Pain and the Brain. 1. Helpful and Unhelpful Thinking

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "Pain and the Brain. 1. Helpful and Unhelpful Thinking"

Transcription

1 Pain and the Brain Your brain is a very powerful tool. How you think about your experience can make the difference between not coping and coping, between enduring life and enjoying life. Sometimes people who have chronic pain say that their brain has become their worst enemy. Unpleasant and unhelpful thoughts seem to dominate. They find that they spend much of their time thinking about their pain or about how awful their life is. But there are alternatives. Your brain can become your ally. It is possible to harness the power that your thoughts have in influencing your experience. Using your brain for your good can allow you to learn a whole new way of relating to your life, including your pain. This handout is split into three main sections. Each section considers one way that you can use your brain to help you make the most of your life. The first section is concerned with helpful and unhelpful thinking. This is about how we can teach ourselves to challenge unhelpful thoughts and, instead, use thinking that helps us to cope. The second section is concerned with the use of distraction as a way of coping with periods of pain or difficulty. The final section is about focussed thinking and the ways that we can use this to deal with life s challenges. Each section gives you ideas about how to make the most of your brain s capacity for helping you to take more control over your life. Better coping can lead to increased self-confidence and improved mood. This can in turn, lead to even better coping. 1. Helpful and Unhelpful Thinking If you have chronic pain, one thing that you can be sure of is that you are going to have some thoughts about it! What is also true is that how you think about your pain will have an important influence on how you feel. Research has shown that, if your thoughts are negative and depressing they will cause you to feel negative and depressed. This may make you feel that your pain is unbearable and that life is hopeless. This way of viewing things has sometimes been called catastrophizing. In other words, thinking the worst. The more you think in this way the worse you are likely to feel. 1

2 On the other hand, if you tend to think more positively and focus on your ability to cope, then your feelings are likely to be more positive too. Your pain may feel more bearable and your life can feel full and interesting. The Grief Reaction Of course, it is not unnatural to develop negative ways of thinking if you have developed chronic pain. You may have found that life has changed in certain ways. For example, you may have less mobility; how you spend your time may have changed; and your relationships may have changed. Developing chronic pain can involve the experience of loss. It can feel like a bereavement and you may have noticed that you experience similar emotions to those experienced following a bereavement; such as, sadness, guilt, confusion and anger. It can be an important part of coming to terms with your pain to go through a grief reaction. One important thing to know about grief is that, normally, we can find ways of coming to terms with what has been lost with time. It is important to discover ways of adjusting to your losses and finding ways of going on that respect what has been lost; yet allow yourself to make the most of the present and also look forward to the future. Thinking about pain Another reason why many people with chronic pain can have negative thoughts is because of the pain itself. Having pain can lead to us feeling more irritable and low. When this pain feels like it is ever-present, this can lead to us feeling especially angry and depressed. It can make us think that there is nothing we can do about the pain and that there is nothing pleasurable in our lives. It is important to remember that this is only one way of viewing things and usually there are many possible ways of thinking about the same situation. One popular example of this is to imagine a bottle half filled with water. Do you think of it as half full or half empty? Both are versions of the truth. Depending on which way you think about it, they can lead you to have very different feelings about this bottle of water. In the same way, it can be possible to think about your present life circumstances in many different ways. It s not that one way is necessarily the right way, while the other is wrong. There are many possible versions of the truth. It depends upon your perspective. And you will find some ways of thinking about your experience much more helpful than others. While it can be common to think about your experience of pain in negative ways, this tends to be unhelpful. Some of the most typical negative thoughts are I can t cope, things are going to get worse and worse and I can t do anything to control this. This way of thinking about things tends to increase 2

3 any misery and pain that you might feel. It can also tend to make you stop doing the sorts of practical things that might possibly make a difference, such as relaxation, exercise and pacing your activities. Automatic thoughts Some things we think about consciously and deliberately. Other things just seem to jump into our mind. These thoughts are very rapid and have been described as automatic thoughts. It is an important part of learning to cope better with your pain to take the time to notice what these thoughts are as they flit through your mind. Once you begin to notice your automatic thoughts, you can begin to alter those thoughts that seem unhelpful. Challenging unhelpful thinking Take the opportunity over the next few days to notice all the unhelpful thoughts you have that are related to your experience of pain. A good example of an unhelpful negative thought might be I can t cope with this pain any longer. Make a list of these thoughts in appendix 1 at the end of this information sheet. Now, consider how you might think about that experience differently. Allow yourself the opportunity of challenging this way of thinking. Is it possible to view the situation in different ways? For example, if your unhelpful thought was I can t cope, you might challenge this by acknowledging that while there are some things I can t do, there are other things that I can and if I pace myself, I can do quite a lot and I can cope better if I relax more and I know I can cope if I plan properly and there are many things that I find easy to cope with and with practice, it is possible that even the things that seem difficult to cope with now may become easier in time. So, take the opportunity to make a list of these challenges to unhelpful thinking. What are good examples for you of more helpful ways of thinking about your experience? Be realistic in the way that you challenge your unhelpful thoughts. It is not particularly helpful, for example, to say to yourself I don t have pain if you obviously do or to say to yourself Pull yourself together. There s nothing the matter with you. It is much more helpful if your challenges to your negative thoughts are realistic alternative views of your situation. It can be extremely helpful to develop the skill of challenging your unhelpful thoughts so that you begin to automatically replace these thoughts with helpful coping statements. If you find any occasions when these unhelpful thoughts pop into your mind, take the opportunity to neutralise their effect quickly by repeating to yourself the more helpful coping statements (for example I won t let unhelpful thoughts interfere with my plan ). 3

