaline. Putting that adrenaline towards some form of exercise can be a good way to improve your anxiety. That’s because exercise has many advantages for controlling your anxiety symptoms. Some of those include:

    • Exercise burns away stress hormones that create anxiety symptoms.
    • Exercise tires your muscles by reducing excess energy and tension.
    • Exercise releases endorphins which improves your overall mood.
    • Exercise forces healthier breathing.
    • Exercise is a healthy distraction and has been proven over and over to help anxiety symptoms.
    Aerobic activity, like light jogging or even fast walking, can be extremely effective at reducing the severity of your anxiety symptoms, as well as your anxiety itself.
    5. Live in the now and less in the future:
    Simply learning to live for today can impact your anxiety. One of the most important things that psychologists and counselors teach those with anxiety is: “Okay, you’re anxious. So what?” Those with anxiety often start to focus too much on how they feel and their worries about the future. Each day becomes trying to live with anxiety instead of trying to live in general. Learning to embrace the idea that you have anxiety and trying to live a great and exciting life anyway is important. What’s interesting is that if you can learn to finally have the mindset to let yourself experience the fear and try to live the life anyway, you will find that your anxiety tends to dissipate with it. It’s not a cure, but it’s close. You will always hear “Why worry about what you can’t control?” It’s true! You can only worry about the here and now so let go of all the “what could happens” and enjoy what is happening!
    6. Get it Out!: 
    Anxiety is interesting, because it tends to get worse when you try to fight it. It’s not clear why that occurs, but most likely the stress that your body goes through in order to control the stress of anxiety only makes it worse, as does the effort it takes to try to not feel your natural feelings. So rather than trying to stop your anxiety, an interesting coping strategy is to embracing it. When you’re feeling anxious, find a place that you can be alone and go nuts. Yell at yourself in mirrors. Scream. Punch pillows. Have at it, let all of your emotions out. Throw things. Fling your arms and jump around. Let yourself feel like you’re lettinof your emotions, and then some, to the point where you feel a bit silly, and then keep going with it. This lets you embrace the anxiety and not fight it, while also giving you an opportunity to hold it back. It’s best to make sure no one is around, and don’t break anything important to you, but as long as what you’re doing is safe it can help you feel quite relaxed.
    7. Get An Anxiety Buddy:
    Effective anxiety reduction is often about distraction, since your mind can be your worst enemy when you have severe anxiety symptoms. A very effective technique is to talk to someone you like and trust, especially on the phone. Don’t be ashamed about your anxiety, tell them you feel anxious and explain what you’re feeling.
    Talking to people you trust keeps your mind off of your symptoms, and having the support of friends and family gives you that added boost of confidence. If you’re suffering from a panic attack, it also helps you feel more confident that if something was wrong, you’d have someone that can watch over you. One of the biggest helpers for anxiety is knowing we are not alone and someone will help keep us safe.
    8. Listen To Music That Soothes Your Soul:
    Ahhh at last! Music! This is my outlet for anything! We all have music that we love, that puts us in a good relaxed mood. Use this as much as you can. When you listen to music that you really enjoy it releases endorphins. Having those feel good endorphins run through your body truly soothes the soul. We humans have been chanting and dancing to beats for thousands of years because there really is healing properties to our body from music. So turn it on and crank it up!

     

    Trauma Focused Parenting

    Wether you are a foster parent or someone who is raising kids, having some knowledge in trauma is useful. I would be surprised if there was one person out there who hasn’t endured some form of trauma in their lives. Some people might have suffered some horrible traumas while others might not seem so big, but trauma is trauma and each individual experience is their very own. We can not say “this child has worse trauma than that child.” Someone who has had sexual trauma could be dealing with life much easier than someone who had general neglect trauma. It’s all about the individual and their perception on things.

    Trauma focus is becoming a real big topic especially in the foster parenting world being that it is mainly what we deal with. Having trauma that has not been properly dealt with is a leading factor in mental illness, substance abuse and behavioral issues. Trauma will be an ever changing and growing topic. We now, are just beginning to understand the human brain and all its capabilities.

    Sadly when a person has had a traumatic experience their brain goes into a survival mode. Survival mode sounds great but it actually isn’t in this case. The person whom experienced the trauma will become stuck. Their brain will stop growing emotionally. So for instance, a child who experienced a horrific event at age 10 will emotionally be stuck at age 10 even though they are now 15, unless they have processed through the trauma. Seems crazy right? Well that’s the brains way of surviving. It buried the experience deep inside and built the Great Wall of China around it. For some the journey to healing is going to be a long painful process.

    With foster care you see a lot of this. Children come in and usually you go through a little honeymoon phase and then boom! Behaviors galore! Aggression, bed wetting, lack of confidence, self sabotage, hoarding, you name it, I’ve seen it! Before all the in-depth brain and trauma training we had no answers to understanding what was happening. To this day a lot of foster parents still have a hard time grasping that the child doesn’t hate you, they just can’t emotionally communicate with you. Plus let’s not forget that it takes a good amount of time to bond with these children and for them to even trust you enough to be vulnerable. Just when you think you are making progress you will get thrown a curve ball! But hang in there because there is a light at the end of every tunnel.

    This is where it’s good to gain knowledge on trauma and the brain. Many people live thinking that they experienced a traumatic event 30 years ago but it has no impact on their current life. That’s farthest from the truth. It impacts every aspect of your life and you don’t realize it until it’s dealt with properly. Many people will be triggered by something and not even realize that the trigger was related to this experience that happened so long ago in their life. Like I said earlier this becomes a big player in substance, behavioral, and mental issues.

