One of the fall-outs from experiencing trauma is living with generalized anxiety disorder. It is a of a sense of dread that colours everything in life, so the person can’t relax and focus on what’s happening now. Note: The difference between ‘normal’ worrying and generalized anxiety disorder is the worrying associated with GAD is excessive, […]Do You Suffer From GAD? — Don’t Lose Hope
Mental Health Tips
The following tips can help your mental health:
- Daydream – Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a dream location. Breathe slowly and deeply. Whether it’s a beach, a mountaintop, a hushed forest or a favourite room from your past, let the comforting environment wrap you in a sensation of peace and tranquility.
- “Collect” positive emotional moments – Make it a point to recall times when you have experienced pleasure, comfort, tenderness, confidence, or other positive emotions.
- Learn ways to cope with negative thoughts – Negative thoughts can be insistent and loud. Learn to interrupt them. Don’t try to block them (that never works), but don’t let them take over. Try distracting yourself or comforting yourself, if you can’t solve the problem right away.
- Do one thing at a time – For example, when you are out for a walk or spending time with friends, turn off your cell phone and stop making that mental “to do” list. Take in all the sights, sounds and smells you encounter.
- Exercise – Regular physical activity improves psychological well-being and can reduce depression and anxiety. Joining an exercise group or a gym can also reduce loneliness, since it connects you with a new set of people sharing a common goal.
- Enjoy hobbies – Taking up a hobby brings balance to your life by allowing you to do something you enjoy because you want to do it, free of the pressure of everyday tasks. It also keeps your brain active.
- Set personal goals – Goals don’t have to be ambitious. You might decide to finish that book you started three years ago; to take a walk around the block every day; to learn to knit or play bridge; to call your friends instead of waiting for the phone to ring. Whatever goal you set, reaching it will build confidence and a sense of satisfaction.
- Keep a journal (or even talk to the wall!) – Expressing yourself after a stressful day can help you gain perspective, release tension and even boost your body’s resistance to illness.
- Share humour – Life often gets too serious, so when you hear or see something that makes you smile or laugh, share it with someone you know. A little humour can go a long way to keeping us mentally fit!
- Volunteer – Volunteering is called the “win-win” activity because helping others makes us feel good about ourselves. At the same time, it widens our social network, provides us with new learning experiences and can bring balance to our lives.
- Treat yourself well – Cook yourself a good meal. Have a bubble bath. See a movie. Call a friend or relative you haven’t talked to in ages. Sit on a park bench and breathe in the fragrance of flowers and grass. Whatever it is, do it just for you.
How to Cope with Feeling Jealous
1. Understand what jealousy is. It’s a mixture of fear and anger – usually the fear of losing someone who’s important to you, and anger at the person who is taking something from you.
2. Try to figure out why you’re feeling jealous. Is it related to something in the past that is hampering your ability to trust? Are you feeling anxious and insecure? Do you suffer from low self-esteem, or the fear of abandonment?
3. Be honest with yourself about how your jealousy affects other people. Do friends or partners always have to justify their actions and thoughts, or always report on where they were, or who they were with? That kind of pressure can be destructive, and put a strain on relationships.
4. Find the courage to tackle your feelings. Decide to question your jealousy every time it surfaces. That will enable you to take positive steps to manage your feelings in a healthier and more constructive way. Some possible questionsto ask yourself include: “Why am I jealous about this?”; “What exactly is making me feel jealous?”; “What or who am I afraid of losing?”; “Why do I feel so threatened?”
5. Work on changing any false beliefs that might be fueling your jealousy. Start this process by identifying the underlying belief, for example “If X leaves me, then I won’t have any friends”; “If Y doesn’t love me then no-one will ever want or love me”. Understand, that beliefs are often false – and if you change your belief, you can change the way you feel.
6. Learn from your jealousy. Jealousy can help understand ourselves better. It can teach us important lessons. For example, it’s natural to feel frightened when a relationship is new, and you don’t yet feel secure. This is normal. Also, not everyone’s trustworthy, or will be committed. Better to know now, than to find out later on.
7. Work on accepting and trusting yourself. That makes it easier to trust others, too, and lessens our tendency to feel threatened or jealous.
How to help a friend or family member with depression
Sometimes it is hard to know what to say when speaking to a loved one about depression. You might fear that if you bring up your worries he or she will get angry, feel insulted, or ignore your concerns. You may be unsure what questions to ask or how to be supportive.
If you don’t know where to start, the following suggestions may help. But remember that being a compassionate listener is much more important than giving advice. Encourage the depressed person to talk about his or her feelings, and be willing to listen without judgment. And don’t expect a single conversation to be the end of it. Depressed people tend to withdraw from others and isolate themselves. You may need to express your concern and willingness to listen over and over again. Be gentle, yet persistent.
Ways to start the conversation:
1. I have been feeling concerned about you lately.
2. Recently, I have noticed some differences in you and wondered how you are doing.
3. I wanted to check in with you because you have seemed pretty down lately.
Questions you can ask:
• When did you begin feeling like this?
