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How to Regulate Your Emotions with Mindfulness

Life has been beyond challenging for most of us the last couple of years as we’ve dealt with a global pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. And just when we thought we were all out of the woods and life was back to normal, we now find ourselves facing sky high inflation, a recession, and the threat of WW III. Needless to say, these events can trigger some pretty strong emotions in us.

We never want to fully deny our emotions. Feeling them is how we process the events of our lives. But there comes the point where we need to figure out a way to move through the emotions and get safely to the other side. One of the most effective ways to do this is through mindfulness.

What is Mindfulness & How Can It Help?

Mindfulness is a simple, non-judgmental awareness of the present moment. It is a powerful way to connect with our bodies and emotions, but in a higher state of awareness.

Mindfulness helps us regulate our emotions by putting us in a calm and relaxed state of presence. From here we can have a more mature and sensible point of view of the events in our lives. 

Second, when practiced regularly, mindfulness can help us develop skills that promote emotional maturity and self-regulation. These skills include self-awareness and attentional control.

And finally, mindfulness can increase the time between trigger and response. In this way, mindfulness acts a bit like an advanced warning system, alerting us to a potential ugly scene, giving us time to engage in emotional self-monitoring. This gives us the opportunity to choose our emotional response very, very carefully.

Getting Started with Mindfulness

There are many online resources for getting started with a mindfulness meditation practice. Spend some time searching Google and exploring Youtube for some helpful sites and videos.

If you are interested in working privately with someone on regulating your emotions, please reach out to me. I use mindfulness in my practice with clients and would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Sources:

Four Ways Mindfulness Can Help Regulate Your Emotion

How Mindfulness Works to Regulate Emotion in Your Brain

https://mentalhealthmatch.com/articles/skills/what-is-mindfulness-and-how-to-use-it-to-regulate-emotions

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What Is Disenfranchised Grief?

Disenfranchised grief is a type of grief that isn’t accepted or acknowledged by society. (This makes sense, as Merriam-Webster defines “disenfranchised” as being “deprived of some right, privilege, or immunity.”) For example, people may tell the grieving person that they should be “over it” by now. Unfortunately, when someone’s grief isn’t validated by those around them, they may not get the support they need to cope with their loss, which can in turn prolong the grieving period.

When Is Grief Disenfranchised?

Disenfranchised grief can occur whenever someone’s grief doesn’t align with societal expectations. For instance, your grief may be disenfranchised if:

  • You’re grieving the loss of someone who wasn’t a close friend or immediate family member.
  • You regularly experience death as part of your job, and as such, your loved ones expect you to not take those losses so personally (this is common among doctors, nurses, and EMTs).
  • You’re grieving the loss of something other than life (e.g., a friendship or a job).
  • You’re not experiencing the emotions normally associated with grief (e.g., sadness and anger).
  • Your grief lasts longer than your loved ones expect it to.

Discuss Your Grief With a Professional

Disenfranchised grief can lead to serious consequences, such as depression, low self-esteem, withdrawal from social circles, and substance abuse. So, if you think you may be experiencing disenfranchised grief, it’s important that you speak to a therapist who specializes in healing from loss. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of the knowledgeable therapists at our practice.

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11 Surprising Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep

There’s nothing better than the refreshed feeling you have when you wake up from a restful night of sleep. But did you know that sleep can do much more than just alleviate fatigue? It’s true! Getting a sufficient amount of sleep can:

  1. Improve your cardiovascular (heart) health
  2. Regulate your blood sugar (reducing your risk for Type 2 diabetes)
  3. Reduce food cravings
  4. Help you maintain a healthy weight
  5. Support muscle growth
  6. Strengthen your immune system
  7. Reduce your risk of injury
  8. Increase your attention span and productivity
  9. Make it easier for you to learn and remember information
  10. Reduce stress
  11. Improve your mood

How Much Sleep Should You Be Getting?

Considering all the benefits that a good night’s sleep can offer, it’s important that we get the correct amount of shut-eye. But how much sleep is enough? Experts generally recommend that adults sleep between seven and nine hours each night. (Notably, statistics published by the Sleep Foundation indicate that more than one-third of adults sleep less than seven hours a night, on average.)

Are You Struggling With Insomnia?

If you regularly have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep, contact us today. Given how many benefits can result from a good night’s sleep, it’s critical that you promptly address any insomnia concerns, and we can help. We’ll be happy to tell you about our practice and our approach to treating insomnia, and if you feel that we’re a good match for your needs, we can schedule a therapy session at a date and time that’s convenient for you.

