What is Equanimity? And Why Should I Care?

Posted Posted in Interesting

What is Equanimity?

Equanimity is a practice, most often discussed in Buddhist and Sufi traditions. Equanimity is the base for wisdom and freedom and for compassion and love. Few individuals are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions that differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most individuals are even incapable of forming such opinions.

Philosophy teaches us to bear with equanimity the bad luck of other people.

Merriam-Webster defines equanimity as an evenness of mind under stress – a habit of mind that’s rarely disturbed under great strain; a controlling of emotional or mental agitation through will and habit; a steadiness when facing strain.

What does equanimity look like?

Equanimity is the capacity to stay neutral, to observe from a distance, and be at peace without getting caught up in what we observe. It is the capacity to see the big picture with understanding and without reacting, for instance, to another’s words, ideology, perspective, position, premise, or philosophy. Essentially, we take nothing personally; refuse to be caught up in the drama our own or other peoples.

Equanimity allows us to “stand in the midst,” of conflict or crisis in a way where we are balanced, grounded and centered. Equanimity has the qualities of inner peace, well be-ing, vitality, strength, and steadfastness. Equanimity allows us to remain upright in the face of the strong winds of conflict and crisis, such as: blame, failure, pain, or disrepute – the winds that set us up for suffering when they begin to blow. Equanimity protects us from being “blown over” and helps us stay on an “even keel.”

How do we develop equanimity?

There are numerous mind/body qualities that support the development of equanimity. One is integrity. Do-ing and be-ing in integrity supports our feeling confident when we speak and act. Being in integrity fosters an equanimity that results in “blamelessness,” feeling comfortable in any setting or with any group without the need to find fault or blame. Another quality that supports equanimity is faith (not necessarily a religious or theological faith) – a faith based on wisdom, conviction or confidence. This type of faith allows us to meet challenge, crisis or conflict head on with confidence, with equanimity. A third quality is that of a well-developed mind a mind that reflects stability, balance and strength. We develop such a mind through a conscious and consistent practice of focus, concentration, attention and mindfulness. A well-developed, calm mind keeps us from being blown about by winds of conflict and crisis.

A quality that supports equanimity is seeing reality for what it is, for instance, that change and impermanence are an unpleasant fact. We become detached and less clingy to our attachments. This means letting go of negative judgments about our experience and replacing them with an attitude of loving kindness or acceptance and a compassionate matter-of-factness. The more we become detached, the deeper we experience equanimity.

The final quality is letting go of our need to be reactive so we can witness, watch and observe without needing to get caught up in the fray, the winds – maintaining a consistent relaxed state within our body as sensations move through.

Equanimity, thus, has two aspects: the power of reflection and an inner balance, both of which support one to be mindful, awake, aware and conscious. The greater the degree we are mindful, the greater our capacity for equanimity. The greater our equanimity, the greater our ability to remain steady and balanced as we navigate through the rough waters and gusty winds of change, challenge and conflict.

What happens when we are out of balance lacking equanimity?

In our everyday physical world, when we lose our balance, we fall. In our emotional world, we stuff our feelings and emotions, deny them or contract around them. Or we identify with a particular thought, feeling or emotion, hold on to it rather than allow it to flow through us or pass like a cloud in the sky. The middle ground is equanimity – the state of non-interference.

Equanimity allows for a deeper, more fulfilling experience.

As we develop our capacity for equanimity, we can begin to notice when we drop into a “state of equanimity.” Being aware of our experience, we can explore the state and this practice will lead to more frequent and deeper states of equanimity. What we find with such practice is that people, events, and circumstances that once caused us to be reactive no longer have any “charge” and we are more and more able to let go and feel less “bothered.” We suffer less.

You Need to Let Go of Yourself to Become the Best Version of Yourself

Posted Posted in You Can Fix That

Why You Need to Let Go of Yourself to Become the Best Version of Yourself

What is the thing that is most holding you back from being the best version of you?