4 Also, anticipate situations that might lead you to unhelpful thinking. For example, when you are experiencing pain, deliberately repeat the helpful coping statements to yourself so that you reduce the opportunity for unhelpful thoughts to intrude. With practice, you may well find that the helpful thoughts become more and more automatic as you develop new thinking habits. This is more likely to happen as you find that using more helpful ways of thinking really does lead to better coping and more positive feelings. 2. Distraction You have probably had the experience of becoming very engrossed in some activity. For example, a T.V. programme or a conversation. In fact, you have probably become so engrossed in what you were doing that, for a time, you stopped noticing any feelings of discomfort, pain or illness. When your attention goes back to noticing the unpleasant feelings, you may realize that the feelings have been there all along. However, because your attention was focused elsewhere, your awareness of the pain or discomfort was reduced. You can use this naturally occurring phenomenon to help you with your pain. The more that your life is full of things to do, people to talk to and activities that interest you, the less opportunity your attention will have to focus on any pain. On the other hand, the more empty, unstimulating, or restricted your life is, the more opportunity your attention has to focus on any pain. It s not that there is necessarily any more or less pain at these times, it s just that you become much less aware of it if your life is full of other things. You can learn to deliberately distract yourself from your pain by consciously focussing your attention on something else. Although this may be difficult at first, with practice many people find that distraction can be a powerful means of controlling pain. There are many possible ways of distracting yourself. It very much depends on what interests you. Among the things that people do are: reading a good book or magazine; listening to music; having an interesting conversation; making models or jigsaws; working in the garden; making plans for the weekend or a forthcoming holiday; making plans for redecorating or developing the garden; writing a letter; watching the television; taking up a new hobby; imagining doing a pleasant activity like relaxing on a beach; remembering pleasant things from the past; looking forward to the future; focussed breathing;. The list is endless! Experiment with the types of activities that are best at taking hold of your attention. 4

5 Distraction helps because it is not possible for us to fully focus our attention on more than one thing at a time. Some people with chronic pain find that they spend a great deal of their lives focussing their attention on their pain. Allow yourself the opportunity to expand your horizons and find out what else you can focus your attention upon. You can absorb yourself in your pain or, alternatively, you can find something else to which you can pay attention. And while you are engrossed in something else, you are likely to find that your awareness of pain can reduce. So, experiment with distraction and find out how you can use your brain to lessen your awareness of your pain. 3. Focussed Thinking There are times in our lives when difficulties can seem like impossible problems. Focussed thinking, sometimes called self-instructional training involves approaching pain or stress as a problem that can be solved and as a challenge that can be tackled. It also involves breaking the problem down into manageable steps. When using focussed thinking, it is useful to keep in mind the 4 A s. These are: 1. Assessment (of the problem) 2. (using all your) Abilities 3. (focussing your) Attention (on coping with the problem) 4. (dealing with any) Anxiety Any problem (whether to do with pain or stress) can be broken down into four main steps: Preparing Confronting Coping Reflecting, Remembering and Rewarding Step 1: Preparing It is useful to prepare for pain or stress before it becomes too difficult. Do this by considering the following: Decide what it is that you need to do. View the situation as a problem that you can do something about. Think through what you can do to help you solve the problem. 5

6 Remember relaxation, distraction, helpful thinking and pacing, and use the support of people around you if this seems appropriate. Develop a plan to deal with it. Make an outline about how you re going to deal with this problem when it occurs. Keep focussed upon what you have to do. Don t let your mind drift off to worrying or unhelpful thoughts. Keep positive. If you notice yourself beginning to worry, use that as a reminder to focus back on what you can do to deal with the situation. Keep in mind that you can shift attention and take different perspectives. Remind yourself about your ability to use various coping strategies Use your imagination to picture dealing with the situation in the way that you want to deal with it. Step 2: Confronting When you are directly confronted by the pain problem or stress problem, keep in mind the following: View the situation as a challenge you can deal with. Take one step at a time, in order to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Use each of the skills and abilities that you have as you need them. Remember the skills of relaxation and use them to stay calm and confident in dealing with the challenge. Focus your attention on the task at hand and what you can do right now in order to help you cope. If you notice yourself feeling tense, then use that as useful information to remind you to relax. If necessary, use a different strategy for dealing with the challenge. Remember that you can use different strategies to deal with the pain or stressful situation and that you can move back and forth between them. Be flexible. Step 3: Coping You may find that unhelpful thoughts and feelings arise at critical moments; for example, if your pain suddenly increases or the situation suddenly feels much more difficult. Remember the following ways of coping with these thoughts and feelings: Keep in mind the task at hand and what you can do. Take a moment to pause and think things through. Accept that you may not be able to get rid of the problem totally. For example, you might not be able to eliminate all the pain, but you could keep it manageable. Keep your perspective rather than imagining the situation as much worse than it really is. 6

