Personal growth is different for everyone as we all have different dreams, desires and wants in life. It can be in any area such as physical, emotional or relational to name a few. The process of growing can help empower us, find our voice and reach new insights into ourselves. It can challenge us to become better, stronger or more efficient at something.
Progressing in these five areas will impact your life in a positive manner. This can lead to increased self-esteem, deepening of your relationships and propelling you toward your goals.
A boundary is the line in the sand that is drawn between what is and what is not acceptable behavior, toward oneself. We have physical, emotional and mental boundaries which we should be setting in all of our relationships. Boundaries help us feel safe, secure and comfortable and help us define how others treat us. The idea is to have firm but flexible boundaries, you do not feel as though you are a controlling person and you may need to adapt some of your boundaries to different situations. At times we may feel uncomfortable in relationships and in the moment we can not figure out why we are feeling this way. A question you should ask yourself, "Is there a boundary violation happening?" For example, someone is a close talker and moves into your personal space, you may feel some discomfort. It may take a few minutes or even days to figure out why you feel this way when this person comes over to your desk to speak with you. They are breaching your boundary of personal space. Another example is if you are interacting with a friend, family member or your partner and during the interaction, you start to feel resentment toward this person. You may feel they are taking advantage of you in some way, this may be a boundary breach. The next question to ask yourself is "Did I set this boundary?" It is your responsibility to take care of yourself, and set appropriate boundaries for you. If you did set the boundary and it is being violated, ask yourself "What should I do about this breach?" Boundary setting can feel daunting at times, especially if you generally have loose boundaries. You may feel a little anxious setting limits and may be concerned about possible conflict, retribution in the workforce, being perceived as mean or feeling guilty. You may have many other feelings regarding boundary setting, they are real feelings but should not necessarily stop your boundary setting. Here are some tips for boundary setting.
Many people feel that setting boundaries is selfish and that is not true. They help us define where each of us end and the other person begins. The limits we set help us to separate out who we are, our thoughts and feelings, from others in our lives. They improve our self concept and assist us in moving toward healthier relationships.
Sleep deprivation is something we have all experienced. Whether it was staying up all night in school to study for an exam or just not being able to fall asleep. If you slept 6 hours or less you are considered sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation can be chronic or acute. If you are working two jobs and you are generally sleeping 6 hours or less, this is considered chronic sleep deprivation. If you occasionally find yourself sleeping 6 hours or less, it is considered acute sleep deprivation.Chronic sleep deprivation can have long term effects, acute sleep deprivation has short term effects and with proper sleep these consequences disappear. Regardless of whether you have acute or chronic sleep deprivation there are consequences for not sleeping enough or sleeping well. Everyone needs a different amount of sleep to function properly. Each of us may have a different baseline for appropriate sleep. An adult generally needs 7-9 hours of sleep and children need more sleep based on their age.
We connect with people daily, at the grocery store, work, grabbing a coffee in the morning or a sandwich at lunch. These interactions can lead to acquaintances, friendships or romantic interests. Relationships come in and out of our lives frequently. They have a beginning, middle and an end. The duration and end point are different for each one. Relationships can be long term or short in duration and may end over different reasons, growing apart, moving away, a disagreement or a myriad of other reasons. Here are five characteristics which are needed for a happy and healthy relationship, whether with a friend, family member or partner.
