When I was in Sunday school I learned a simple rule called the Golden Rule. We might also call this God’s law. This rule is:
“Treat others the way you would want them to treat you.”
Unfortunately, too much of American culture is dominated by a different rule, a rule that is a complete perversion of God’s law. This perverted rule, which might be called the Self-Righteous Rule, or Satan’s law, is:
“Treat others the way you think they deserve to be treated.”
According to this rule it doesn’t matter how badly you mistreat others as long as you can justify your actions to yourself. When this perverted rule becomes the guide for the behavior of individuals, organizations, and institutions we get pervasive dysfunction.
So the solution for fixing society is quite simple. We all need to follow God’s law more. We also need to stop voting for or supporting people and organizations that don’t.
Several people I have talked to did not understand why it is important for them to wear a mask while out in public. They had the idea that the mask was to protect themselves and since they were not afraid of getting sick, or were unlikely to get sick, they didn’t see any need to wear a mask. Continue reading Masks and COVID-19→
The following instructions are to help with stress and are not meant as treatment for any medical conditions. If you have any discomfort from any technique then stop using it.
Recovery breathing maintains our reserves.
Stress tends to wear us down physically and emotionally. In the model of stress that I use, this comes from our reserves being depleted. When our reserves are depleted we feel physically exhausted or emotionally drained. Even thinking about doing something can feel too much for us.
We need to maintain our reserves no matter what type of stress we are dealing with. Breathing techniques can help us do that.
We can optimize the rate we recover from stress by developing three aspects of breathing. These are
In this post I will describe unease, one of the components of stress. I will explain how unease is related to emotions. I will also give an example of a meditation technique to reduce the effect of unease on our nervous system. An audio version of the text is below. A meditation track is at the end of the post.
I am working on various ways of presenting material. I had a request for an audio version of posts so I will include that here as well as the text version.
I read a recent report on scammers preying on people’s fear of COVID-19 to sell them bogus cures. I thought it would be interesting to apply the unease modulation model of stress to understand how scammers work and how to protect ourselves.
The video in this post applies a model of stress that I have been using for years to the particular situation of being required to remain at home due to COVID-19. The presentation describes how several components of stress interact in this situation and how to deal with them.
The model was published last year as a scientific research article in Frontiers in Psychiatry. This video is my attempt to use simple animations to capture the dynamic nature of stress and how different techniques can be combined to have synergistic effects.
I have a Tibetan bowl that many people have found quite relaxing. However, not all people like the same pitch. This post links to a page that has a number of differently pitched Tibetan bowl sounds. Each link on the page will take you to a 5 min track of a Tibetan bowl at a different pitch. Find one you like and relax.
One purpose of these Tibetan bowl tracks, the paced breathing tracks, and any of the relaxation tracks you can find on this site is to help you relax and recover from stress.
Another equally important function is that they should help you disengage your attention from useless focusing on what is making you uneasy and enable you to shift your attention to what may reduce your difficulty. More on this in a couple of days.
If people follow the recommendations on social isolation then it is likely that many of us will escape being infected with COVID-19. However, each of us is being affected by the stress from the virus and the unprecedented actions required to halt its spread.
Since I am an expert in stress and stress-management I am going to be posting tools to help people cope with the stress associated with the COVID-19 epidemic. These posts will all be under the categories COVID and Stress.
Please use the comments section for this post to requests for specific techniques or ask questions.
Our parasympathetic nervous system helps us recover from stress. When we breathe at a slow pace, generally between 5 and 7 breaths per minute for adults, our physiology shifts into a recovery state in which natural restorative processes become more active. This is associated with activation of the parasympathetic nervous system and it will occur within a few seconds of beginning that breathing pattern.
The link below points to a page with a series of videos that you can use to breathe with. Pick a pace and breathe with it. If a particular pace does not feel soothing then try a different pace. You are looking for a breathing pace that feels effortless and soothing. Your body should settle into it effortlessly. Most people like a pace between 5 and 7 breaths per minute. Continue reading Paced Breathing for Brief Relaxation→
Here is a video of my colleague Dr. Judith Andersen being interviewed for a Finnish show, Successful Mind, hosted by Teemu Karppinen. We were in Finland working on a stress-management program with Dr. Harri Gustafsberg. Judith and Harri created a successful program to reduce use-of-force errors by police officers, the International Performance Resilience and Efficiency Program.
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