The fear of change is one of the most common fears that people face. I see it frequently among my therapy clients, and just as frequently among friends.
Change is difficult for everyone; there are few people that don’t feel somewhat anxious at the prospect of a major upheaval in their lives. The problem comes when fear of change keeps people paralyzed in situations that are not healthy or fulfilling, or when their fear of change isn’t confined to significant changes, but encompasses relatively minor, daily changes in routine.
Continue reading Fear of Change: Why Life Adjustments are Difficult for You
I’ve never understood the people who are able to set one alarm for the morning and actually wake up at that designated time. I didn’t count, but I think I set 15 alarms this morning all in 5 to 10 minute increments. Once I finally got out of bed, I threw on clothes, didn’t eat breakfast and ran out the door — only to be angry at myself, and still not feel well rested. On the way to where I needed to be, I asked myself, “WHY AM I LIKE THIS!?”
I set out to figure out if I’m alone in this mayhem by asking some of my friends about their morning routines (or, lack thereof).
Continue reading How a Healthy Morning Routine Can Benefit Your Mental Health
Unfortunate situations are often called setbacks for a good reason: they set you back from your carefully planned life trajectory. For many of us, losing a pet, failing on a work project, or experiencing a harsh rejection can feel like the end of the world.
For some lucky people, these problems don’t seem permanent. Sure, they might feel sad, and yes, even a little disappointment. But they’re resilient: able to bounce back quickly, even from the most serious setbacks. This ability isn’t magic — it’s resiliency, and you can experience it too. Cultivate this life-changing trait by practicing these seven simple habits.
Continue reading 7 Secrets of Highly Resilient People
Physical fitness gets a lot of attention, and for good reason — good physical health can prevent conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, and help you maintain a long, independent life. But often neglected is mental fitness — having a healthy and strong mind to allow you to handle the challenges and opportunities that life puts in front of you.
A common thought is that the absence of a mental health disorder means that a person is mentally fit and emotionally well, but according to Rachel O’Neill, a licensed professional clinical counselor, that’s a dangerous misconception. “An individual can certainly experience periods of stress, discomfort, sadness, or anxiety without necessarily meeting criteria for a mental health disorder,” she said. “Mental wellness is a process, and just like physical health, it’s an ongoing process to maintain mental and emotional wellness.”
Continue reading The 6 Habits Mentally Fit People Practice
If you share your life with animals, it’s easy to think of them as part of the family — like the cat who occupies my desk whenever I’m working, patiently waiting for me to take a break and play. Dogs were domesticated nearly 14,000 years ago as working animals but undoubtedly developed a role as pets at the same time, while cats appear to have domesticated themselves multiple times, possibly as early as the Neolithic era. Sixty-eight percent of households keep animals, including not just cats and dogs but rats, hamsters, rabbits, fish, horses, and more.
But with the benefits of pets comes an inevitable dark side: What happens when the beloved animals who have become important parts of our lives pass away, leaving us with urns on our desks instead of warm bodies?
Continue reading Loss of a Pet: How to Cope With the Death of Your Animal Friend
At some point in your life, something bad is bound to happen to you. This isn’t pessimism, this is realism. Take a second to think about all the less than ideal things that can possibly happen in life. You might get laid off. You might experience a natural disaster. You might fall very ill. You’re more than likely to experience a break up, or have someone around you die.
Life is a series of ups and downs, and this is a fact we can’t change. What we can change, though, is how we react to the negative situations which arise, and perhaps even more importantly, how we bounce back. Let’s talk about resilience.
Continue reading How to be Resilient: The Art of the Bounceback
When spring arrives, many people can feel like they are glad to be alive, a feeling that can manifest in wanting to feel and do many new things. They chafe at the restrictions imposed by office jobs or any indoor activity, and want to get out in the world and feel the excitement of the season.
For some people, though, this feeling isn’t tied to the beginning of warm weather, or falling in love, or any discrete event. There are some people, called “sensation seekers,” that are always looking to increase their levels of stimulation, and feel bored and constricted on a regular basis.
Continue reading What Does It Mean to Be a Sensation Seeker?
I’m a huge advocate for travel as a means to improve mental health and wellness since recently experiencing the benefits myself — but I also know that not everyone has the ability to take a week off of work and hop on a plane. Have no fear, because you can still reap the benefits of a vacation without getting on a plane, traveling outside of your state, or breaking the bank. Here are seven ways to take a local mental health vacation!
Continue reading 7 Ways to Take a Mental Health Vacation (Without Getting on a Plane)
It’s easy to feel pressure to make, and then meet, life-changing resolutions at the start of each year. Maybe you pledge to lose 50 pounds, get in a workout in every day or go completely sugar free. But once January wraps up, many find themselves unable to fully realize them, leaving a lingering feeling of discouragement and frustration in its wake. But there is another way — setting realistic micro-goals.
The idea is simple: For any goal you are aiming to accomplish, micro-goals break down the large task into manageable, bite-sized parts. Rather than thinking about nailing that big-picture accomplishment, stay focused on achieving small nuggets of progress and go after them one tiny increment at a time.
Continue reading How Setting Micro-goals Can Increase Happiness
Almost all of us have times that we have trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep. Others may experience restless, choppy, wakeful sleep cycles. Many of us probably tell ourselves — and others — that we have “insomnia.”
But according to clinicians, for insomnia to be considered a chronic problem, it must significantly impact our lives, and it must be present at least 3 days a week for 3 months. In fact — and unfortunately — many of us actually fit this criteria, with as much as 30% of adults experiencing intermittent insomnia, and 10% experiencing it chronically.
Many insomnia sufferers don’t seek treatment, and others find the commonly doled out treatment ideas to be unsuccessful. But sleep-deprivation is something that can impact our lives in significant ways, exacerbating our physical and mental health, as well as our ability to perform basic tasks safely and efficiently.
Continue reading 4 Daily Rituals Proven to Relieve Insomnia