How many nights have you spent tossing and turning while trying to fall asleep? Once you fall asleep, you wake up a couple hours later and the tossing and turning begins again. It becomes a terrible cycle of attempting to sleep while looking at the clock. Many of us will start calculating how many hours of sleep we will have if we can fall asleep in the next few minutes. Sometimes we are able to fall asleep rather quickly and other times, not so much.Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep. There is acute and chronic insomnia. There are many reasons which can cause insomnia, some of which are stress, change in sleep pattern, change of shift at work, anxiety, caffeine, depression, medication, eating late, exercising late and the list goes on. Knowing the cause can help with treatment and a resolution. There are also several risk factors associated with insomnia. Women experience insomnia more than men. This does not mean that men do not suffer from insomnia, it just means that their stats are lower. Another risk factor is age, if you are over 60 you are more likely to experience this issue, as insomnia increases with age as sleep patterns change with age. Another risk factor is work, if you have a varied schedule this changes your sleep schedule and you may find it difficult adjusting to the new sleep pattern. Jet lag is also a risk factor for insomnia, so if you travel for your job, be aware of this issue. Here are some treatment suggestions for acute insomnia:
Loss can be a divorce, a relationship ending, death of a loved one, including pets, a separation from a loved one and loss of functioning whether physical, mental or emotional. Coping with loss can be a difficult, draining and an overwhelming experience filled with grief. The stages of grief by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross can and should be applied to all losses, not just death. The stages of grief are a fluid process and not always completed in order. Kubler-Ross' 5 Stages of Grief are below: 5 Stages of Grief:
Anticipatory anxiety is a symptom of anxiety, it is not a diagnosis or disorder. However, many people who suffer from anxiety or have anxiety traits have these common concerns/worries of “what if” thoughts. Many of us find ourselves predicting the future by trying to foresee every possible negative outcome to a situation that may or may not happen. These concerns or worries can be categorized as anticipatory anxiety. There are different degrees of anticipatory anxiety, as the symptoms range from mild to severe. What If Syndrome is NOT actually a syndrome but a term I use to explain the symptoms of anticipatory anxiety. It is when people think about an event or situation and think of all the different ways the event could go wrong and try to plan for what they feel will be the most common negative outcomes. Unfortunately, most of us do not have a working crystal ball, so predicting the future is difficult at best. If you find that this resonates with you, ask yourself “Does the outcome change when I What If?” Most of the time, the answer to that question is No. So why do we continue to do something we know does not change the outcome? Many of us feel that if we are prepared for the worst, when it happens we will be ready. One of the issues with this type of thinking is that you cannot possibly come up with contingency plans for every possible negative outcome and it actually has the opposite effect. The process of What If is mentally and emotionally draining and increases stress levels and anxiety instead of decreasing it. Possible ways to reduce What If Syndrome is to be aware that you are doing it and to learn what is triggering this behavior. Insight into your behavior is a great first step; here are some concrete things you can do:
It is often that we hear people saying "I am so Stressed Out" or some other phrase of the same meaning, I have heard this said waiting in line at the grocery store, at work, in the gym, at the ATM and the list goes on and on. In the age of multitasking, most people at times feel as though they are overwhelmed by life, family, work or relationships. Here are 5 simple techniques that you can implement today in your life to reduce stress, the acronym is BREES
“Anxiety disorders share features of excessive fear and anxiety and related behavioral disturbances. Fear is the emotional response to real or perceived imminent threat, whereas anxiety is anticipation of a future threat” (DSM-5). Everyone experiences anxiety and that is absolutely normal. We typically feel a little anxious when we have a job interview or a presentation. Feeling a little nervous, concerned or apprehensive around these events is to be expected. Research shows that we learn best when an optimum level of anxiety is reached. The optimum level is different and unique to each of us. However, anxiety becomes problematic when these feelings start to impact our daily living in a negative way. Here are 5 signs you may have anxiety:
Feeling anxious or worried is something everyone experiences and feels. It is absolutely okay to feel anxious. Most of us feel symptoms of anxiety when we are about to take a test, interview for our dream job or if we have to perform in some way in front of others. Feeling anxiety is not always negative as everyone has an optimal level of anxiety, which is needed for the ideal learning environment. Anxiety symptoms become problematic when they are impacting our daily lives in a negative way. When we find ourselves using “What If” statements when thinking about a situation, when we have trouble sleeping at night because we cannot turn off our mind or when we feel keyed up or stressed out. During these times, we may need to utilize coping strategies to reduce these excessive anxious symptoms and feelings. Here are 5 ways to reduce anxiety symptoms:
Women and men can experience mental health issues differently. There are certain disorders that women face more frequently than men, such as eating disorders, post-partum depression and body image concerns. In addition, hormonal changes can affect the way women feel about themselves and others. Societal and cultural pressures play a factor in mental health for women. They often have multiple roles, like being a mother, partner and worker. Women at times may feel as though they are not treated fairly or paid fairly due to discrimination. During times of transition, women may feel as though they have lost their identity: during motherhood, returning to the workforce and being single after years with a partner. These concerns can increase stress levels as well as increasing women’s prevalence for anxiety, depression and a host of other disorders.
