The brain is designed to focus on pain and danger. No wonder we worry.
There are some things in life we can't change, but many that we can.
The real problem is that we tend to spend more time fretting about the things we can't change than focusing on the things we can change.
About Brock Hansen
Brock Hansen, LCSW, author of Shame and Anger: The Criticism Connection, is a clinical social worker and personal effectiveness coach with over thirty years experience in counseling individuals with a variety of problems related to shame and anger. Educated at Johns Hopkins University and Smith College School for Social Work and trained in hypnosis and neurolinguistic programming, as well as cognitive therapy, he has a private practice in Washington, DC. He is also available for telephone coaching and speaking engagements and can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Other articles on topics of shame and eating disorders and emotional intelligence for kids can be found on his website at www.Change-for-Good.org. He lives near his DC office with his wife of 40 years, Penelope.
“Whether or not we think we can benefit from criticism, we are all going to get plenty of it and we might as well learn how to handle it effectively. Shame and anger will inevitably be involved and those powerful emotional responses so confuse and overwhelm our experience of criticism that we will have difficulty responding objectively and effectively.” (p. 21 of Shame and Anger: The Criticism Connection)
Brock Hansen Success Stories
Power Poses to push back against a lifetime of anxiety
Women dealing with stress
Isabel is a woman in her early 60's who came to see me after attending a class I taught on Emotional Fitness. She said that she had always been anxious, but that her anxiety had been building over the last few years since the deaths of some close family members. Her anxiety focused on her own death, but inhibited her from going to the doctor or dentist for routine care or from going out in public. more
After getting to know her, I showed her a TED talk by Amy Cuddy about power poses, physical postures that actually change the level of stress hormones in your bloodstream. These are physical poses associated with victory, rather than the defensive postures we often slip into which unconsciously reinforce shame and a sense of helplessness.
I coached her to prepare to go out, especially to a doctor's or dentist appointment, by assuming a power pose for two minutes. As we experimented with this, she discovered that the confidence building effect could be increased by saying "Yes! I can do this!" repeatedly while staying in the power pose. This was the opposite of her unconscious habit of asking herself, "What if I can't?"
This new habit has been so effective for her that she has been weaning herself off of the anti-anxiety medication that she has been taking and has been showing a dramatic increase in self confidence.
Marching Your Way Out of a Panic Attack
Men dealing with stress
A competent physician and head of a busy department was overwhelmed by panic. The stress of his job and his obsessive perfectionism had driven him to despair. He sat in my office in tears uncertain if he could face his boss at the meeting scheduled later that day. We tried a number of anxiety interrupters such as deep breathing, repeating affirmations based on his understanding of the dynamics of anxiety and OCD, and even playing a musical instrument, which usually requires enough concentration to distract from an anxiety attack. As a physician, he knew what was happening, but still could not shake off the panic. Finally, I played a youtube video of a Souza march on my phone and demonstrated how to march like a drum major leading a marching band. Together, we marched around my small office for about two minutes. It worked. The panic was broken. He had a plan and was confident he could use it later that day. more
This technique works because the powerful emotions we developed to survive in desperate circumstances are directly connected to our posture, facial expression, and movement. If you change your posture and movement, you can change your emotion. The most powerful emotions sometimes require the most active and dramatic changes