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Apr 5, 2010
Hurt feelings 'worse than pain' (link) 
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The old adage "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt", simply is not true, according to researchers. Psychologists found memories of painful emotional experiences linger far longer than those involving physical pain. They quizzed volunteers about painful events over the previous five years. Writing in the journal Psychological Science, they said evolutionary brain changes which allow us to work better in groups or societies could be key.
The cerebral cortex may also have had an unintended effect of allowing humans to relive, re-experience and suffer from social pain. - Zhansheng Chen, Indiana
The volunteers, all students, were asked to write about painful experiences, both physical and emotional, then given a difficult mental test shortly afterwards. The principle was that the more painful the recalled experience, the less well the person would perform in the tests. Test scores were consistently higher in those recalling physical rather than "social" pain. Psychological scoring tests revealed that memories of emotional pain were far more vivid.
   SOCIAL EVOLUTION - Researcher Zhansheng Chen, from Purdue University in Indiana, said that it was much harder to "re-live" physical pain than to recall social pain. He said the evolution of a part of the brain called the cerebral cortex, which processes complex thinking, perception and language, might be responsible. 
   It certainly improved the ability of human beings to create and adapt, to function in and with groups, communities and cultures, and to respond to pain associated with social interactions. However, the cerebral cortex may also have had an unintended effect of allowing humans to relive, re-experience and suffer from social pain.
      - Zhansheng Chen, Indiana
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The researchers now plan to repeat the experiment in older people, who are more likely to have experienced chronic pain.
Michael Hughesman, a child psychologist based in Germany, agreed that it was likely that emotional pain was handled in a different part of the brain from physical pain, and likely to be longer-lasting.
   There is something very intangible about emotional damage - with physical pain, you can see the bruise, but in emotional abuse there is often fear and anxiety which remains. If someone tells you in the playground that they are going to get you after school, then you tend to be anxious and afraid about it far more than if someone just punches you there and then. 
      - Michael Hughesman, Germany 
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Thanks to my friend, Cissy, who posted this news in C2NN a year ago...that's how I came across it. From BBC NEWS | Health | Hurt feelings 'worse than pain'
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Posted: Apr 5, 2010 4:30am
Feb 28, 2010

Check out Six Ways to Overcome Devastation
by Terri Hall-Jackson
(the following is an adaptation from the article)
Taking the actions below helped me navigate those choppy waters...
1. HOMEOPATHIC SUPPORT
Dr. Bach’s Rescue formula (Note from Jenny: this worked for me. I was surprised at how effective it was in reducing the fearfulness I felt in the days following cancer diagnosis.)
2. FAMILY & FRIENDS
When under extreme stress, do not isolate. Reach out to people in whose presence you feel safe, or who you know can keep a confidence...Be open to receiving the comfort and care offered by those who care about you.
3. PHYSICAL ANCHORS
Everyday tasks are easily ignored when we’re mentally and emotionally overwhelmed...keep checking to see if you are hungry, thirsty, or tired; take care of these needs, plus personal hygeine and appearance.  
4. KEEP MOVING
If you are able, exercise. The release of adrenaline and the boosting of serotonin in your system will help ease anxieties.
5. HAVE FAITH
Crises test our faith; we may lose confidence...we may doubt that we will be okay. Now is a good time to pray, to pour out your heart, to be still and listen. According to your own leanings and beliefs, now is the time to pray, meditate, affirm.
6. YOU ARE NOT ALONE 
Everyone goes through difficulties...it's part of being human. Be kind to yourself and know that the persistent intensity of your pain shall pass.

Jun 30, 2009

Anger management tips
By Mayo Clinic staff 
.
Do you find yourself fuming when someone cuts you off in traffic?
Does your blood pressure go through the roof when your child won't cooperate?
Anger is a normal and even healthy emotion, but learning how to deal with it in a positive way is important. Uncontrolled anger can make both you and other people feel lousy. If your outbursts, rages or frustrations are negatively affecting relationships with family, friends, co-workers or even complete strangers, it's time to learn some anger management skills. Anger management techniques are a proven way to help change the way you express your anger.
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10 tips to help get your anger under control
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1. Take a 'timeout.'
Although it may seem cliche, counting to 10 before reacting really can defuse your temper.
2. Get some space.
Take a break from the person you're angry with until your frustrations subside a bit.
3. Once you're calm, express your anger.
It's healthy to express your frustration in a nonconfrontational way. Stewing about it can make the situation worse.
4. Get some exercise.
Physical activity can provide an outlet for your emotions, especially if you're about to erupt. Go for a brisk walk or a run, swim, lift weights or shoot baskets.
5. Think carefully before you say anything.
Otherwise, you're likely to say something you'll regret. It can be helpful to write down what you want to say so that you can stick to the issues. When you're angry, it's easy to get sidetracked.
6. Identify solutions to the situation.
Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work with the person who angered you to resolve the issue at hand.
7. Use 'I' statements when describing the problem.
This will help you to avoid criticizing or placing blame, which can make the other person angry or resentful — and increase tension. For instance, say, "I'm upset you didn't help with the housework this evening," instead of, "You should have helped with the housework."
8. Don't hold a grudge.
If you can forgive the other person, it will help you both. It's unrealistic to expect everyone to behave exactly as you want.
9. Use humour to release tensions.
Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Don't use sarcasm, though — it's can hurt feelings and make things worse.
10. Practice relaxation skills.
Learning skills to relax and de-stress can also help control your temper when it may flare up. Practice deep-breathing exercises, visualize a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase to yourself, such as "Take it easy." Other proven ways to ease anger include listening to music, writing in a journal and doing yoga.
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Getting anger management help
You can practice many of these anger management strategies on your own. But if your anger seems out of control, is hurting your relationships or makes you feel physically violent or destructive, you may benefit from some help. Here are some ways you can get help to keep your frustrations in check:
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See a psychologist or licensed counselor.
Seeing a therapist can help you learn to recognize your anger warning signs before you blow up, and how to cope with your anger. Ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a counselor specializing in anger management. Family and friends also may give you recommendations based on their experiences. Your health insurer, employee assistance program (EAP), clergy, or state or local agencies also may offer recommendations.
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Take an anger management class.
An anger management class can teach you what anger is, how to recognize anger triggers and how to keep your anger under control. These courses can be done individually, with spouses or families, or in groups. In addition to the search methods for a psychologist or counselor, you can find organizations offering anger management courses on the Internet and through your district court.
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Read a book.
There are a number of helpful books on anger management. A number of them focus on particular situations, such as anger in teens, anger in men or anger in couples. Many of them are workbooks, with exercises that teach concrete skills.
 .
Anger and irritability can be signs of an underlying mental health condition, such as depression or bipolar disorder.
If your symptoms don't improve, or you have signs or symptoms of anxiety or depression, see a mental health provider for help.
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Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/anger-management/MH00102   
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Posted: Jun 30, 2009 5:16pm

 

 
 
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Jenny Dooley
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