How Therapists Use Conversations Effectively

 

Source: readersdigest.ca

 

I have a therapist friend who once told me that he thought that he became a therapist to make a difference in other people’s lives and because he was hungry for conversations while he was growing up. During his childhood, he lived in a working-class New York community where none of the children and definitely no one in the families actually talks to each other, even for a few minutes. Neighbors chitchat and gossip, argue about their favorite athletes and sports champions, express daily affection, or display emotional outbursts from time to time, but no conversations that had a direction or topics lasting for months.

He then decided to be a psychologist and realized that conversation would be a vital part of his profession. Talk therapy is, after all, a specialized kind of informative conversation. However, he said that as far as his psychotherapy education went, he was terribly wrong. Yes, in between classes, they scrutinized anything and everything that moved, but nothing about what they heard, thought, imagined, or felt seemed too insignificant to talk about for hours.

On the other hand, when therapy sessions started, all of this change. Surely, all competent therapists converse with their clients to some extent – it is the essence of therapy. However, as a field, Colby (my therapist friend) says that therapists have been unaware of the type of conversation that enhances their strategies and models. It is the same as being equipped with a weapon that several people have but cannot recognize. But without conversations, treatment becomes a workbook that lacks the potency to make clients feel comfortable and connected with their mental health providers.

For certified therapists who are comfortable in their professions, there is truly a technique to create great conversation, meaning, and purpose far beyond merely passing the time. But how does a competent therapist start it?

Source: readersdigest.ca

Colby shares that he uses what he refers to as ‘crafted spontaneity,’ which implies that if therapists follow signals of life that clients produce and the lives occurring within their lives, they could have an unforeseen encounter that is external to them the framework of the particular therapy model. If they recognize ambiguity and make conversations that result in the client’s experiencing his undeclared self in the therapy connection, this can definitely alter the client’s self-concept, life story, and behavior.

So how is it done? Through the years as both supervisor and therapist, Colby has cultivated the unforeseen with thousands of clients and listened to therapy sessions as narrated by other therapists. Consequently, he has started to see tips and guidelines for the often-inconsistent ability to make free and instinctive therapeutic conversations.

Below are some of the most important guidelines that my therapist friend has gathered to share with us.

Create A Theme. When most people are so divided in this digital age, therapy is some adhesive for personal coherence. Creating a theme by doing a series of discussions helps attach the self in one piece. The course starts when the therapist observes a glimmer of curiosity and is open to knowing more about it. As the theme concerns the patient, it repeatedly emerges, uniting into an undeclared part of the self that he can eventually embrace.

Follow The Light. One real indication that you and the client mutually benefit from a therapeutic conversation is that you don’t exactly know where the conversation is going. Most people shun life’s randomness, and they undoubtedly do the same thing in therapy. It’s not difficult, then, to wonder: “What am I exactly doing here? Do I really get something out of this session?”

So the most important skill to develop, the knowledge that walks us through everything else, is acknowledging that if the conversation elicits a spark of interest and passion in the client and you are acquiring new information – if you and the client feel comfortable and feel more active in the therapy room – then almost undoubtedly, you are on your way to something wonderful and beneficial. You cannot foretell where the direction of the unscripted conversation will bring you.

Source: biltmorecounseling.com

Perhaps it is as it must be. In this captivating, although often exhausting, therapy profession, it is not only about the therapist doing something systematic for or to the client. It is also about the wide array of possibilities for transformation in both the client and the therapist that the minute, daily marvel of talk and conversation can spark if – through patience, focus, awareness, and passion for the craft entailed in this – therapists permit it to flow and manifest its marvelous powers.

I had had the opportunity to sit with Colby in the therapy room when I had my moments of doom and misery a few years ago. I didn’t realize that I did most of the talking, even if I met him once or twice in the neighborhood. Indeed, a competent therapist like Colby can take you off your guard and enable you to release pent-up emotions through spontaneous, meaningful conversations.

 

 

Things To Consider During Your Therapy Sessions

 

Source: rawpixel.com

 

When I chose to visit a therapist a year ago, I kept thinking about how prepared I was to deal with my problems. But when I arrived at the therapist’s office and actually got to meet the therapist, I froze. I realized that I was sitting in front of a total stranger that had the experience and expertise to help me understand myself. I had no clue what to say to her right then and there, and my mind merely went black.

I have always been the shy type, and starting conversations with those that I have just met has often been too overwhelming for me. I assumed that it would not be difficult to confide to a therapist as I had chosen to see him and seek her help. But I felt very tense and pressured to benefit from my first session that I could not even think of what actually to say.

If you are like me and had a hard time expressing yourself during your first therapy sessions, or you have been conveniently visiting your therapist and believe that you have nothing more to say, remember that you are not alone in this ordeal. Expressing yourself can be challenging and might not come effortlessly, particularly when you are just getting acquainted with your therapist.

But the good news is that there are things you can consider doing or saying so that you can get the most out of your therapy sessions.

Keep In Mind That There Are No Wrong Or Correct Things To Say

It’s convenient to say that you have to talk about serious or profound problems when you’re in therapy. But remember that in therapy, there are no wrong or right subjects to talk about. You can talk to your therapist about anything that’s bothering or worrying you.

