Quieting the Inner Critic: Teens and Self Hate. Lessons from Colbie Callait’s “Try”

 by Lauren Angel, MA, LLPC

Being recognized is a value for all of us, but for teens, it is all they see. Am I enough? Not just enough for myself, but “Am I enough FOR THEM?”

In the process of trying to be enough and to please others, teens eventually become discouraged and look inward at what they have been told they are lacking by peers and society. Often times teens stop being themselves, no longer noticing their talents and gifts and instead begin to conform and focus on how to fit in. They begin to believe that they have a deficiency, which predominantly internalizes itself as shame. (i.e., “I am bad.”) This is different from guilt (i.e., “I did something wrong, and I feel bad about it”). Shame is saying there is something about me that is bad or wrong. The damage from this can snowball and destroy teens from the inside out; they come to believe that they will never be enough unless they fundamentally change.  

This begins to surface and externalize through eating disorders, cutting, excessive drinking, having sex with multiple partners or turning to Twitter and Facebook for worth and affirmation. “I got 10 likes today; I am having a good day!” Or, “I didn’t get any likes today, I guess I’m not as cool as I thought.  When we do this we are placing our value and whole selves in other people’s hands; others who haven’t experienced our pain, our joy, or our presence. Or who aren’t in the fight with us doing the same hard work of being our true selves as teenagers… and we give them our power. They become the experts on our own lives, and we let them.  

We then become powerless. We feel like we are empty, nothing, worthless, deficient 

Stacey Chadwick Brown, a practicing licensed mental health counselor and a member of the American Counseling Association states that “Self-esteem is at the core of everything we do. Low levels of self-esteem create a negative dialogue, an ‘inner critic’ that can really get in the way of achieving goals.” 

In teens this is a normal occurrence; giving away power to others who aren’t deserving or worthy of it and having low self-esteem and negative dialogue.
So, how do we partner with teens to help them to take their power back?  

  1. Change your internal “soundtrack”: there is a tape that plays over and over inside all of us. Change the song! Begin to listen to music that makes your heart sing! Songs that feel true to who you are. This can be saying no to a party where there will be excessive drinking and yes to going to a movie with close friends instead. One of my favorite songs is  Try by Colbie Caillat
  2. Take better care of your body: Our bodies hold anxiety and stress more than we know. It tells us without asking us when something is wrong, so pay attention! What is your body telling you? More sleep? More self-reflection time? Go on a walk, go to a yoga class, have quiet time and prayerful meditation to unwind, journal what you are feeling, draw what’s going on internally, or go to a kick boxing class with friends.
  3. Exercise self-compassion: Recognize you are not alone. We all are imperfect and have experienced similar feelings at different points in our lives. Connect with the parts of you that you think are “unlovable” and say to yourself: “I matter,” “I accept my emotional self.”
  4.  Ask for help: Counseling is a great way to begin to address what is going on internally and to talk about what has been silent for a long time. Talk to your family, a friend, a mentor, a pastor, or a friend’s parents. It is important to address your internal messages and allow yourself to reclaim your power and voice. 

         You can do it. I believe in you.

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School Time A-B-C’s

by Mary McKheen, ACSW

Parents, are you ready?  Ready or not, it’s time!  The new school year has started.

For some parents the new school year spells R-E-L-I-E-F.  The kids being gone all day allows parents more time to accomplish daily tasks.  But for other parents, the start of a new school year spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E.  Homework defiance.  Refusal to get up on time.  Bedtime problems.  Crazy soccer schedules.  The list of problems can go on-and-on.

It’s important to remember that parents are their children’s most important teachers.  The following are a list of teaching tools and attitudes that encourage good choices and promote healthy family living:

Create routines.  Children respond to structure and consistency.  Having daily routines for getting ready in the mornings, homework, chores, and bedtime helps kids adjust and teaches them to complete daily tasks.  And having routines at home helps their work in the classroom directly because their school day is full of routines.  Sit down with your kids and make a 5 step chart for each routine of the day.  Don’t expect perfection.  But when kids accomplish at least 4 out of the 5 steps, allow them to earn an incentive.  Some incentive examples are watching a favorite television show; a special snack; or mommy-daughter nail polishing time.  Ask your kids to help you come up with some incentives they would be excited to earn after accomplishing difficult routines.

