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Therapy

November 15, 2017

The Loss of a Child: Siblings

Last week I spoke about the loss of a child but what if that child who crossed over had siblings? Parents grieve in one way and siblings grieve in another. At a time of deep grief, how do the siblings feel parenting from parents who are lost in their own grief?

Going through the loss of a child can be very difficult for parents and siblings. Yet it can be very difficult for them to “share” in the loss. The parents may be feeling one set of emotions while the siblings may be feeling differently. Parents may feel the helplessness of not being able to protect the lost child. They may feel an emptiness that is unique to mother or father. They may feel a devastation that erupts from letting the child free into life only to now endure their crossing over. They may feel the loss of the dreams they had tied to that child. The list goes on.

The siblings, on the other hand, may have feelings of having lost a best friend, or a part of their self. They may feel guilt for surviving or for not getting along with their sibling. They may feel a loss of their own dream because their family is shattered.

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November 13, 2014

Stress Management During the Holidays

Holiday Stress !


The most common questions I get asked during the holidays are “How do you stay so calm and relaxed? Don’t you feel the stress?” It is usually followed by the question, “How do I cope with the stress of the holidays?” There is no real secret. I live by knowing what I wish to experience in most of my life. It is in that knowing that I stay within my comfort and calm. Let me lead with an example: I do not enjoy shopping but I do enjoy buying gifts! So, I sit quietly with a glass of wine or hot tea and relax on my dock and create a list. It is never a complete exhaustive list but it is always inclusive of the key people in my life. Then I thoroughly enjoy thinking of a special gift. Once I have comfortable come to a completion of developing the list, I stop. I may stop before I have a gift listed for everyone and for me that is ok! I know for whom I am still thinking about gifts. I keep my eyes open throughout the days until something goes “Yea! That’s it!” I then add that idea to the list. I enjoy this process!! It’s fun for me!! I may also add people to my list as I go forward.

 

I remember when I was married. My husband was a Grinch when it came to shopping for the holidays until one day I said, “Follow me. We are going to go to Capital Grill in the mall and have a drink and strategize this event. It will be fun, I promise.” He agreed!! We sat and had some hors d’oeuvres at the bar and created a list of everyone for whom we had to buy. We then added the gift or store from which we wanted to purchase. We then ordered the shops by virtue of where they were in the mall. I made a reservation for dinner at Capital Grill for 1.5 hours later. The challenge was to get all the shopping done and get back to the restaurant before the reservation! He thought I was crazy until we had a ball together! We did the same routine every year and every year we enjoyed the experience together!

 

So, I was asked to speak to a business group regarding Stress and the Holidays so I handed out cards with 3 questions what are the top 3 stressors for you during the holidays, what are your coping mechanisms for stress, and what is your number one question regarding stress. The answers are the basis to this blog article. I hope this is helpful to you all!! Happy Holidays!

 

YOUR TOP STRESSORS

  • Gift Shopping
  • Matching gift to recipient
  • Budget for gifts and events; Not enough money
  • Traffic on Main Avenues
  • Lines
  • Crowds
  • Time restrictions
  • Juggling numerous activities simultaneously
  • Events and Conflicting events
  • Guests
  • Family
  • Travel
  • Immediate demands
  • Too much to do
  • Being around stressed people
  • Guilt around gifts and the need for reciprocity
  • End-of-year work
  •  

    As you read this list you can see there are numerous “things” that influence stress in peoples’ lives. As I mentioned in the talk, stress only occurs where there are expectations. So, let’s look at the stressors and see the patterns of expectations that weave through them.

     

    The shopping for and matching and buying of gifts are often stressors due to the buyer’s need to meet the expectations of the recipient so that they are pleased. You forget that YOU are the greatest gift! What kinds of gifts can you give that are simply of you. The need to spend on gifts suggests that the gift of YOU is not valued the same. The shopping and time can of course feel like a part of the too much to do! Again, you are feeling stress from the expectations of getting “it” all done. What would you like to do? Guilt that may be felt around having to buy gifts for those who bought you gifts is pure expectation and fear of judgment! It is okay to simply receive!!! In order for giving to be complete you simply have to receive. You obviously give of YOURSELF in some way to the person who bought you a gift. Allow your Self to be the gift they received! Thanks and gratitude are generally ALL the giver needs to feel complete. If a charity felt they had to give a gift to everyone who gifted them where would they be? It is not necessary to give a gift to everyone who gives a gift to you!

