The Physical Effects Of Grief

 

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Grief is an intense feeling of sadness. You can experience grief from the loss of a relationship, the death of a loved one, or divorce. Certain life stressors can reignite past feelings of grief. The important thing to remember is that there’s no wrong way to grieve. Everyone grieves in the way that they need to in order to cope and move on. Many people don’t associate grief with physical effects. However, grief impacts more than just your mental and emotional state. In fact, it can have an immense impact on your physical body. Here are some of the ways in which grief can manifest physically within you.

 

1. Lowered Immunity

It’s not uncommon for those who are experiencing heavy grief to come down with the flu or a cold. In adults, grief can lower the immune system. As a result, you can become more susceptible to illnesses or diseases. As hard as it may be, eating right, drinking plenty of fluids, and getting light exercise can help you ward off illnesses.

 

2. Body Aches and Pains

Aches and pains are one of the most common physical symptoms of grief. Grief can cause pain in the joints, in the neck and back, as well as give you headaches. The pain is caused by an overwhelming around of stress hormones flooding your body.

 

3. Sleep Problems

Another very common symptom of grief is feeling fatigued or having issues with sleeping too much or too little. When you’re feeling overwhelmingly sad or anxious, it’s very common to either sleep too much or avoid sleep altogether. Fortunately, this is usually a temporary side effect. However, it can become a common occurrence. Which is why it’s important to talk to your doctor if you’re having issues with sleeping.

 

Managing Grief

Establishing a healthy, daily routine can help you effectively manage your grief in a positive manner. Regular exercise can help with aches and pains, boost your mood, and help to alleviate sleeping issues. Nourishing your body when it’s hungry with healthy foods will help prevent digestive issues.

 

One of the most important things to remember when you’re grieving is to remember that you are not alone. You don’t have to carry this weight by yourself. Reach out to friends and family and let them know that you need a little extra support. There is strength in vulnerability.

 

If you’re struggling to manage your grief and need a little extra support, please don’t hesitate to reach out and give us a call. We can help you talk through your grief and work out a daily plan to help you manage your responsibilities while you heal. You never have to be alone.

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4 Signs It’s Time To Seek Therapy

 

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There’s still a lot of stigma around seeking therapy. Fortunately, many people are feeling more comfortable about being open about therapy and therefore making it easier for others to admit when they need to seek therapy. Life happens to all of us and sometimes it feels a lot heavier to carry than normal. Even with a strong support group of friends and family, it’s still possible to need therapy. If you’re struggling with trying to decide whether or not therapy could help you, here are four signs.

 

1. Not feeling like yourself

If you’re feeling sad, angry, or otherwise hopeless for an extended period of time can be a sign that therapy would be beneficial. Things, like eating more or less than normal, over-sleeping or not sleeping enough, are other signs as well. If these feelings are making it difficult to enjoy your life or if you’re losing interest in things that you once enjoyed, therapy will help you gain some control back.

 

2. Abusing drugs, alcohol, or food to cope

Turning to any substance can be an indicator that you need additional help. If you feel that you’re unable to control these impulses to use drugs, alcohol, food, or sex to cope with, then therapy can help. Therapy can help you develop or fine-tune your coping skills.

 

3. You’re experiencing a major life change

From a big move to a major career transition or a loss in your life can cause you uncontrollable sadness. The grief process is long and a bit arduous and you don’t have to do it alone. Therapy can help you talk things out, identify positive coping methods, and help you get out of your head and get back on your feet. The support of an expert can do wonder in comparison to that of your friends or family.

 

4. You no longer enjoy the things you used to

This is one of the major indicators of depression. If you’ve stopped doing things you enjoy or finding joy in the things that you do, you may need a counselor. This is a major red flag that something is amiss in your life. An expert counselor can help you identify the root issue and point you to positive coping methods.

 

Therapy and counseling is nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone experiences traumas, loss, changes, and more in life and not all of those are easy to carry alone. Our counselors can help you learn positive coping methods, as well as learn to identify sooner when you’re slipping into a negative headspace. Whether you’ve been considering therapy for awhile or not, give us a call today to schedule an appointment. Your first appointment

 

Whether you’ve been considering therapy for awhile or not, give us a call today to schedule an appointment. Your first appointment can help you talk out and identify what is going on in your life and where the root cause of the feeling “off” is coming from.