How many parents feel that kids these days have lots of privileges that we didn’t have when we were young?  Computers, electronics, wii games, Play Stations, tablets, etc.  So many electronic toys!!  Practice the When…Then rule.  For example, “Tommy, when you complete your homework, then you can use your tablet for 45 minutes.”  Parents, set limits and use electronic toys as a reward for good behavior.

Establish fun traditions.  Some examples:  When you eat dinner together at night, ask for the high point and low point of everyone’s day.  Make Friday night a fun family night where everyone can decompress after a long week, and take turns planning the fun family night.  Have a special dinner plate—something colorful and fun—that is used to celebrate a family member’s success.  For example, if a child accomplishes something difficult in school, he or she gets the special red plate and gets to choose what he wants for dinner (with approval).  Make Tuesday night, Taco Tuesdays! Kids—and adults—love traditions.  Traditions help us feel secure and part of a group.

Establish a weekly Family Meeting.  Family meetings can be a great chance to plan fun traditions; plan out the schedule for the next week—with calendars in hand;  make plans for meals and snacks; as well as solving stubborn family problems.  When parents use family meeting time as a chance to plan fun family activities, as well as for problem solving, then kids don’t dread them as much.

Choose the Right Activities.  Make mindful choices.  There’s no need for everyone to run ragged trying to get from one activity to another when kids aren’t even enjoying some of the activities they are involved in.

And, finally, stay positive and encouraging.  Remember, it’s all about progress, not perfection, for both parents and kids.  Celebrate small successes.

A parent’s attitude has a strong influence on how kids view the beginning of the school year.  Take some deep breaths and remind yourself that you will survive this school year!

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What’s In Your Backpack?

by Jim Hassett, MA, LLPC

At the all-male high school where I am a counselor students hardly use their lockers. Instead, they carry their books around with them all day long in huge over-stuffed backpacks making the hallways at class exchange look like some sort of training camp for Sherpas. Seniors are the worst. They come to my office to talk and sit on the edge of the chair in order to accommodate the two foot protrusion jutting from their backs. “Dude,” I’ll say, “take your backpack off!” It takes them a few moments for them to comprehend what I am asking (think Igor in Young Frankenstein: “What hump?”). They are so accustomed to carrying around these weights (fifty pounds is not unusual) that they forget they are even there. When they finally wriggle out of the straps and let their load slip
to the floor I’ll ask, “How does that feel?” (which is really a stupid question to ask adolescent boys who are genetically hot-wired to answering “good” to any question dealing with personal feelings or inquiries about their day). “Good,” they’ll say. But no matter, they don’t have to answer. I can see it in their face and shoulders: they are relieved, relaxed.

Here is a conversation I had the other day with a freshman:

What’s the heaviest book you have in your backpack right now?
–My American History book. It weighs a ton.
–What period do you have history?
–2nd period.
–This is period 5. Why are you still carrying it?
–I don’t know. It’s easier, I guess.
–Take it out for a minute and put your backpack back on. Tell me how it feels.
–A lot better.

One thing I do like about those backpacks, they provide an easy segue and ready
metaphor for talking about the interior life. To the freshman:

“So,  what’s in your ‘inner backpack?’ What’s weighing you down? What’s cutting into
your happiness or effectiveness? Is there anything you are carrying around with  you that you would like to put down but don’t know how or even think you can?  Maybe there’s an American history book in there — something you need but don’t always have to carry; maybe there is a bunch of junk you’ve picked up along the way that needs to go –ideas about success, for example, or self-worth, or what or who needs to change in order for you to be happy. One of the roles of counseling is to help you sort through that stuff. But for that, you need to risk a conversation. You want to talk?”

* * *

St.  Ignatius of Loyola, the sixteenth century founder of the Jesuit order — the  order of priests that run the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy where I am a school counselor — would tell his brother priests something like this regarding the things we carry: If a little voice inside you says “No way am I going to share ‘that’ with anyone — that shame or guilt or infidelity or addiction or obsession or sorrow or disordered desire or
whatever” — go run and tell somebody fast! For that voice is not coming from a place of light or healing, but rather from a place of darkness and bondage.”

So, if you are carrying the weight of something unspoken, consider speaking with someone — a counselor, a trusted friend or spiritual advisor. We have plenty  of  metaphoric language to suggest the relief it can bring: “Boy, it felt so good to get that load off my back.” “It was nice to unload.” “What a burden I’ve been carrying.” “That talk really lightened the load.”