     

    The traffic, crowds, travel, and lines can all have a crossover with the juggling numerous activities at once and time restrictions. You are only restricted by time when you are doing more than you are wishing to do or are able to do. You are only doing too much because you think you “should” (expectations). What are you able to do and what would you wish to do to prepare for a holiday celebration? What kind of holiday celebration would you like to experience? Allow your Self to define the holidays as you would like to experience them. Given that experience and your preferences, accept your money and work schedule. Another aspect of these stressors is to find a way to enjoy the crowds and lines. Make it a personal challenge to spread smiles! Leave yourself enough time to accept the lines and crowds. Or shop in a way that does not require you to deal with traffic, crowds, and lines. Once you have put these small tasks into motion, see how you can begin to build a more relaxed enjoyable holiday experience. A final note about being around others: being around stressed people can increase your stress. Stress or anxiety is contagious. You can feel it from others. Again this is why it is critical to know the experience YOU wish to have. Others’ experiences, then, are less likely to be of influence.

     

    The events that occur during the holidays are intended to be for celebration and gratitude for the relationships shared. Yet, for many, the events become expectations and then when they are in conflict with other events or there are just too many, people can feel stress from not being able to go to all events “as expected”. This is counter to the intent of most events. There is always someone somewhere who is going to have to say no. Why can’t that be you? It is inside you that YOU come up with the reasons why you cannot say no. Yet, when you are struggling to NOT say no, ask yourself if you would say no in a situation where there was a necessity (illness, travel, etc.). If you would, then you can say no simply because it is necessary for YOU to say no! Learn to listen to your Self. Honor your Self first and then honor the invitations! Learn to stop responding to the expectations of others. If you are struggling with the abiity to say “No” then more than likely you are feeling the pressure of too much to do!

     

    Then there are the guests and family that we have to entertain or by whom be entertained! I think if you were to sit quietly in your thoughts, you would be able to define the expectations of these others and see how you are trying to meet the demands and expectations of the many instead of staying within your own experience and self. If you cannot get to every family member’s homes then you cannot. If they cannot all get to yours, then they cannot. And what about the way family sees family? The dynamics of family can be conflictual because of perceptions. Growing up together everyone has very different views of themselves and each other.

     

    HOW YOU COPE

  • Disconnecting
  • Reading
  • Relaxing
  • Massage
  • Vacation
  • Meditation
  • Breathing Deeply
  • Art
  • Napping, Sleeping
  • Reading religious text
  • Exercising
  • Walking; walks on beach
  • Movies
  • Time with friends
  • Smiling
  • Have fun
  • Yoga
  • Doing
  • Alcohol
  • Overeating
  •  

    All of the coping strategies up until number 18 are valid. If you are not using them, you may want to explore the use of several of them. Anyhting you may do in a ceremonial or ritualistic way can be healing and releasing of stress.

     

    I want to address the use of “doing” in reaction to stress separately. The act of “doing” so that you can avoid the stress, keeps the stress and it’s destructive impact alive in the background. Think about it, to avoid something you must know where it is in order to stay away from it. Consequently, if you are staying active in order to avoid stress you must know what and where the stress is to keep it at bay. If, however, you are “doing” in order to keep moving through a “to do” list, then you are coping!! Mostly because putting something off, or procrastinating, can increase the stress as you get anticipate it coming due. How are you using activity or “doing”? If it is in the former way, you may want to stop and relax, meditate, journal, or breathe!! If it is the former, good for you!!

     

    Let’s look at alcohol, drugs, and food. They are all stressors in our lives unless used in moderation and without connection to emotion. Once any of these are connected to our emotions, in particular, avoiding or masking them, they become significant stressors and can become habitual and, consequently, destructive. When I talk of drugs, I include prescriptions. During the holidays it becomes particularly easy to use substances to avoid the emotional and physical stress. Unfortunately, however, we are a people of dependent style. We tend to be externally focused. These characteristics lend to the use of substance to calm us, heal us, and take care of us. The truth is, it doesn’t work. Substance, whether, alcohol, drugs, or food, do not calm, heal, or take care of us at a time of stress, anxiety, or fear. When we use them to do so, we are further increasing the physical stressors and, at times, the chemical and emotional stressors which is further destroying ourselves. If you find yourself using any of the three during stressful times, do not judge yourself or label yourself. I would, however, recommend you speak to someone who can help you sort through the stress and the need for care. You need a person and your Self at those times not substance.

