It is important to start your day off with a smile, positive attitude, and bright perspective. Many people do not have ample time in the morning before starting their day. So, what can you do in the morning in under 5 minutes that can transform your day? Here are 11 helpful tips:
One of the most important lessons to learn in life is when you are feeling that someone does not care about your feelings, it is often more about them than it is about you. You are interpreting the situation that they do not care about you when that may not be the case. This person may be going through something else that is completely unrelated to your relationship. They may be lacking the emotional intelligence that is needed to empathize and show compassion towards you. They may not know how to express themselves in an appropriate manner. It is crucial that you do not personalize the experience. What this ultimately means is that this has nothing to do with you and it is purely a reflection on them. Do not take this experience and internalize it in a way that you begin to blame yourself for their lack of being able to care about you and your feelings.
1. What is sympathy? What is empathy?
-Sympathy is when you experience feelings of compassion, sadness, grief, or pity for the pain that someone else is dealing with.
-Empathy is when you are able to imagine the thoughts and feelings that someone else is experiencing. This is when you can put yourself in the shoes of another person.
2. What is the difference and why does it matter?
-It is important to understand that these two differ in many ways. Sympathy is when you have feelings towards a person, whereas empathy is when you are feeling with a person. Think of sympathy as a one-way street and empathy as a two-way street. When you feel sympathy for a person, it can be interpreted as one being condescending towards the person suffering and therefore can create a separation. Comparatively, empathy allows you to be able to feel what the other is feeling, fostering a connection between the two people.
3. What is compassion?
-The literal meaning of compassion is “to suffer together.” If you see someone suffering, you want to relieve their suffering and help them through these times. It is the emotion that you feel when you want to lessen someone else’s misfortunes and struggles.
4. How are they all interconnected?
Empathy, sympathy, and compassion are all interconnected because combined they allow another person to feel like you care about them. It is offering warm guidance and being there for someone in ways to make them feel comfortable, safe, heard, and loved.
We have seen an increase in a variety of mental health issues since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Between the lockdown, the loss of loved ones, the change in job status, and the general anxiety of a major illness spreading through our world, people have found themselves in unfamiliar territory. When faced with these fears and stressors, some have turned to therapy, some have turned to self-injury, some have completely withdrawn, and some have turned to drinking and began engaging in addictive behaviors.
So, you might be wondering why is this happening and what are the dangers in drinking as a coping mechanism?
When someone is faced with a difficult situation, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, they may feel that their only coping mechanism is to drink alcohol. They find that drinking numbs the emotional fears and anxieties that they cannot face on their own. People will find that after a stressful day or a stressful event, the only way they know to unwind is with a drink in their hand. COVID has only added to those daily stressors that people deal with. Drinking has become an acceptable way of dealing with this because for most, this is unprecedented territory. No one knows what the acceptable reaction is to the way we are living. Therefore, given the nature of the world we live in right now, this has become an increasingly popular coping skill. However, there is danger to this choice. You have the well-known risks of becoming addicted and dependant on the drink. You will find yourself needing multiple drinks just to get through the day. This can lead to physical addiction symptoms, as well as emotional dangers such as increase in violence and anger. The more you lean on alcohol as your stress relief, the more you put yourself at risk for these and many other detrimental effects. It is important that you deal with the emotions, anxieties, and stressful feelings you are suffering from. We do not know when this pandemic will end. Therefore, it is important to face these fears head on now and develop a healthier way of dealing with the stress. Some ways that you can deal with these feelings include engaging in physical activity, proper nutrition, meditation, or finding a mental health professional to speak to in order get to the root cause of your thoughts. Sometimes, just speaking to someone and verbally expressing your thoughts can be the stress relief that you need. Drinking does not need to be the answer.
Always remember, you must acknowledge the past and embrace the present to enjoy the future. If you drown out the present, you will not be able to enjoy your future, which we hope can be very bright.
Many people suffer from nighttime anxiety and anxiety that happens right before you try to fall asleep. I like to call this, ‘sleep anxiety,’ which is basically due to having anxiety about not being able to fall asleep. You get worried that you won’t be able to fall asleep and then think that you are going to be very tired tomorrow and it isn’t going to be okay. These thoughts can keep you up at night and lead to interrupted sleep, restless sleep, or even no sleep at all.
So, how can you go about calming the anxiety before bed? I have found that taking time to decompress and clear your mind has helped many patients. Creating some form of a transition from daytime to sleeping is highly recommended. We can’t just expect the mind to go to sleep on demand. We need to transition just like we transition to go outside or when we get home. I would recommend that you minimize screen time before bed, take a warm bath, engage in deep breathing, leisurely reading, or even listen to a sleep story on the Calm app. The goal is to reduce the nervous thoughts in your head, so your mindset is clear, calm, and positive before you head off to sleep. Try to reduce the pressure that you put on yourself to fall asleep. Accept that you may just end up resting and that is also good for the mind and body. Also, remind yourself that worrying about it is usually a much worse feeling in the moment versus the next day when you are feeling tired. You won’t feel as anxious, and it won’t be as bad as your imagining, and it never usually is. Also, remember that you don’t need to try to fall asleep. When your mind gets as relaxed as it can be, it does the work itself and involuntary.