7 Remind yourself that there are many things that you can do that can help you to deal with the situation. Stay calm, rather than panic. Review how things are going and what you can do about it. If you have any unpleasant thoughts and feelings, use them as reminders to pause and consider the alternatives. Step 4: Reflecting, Reviewing and Rewarding It is a very useful part of any efforts to deal with problems and challenges to reflect on how you are doing as you go along. Keep in mind that there are usually alternative ways of dealing with situations. If plan A isn t working, then try plan B or C or D. After the problem has passed, it is also worthwhile to review how you dealt with it. What worked? What didn t work? What might help even more? Use your review as an opportunity to plan ahead for future problems and challenges. Learn from your mistakes and learn from your successes. It is also important when you review how you ve done to give yourself a pat on the back if you feel that you ve done well. How might you do that? Simply, just saying well done to yourself can help. Telling others how you ve done can give them a chance to say well done also. You might also find other ways of rewarding yourself. Consider what gives you pleasure or enjoyment. Can you allow yourself something pleasurable to reward yourself with after having done something well? There are also helpful thoughts that you might give yourself throughout a challenging situation. For example, experiment with the following: 1. I m doing pretty well. It s not as hard as I thought. 2. I m getting better at this all the time. 3. I m looking forward to telling my family/friend/therapist how I ve done. 4. I knew I could handle this. Things are going pretty well. By experimenting, you will find out what best works for you. Use your brain to work as your ally and discover how much more control you can have over your experience. Health Psychology Service February

8 Appendix 1 Challenging Automatic Thoughts List all the unhelpful thoughts you have that are related to your experience of pain. A good example of an unhelpful negative thought might be I can t cope with this pain any longer. Then, for each unhelpful thought, make a note of how you can challenge these thoughts. What are good examples for you of more helpful ways of thinking about your experience? NEGATIVE THOUGHT: CHALLENGES: NEGATIVE THOUGHT: CHALLENGES: NEGATIVE THOUGHT: CHALLENGES: Compliments, comments, concerns or complaints? If you have any comments, concerns or complaints and you would like to speak to somebody about them please telephone Are we accessible to you? This publication is available on request in other formats (for example, large print, easy read, Braille or audio version) and languages. For free translation and/or other format please call extension 5587, or us 8

Factsheet 4. Coping with Stress and Anxiety

Factsheet 4. Coping with Stress and Anxiety Factsheet 4. Coping with Stress and Anxiety What do we mean by stress and feeling anxious? Anxiety is an emotion you feel when your body thinks there is a threat. Negative thoughts relating to particular

More information

Coping with Caring: Reducing Stress and Improving Your Quality of Life 1

Coping with Caring: Reducing Stress and Improving Your Quality of Life 1 Leader Version Coping with Caring: Reducing Stress and Improving Your Quality of Life 1 1 Adapted from original (Delores Gallagher-Thompson and colleagues, Stanford University School of Medicine, 2002)

More information

Anger Management Course Workbook. 5. Challenging Angry Thoughts and Beliefs

Anger Management Course Workbook. 5. Challenging Angry Thoughts and Beliefs Anger Management Course Workbook 5. Challenging Angry Thoughts and Beliefs Stop-Think-Act In earlier classes, we have introduced the concept of stopping and thinking before acting when we feel angry. In

More information

Relaxation & Stress Relief

Relaxation & Stress Relief Relaxation & Stress Relief This service is funded by Derbyshire County Council and provided by Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust. What is Stress? Take a minute to identify your

More information

Relaxation and Pain. 1. When we know something is going to hurt us, our bodies tense up in a natural and automatic response.

Relaxation and Pain. 1. When we know something is going to hurt us, our bodies tense up in a natural and automatic response. Relaxation and Pain Everyone suffering from chronic pain will have tried to find ways of coping with the condition. Different people find different methods that work best for them. One way of coping may

More information

Anxiety and breathing difficulties

Anxiety and breathing difficulties Patient information factsheet Anxiety and breathing difficulties Breathing is something that we all automatically do and we often take this for granted. Some chronic health conditions, for example asthma

More information

Are you struggling? A booklet for people living with a rheumatological condition

Are you struggling? A booklet for people living with a rheumatological condition Are you struggling? A booklet for people living with a rheumatological condition Depression is common in people who are living with a rheumatological conditions. It can make you feel hopeless and see things

More information

The Doctor-Patient Relationship

The Doctor-Patient Relationship The Doctor-Patient Relationship It s important to feel at ease with your doctor. How well you are able to talk with your doctor is a key part of getting the care that s best for you. It s also important

More information

Stepping Forward. A Self-help Guide for Low Mood in later Life

Stepping Forward. A Self-help Guide for Low Mood in later Life Stepping Forward A Self-help Guide for Low Mood in later Life 1 Everyone feels sad or down sometimes. If these feelings have not passed after a few days, you may be experiencing the signs of low mood or

More information

PREVIEW ONLY. Lesson 10. Grade. Emotion Management: Coping with Stress. Digital lesson materials! Lesson at a Glance. Part 1.

PREVIEW ONLY. Lesson 10. Grade. Emotion Management: Coping with Stress. Digital lesson materials! Lesson at a Glance. Part 1. Lesson 10 Overview Students can learn to cope effectively with peer conflicts and other stressors by deliberately changing how they think, act, and feel. For example, positive self-talk is a useful strategy

More information

Depression. Information for service users and carers. RDaSH. Adult Mental Health Services

Depression. Information for service users and carers. RDaSH. Adult Mental Health Services Depression Information for service users and carers RDaSH Adult Mental Health Services Depression is a very common problem. It can affect anyone, regardless of your age, personality, culture, social or

More information

Postnatal Depression things you can do to help yourself

Postnatal Depression things you can do to help yourself Postnatal Depression things you can do to help yourself Postnatal depression (PND) is a distressing condition experienced by at least one in ten mothers. PND can develop slowly without you recognizing