You might be tempted to say something along the lines of ‘time’, ‘energy’, ‘money’ or ‘opportunity’. Perhaps you feel limited by other people?

I have a hunch, which is that a big part of what’s holding you back is your own sense of self. In other words: you might well be limited by your attachment to the ‘old you’ and by your eagerness to be seen as consistent and reliable.

Why Consistency is Over-Rated

We all have an attachment to who we think we are. We all have a notion of ourselves and of who others think we are as well. For example: you may see yourself as someone lighthearted who is never serious. Or perhaps you see yourself as being a local at heart, who supports the local sports team and who would never leave home.

We like the sense of continuity that this brings and other people like the fact that they know where they stand with us.

We don’t want to do something that is ‘out of character’ and we don’t want to go back on things we’ve said.

But is this really something you should cling to? Maybe your concept of ‘you’ is outdated?

Adaptability is Key

If the dinosaurs taught us one thing, it is that adaptability is the most important trait when it comes to surviving and thriving. If you can’t adapt, then the world will change around you and you will become an anachronism.

With that in mind, what benefit is there for you to actively refuse to adapt and grow?

Have you ever told someone the way you felt and then changed your mind… only to then feel that you can’t go back on what you said?

Have you ever wanted to dress differently, or take a sudden serious tone, but felt enormous pressure from people’s expectations of you?

This is a prison. And the irony is that it is a lie: the truest version of ‘you’ is simply the ‘you’ that you naturally want to be. The best way to be ‘you’ is to drop all expectations and simply act in the moment based on your emotions and your feelings.

And remember: biologically, there is no continuity. The person you are now is biologically completely different from the person you were even 10 years ago. Accept it and move on.

Use Hypnosis and NLP to Overcome Anxiety and Stress

Posted Posted in Interesting, You Can Fix That

More than ever, scientific surveys are proving the primary role played by stress in causing and aggravating various physical and emotional disorders. In the June 6, 1983 issue of Time Magazine, the cover story labeled stress “The Epidemic of the Eighties.” The article also mentioned that stress is our prominent health issue. Indeed it is unquestionable that the world has become more and more complicated and stressful in the past 25 years since that article was written.

Many surveys indicate that almost everybody perceives themselves as being under a lot of stress. Authorities in the field estimate that around 75 to 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are related to stress.

Most people say that their job is the major reason of their stress. And stress levels have also increased in children as well as the elderly population because of several reasons including: Peer pressures that often lead to everything from smoking to drug and alcohol abuse; the dissolution of family and religious values and ties; growing crime rates; threats to personal safety; as well as social isolation and loneliness.

Stress can cause and aggravate problems such as diabetes, ulcers, low back and neck pain, hypertension, strokes and heart attacks and weight gain. This is due to the ever growing sympathetic nervous system activity as well as a flood of cortisol, adrenaline, and other hormones. Chronic stress is corollary of weakened immune system resistance. Stress can contribute to anxiety, depression, and its various effects on the body’s organs.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines “Stress” is defined as: “To subject to physical or mental pressure, tension, or strain”

The same dictionary defines” tension” as: “Mental, emotional, or nervous strain”.  When combined with anxiety (“A state of uneasiness and apprehension, as about future uncertainties”) and add in “depression” , we have the ingredients for a significant weakening of the body and interference with day-to-day social and emotional functioning.

There is a distinction between “depression”, “The condition of feeling sad or despondent” and “Clinical Depression” (“A psychiatric disorder characterized by an inability to concentrate, insomnia, loss of appetite, anhedonia, feelings of extreme sadness, guilt, helplessness and hopelessness, and thoughts of death.”)

We can, nonetheless, be sure that our mind is the primary cause of our feelings of stress, anxiety and depression. We could also say that, what we think about, and our attitudes and the way we view our experiences dictate what we feel.  That which you focus on, becomes your reality.   So if we can manage to modify our thoughts, attitudes, and points of view, then we can be relieved of our stress, anxiety, and depression and replace them with a better state of being.