• Did something happen that made you start feeling this way?
• How can I best support you right now?
• Do you ever feel so bad that you don’t want to be anymore?
• Have you thought about getting help?
Remember, being supportive involves offering encouragement and hope. Very often, this is a matter of talking to the person in language that he or she will understand and respond to while in a depressed mind frame.
What you can say that helps:
• You are not alone in this. I’m here for you.
• You may not believe it now, but the way you’re feeling will change.
• I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help.
• When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold of for just one more day, hour, minute — whatever you can manage.
• You are important to me. Your life is important to me.
• Tell me what I can do now to help you.
• It’s all in your head.
• We all go through times like this.
• Look on the bright side.
• Just snap out of it.
• What’s wrong with you?
• Shouldn’t you be better by now?
How can I Recapture a Sense of Hope? — Don’t Lose Hope
“To be hopeless is to lose all motivation to do what we need to live. It is to be in a deep, dark, well without a rope. And even if it were there, we wouldn’t have the energy to climb it.” – Dr. Winfried Sedhoff Having hope matters. It matters a lot. Anyone who’s lost […]How can I Recapture a Sense of Hope? — Don’t Lose Hope
Practical Tips for Coping with Anxiety
According to Dr T.A. Richards, we can stop thoughts that lead to anxiety by consciously replacing them by more rational thoughts like the following:
When anxiety is near:
1. I’m going to be all right. My feelings are not always rational.
2. Anxiety is not dangerous — it’s just uncomfortable. I am fine; I’ll just continue with what I’m doing or find something more active to do.
3. Right now I have some feelings I don’t like. They are really just phantoms, however, because they are disappearing. I will be fine.
4. Right now I have feelings I don’t like. They will be over with soon and I’ll be fine. For now, I am going to focus on doing something else around me.
5. That picture (image) in my head is not a healthy or rational picture. Instead, I’m going to focus on something healthy like _________________________.
6. I’ve stopped my negative thoughts before and I’m going to do it again now. I am becoming better and better at deflecting these automatic negative thoughts.
7. So I feel a little anxiety now, SO WHAT? It’s not like it’s the first time. I am going to take some nice deep breaths and keep on going. This will help me continue to get better.”
When preparing for a stressful situation
1. I’ve done this before so I know I can do it again.
2. When this is over, I’ll be glad that I did it.
3. The feeling I have about this trip doesn’t make much sense. This anxiety is like a mirage in the desert. I’ll just continue to walk forward until I pass right through it.
4. This may seem hard now, but it will become easier and easier over time.
5. I think I have more control over these thoughts and feelings than I once imagined. I am very gently going to turn away from my old feelings and move in a new, better direction.
When feeling overwhelmed
1. I can be anxious and still focus on the task at hand. As I focus on the task, my anxiety will go down.
2. Anxiety is a old habit pattern that my body responds to. I am going to calmly and nicely change this old habit. I feel a little bit of peace, despite my anxiety, and this peace is going to grow and grow. As my peace and security grow, then anxiety and panic will shrink.
3. At first, my anxiety was powerful and scary, but as time goes by it doesn’t have the hold on me that I once thought it had. I am moving forward all the time.
4. I don’t need to fight my feelings. I realize that these feelings won’t be allowed to stay around very much longer. I just accept my new feelings of peace, contentment, security, and confidence.
5. All these things that are happening to me seem overwhelming. But I’ve caught myself this time and I refuse to focus on these things. Instead, I’m going to talk slowly to myself, focus away from my problem, and continue with what I have to do. In this way, my anxiety will have to shrink away.
It is what it is — Don’t Lose Hope
It’s OK if you thought you were over it, but then it hits you all over again. It’s OK if, sometimes, you still fall apart, even if you thought you were starting to heal. Trauma is like that. The shock may start to fade – But the memories still haunt you. You’re not completely free. […]It is what it is — Don’t Lose Hope
“When you convince yourself that it is okay for someone to decide who you are, you open the floodgates to powerlessness and worthlessness.” – Iyanla Vanzant Don’t do that. Don’t let anyone else determine your value and worth.
Quote of the Day — Don’t Lose Hope
7 Tips for Dealing with Over-Thinking
All of us fall prey to over-thinking at times.
And over-thinking leads to feeling anxious, scared and stressed.
So what can we do to take control of all these thoughts so we regain our peace and can cope with daily life?
1. Write it down, and try to summarise your thoughts and feelings in a short paragraph.
2. Set aside a specific time, and a specific amount of time, to think about the issue.
3. When you find yourself overthinking again, interrupt your thinking by distracting yourself.
4. Remind yourself that many problems solve themselves, and disappear, with time.
5. Change your environment.
6. Engage your brain in a demanding task.
7. Exercise or do something physical.
Essential Mental Health Tips
1. Love yourself
2. Recognize your strengths
3. Forgive yourself
4. Let go of shame
5. Expect doors to open
6. Be patient when you’re struggling
7. Be committed to your growth
8. Always practice self care.