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Getting Better Every Day

An ongoing series of articles about mental health

Anxiety & You

Posted on April 23, 2015 at 2:00 PM

Approximately 40 million Americans or 18% of the population struggle with anxiety. But exactly what is anxiety? Over the next few blogs I will discuss types of anxiety and coping skills to help manage them.

Generalized anxiety symptoms include:

Excessive anxiety and worry

Difficult to control worry

Restlessness, feeling keyed up or on edge

Easily fatigued

Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank

Irrita...


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Anxiety and Automatic Negative Thoughts

Posted on May 7, 2015 at 2:00 PM

One way to challenge anxiety is by identifying the anxious thinking. This can be tricky, often people don’t even recognize how their thoughts influence their emotions. People are aware of their anxiety, but when I ask what they were thinking about when their anxiety spiked, they don’t have an answer. They will tell me that the spike ‘just happened.’ This is almost never the case, there is almost always some thought, usually several thoughts, which precede the spike in ...


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How Mindfulness Can Help

Posted on May 12, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Now I want to discuss practicing mindful acceptance. This is probably the simplest concept to explain, but the hardest strategy to practice.

The harder we try to push negative emotions away the stronger they become. It’s kind of like this….ask someone to close their eyes for just a second. Once they have closed their eyes, tell them to not think of a pink elephant. Tell them to think of anything at all, but whatever they do, do not picture a pink elephant. Nope...


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Five Facts about Anxiety

Posted on August 22, 2016 at 2:15 PM

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Posted on September 23, 2016 at 2:15 PM

Seasonal Affective Disorder

or

Why do I want to hibernate every winter?


It's that time of year in the mid-west. The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler. The leaves will be changing soon, than dropping. After that, it's time to brace for short days; going to work and coming home in the dark. Gray skies, snow storms and ice. I'll admit it, I dislike winter in the best of times. I especially dislike it when I slow down and feel the urge to curl up and hibernate until spring. Otherwise known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.


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Grounding Exercises

Grounding Explained

Posted on October 5 2016 at 2:15 PM

Grounding

Ground is a set of simple coping skills to help you detach from intense negative emotions. Think of it as a type of active mindfulness. Grounding is useful for a variety of people to help decrease intense emotions related to anxiety, OCD compulsions, panic attacks, self-harm, extreme anger, substance use , dissociation and more. Grounding is intended to help anchor you in the present.


When practicing grounding remember:


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Grounding Exercises

Grounding Exercises

Posted on October 6 2016 at 6:00 PM

Grounding Exercises

Below are a set of 3 simple grounding exercises. Each one lasts less than five minutes. Mental grounding is about focusing the mind. Physical ground is using all five senses to help you detach. Soothing grounding is about concentrating on positive images.


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Grounding Exercises

5 things introverts wish you knew

Posted on October 6, 2016 at 6:00 PM

I find myself normalizing being an introvert to my clients a lot. Our society celebrates extroverts. The expectation is to have every minute scheduled. Committee meetings, volunteer events, parties, spending every free minute being 'productive'. There's nothing wrong with that, but introverts often feel they must be defective in some way because they have a limited amount of energy to spend on the outside world.


As an introvert myself, I've learned to celebrate these differences rather than being embarrassed by them. I enjoy helping my clients learn that it's okay to prefer time home alone to being surrounded by people all the time. I asked people on facebook what they wish people understood about their experience as an introvert. Here's what some of them said:


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Grounding Exercises

How to say no. (Without feeling guilty!)

Posted on October 6, 2016 at 6:00 PM

Learning to say no. Learning to state your wants and needs while respecting other people, is a valuable skill. Do you find yourself running around trying to please everyone because you don't want to hurt their feelings? Do you end up exhausted and resentful because no-one asks what you need? Maybe you find yourself making snarky little comments because you are sick to death of taking care of everyone. And once in awhile you find yourself exploding, yelling and screaming because you just 'can'...



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Grounding Exercises

10 quick tips for being assertive

Posted on October 6, 2016 at 6:00 PM

1. Start small. Start practicing being assertive with someone safe and with small issues. Maybe tell a friend what you are learning and than practice with that person.


2. If someone asks you for a favor, don't say yes right away. Try something like, “Let me get back to....



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Grounding Exercises

Yeah Buts live in the forest (Or what I learned in AA)

Posted on October 6, 2016 at 6:00 PM

My sobriety date is July 20, 1997. I got sober in my 20's and can now say that I have been sober much longer than I drank and that I have in fact, spent the majority of my adult life sober. My name is....I'm not gonna give that, am I? I believe that anonymity is super important to recovery. So you can call me....Sally. (And yes, I stole that from the title of ...



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Grounding Exercises

The Power of Letting Go

Posted on October 6, 2016 at 6:00 PM

I started attending Al-Anon meetings about one year ago. I found out that my brother whom was also one of my best friends and the sibling I was closest to is an addict and an alcoholic. He had effectively hid this from friends and family for years. This revelation devastated me. My heart was breaking for him.

I am the first born in a family of four children. The role of caretaker has always come naturally...



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Grounding Exercises

Zen and the Art of Not Knowing

Posted on October 6, 2016 at 6:00 PM

We humans think we’re pretty smart, and in many ways we are. For a furless, fangless and clawless primate, we haven’t done so badly for ourselves. We couldn’t fly or run fast and our sense of smell, hearing and sight are pitiful compared to many other creatures. ...



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Grounding Exercises

Shared Spaces

Posted on October 6, 2016 at 6:00 PM

The first and most important word in community acupuncture is community. What does that look like in our clinic? It looks like people from all walks of life finding relief from the pain and daily struggles of life in a calm shared space that is owned more by them than it could ever be by us the practitioners. One of the things a lot of people wonder is what it’s like to be treated in the same room as a bunch of other people...



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Grounding Exercises

Managing Parental Stress

Posted on October 6, 2016 at 6:00 PM

While there is a lot of joy in parenting, all parents know that parenting can also be stressful. It is common for parents to feel overwhelmed, and it is easy to understand how that can happen. In the first years of life, without language, children cannot exactly tell you what they need – and they need a lot! Parenting is a full time commitment, and it can be hard to adjust to it. Also,



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Grounding Exercises

Radical Nutrition Thoughts!

Posted on October 6, 2016 at 6:00 PM

How do you think about Food, Eating and your Body? Consider these 7 radical nutrition thoughts!


(1) What is moment by moment nutrition? We only ever make choices about nutrition in this moment. Are we hungry? How does our body feel? What do we need? Did we eat too much? We can plan all we like (and planning can be...



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