Stress Articles

Dealing with Depression: Mindfully Turning Toward Negative Thoughts & Feelings

Monday, August 4th, 2014

depression-have-an-upsideDoes this sound familiar?

I don’t want to feel this way. When I’m anxious, I start thinking of ways I can be in control. So many little things have been bothering me lately, which only makes me madder at myself for letting them bother me. I wish I were different. When I get upset, I start thinking about what I did wrong. About what’s wrong with me.

These are all examples of aversion. “Aversion is the drive to avoid, escape, get rid of, numb out from, or destroy things we experience as unpleasant,” according to authors John Teasdale, Mark Williams and Zindel Segal in The Mindful Way Workbook: An 8-Week Program to Free Yourself from Depression and Emotional Distress.

My Intention: Shifting Into Neutral and Being in the Present Moment

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

My IntentionI have myriad personal and professional goals that I want to achieve. I made a personal goal sheet that I hang on my refrigerator door. Each morning, when I open the refrigerator door and grab the creamer for my morning cup of coffee, the goal sheet silently stares back at me. I am reminded of the goals waiting to be accomplished, waiting to be achieved. It is a memo to self of all I have to do and have yet to accomplish.

At times this goal sheet can leave me feeling depleted and worn; it is a daily reminder of what I have not done. So I am making a conscious effort to increase my daily intentions, my deepest wishes for myself and the world that align with my authentic self.

Fight, Flight or Freeze: The Stress Response

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

The Stress ResponseImagine the following scenarios:

1. During a staff meeting that you led and thoroughly prepared for, your …

Adults with ADHD: Tips for Juggling Life in Today’s Frenetic World

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Adults with ADHD: Tips for Juggling Life in Today’s Frenetic WorldWe live in a wired, fast-paced world. We’re constantly plugged in — checking email and social media sites from all of our devices. We’re trying to meet ever-increasing expectations and demands, juggling careers and school, raising kids, managing our homes, entertaining, and much more, says Terry Matlen, MSW, ACSW, a psychotherapist and ADHD coach.

“For the adult without ADD, it’s a tough situation to keep their heads above water. But for an adult with ADHD, it’s almost an impossible task.”

“The brain can just ‘shut down’ due to feeling overwhelmed,” said Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D, NCC, a psychotherapist and ADHD specialist. Adults with ADHD can become paralyzed because they don’t know where to start, she said.

5 Practices for Calming Racing Thoughts

Monday, July 28th, 2014

5 Practices for Calming Racing ThoughtsRacing thoughts may be a daily reality for you or an occasional annoyance. Racing thoughts are common for people with anxiety when they’re facing a stressor. They’re also common in bipolar disorder, ADHD and other medical conditions, according to Marla Deibler, PsyD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in anxiety disorders.

For instance, anxious thoughts may be a string of worries. Deibler shared this example:

“I don’t have a date for the party tomorrow. I can’t go by myself. What will everyone think? What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I have a date? That’s it. I’m not going. But everyone will wonder where I am. I should go. Oh, I don’t know what to do.”

Racing thoughts can be overwhelming, confusing and distressing, Deibler said. They can hinder your ability to concentrate and accomplish daily tasks. They can hinder your memory and sleep, she added.

Mood Over Matter: How Emotions Can Affect Your Health

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

headachesYou’ve probably heard your share of stories like the following told by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN, on the site “Women to Women“:

A patient came in to see me describing constant heavy bleeding menorrhagia. We tried dietary changes, supplements and other purely physical approaches, with only minimal improvement. I began to probe for the emotional basis of her condition. She shared a description of her marriage to a man who did not support her emotionally and was often verbally abusive. I helped her see the connection between her relationship and her symptoms. One day a few months later, she came into my office and told me she had finally found the courage to leave the relationship. Her heavy bleeding stopped the next day, and has not returned.

5 Quick Ways to Calm Anxiety at Work

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

5 Quick Ways to Calm Anxiety at WorkIf you struggle with anxiety, you may find it especially tough to get things done at work. “Anxiety can be debilitating on its own, but in the workplace, it can be magnified immensely,” said Jenifer Hope, LCPC, a therapist who specializes in treating anxiety.

With its often-fast pace and mounting demands, work can spike stress. One of Hope’s clients, who has generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), feels anxious most of the time and in most situations. When her anxiety is severe, she has a hard time completing any task. She’ll reread the same line in an email because she can’t focus on anything else except her anxiety.

Whether you struggle with severe or occasional anxiety at work, you can practice certain strategies to feel better. Hope shared these five tips.

How to Deal with Burnout

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Suicidal Ideation and CyberbullyingWe all know what it feels like when you’ve had enough. It’s that listless, weary feeling of not wanting to proceed but knowing that you have to.

Some refer to it as ennui; others simply call it burnout.

It happens when the stress of performing a certain task overrides its enjoyment. It can take place in every facet of your life, from your job to your home life to your relationships.

It’s OK to Have Anxiety

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

It's OK to Have AnxietyAnxiety is a fickle beast. It can come on at any point during your day and completely wreck you until you’re able to find a place to unwind.

A major point of contention in my struggle with mental illness has been the anxiety I feel in social situations.

It goes like this: You’re about to enter a new situation and deal with people who don’t know you. You wonder what they’re going to think of you.

Mind Your Health: Using Mindfulness to Heal Your Body

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

mindful.orgScientist and meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn includes in his pages of “Full Catastrophe Living” a horrifying story that speaks powerfully about the mind-body connection.

When renowned cardiologist Bernard Lown was in training to become a physician, he had in his clinic a patient, “Mrs. S.,” who had a narrowing of one of the valves on the right side of her heart, the tricuspid valve. She was in mild congestive heart failure; however, she functioned well enough to maintain her job as a librarian and do household chores.

She would come to the weekly cardiac clinic run by Dr. S. A. Levine, a well-respected professor of cardiology at the Harvard Medical School and at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, to receive digitalis and injections of a mercurial diuretic. One week Dr. Levine greeted Mrs. S. warmly, as he usually did — the two had an affable relationship — and then he turned to the entourage of visiting physicians and said, “This woman has TS.” With those words he abruptly left.

How to Ask for Help in a Crisis

Friday, July 11th, 2014

How to Ask for Help in a CrisisI have lived with schizophrenia for eight years. In those eight years I have gone through cycles of wellness. While it primarily gets better with each passing day, there are still periods here and there where life becomes too overwhelming or where I push myself too hard. Then I feel the intense crushing weight of existence on my shoulders.

In those times I tend to retreat, not only to my apartment but into myself. I lie there on my couch staring at the TV, emotions flowing through my spine. It’s all I can do to keep myself from crying.

Sometimes the feeling lasts for only a day or two. Other times it builds until there’s a tipping point where I make some declaration of exasperation and throw my family into a tizzy of worry.

Find Out How You Can Ease Chronic Illness with Meditation and Mindfulness

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

using-mindfulness-to-alter-your-mood

A novel study suggests that meditation and mindfulness can greatly improve the lives of people with chronic illness, particularly those with diabetes mellitus or coronary heart disease. Instead of worrying about the past or the future, patients begin to gently accept the limitations of their illness and focus on what is possible and beneficial in the present moment.

The study, published in Behavioral Medicine, found that patients who practice meditation and mindfulness experience better sleep and relaxation patterns and have a more accepting outlook toward living with a long-term illness.

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