Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Human Givens Book now available on Kindle

“While books are never a cure for what ails us in life, they are often a catalyst, a trigger that fires off those rare and profound ‘aha!’ moments that lead to deeper insights and understanding. Human Givens is such a catalyst." - Jack Davies 
The latest edition of the Human Givens book is newly available on Kindle.

"The wonderful boon of well as creating what is great in our culture, has also created an environment that seems out of control. We have the means to magnify our greed and have made a world that whirls around us so fast, and in such disturbing ways, that we can no longer trust our culture to reliably provide the psychological nourishment for us to develop fully as human beings."

The current price is £8.04. 

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Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Unique new human givens resource pack: 'in8 Cards'

A unique new resource pack for anyone involved in decision making, problem solving, strengthening relationships, reducing stress and improving well-being has been launched by in8.

The boxed pack of explanatory cards, illustrated by Laurie Stansfield and available to order now, is based around the 'human givens', a list of emotional needs and resources that are an essential starting point for good mental health.

The hope is that the pack will be widely used to spread human givens ideas to environments where psychotherapy is not necessarily required. As well as being useful for therapists to help explain and explore the essential needs and resources with their clients, the pack can also be used in educational and professional settings - and in fact, almost any environment that would benefit from understanding the fundamentals of human needs and behaviour.

What's in the in8 cards pack?

From the in8 blog:

"We are delighted to announce that our new resource pack “in8 Cards” has arrived from the printers. This is a resource pack which you can use to give clarity to a wide variety of situations that involve people and relationships.

The card illustrating the need for control
The pack consists of a boxed set of 20 beautifully illustrated cards and an 80 page explanatory book. 

The cards are divided into two sets: the “resource” cards identify your innate resources or skills. The “needs” cards identify the innate needs of human beings. 

The vital need for meaning and purpose
The essential resource of imagination

The book includes tips of how to use the cards and detailed descriptions of each card."


From June 1st 2013, in8 Cards will be available to order online. In the mean time, you can contact in8 to order them directly.

1 x Box of in8 Cards - £24.95 The cards are A6 size and the pack also contain a lightweight organza bag to carry the cards separately.

(p&p charges are waived until 1st September 2013, so get yours ASAP)

Sunday, 12 May 2013

8 Essential Tips for Managing Anger

Pure anger can be terrifying to behold in others and totally overwhelming when it erupts in ourselves. Anger is the positive emotion we draw upon to defend ourselves, our family and friends. In appropriate circumstances, when under attack for example, it is vital to access it. But, although it evolved as a defensive survival mechanism, the inappropriate expression of anger is debilitating and dangerous. When it flares up uncontrollably, which in our stressful modern world happens all too often, it indicates an anger disorder that needs addressing.

Time to take charge of anger

If you or someone you know often appears mentally unhinged by frequent outbursts of anger that they feel powerless to control, there are many techniques and exercises that can be deployed to defuse this powerful emotion. Some exercises can be used the minute anger starts to overtake you and some aim to help you understand and defuse the source of anger whilst in a more calm and reflective state of mind.

Here are eight essential tips for controlling and managing anger:

1) The moment you feel anger rising, do 7-11 breathing

Because anger is part of our ancient survival mechanism - the fight or flight response - it almost instantly produce a range of physical symptoms as your body instinctively gets ready for action. Adrenalin is secreted into the bloodstream, we breathe faster, blood pressure rises, our digestion is temporarily suspended and men experience a surge in testosterone - all this is fuelled by the stress hormone cortisol, which pumps us up whilst lowering the immune system. Anger needs to be discharged, and if it isn't discharged by an action (shouting, screaming, running, attacking) it will be dealt with at night during dreaming. But how can you tackle anger in the moment and de-rail powerful and uncontrollable anger?

The best calming technique to use during an episode of intense anger is very simple, yet incredibly effective. It's called 7-11 breathing, and it works because it stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the direct opposite of the fight or flight response. 7-11 breathing dilates your pupils, lowers your blood pressure and slows your heart rate, and, done correctly and regularly, it can effectively reduce your emotional arousal and increase control: How to do 7-11 breathing.