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How to Co-Parent on Birthdays, Holidays & Other Special Occasions

Co-parenting can present obstacles at any time of the year, but it tends to be especially difficult on birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions. Here are a few tips for how to approach your next big event:

  • Decide on a schedule ahead of time. Chances are good that your co-parenting schedule will already be laid out in your custody agreement. If it’s not, make a point to discuss arrangements with your ex-partner well before the big day. Some co-parents alternate holidays—for example, mom gets Thanksgiving and dad gets Christmas one year, then they switch the following year—while others split those days in half. If you get along well with your ex-partner, you could even try spending the days together.
  • Be flexible. While it’s generally important to stick to your time-sharing schedule, being flexible every once in a while can go a long way toward building a friendly co-parenting relationship. If you were supposed to have your child all day on Easter but your ex-mother-in-law is throwing a big family party that morning, consider letting your child attend. Your ex-partner may extend you the same generosity on future occasions.
  • Communicate as much as possible. As long as it’s healthy and safe for you to do so, try to stay in touch and update your ex-partner on your plans so that you’re both on the same page. That way, you’ll avoid snafus like having both co-parents purchase the same birthday gift.

Take the First Step Toward a Healthy Co-Parenting Relationship

Do you and your ex-partner often struggle to co-parent the child or children that you share? Our therapists know how difficult co-parenting can be—especially on birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions—and we’ll draw on our many years of experience to provide you with helpful advice on how to approach this situation. Contact us today to schedule your first therapy session.

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How to Support a Loved One Through a Panic Attack

Do you have a friend or family member who regularly experiences panic attacks? If so, you may be looking for ways to recognize when these attacks are taking place and offer your support. We’ve got the answers you need below.

How to Recognize a Panic Attack

Even if you’ve experienced panic attacks yourself, it can be difficult to tell when someone around you is having one. Your loved one may be experiencing a panic attack if:

  • They’re flushed, sweating, or otherwise appear to be hot (for example, they might have taken off an outer layer of clothing).
  • They’re shivering or shaking.
  • They’re hyperventilating or having trouble breathing.
  • They suddenly went quiet.

How to Help Someone During a Panic Attack

If you think that a friend or family member might be having a panic attack, it’s important to stay calm and treat them gently. You may want to:

  • Reassure them that they’re safe, the panic attack will be over soon, and you’ll stay with them in the meantime.
  • Guide them through breathing exercises.
  • Take them outside or open a window so they can get some fresh air.
  • Take them to a more private place.
  • Bring them a glass of water.

If your loved one frequently has panic attacks, you may want to ask them when they’re feeling calmer about how they’d like to be supported in the future.

Get Help With Your Loved One’s Panic Attacks

If you have a friend or family member who regularly experiences panic attacks, we encourage you to meet with one of the knowledgeable therapists at our practice. We have extensive experience treating panic attacks, and we can supply you with tools and tips for how to support your loved one. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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Narcissism vs. Self-Confidence

Many people throw around the term “narcissist” very casually, using it to describe an individual with high self-esteem rather than one who actually has narcissistic personality disorder. Below, we explain what narcissism is and how it differs from self-confidence.

What Is Narcissism?

Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental health condition characterized by an excessive need to feel important and impress other people. Narcissistic individuals often:

  • Have an inflated sense of self-worth
  • Believe that they’re superior to others
  • Feel that they’re entitled to be treated in a special way
  • Fantasize about having success, power, beauty, and intelligence
  • Envy other people’s success
  • Exploit their friends and family members
  • Lack empathy
  • Act like snobs, treating others in a condescending manner

Interestingly, many people with narcissism internally doubt and criticize themselves, which can cause them to become preoccupied with being admired and knowing what others think about them.

How Narcissism Differs From Self-Confidence

It’s important to have a healthy sense of self-confidence, but when does that cross over into narcissism? Self-confident individuals reasonably believe in their own capabilities but also recognize that others have value, too. Narcissists, on the other hand, tend to excessively admire themselves and look at others with disdain.

Learn More About Narcissistic Personality Disorder

If you think you might be a narcissist—or if you have a loved one with narcissistic personality disorder—contact us today. We specialize in treating patients with narcissism, and we’d love the opportunity to help you overcome any struggles you might currently be experiencing.

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The Link Between Social Media & Infidelity

Social media offers a number of benefits. It can help us feel more connected to our loved ones, introduce us to like-minded individuals who have similar interests, keep us updated on news and current events, and inspire us to try new things, just to name a few.

Unfortunately, social media can also make it easier for people to cheat on their significant others. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • Social media has made it easier than ever for people to meet each other and discreetly exchange messages and pictures.
  • Many people use social media to look up their exes, which can lead to them wanting to rekindle the relationship.
  • Social media allows people to reinvent themselves online in a way that they couldn’t do in person.
  • Some individuals don’t consider online affairs to be cheating in the same way as physical affairs (even if their partners disagree), making them more likely to engage in infidelity.