More information

Talking to a friend or family member affected by depression

Talking to a friend or family member affected by depression Talking to a friend or family member affected by depression Supported by Supported by the European Depression Association Brought to you by For people affected by depression, discussing their condition

More information

Bereavement. Coping with. Counselling Service. Student Counselling Service 20 Laurie Grove T

Bereavement. Coping with. Counselling Service. Student Counselling Service 20 Laurie Grove T Counselling Service Coping with Bereavement Student Counselling Service 20 Laurie Grove T 020 7919 7472 msc01cs@gold.ac.uk Goldsmiths, University of London New Cross London SE14 6NW T 020 7919 7774 F 020

More information

Tips and tricks for adults after brain injury

Tips and tricks for adults after brain injury Tips and tricks for adults after brain injury Have you been told that you may have suffered a brain injury? Living with a brain injury is also known as living with a hidden disability because you can t

More information

NHS Fife Department of Psychology. Negative Thinking. CBT Tools. Help moodcafe.co.uk

NHS Fife Department of Psychology. Negative Thinking. CBT Tools. Help moodcafe.co.uk NHS Fife Department of Psychology Negative Thinking CBT Tools Help Yourself @ moodcafe.co.uk Negative Thinking Negative thoughts are associated with negative feelings such as sadness, anxiety, anger, and

More information

Handout 6.1 Summary of Session 6: Thoughts Are Not Facts

Handout 6.1 Summary of Session 6: Thoughts Are Not Facts Handout 6.1 Summary of Session 6: Thoughts Are Not Facts Our thoughts can have very powerful effects on how we feel and what we do. Often those thoughts are triggered and run off quite automatically. By

More information

Managing my anxiety & anger

Managing my anxiety & anger Managing my anxiety & anger Certain levels of anxiety or anger are part of our natural fight or flight stress response mechanisms. The key is to learn how to channel this response constructively, rather

More information

Negative Automatic Thoughts

Negative Automatic Thoughts The Problem Negative Automatic Thoughts People who are depressed tend to think about themselves, the world and the future in a negative way. These negative thoughts are: AUTOMATIC DISTORTED UNHELPFUL PLAUSIBLE

More information

MANAGING YOUR PERSISTENT FEARS, DEPRESSION, AND EVERY DAY ANXIETIES

MANAGING YOUR PERSISTENT FEARS, DEPRESSION, AND EVERY DAY ANXIETIES MANAGING YOUR PERSISTENT FEARS, DEPRESSION, AND EVERY DAY ANXIETIES By: Stanley Popovich Everybody deals with anxiety and depression, however some people have a hard time in managing it. As a result, here

More information

Returning to Work is a Lot of Work

Returning to Work is a Lot of Work Returning to Work is a Lot of Work Back in Motion Rehab Inc. January 2014 Returning to Work is a Lot of Work! There are a lot of reasons people have to take time off work. Sometimes people experience injuries

More information

HANDOUT 4: Challenging Toilet Anxiety Through Thinking Straight and Behaviour Exposure Work

HANDOUT 4: Challenging Toilet Anxiety Through Thinking Straight and Behaviour Exposure Work HANDOUT 4: Challenging Toilet Anxiety Through Thinking Straight and Behaviour Exposure Work This handout provides a brief introduction to engaging in exposure work. That is, developing a plan to gradually

More information

Measure and control your anger workout

Measure and control your anger workout Measure and control your anger workout Background You may be surprised by the fact that anger is listed as one of the emotions that is triggered by our Control Instinct. The reason is that we perceive

More information

Self-help guide to recovery for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

Self-help guide to recovery for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Self-help guide to recovery for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia This brief guide is written in an attempt to explain the process of recovery in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia.

More information

STAGES OF GRIEF Through the Process and Back to Life

STAGES OF GRIEF Through the Process and Back to Life 1. SHOCK & DENIAL In the first hours or days after the loss, you may feel shocked, numb and confused. You may not remember what people have said to you. You may think and act as though the loss hasn't

More information

These anger management worksheets will help you to identify your anger triggers and find more effective ways to deal with anger.

These anger management worksheets will help you to identify your anger triggers and find more effective ways to deal with anger. Dealing with Anger By Inner Health Studio www.innerhealthstudio.com Inner Health Studio: Coping Skills and Relaxation Resources These anger management worksheets will help you to identify your anger triggers

More information

4 Dealing with culture shock

4 Dealing with culture shock 4 Dealing with culture shock Even though you may be excited about studying abroad, you shouldn t underestimate the adjustment you re going to have to make. Think of the biggest change you have had to make

More information

Anger How do I manage it?

Anger How do I manage it? Where can I get further help? If you are concerned about managing your anger, make an appointment to see your GP or take a look at the Trust s website to see what services we offer and contact details.