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4 Misconceptions About Therapy

 

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For those who aren’t familiar with therapy firsthand, media platforms like television shows and movies are usually where people can get an insight into how therapy works. Of course, just like anything television and movies might portray a sliver of what real life is like, however, it’s not always the way things actually are. Just because art is imitating life doesn’t mean it’s a correct imitation. Because of these fictitious portrayals, many people are scared or turned off by the idea of therapy. So, let’s look at the top 4 misconceptions television and movies portray therapy.

 

Lie #1. Therapists Can’t be Trusted to Keep Your Secrets

This is completely false. Your therapist is ethically bound to keep what you say in each session confidential. The only exception to this rule is if you are threatening to harm yourself or others. You can rest assured that all of your sessions are kept private and a quality, ethical therapist will know to keep your information you share private.

 

Lie #2: Therapists are Off the Wall and Odd

In a lot of tv shows, therapists are portrayed as these kind of quirky, off-the-wall individuals. When in fact, real-life therapists are quite the opposite. They’re normal, everyday people who want to help you feel better about your life. Just like anyone else, they have interests and quirks. However, they’re not these totally off-the-wall people.

 

Lie #3: Therapists Will Fix All of Your Problems

This is one of the biggest misconceptions, whether you’ve seen therapy portrayed in film or television. A good therapist will help you find your own answers and solutions to your problems. They can only help guide you to the right solutions, they can’t fix it completely for you. Therapy is about 50/50 work. You have to be willing to put in the work to fix the problem.

 

Lie #4: Therapists are On-Call Crisis Managers

Yes, some therapists will give you access to a line that allows you to call or text them outside of a session. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re on-call 24/7 to help you. In a lot of tv shows and films, it appears that you can reach out to your therapist whenever. While this may be possible, this doesn’t mean that they’re required to answer or help you immediately at that moment. If it is a serious emergency, they will recommend you call the hospital.

 

There are a lot of different correct and very wrong portrayals of therapy in the media. Fortunately, now you’re aware of some common misconceptions. Being aware of these misconceptions prior to coming into therapy can help you really make the most out of each session. If you’re thinking about seeing a counselor or a therapist but are worried about some portrayals you’ve seen in the media, give us a call. Our team of highly trained and skilled, compassionate counselors can help you get your life back on track and get your confidence back. Schedule an appointment today.

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What to Do When You Get The Worries

 

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We all worry. We worry about what’s for dinner, how we’ll get home on time, we worry about our jobs, and we worry about things we probably shouldn’t even worry about. The point is, we worry. Everyone does it. There’s no way to stop worry from creeping up on us, however, there are ways to keep worry from taking over our lives and ruining our days.

Get Active

The best way to relieve anxiety and worry is to move! Go for a walk, take a dance class, workout, or just dance around your room. Whatever you choose to do, the point is, you need to get moving! To get back to your normal state of being, you have to burn off some of that extra energy you have. Not only is exercise good for getting rid of worrisome thoughts, it’s also just good for your overall health. This is a win-win!

Relax

Okay, this is usually the last thing you want to be told when feeling worried, but hear this out. Sometimes you can’t get active for a number of reasons, so the next best thing to do is relax. Take a bath. Put on your favorite feel-good film. Do a face mask or go get your nails done, a massage, anything that’s going to put you in a relaxing headspace. If you’re at work and you can’t move or relax. Pop in your headphones, put on your favorite bop and have a dance party in your head. No one can stop you from imagining!

 

Get Logical

A lot of our worries are pretty illogical. What if this happens? What if that happens? “This” and “that” usually things that could probably never happen. But does that stop us from worrying about them? No! The best way to relieve worry is to get logical. Sit your self down and ask, “does this worry even make sense?” Perhaps it does in another dimension or in another timeline, but we live in this dimension and this timeline, so no, it does not make sense. So, with that said, you can go down your list of “this” and “that” worries and cross them off one by one.

