What is Grief?

“The world breaks everyone, then some become strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway. My last few blogs looked at the emotion of sadness. I’m now going to have a closer look at the emotion or the collection of emotions that make up grief.  What is grief? Put simply, grief is…

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Coping with Sadness

“Sorrow is one of the vibrations that prove the fact of living.”  Antoine de Saint-Exupery. This blog looks at ways of coping with sadness. My recent blog looked at how, from an early age, we tend to bury our sadness. Avoiding feeling this sadness means that we can lose touch…

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Sadness or Depression?

Is what I'm feeling sadness or depression? People often worry that their feelings of sadness are going to turn into depression, or indeed ARE a sign that they are depressed. But sadness and depression are very different and this blog looks at the key differences between the two.  Feeling low…

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Sadness, loss and grief

Over the next couple of months in my blogs, I’m going to focus on sadness, loss and grief.  We are thankfully much more able, these days, to talk about mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and addiction. But perhaps less likely to talk about our sadness, our losses and…

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How to Find Calm

This blog looks more closely at how to find calm when we have been pulled into fight, flight or freeze states. My last few blogs looked at Stephen Porge’s Polyvagal Theory which I would very often explain to my clients. The polyvagal theory is useful firstly because it allows people…

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The Polyvagal Ladder

The polyvagal ladder exercise Continuing on from my previous blog, Deb Dana, clinician and Coordinator of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium in the Kinsey Institute in the US, has taken Stephen Porges theory and found ways to explain it simply and powerfully. The polyvagal ladder exercise involves us imagining our…

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The Vagus Nerve and Trauma

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This blog looks at the vagus nerve and trauma. My last blog looked at the key role of the vagus nerve on how we think, feel and behave and in particular at Stephen Porge’s Polyvagal Theory.  I described how moment by moment, our neural circuits distinguish whether situations or people…

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Polyvagal Theory

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One of the most useful pieces of information that I am able to share with clients is Stephen Porges’s Polyvagal Theory. Explained simply, it is a really powerful way for us to understand and regulate how we feel, moment by moment. This is the fourth in a series of blogs…

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Dissociation from events happening in the here and now is an adaptive response to threat and is a form of “freezing”. It can also be described as “zoning out”, or “numbing out”. It is a strategy that is often used when the option of fighting or running (fleeing) is not…

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My previous blog looked at how the nervous system states of fight, flight and freeze are involved in how we feel from moment to moment - including strong emotions like anxiety, fear, panic and anger, OCD and phobias, even trauma and PTSD. This blog will focus especially on the freeze…

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Fight, flight and freeze

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Most of us have heard of the terms fight, flight and freeze, but exactly how do these states relate to how humans feel? This is the first of a series of blogs about how understanding how our nervous system works can be a powerful step towards managing our feelings and…

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