Indeed, some people go to therapy to tackle something in particular, like depression or anxiety. But occasionally, they are simply going through a life transformation and are looking for someone to express themselves to and help them cope with this transformation.

Source: rawpixel.com

Counselors and therapists state that people have various conversations in therapy. They talk about their fears, frustrations, disappointments, shame talks with their parents, current date, sexuality, or failures as parents.

Tell Your Therapist Whatever’s Worrying You Right Then And There

You may be feeling angry, depressed, or sad over the week, but if you’re feeling fine right now, you don’t really have to begin with that subject. Concentrate on how you feel presently, and blurt out your feelings, even if it’s just something like, “I almost didn’t come to therapy today because I was so drained from work.”

Honestly, what you get out of therapy changes every day. It’s fine if you got there thinking that you’re going to vent about your boyfriend and ended up ranting about your inconsiderate friend.

You Are Free To Confide About Relationships Of Any Kind

This does not necessarily mean sex life or love life. You can confide in your therapist regarding all of your relationships, including your family, partner, or friends. Do you think you’re not given sufficient care and encouragement at home? Or do you think you have a support system that you can lean on, but you have trouble opening up even to your closest loved ones?

Relationships are vital to your mental and emotional health, and they have a crucial part in affecting your emotions and your behavior in your daily life.

You Can Talk About Your Past

This is quite obvious, but the fact is that if you have been concentrating too much on your present problems during your therapy sessions, you may not have filled your therapist in on what shaped you now – your past.

Spending a few moments to step back and decide to tell your therapist about your past can help you tackle some emotions that have been pent up or left unsettled.

Bring Up Emotions That You Can’t Express Verbally

Source: rawpixel.com

Individuals in therapy are inclined to have issues that they need to address. But it’s not always something negative. Sometimes, it’s an emotion or feeling that they’re not familiar with. When people go through new experiences, such as marriage, relocation, or giving birth, this can awaken untouched areas in their life that they require help comprehending. They won’t always be capable of articulating the specific emotion, but they will acknowledge that there is something different.

If something has been transformed in your life and it seems as if it’s making you feel differently, tell your therapist about it. It doesn’t have to be about the negative stuff. Transformations can be positive, too, yet they still provoke new emotions that you might want to unravel in a secure and nonjudgmental environment.

The Takeaway

There is not a single person who has figured out everything about therapy. If it’s hard to open up initially, do not worry too much. It may take a little more time to really get accustomed to it. However, with time, you can begin to find yourself becoming more relaxed and expressing yourself more. If you don’t feel this after a few weeks or months, you should consider working with another therapist.

 

 

Therapy Expectations You Need To Know

What is Counseling and Why go counseling?

In times of a mental and emotional crisis, perhaps you could find yourself needing counseling. Counseling helps you understand your emotions, and keeps you from thinking of what-ifs. Counseling makes you desire more to control everything despite not being able to.

Counseling…

Counseling

Source: pixabay.com

Counseling helps you in getting to know your limits and abilities in coping

Do not worry because needing guidance is normal. A counselor could guarantee you help. Although sometimes, situations put you in a miserable state, the confusions you are dealing with are part of the process of getting to know your limits and abilities in coping.

Along with the mental and emotional struggle is the understanding of the need for treatment and counseling. However, there are chances that you might feel a little off with some of the things you need to do. Therefore, you have to understand the expectations you might deal with that state of mind.

Counseling Multiple Feelings At Once

When in a session, it is normal to feel a lot of emotions rushing down. Often, you will find yourself sad, exhausted, confused, anxious, and angry. One reason according to experts is that you are in an unfamiliar place with an unfamiliar person.

Counselors Won’t Judge Or Criticize You

You feel that whatever emotion or mental state you are in, it does not matter. And because there is only a single person in front of you, you believe that your thoughts, behavior, and feelings should be released. Count on your counselors who will help you with your needs.

That is okay. A counselor won’t criticize you for showing those unregulated moods.

In fact, it is meant to happen they could empathize with you.

Counseling #1: Wellness Counseling

Sessions administered by counselors are meant to help you with your mental and emotional health problems as it allows you to understand your capabilities in coping. But sometimes,  results could turn out differently, especially when you find yourself shifting attention. Of course, you know your primary goal is to win back the balance of your overall health.

When that happens, you must tell your counselor immediately. Be open about the change of heart you may be experiencing to avoid emotional and mental drain. It would be best to have an honest conversation with an expert so he coudn help you deal with your issues slowly but surely.

Counseling…

counseling expert won’t judge or criticize you

Source: pixabay.com

Counseling #2: Counseling Sacrifices A Lot Of Things

When you get a hold of it, you will understand that there are things that you need to improve to be able to get the best wellness you deserve. But of course, it is not an instant process. You need to sacrifice a lot of things to achieve the best mental, physical, and emotional health there is during your session.

Some sacrifices you need to make could be things you somehow believe you couldn’t do. These could include living alone and ditching toxic people, whether they are family and friends. It could also be ending a romantic relationship that you are in on for too long. Or it could be changing your whole personality despite people getting used to it.

