Tag Archives: waystowellbeing

Your guide to Breaking Someone

break someone

Your Guide to Breaking Someone

A step by step guide to giving someone a mental illness

By: Angela Englander November 1, 2019

People have been doing a lot of talking about how to help people through mental illness. They’re talking about what it takes to heal, what is the best treatment, what pills to prescribe etc. They’re thinking too far ahead though, the trick is to begin at the beginning. Let’s start talking when the initial injury began so we can truly understand how to heal someone, instead of disguising the symptoms or undermining the experience.

1)The first step is to expose them to an incredibly overwhelming, confusing, shocking event. This event has to lead to at least a slight feeling of powerlessness. The results of this first step are enhanced when you add extra events. For best results expose them to weekly, or even daily traumatic events. Bonus points if some of the events began before puberty.

2) The second step is that everyone in their day to day life needs to act as if the events in the first step didn’t happen or don’t exist. People need to carry on as normal, do mundane activities like clean the house and take children to school, and act as seemingly “normal” as possible. The effects are enhanced if people closest to the person says “you’re over reaction” or “you’re just acting crazy” or otherwise minimizes the impact of the experience. Bonus points if you start creating distance from that person, acting as if they’re contagious or excluding them from social events.

3)The third step is to ensure people know that they cannot act in any way different from everyone else in society. Make sure this person knows that the larger group frowns upon any sort of social or behavioural change. To enhance the effects make jokes, humorous remarks and publicly humiliate people who act outside of what the larger collective has deemed as normal. Bonus points for creating derogatory terms for the experiences people are having as a result of the first two steps.

4) The fourth step is to create some sort of conditioned response. You’ve thoroughly laid the ground work in the first three steps. You’ve created the collective social expectations, ensured only a small group are exposed to the events, created internal duality as the person struggles to balance both the events and the results of those events with the normality of the world around them and threatened to punish them if they let on things aren’t quite what the larger collective wants them to be. You’re ready for one of the most critical, important things you can do. You need to have a stimuli and then you need to condition in some sort of emotional and behavioural response. If the stimuli involves more than one sense, even better. Some popular ones could include door slamming, a siren, a yell, flashing lights, a honk or a buzzer. Adding vibrations goes a long way also. Now to have the perfect response. An emotional and behavioural response will lead to the best results. The more intense the emotion, the better. Excitement and terror feel very similar to the body so these ones lead to the most long lasting results. Then for the behaviour, anything that involves running, rushing, or leaving the present location is perfect. Bonus points if there’s an environmental response also, such as multiple people rushing.

5) The final step is consistency. The longer the individual experiences these steps, the more dedication behind the steps and the more serious the impact, the more lasting the results. If you continue these steps for at least a year, many years if possible, or even someone’s entire lifetime, you can guarantee results!

There you are, your guide to breaking someone. Of course I don’t want people to actually follow these steps with in the attempt to break someone. Just a little awareness about what people in your family, life and community may be experiencing. Bring a little compassion in, after all, it really isn’t hard to break someone. It just takes five easy to follow steps.break someone

Why I’m so Happy

blessedBy: Angela Englander
March 6, 2019
People often ask why I’m so happy… Here’s my secret:
 
Each day I wake up on this side of the ground and I am thankful I have been gifted with another day.
 
I turn over to see someone I love deeply sleeping beside me and I feel very blessed.
 
I go downstairs and open a fridge with food inside and I’m able to take deep breaths with lungs that work and nourish a body that is receptive and working in partnership with my mind. I appreciate the privileges I have both within myself and in my surroundings and I feel so honored.
 
I fill up my day with conversations with the most amazing people who are working their butts off to heal and take back their lives. I am amazed and inspired by their courage to heal and take their lives back. I am honored they chose me to be on their healing journey with them.
 
On my dinner break I’m able to text and call and talk to friends, family and my partner who love me and care for me.
 
I work long days and I always feel like it is a miracle when I have made it home safely after my long drive.
 