More information

tips for good mental health

tips for good mental health tips for good mental health Part of the Plainer Language Series www.heretohelp.bc.ca You have probably heard about different ways to take care of your body. Did you know that you can take care of your

More information

Sudden death Anger management. Relatives Guide

Sudden death Anger management. Relatives Guide Sudden death Anger management Relatives Guide This booklet has been produced by: Victims Unit: Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister RG/03/01 What is anger? Anger is a normal emotion that

More information

Coping with a serious health event. How to keep mentally well

Coping with a serious health event. How to keep mentally well Coping with a serious health event How to keep mentally well www.beyondblue.org.au 1300 22 4636 A sudden or unexpected health event such as a heart attack, diagnosis of cancer, or other serious illness

More information

ACTIVITIES 1-- ACTIVITIES AND YOUR MOOD

ACTIVITIES 1-- ACTIVITIES AND YOUR MOOD ACTIVITIES 1-- ACTIVITIES AND YOUR MOOD Welcome new participants Review group rules GOALS FOR LEADERS Have participants and group leaders introduce themselves Review the cognitive behavioral treatment

More information

INFORMATION AND ADVICE FOR PARENTS IN PREPARING CHILDREN FOR VACCINATION INJECTIONS

INFORMATION AND ADVICE FOR PARENTS IN PREPARING CHILDREN FOR VACCINATION INJECTIONS INFORMATION AND ADVICE FOR PARENTS IN PREPARING CHILDREN FOR VACCINATION INJECTIONS Hilary Griggs, Consultant Clinical Psychologist This leaflet has been written to give advice to parents who need to prepare

More information

What Can I Do To Help Myself Deal with Loss and Grief?

What Can I Do To Help Myself Deal with Loss and Grief? What Can I Do To Help Myself Deal with Loss and Grief? There are certain tasks that help people adjust to a loss. Every person will complete these tasks in his or her own time and in his/her own way. The

More information

Mindfulness Exercises. Mindfulness. Not to be reproduced in whole or in part without the permission of the copyright owner. Steve Cottrell

Mindfulness Exercises. Mindfulness. Not to be reproduced in whole or in part without the permission of the copyright owner. Steve Cottrell Mindfulness Not to be reproduced in whole or in part without the permission of the copyright owner. Steve Cottrell 20-08-12 Page 1 of 17 Contents What is mindfulness?... 3 Who is mindfulness for?... 3

More information

anxiety Part of the Plainer Language Series

anxiety Part of the Plainer Language Series Part of the Plainer Language Series www.heretohelp.bc.ca ? What is? Anxiety is what we feel when we are scared and think that something bad might happen. Anxiety is normal. Everyone feels at times. Anxiety

More information

First reactions. Later reactions. Frustration about: Physical limits Memory loss Trouble speaking

First reactions. Later reactions. Frustration about: Physical limits Memory loss Trouble speaking SECTION 7 Stroke and depression 7: Stroke and depression Section overview This section looks at: The impact of stroke on the survivor s feelings and social life First reactions and later changes Post-stroke

More information

Getting Ready to Return to Work: Managing Worry about Return to Work

Getting Ready to Return to Work: Managing Worry about Return to Work Getting Ready to Return to Work: Managing Worry about Return to Work Back in Motion Rehab Inc. January 2014 Managing Worry about Returning to Work Most people experience worry and anxiety about going back

More information

Self Help for Depression

Self Help for Depression Self Help for Depression Do you find that your mood is low for large periods of the day and you generally feel 'down in the dumps'? Has your motivation to do things you previously enjoyed decreased? Do

More information

Grief and Loss. A fact sheet produced by the Mental Health Information Service

Grief and Loss. A fact sheet produced by the Mental Health Information Service Grief and Loss A fact sheet produced by the Mental Health Information Service When Someone You Love Dies Grief is painful and at times seems bottomless. The purpose of the information here is to help you

More information

Breathlessness. and anxiety. Being anxious can make breathlessness feel worse. Not being able to catch your breath can be very frightening

Breathlessness. and anxiety. Being anxious can make breathlessness feel worse. Not being able to catch your breath can be very frightening Breathlessness and anxiety Being anxious can make breathlessness feel worse Not being able to catch your breath can be very frightening Learning to relax and slow down can help to build your confidence

More information

sample When should I worry?

sample When should I worry? Helping kids be brave Anxious kids, like worriers and sensitive types, benefit from a parenting style that is empathetic but at the same time empowers them to tackle their fears. Currently around 11% of

More information

Self-harm and self-injury

Self-harm and self-injury Youthbeyondblue fact sheet Self-harm and self-injury There are many reasons why people deliberately injure themselves but generally it is about coping; coping with intense emotions that are hard to express

More information

THE TRIANGLE OF THOUGHTS, FEELINGS, BEHAVIORS

THE TRIANGLE OF THOUGHTS, FEELINGS, BEHAVIORS THE TRIANGLE OF THOUGHTS, FEELINGS, & BEHAVIORS The triangle below illustrates the way in which how we think, feel, and behave all influence one another. THOUGHTS INFLUENCE FEELINGS After studying hard,

More information

NOW NNABIS. Know:CANNABIS A GUIDE TO CUTTING DOWN AND STOPPING CANNABIS USE

NOW NNABIS. Know:CANNABIS A GUIDE TO CUTTING DOWN AND STOPPING CANNABIS USE NOW NNABIS Know:CANNABIS A GUIDE TO CUTTING DOWN AND STOPPING CANNABIS USE Some people use cannabis without serious problems. They seem able to stop when they choose. Others find it hard even to cut down,

More information

Panic Attack Worksheets

Panic Attack Worksheets Panic Attack Worksheets By Inner Health Studio www.innerhealthstudio.com Inner Health Studio: Coping Skills and Relaxation Resources These panic attack worksheets will help you record details about your

More information

Stressors are the things around us which can cause a stress response. There are different types of stressors:

Stressors are the things around us which can cause a stress response. There are different types of stressors: Stress Management What is Stress? Stress is your body s reaction to things you perceive as pressures. Stress occurs when you feel you cannot cope with those pressures. Our bodies are designed to react

More information

Breathlessness and anxiety in adult congenital heart disease (ACHD)

Breathlessness and anxiety in adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) Breathlessness and anxiety in adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) This leaflet explains more about breathlessness and anxiety in adult congenital heart disease (ACHD), including useful tips on how to

More information

Young Person s Guide to CFS/ME

Young Person s Guide to CFS/ME Young Person s Guide to CFS/ME The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health This leaflet has been developed as part of the Evidence based guideline for management of CFS/ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

More information

Copyright 2010 Mary Potter Hospice, Wellington New Zealand. No reproduction without permission.