Counseling #3:  Health Counseling

You need to realize that counseling could only create an impact in your life when you want it to. When you are open with the counselor’s suggestions, and you find it comfortable to listen, it could make a difference in your life. As long as you are prepared to take measures and learn to balance things around you, you can achieve the best of your mental health.

Counseling #4: Personal Counseling

There are no questions about how mental health problems could affect you dangerously. In some cases, the effects are pretty much obvious. You get to feel isolated and empty. Sometimes, you often become an overthinker, desperate, and impulsive individual. That is because your mental health problems are ripping off everything positive that is left in you. That explains why you somehow become a different person.

Fortunately, you could expect counseling to alter that. Since it aims to provide you with enough reason to overcome your life issues, you will eventually get that. Yes, an expert might not understand some of the things you are going through, but it could absolutely help you increase your self-awareness and confidence by just allowing you to realize your worth. Counseling can change your personality in a process that you won’t expect to be effective.

Counseling…

Source: pixabay.com

Counseling #5: Counseling Importance

Counseling is about realizing that you are important. You should know that you must prioritize yourself and your mental health. Your counselor will help you to realize this path. This can help you in treating different mental illnesses and trauma. You are never alone.

Counselors are always there to help you. Thus, it is important to communicate with them because they care deeply for you. Counselors are always on your side and want what’s best for you. It is important because this is the way to your road of healing from whatever it may be. Counselors are always on your side.

Counseling #6: Counseling Helps

Counseling is known to be one of the most helpful methods of healing. This can help you regain or gain in the first place the strength and confidence you need in your life. Through this, you can find the stability you truly want.

Scientific evidence shows that counseling provides safe and stable relationships with yourself and towards others. This way you can fulfill the potential you always had, as an individual.

Counseling…

Counseling #7: Counseling Process

The Counseling process depends on the case and problem of the client.  Most processes will include relationship building, problem assessment, and goal setting.

The five stages of counseling are relationship building, assessment, goal setting, intervention, and termination form. This is the basic structure of counseling, however, special cases may require special structures.

Counseling #8: Why Counseling

Services provided by counselors aim to encourage students or mere individuals to reach their social, emotional, and personal development. Counseling can be a form of pushing this development. There is nothing wrong with seeking help from others.

Counseling is a safe space for clients and counselors. The expert is there to help the client in reaching their full potential. It is a method to express and make way for the priorities of the individual.

Counseling…

Counseling #9: Counseling Where

If seeking mental health aid, you can look for experts in your local community, schools, or workplace. You can find referrals from your friends and family. Always remember that you are never alone.

You may find a specific therapist that can help with your mental health situation. You can even look them up online. Especially now in the pandemic, it is a must.

Counseling helps individuals struggling with the anxiety and depression caused by the situation.

Insight

Indeed, the counseling process can only do limited things. It is not that accurate when it comes to psychiatric basis or does not correspond to surgical operations.

 

How Do You Feel About Counseling Sessions?

 

Things I Can Say About My Job (A Counselor’s Rambling)

I get compliments a lot. Most people genuinely admire and look at my job positively. One of them used to say, “your job is one of the most useful professions because it makes you know how to handle things.” Others would say, “being a counselor is great because you can help people deal with stressful life situations.” Another one is “counseling is so helpful that it does not require a person to undergo such tiring process only to recover.”

For me, I like the idea that people love and appreciate the job that I do. Since the main goal of counseling is to help those with issues in life, I can say that their compliments absolutely mean a thing. But for some strange reasons, the more I deal with people’s emotional and mental agony, the more I start to hate my job. At first, I thought maybe I was just confused. But, I recently realized that maybe being a counselor is not for me.

Source: pixabay.com

Counseling In The Eyes Of Others

Before I even begin to like my profession, I know how complicated mental health is. I try my best to understand the world of conflict, stress, and other medical illnesses that I do not know about at first. Frankly, though I know I have learned a lot, I have never been exposed to most mental health conditions out there. Thus, I would not clearly understand them since I do not have the first-hand experience with them. Therefore, I know there are a lot of uncertainties this profession has.

The world of counseling is not easy. I want to agree with patients and other people who often tell me that it is just a “talk-session” job; it is not just about that. Yes, people see it as an unpressured career that only requires a couple of minutes or an hour to do. They think that it is all about listening and staring at the patient and providing them with suggestions. No! counseling is far more than just trying to help someone feel better. It takes care of people’s changes and helps them find answers to their life problems.

Source: pixabay.com

Holding Onto The Damage

Counseling is deeply meaningful work. Though it often receives criticism and judgment, its main goal is to help people navigate and overcome some of their most difficult life experiences. It is very helpful, especially to those who need to take good care of themselves emotionally and mentally. But for us counselors, the job does not end there. We are somehow obliged to monitor our patients’ overall well-being. We are professionals that should always put our clients first at any cost. Unfortunately, the problem with that is nobody seems to look at us as someone who also needs counseling.

People assume that we know what to do when the problem hits us because we are counselors. Most of us professionals hold onto the damage because we don’t want other people to think that we are unfit for our job. We don’t want to hear people saying that ‘we are only good at suggesting things, but we can’t apply those to ourselves. For us, it sounded like an insult though there is also a significant truth to that.

