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Showing posts from 2005

7 Strategies to Survive the Holidays

Have you ever wondered why traditional holidays are so stressful?Instead of being called the ‘most wonderful time of the year,’ it seems that we should rename it to be more accurately called the ‘most difficult time of the year’. I believe you can break the pattern of stressful holidays by realistically changing your perspective to directly deal with predictable daily pressures and then by using strategic coping skills to steer around or even better steer away from the bigger problems that tend to ‘pop up’ this time of year. Face it. There are as many factors to cause our stress levels to build to an explosive level as there are people on the planet. Everyone has complexities and challenges different from others, yet there are some universal pressures everyone has to address no matter their age, gender or marital status. Stress tends to go up as we age because there are more factors to consider, more people to deal with and more responsibilities.The older you get, the more you are for…

Are you living life or watching it?

Are you living life or watching it?Notice the difference between two groups of people in our culture.One group is actively watching life, while the other group is actively doing life.I discussed this gap recently about why some guys watch as much as 35 hours a week of ESPN sports on TV and totally ignore their family.During our conversation we determined that people who spent that much time watching sports were really doing the same thing as anybody else watching sitcoms, soaps or movies.It was entertainment, no more, no less. Even though the behavior might look like a serious study of the sport, in reality it was about watching TV.Entertainment is to relax and turn your mind off, which can be a useful activity.Yet some guys justify that they “need” to watch the sporting event so that their support will supernaturally go through the screen to somehow help their favorite team win!Not even realizing that the players don’t really hear the cheers when they score or groans when they miss t…

The Holly Jolly Season; The Happy Time of the Year! Or is It?

Summer flew by, children started school, and bang, Thanksgiving and Christmas lie but a few short weeks ahead.The time has changed, humidity has dropped, and the Florida temperature is a Chamber of Commerce dream.We look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas as holidays of fun, family gatherings, gift giving, and great meals.What could be better than family gatherings, exchanging presents of love, and wonderful home cooked meals?We all expect that this time of the year will be one of the best times of the year, and it should be.Who would suspect that Thanksgiving and Christmas are times of the year that our children will experience some of their worst depressions of the year?Fact is, the results of a study conducted by the NYUChildStudyCenter with over 400 teens reflected that there is “extraordinary crisis of untreated depression and anxiety among American adolescents, particularly adolescent girls” The study indicates that during the holiday season a portion of our teens tend to bec…

What are the psychological dynamics behind women and worry?

Women worry about many different topics, from men to body image to relationships to their mother's approval; yet the same psychological drive is fueling this stressful emotion no matter what triggers it. I believe the real source behind the worry most women feel is control.

Not control in the sense of being a manipulative monster, (like Jane Fonda's character in a recent film), rather it's the need to know what's happening around her so she can feel empowered and in control of her emotions and environment.

Think of it this way. When control goes up, worry goes down because the more a woman can understand the more she will automatically feel a sense of security and confidence inside. However, as a situation begins to feel out of control, worry dramatically increases, leading to more serious conditions like Social Phobia, Generalized Anxiety Disorders or even Panic Attacks if left untreated.

Women process information verbally which is why they need to talk through so man…

Are there any psychological benefits to pet ownership?

Written By: Dwight Bain, LMHC Loneliness is listed as one of the greatest problems facing people in this country because it decreases mood and robs motivation.  Feeling disconnected can create an anxious mood, while isolation and social withdrawal can create a feeling of depression that steals energy to change.  Both of these problems can be solved through the power of connection.  Psychologically we all need to feel connected in secure and stable relationships to maintain a positive sense of identity and worth.  Sadly many people don't have positive relationships with friends or family because of death, divorce or dysfunction, yet they still feel a positive connection inside.  What's their secret?  Simple, they have learned the power of connecting to pets in a relational way to avoid loneliness and depression. Here's what you and I can do to understand how to connect with our pets while feeling better in the process.  First, research your daily schedule and life…

Do you have a "Boundary-Breaker" in your life?

By:Jessica Gilstrap LMHC, Heartspoken Counseling Inc.We commonlydefine boundaries as a border or a limit that is set. Usually we will personally establish these in our lives; occasionally those around us help to set our boundaries. We establish boundaries through our experiences and relationships as children, adolescents, and adults.Every person has certain boundaries, which are usually not verbalized.Personal space is a good example of this.Individuals have varying levels of comfort when talking about personal space. What may be comfortable to one person may not be comfortable to another.There are several types of boundaries, physical is just one; there are emotional, financial, sexual boundaries and numerous others too numerous to cover in such a short article.There are many reasons why individuals do not set boundaries.Very often people aren’t aware that there is a need for boundaries.Sometimes people don’t know how to set them and maintain them, and frequently people are “overwhel…

How would you know if someone you loved had signs of an Eating Disorder?

When you think about eating disorders do you only think about celebrities like; Mary-Kate Olsen, Karen Carpenter, Jane Fonda, or Paula Abdul?Regrettably, many people do, they don’t really know or believe/understand how rampant this problem has become.How familiar are you when it comes to the topic of eating disorders?Did you know that eating disorders do not just affect girls, guys can develop them too?According to the Eating Disorders Statistics on Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating Disorders, between 5% and 10% of girls and women and an estimated 1 million boys and men suffer with some form of an eating disorder.Unfortunately we are living in a time where how you look and what you wear often defines who you are in the eyes of everyday society.As I sit in my counseling office day after day working with young men and young women, I see so many kids that have major body image problems.The pressure that adolescents (and adult for that matter) face today surrounding this subject is just…