Since the beginning of time, people have tried methods for getting rid of stress. The pharmaceutical industry seems to have a drug for everything. For that the industry has produced a large line of drugs including those that are frequently abused such as Valium, Ativan and Xanax.  If you choose to use drugs for relief, please make sure that you read the fine print and learn about the side effects, which usually are, among others, addiction and dependency. The critical failure of chemically treating the symptoms without addressing the underlying cause is the development of the psychological chemical dependency to the drugs.   The relief is fleeting and requires that the person stay medicated to control their symptoms

A more intelligent method to eliminate tension, stress, anxiety, and depression is to treat its actual cause, which as I said above, is generally our thought processes.   Hypnosis and NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) are powerful tools to help in finding safe and lasting resolution to the underlying issues and the symptoms.  The basis of hypnosis is relaxing.  The AMA accepted hypnosis in 1958 as an effective method of treating stress or stress related symptoms.  However unlike benzodiazepines (class of drugs such as Valium, Ativan, Xanax), there are categorically no bad side effects.

Hypnosis is the Alpha level of consciousness. It is the daydream like temporary psychological state which we feel as we are about to fall asleep at night. And we feel it once more when we awaken again. There are several different ways we can guide ourselves into this relaxed mood, from step-by-step relaxation to visual imagery to listening to hypnosis audio programs.

When we enter the hypnotic state, we can communicate with our subconscious mind, which is the seat of our emotions. And one can more easily accept new points of view and ideas which will help us to dissipate anxiety, or even prevent it from occurring in the first place.

NLP provides the suffering person with powerful techniques for releasing stress.  Maybe the technique that works best is called the “swish” pattern – or the “flash” pattern. After using the “flash” pattern, your subconscious will automatically use negative, stress triggering mental images, as triggers for tranquilizing mental images. Otherwise stated, what commonly makes you feel stress will now trigger relaxation!

Tension, stress, anxiety, and depression can be prompted by our thoughts. So by changing our attitude and point of view towards our situation and our experiences, we can dissipate these feelings at the source. Hypnosis and NLP are natural tools that make it possible to change our attitude and point of view to easily dissipate the source of our negative feelings.

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About the Author: 

Hypnotist, Author and Motivational Speaker

Marc is an award winning, certified stage and clinical hypnotist, author and motivational speaker with experience entertaining both large and small gatherings.

Marc uses his skills and talents in a variety of areas that include self-improvement or clinical hypnosis, motivational speaking, and comedy stage hypnosis.  He has worked with individuals and corporations throughout the United States to improve outcomes in personal lives and organizations.

As a clinical hypnotist, he has helped people resolve sleep issues, lose weight, stop smoking, deal with long held fears, deal with stress and anxiety, manage pain, improve sports performance, eliminate addictions, and improve sexual function.

His performance resume include international appearances for casinos and resorts, on live shows for Refinery29 Live and Elite Daily’s TrashED.  He regularly performs for major corporations, at comedy clubs, fairs and , and for schools, proms, graduations, conferences and conventions.

Marc’s book, “Staying in the Moment – Helping Students Achieve More Through Mindfulness Meditation” helps educators, parents and students get better results in the classroom through the adoption of mindfulness exercises as part of the curriculum.

For more information about, or to book an appointment with Marc visit his website: www.hypnomarc.com or email info@hypnomarc.com.

 

 

How Hypnotherapy Helps With Stress And Anxiety

Posted Posted in Interesting

Stress can be defined as a state we experience when there is a mismatch between perceived demands and our perceived ability to cope. Stress can also be defined as an adaptive response by a body to change in the environment. Stress response evolved to enable humans to deal with life-threatening dangers or stressors such as being confronted with a wild animal or perhaps a hostile human. Situations like this required action – the activation of stress response to wither stay and fight or to run away.