Another addition to the hurtful experience is that people expect too much from us. Most of them think that their emotional and mental health should immediately reach maximum potential when counseling. These people do not like it when the counseling process takes too long. At some point, they often feel irritated when some of the suggestions we provided are not working to their advantage. It isn’t very clear, though.

To think that these people must try their best to overcome their life issues, it is as if they are implying that it is our fault that some of our advised helpful tips aren’t working. In some unfortunate cases, patients even blame us for the continued devastation and overall exhaustion they endure. As if we are not allowed to have any shortcomings. People do not see that we get trampled on with a lot of negative energy as we spend most of our days understanding and feeling other people’s difficult experiences.

Source: pixabay.com

Final Thoughts

Some of the words I have written in this article are surely not what all my colleagues would agree with. I am sharing this based on personal experience. Yes, I may have hated some things about my job, but it does not mean I want to quit it. I love helping people, and if counseling is the only way I can reach out to those who need help, I will never trade this profession. For me, it is a privilege that I have to be thankful for because I get to be a part of someone else’s life journey in finding growth and my own meaning.

Group Counseling

My most memorable college memory was the group counseling sessions within impoverished communities. We coordinated with the group leaders, administrators, or local government units before our group trip to set up a group counseling session with their constituents. There was never a community that could decline our group counseling.

group working together picking up trash, cleaning the community

Source: pexels.com

We would ask them to let their people know about our intentions and that there would be booths for groups with different issues, such as depression, anxiety, grief, stress, etc. We eventually ventured out to international regions, prisons, and other areas that needed mental help the most.

Group Counseling:

What is it? Why do it? What are its types?

How To Conduct A Group Counseling Session?

The most important thing to do if you want to conduct a group counseling session is to figure out why is the group there in the first place. For instance, is the group trying to overcome addiction, anxiety, depression, etc.? Is it because the group wants to overcome grief? Then, you should also figure out how the group can be achieved.

When the goals and approaches are decided upon for the group, find out every group member’s strengths to know who needs more assistance than others in the group. Furthermore, the counselor should come up with group challenges that everyone can benefit from. That’s the only way to ensure that the group members are progressing well.

Therapeutic Activities for Counseling Sessions

One of the things that therapists do in group counseling is to ask the group members beforehand about their favorite music or genre, and then they play it in the background during the session. It is supposed to make the group feel more comfortable effortlessly.

In case they seem to have issues with meeting new people in the group, you may stick to one-on-one therapy. Some may even bring in an emotional support animal to assist the group member further.

Of course, exercising is recommended by therapists as a therapeutic activity. The only way it can stress you out is if it’s all you do and overexert yourself.

What Is Group Counseling?

Group counseling is a form of counseling in which various people with similar issues meet in a group to heal.

people listening to a speaker

Source: pexels.com

Roles And Responsibilities Of The Counselor In Group Counseling

One of the responsibilities of a counselor in group work is getting rid of the group’s apprehension. In reality, many people who agree to join a counseling session have doubts about the group’s helpfulness. If the counselor can remove their doubts, the session will flow smoothly.

The counselor should also be clear about the group and individual goals. It may not always be apparent initially, but the patients may talk about them when they are no longer apprehensive about the treatment.

Then, you also need to create rules that are specific to one group. The session cannot start without everyone agreeing on it. If there’s a rule that any of them doesn’t like, you should look for an alternative that’s ideal for all.

Moreover, the counselor needs to ensure that the patients interact positively with each other. Being civil does not cut, especially since they are all trying to improve their mental health, and they need to rely on one another throughout counseling.

What are the duties and responsibilities of a therapist?

Group counselors have a broad range of duties and responsibilities. However, the most common ones include:

  • Helping individuals deal with addiction and mild mental disorders
  • Informing patients about genetic disorders
  • Offering support to people with severe illnesses and their loved ones

What is the role of a group leader in group counseling?

The group leader is not only supposed to facilitate during counseling; they are also expected to keep everyone positive and respectful to each other.

The Advantages Of Undergoing Group Therapy

The primary advantage of counseling is that you will never be lonely while trying to face your problems and deal with them. This is why it is recommended for people with depression and other mental disorders with depressive symptoms.

Group counseling also guarantees that you have more than one sounding board, not just the therapist. When you talk about your problems, everyone can pitch in and offer moral and emotional support. If you are lucky, they may even become your friends for life.

Some psychologists also suggest counseling to folks with anxiety as it is an excellent way to be around new people and overcome your fears.