Notably, even when someone isn’t actually cheating, social media can cause their partner to feel jealous or suspicious and motivate them to start snooping around. This can lead to feelings of mistrust, betrayal, and resentment, which can negatively impact the relationship.

Experienced Therapists Specializing in Infidelity

Are you looking for a therapist who can help you move on from infidelity? The therapists on our team have extensive experience working with individuals who have cheated or been cheated on, and that background has provided us with unique insight into the connection between social media and infidelity. Contact us today to schedule your first therapy session.

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What Is the 333 Rule for Anxiety?

If you regularly experience anxiety, you may have researched ways to relieve your symptoms and come across a coping mechanism known as the “333 rule.” But how does it work? The next time you’re feeling anxious, try:

  1. Naming three things you see
  2. Naming three sounds you hear
  3. Moving three body parts

How Does the 333 Rule Reduce Anxiety?

Although the 333 rule doesn’t work in every situation, many therapists recommend it to patients living with anxiety because it helps to ground them. By concentrating on sights, sounds, and movements, patients can stop fixating on their worries and instead focus on the present moment. One of the benefits of the 333 rule is that it doesn’t require someone to be in a certain place or have access to a certain object—instead, they can use it virtually anytime and from almost anywhere. Patients can even practice the 333 rule when they’re not feeling anxious to start establishing it as a habit.

For More Information

If you’d like to know more about how the 333 rule can help combat anxiety, contact us today. Our therapists have experience using the 333 rule and various other techniques to treat anxiety, and we can develop a care approach that’s customized to your specific needs. When you reach out, we’ll tell you more about our practice, answer your questions, and arrange a time for you to attend an initial therapy session. We look forward to meeting with you and helping you take the next step toward an anxiety-free life.

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Can a Narcissist Be Cured?

Narcissistic personality disorder—a mental health condition characterized by an excessive need to feel important and impress others—often causes narcissists to have an inflated sense of self-worth, lack empathy, and fantasize about possessing success, power, intelligence, and beauty. Narcissism differs from self-confidence in that it causes narcissists to view others with disdain rather than recognizing that they also have value.

Unfortunately, there’s currently no cure for narcissistic personality disorder, but certain treatments can help manage symptoms. These include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – This form of psychotherapy focuses on identifying and addressing unhelpful thoughts and behaviors.
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) – DBT is a derivative of CBT that focuses on experiencing, accepting, and coping with emotions.
  • Metacognitive therapy (MCT) – This approach to psychotherapy focuses on controlling thinking processes (e.g., rumination) rather than on the content of thoughts.

While there’s currently no medication available to treat narcissistic personality disorder, certain medications can be used to treat related conditions, including anxiety and depression. When a narcissist seeks treatment, their provider will develop a customized care approach that’s specially designed to serve their individual needs. 

Learn More About Narcissism

If you think that a friend, family member, or coworker is a narcissist—or if you’re concerned that you might be a narcissist yourself—we can help. Our team is highly experienced in treating narcissism, and we’ll be happy to speak with you about this condition. Contact us today to schedule a therapy appointment at the date and time of your choosing.

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What Are the 5 Stages of PTSD?

You’ve likely heard of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental health condition that can cause someone to experience anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, and other symptoms after living through a traumatic event. But did you know that the mental health community commonly divides PTSD into five stages? They are:

  1. Impact – This stage occurs immediately after someone experiences a traumatic event. The person may feel shocked, overwhelmed, powerless, guilty, anxious, or afraid.
  2. Denial – Because the brain naturally blocks out traumatic experiences to protect itself, some people may go through a stage where they deny that the traumatic event occurred in the first place.
  3. Rescue – During the rescue stage, someone begins coming to terms with the traumatic event, possibly returning to the site where it occurred or ruminating about what happened. Many people experience confusion, despair, hopelessness, and anger during this phase.
  4. Acceptance – Once someone regains their sense of safety and begins to look at the traumatic event in a new light, they may recognize the impact that the experience had on their life and accept that they need help to move on from what happened. Anxiety and insomnia are common at this stage.
  5. Recovery – During this final stage, someone takes affirmative steps (such as seeking professional help) to heal from their traumatic experience and implement coping mechanisms.

Your Top Choice for PTSD Treatment

No matter what stage of PTSD you’re in right now, we can help. Our therapists regularly work with individuals who are living with PTSD, and we understand that each patient requires a unique approach to care. After learning about your background and how PTSD affects you, we’ll work with you to overcome your symptoms and achieve an improved quality of life. Contact us today to learn more about our practice and schedule your first therapy session.