 

Worrying is a totally natural response that everyone deals with on a day to day basis to a varying degree. For some people relieving worry is as simple as playing your favorite song, however, for others, worrying is a bit more crippling. If you’re struggling with dealing with worry in a healthy way, please don’t hesitate to call us and schedule an appointment. Our team can help you find healthy ways to manage and alleviate your worries. Call and schedule an appointment today.

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Finding the Right Individual Therapist for You

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Individual therapy is such a personal and often intimate experience. The things spoken in therapy have sometimes never even left those four walls before. Because of this private sharing experience, it can be intimidating for many. Choosing the right therapist for you can actually take several tries. It’s imperative that you feel comfortable with someone that you plan to share your most private details and innermost thoughts. Here are some tips on finding the right individual therapist for you.

 

Know That it Might Take a Few Tries

It’s totally normal to not find the therapist right for you on the first try. Even if they are the right one it might not feel “right” immediately. It’s okay to try out a few different ones until you find one you’re comfortable with. Remember, this is a person that you will be sharing a lot of intimate personal details with so you want to feel as comfortable as possible.

 

Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions

Typically, most therapists will have several specific areas of expertise. Some specialize in depression and anxiety while others specialize in addiction or eating disorders. Even though every case is different and unique, It’s okay to ask your therapist if they have experience dealing with what your in for. This way you can find out if they’re going to be able to help you in the ways that you need them to.

 

Use your Intuition

Sometimes, for whatever reason, our gut tells us a situation or a person is not good. In all cases, but especially for therapy, you need to listen to it. Many therapists have photos of themselves online so you can screen them before you see them. If for some reason you get a strange feeling then don’t seek their help. Again, this is a person you will be sharing a lot of intimate details with and you’ll want to feel as safe and comfortable as possible.

 

Individual therapy is an amazing and transformative experience. Whether you’re dealing with depression, anxiety, or major life changes, it can help provide  you with the tools necessary to face these challenges. With individual therapy you can find your inner strength and learn how to healthily and effectively handle life. If you are considering therapy but aren’t sure if it’s right for you, call us today to schedule a consultation. Together we can determine if it’s the right move for you.

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How to Deal with Social Anxiety

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Did you know that almost everyone experiences social anxiety? The most common form of social anxiety is the fear of public speaking. However, for some people, social anxiety is a little bit more pervasive. It can involve fear of certain social situations, small talk, and even fear of familiar social situations. Social anxiety can be debilitating and can dramatically impact your quality of life. The good news is that everyone experiences social anxiety in varying degrees from time to time. The other good news is that there are ways to handle it and deal with it in a healthy manner. Check out these ways to deal with your social anxiety.

1. Work With a Therapist

It’s amazing what therapy can do for you. Therapy can truly transform you from the inside out. It can also help with your social anxiety. If your social anxiety is affecting your day to day life like your personal or professional life, it’s probably time to seek help. A little nervousness is totally normal but you shouldn’t be afraid to live your life and you don’t have to be.

2. Create an Exposure Hierarchy

Some social situations are easier to handle than others and everyone is different. For some people speaking to a barista is the top of the hierarchy, while for others, going to a party with friends sits at the top. If you can sit down and list out which situations are your worst nightmare and which are manageable you can slowly learn to expose yourself to situations you might not like. You can also make yourself aware of social situations that make you incredibly anxious and if possible, avoid them.

3. Stay Rational

The hardest part about social anxiety is getting out of your head and staying rational. The best way to stay rational is to remember that everyone around you is dealing with their own inner workings. It’s quite possible that someone else in the room is also experiencing an internal meltdown. The best way to stay rational is to stay kind. Treat everyone with kindness and remember we’re all out here just trying to do the best we can with what we have.

If social anxiety is impacting your daily life, please give us a call. You don’t have to be afraid to live your life. Gain control and get your confidence back with the help of one of our highly trained counselors. We’re here to help you navigate life with confidence and strength.

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4 Tips on Dealing with Negative Self Talk

 

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It happens to the best of us. I’m sure even Beyonce experiences negative self-talk from time to time. It’s almost impossible to stop that sneaky little voice from creeping up on us anytime we try to do something. It can come on at work, while out with friends, or even when you’re just alone watching television. Whenever you feel negative self-talk coming on you can do 1 of 2 things, you can engage with it or you can shut it down. However, sometimes we’ve let negative self-talk run our lives for so long that it’s hard to get a grip on it when it starts. Fortunately, these 4 tips will help you get a grip on that negative voice in your head.