But for that, you need to risk a conversation.

Peace.

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Getting Free with the Help of “The Mighty Metaphor”

by Jim Hassett, MA, LLPC

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a metaphor is worth a thousand pictures.”
Dr. Peter Fuda

Metaphors are powerful teaching tools because they open thinking, make complex ideas  simple, and are memorable, making them easy to recall and access when we need them most. In the next several blogs I will share with you some of the metaphors my clients have found helpful over the years. Feel free to comment on them or share your own. I will be adding new ones regularly, but begin with one of my favorites about how they catch monkeys in Southern India. Enjoy!

What are you holding on to at the cost of your freedom?

In the book Winning by Letting Go, Elizabeth Brenner tells how people in rural India catch monkeys. First they cut a hole in a box and anchor the box to the ground; then they put a tasty “sweet nut” in the box; and then they go hide in the bushes. Soon the monkey comes down from the forest canopy and reaches through the hole into the box to grab the tasty prize. Unfortunately, the hole in the box is just big enough for the monkey to put its hand through; with the nut in hand, its fist is too big to withdraw. That is when the trapper emerges from the bushes, leaving the monkey with two choices: Release the nut and go free, or hold on to it and get caught. Most of the time monkeys elect to hold on to the nut.

So what’s your “sweet nut?” What idea (thought, stereotype, person, thing, belief, “must have”) are you holding on to at the cost of your freedom? Is it worth it? Would you like to let go? What’s holding you back?

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The Gift of Receiving Love: Why Mother Theresa Might Have Struggled in a Partnership

by Dr. Tim Hogan

I used to be surprised when charismatic and hard-working church volunteers and leaders showed up in my office with serious marital problems. Not anymore. The truth is that  many of us, including religious and helping professionals, often struggle in intimate partnerships. In fact, folks who are great at giving love to others often crash and burn  when it comes time to connect with their spouse. And here’s why: While giving love is important to an intimate partnership, the humility to receive love from your partner is also essential, and often much more difficult.

Many who struggle with this come by it honestly. Emotionally sensitive people learned as children that the best (and sometimes only) way to get love and attention was to take care of the people around them.  This develops a high capacity to give love that then  makes people successful and well-liked, often leading them into a life of service as adults. In fact, they often take on a Mother Theresa-like persona in the community, serving and volunteering like all-stars. However, this preoccupation with giving and pleasing others often leaves them unsure about who they are underneath; they have lost touch with the deeper desires of their hearts. And because they don’t deeply know what they want, it can be frustrating to love or feel close with them.

How then can those of us with this challenge move redemptively towards asking for what we want and then receiving what we get with humility? A basic first step is to simply spend more time exploring and journaling about what we really want and need.  Consider journaling the completion to these sentences: One specific thing that frustrates me about my partner is…; I have specifically expressed this frustration to my partner by
saying…; One way to say it more clearly would be…; What I would prefer is…; One small thing my partner could do to communicate love to me is….

Second, gently notice how difficult it is to ask (not demand) in a way that is both direct and clear. Consider when this struggle began. Odds are good it was there before your current
relationship.  One way to explore this is to spend some time reflecting on your childhood relationships with authority figures and notice how freely you were allowed to say how you felt or ask for what you needed. Consider journaling the completion to these sentences: One thing I wanted from my parents but didn’t get was…; When I was a child I could not openly express feelings of ..…

Next, notice how difficult it can feel to accept love from others. Notice the temptation to withdraw the request (“Oh no, you don’t have to. That’s OK.”), sabotage (“That’s not what I
want.” Or “You don’t really mean it!”) or even collapse into resentment (“That is just too little too late.” “That is all you got? After all I’ve done for you?!”).

Finally, experiencing healing at this heart level often requires skills that we simply
don’t yet have. So, consider attending a skill-based marriage weekend or working with a therapist that can help you to grow in this way.

Giving love to others is a wonderful way to show and share God’s love to the world. However, thriving in a partnership requires something that is often more difficult: We must also develop the skill of asking clearly for what we want, and then cultivate the humility to receive the love that is offered graciously.

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Handling Unexpected Disclosure

 by Randy Hermann, MA, LPC, CSAT

The discovery of a spouse’s infidelity, whether it involves physical/emotional contact with  another person or pornographic images, can be one of the most painful, traumatizing life events one can experience. It can also be one of the most confusing and reactive times. Here are a few suggestions to help you handle the initial shock and help maintain a measure of sanity and emotional health.

