In therapy sessions, I often talk about the need for exercise and movement. Anything cognitive can only do so much for our minds….after that we need to work also on our body and spirit too. These areas so often integrate and make the individual and the whole work well together.
Research at The University of Miami among a sample of 876 people starting at an average age of 71, and carried out over 5 years; showed that the brains of non-exercisers looked 10 years older then those who did moderate exercise. http://med.miami.edu/news/exercise-may-slow-brain-aging-by-10-years-for-older-people
Memory loss was also reduced amongst those who exercised. The benefits of exercise are thought to be better circulation and vascular health.
Exercise can be walking regularly and even carrying y0ur shopping. But other pieces of research have shown how movement with different exercise movement also helps. Chi Gong, Tai Chi, Swimming and Yoga are examples of exercise where there is stretching and movement that is different. Dancing with variations in movement have also been shown to be effective.
Exercise and movement helps us to also age well not just physically but also mentally.
Christmas and Domestic Abuse.
Christmas is often a time for the family to get together, a time of cheer and joy. What happens though if the family is an abusive one? One where domestic abuse occurs. Often such a season is one where there are high levels of stress. Buying a gift in such families is one where there is a lot of resentment. If the gift is not liked and the person is abusive, sarcastic comments may ensue. The sit down dinner can be one of intense stress. A meal that is not ‘perfectly’ done can find itself thrown against the wall. Plates shattered and on the floor. Meal times can be one of pure home and domestic terrorism. In the UK a new domestic abuse law has been announced – that of ‘coercive and controlling behaviour’. You don’t have to suffer physical pain to experience domestic abuse, it can also be psychological.
Christmas dinner can be the worse of all meals. Then there is the added financial stress that adds even more to the domestic terrorism that can go on within a household. People needing to walk around on eggshells for fear of ‘provoking’ an outburst by even the most mildest of comments or ‘looks’. Often those who grow up in domestic abuse also continue to marry and partner with future domestic abusers. The lessons start now. Look at where you are. Who you are with? Where do you want to go? Do you have an escape plan? How is money? Is there someone you can discuss this with? Therapy to stop this constant re-enactment? How do we break free of such abuse?
George The Royal Baby
So we now have a new Royal baby. This usually is a situation which brings up such happy feelings for many people. Many wish the best for this baby and their family. For some though this is not a happy event. It is a reminder of feelings of abuse and neglect. It is a trigger. It can bring on depression and anxiety. How does a seemingly innocent little baby bring up those feelings?
Firstly let me go into what abuse is? Something like 1 out of 4 people have been abused. If you are in a room full of people, the statistics are 1 out of 4 have been abused. If you are in a family where there is abuse generally then – many of them have been abused. They will certainly be 2 out of 4 or 4 out of 4. Abuse is not just sexual, it is physical, mental and emotional. Many who are in abusive families and relationships do not recognise the signs and patterns of abuse. To them it is normal, and if normal, it cannot be anything but a normal family relationship. – ergo it is not abusive – but reality is that it is. Those who have not been abused can seem to those who have been abused; like aliens from another planet. Many who have been abused learn to walk and navigate in the world of the 3 out of the 4 unabused people. It is just navigating and is not really living a full and complete life…..
Signs of possibly being abused – are avoidance and not getting on in the world. Not being able to maintain long-term healthy relationships, note I write ‘healthy’. Long-term ill health. Addictions – drink, drugs, co-dependency. Repeating patterns of abuse onto future generations.
This is where the Royal baby trigger is about. It is here when such abuse festers and stays on. Without training an abused mother often repeats the patterns. The mother marries an abusive husband, is possibly directly abusive themselves or is avoidant and neglectful. Some children who have grown up in such households have told me – they never wanted to repeat the pattern only to find themselves having repeat it. It is very hard – not to repeat a pattern. it is inbuilt for us to do so.
I have lived near abusive families. They shout and scream at each other, some hit, some shout words which are emotionally set up to bring about maximum pain. Then when these families go out into the street, they are the height of decorum and good behaviour. I remember when I was growing up, I lived near someone whose father often beat up his wife. You would hear the screams for miles around. (Decades ago it was not illegal to hit your wife -or husband. Now it is so, not that that makes much difference. So many still do not report it). Then his son who I knew and played Cowboys and Indians, Astronauts, climbing tree houses with; grew up and then also hit women too. The pattern thus repeats itself. I have met many women who say they will never have children because they never want to repeat their childhood. Not having a child does not stop the abuse from repeating. Not having a child may be the best thing. What many do not realise is that it is possible to change such behavior but it does take hard work to break a pattern. It starts with awareness. It starts with therapy. It requires more then just crossing your fingers to stop many lifetimes of abuse……..