Types Of Group Counseling

  • Psychotherapy Group: It is a type of talk therapy in which people learn how to be honest about their failures and celebrate their successes. It may be challenging to do either for people with mental health issues.
  • Cognitive Therapy Group: Like in regular cognitive-behavioral therapy, the therapist helps individuals assess what’s wrong with their way of thinking and help them change it. This way, their behavior can improve.
  • Dynamic Group Therapy: In this form of group therapy, the patients look for their common issues and figure out how they can resolve them. Experts claim that this cohesiveness can make them work better with each other.
  • Relapse Prevention Group: It is an after-care program that counselors suggest to recovering addicts. They teach the patients how to cope with their urges to try addictive substances and control their moods to avoid even thinking about it.
  • Mutual Self-Help Group: This group therapy type is often started by a person who had mental health issues in the past and looked for others with similar problems. One example of it is Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • Network Therapy: It is a type of group therapy that requires a recovering individual’s loved ones to share their journey with them. This is supposed to prevent the person from relapsing.
putting their best foot forward

Source: pexels.com

The Goals Of Group Counseling

  • Process Goals: These goals are connected to why you are doing group counseling. For instance, do you want to overcome addiction, stress, depression, anxiety, etc.?
  • Outcome Goals: These are the things you wish to achieve in life during or after group counseling. For instance, do you want to get a new job after sorting out your mental disorder?

The Issues In Group Counseling

The primary issue in group counseling is trust. Some people trust counselors and the system itself better than others. If the mental health professional is not quick to realize that one of the patients is not happy with their process, it may affect group therapy’s effectiveness.

An individual’s fears can also get in the way of success. If the counselor cannot handle or at least notice it early, counseling will most likely become ineffective.

Furthermore, someone needs to be comfortable enough to talk about their issues in a group setting. The problem is that not everyone can feel that way after the first or second session. In case that does not happen, then there is no way for the counseling to work.

Disadvantages Of Group Counseling

  • Lack of Comfortability: Just like in one-on-one counseling, you need to determine your comfort level with the process and the people you do it with. If you do not feel awkward or too weirded out by them, you may continue with it. But if you are not comfortable at all, look for another group.
  • Lack of Trust: Trust is essential in any form of counseling. If the patient does not trust the counselor or the other people they do therapy with, it will not succeed.
  • Interpersonal Conflicts: success gets jeopardized when patients with clashing personalities meet. Their opinions may always be the opposite, and they cannot find anything to agree upon.
  • Perceived Rejection: People who assume that the other patients or the counselor will reject them cannot find success in group counseling. Only when they get over that perceived rejection that the process may work.
  • Loss of Privacy: One of the biggest reasons people want to see a licensed counselor is to keep the sessions confidential. If they find themselves in a group setting, they may not achieve their privacy loss goals.
  • Social Phobia: People who fear talking in public may not benefit from group counseling as well.

Types Of Group Counseling

  • Psychoeducational Group Therapy: This type enables the therapist to treat their patients as students and educate them about their issues and the possible ways to resolve them. Thus, they can all act in a civilized manner and without being too friendly with each other.
  • Process-Oriented Group Therapy: In this group therapy type, the therapist takes the backseat and lets the patients direct how the session will go. They only step up if the conversation goes too off-topic. Otherwise, they blend in with the group and act as a facilitator.

Can group counseling be harmful?

Yes, group counseling can technically be harmful, considering every session is unique. If you end up doing a faulty program, you may come out worse than ever.

What happens in a group counseling session?

During a session, you will see one or two therapists in the room. The more patients attend the session; the more therapists will be there. Then, you may need to meet with them at least once a week.

Friends of four at a hill looking at the sunset

Source: pexels.com

Final Thoughts

Ten years later, my life is more hectic than ever. Apart from being a psychologist and counselor, I am also a wife, a mom of three kids, and a lifestyle blogger. I barely have time to do anything else, frankly speaking – not even shopping at the mall like I always did in the past. Despite that, I often make time for the group counseling activities that my friends and I conduct four times a year in different parts of the globe.

While I cannot always be out there with my friends, I help by making arrangements with the communities and finding out what other groups could bring to help them. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had not been able to travel and provide group therapy to more people in person. We can offer online counseling, which is especially vital at this time but does not reach as many people as group therapy does. Still, with the vaccines rolling out slowly but surely, we are all optimistic that we can go out again to provide group therapy to more communities.

 

Addressing Anxiety: Frequently Asked Questions

An individual dealing with anxiety often questions his mental and emotional state. There is too much worry and unexplained that sometimes gets accompanied by physical manifestations. These include experiencing chest pain, choking sensation, muscle sprain, difficulty breathing, having increased heart rate, nervousness, and trouble concentrating. To know more about anxiety, here are some of the answers to the frequently asked questions.

Source: pixabay.com

 

What are the six major types of anxiety disorders?

The major types of anxiety are the following: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Specific Phobia, Agoraphobia, and Social Anxiety Disorder.

 

 What are the treatment options for anxiety disorders?

There are many therapy and medication options to treat anxiety. However, the leading approaches include exposure therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Each of these two anxiety therapies can be used alone or combined with other types of therapy. It is vital to note that it may take some trial and error to determine which of these treatments work best for you.

Though there might be a fit therapy that perhaps suits you, it would be best to accompany therapy with doctors’ prescribed medication. You should at least manage your symptoms once and for all and do not rely on one method for your entire life.

 How can you tell if a person has anxiety disorders?

You can quickly tell if an individual has anxiety disorder when there is a feeling of nervousness and restlessness. It can also be spotted when there’s an increased heart rate, trembling, sweating, hyperventilation, fatigue, trouble concentration, and constant worry.

