Emotional Freedom Techniques

Of Two Minds: Crossing the great divide between head and heart

Is there a gulf between your head and your heart? Do you live in your head, where you are safe from feeling…well, anything? Or, are you a little bag of feelings reacting to…everything?

Many of the people I see fall into the first category – residing in their heads. After all, this is our culturally accepted place to be. To be successful we have to think things through, to organize, to plan, to see the whole picture. Thinking is a very good, necessary thing. Some people, however, live only in thought land, where it’s safe from uncomfortable things, like feelings. Feelings are the territory of the heart, but did you know that your heart also has a brain?

Your Heart Has a Brain

The new field of neurocardiology shows that the heart is not simply the mechanical pump we’ve been taught it is. The heart has its own nervous system; it’s a little brain that communicates with the larger brain. It also has a stronger electromagnetic field, but that’s another conversation. Just remember your heart has its own intelligence, almost its own personality.

Think of the ways we talk about the heart.  We use words like having a wounded, broken or foolish heart, having heartache or being heartsick, or we speak of having a calm, peaceful or brave heart. How would you describe your heart?

Your Healthy Heart

Do you have a healthy relationship with your heart?  Do you exercise and eat well to keep your heart strong? Do you have a regular stress managing system to take physical pressure off of your heart? If yes, great!  You’re taking care of your physical pump. How about the emotional level?  Do you accept and release feelings as they happen? Do you think of your heart as being intelligent?  Or, do you, or someone you love, avoid feeling-land at all costs?

Most of how we handle feelings comes from what we learned. Do you know someone who was taught that to feel or to show feeling is weakness? Although this one is common for men, women also have received this message, and so they learned to close off to their feelings to gain approval.  If there is a lot of emotional pain, we learn to close off – I’m not gonna let myself be hurt, again. Some become masters of the close off, but then forget how to open up, when the threat is gone. It would be simple if there were no consequences to this and we could all live happily in thought land. Oops…happy, that’s in feeling land.

We don’t get happy, when we can’t feel our hearts. We do get anxiety, though. When something is wrong, the brain receives signals from the heart in the form of neurotransmitters. And, just because we aren’t aware of our specific feelings does not mean we don’t have them.

Feelings 101

We are designed to feel.  Every feeling is a chemical, a neurotransmitter that sends information to the body. When feelings are buried rather that released, those chemicals can cause us harm. Repressed emotion has been linked to a wide variety of illness, including cancer and autoimmune diseases.  By the way, EFT is a remarkable tool to clear the old stuff.

It’s easy to get stuck up in your head.  However, when you find yourself spinning your wheels in thought land

 

Place your hand over your heart.

Feel the rise and fall of your hand as you gently breathe in and out.

Bring all your awareness to the space around you heart.

Feel yourself sinking down into that space.

Now, listen.

The heart speaks in its own way.  Be patient.

Your heart has information about you, a deeper knowing about what emotions might be buried.  Your heart mind knows what you need, and you can learn to communicate with it.  When the head and the heart are in full communication, decisions and actions are clear and balanced. Life takes on a new ease.  Take a leap, and cross that great divide between your head and your heart.

Meg Deak, MCAT, LPC

Insomnia

Are you making these four sleep-depriving mistakes that keep you from getting in a good night’s rest?

Mistake #1: Thinking about all the things you have to do tomorrow.

What to do instead:
Make a list, before you go to bed.  No, really…  Just write it down so you know you won’t forget.  As you write, breathe and say “I can take care of this tomorrow.” 

Mistake #2: Drinking caffeine too close to bedtime.

What to do instead:
Know your cut off time.  This is different for everyone, and figuring it out takes a little effort.  And let’s face it – limiting caffeine is a really good idea.  Pay attention to the last time you consume coffee, soda or tea (don’t forget black and green tea have a lot of caffeine) and cut back by two hours each day until you find a time, when you are not wired before sleep. You may be surprised.

Mistake #3: Going non-stop all day long.

What to do instead:
Take a nap.  Power naps are really…well, powerful.  A 20 to 30 minute nap can make all the difference: you can boost your energy, get your mental focus back, increase memory and creativity. 

