10 Nov Compassion Fatigue and You
1. Working Part Time, even 4 days a week is highly protective 2. Social Support & Enhancing Your Social Network (at work) 3. Create a Work Community (even 15 minutes a day of interaction)
Anger… One of the most serious risk factors to our minds and bodies is anger…and the repression of healthy anger! The Buddha stated, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” We are angry because we take on too much. We are angry because we can’t seem to change and say no, or we can’t find the words. But, in the end, we are not doing ourselves, or any one any favours. In actuality, we are putting our whole immune system at risk by suppressing our natural killer cells that fight malignant cells. We keep recycling the anger inside of us. The emotions inside of us are turning against us, meaning our immune system is turning against us too. Our autoimmune system begins to attack itself. Anger suppression means that our bodies won’t recognize or fight malignancy because our immune system is suppressed. Now, if that isn’t a wake up call… Guilt… When did “NO” become a bad word? Since when does saying “NO” make someone a “Bad” person? The answer is…IT DOESN’T. The problem is: A core belief whose roots trace back to early childhood. Guilt protected you in childhood. As a child, guilt ‘saved your life’. It protected your very first attachment relationship– the one you have with your parents. The greatest needs of a child are met by its parents. The child starts to learn guilt to protect him or herself from annoying his or her parents and from being seen as ‘needy’. The child chooses guilt to protect the relationship. Dr. Mate suggests we welcome guilt. Choose guilt over resentment. Feel guilt. Feeling guilty becomes a positive response because it means you are looking after yourself. Know Your Zones: Francoise Mathieu discussed knowing your “big three”, your zones. You have to be aware of your warning signs: physical, behavioural and psychological symptoms. 1. Green Zone: Safe zone! 2. Yellow Zone: Proceed with caution…treat with care! While in this zone, you must take heed and protect yourself from burnout so that you do not reach your Red Zone. 3. Red Zone: Danger! Meltdown! Stress… Stress can manifest itself both internally and externally.
Stress is a response to any threat, or any perception of threat-most commonly, to the perception that something to the organism holds to be necessary for its well-being is going to be taken away or withheld
There are three components of Stress:
1. Stressor (can happen while sleeping) 2. The processing apparatus: temperament, life history, current situation 3. Stress response
During the discussion on stress it was mentioned that we are not actually responding to what happened, we are responding to an interpretation of what happened. This relates to our understanding of implicit memory. Implicit memory governs our lives. We think we are living in the present, but we actually relate to the present as if it were the past, that is how important the past and those implicit memories are to us.
The interpretation chooses us, we don’t choose it. In other words, you’re never stressed out about what you’re stressed about and you’re never upset about what you’re upset about.
We ARE wired to be compassionate. Rabbi Hillel once said ” If I am not for myself, who will be for me?” What are you not saying No to at home, at work? What is the impact of saying No? What are you afraid of? Can you start with one “No” a day? Avoid being “slimed” with other people’s emotional “baggage”. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Stop running on Adrenaline and ask for help. Find the time for yourself. Take on Mindfulness Meditation and bring exercise back into your life.
Face the reality that nobody is perfect and therefore perfection cannot be achieved. The struggle for perfection is no more than a struggle against yourself for control over your own mind.
“The mind is everything. What you think you become”- Buddha