But be mindful that signs and symptoms of anxiety vary on different individuals. There are instances that some of the warning signs are unnoticeable. If ever you want to know if a person is indeed experiencing an anxiety disorder, consult a medical professional and diagnose the condition. It is better to secure a diagnosis instead of sticking to an assumption. That way, the individual and the person around will know the proper way to adjust.

 What do you say to someone with anxiety?

There are things you should say to someone with anxiety. You must show encouragement. But you have to consider the person’s thoughts and feelings. Ask them what they need, how they currently feel, and what are the thoughts in their head. Offer support in a very accommodating way that they will not feel their feelings are invalid.

But in case you are not sure what to do, avoid complicating things by asking the person too many personal questions. It is safe to say that an anxious individual is often sensitive with his words, thoughts, and behavior. Also, note that not because they avoid social situations, it does not mean you need to go and insist on your presence. Allow the person to have some space for a while but still maintain your connection with him. Please do not assume that what he’s mentally going through is something you can easily understand. It will only make the person feel that his psychological condition is not something one should take seriously.

 How do you redirect anxiety?

You can redirect your anxiety through the following methods. Practicing mindfulness, labeling things, trying cognitive de-fusion, and focusing on direct experience. You can also broaden your view, stay in the present, get up and get going, and attempt cognitive distancing.

Yes, most of these are quite not easy to do, especially when dealing with a severe anxiety case. But it is significantly important that you take the initiative to work on your overall recovery. Thus, no matter how hard the process might be, you need to realize that redirecting your mental health condition is the safest way to wellness.

 Should I talk about my anxiety?

Yes, it would be healthy if you constantly considered talking to someone about your current situation. Talk to a family or friend about how you’re feeling and let them know the thoughts running in your head. At times you may share too much information, and that is okay. The important thing is that you express your feelings to someone you know you can trust can help you feel supported.

Understandably, the first attempt is always the hard part. But once you let those emotions out, you will surely feel better. If you want to cry, do it. Release your emotional burden by letting your loved ones know that you are not okay. If they care for you, they will be there to support you and stick with you through your most epic mental health battle.

 Is anxiety a mental illness?

You can consider anxiety as a mental health condition when it interferes with daily activities. Anxiety disorder is a serious medical condition that can make you avoid work, school, and self-care. In some instances, it makes you isolate yourself and avoid social situations due to the fear of experiencing its triggers.

Source: pixabay.com

 What should you not say to someone with anxiety?

People with anxiety are often sensitive about their feelings and everything around them. You must be careful in your words. Thus, you should not tell them everything is going to be fine, they need to push through it, or they should calm down. Please do not say that they are only acting like this because it’s relevant to be anxious. These things will not only offend them but will make their anxiety even worse.

As an individual who does not have an issue with mental health, you need to be aware of others’ responsibility. Not because they are struggling with something you thought you knew, it does not give you the right to say things based on how much you can handle. Think about your words as something that can only make the situation more complicated.

 How do I ask for anxiety medication?

When asking your doctor for anxiety medication, there are guidelines you need to follow. First is you have to be direct and specific about what you are experiencing. If the doctor recommends a specific medication, be open about asking why they choose the medication. That way, you can be cautious about looking for possible side effects so you can avoid complications in the long run.

 

 What helps severe anxiety?

Severe anxiety is an entirely complicated condition. You must practice relaxation techniques regularly to put your mind and body in a balanced state. It would benefit if you worked on progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness meditation, and deep breathing. You need to essentially focus on your emotional well-being so that it won’t trigger anxiety symptoms.

 

 What is a drug that calms you down?

One of the most recommended medications that experts often give to patients with anxiety is Benzodiazepines. However, drugs such as Klonopin, Xanax, Valium, and Ativan work quickly as well. Usually, they bring relief within 30 minutes to an hour after taking a recommended dosage.

 

 What is the best mood stabilizer for anxiety?

The best and most common mood stabilizers are Valproate, Lamotrigine, Lithium, and Antipsychotics.

 

 Does anxiety lead to bipolar?

In some complicated cases, anxiety leads to bipolar disorder. That is because the suffering from both mental health conditions has been associated with decreased functioning and quality of life. At times, there is an increased likelihood of a significant trigger for manic episodes, which somehow leads to substance abuse and suicide attempts.

 

 What medications do psychiatrists prescribe for anxiety? 

Most psychiatrists recommend Xanax, Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Ativan, and Desyrel for anxiety medication.

Source: pixabay.com

Insight

Anxiety is a mental condition that you cannot just shrug off any time you want. Though there are some instances that its symptoms are not that severe, those warning signs can still take a toll on someone’s life. Sometimes, the mental condition slowly cripples a person, distract his concentration, make him lose control over his emotions and thoughts, etc. There is nothing entirely consistent with anxiety aside from the exaggerated fear that often comes from nothing in particular.

 

Mental Health Worries I Will Never Tell My Family About

mental-health-worries-i-will-never-tell-my-family-about

Source: pexels.com

Ever since I graduated from university, I have been working as a freelance writer and editor. Mind you; that’s not what I earned a degree for. I got a Bachelor’s in Biology, which was supposed to be my pre-med degree, but I genuinely love writing and editing more than becoming a doctor. (Sorry, Mom.)