Today we hopefully won’t have to face the same dangers as our ancestors but the stress response to demanding situations we face is still with us and our mind and body still prepare for fight or flight when confronted with this equivalent of the wild animal. This is where the problem may begin as activation of the fight or flight response with no physical outlet, such as if we are stuck in a traffic jam and can’t fight it or flee it, or maybe an unfair confrontation in the workplace where once again the response for action may be triggered but we can’t vent it by fighting or running away without consequences we would rather avoid. Perhaps both of these events and more are experienced on the same day, perhaps every day, and the stress builds within us until it can damage our health if a solution is not found

Stress isn’t always bad – the stress response was designed to help and protect us and some people even place themselves in stressful situations they know they can handle for excitement and ‘the rush’ as it is often called.

We all experience stress in different ways depending upon our personality type, conditioning and possible training also.

When we face a stressor but perceive we have the ability to deal with it successfully a feeling of success and achievement can be gained. Getting the balance right between good stress to motivate us and encourage us to grow, and our ability to cope with the stress is possibly the key to remaining healthy, positive and active in whatever arena of life we find ourselves.

Our ability to cope with stress can be affected by our diet and the intake of good substances that out body needs to remain strong and flexible and to repair itself when needed. Also we should avoid anything that could cause us to be more stressed or weaker such as drugs, alcohol, smoking etc.

Finally, stress can be external, some event or situation that is causing stress, or internal, attitudes or emotions that lead to stress (anxiety, guilt, low self-esteem, fear, etc.)

What is the Fight/Flight Response? Why do we still have it?

The ‘Fight or Flight Response’ is a physiological reaction and is the body’s response to a stressor.

Changes in hormones prepare a person to either stay and deal with a stressor or to take flight/run away. This immediate state of alarm is when the body prepares to take action, and in this state a person will be extremely alert to their surroundings but also very anxious and possibly unable to concentrate.

The body will slow down systems not vital in responding to the stressor, such as the digestive system, which is why a person in a fight or flight situation may have a dry mouth and a nervous/upset stomach. The body will make other preparations such as improved cooling for the body as more energy is used and this will result in perspiration.

The fight or flight response is a very old and very basic response and has been with us for a very long time. It was originally a response to danger that would prepare our ancestors to fight the wild beast or the enemy who might suddenly threaten or confront them, or to take flight and literally run away from the danger.

This response is triggered when we send a message of alarm to a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. This area of the brain will then send a signal to the glands to release adrenaline, cortisol and endorphin into the blood stream. Increased levels of adrenaline increase heart rate and blood flow which in turn brings extra oxygen and glucose to the muscles. Cortisol causes an increase in amino-acids and sugars in the blood. Amino-acids are crucial for the repair and recovery of damaged tissues which may occur under stress and the blood sugar adds to the availability of glucose (fuel) for the body.

The release of endorphin, which is a morphine like substance only more powerful, provides the body’s natural tranquilizing system. Pain is blocked and a feeling of euphoria may be experienced, both helping to get the body through the situation it may find itself in due to stress.

We still have this response, as it is still necessary to prepare and protect us in times of alarm, such as being involved in an emergency situation of any kind, or being confronted with any form of potentially life threatening danger.

Once the initial stages of this fight or flight response are over, a person will have a psychological reaction to the stressor which will be based upon many variables including, personality type, conditioning, age, physical and mental ability, and their knowledge relevant to the situation to be dealt with.

It is very often the resulting symptoms of this fight or flight response kicking in that we tend to call a panic attack. what actually happens is that we may be in a situation where we can’t fight or flight, such as a meeting or on a train, and so we become more and more anxious and may feel as though we will pass out, or be sick, or any one of a number of responses. What often happens then,is we find we have a desperate need to urinate, and that is another way the subconscious mind will sometimes attempt to gain our attention and force us to leave the arena in which we find ourselves at the time. It is normally the feeling of not being able to escape, and knowing that we might have this strong feeling to fight or flight that causes much of the anxiety and expectation of problems for most people who find they need help to overcome their problem.