Copyright 2010 Mary Potter Hospice, Wellington New Zealand. No reproduction without permission. About grief Copyright 2010 Mary Potter Hospice, Wellington New Zealand. No reproduction without permission. ISBN 0-473-08787-1 Mary Potter Hospice has been fully accredited by Quality Health New Zealand

More information

REALISTIC THINKING. How to Do It

REALISTIC THINKING. How to Do It REALISTIC THINKING We can all be bogged down by negative thinking from time to time, such as calling ourselves mean names (e.g., idiot, loser ), thinking no one likes us, expecting something, terrible

More information

RESOURCES.RESULTS.RELIEF. How to Address Excessive Reassurance Seeking

RESOURCES.RESULTS.RELIEF. How to Address Excessive Reassurance Seeking RESOURCES.RESULTS.RELIEF. How to Address Excessive Reassurance Seeking Children and teens look to their parents for information about the world. It is normal and helpful for parents to provide children

More information

NHS Fife Department of Psychology What should I do? A guide for partners supporting someone who has experienced childhood sexual abuse

NHS Fife Department of Psychology What should I do? A guide for partners supporting someone who has experienced childhood sexual abuse NHS Fife Department of Psychology What should I do? A guide for partners supporting someone who has experienced childhood sexual abuse Help Yourself @ moodcafe.co.uk This booklet has been written for partners

More information

ACTIVITIES 3 -- IDENTIFYING AND OVERCOMING ROADBLOCKS TO DOING PLEASANT ACTIVITIES

ACTIVITIES 3 -- IDENTIFYING AND OVERCOMING ROADBLOCKS TO DOING PLEASANT ACTIVITIES ACTIVITIES 3 -- IDENTIFYING AND OVERCOMING ROADBLOCKS TO DOING PLEASANT ACTIVITIES GOALS FOR LEADERS Help participants identify potential roadblocks to doing pleasant activities Help participants problem

More information

Section 15 Revision Techniques

Section 15 Revision Techniques Section 15 Revision Techniques Introduction This section in your Study Skills manual will consolidate information relating to revision techniques. This section will consider how to prepare for examinations

More information

OVERCOMING LOW SELF-ESTEEM SELF-HELP PROGRAMME

OVERCOMING LOW SELF-ESTEEM SELF-HELP PROGRAMME This module is part of the OVERCOMING LOW SELF-ESTEEM SELF-HELP PROGRAMME A 3-part programme based on Cognitive Behavioural Techniques Melanie Fennell Copyright Melanie Fennell 2006 This file belongs to

More information

Anger Worksheet. The Incident What is your relationship with the person you are accused of arguing with? (Partner, relative, friend, colleague)

Anger Worksheet. The Incident What is your relationship with the person you are accused of arguing with? (Partner, relative, friend, colleague) Anger Worksheet The Incident What is your relationship with the person you are accused of arguing with? (Partner, relative, friend, colleague) In your opinion, how do you think the person you fought with

More information

Sleep Problems. A Self Help Guide

Sleep Problems. A Self Help Guide Sleep Problems Designed by the Department of Design and Communication Newcastle, North Tyneside & Northumberland Mental Health NHS Trust (Revised Jan 2002) A Self Help Guide I toss and turn for hours on

More information

Anger Problems Following Traumatic Brain Injury. Patient Information Booklet. Talis Consulting Limited

Anger Problems Following Traumatic Brain Injury. Patient Information Booklet. Talis Consulting Limited Anger Problems Following Traumatic Brain Injury Patient Information Booklet Talis Consulting Limited Why can Brain Injury Cause Problems with Anger? Brain injury can damage the areas of the brain that

More information

Here are some tips that may help when talking to a child about mental illness and answers to some commonly asked questions.

Here are some tips that may help when talking to a child about mental illness and answers to some commonly asked questions. Helping Children Understand Mental Illness: A Resource For Parents And Guardians Mental illness can be frightening -- not only to the person who has it but also to people around them. If you are a child

More information

Goal setting. a) Be in control of your activities and, b) Plan both what you do and how much you do at any one time.

Goal setting. a) Be in control of your activities and, b) Plan both what you do and how much you do at any one time. Goal setting Goal setting is a process which enables you to: a) Be in control of your activities and, b) Plan both what you do and how much you do at any one time. The skills of goal setting and planning

More information

For The Bereaved. This pamphlet will give you some valuable information about grief that will assist you in your recovery.

For The Bereaved. This pamphlet will give you some valuable information about grief that will assist you in your recovery. Grief - What to Expect Hospice Peterborough offers bereavement support for adults, teens and children. If you would like to talk to someone about grief, or become part of a grief support group, please

More information

A guide to relaxation For people wishing to introduce relaxation into their lives.