This news had not been taken lightly or fully supported by my family, of course. Almost every person in our clan worked in the medical field. In truth, we built a small hospital a few years ago, where my father had been serving as a chief administrator. My mother, on the other hand, headed the nursing department. They kept on saying that they could not wait for all of us to work together, so they felt betrayed when I changed my career path.

Well, I already apologized to my parents about not telling them the truth about my real dreams. I also wanted to show them that I made the correct choice, that I would not become a starving artist like many others. Thus, I took on one full-time job and three part-time jobs, moved out of my family’s home, and started living independently.

mental-health-worries-i-will-never-tell-my-family-about

Source: pexels.com

Was it challenging? Yes, primarily since I was used to never needing to do household chores all my life — we had maids for that. But because I was living alone, I had to learn how to do everything, from vacuuming to washing dishes to doing the laundry. My parents knew my hardships, so they were encouraging me to come back and live with them. Although I felt tempted a bunch of times, I declined the offer because I wanted to prove that I could survive on freelance money.

Nevertheless, I never told my parents that I worried about things that sometimes kept me up at night. Below are some of them.

Running Out Of Clients

My primary fear is running out of people who want to get my services. If you are unaware of freelance jobs, it entails that most of my work does not have a contract to back me up. The clients could sack me anytime they pleased. While it rarely happened to me because I gave 110% of the effort to every job, no one could ever be sure when a better writer or editor would come along.

mental-health-worries-i-will-never-tell-my-family-about

Source: pexels.com

That’s the reason why I felt the need to take on multiple clients at once. My friends said that I was already a workaholic for doing that, but they had stable jobs. They could not fathom what it’s like to work without signing an agreement first. I love what I do now, but it can honestly be bothering sometimes.

Not Having Enough Money For My Bills

The amount that I earned every month was not fixed. Sometimes, I could get up to $2000. Other times, I would be lucky to get $1500. Although it was not an insufficient income for a single woman who only ever needed to work from home, I had bills to pay like everyone else.

I ended up getting three roommates, so I reduced my house bills to 500 bucks. However, I still needed to pay for my internet, phone, and food monthly. The latter tend to cost at least 500 bucks alone, considering I could not be satisfied with a $1 burger from McDonald’s per meal. Because of that, I worried about not having enough money to pay for everything.

mental-health-worries-i-will-never-tell-my-family-about

Source: pexels.com

Needing To Ask For Financial Help

In all fairness to my parents, they never wanted me to live in poverty. Even though they could not understand my decision to leave medicine, they always offered to help me financially. Dad said, “If you don’t want to come home, let us buy you a condo. We’ll even send homemade meals here every day if you like.”

What stops me from accepting their generosity is my pride. The reason is that I know my parents. They can be charming, but taking their offer is like me proving that they are right for claiming that my freelance career is doomed. Hence, I always think of ways to avoid asking for financial help from my family.

Living From One Paycheck To Another Again

I got to save several hundred bucks from every paycheck ever since I started freelancing. That’s especially true if I chose to go on a diet for a week or so. It allowed me to save enough money to take a few days off work without a problem sometimes.

mental-health-worries-i-will-never-tell-my-family-about

Source: pexels.com

However, one of my greatest fears is living from paycheck to paycheck again. I experienced that the first time I moved out and had to foot all the bills for a month before I found roommates. I used up my savings back then and survived on instant noodles. I would never want to deal with the same thing in the future.

Final Thoughts

Some people may frown about my decision to lie to my family about my mental health worries, and I understand why. Despite that, I still have a lot to prove to them. Perhaps I will come clean about everything once my work becomes stable, and I never need to work for money another day. For now, it’s our little secret.

Choosing A Hobby That The Family Can Experience And Enjoy

 

Source: easirent.com

 

If you still don’t have fun hobbies that you can do with the whole family, don’t fret. You can always start creating them today. Do them for the children. Let these hobbies be your moments that would break the silence and boredom in the home. My husband and I thought that if we raised our three children in California without going out and experiencing nature, our children might never forgive us when they grow up! So we talked about choosing our favorite activities – which included swimming – and then we went to the mall to buy ourselves some suits.

Whether it’s swimming, hiking, or something that’s completely different from our hobbies, find a hobby that everyone in the family can do. It should be something that’s:

 

Accessible. Find activities that are exciting for those of you who are just starting out, but of course, with space to improve and grows – music, craft, and sports are some great examples. We were so happy to be able to have a few laps at the nearby lake, with my youngest completing one. Maybe a few days from now, in our second swim, she’ll be able to make two. There are so much time and space to improve, so we’re not worried at all. Tomorrow we’ll try our hand at hiking and begin with just a few rough roads. Soon, we will challenge ourselves with tougher terrain.

Age-appropriate. The toddlers can start joining the simple kinds of activities while the babies…well, they’ll enjoy themselves in the carriers while mom or dad juggles from one hobby to another. Keep in mind that the hobbies you choose are those that your children will enjoy participating in (or watching, in the case of the babies). I don’t particularly have problems like these because my kids can all join (they’re 15, 11, and 5), but for those who have toddlers and choose swimming as a regular thing, you can always prepare a kiddie pool for them to play and be active as well safely.