Do tell someone, don’t tell everyone – Seek out a trusted friend,  relative, pastor, one or two people that will listen and support you through this. Oftentimes shame may keep you from reaching out for help but it is imperative to not carry this alone. Seek professional help if necessary, preferably with a therapist that has a good understanding of marital affairs and sexual compulsion issues. Resist the urge to tell everyone. Decide who
is appropriate, not potentially harmful (certain relatives, partner’s co-workers, etc.) to the future of your relationship should you decide to stay with your spouse.

Think safety and security, not trust – Your physical and emotional safety is priority. If there has been physical sexual contact, get tested and insist your spouse does also. Have someone help you discern and establish appropriate boundaries. Decide if separation is necessary to your emotional security. Don’t be overwhelmed by wondering if trust can ever be restored. That question can only be answered somewhere down the road. Stay in the present. Seek counsel but trust your own instincts.

Get the facts, not the specific details – You are entitled to know certain things up front. Was there physical contact? Is this someone you know (friend, co-worker, relative, someone from church)? What is the general nature of the acting out behavior? Again, know what is important for your physical and emotional safety. Resist the urge to gather all the gory details. These can act to re-traumatize you for years to come and can be counter-productive to your healing journey.

Don’t judge your feelings, do process them – Many feelings will come up, often times conflicting. It is important that you do not judge them as right or wrong, good or bad, but acknowledge them as normal and part of the process that you are going through. You do not have to act on your feelings and can merely create space for them. Processing with a friend or therapist, journaling, and taking them to God can all be helpful things to navigate through the craziness you may be feeling at any time.

These are but a few suggestions. If you find yourself in this situation, it is most important to remember that it is not your fault. Recognize that this is a time to take care of yourself. Find safe people to share with, connect with God, and seek professional help if necessary to help weather the storm of the discovery of infidelity.

 

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How to Keep Families Connected

by Tim Hogan, Victoria Coyne and
the St. Paul Parish Mom’s Group

It is now clear from the research that the key to growing a healthy marriage and raising healthy kids centers around our ability to stay emotionally connected, especially during times of transition. Yet, it can be challenging to know how to do this. Recently, we were fortunate enough to spend some time with a group of family relationship experts, the St. Paul Parish Mom’s Group. We asked them to share their favorite recipes for getting and staying connected with their spouse and children. This is what we learned:

How to Get and Stay Connected with Family Members

First, it is crucial to stay physically connected. Therefore, take every opportunity to kiss, hug and touch each other. Give bear hugs, swirl children around and wrestle with them whenever you can. Hold hands; lay your hands on them while blessing them, and rub their back while falling asleep or waking up.

Second, love them up with words and songs. Remind them what you like about them. Always say “I love you” when saying goodbye. Sing to them, even making up songs that are just about them. Tell them stories about yourself or about them when they were younger.  Read poetry or stories to them when hanging out. Pray out loud for and with them every chance you get.

Third, ask great questions and become a great listener. Ask them to tell you about their day. Ask them at the end of the day what things they are grateful for, and what worries them. Ask creative “what would you do if …?” questions. Pray about both before kissing them goodnight.

Finally, surprise your spouse and kids often.  Leave notes communicating love and encouragement that they’ll find it later in the day, such as on the steering wheel, in their wallet, briefcase, or lunch bag. Sneak their favorite snack into their lunch or briefcase, or make their lunch special by cutting their sandwich with a cookie cutter.

How to Improve Your Connection with your Spouse

Spouses have incredible power to bless each other. Learn how to become your spouse’s “go to” person. Learn two or three things that always help your spouse to relax and “reset” their heart; then initiate or encourage your spouse to do these things. Consider encouraging them to exercise, pray, hang out with a good friend, pet the dog or just take a
breather. Invite them to cuddle, dance, make love, watch something funny on YouTube or TV, pray, or just tell you about their day. Or, simply bless them by cleaning the house, preparing their favorite meal, or doing one of their least favorite chores.

Spouses can also improve connection by creating special rituals for saying “goodbye” and “hello”. For example, before saying goodbye, try simply taking twenty seconds to make eye
contact, say “I love you”, and hold each other for ten seconds. Repeat this when returning home. Many couples also find it helpful to also add a short prayer during these times of separation and reunion.

