Change Happens

Regardless of who you are; regardless of how you lived; regardless of how hard you have worked; or the good things you have done, change happens!

Change can be within a career; family circumstance; illness or loss of a loved one. Regardless the cause, change happens as part of the human experience and we can choose to adjust to the change or let it change us.

Change brings about anxiety. Anxiety harms your sense of self-confidence; security and control. Change is upsetting. Anxiety changes how your body functions and how you relate to others. This does not have to be the situation you choose to live with.

How do you define yourself? In spite of the change, are you still a good person? Are you deserving of better? Who is to blame? Is there blame? Does the change have to change you?

Cognitive Behavior Therapy is about helping you put your thoughts in order. It allows you to reconsider negative thoughts. It assists with breaking patterns of negative and repetitive thinking. A counselor can help. However, there is much you can do on your own.

Here is an interview of Gary by Wisconsin's

"Fabulous Farm Babe", Pam Jahnke, on how farmers can

manage stress in a changing environment and the same principles

relate to anybody going through life change.

Anxiety Management

You can manage how anxiety impacts your body by using deep breathing. When you draw in as much breath as you can and slowly release it, then repeat, you can literally make yourself fall asleep. This is highly-effective in overcoming a short-term anxiety attack, also known as a panic attack. Slow down the thoughts. Do not let them race. Breathe. Breathe slowly. Relax and breathe. You are fighting a part of your brain known as the Amygdala, a part of your brain's reptilian limbic system that is designed to protect our bodies from danger. The danger may be imagined; caused by human interaction or it could be an actual physical danger. The enzymes released by the Amygdala are the same. Fight this "fight or flight" response with deep breathing and considering why you are anxious and how much of a true threat you are dealing with.

Generalized anxiety, a general trend toward worry and fear, such as phobias, can be treated with the help of therapy and, in some cases, antidepressants that work on anxiety, such as SSRI and SNRI class medications. DO NOT FEAR THESE! If you had diabetes, would you refuse to take insulin? Generalized anxiety is caused by an imbalance of the comforting enzymes the brain produces. This also happens in short--term and situational anxiety, where medications may give you a "leg up" on overcoming the anxiety. These medications have been extensively tested. Do consult your MD or, if things are quite unmanageable, seek the help of a Psychiatrist. A good Psychologist can also test to see what is wrong and work with your MD for medications, if needed.

Negative Self-Talk

How do you define yourself? Who are you? Are you simply your previous career or family role? Are you still a father; brother; uncle or aunt; husband; important person in your church or service club? Do people still love you. Do they care about you? Really consider that one. So often, counselors hear that a person feels unloved and then, upon questioning, find the person is greatly-loved. Do not beat up on the people others love!!

Write down your negative thoughts. Then, challenge them. Repeat the negative thoughts, replacing "I" with the name of somebody you love. How does that feel? Does it make you want to challenge the negative thoughts and fight for that person? Then, fight for the person others love. Fight for yourself! (much more to come, please continue returning for more ideas and info)  GP

Gary interviewed on stress management for farm families -
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© 2019, The Matthew Project, Inc., Hartford Counseling and Life Span Family Services