Source: pxfuel.com

Regular And Consistent. You can also opt for activities that are events – short family getaways, visit different parks, or monthly trips to the carnival. You can make these events a hobby if you do them regularly and consistently – maybe once a week, monthly, or yearly – something that becomes a part of your identity as a family.

Reasonable. A lot of hobbies are so expensive to maintain, so for families with a budget, you can opt for activities that are within your means. However, for hobbies like swimming or hiking, making a more reasonable investment will last you quite some time, like buying a durable pair of hiking shoes or swimwear. After that, you’d only need to take water and some food with you, or perhaps spare a few dollars to order when you’re in a commercial space. Whatever activity you decide to do repeatedly, make sure that it doesn’t go over your means to continue doing it. As for my family, we’ve been thinking about trying out skiing when we move to Colorado, but we also know we’ll have to increase our money bank for our hobbies in order to achieve that.

Make It Enjoyable. Encouraging a younger kid to keep pushing until the finish line won’t be easy, but when he’s told that his favorite flavor of ice cream is ready for him when he gets to the end of the road, he’ll most likely accept the challenge with open arms. And when he becomes really exhausted and almost ready to give up, you can all run with him together, maybe shout words of encouragement or sing upbeat songs to keep him going.

When the children grow up, and ice cream and singing songs won’t be enough motivation for them, perhaps it’ll be great to increase the level up a notch, like promising their long-awaited Disney or an interstate trip to become a reality when school ends finally. Most teens, I would think, will certainly catch that bait. Truly, learning something new and having fun doing it is not impossible at all. And doing it with your beloved family now and in the later years is certainly an awesome incentive.

Source: piqsels.com

Why Is Hiking A Great Hobby?

My whole family is a witness to this – going out to learn and experience nature habitually has done us a lot of good for our mental, physical, and emotional wellness. One good benefit of hikes and long walks with family is more time to talk with each other and improve family relationships. You get to have various conversations about your children’s everyday activities in and out of the house. Thus you learn more about them. It’s also an opportunity to bond with your spouse, spend more quality time together, and strengthen the marital bond. Additionally, the thrill of exploring and reconnecting with nature is never-ending for the whole family. It instills a sense of gratitude, admiration, and respect for God’s creation – values that you, your partner, and the children will definitely benefit from for the rest of your lives.

 

 

 

When To Get Over The COVID-19 Pandemic?

Several months ago, we experienced the unfortunate thing of having virus infection occurrences in a specific part of a country. It was a respiratory virus that internally damages humans by targeting the body’s immune system. The spread went faster that public health measures can no longer contain it. Now, health organizations called it an emergency and declared a pandemic since the virus is now spreading worldwide. And as of this moment, the death toll continues to rise. Thus, everyone is asking the same questions over and over again: When will the world get over with this pandemic? But with all that’s happened, it seemed like it depends on what global governments choose to do next.

The Possible Options

Source: pexels.com

Herd Immunity

Possibly, a way to get rid of the virus is by getting infected. Yes, perhaps the better way to overcome the pandemic is when communities do nothing to halt the spread of the infection. When people get exposed as quickly as possible, two things can only happen – either they survive or die. Therefore, it will all come down to the process of building up the immune system. It may sound harsh, but it could support medical professionals and pharmaceutical experts in the study.

Since doctors know little about how the virus originates and how to stop it and save their patients, all they can wish for is to control hospitals’ peak capacity. The herd immunity is not-so-ideal. But there is a chance it can save a little of the already collapsing world healthcare systems.

Source: pexels.com

Delay And Vaccinate

For most people, herd immunity is considerably a brutal process of getting rid of the virus. A way health organizations acted on the spread is by mostly contaminating it so that we can deal with the situation without such a high cost of an individual’s life. Thus, a better way is through delaying the spread. It can help research facilities to study more about the virus and possibly produce a vaccine. Right now, this is the choice of the government that we are all experiencing.

It is a tactic that includes mass testing, quarantine, and physical distancing. But since many people are too stubborn to follow an instant precaution, some maintained their same routines and continued to live their lives the way they used to. Unfortunately, it began to cause a lot of problems because people’s stubbornness led to a rise in the number of infected ones that even cause their virus-related deaths.

Source: pexels.com

Restrict And Coordinate

The idea of this process is to stop the virus from getting another host everywhere. It is a combination of social distancing, home quarantine, and travel restriction. The flow should follow critically synchronize responses from people all over the world. And when properly coordinated, it might have a chance of stopping the pandemic within a few months with a low loss of life.

However, this method can lead to economic malfunction. Thus, the majority of people will not comply. And even with these measures are in place, there is still a chance that the virus continues to spread regardless of how careful an individual can be. That explains why some cities that thought they already managed to control the outbreak went on the resurgence and return to social distancing protocols.

Source: pexels.com

We can all expect that within the next several years, there will be a possible vaccine that will become freely available thanks to people’s worldwide efforts. But unless the virus gets eliminated completely, the risk of everyone getting infected is at stake. So whether it is herd immunity, delay and vaccination, and restrict and coordinate, we all need to put on some effort in contributing to what’s best for the world.