It is easy to forget how much power and influence we have to bring love, healing and passion to those we love. Why not do something right now to show someone how much you love them?

 

 

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Pan-Handlers: What Would Jesus Do?

by Victoria Coyne and Tim Hogan

“Whatever you did for the least of my brothers, you did for me.”
Matthew 25:40

We are all aware of the increase in the number of people standing on corners in our community looking for a handout.  While a new ordinance was just passed against panhandling, it’s not likely to decrease the activity on our local corners. And so we are still left needing to answer the question “what would Jesus do?”  What is the best way to respond to these individuals who, like us, bear the image of God?

We at the Counseling Center have been wrestling with this question for the past year. We have engaged several of the men who beg on our property, providing some food and water, but even more intentionally we have worked to understand their story. How did they get here? It has been our experience that most of these men and women are in the bondage of addiction, and their primary purpose for begging is to get money to fuel their compulsion. Many passers-by, aware of this reality, generously offer food instead of cash. Unfortunately, most of this food often ends up stuffed behind our flower bed, in the corners of our parking lot and strewn on the lawn.

So, what are we to do? We would like to offer four recommendations:

  • Pray for each person you see, and ask God to show you if and  how you might be called to demonstrate the love of Christ to them. How wonderful would it be if these individuals experienced authentic, concerned  love coming from our Jesus-following community?
  • If you sense God’s nudging, then engage them and encourage them to
    take one small step towards health.
    If you have the opportunity (as we  do), take the time to engage and listen to their story. We have found that these individuals are often open to discussing their deeper struggles. Many have long-term problems that do not have easy or quick fixes. Let them know that we, as a community, want to love them. We have more than money or food to offer; we offer a connection with Jesus through his family. Connect them with the Grace Counseling Center. If they are truly motivated to change, then we can work with them regardless of their ability to pay. If they are not motivated to change, tell them we look forward to helping them get on their feet, once they are ready. Until then, let’s not enable their addiction.
  • Be smart. Don’t assume that the individual is actually homeless. Take precautions for your own safety. Think carefully before  giving cash. (Food vouchers are better than cash, even though food  vouchers can easily be traded for drugs). Don’t give food or money just to  feel better. Sometimes we unintentionally end up enabling people’s  addictions rather than helping them.
  • Support organizations that serve the poor and homeless. In  addition to the Grace Counseling Center, there are several community  organizations that do an excellent job helping those who are poor,  homeless and/or addicted:
    1. Resources for Homelessness:  The Salvation Army offers emergency and  transitional housing for men and women and can be reached at  (313)822-2800.  The Detroit Rescue Mission also offers emergency and transitional housing for men and can be  reached at (313) 993-6703, as well as for women and can be reached at (313) 331-8990.
    2. Resources for Substance Abuse Treatment: All residents of the
      city of Detroit should contact (313) 876-4000 at Herman Kiefer Hospital.  This office will get the person to the right treatment facility. There are also wonderful, Christ-centered residential substance abuse programs around the country. Contact us for more information.
Posted in Dr. Tim Hogan, Relationship with Others, Victoria Coyne LPC | 2 Comments

50 Shades of Grey: How to Get Amazing Sexual Passion without Reading Poison

by Tim Hogan

A friend recently asked me, “Tim, I want to get my wife to read 50 Shades of Grey so she’ll
want more sex and improve our stale sex life. What do you think?” I told him what I’ve told the two dozen people who asked before him. “Yes, you should honor your legitimate longing for more passionate, intense, ecstatic and mind-blowing sex with your wife. No,  you should not use erotic fiction, such as 50 Shades, to get you there.”

What Makes Erotic Fiction Poison for the Mind

Like watching porn, erotic fiction triggers a rush of brain chemicals that alters sexual desire. In 50 Shades, the author uses novelty (i.e., having sex in strange or risky places) and domination/violence (i.e., inflicting pain during sex) to increase the brain’s arousal centers. The increase in neurochemicals dopamine and adrenaline does create more physiological arousal and intensifies sensations. This increase in intensity is easy to confuse with an increase in intimacy. But this neurochemical manipulation creates more problems than it solves. Here are two of the more immediate problems.  