In recent months, mental health in sports has come to the forefront of the news. You will often hear people discussing Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles and the decisions that they have made in order to put their mental health first. There is a stigma around mental health and even more so when you are in the public eye. The pressure to be perfect and have the ideal public image can put stress on your mental health and prevent you from taking the steps needed to give yourself self-care. If you are expected to be a role model, whether it be to your friends and family or as a public figure, you need to be in the proper mental state to do this in a positive light. If you do not take care of yourself, you cannot properly represent yourself in a way in which you can inspire others.
It is important to take a break, sit with yourself, and take part in daily self-care rituals. There are few ways in which you can engage in self-care. Some of these include:
1. Putting your phone away and getting off of social media for a period of time
2. Taking a walk or engaging with nature
3. Enjoying a bath with calming music
4. Reading a book for leisure
6. Expressing yourself in a journal
There is nothing wrong with putting yourself first and taking care of your mental health is the first step in doing that.
Many people suffer with insecurities, whether it be about a physical appearance, intelligence, or their social skills. In some instances, these insecurities can appear in your relationships. Insecurities can come from unresolved internal issues, such as low self-esteem, fear of abandonment, and general anxiety. When these issues are not dealt with, they can topple over into your personal relationships.
There are many ways in which insecurities can appear in a relationship. You may:
So, when this happens, you might ask yourself what you should do. How can you work on your insecurities or help your partner through their insecurities? There are a few things that you can do to help yourself through this process.
Insecurities do not have to ruin your life. There are ways in which you can work on getting to the root cause, develop newfound confidence, and strengthen your communication skills. Once you face the past that has been dragging you down, you can find a new light and a new perspective in which to live life.
There are three types of grief that people can go through. These are acute grief, complicated grief, and integrated grief. Acute grief happens after a loss and the symptoms are normal to have for months after. These symptoms will fade over time. However, sometimes the symptoms of acute grief never go away, and this is when it becomes classified as complicated grief. These symptoms can last for years and the idea of moving on seems to be impossible for you. Once you get past the time period of complicated grief, you will enter the phase of integrated grief. This is when you have accepted the loss and can resume your life as normal once again. This is not to say the pain is gone or it hurts any less. It just means you can function as you once did before.
Some examples of complicated grief could be the inability to deal with the loss of a parent or child or the inability to move on for years after a relationship ends. Complicated grief can be treated in psychotherapy using a variety of modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy. Psychotherapy can help you come to terms with the loss and develop skills to move forward with your life. You can learn how to get through the day with the pain but without letting the pain stop you from living. There is hope if you are suffering from complicated grief. Use the resources given to you which might be psychotherapy with a mental health professional and/or a strong friend support system. Utilize these opportunities to find out why the grief has hit you in such a strong way and what you can do to combat these difficult feelings.
Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, which is a component of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, focuses on rationalizing irrational/negative thought patterns and replaces them with more rational/positive thought patterns. Our thoughts lead to how we feel and then our feelings lead to our actions. This thinking starts off by analyzing an event and then analyzing it in a way that could be either negative or positive. By using this approach, you can work with your clients to figure out what the irrational belief was to lead a client to abuse alcohol or substances. There must have been a self-defeating negative thought or trigger that led the person to abuse the substance. These irrational beliefs can lead to negative emotions and therefore, taking part in negative behaviors such as drug or alcohol abuse. By using REBT therapy, you can help to challenge and disrupt the negative thoughts and beliefs and change them into positive thoughts and behaviors which in turn would lead the person to not need to turn to substances due to the person interpreting the event in a less intense and less negative way— lessening the behavior to abuse substances or alcohol.
A popular technique that is used in REBT is the A-B-C technique. This stands for activating events, beliefs about events, consequence, disputing irrational beliefs, and new emotional consequences. Let’s apply this to someone with substance abuse problems.
A: Activating Event: A spouse decides to end their marriage to their partners
B: Irrational Beliefs: Thinking you are not worthy, there is something wrong with you, the world is not fair to you, you will never find someone
C: Consequence: Feelings of unhappiness, depression, and anxiety leading to drinking and substance abuse
D: Disputing Irrational Beliefs: Asking yourself why the relationship ending means you cannot find someone else and why it makes you unworthy of love.
E: New Emotional Consequence: My wife decides she doesn’t want to be with me and that is okay because I deserve to be with someone who wants to be with me and I will be able to find someone.
Ghosting can happen in all types of relationships. It can happen in friendships, romantic relationships, and even familial relationships. Ghosting happens when someone just disappears from your life. They cut off all communication and virtually disappear. They stop answering messages and in other terms, become a “ghost.” Why do people do this? People may ghost for a few reasons. They may ghost because they don’t know how to communicate well and are uncomfortable with the situation. Instead of facing it head on, they choose to avoid the situation altogether. Additionally, those who ghost lack the courage to communicate their issues and tend to have low self-esteems. There is also a selfishness associated with choosing to ghost rather than communicate. More often than not, the issue lies with the person doing the ghosting, not the one who has been ghosted. As more and more people learn to hide behind the screen of their phone and computer, ghosting will continue to become a prevalent issue in our society. Until people learn how to properly communicate their thoughts and feelings, ghosting will continue to be seen as a suitable coping mechanism.