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Agitation

Feeling Disgruntled? How to Change Your Mood

“Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Everyone experiences a bad mood from time to time. In fact, it’s considered normal to have different emotions given circumstances, physical ailments or condition, lack of sleep, too much work or other stress and a variety of other causative factors. Still, when you’re in a funk, feeling disgruntled, you want a quick way out of it. After all, feeling dissatisfied is no way to live on a continuing basis. So, how do you change your mood? Perhaps these tips will help.
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Anxiety and Panic

7 More Ways to Navigate Anxiety with Art Journaling

Anxiety is an uncomfortable emotion with uncomfortable physical sensations. Our chest tightens. Our breathing gets shallow. Our stomach feels like we’re on a rollercoaster with exactly one thousand drops. We feel restless. Our thoughts are fast and furious, like a game of ping pong. Maybe we’re ruminating about everything we have to do. Maybe we’re ruminating about losing our job and not being able to pay the bills. Maybe we’re ruminating about a relationship, an upcoming project, an upcoming move, a mistake we’ve made—or many, many other things. Or maybe we're not sure what our anxiety is about, but it's still persistent.
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Books

How to Use Writing to Ease Your Depression

After receiving another round of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which she’d been receiving every other day, Elizabeth Maynard Schaefer, Ph.D., lay in a hospital room and felt hopeless. In the past ECT had “worked wonders” in treating her deep depressions, the devastating lows part of her bipolar disorder. But lately it’d seemed futile.

As she writes in her beautiful, thoughtful, inspiring book Writing Through the Darkness: Easing Your Depression with Paper and Pen, “Desperate, I reached for an empty notebook. My brain was too flat and blurred to put together sentences, so I scribbled a list of words about my situation and slammed the book shut. Immediately, I felt some lifting of the black cloud of depression, so bleak that it scrambled my thoughts and choked my breath.”
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Anxiety and Panic

5 Ways to Use Art Journaling to Navigate Anxiety


Anxiety can be persistent and stubborn, especially when you try to ignore. It's like a child who refuses to take no for an answer and simply gets louder and louder, until they’re throwing a full-blown tantrum on the floor of your local Target.

Anxiety also is an emotion we often despise. We see it as an adversary, as something that gets in our way, as something we must fight and defeat. Which means we don’t want anything to do with it, which means it remains unprocessed and misunderstood.

What can help is art-making. Art-making gives us the opportunity to explore and process our anxiety in a non-intimidating way.
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Creativity

10 Small Ways to Create Brighter, More Inspiring Days

Small habits can create significant benefits. For instance, even though I’m often bleary-eyed as I get up, writing before the sun rises, in a still, quiet house, energizes and inspires me. Listening to music often does the same. These small changes have shifted my perspective and the tone for the rest of the day.

Sometimes, we think we need to overhaul our days and our lives in order to feel more satisfied and uplifted. We want to burn it all down and start fresh. But really the smallest activities can do wonders for us.
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Creativity

Obstacles That Stop Us from Decluttering—And How to Overcome Them

Years ago, Cas Aarssen would spend hours looking for lost items, cleaning and tidying, and dusting items she didn’t even like.

Sound familiar?

Sometimes, we get so entrenched in our routines that we don’t see the belongings that no longer belong in our homes. Or we feel too busy, too overwhelmed, too exhausted to tackle a big project such as decluttering. We think it’ll require energy and effort we just don’t have.
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Creativity

When Therapy Changes a Life

There are many forms of art that can be used in therapy. Finger painting is one of the mediums that is fun and entertaining as clients explore their emotions through paint. While art does not always require a prompt, it can often serve as a means for helping client’s see their progress in therapy.

One theme that can be used is before and after. Clients are asked to paint a picture of what their anxiety felt like before they began therapy. Most often they are experiencing a lot of distress. They often feel like something is wrong with them. They feel shame and/or embarrassment that they are unable to handle life’s challenges. They are struggling with anxious thoughts that do not make sense to them no matter how hard they try to organize it in their mind. Art allows clients to externalize their experience.
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Anorexia

The Eating Disorder Is Voldemort: On Using Metaphors in Treatment

When some patients start treatment for an eating disorder it can be emotionally and physically uncomfortable. In my work as a therapist I try to educate my patients as to why this feeling is normal. On top of the patient’s discomfort, sometimes it can be hard for loved ones to understand what someone with an eating disorder is going through while in treatment. Therapists routinely use metaphors for both of these reasons, in my opinion. The use of metaphors makes something that was previously unknown, relatable. I think it can be helpful to relate new concepts and hard topics to something familiar in order to make it easier to comprehend.
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Brain and Behavior

How to Put Down Our Devices and Step Into Our Lives: Four Strategies for Finding Balance

I think it crept in insidiously. I saw others getting “addicted” to their phones, to social media, to needing to check their electronics constantly, and I wanted no part of it. I was the last stronghold to get a smartphone. I had no need or desire for one. While everyone else had one for years already, I was content with my “un-smart” phone, quite satisfied to set aside a few designated periods in my day to check emails, get on the internet, and do my other business from my computer -- and only when necessary.
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Anger

A Season of Understanding My Dissociative Disorder


A poetry retreat got it all started. It was an emotionally intense retreat about finding our voice in response to the world’s brokenness. After we read a poem about the rocks crying out to us, I wrote a poem about my different selves crying out to me, and then losing myself within the multiplicity of them.

As I read the poem, tears welled up in my eyes. Through my tears, I stammered that I had multiple personalities. An old friend met my eyes from across the room. His voice cracked as he spoke of my deep empathy, and how he never knew about my internal struggle.
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Creativity

This Year You Will Make It Happen!

As we enter the New Year, it’s customary for us to resolve to lose weight, get fit, save money, be better organized. How successful are we at these endeavors? You know the answer! All that falling off the wagon is creating great business for chiropractors.
 
So instead of making the same old resolutions, how about creating a different kind of agenda for 2018? What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to learn? What do you want to improve? Whatever it is, let me suggest some down-to-earth basics that will help you make your dreams come true:
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