First, this behavior essentially poisons our soul. A foundation of Christ-centered thinking is that the human body is sacred. So, what we do with our body we also do with our soul; the two are inextricably linked. This is especially true with sexual expression: Every  intimate gesture is pregnant with meaning. To intentionally use domination and pain destroys something sacred, even if there is mutual consent and the intention is to activate higher levels of pleasure. 

Second, porn and erotic fiction often create sexual addiction.  Using other people’s sexual behavior to arouse us stirs intense feelings of lust apart from intimate connection. The body quickly gets used to this new, higher level of disconnected intensity, and then naturally desires stimulation at “the next level.” This is how people go from innocent experimentation in an honest attempt to energize their marriage into the world of sexual addiction, and even BDSM (Bondage-Dominance, Sadomasichism).

So, instead of using 50 Shades, I suggest that couples try dozens of other strategies to energize their sexual relationship. Here’s a list of my top four (there are many more!):

  1. Explore how sex became stale and make a change. An overscheduled, stressed and disconnected life will express itself in the bedroom.
  2. Create a habit of playfulness, fun and connection. Solid connection and friendship are the bedrock of great lovemaking.
  3. If this has been an area of longstanding frustration, consider creating a season of increasing sensuality without sexual release. For example, for the next 3 weeks touch each other more and make additional eye contact. Learn how to give (and receive!) a pleasurable sensual massage and/or sleep naked together, with an agreement to postpone lovemaking. This can create safety and help keep you focused on your own sensual enjoyment in the present rather than focusing on the goal of climax. After a time these new habits will revolutionize foreplay.
  4. Face resentments you might have towards your spouse and get rid of them. Find a pastor or therapist to help you if you can’t do it on your own. Nothing kills good sex like resentment.

In short, we can be grateful for the popularity of 50 Shades to have awakened us to our longing for deeper connection with our spouse. Now let’s get there in a way that honors our sacred connection.

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Turning Off Your ‘Worry Wipers’

by Mary McKheen, LMSW, ACSW

On a family road trip through the New Englandstates, our car developed an unusual problem.  The windshield wipers would not stop working, even though the lever was in the off position.  The sun shone bright but those wipers were in heavy thunderstorm mode!  Focusing on the picturesque New England landscape proved impossible because our senses were overloaded with the flapping sound and constant motion of the wipers.

Reflecting on that strange day in the car, I am aware that I sometimes spend my life acting like those wipers.  I fretfully worry and wait for the next big thunderstorm, even on sunny days.

What about you?  Do you struggle with anxiety or chronic worries?  Are your ‘worry wipers’ in the highest position, causing you to miss some of the beauty and joy in your
life and keeping you from experiencing the peace that you long for?

According to the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) one in five people reportedly meet the criteria for an Anxiety Disorder at some time in their life, and the
prevalence appears to be increasing.  It’s normal to worry or feel scared when facing a stressful situation.  Also, while anxiety feels unpleasant, it isn’t always a bad thing.  In fact,
anxiety can help us stay focused and motivate us to solve problems.    However, when anxiety is constant and when it interferes with your relationships and daily functioning, it’s a sign that you’ve moved from normal anxiety into the realm of an anxiety disorders.

Signs and symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Chronic tension/worry
  • Irrational fears
  • Avoidance of everyday situations or activities
  • Pounding heart
  • Poor concentration
  • Muscle tension
  • Lurking sense of danger.

The good news is that there are many effective strategies for dealing with anxiety.  For example:

  • Thought stopping:  Commanding oneself to “Stop!” when
    experiencing repeated negative, unnecessary or distorted thoughts and
    replacing the negative thought with something more positive and realistic,
    for example, a prayer, reassuring scripture passage (Philippians 4:6-7),
    or a remembrance of God’s past faithfulness.
  • Belly breathing:  Breathing deeply by expanding the
    abdomen rather than the chest and focusing on the words “Be still” or “God
    is with me” while slowly inhaling and exhaling.
  • Making time each day for relaxation and fun.
  • Getting emotional support from family and friends.
  • Taking care of your body through exercise, healthy eating, and
    getting necessary sleep and rest.
  • Asking for help when you need it.

It’s important to note that self-help coping strategies can be very effective; however, if
your worries and fears are so great that your daily life is disrupted, it is important to seek professional help, including getting a medical check-up.

What coping strategies have you tried to turn off your ‘worry wipers?’  Please comment.

Mary McKheen, LMSW, ACSW is a certified Parent Management Trainer (PMTO).

 

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