Hundreds of times I take a deep breath and feel so grateful, so appreciative, so blessed. Not a moment goes by where I take these things for granted because each day, for many years I’ve seen these things taken from people. I’ve seen everything that could possibly be lost, be lost. I’ve seen the great tragedies of life, but they are not my tragedies…
 
So what’s my secret? I can appreciate the things others take for granted and overlook and assume will be there tomorrow. I know there is no guarantee.

Coping with Negative Self-Talk

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Coping with Negative Self-Talk

Anna Bystrova     February 27, 2016

When we talk about self-care, we often think about external stimuli that help us battle everyday stress. Taking a walk, going on vacation, meeting with friends and family, eating healthy food, exercising, learning something new, doing something exciting, going for a massage, and many more come to mind. All these examples are great choices of activities that help us lower our stress level and balance our emotional selves. However, there is one very important aspect that we often forget to address when we embark on a journey of self-care – negative self-talk!

Our brain is a magnificent thought-producing machine. It comes up with new ideas, stores and recalls wonderful images of our experiences, and provides us with millions upon millions of thoughts every day. However, at times, negative thoughts and memories come to the surface, often flooding our consciousness. Have you ever felt like a negative thought could not leave your mind regardless of how hard you tried to forget it or ignore it? It almost feels like the more you try to forget it, the more your brain tries to remember it and focus on it. These could be phrases that you have heard in the past, or some persistent messages from your childhood. These also could be ideas that stem from a recent failure or painful experience. In any case, these thoughts can become very heavy to bear on your shoulders. It is important to recognize that this experience can be overwhelming for anyone. You might even start to believe these negative thoughts because they are so persistent and you feel like you cannot escape them. In that moment, you might succumb to the power of your brain’s memory and accept these negative thoughts as the ultimate truth and reflection of your true self. There is great danger in this, as these thoughts can become so strong that they turn into your everyday mantra, leaving you with no space to breathe.

Recognizing that the negative self-talk spiral can happen to anyone, and you might have experienced it already, it is important to know how to take care of our thoughts and how to cope with negative self-talk.

Here are some examples of trigger thoughts that can start a whole cascade of negative self-talk, increasing your cognitive vulnerability:

__”I am so stupid”

__”I will never be able to do this”

__”There is no point in trying”

__”I’ll never achieve anything”

__”People always hurt me”

__”I am unlovable”

__”I am a failure”

__”It was my fault”

__”I can’t trust anyone”

__”There is something wrong with me”

__”It will never stop”

__”No one cares about me”

__”I don’t deserve to be loved/happy/successful/__________________”

__”I am incompetent”

__”I am going to be alone forever”

__”I am a bad friend/son/daughter/employee/parent/_______________”

__”I can’t make it in life without the help of _______________________”

__”I am broken”

__Your example:____________________________________________”

These thoughts can prove to be a powerful source of your distress. However, it is important to remember that even though it is difficult to ignore them and escape them, it is possible to learn to replace them with some coping thoughts that eventually will change the way you think, literally re-writing and rewiring your brain.

Coping thoughts can help you soothe your emotions and rebalance yourself when you are in distress. They are statements that remind you of some commonly held truths, your strengths, and your successes. If you find yourself in a situation when you begin addressing yourself in a negative way, use a self-encouraging coping thought that counteract the negative thought. You can create your own list of coping thoughts that you find powerful, encouraging, and motivating. Think of a list of negative thoughts above. Indicate those that apply to you and add those that you know you often think about. Then, keeping that list in sight, create a new list of coping thoughts that you think counteract those negative thoughts well. You can always search for more encouraging statements on the internet, ask your friends to come up with some, or look for some encouraging quotes that are easy to remember. If you are religious, you may want to use quote from your religious text that apply to your daily situations and can help you feel encouraged or motivated in a stressful situation.

