Why You Should Still Go to Therapy Even If You’re “Fine”

hello-i-m-nik-z1d-LP8sjuI-unsplash Simply stated: therapy is a space for your humanness.  You have a non-judgmental relationship with someone who will hold anything-absolutely anything-that burdens you. Therapy allows for exploration into the idiosyncrasiesof your life. I aim to create a space place for all my clients, where void of any labels, they are come as they are: enough and worthy.  A word of caution, therapy isn’t an easy process. It’ll challenge your beliefs. This challenge, however, can lead to a myriad of emotions (fear, sadness, joy, hope). In the end you may find yourself in a place of transformation. How powerful is that?!  From the moment you choose to self-explore you’ll be pushed past your “I’m fine” narrative and unearth a different story. You owe it to yourself to be more than “fine”.  In the end it’s your choice to continue with being “fine” or finally experience more.  So, I ask you: How are you doing?

Photo by Hello I’m Nik 🇬🇧 on Unsplash

Singlehood Doesn’t Mean There Is Something Wrong With You

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It’s a human need the desire for companionship. It’s healthy and totally acceptable if you want to be in a relationship. Sometimes though risking your well-being to simply be in a relationship can be detrimental to your mental health. In my experience, I have seen varied reasons why people are single when they don’t want to be. I encourage you to find a deeper understanding of yourself and how you got to this place in your life. Maybe you keep dating the same type of person. Or find yourself with someone who is unable and unwilling to meet your needs. Having an understanding of your emotions, thoughts,  and behaviors can help you feel hopeful about the future and your potential relationships.  I want to highlight some of the reasons you may single when you don’t want to be:

1. You may feel like you don’t deserve to be in a (good and healthy) relationship.

2. You may have developed unrealistic expectations about who your ideal mate.

3. Maybe you simply feel pressured to be in a relationship and you will align yourself with the first person who is readily available.

4. You’ve been hurt badly in the past.

5. You are sabotage your relationships.

6. Trauma.

If you desire a healthy relationship. One that nurtures you and feeds your emotional mental and psychological well-being it’s imperative to understand yourself independent of a relationship. Sometimes it is necessary to heal individually so that you can be the healthiest person you can possibly be to your partner. It can be very helpful to heal and learn unhealthy patterns of thinking and behaving that ultimately will allow you to really connect in a very profound way.

Photo by Alex Blăjan on Unsplash

You are worth EVERYTHING

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Self-Love is a phrase or a movement that seems to be really on-trend right now. And although I 100% support the encouragement to be more self-loving I notice how many are unsure of how to be more loving towards themselves. Self-love shouldn’t be a superficial sign of indifference but rather a deep-rooted belief and conviction of who you being. And so how then do you become more self-loving? Well read on:

1. You need to affirm and to validate yourself.                                                                                2. Your time is as valuable as anybody else’s so prioritize what you need to do.
3. You can’t give to others, and help to build them up if you’re not taking care of my own self first. That could be going to the doctor, therapy, getting sleep!
4. You need to remember that you’re worthy of love, success, opportunities, and knowing happiness.
5. Your opinions are as valuable as anybody else’s. It’s up to you to decide and to choose your own beliefs (and live accordingly).                                                                                            6. Probably the most important fact: your past does not define you – You’re free to change and grow.

Stop putting limits on your life. You are worth everything!

My 10 Commandments for an Intentional Life

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Photo by Mark Duffel on Unsplash

I recommend my clients to create a personal set of “rules for living” or their own “dogma for life”. Why? I find that it is important for us to have a standard in living. It allows us to know our limits, how we want to live our life, in the summary live intentionally. If you “break” one of your own rules, rather than being hard on yourself, take the time to reflect if that rule is valuable. Maybe you have outgrown that mentality and it no longer serves you. This is editable! As I have grown in my work in the field of mental health, I created a list of 10 Commandments (so to speak) that have helped me manage the work that I do and the commitment to my clients; as well as apply to my personal life. It is a standard, that I hold myself too and reflect often:

  1. I accept that I’m not perfect, and there’s no perfect time
  2. I can’t please everyone no matter how hard I try
  3. I will participate in something I believe in
  4. I will learn to prioritize and do what matters first
  5. I will be selective when it comes to choosing friends
  6. I will be there for others and will help them if I can
  7. I will choose to focus on the positives in life
  8. I will true to myself
  9. I will live in the present and enjoy the “now”
  10. I will look for the good and be thankful for each day

This is an example for you to think about how you live your life. Is there intention to what you do and how you do it? Intentionality has the potential to be an extremely powerful force in our lives.