    I have done a lot of studying on the brain and trauma. I am truly fascinated with all the information that is out there. From parenting classes to my own research I have truly transformed my parenting ways. Not only have I transformed how I parent but I have been able to take a look at my life and past and start to piece together why I struggle with things as well. I strive everyday to gain knowledge and practice being better than the day before. Not everyday is a success either and that’s ok. One thing to always keep in mind is without a little failure from time to time there is no room for new success.

    It takes some courage to really start studying how the brain works. Some days are dark when you have deep self realizations. But these dark days will be what pushes you into the light. A lot of people are scared to get to the core of who they are because there’s a lot of past there they don’t want to remember. We have to learn to be ok with the good, bad and ugly about ourselves. Once you go inside and accept everything about yourself and heal then you will be able to transform how you parent. This is the most vital step in the process of helping our kids. We as parents have to be emotionally stable to provide an environment where these children can heal.

    As a foster parent one of the hardest lessons you will learn will be to not take these behaviors personal. It’s hard…very hard because thoughts cross your mind like you are providing them a good home or you are giving them unconditional love and so on, so why are they causing you so much trouble? Unless you are the one projecting bad energy towards them first then you are most likely not the problem. You are just there and you are going to get the brunt of their trauma. This is when using trauma focused skills and parenting will make a world of difference in both your lives.

    You as the parent wether birth or foster/adopt have to remain cool, calm and collected. As you heal as a person you will truly gain that mindset. When we haven’t dealt with our traumas they make us react to situations on the defense. When we can’t figure out why something angers us so badly, it’s usually due to an un-dealt with trauma. When someone’s behavior makes us annoyed, it’s usually something inside us that we are seeing in them that we don’t like about ourselves. For instance I’ve had a child who is a control freak and it made me crazy! Well that’s because I am a control freak and had never accepted that about myself. This child and I would butt heads regularly because of this. It’s not a bad thing for the child or I to be a control freak but we both have to learn when it’s needed and when it’s not.

    Being a control freak often stems from anxiety and anxiety comes from worrying about the future and not knowing if you can control what happens. Then this all leads back to a childhood of never fully feeling secure. It takes a lot to break down behaviors and behavioral patterns but once you do you can find the source. Behavior in all people is a form of communication and if you pay attention you can look past the moment of unwanted behavior and see what’s really going on.

    All human beings need a few things to fully flourish in life and that is to feel loved, accepted, safe and secure. If you’ve lacked any of those at any point in your life you will naturally put up that wall and do your best to never feel that way again. It’s that dang survival mode! So therefore comes behaviors that we regularly have to keep us away from those negative experiences again.

    To be the best parent we can be daily takes work and patience. The work and patience doesn’t just mean for the child but for ourselves as well. It takes time to process our own past traumas but as you do, you will see how to apply new parenting skills with your children.

    When you are parenting a child with trauma you must try to keep in the forefront that the behavior is just a form of communication from the child that something is hurting inside them. Don’t fight the behaviors, it won’t do you any good. As long as they aren’t harming themselves or anyone then allow them to go through the emotions. Allowing the child to go through the emotions will help them emotionally grow. Most children of trauma have their lines crossed on what they are feeling. Help them identify if they are sad, angry, scared and so on. Sometimes an angry child isn’t angry at all they are actually acting out of fear but it comes out totally wrong.

    One very important thing is to validate the child’s feelings. Never discredit their emotions because this will not allow them to gain emotional knowledge and strength. Even if you disagree or think it’s nothing serious you must give them validation. We are human and each of us has good, bad and ugly emotions that we have to accept as part of us. Our society doesn’t set us up to be emotionally intelligent. We all have masculine and feminine qualities to us and a strong man or woman is most likely the one whom allows themselves to feel emotions and feel them deeply.

    When we shut people down on their feelings we shut a part of them down. The more a child or person has to suppress these emotions the more they lack being ok with who they are. They will eventually end up with self-esteem issues and losing who they are as a person. All humans need to be validated it’s just built in us.

    To parent a child of trauma you must also leave your judgment at the door. Let’s be real, no one likes to be judge so you must not judge the child for their behaviors. They are just behaviors and they will go away as the child heals. When we judge the child and their behaviors we will fail at understanding what needs to be done to help along the healing process.

    Empathy and compassion are going to be big players in a child’s healing. We will never fully be able to walk in someone else’s shoes but we can try. Just by trying to imagine yourself in the child’s position should help give you empathy for them. Once you get a little internal feeling on how they might feel this will help you parent with compassion. The two really go hand in hand. When you parent with a sense of compassion it will help the child feel unconditional love.

    Unconditional love is a must in any relationship. You must love a person through good times and bad. To truly have a flourishing relationship with anyone you have to accept all things including flaws of that person. When you have unconditional love for a child or person flaws are not flaws but are characteristics that make that person who they are. Remember we all have good, bad and ugly qualities it’s just part of being human. When we have relationships with unconditional love it balances us and all our qualities. It helps us thrive as individuals when we feel we have unconditional love in our corner. Humans want to know and feel that even if we make a mistake we are still loved and accepted. When we feel this we feel secure.

    When parenting a child of trauma you really want your home to be a place where they can freely express themselves and their emotions. As long as the child isn’t doing any physical harm to anyone or anything than it shouldn’t be to hard to provide this type of environment. My husband and I regularly allow our children to voice their emotions and feelings when behaviors arise. We are calm people so we have found that our children calm down fairly quickly because we are not matching their high intense emotions.

    When a child feels secure enough in their environment they will heal. We all want security of some form wether it’s money, a good job, a roof over our head or for most children security is love and acceptance.