Mistake #4: Taking the problems of the day to bed with you.

What to do instead:
Use EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)  to resolve any uncomfortable feelings left over from the day.  EFT is a powerful self-help tool that is easy to learn and can quickly neutralize disruptive feelings and anchor peace, joy or any other feeling you might desire.

Then there are those times, when it’s really hard to turn off the thinking part of your brain.  You worry or jump from one topic to the next, and it seems you just can’t stop.  Your brain may be having trouble shifting into slower brainwave states. It’s the slower brainwaves that are the most healing.  Deep, dreamless sleep is needed for your body to turn on the most powerful part of your immune system. Mounting daily stress and age can affect your brain’s ability to shift down into these healing frequencies.

If your brain is stuck in overdrive, and all you do it is worry, toss and turn, or you just want to make sure you are accessing those healing frequencies, vibroacoustic therapy and brainwave entrainment may be just what you need.

To learn more about how you can have a more restful sleep call Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center at 610.395.3355.

Meg Deak, MCAT, LPC, EFT & Neuroacoustic practitioner

Help with Insomnia:


Vibro-Acoustic Technology & Emotional Freedom Techniques  (EFT)

“I’m sleeping through the night,” she said.  Now, that’s really music to my ears, when a client reports this kind of success.  In this case, especially, because it was after only two sessions.  Sleep is so elusive, and so many factors can influence it. There are no guarantees, but there is hope.

Getting a good night’s sleep can be such a challenge, because there are physical, mental and emotional components that all influence it. The ability to slow our brain waves down is one of these.  When the thinking brain is in constant overdrive, it “forgets” how to slow down, how to access the deep stages of rest.  Brainwave entrainment and vibro-acoustic technology (VAT) can help the body remember.

VAT is the use of very low frequency vibration to soothe and relax your body.  You lie back in an ergonomically balanced recliner with headphones and light goggles.  Everything is plugged into a sound system playing music designed to take you into a deeply relaxed brainwave state.  The sound, light and physical vibration of the chair all work together to take your brain into healing and restful states.  Over time, you begin to remember how to access these states for yourself.

On the emotional side, fear of not getting a good night’s sleep can be the source of considerable anxiety.  Add this to the anxiety or other feelings that may have already caused some sleeplessness in the first place, and sleep can become a stranger.  This is when EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) can be of assistance.

EFT is easy to learn and to apply on your own.  Although it is still considered experimental, there is a great deal of evidence pointing to its efficacy.  Personally, when I have trouble sleeping, I begin to tap and often fall asleep before I even finish the sequence.

Meg Deak, Licensed Professional Counselor, Music Therapist, and Neuroacoustic Sound Practitioner

Living with Uncertainty

As a counselor, I sometimes find that the same issues come up for several people in the same week.  This week the issue has been uncertainty, and it’s only Wednesday.  Well, certainly, we are living in the most uncertain of times, and, as a baby boomer, I know that says something.

When I was a child, the fear was “The Bomb,” and I have vivid memories about the cold war era.  I lived near an Army reserve depot, and there was a flight path right over my yard.  At age seven, my best friend was the boy next door, also age seven, who was an authority on planes, because he and his older brother had built many model airplanes.  So, when the heavy transport planes and bombers would fly overhead, he would look up, shake his head and say with profound seriousness, “I’m not sure it’s one of ours.”  Those few moments were fraught with trepidation, until the plane cleared my house and he reassured me that it was, indeed, one of ours.   It’s easy to laugh now at my gullible little self and the boy who knew how to scare me.

Life is filled with uncertainty, and there’s always something we can find to worry about.  Worry is trying to control something, when we have no say in the matter.  So, how do we accept the fact that the only thing we can count on is change?  How do we ride the wave of not knowing? How do we live with an uncertain future?  Can we change the self-talk that fuels fear?

Almost daily, I see the changes that Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) can help make in letting go of the need to control situations and people. EFT can calm a person’s system as they come to terms with uncertainty and change.  In my practice, I have the privilege of watching a mother let go of trying to fix her adult children’s lives, a teen come to terms with anxiety about school, or an abuse survivor begin to feel safe in the world.  I wish EFT would have been around, when those planes flew over my house.