The Voice of Reason or The Enemy Within

Those thoughts that drive you to distraction or reaction

Have you ever said to yourself “I don’t know why I just did that” or “I cannot believe I just said that” after a lack of concentration, after a squabble or simply when you were “out of your comfort zone”.

You are not alone! Many people lose concentration and even lose control and do or say the wrong things in stressful situations. These situations are often simply our defence mechanisms coming out to protect us when we are vulnerable or not in the right state of mind to be doing the task at hand. 

The problem is, these defence mechanisms are not the best part of our personality to be out in these times. So it’s a matter of making sure you have the right part out at the right time.

“That’s all well and good” I hear you say, “I cannot stop those thoughts”

Let me explain further, part of the answer is something psychologists refer to as self-distancing; a term coined by researchers Ethan Kross and Ozlem Ayduk. What spurred Ethan Kross to investigate the concept in the first place was an act of mindlessness: He accidentally ran a red light. He scolded himself by saying out loud, “Ethan, you idiot!” Referring to himself in the third person made him wonder if there might be something more to this quirk of speech, and if it might represent a method for changing one’s perspective.

The short answer is “yes”. According to Kross, when you think of yourself as another person, it allows you to give yourself more objective, helpful feedback.

As Pamela Weintraub writes in the May issue of Psychology Today:

“By toggling the way we address the self—first person or third—we flip a switch in the cerebral cortex, the center of thought, and another in the amygdala, the seat of fear, moving closer to or further from our sense of self and all its emotional intensity. Gaining psychological distance enables self-control; allowing us to think clearly, perform competently. The language switch also minimizes rumination, a handmaiden of anxiety and depression after we complete a task. Released from negative thoughts, we gain perspective, focus deeply and plan for the future.”

It’s all about being present and instead of reacting to the inner voice, listen to it and actually respond to it internally.

The other part of the answer is about being present (mindful) and having the right part out at the most appropriate time. This can be achieved by getting to know your different internal parts and their names. You may have a part of your sub-conciseness that controls the way you react to certain situations that are inappropriate.

Sometimes these parts do not behave in ways we would like them to behave: “I know I shouldn’t do it, but I just can’t seem to stop myself from checking the locks everyday”, or, “I can’t stop myself from eating sweets”. 

There are many behaviours people can find upsetting, yet cannot seem to stop from doing. Smoking and OCD behaviours are just two from a long list including, gambling, drug & alcohol addictions, cleaning, workaholics, eating disorders, and more. 

As Resource Therapists, we understand that there is an underpinning cause, and that the part of us that is doing the unwanted behaviour is not the cause, rather it is the part of us that is trying to protect us from feeling the bad underlying feelings that are held by another part of us. Feelings that are perceived to be so bad that a protective part of us will do almost anything to prevent us from having to feel them. Even if that ‘something’ is a behaviour that we do not wish to have, like an addiction to smoking or shouting at someone when you are stressed. 

Resource Therapy seeks to bring normality to all of our parts, recognising all parts of us as valuable resources that make us the unique individuals we are. Resource Therapy is a respectful therapeutic theory and practice, which acknowledges and validates the personality’s needs for internal and external health and harmony.

create a better lookout for yourself

In summary

Listen to your inner-voice, use your name in the third person – speak to yourself as if you want to be heard “Paul, do you think this is the right way to act in this situation” by using this simple thought process you may break the mindlessness cycle and be on the road to self discovery and success. 

If, however, you find self-distancing hard to do or you cannot change those “What did I just say or do” moments. Give me a call and we can discuss further options through Resource Therapy Intervention.

Resource Therapy enables treatment interventions that directly address the personality part in need of change, quickly, powerfully and effectively. Issues such as, but not limited to, OCD, depression, addictions, eating disorders and PTSD can be treated and resolved in a fraction of the time spent using most other therapies, including CBT. Resolving the pathology held by a Resource State alleviates the causes of psychological distress, and frees Personality Resources to resume positive functions.Until next time – listen to your inner voice and remember your name 

Trauma the invisible wounds

Trauma, physical, cognitive, behavioural, emotional.
Symptoms of trauma can be described as physical, cognitive (thinking), behavioural (acting the way we do) and emotional.

