Many Faces of Anxiety


As you can see by this photo, anxiety has many faces and ways it can present itself. Everyone reacts differently to anxiety. Essentially, anxiety is fear, connected to your Amygdala, an organ in your brain designed to protect you from danger. Once the Amygdala is alerted to danger, very powerful stress hormones are released such as cortisol and adrenaline. Your entire system is setting up for battle to protect you, however, what happens when the fear is imaginary? What are the long term effects of activating your Limbic System repeatedly? I will tell you, physical and mental breakdowns occur. Anxiety eventually invades your life and takes over. Problems with sleep, energy, concentration, social engagement, become problematic. Your world begins to shrink down from "anticipatory anxiety." Now you begin to worry about everything and go into an avoidance mode, which only increases anxiety, more stress hormones are released and additional  physical and emotional problems. 
Your entire life gets hijacked by anxiety unless you learn to control it, confront it and learn skills to relax and calm yourself down physically and mentally. Methods that are scientifically proven to help manage anxiety include; meditation, diaphragmatic breathing, yoga, biofeedback, hypnosis, CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Thought Stopping, mental rehearsal, desensitization (via gradual exposure), use of imagery are all effective tools and ways to manage anxiety. 


























































































































































































































































































































800 Help Numbers for Help


Mental Training for Athletes

The performance pyramid has 3 distinct phases: 1) long-term development, 2) immediate preparation & 3) During performance itself.  Phase one  include long-term goals, learning, and sustaining daily practice. Phase 2, the skills are used immediately before performance to prepare prior to competition, and Phase 3 are skills utilized in the actual performance behavior. There are 3 empowering thoughts needed to create a champion attitude and performance. 
1) Champions think like champions.
2) Champions are made in practice.
3) The body follows the mind. 
Skills to perform well in sport as well as non-sport activities have certain basic tenants:  Successful athletes have the following mental traits:

  • Choose and maintain a positive attitude
  • Set and keep a high level of self-motivation
  • Set high and realistic goals
  • Use positive self-talk
  • Use positive imagery
  • Manage anxiety effectively
  • Manage their emotions
  • Maintain concentration
  • Always strive to improve
  •  Pain management
  • Ability to focus
  • Relax
  • ENJOY COMPETING
  • Mentally rehearse winning 
Lastly, having fun with a strong work ethic will produce results. What give you the winning edge? Confidence, Commitment to Excel and Enjoy winning. The athlete in the photo above is demonstrating the "V" for success. Check out the Amy Cuddy TED talk on non-verbal behavior and celebration for the impact on mood, performance and confidence. 

Screen Time Recommendations for Children


It may be time for you to think about and review the relationship your children have with "screens". A recent NY Times article by Nellie BowlesA Dark Consensus About Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon ValleyAccording to the author, "A Dark Consensus About Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon Valley." Athena Chavarria, who worked as an executive assistant at Facebook and is now at Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropic arm, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, said: “I am convinced the devil lives in our phones and is wreaking havoc on our children.” Tech rules for children:

·   ----no phones until the summer before high school,
·    ----no screens in bedrooms,
·    ----network-level content blocking,
·   ----no social media until age 13,
·   ----no iPads at all and screen time schedules enforced Google Wifi that he controls from his phone, 
 bad behavior? Child goes offline for 24 hours. 
Dr. Google (my joke) says the following:
Kids and teens age 8 to 18 spend an average of more than seven hours a day looking at screens. The new warning from the AHA recommends parents limit screen time for kids to a maximum of just two hours per day. For younger children, age 2 to 5, the recommended limit is one hour per day.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends keeping all screens off around babies and toddlers younger than 18 months. They say a little screen time can be okay for older toddlers, and children 2 and older should get no more than an hour of screen time per day.
Here's where things get scary: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that children ages 8 to 10 spend an average of 6 hours per day in front of a screen, kids ages 11 to 14 spend an average of 9 hours per day in front of a screen, and youth ages 15 to 18 spend an average of 7.5 hours per day.
YIKES!!!!!! NY Times Article.