 

1. Notice Your Thoughts

Negative self-talk often comes on as a random intrusive thought. “You suck” or “You’ll never be good at this” is common intrusive thoughts we all experience. The next time you have a negative thought notice it! You can say out loud or in your head, “hey I just had a negative thought about ___.” When you notice the thought right away you can shut it down rather than engaging with it.

 

2. Challenge Your Negative Thoughts

That voice in your head that tells you that you’ll never be able to write a book or finish your degree is wrong. What degree or book has that thought ever authored or finished? None! Another way to challenge the thought is to ask yourself, “what evidence do I have that makes this thought true?” Probably none. Most negative thoughts are baseless and only go on because you engage with them.

 

3. Practice Letting Go

It’s hard when you are having negative thoughts about your body, your lifestyle, or your life decisions. But know that you can let these thoughts go any time you want. You don’t have to hold on to them. When a negative thought pops up in your mind, you can let it go. Don’t invite it to stay for tea.

 

4. Practice Gratitude

Negative thoughts and negative self-talk make us forget all the good things we have going for us.Which is why keeping a gratitude journal is so important. Whenever those negative self-talks start to bubble up, turn to the gratitude journal to remind yourself how good you really have it. Eventually, gratitude will be your go-to thought rather than negative self-talk.

 

Negative self-talk impacts everyone and it can be hard to get a grip on it. If you’re struggling with negative self-talk call us to schedule an appointment. We can help you master the skills and tools you need to function without negative self-talk.

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Dealing With Perfectionism And How Therapy Can Help

 

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Many people suffer in varying degrees with perfectionism. However, for some, it’s tied to their lifestyle, while others tie it into their profession. Perfectionism is when you strive to reach a high standard and expectation that is not realistically attainable at all. With perfectionism, anything short of perfect can cause an internal disaster. This is also known as “all or nothing” thinking. Perfectionism can increase stress, anxiety, depression, disappointment, and regret.

What Does Perfectionism Thinking Look Like?

Everyone has likely experienced perfectionism thinking at some point in their life. However, some people suffer from it daily. Perfectionism thinking looks like this:

  • I want to do better than anyone
  • I must be the best at everything
  • I want my superiors to like me
  • People will think I’m lazy if I take a day off
  • I want to be respected/acknowledged
  • I won’t survive if I make one mistake
  • What if I can’t?
  • I know I won’t do well even though I’m fully prepared.
  • If my work is perfect, only good things will happen

Perfectionism thinking can be brought on by high-stress situations like a big presentation at work or school and even sometimes family stress.

What does Engaging in Perfectionist Behavior Look Like

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I can’t do it because I know I won’t be able to do it perfectly”? This is one of many perfectionist behaviors that those who suffer from perfectionism deal with on a daily basis. Here are some other perfectionist behaviors you might be familiar with.

  • Waiting for the right moment
  • Seeing mistakes that others don’t
  • Avoiding new things out of fear of making a mistake
  • Spending obsessive amounts of time trying to make something “perfect”

These behaviors can be almost debilitating and can possibly complete a self-fulfilling prophecy of not being “good enough.”

How Can Therapy Help?

No one is perfect and therapy can help you see that. Seeking therapy for perfectionist thinking and behaviors can help you shift your thoughts into more self-serving, positive thoughts.

Our counselors can help to teach you how to find a home in compromise. In fact, compromise can help you switch your thinking from black and white to finding fulfillment in the gray areas. If you’re having trouble with perfectionism, please give us a call today to set up an appointment. No one is perfect and frankly, you don’t have to be either to be happy.

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3 Ways to Handle Seasonal Affective Disorder

 

Photo by James Pond on UnsplashPhoto by James Pond on Unsplash

Seasonal Affective Disorder impacts people all around the world. Some people struggle with SAD during the winter months, however, many people struggle with SAD during the summer months as well. With spring just around the corner, some people are getting excited to get rid of their Seasonal Affective Disorder, while others are struggling to figure out how they’ll cope with theirs. Fortunately, we’ve found 3 ways to handle your Seasonal Affective Disorder no matter what season it impacts you.