     

    YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT STRESS

    1. How to handle stress during visits
    2. What is an effective way to remove stress
    3. How to avoid it
    4. How to avoid getting sick from stress
     

    In order to cope with stress you must know your stressors and the expectations associated with them. Once you are aware of that you can begin the process of developing the experience you wish to have in various situations. Knowing the experience you wish to have in any situation in life allows you a great opening to see the expectations of others and how you were and are trying to meet them. Being able to live beyond expectations removes a HUGE percentage of stress. It allows you to begin to live in absence of stress. What I mean by that is we may have stress approach you but you are so aware of the experience you wish to have that you address and move beyond the stressor immediately. You are no longer avoiding or skirting the stressor but knowing what you wish to do allows you to eliminate it – gracefully.

     

    I am very often asked why we would want to live without stress. Some think it motivates them, some think it protects them, and some think it is serves them in other ways. The truth is that stress does not need to exist – at all. Our lives have become so “demanding” that we have introduced stress into it and have then glamourized it. We have huge profitability in “Stress Management” programs. So, it is imperative that we have stress so that we can be taught how to manage it! To some of my Executive officers with whom I work, they say “At work stress is good because it is fun and part of the relationships!” Ugh! There is, ultimately, no need for stress. At the beginning, we made need some stress to keep us alert to danger, but only at the beginning. Once we are living in absence of fear, we have no use for stress or stressors.

     

    Never do you want to avoid! Certainly you do not want to avoid stress because the very act of “trying” to avoid stress creates stress!! Aaah! Please do not try to avoid stress! Allow your Self to stay aware of what stresses you and then ask yourself what the expectations are that define it. Then you can ask how to move beyond those expectations if it isn’t already clear.

     

    The Germ Bullet

     

    We get sick from stress because it weakens the immune system. If you eliminate or mitigate stress, obviously you eliminate illness from it. From the beginning, with the indigenous people around the world, it was known that “stress” (imbalance) causes illness and injury. In order to truly eliminate illness due to stress, you must eliminate stress. If, however, you are feeling stressed and don’t want to get sick, I recommend you use a Germ Bullet to ward off most illnesses that are able to attack you during a weakened immune response to stress. For more information on the Germ Bullet, please go to nsaroma.com or call 561.393.0065.

     

    The bottom line is this: in order to live without the impact of stress you must eliminate it. There are many ways to “manage” the stress you have and that is wonderful as the first step. Once you are managing your stress, you need to eliminate it. Or, for some of you who are achievement oriented, you can go directly to eliminating your stress!

     

    I thank you all for the opportunity! May your days be free, fun, and without expectations!

     

    October 1, 2014

    Healing Your Anger

    Anger

    Anger. How do we express anger so that we heal? Why is it that our anger continues to perpetuate? How do we get attached to anger?!!

     

    Let’s lay the groundwork.

     

    Anger is a secondary emotion. It occurs in response to any one of many fear-based emotions. Fear-based emotion could be fear, hurt, sadness, guilt, shame, attachment, abandonment, and loneliness etc. – get the picture? So, anytime we are angry it is possible to ask “What is the emotion that exists before the anger?” That is an important part of the equation of anger becoming perpetual.
    Oftentimes, people can feel and are aware of their wish to hold onto their anger at another person or entity. It feels as if that anger is purposeful and warranted. There are a couple factors that are responsible for that.

     

    First, the original anger and its cause are probably a healthy reaction to an unhealthy situation. Most people do not know how to express their anger and, therefore, do not know how to find closure to that unhealthy situation. Also, if that unhealthy situation played out repeatedly in a relationship or over one’s life, then the anger felt is built up over various experiences and is then ready to be released perpetually — over and over and over again.

     

    Second, most people learn to use their anger not express it. Whatever the underlying emotions are that caused the anger, when you use your anger you are spewing forth the anger in an effort to make the other person feel those primary feelings. When you are expressing your anger you are expressing your primary feelings in an angry tone and, consequently, are initiating the healing of the anger. You are also beginning the effort to put closure to that which caused the anger.

