What Is The Relationship Between Hormones and Anxiety?

two women faces next to each other

If you’ve ever felt confused by spiking anxiety shortly before your period begins, don’t worry: You’re not alone. Our hormones directly affect our anxiety levels. And it’s not just progesterone — a number of hormones can influence how stressed you’re feeling on any particular day, regardless of whether you have a uterus or not.

Here’s the rundown of the wild world of hormones inside our body — and info about how they can increase (or help!) your anxiety. Continue reading What Is The Relationship Between Hormones and Anxiety?

Are You Numbing Out On Self-Care?

woman looking stressed in bathtub

A few weeks before my wedding, I caught a nasty cold.

I remember marching into my therapy appointment — head pounding and body aching — furious that I was sick. I was frustrated that being sick was getting in the way of what I thought I had to do to feel beautiful and relaxed on my wedding day. Things like: run every day, tone my arms, double-down on my skin regimen, cook homemade meals, get a haircut, drink green juice, and meditate regularly. I was overcome with guilt that I didn’t have the energy to do any of it.

“I’m just so tired,” I blubbered to my therapist in between sobs. Continue reading Are You Numbing Out On Self-Care?

Stop Over Apologizing

young girl covering her eyes

We have all apologized at some point in our lives. We are taught from a very young age that when you do or say something wrong, you apologize.

Period.

But what if you didn’t do anything wrong? What if you are just being yourself? Sometimes we apologize too easily for things that do not need an apology or explanation, and many times we do this unconsciously without even realizing it — but it doesn’t have to be that way. Continue reading Stop Over Apologizing

How to Break a Bad Habit

cigarette burning

Last week I was using my husband’s laptop to respond to some quick emails before heading to work. I was frantically typing away, wanting to hit send as fast as possible to still make my train, when a notification popped up on his screen: “don’t bite your nails today, Brian!” I laughed out loud and wondered — can you really break a three-decade habit with a Google Calendar reminder?

It turns out the answer is yes. Habits form after much practice and repetition, and that’s also how they’re broken. A daily ping on his laptop, cell phone, and iPad reminds Brian cyclically to change his behavior, making him more committed to reaching his goal. Of course, Brian’s habit is mild on the bad-habit continuum, so it’s easier to break as long as he’s dedicated. I have habits like this, too — eating meals in bed, almost always having a phone that’s out of battery, leaving my clean laundry in the hamper, unfolded for too long. But there are also strong, addictive habits, too, such as substance abuse, which can be much more difficult to break. Continue reading How to Break a Bad Habit

4 Ways to Stop Relying on External Validation

instagram like neon sign

You probably know excessive scrolling is bad for your mental health.

It’s well documented that heavy social-media use leads to depression and anxiety — especially in teenagers and children. Although most of us understand that social media encourages unhealthy comparisons of ourselves to others, we continue to crave “likes” like candy.

That’s because what we’re really seeking is external validation, and though social media is the latest — and perhaps most pervasive — expression of this reliance, it’s by no means limited to the device in your pocket. Continue reading 4 Ways to Stop Relying on External Validation

How to Protect Yourself From Overthinking

kid sitting outside looking puzzled

If you overthink, you obsess about mistakes that were made yesterday and feel distress about plans in your future. It can take shape as significant worry over performance at school or at work, as well as an invasive concern about how others perceive your actions and what you say. Often, this transforms relatively harmless conversations and interactions into endless loops of thinking, leading a person to experience distress, anguish and obsession. If this compulsion to overthink sounds familiar, continue reading for ways to reduce anxiety levels and contain some of these negative thought patterns. Continue reading How to Protect Yourself From Overthinking

How to Help an Online Friend in Need

lost phone in the woods

Being a good friend means being there for someone while they’re hitting some bumps in the road. It means offering love and support when you notice someone needs it the most. It can mean simply being a shoulder for them to cry on — but that can be hard to do when it comes to helping an online friend, someone you may never have met in person.

With everyone spending more and more time online, online friendships are becoming more and more common. Online is no longer just to maintain friendships made at school or work, but also to forge entirely new ones with peers while browsing social networks or playing online games. Similarly, your feed is also likely filled with friends you haven’t seen or spoken to in years — fringe friends from high school, old acquaintances, and former coworkers — people who are far from your best buds, but whose startling posts or cries for help can make you worry just the same. Continue reading How to Help an Online Friend in Need

5 Surprising Areas of Life Affected by Body Dysmorphia

woman staring into mirror

Though body positivity is getting a little bit more attention in the media, many people are still not 100% satisfied with the way that their bodies look. In general, that’s okay. We all fixate at one time or another on a stubborn zit, a bald spot, a roll of belly fat. However, this can become a problem when we start obsessing over whatever feature we dislike and making it a bigger issue than it might be in reality. Continue reading 5 Surprising Areas of Life Affected by Body Dysmorphia

What I Wish I Knew About College as a Freshman

girl walking on college campus

Eerie, foggy, dark walks home from the library, the thought of them still gives me chills. Not only because it’s insanely cold in Michigan, but because I remember how anxious, sad, and lonely those walks could be back to my (even spookier) freshman year dorm room.

The Sunday Scaries haunted me many nights of college, not just on Sundays. Most of the time these “scaries” weren’t about anything in particular, but a side effect of how drastically different my life was, and how uncertain everything seemed.

Although college can be an incredible experience, the massive transitions, personal growth, and lifestyle changes can be impactful to your mental health. By my senior year, there were a few things I wish I had realized sooner in my college experience. Here is what I wish I knew, including stress, anxiety, coursework, my social life, and friendships. Continue reading What I Wish I Knew About College as a Freshman

What if Texting Isn’t How I Want to Talk to My Therapist?

Man looking down at phone texting

Online therapy is a relatively new development in the healthcare industry. The ability to access therapy without the need to physically travel is a tremendous innovation — making mental health services available to thousands of people who might not have been able to access nor afford treatment in the past. Online therapy — also known as teletherapy, e-therapy, or cyber-therapy — has experienced a growth in popularity due to its accessibility. Online therapy has already helped millions of people experience a better life.

However, with any innovation, there is bound to be some level of skepticism. Critics may ask: “Does online therapy work and are there any risks?” Furthermore, what if texting just isn’t how one wants to speak to their therapist? Continue reading What if Texting Isn’t How I Want to Talk to My Therapist?