Stress Articles

7 Genuine Ways to Practice Gratitude

Monday, November 24th, 2014

7 Genuine Ways to Practice Gratitude Some people avoid practicing gratitude because doing so feels fake. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, according to Susan Orenstein, Ph.D, a licensed psychologist and relationship expert in Cary, N.C.

That’s because any time we try something new, it’s going to feel awkward and unnatural, she said. In fact, such reactions can be good, because it means you’re noticing and paying attention, she said. “If you can lean into the experience, you’ll be more likely to let go of your self-consciousness and take in the experience.”

How to Deal with Invasive Thoughts

Monday, November 24th, 2014

inside_mind_schizophreniaI’m no stranger to nasty thoughts. I recognize when they’re present so innately that it’s safe to say it almost hurts. In my almost nine years of living with schizophrenia I’ve had to battle my fair share of these thoughts and I’ve gotten so good at it that I can almost see them coming from a mile away.

If it wasn’t the notion that people were making fun of me it was the idea that I’m more important than anyone else, i.e. grandiosity.

I’ve been subject to many nights where I just stared at the ceiling in the dark letting these little monsters run and play their tricks through all corners of my mind.

Suffering From Jealousy? Try These 10 Tips to Overcome It

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

green hourglass bigst

We’ve all been there. Maybe it was the popular cheerleader in high school who seemed to have it all: perfect hair, teeth, and her hunky boyfriend made you wonder if you’d ever outgrow your awkward stage. Or maybe it was the rising star at work who beat you out for the plum promotion you wanted without seeming to break a sweat. Perhaps it’s your Facebook “friend” who is chased by a never-ending stream of “Amazing!” selfie-narrated experiences.

Whatever your source of envy, the green monster is no fun companion. Jealousy can not only debilitate your relationships with others, it can also wreak serious havoc on your health. According to Donna Fremon-Powell , certified Guided Imagery Therapist in La Habra, California, emotions like anger, jealousy, hate and resentment produce a chemical that’s very similar to arsenic. “Simply put, your negative emotions are poisonous.”

Raised to Be a Pleaser

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Raised to be a PleaserDo you have a strong need for approval from others? Do you have difficulty saying no, yet often feel resentful about what you agreed to do? Do you get overly involved with people’s problems, postponing attention to your own?

Try to please everyone and it’s likely you’re operating on overload.

How Meditation Helps Anxiety

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

How Meditation Helps AnxietyYou’ve probably heard or read that meditation is helpful for anxiety. It is — but not in the way you might think.

“Many people have the misconception that meditation is like a magic elixir that will quickly and effortlessly reduce their stress and anxiety,” said Tom Corboy, MFT, co-author of The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD.

But the primary purpose of meditation isn’t to melt your anxiety. Instead, it’s to help you become more present right now, in this very moment, he said. “[T]he anxiety reduction is just a pleasant side effect.”

Riding Out the Blips

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Riding Out the BlipsLiving with schizophrenia is like driving across the country. There are meandering fields and prairies of months when you’re well that almost make you forget you have an illness. Then you come into the mountains and the roads get curvy and steep and the weather gets unpredictable. One minute you could be fine, then the next it’s snowing and you can’t see 10 feet in front of you.

I’ve coined a term for driving through the mountains of mental illness. I call these periods “blips.” It’s important to be able to recognize these blips before you find yourself in the hospital again.

3 Skills You Can Learn to Cope Effectively with Stress

Monday, November 17th, 2014

3 Skills You Can Learn to Cope Effectively with StressKnowing how to cope with stress healthfully may not come naturally, especially if your tendency is to beat yourself up. That only worsens your emotional tension and compromises coping. We also may perpetuate or even produce our own stress by thinking in absolutes or creating calamities out of any situation.

And we might experience stress when we fear that we don’t have the right resources to accomplish a task, said Jeremy Savage, MA, LPC, a professional counselor who specializes in the treatment of stress, depression and anxiety. These resources may include money, knowledge and energy, he said.

Battle of the Brain: We Want To Feel Safe, But the News Is Full of Panic

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

Battle of the BrainFear is in the air once again: An Ebola epidemic. ISIS atrocities. Another senseless school shooting. What’s going on here?

We want to feel safe. We want our families to be safe. Yet, every time we turn on the news (in all the many forms we receive it today), panic-inducing stories bombard our brains. We feel fear, even when authorities work hard to quell our fears.

5 Ways to Prepare for a Difficult Conversation

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

5 Ways to Prepare for a Difficult ConversationDifficult conversations are hard. They create the potential for conflict and conflict can be tough to confront.

A little while ago, I knew I had to have a difficult conversation with an old friend. I needed to obtain a sense of closure and clarity from what was rocky emotional terrain.Needless to say, I took my time mentally preparing for such a discussion and compiled some suggestions that may help the process along.

Moods & Seasons

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Moods and SeasonsFootball. School supplies. Changing leaves. Cooling temperatures. These are a few of the things I love about fall. I also tend to feel calmer and more relaxed when autumn rolls around. Summer feels so brash, intense and bright. Fall somehow feels softer. Perhaps it’s because of the change in light.

New research led by Alison Jing Xu from the University of Toronto-Scarborough shows just how sensitive we are to bright light. In a brighter space, people in the experiment felt warmer, wanted spicier food, found others more aggressive, and even had a stronger reaction to words.

7 Signs Your Workplace is Toxic

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

toxic office

For many people, the office can feel like a second home. You spend the majority of your waking hours there and your co-workers may likely be the people you interact with most in your life, after family or a spouse.

If you’re not happy with your work environment, that dissatisfaction can carry over into your personal life, damaging everything from your self-esteem to your friendships. Toxic workplaces also can have an impact on your health: the increased stress of working in a dysfunctional office can lead to job burnout, fatigue, listlessness, and depression.

If any of the above symptoms ring a bell with you, it’s time to take stock of the dysfunction in your workplace in order to evaluate if the situation is fixable — or decide if it’s time to move on with your career.

How to Remain Calm in a Trying Situation

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

How to Remain Calm in a Trying SituationI’ve had my fair share of overwhelming times. There have been times where I’ve been so thrown back in my chair that I had to excuse myself from the situation to get a grip on things. If it wasn’t anxiety it was a punch to the gut as some sort of veiled insult or rejection. These things can happen often and it takes skill not to let them get the best of you.

Just yesterday I was hanging out with a girl I liked and she mentioned that she had a new boyfriend. That may seem trivial, and it probably is, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t taken aback. I’ve learned (with a lot of practice, though) to just roll with the punches. I don’t let trivialities get to me much anymore and I think it’s a skill that could benefit everyone.

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