There is one thing for certain for most of the population, that is, we have all experienced some kind of trauma.

Everyone trauma is different and the degrees of trauma vary, incorporating a type of abuse such as, Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, Psychological, Sexual or Verbal.

Trauma can be classified as – a very frightening or distressing events which may result in a psychological wound or injury.

Trauma can result in difficulty in coping or functioning normally. Everyone’s reaction to potentially traumatic experiences is different. Most people recover well with the help of family and friends and do not experience long-term problems. Some people experience problems directly after the traumatic event or much later in life.

For me I remember grade 3 kids at school teasing me because I had big shoulders. (These days it would be referred to as bullying). I remember feeling very upset and different. There was nothing I could do about my shoulders. I was a swimmer and at that stage was a young swimming champion.

I was already quite shy, but this made me retreat into myself even more and I felt very lonely. Emotionally I was not equipped to deal with this, I was different, I felt that I didn’t fit in and it was traumatic. I was personally attacked; my confidence took a dive and with it, my self worth and esteem.

Then, when I was in my 30s, I was wearing a lovely dress and for the first time in my life, positive comments were made about my shoulders. People making the comments said they had been working out at the gym and wanted shoulders just like mine. “where did you get them” I was asked. “Ahh I was born that way” was my response and turned around and walked away. Not wanting to relive those traumatic bulling moments of my childhood.

This type of emotional response became my way of “dealing with things” withdrawn and feeling worthless. This is how patterns of behaviour and negative responses to certain situations begin.

That’s how trauma works, trauma is effectively a protective instinct (good or bad) that comes out to “shield” us from emotional pain. Symptoms of trauma can be described as physical, cognitive (thinking), behavioural (acting the way we do) and emotional.

  • Physical symptoms can include excessive alertness (always on the look-out for signs of danger), being easily startled, fatigue/exhaustion, disturbed sleep and general aches and pains.
  • Cognitive (thinking) symptoms can include intrusive thoughts and memories of the event, visual images of the event, nightmares, poor concentration and memory, disorientation and confusion.
  • Behavioural symptoms can include avoidance of places or activities that are reminders of the event, social withdrawal and isolation and loss of interest in normal activities.
  • Emotional symptoms can include fear, numbness and detachment, depression, guilt, anger and irritability, anxiety and panic.

Have you ever noticed an adult having a tantrum, they display emotional response just like a 4-year-old. This is because they are reliving the original trauma. Emotionally they are stuck in the original traumatising moment (we call it the initial sensitising event).

We at Change Central understand how trauma happens and with particular therapy, we can teach you how to cut these ties and understand those old emotions and leave them where they should be, back in the past and without those feelings of distress and negative emotions.

9 out of 10 people don’t know the difference. Do you?

Do you know the difference

Psychological issues – defined

Stress is a common response to tough events or situations. Some stress is normal and stress itself is not anxiety or depression. However, severe and ongoing stress may be a risk factor if it persist. The type of anxiety experienced by people with an anxiety condition is more frequent or persistent, not always connected to an obvious challenge, and impacts on their quality of life and day-to-day functioning. Fear is a feeling induced by perceived danger or threat that occurs in certain types of situations. But often we fear situations that are far from life-or-death, and thus over react for no good reason. A phobia is similar to a fear with one key difference: the fear you experience is so strong that it interferes with your quality of life and or your ability to function.

Substance Abuse and Addictions Defined

Addiction is a condition in which a person engages in the use of a substance or in a behavior for which the rewarding effects provide a compelling incentive to repeatedly pursue the behavior despite detrimental consequences. Have you ever wondered “am I a food addict?” Some of the signs and symptoms of food addiction include: food craving, disturbed body image, binge eating, secret eating, shame and fear about food.

Comment on this blog and get 10% off your next visit. Don’t forget to leave your name. If you are feeling any of the above symptoms, get in touch with us as soon as you can. If you don’t get help, then there is a chance that you will continue to suffer.

The Team at Change Central