A guide to relaxation For people wishing to introduce relaxation into their lives. A guide to relaxation For people wishing to introduce relaxation into their lives. All questions. All cancers. 13 11 20 www.cancerqld.org.au Cancer Council Queensland is a not-for-profit, non-government

More information

Chapter 8 MENTAL PREPARATION. Putting It All Together

Chapter 8 MENTAL PREPARATION. Putting It All Together Chapter 8 MENTAL PREPARATION Putting It All Together MENTAL PREPARATION Putting it All Together I m not the type of person who swims well when I m pumped. I don t listen to a lot of music and jump around

More information

Another element of mindfulness is developing an awareness of the changing nature of all experiences, including emotions and thoughts.

Another element of mindfulness is developing an awareness of the changing nature of all experiences, including emotions and thoughts. Mindfulness is a core skill that is used in many different types of therapy, including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Mindfulness has gotten a lot of attention in recent years, but it is actually a centuries

More information

STRESS. Identification:

STRESS. Identification: STRESS Identification: There are many and varied stressors unique to and imbedded within the college or university experience. Living, in fact, is inherently stressful but how we manage it will determine

More information

Workbook 4 Noticing unhelpful thinking. Dr. Chris Williams. Overcoming Depression A Five Areas Approach

Workbook 4 Noticing unhelpful thinking. Dr. Chris Williams. Overcoming Depression A Five Areas Approach Workbook 4 Noticing unhelpful thinking Dr. Chris Williams Overcoming Depression A Five Areas Approach 2 Section 1: Introduction This is the first of two workbooks that will help you find out about and

More information

The Many Emotions of Grief

The Many Emotions of Grief The Many Emotions of Grief While it is important to understand grief and know how it can affect us, we must also acknowledge that: The focus of grief is not on our ability to understand, but on our ability

More information

ASSESSMENT OF CAREER DECISION MAKING By: Vincent A. Harren, Ph. D.

ASSESSMENT OF CAREER DECISION MAKING By: Vincent A. Harren, Ph. D. ASSESSMENT OF CAREER DECISION MAKING By: Vincent A. Harren, Ph. D. PART I: How I Make Decisions Respond to the statements below in terms of how you feel based on how you have made important decisions in

More information

The First Step in Care: Becoming a Family Caregiver

The First Step in Care: Becoming a Family Caregiver Family Caregiver Guide The First Step in Care: Becoming a Family Caregiver The United Hospital Fund s Next Step in Care guides (www.nextstepincare.org) are designed to help family caregivers and health

More information

The Power of Positive Thinking

The Power of Positive Thinking The Power of Positive Thinking The Power of Positive Thinking Optimism is the most important human trait, because it allows us to evolve our ideas, to improve our situation, and to hope for a better tomorrow.

More information

This week you ll learn how to eat whatever you want and still lose weight, as long as you follow a few simple guidelines.

This week you ll learn how to eat whatever you want and still lose weight, as long as you follow a few simple guidelines. WEEK 2 THE NATURALLY SLIM EATING PLAN Stop Dieting, Start Slimming If your weight has been an issue in your life, I m sure you know that restrictive diets don t work. Without addressing the emotional issues

More information

Irving Building Pain Centre

Irving Building Pain Centre Pain Management Programmes A booklet to inform people about pain management and to help them decide whether they wish to join a Pain Management Programme Irving Building Pain Centre 0161 206 4136 All Rights

More information

Tool 3 - Thought Challenging

Tool 3 - Thought Challenging Tool 3 - Thought Challenging Learning how to manage negative thoughts can also help to manage your anxiety and low mood. When people are feeling low or anxious, their thoughts can often be extreme or unrealistic.

More information

Understand your anxious feelings. Light-headed/feel faint. Red face/feel hot. Jelly legs

Understand your anxious feelings. Light-headed/feel faint. Red face/feel hot. Jelly legs A CLINICIAN S GUIDE TO THINK GOOD FEEL GOOD THINK GOOD FEEL GOOD Beating Anxiety There are times when we all feel worried, anxious, uptight or stressed. Often there is a reason. Doing something new or

More information

DEALING WITH GRIEF THE PHASES OF GRIEF

DEALING WITH GRIEF THE PHASES OF GRIEF Page 1 of 7 DEALING WITH GRIEF Topics On This Page Phases of Grief Help Through Grief Symptoms Of Grief Feelings During Grief How Grief Changes Our Lives Myths About Grief THE PHASES OF GRIEF From My Son...My

More information

Anxiety and depression in men

Anxiety and depression in men Anxiety and depression in men Summary Anxiety and depression in men are common and treatable. Anxiety and depression are illnesses, not weaknesses, and effective treatments are available. Taking action

More information

I Just Get So Angry - Workbook

I Just Get So Angry - Workbook I Just Get So Angry - Workbook It is recommended you read through the book at least once before starting on this workbook. These workbook activities are in addition to those found at the back of the book

More information

Telling Family and Friends That You Have Been Laid Off

Telling Family and Friends That You Have Been Laid Off Telling Family and Friends That You Have Been Laid Off Overview Ways to talk about your job loss with family and friends. Telling your spouse or partner Telling your children and helping them adjust to

More information

Overcoming Stress and Anxiety

Overcoming Stress and Anxiety Overcoming Stress and Anxiety Serious illnesses involve new and sometimes frightening experiences not just for the patient but for their loved ones too. It introduces many uncertainties that have not been

More information

Depression and Disability

Depression and Disability shinecharity.org.uk info@shinecharity.org.uk 42 Park Road Peterborough PE1 2UQ 01733 555988 Depression and Disability Feelings and Disability Many people with long-term physical difficulties don t like