Here is a list of some positive coping statements to start with:

___ “You don’t need to be perfect! Everyone makes mistakes”

___ “This too shall pass”

___ “My fear/sadness/anxiety won’t kill me. It just does not feel good right now”

___ “These are just my feelings, and eventually they will go away”

___ “It is ok to feel sad/anxious/angry/afraid sometimes”

___ “I can think different thoughts if I want to”

___ “My thoughts don’t control me; I control my thoughts”

___ “I am not in danger right now”

___ “Thoughts are not facts”

___ “It was not my fault. Some situations are out of our control”

___ “My feelings are like a wave that comes and goes”

___ “I have survived other situations like this before, I will survive this one too”

___ “I can ride this out and not let it get to me”

___ “I am strong enough to handle what is happening to me”

___ “This is an opportunity for me to learn how to cope with my fears”

___ “I can take all of the time I need right now to let go and relax”

Remember, it is not useless to continue doing this exercise on a regular basis as it  work on a neuropsychological level. Your brain houses about 100 billion neurons (more for children and adolescents) that interact between each other with the help of synapses. To simplify the process let’s visualize a pathway between point A and point B. When a stressful situation happens, a neuron A fires or activates. You start thinking a negative thought – your neuron B activates. Since they fired in close timing, they connect with a pathway. So, what happens when we react with a negative thought (neuron B) each time the stressful situation happens (neuron A)? We strengthen the pathway that our brain laid out the first time. Think of a grassy meadow. If we want to cross it, and there is no path in sight, we lay out a new path by stumbling through the grass. The next time you want to cross that meadow, will you stumble through the grass again or use the path you’ve already created? Yes, the majority of us will use the old path. So, each time you are near that meadow you end up using that path over and over again, until even grass does not grow there anymore, and you don’t even question which way to go, stepping on that path. It is exactly what happens in your brain. When you use negative self-talk each time you encounter a certain negative situation, the synapses (pathways in your brain) become stronger and more powerful, making it more and more difficult to see any other way each time that happens. Thus, to change how we think, we should not avoid the path, but consciously make a new one. Afterwards, we have to consciously choose that new path until the old path is covered with grass again.

McKay, M., Wood, J. C., & Brantley, J. (2007). The Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation & Distress Tolerance. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Trauma Related Beliefs

Trauma Related Beliefs

Check the beliefs that apply to you and then write about a situation in which that belief was created. Try to be specific when describing the situation, are any of these situations trauma related?

_____ I believe I am a victim and that my troubles are someone else’s fault

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that I can’t do things because I am physically or emotionally incapable of doing them. (“I can’t” generally means “I won’t or “I don’t want to”)

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that my actions don’t impact others. My actions don’t harm them or cause them emotional pain

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe I am unwilling or unable to put myself in others’ place

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe I am unwilling to do something that is disagreeable to me

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe I have no money, time, etc., to spare when other people ask me to do things

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that I develop aches and pains in order to avoid doing things that I don’t want to do

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe I often don’t have enough energy to do things – particularly when I don’t want to do them

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that I don’t have to live up to obligations – It’s ok to say “I forgot” or just ignore responsibilities

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that I frequently expect others to do what I want them to do, even if they don’t understand my reasoning

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe I am entitled to use others’ property as if it were my own, and to borrow things without permission

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that my “wants” are really my “rights”

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that others betray my trust regularly and therefore cannot be trusted at all

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that things will happen because I think they will

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that I can make decisions without finding out the facts

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that I am right and that my point of view is right, even when evidence says that it’s wrong.

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that even when I am proven wrong I must cling to my original position

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that thinking ahead and planning ahead are unnecessary or not useful

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that I am always supposed to win and that failure is not an option

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that fear is a weakness, so I deny that I am afraid even when I am

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that expressions of anger, like direct threats, intimidation, sarcasm, or passive-aggressiveness, are good ways to get what I want from people

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that if something doesn’t turn out the way I expect it to I will be criticized and found to be a failure

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that I will be let down by others

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that I will win in any struggle because I have power

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____ I believe that debating is enjoyable in and of itself

Situation in which this belief effects my life:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________