Counseling Wellness

Counseling wellness to me translates into counseling encouragement and enthusiasm to the folks I work with.

I have seen people come back from the gates of hell and rebuild their lives, so I know it is possible.

Most folks have latent talents and skills which are simply awaiting discovery, and I like to take folks on that journey of discovery.

I usually begin by having my clients learn the HeartMath process. HeartMath is a powerful stress management tool that is easy to learn, so it gives clients, who may have doubts about their ability to change, a powerful success experience, because they have managed what is usually an unconscious physiological process.

That unconscious physiological process is making the time between heart beats coherent, which has excellent hormonal and brain fitness benefits, opening the higher perceptual centers of the brain.

Once learned at the computer, the physiology can be cued at any given heart beat by a cue thought and a breathing pattern.

If stress management is part of the presenting concern in wellness counseling, then HeartMath is a powerful tool.

HeartMath is based on the study of the heart's own nervous system. Not too long ago, we did not know that the heart had its own nervous system, nor did we know that the heart set its own rate, and was a sensory organ too, sending a huge amount of data up to the brain, more than the brain sent to the heart.

When I get the time between my heart beats coherent, I feel good, content, and I can hold that feeling even though I may be up to my butt in alligators.

Want to check out an extraordinary counseling wellness tool? Helps with sleep issues, eating, stress management, golfing, athletics, any kind of profession where stress can make errors happen more easily.

The next part of the success spiral in counseling wellness is to try out the dual n back task to increase IQ. Most folks are unaware that they can do that, and have never heard of neurogenesis or neuroplasticity, two recently discovered capacities of the human brain that can be enhanced by attending to the pillars of brain fitness, physical exercise, nutrition including omega 3 fatty acid, sleep, stress management, (see HeartMath), and novel learning experiences which will include the use of computerized brain fitness programs like Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro, the Posit Science Brain Fitness Program, or Lumosity.

No Diagnosis Yet?

Our counseling wellness has not even gotten to a diagnosis yet, because we are not yet done being successful.

There are any number of other tools to teach before going to the usual problem orientation.

I like teaching my clients to recognize nonverbal communications that others make, and to soothe themselves while working on their self-talk.

M. Csikszentmihaly, the author of FLOW, the pyschology of opitmal experience, tells us that we have 1/18th second to process data packages in the Central Nervous System, so I want to teach my counseling wellness folks that they cannot wait for their emotions, they need to go to them, or recognize them quickly.

Oh, almost forgot, here is a link to the dual n back program I was talking about a moment ago.

Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro - Software that makes you smarter

So perhaps I have piqued your curiosity about brain fitness, and how to grow more new brain cells?

The most important thing you can do for neurogenesis is physical activity/exercise of the deep breathing kind. If you do not have a lot of time for that, then I suggest you do HIIT or high intensity interval training, which is a ten minute workout of 30 second increments of exercises you can choose.

I was drawn to this kind of workout after watching 88 year old Bill and 82 year old Pat do HIIT.

The next pillar of brain fitness is nutrition, and you can bet an excellent overview of the nutritional concepts in brain fitness when you read Brainfit for Life by Simon Evans,Ph.D. and Paul Burghardt,Ph.D. who are neuroscientists at the University of Michigan.

Evans and Burghardt go into a great deal of detail about the need for micro- and macro nutrients and omega 3 fatty acid.

It turns out that your neurons are mostly omega 3 and if that omega 3 fatty acid is not replaced, then your neuron membranes get brittle and do not talk to each other coherently, leading to poor decisions.

The best source of omega 3 is fish, which puts us at risk for mercury poisoning. So you may want to get your omega 3 from a supplement.

The novel learning aspect of counseling wellness involves challenging those new neurons so that they can be incorporated into existing circuits. That usually involves the kind of learning one undertakes when learning a new language or new instrument. The learning cannot be more of what you already know to ensure neuroplasticity, and it has to have an increasing level of challenge yet provide enough correct answers that we keep our interest high.

If you do not have time to learn a new instrument or language, then perhaps one of these programs would fit? I have my counseling wellness folks try them both.

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Good luck on your counseling wellness journey. You do not have to wait for me to get started on them. And if you discover new tools, please let me know. Mike

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