More information

THE EMOTIONAL IMPACT OF A CANCER DIAGNOSIS

THE EMOTIONAL IMPACT OF A CANCER DIAGNOSIS The Breast Center- Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven 20 York Street, North Pavilion New Haven, CT 06510 Phone: (203) 200-2328 2328 Fax: (203) 200-2075 2075 THE EMOTIONAL IMPACT OF A CANCER DIAGNOSIS

More information

Anxiety and depression

Anxiety and depression Anxiety and depression A guide to managing your thoughts and feelings. Stockton Treatment Alcohol and Recovery Service Anxiety and depression If you have cut down or stopped drinking then you might find

More information

ASSERTIVE BEHAVIOR: IDEAS TO KEEP IN MIND

ASSERTIVE BEHAVIOR: IDEAS TO KEEP IN MIND ASSERTIVE BEHAVIOR: IDEAS TO KEEP IN MIND 1) Assertive behavior is often confused with aggressive behavior; however, assertion does not involve hurting the other person physically or emotionally. 2) Assertive

More information

dealing with a depression diagnosis

dealing with a depression diagnosis tips for dealing with a depression diagnosis 2011 www.heretohelp.bc.ca No one wants to feel unwell. Talking to your doctor or other health professional about problems with your mood is an important first

More information

Addressing Client Anger

Addressing Client Anger Addressing Client Anger (Working with Client Anger) Cruse Conference 2013 9 10 July 2013 Warwick University 1 2 Aim Aim and and Objectives Aim a succinct review of working with client anger (from a BV

More information

Grief is a normal response to

Grief is a normal response to Grief is a normal response to loss. It can be the loss of a home, job, marriage or a loved one. Often the most painful loss is the death of a person you love, whether from a long illness or from an accident

More information

Grief: What Makes It Difficult?

Grief: What Makes It Difficult? Grief: What Makes It Difficult? Bereavement Services Table of Contents What s Difficult about Grief? 1 Circumstances or nature 2 of the death Lack of support or 3 understanding by those around you Competing

More information

Today, we re going to talk about conflict resolution. As you know, conflict is a normal part of life. Whether it s at work, at home, with friends or

Today, we re going to talk about conflict resolution. As you know, conflict is a normal part of life. Whether it s at work, at home, with friends or Today, we re going to talk about conflict resolution. As you know, conflict is a normal part of life. Whether it s at work, at home, with friends or neighbors, disagreements between people happen. When

More information

anger Part of the Plainer Language Series

anger Part of the Plainer Language Series Part of the Plainer Language Series www.heretohelp.bc.ca Anger is a normal feeling. We all feel angry sometimes. Different people feel and show in different ways. Anger can mean: We cannot get something

More information

Taking Charge of Your Depression

Taking Charge of Your Depression Taking Charge of Your Depression Take charge of your health. Learn as much as you can. It s one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Depression is more than just feeling down or blue for

More information

What To Say When You Talk To Yourself. Shad Helmstetter

What To Say When You Talk To Yourself. Shad Helmstetter What To Say When You Talk To Yourself Shad Helmstetter Overview Introduction Brain Self Management What It Is Not Self Talk Techniques Self Talk In Action Self Talk Afterthoughts Introduction Self help

More information

Depression in Women. National Institute of Mental Health

Depression in Women. National Institute of Mental Health Depression in Women National Institute of Mental Health Large-print Version Do you feel very tired, helpless, and hopeless? Are you sad most of the time, and take no pleasure in your family, friends, or

More information

Lately Lindsay hasn't felt like herself. Her friends have noticed it, too. Kia was surprised when

Lately Lindsay hasn't felt like herself. Her friends have noticed it, too. Kia was surprised when Depression Is Common Lately Lindsay hasn't felt like herself. Her friends have noticed it, too. Kia was surprised when Lindsay turned down her invitation to go to the mall last Saturday. There was really

More information

Suicide

Suicide Suicide Ethan felt like there was no point going on with life. Things had been tough since his mom died. His dad was working two jobs and seemed frazzled and angry most of the time. Whenever he and Ethan

More information

Dementia: Essential Facts

Dementia: Essential Facts Dementia: Essential Facts What is dementia? Dementia refers to a change in a person s thinking and memory abilities that is disabling; the changes go beyond mild slips of memory to create difficulties

More information

Self-Help Course. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Self-Help Course. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy H An Introductory Self-Help Course in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Intro & Step One www.get.gg www.getselfhelp.co.uk Carol Vivyan 2009-2013 This mini 7-step self-help course includes an introduction to

More information

It can also be linked to someone s frustration at not being able to express themselves or perform at the level they previously expected.

It can also be linked to someone s frustration at not being able to express themselves or perform at the level they previously expected. The emotional and behavioural effects of Brian Injury can be the most difficult to understand and treat. Many of the people who sustain a brain injury are left with some form of emotional or behavioural

More information

Fear UNIT 7. Discussion point. It makes me feel 2 What are you afraid of? Why? I m scared of because 3 What do you think causes peoples fears?

Fear UNIT 7. Discussion point. It makes me feel 2 What are you afraid of? Why? I m scared of because 3 What do you think causes peoples fears? UNIT 7 Fear Discussion point Discuss these questions with a partner. 1 Look at the picture. How does it make you feel? It makes me feel 2 What are you afraid of? Why? I m scared of because 3 What do you

More information