5 Steps to Keep Calm

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Photo by Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash
There are moments when we are bound to lose our cool. Whether you have had it with your children’s misbehavior, a co-worker’s incompetence, or simply you are having a tough day! It’s perfectly normal to not be even-tempered all the time. Acknowledge your feeling (s) and take action that will help that emotional state in a healthy way. Blowing up at your children or losing your temper at work can have serious consequences. I want to offer 5 strategies that you can use to keep yourself from blowing up and feeling out of control:
1. Under duress (intense emotion) we can over-react and set into a catastrophizing mind trap. So, keep things in perspective with fact and challenge any mind trap. Here, remind yourself, “it’s minor, and not worth the fight.”

 

2. If possible take a break. Use this time to take a few deep breaths and let your feelings settle. Then, in a calm, low voice respond in a way that maintains your self-respect.

3. Be aware of your limits and what can be too overstimulating for you. If we know what those limits are we can regain and keep control. This allows us to practice coping when intense emotion is stirred up.

4. Depending on the situation, try to create a calm environment. If it’s possible, have a go-to playlist, stress ball, gum, pictures, water, etc close by. By staying one step ahead you can prepare yourself for inevitable setbacks and infuriating people.

5. One category in coping is distractions. Distractions work great because they are short and at the moment. By distracting yourself, you lessen the emotional valve and can decrease the pressure building with yourself.

 

What I find to be important is to acknowledge the need to be proactive in our processing of emotions so that we are not left out of control when a situation arises.

5 Steps to Deal With Life’s Disappointments

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Disappointment is a part of life. As much as we do not want to experience such emotion it is a part of the human experience. Rather than avoid or suppress I suggest we learn how to process it. The messaging that we should just be happy and think positive thoughts can be harmful and rob of the full spectrum of the human experience. There are a time and a place for all emotions. I think, what is really important and healthy is to identify our emotions and how they impact our thoughts and behavior. Therefore, we are better able to process emotions (even undesirable ones) in a healthy manner. As a result, your mental (and overall) health reaps the benefits. Disappointment has its validity to ignore it, would rob you of healing. The first step is an acknowledgment of what has happened and that disappointment is part of your experience. Second, be aware of how disappointment is displayed in your life. Meaning: when disappointed is your self-confidence affected? Or maybe you isolate and withdraw from others? The point is to be aware of how the feelings of disappointment influence and affect your emotions and behavior. Why? When you are self-aware, you are more likely to be proactive in challenging self-defeating patterns. Third, find support from people who understand and care about your feelings. This can help you process the disappointment and move towards healing. Fourth, reframe disappointment as something you can learn and grow from rather than a failure in your life. Lastly, (if applicable) do not give up. Set yourself new goals, and embrace a dream again. Something even better may be waiting for you!  

 

Co-dependency Continued

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A co-dependent relationship can exist beyond a romantic relationship. (There are co-dependent parental relationships, friendships, sibling relationships, etc.)  Once you’ve recognized that you are in a co-dependent relationship, there are some steps that you can take to create boundaries. The first step is realizing that this relationship isn’t healthy. Ideally, if you find yourself in a co-dependent relationship, you want to seek therapeutic support. You will want to learn the roots of these unhealthy patterns and learn healthier ways of relating with people. As well as establishing healthy boundaries with others. This will be essential in understanding relationship patterns and you will learn how to avoid repeating the same cycle. Keep in mind that these changes won’t happen over time and the boundaries may be met with resistance.  As a result, allow people to take responsibility for what they say, they do, and how they choose to react. Be mindful of not taking the blame for others’ reactions. The feeling of guilt may come up for you. This is where processing these emotions in therapy can be really helpful. Remember: you have the right to be happy and your needs met.