 

Daily Physical Activity

Exercise is so important not only for your physical health, but for your mental health as well. Physical inactivity can make your depression feel even worse. You don’t need to start lifting heavy weights or training for a marathon to benefit from feel good endorphins. In fact, brisk walking 20 to 30 minutes every day can help to give you that mood boosting effect your looking for. If your SAD acts up in the spring and summer this is much easier. However, in the winter months this can be a little more difficult.

 

Get Regular Sleep

When you aren’t feeling well mentally over sleeping or not sleeping enough is extremely common. Sleep, like exercise, has a major impact on your moods. Do your best to avoid napping during the day in order to stay on top of your regular sleeping schedule. If you’re waking up randomly in the middle of the night, avoid the temptation of looking at your phone, tablet or laptop as the blue lights disrupt your melatonin cycle.

 

Minimize Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Use

As tempting as it is to escape when you’re feeling depressed, using alcohol, drugs, or tobacco can actually make you feel worse in the long run. Alcohol, as you know, is a depressent. Hangovers can leave you feeling anxious, sad, moody, and just “off.” Additionally, drinking or drug use can cause you to do things that you wouldn’t normally do. Things that you might not feel great about later once the high wears off. Try to limit your alcohol, drug, and tobacco consumption when you know your mood is at its most vulnerable.

Seasonal Affective Disorder impacts so many people and is completely normal to the changing seasons. However, sometimes SAD becomes something more. If you’re struggling to take part or interest in activities that once normally captured your excitement and attention, call us. Our team of kind and caring professionals can help you rediscover the you that you remember loving so fondly.

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How To Deal With Workplace Stress

 

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No matter what your job is we all have to deal with workplace stress. Some of us are better at leaving work at work and not taking it home. Workplace stress can create many conflicts from interpersonal issues to productivity levels. Recurrent workplace stress can lead to poor sleeping habits, trouble concentrating, changes in mood, energy, and increased social isolation. All of which can have damaging results to your mental and emotional health in and outside of the workplace. Fortunately, there are healthy ways to deal and manage your workplace stress.

Create Awareness

Everyone’s body deals with stress differently. That’s why it’s important for you to create awareness as to how your body reacts to stress. It’s also important to note what your stressors are. Some general ways to reduce in-the-moment stress are deep breathing, 10-minute meditations or finding a quiet space to recalibrate.

Focus on Prioritizing

Stress is usually caused by feeling like everything is happening at once. Deadlines are encroaching, bills are piling, and it’s like there’s no room or time to breathe! Ultimately, we become so overwhelmed it’s hard to focus on any one of the tasks at hand. Taking some time every week to prioritize what you have going on will help you distribute your stress evenly. When you have everything laid out, you can focus on what’s important first and break down your to-do’s into easy to manage tasks.

Utilize Support Systems

Support systems help us cope with everyday life, not just the stressors. Friends, family, and significant others help make life worth living. They had fun, laughter, and love which enriches our lives. This is why they’re so important to have. It doesn’t matter if your support system is on or offline, just as long as you have someone to turn to when you need an ear. Support systems help you reflect on workplace stress and vent out any frustration and anger.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Sometimes we’re our own worst enemies. Asking for help in the workplace is not a sign of weakness. Asking for help shows that you have the wherewithal to know what you don’t know and to know when you need help. When you ask for help, it doesn’t make others think you’re “dumb” or less smart, in fact, quite the contrary. Asking for help is a sign of effective leadership. If a task or assignment is outside the scope of your knowledge, speak up and be open to learning something new.

Create Healthy Boundaries

It can be incredibly difficult to separate your personal life from your professional life. But the fact is, it’s not only good but necessary. Creating healthy boundaries between your personal and professional life can help you reduce workplace stress. When your personal and professional life begin to blend too much together, that’s when stress can start to build. Try setting times when you will no longer answer work emails or phone calls and see how that starts to decrease your stress levels.

Learning to effectively deal with and manage stress isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Stress impacts each one of us differently and it can have adverse emotional, mental, and physical effects. If you are struggling to manage stress in your life, call us today to make an appointment.

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