2) Take some vigorous exercise

Exercise is a perfect way of using up aggressive or angry energy whilst not getting hurt, but there is one caveat, do not use this time to dwell on the situation making you angry, it will make it worse! Instead of running the angry situation through you head, use the time to practice mindfulness or solve some other problem. If this is tough for you, it's best to choose competitive or team exercise where you have to concentrate on the game or what the opposing team will do.

3) Challenge negative thoughts

Use the ABC method to challenge your negative thoughts. Awareness, Block, Challenge. Try to become aware of your negative thoughts rather than just letting negative 'self talk' rattle past in your brain. If you write down all these thoughts, you may be shocked at how many can occur in a typical day.

Once pinpointed, block out the thought by saying strongly to yourself "No, no angry thoughts, I'm not allowing that to run through my brain."

Now you're no longer on the automatic with these thoughts, challenge their validity - is the thought strictly true? Are you being unnecessarily hard on yourself or other people? After you have done ABC and stopped yourself getting caught up in thoughts that usually happen in the back of your mind without being challenged, consciously focus on something else, do 7-11 breathing or think of something nice you are looking forward to - anything positive that directs your attention away from the angry thought.

4) Go one step further - reframe your thoughts!

When you have a negative thought about someone or something that has (or hasn't yet) happened, instead of just noticing it, try to think of several different explanations for it rather than the first knee jerk reaction that comes to mind. This exercise can be a challenge as, when overwhelmed by the black and white thinking of high emotion, it takes a lot of self-control to consciously change your perspective and see the bigger picture. With practice however, it can really help to de-rail angry thoughts quickly and lower your stress levels. Reframing is more effective than simply 'challenging negative thoughts', as it lets you explore different options.

5) Check to see if post-traumatic stress is causing the anger

Traumatic memories do not fade like normal memories. They are usually connected with a life threatening or other serious event and are more deeply embedded in the brain as a 'survival template'. If they are not treated they may continue to fire off strong emotional reactions such as panic attacks and violent anger outbursts at inappropriate moments and thereby cause trouble for the rest of the sufferer's life. Find out more about treating post-traumatic stress disorder.
It is usually easily dealt with, however horrific the original trauma was.

6) Do you experience compulsive anger in particular situations? Check for a molar memory

Compulsive, unreasonable and uncontrollable anger in a certain specific situation could be indicative of a 'molar memory'. Molar memories are memories that have two emotional 'roots', involving both 'positive' and 'negative' emotions at the source of the trauma. Molar memories typically present as irrational over reactions and extreme, compulsive emotional responses to relatively minor events or situations. Unlike conventional traumas, molar memories evoke excessive pleasurable/positive emotions (e.g. anger, sexual arousal) when unconsciously activated by pattern matching to stimuli in the present, however negative/painful emotions (e.g. fear, shame, anxiety) will be remembered when the original event that led to the pattern match is consciously remembered.

The good news is that molar memories can be dissolved fairly simply once you understand the process behind them. Many people have freed their lives from debilitating anger once they understand that a molar memory is behind it: More on how to dissolve a molar memory.

7) Do an emotional needs audit

Most of our stresses in life come from our emotional needs (or 'human givens') not being met (incidentally, did you know there are only three reasons for emotional upset?).

When you have a quiet moment, it's worth doing an 'emotional needs audit' of your life, are all your needs being met in balance? Does stress about your unmet emotional needs lead to anger? We make this easier by providing a free online Emotional Needs Audit. For more in-depth consideration about our individual emotional needs you could use the emotional needs section of our lift depression website.

8) Inform yourself about anger

All these tips and many more are available in the book 'Release from anger - practical help for controlling unreasonable rage'. If you feel like you would benefit from some further clear advice and practical tips, please get hold of this book, it has helped countless sufferers of out of control anger.
Release from Anger: Practical help for controlling unreasonable anger
Need more help?

Complex and severe anger problems, even those deriving from trauma or PTSD can be helped with the appropriate therapy. Check out our Professional Register of Human Givens Therapists for fast, effective therapy.

Human Givens College also offer a one day training course expanding on all the points raised in this post: Effective Anger Management.