     

    Why you get attached to your anger:
    As I just mentioned, most are taught to use it but not to express anger. So you want the other to hurt because the other hurt you! You may still be angry and, so, you want to hurt that person more – even if in your thoughts. Or maybe you start getting your friends to agree with your anger and maybe even further fuel it. Now, your anger is starting to get fueled rather than healed and you start to realize the other feelings that you may be feeling as a result of the original situation(s). Consequently, subconsciously or consciously, you want that other to now feel bad and to feel shame, guilt and unwanted because of everything you have felt!!!!! This causes a loop within us. Because we have to stay focused on everything the other did, in order to make him or her feel those feelings, you continue to reignite and feel the very memory of the yucky event! You inadvertently keep that event alive in order to use it. It is this loop that gets us attached to the anger.

     

    At this point it becomes very difficult to release the anger or even feel like you want to release the anger. You have now bought into the ugliness of the pain and that ugliness is the very fuel necessary for the anger to make sure it always has food to feed upon. If this continues, you may slowly begin to use the anger to talk about the other with various others. You may find yourself using the anger with your other to feel heard about how you hurt and what you need. Some may even find that the anger fuels great humor in their conversations by using the story of the other with a sarcastic twist. Others may find this anger to be the perfect excuse to warrant abuse, or assault. Many will just lose control of their expression and find themselves lashing out physically, verbally, and or emotionally. Any or all of this and more describes the attachment to your anger!

     

    Once you are attached to the anger, it is very difficult to release it because it now serves you. The release of your attachment to the anger is another chapter!! In the meantime, thank you so much for your time and your feedback. May you all begin to listen to your anger and what it is teaching you! If you have ANY questions please feel free to comment below, or you can write me at AskKristen@kristenbomas.com. Peace be with you!

     

    April 2, 2014

    Letting Go To Receive Your Dreams

    Create What You Desire

    “We judge only in the way we are fearful of being judged.”© That goes so much further than the surface projections! While it is clearly about the judgments we make in our language and our thoughts of others and of Self, it also teaches us that we create, over and over, the very things we fear. How do we interrupt that frustrating pattern so that we do not recreate what we no longer desire? Better yet, how do we create the things we desire?

     

    Sometimes, we actually create around us the very challenge beyond which we think we are trying to move. For example, somewhere in your life, you may have bought into thinking you are not good enough. So, maybe you think your dream can’t be your reality because you are not good enough. Yet you live your life as if you are going after that dream, as if you believe in your Self and, at some level, you do. And yet, one day you stop, look around and realize that the headquarters from where you are trying to create that dream is laden with the parts of the nightmare that keep you from ever believing your dream will come true. You may have people around you who judge you as not good enough, your own thoughts may have hidden doubts and/or judgments, you may be missing a key item that is required to move you forward in the dream, or more.

     

    How do we break that pattern? First, RECOGNIZE IT! You must first be able to see what it is you are creating in the people with whom you surround your Self. You must also recognize those experiences and things with which you surround your Self. Then you must ask what each REMINDS you of in terms of your history and the people in it. It is at that point that you can begin to correct and let go of the pieces that are keeping you pinned to old patterns. Can you feel what people or things you are hesitant to release or change? It is important to identify the hesitation so that you can move through it. Any experience that is occurring in you but beneath the obvious has a great impact on you and your life. Finally, listen for the judgments you are making of people, things and experiences around you (especially as they relate to the dream you are trying to achieve). They will teach you where you need to heal, release, or transcend in order to further break an old pattern!

     

    It takes the death of a minute to birth the next minute. Do not fear the release of what is not working for you. It will open the doors and make space for the new dream to manifest!

     

    January 29, 2014

    The Ugly Spiral Of Negative Self Talk

    Damn!! I can’t believe I did that. How stupid! … You LOST weight! But I surely FOUND it!

     

    How often do you find yourself talking poorly to your Self? Too often people say, whisper, or think negatively of their Self – negative self talk. Sometimes it is so progressed that it happens without awareness. It isn’t that people want to talk harshly to themselves, it is just something that is familiar and learned. People don’t like it when others talk badly about them, judge them, or hurt them. People would rather experience kind words from others. They want to be liked, believed in, and heard. And similarly, they must then learn to talk positively to themselves. Let’s look at the negative self talk and its affects and then address positive self talk and how it can be brought to the forefront.

     

    In order to talk negatively to your Self you must have learned such judgements and labels. It is of your past. And so, the negative self talk is one way you keep yourself from living in the present. Negative self talk keeps you in your past – in those challenges that keep you from true happiness. It is driven by fear of not being good enough or shame. That means that it is not part of who you truly are. It is what you assimilated from everyone else and is how you are carrying them around with you daily!!