Also, many people….no…that should be most people who suffer from panic attacks and anxiety will normally have the need for some obsessive-compulsive actions in their life…it can often be a type of coping, or controlling strategy.

Why hypnotherapy is totally different from any other form of therapy?

Hypnotherapy is different from any other form of therapy because of the way in which the therapy part happens while one is in hypnosis. Put another way, hypnotherapy is a very effective combination of hypnosis, a trance or altered state of mind and deep relaxation, and the chosen therapy, which might be for example; suggestion therapy, regression, ego states therapy, or neuro-linguistic-programming.

Hypnosis allows an individual to enter a state of deep relaxation which in itself is a very useful therapy for combating stress. It also allows one to become calm and focused, as all parts of the mind work together and concentrate on solving the problem at hand, and therefore making the very best use of the chosen therapy as it is applied.

Why hypnotherapy is so helpful in cases of stress, anxiety and panic attacks?

Hypnosis is a state in which the conscious critical faculty is temporarily suspended or distracted and in which all parts of the mind work in harmony for the good of the whole being.

When in hypnosis an individual can become very relaxed and at the same time very aware and ‘sharp’, mentally focused.

For the computer literate, I would liken hypnosis to the ‘safe mode’ on a computer, where if a part of the system is acting up or malfunctioning, placing the system in safe mode allows for investigation and repair to be carried out safely while minimizing the risk to the normal operating systems. In some sports it would be like a ‘time-out’, where all parts of the team come together briefly to review the current state of play, to identify where poor choices may have affected the outcomes and to choose a new strategy to move forward with.

In the normal whirl of life we seldom take a time out, or to go into safe mode to pull together our resources and to calmly take stock and plan our best way forward. Hypnosis then, is a safe, relaxing state in which we can let go the tensions in and around us for a short period, and in which, if we desire it, a skilled therapist can guide us through the stages of investigation, discovery, planning and repair we may need.

Hypnotherapy therefore provides relaxation (and clients of good therapists learn self-hypnosis so they can find this deep relaxation for themselves) and is therefore useful at even this basic level, as a kind of first aid. The good therapist will help the client to find any repressed emotions, triggers and false instincts from the past that are a kind of out-of-date, erroneous, or maybe just no longer wanted or needed programming, that loops around once triggered to cause us much anxiety and feelings of panic, but we often don’t know why. Following this, the wonderful power of hypnotic suggestion, and Neuro-Linguistic programming techniques will be used to provide new and efficient programming to support moves forward into a much more positive life with a better outlook on everything.

About the Author:

Marc is an award winning, certified stage and clinical hypnotist, author and motivational speaker with experience entertaining both large and small gatherings.

Marc uses his skills and talents in a variety of areas that include self-improvement or clinical hypnosis, motivational speaking, and comedy stage hypnosis.  He has worked with individuals and corporations throughout the United States to improve outcomes in personal lives and organizations.

As a clinical hypnotist, he has helped people resolve sleep issues, lose weight, stop smoking, deal with long held fears, deal with stress and anxiety, manage pain, improve sports performance, eliminate addictions, and improve sexual function.

His performance resume includes appearances on live shows for Refinery29 Live and Elite Daily’s TrashED.  He has performed internationally for major corporations, at comedy clubs, fairs and , and for schools, proms, graduations, conferences, conventions and corporations.  He was a featured performer for New Jersey’s premier First Night Celebration – First Night Morris for New Year’s Eve 2018.

Marc’s book, “Staying in the Moment – Helping Students Achieve More Through Mindfulness Meditation” helps educators, parents and students get better results in the classroom through the adoption of mindfulness exercises as part of the curriculum.

For more information about, or to book an appointment with Marc visit his website: www.hypnomarc.com or email info@hypnomarc.com.