     

    How might it serve you to judge and criticize your Self so harshly? (Don’t say it doesn’t!) At some level you may be trying to master those very judgements. Or, you may be looking for the indirect compliments that come when someone says “No you aren’t,” or “Don’t talk to yourself that way.” Whatever it is, it is not comforting you. The negative thoughts are destroying your Self and its identity, confidence, and esteem. They are fueling the very insecurities that you would love to live without. Those insecurities keep you from life’s happiness and fulfillment. Which would you rather experience – laughter and joy or loneliness and sadness? Which do you think you’re feeding when you talk negatively to your Self?

     

    The more you live in judgment of your Self, the more you are living with a fear of judgment from others. Further, the more you live in judgment of your Self, the more you are judging others. Consequently, if you are judging your Self AND others you are doubling up on feeding the fears that YOU are being judged. Ah! That is not a path to happiness!

     

    The judgments and criticisms of your self talk are anchored in your fear-based emotions. Fear feeds on your thinking and then feeds your fear-based thinking. That means the negative self talk feeds upon itself and grows and picks up speed. Much like any fear does – it spirals rapidly. If those thoughts and comments are increasing in your daily existence, then how are they affecting your perceptions of the world around you? Negatively!! Further, if your perceptions are your reality then your reality is pretty negative. Ugh!

     

    As you go forward, listen for your negative thoughts, comments, etc. and say to your Self – “STOP!” Saying stop breaks the momentum and alerts you to the negative self talk. That awareness is the biggest step. Then ask your Self if you would allow someone to talk to your child in the way you just spoke to your Self. Hear and feel the “No.” There are several things you can do at this point to begin the healing, but that’s for another forum. It is critical that the awareness grows so you can slow the talk before you begin any further steps in healing.

     

    Once you’ve said “Stop,” it is time to insert a positive comment. Even if all you can say is “You didn’t deserve that” or “No you aren’t (that),” you have started a positive trend. Positive energy and thinking is more addictive than the fear or negative thoughts! So, the quicker you get started the quicker you begin your path to freedom. As your self talk becomes more and more positive your day will be perceived as more and more positive and people will be more positive around you. And so it goes.

     

    There are several things you can do to help the positive self talk. Make a list of positives about your Self. Make another list of what you would like to hear another say to you. Keep the lists handy for positive self talk after you “stop” the negative thought. Compliment your Self when you complete something or do anything successfully. It doesn’t matter how minor the event. Remember, you could stub your toe and rip your Self up over that little event!! Positive thoughts and verbiage help you develop your dreams, your happiness and your freedom!

     

    I’ll leave you with these two thoughts, one is a beautiful quote and the other is a video. I want you to ask your Self after the video, “Don’t you deserve to feel this way about your Self?”

     

    “Thoughts Become Things… Choose The Good Ones!”
    ― Mike Dooley

     

    January 15, 2014

    One Minute Stress Reduction

    How many of you would like to achieve greater peace and less stress in this new year? This week I am offering you a 60-second tool that can be used throughout your day to help you reduce the feeling or impact of the stress in your life. You will be able to use this technique at your desk, in a meeting, while driving, in bed to sleep and so much more.

     

    We have become unconscious of much of our Self and our body in our busy days. So today, let’s begin being conscious of just our breath. You will want to practice this exercise often. If you do, it will soon become second nature to put your self into a relaxed state in any environment or situation.

     

    Before clicking play, please put both feet on the ground, lean back comfortably, and enjoy!!

     

     

    Now that you have experienced the technique, keep practicing it. Should you be interested in learning more about relaxation techniques or meditation, please feel free to write me or comment on the blog!

     

    May 20, 2013

    Anxiety: What is it, what causes it, what to do about it? Part 3

    Anxiety!! What can I do to make it stop and go away! Anxiety feels like a helpless state of suffering but there are things a person can do to heal and transcend the suffering. This article will give a feel for what can be done. It is not meant to be an exhaustive list or suggestive. It is meant to open the possibilities of treatment and healing of the suffering of anxiety. The article will look at western medicine, and then will focus on self help, therapy, and all other medicines.

    Please contact KB@KristenBomas.com if you have any questions about services, topics or products.

    Kristen Bomas, PA
    398 Camino Gardens Blvd., Suite 104
    Boca Raton, Florida 33432
    Phone: (561) 212-7575
    Email: KB@KristenBomas.com

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