You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful."
Grief counseling is a form of psychotherapy that aims to help people cope with grief and mourning following the death of loved ones, or with major life changes that trigger feelings of grief (e.g., divorce, or job loss). Grief counselors believe that everyone experiences and expresses grief in their own way, often shaped by culture.
*Joanne Jozefowski in 1999 through The Phoenix Phenomenon: Rising from the Ashes of Grief summarizes five stages to rebuild a shattered life.
Depression is a condition in which a person feels discouraged, sad, hopeless, unmotivated, or disinterested in life in general. These feelings are normal but when such feelings last for more than two weeks and it interferes with daily activities such as taking care of family, going to work or school, spending time with friends, it’s likely a major depressive episode. Major depression is a treatable illness that affects the way a person thinks, feels, behaves, and functions. Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States and with the proper help, its very treatable.
When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on"
-FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
Adjustment Disorder is a type of stress-related mental illness. It is a short-term condition that occurs when a person has great struggle coping with, or adjusting to, a particular source of stress. Some sources include marriage, divorce, starting school or staring a new job. You may feel anxious or depressed and normal daily routines may feel overwhelming. In essence, you have a hard time adjusting to change in your life, and it has serious consequences.
Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow."
-MARY ANNE RADMACHER
Anxiety is a normal reaction to an important event such as a school presentation, business meeting and moving to a new city. However, excessive, continuous anxiety that interferes with your daily life may be a sign of generalized anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders cause people to feel afraid, panicky and startled for no apparent reason. If untreated, anxiety disorder can greatly diminish productivity and decrease an individual’s quality of life.
Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.-JOSHUA J. MARINE
ADHD is a common behavioral disorder that affects about 10% of school-age children. Boys are about three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with it, though it's not yet understood why. Kids with ADHD act without thinking, are hyperactive, and have trouble focusing. They may understand what's expected of them but have trouble following through because they can't sit still, pay attention, or focus on details.
To be upset about what you don't have is to waste what you do have.
- KEN KEYES JR
Academic underachievement often significantly impacts the student's feelings about him/herself and hopes for the future. Professional counseling helps your underachieving child cope with and overcome lowered self-esteem, anxiety, and depression due to academic challenges. Professional counseling can help you get past blaming and feelings of helplessness in assisting your child to achieve better academic results.
Don't let what you can't do stop you from doing what you can do.- JOHN GOODEN
Anxiety is really just a form of stress. It can be experienced in many different ways in kids, for example physically, emotionally, and in the way kids view the world around them. Anxiety mainly relates to worry about what might happen or worrying about things going wrong or feeling like you're in some kind of danger. Anxiety can effect children's grades, development, social and family life.
You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do - ELEANOR ROOSEVELT
Relationship counseling brings people who have an intimate relationship into the treatment process to work on issues and increase their connection. This can include family members, business partners and couples. This type of counseling often focuses on the challenges within the relationship such as communicating more effectively, improving trust and mutual respect for each other. Each of us has our own pattern of communicating which may be defined by our upbringing, personality styles and other influences in our lives. Counseling can enhance our relationships by improving listening skills and understanding our partner’s point of view. Relationship counseling sessions can teach you skills to deepen your connection and bond as well as working through a stressful event.
Relationship counseling can help resolve conflict, gain insight and can teach you how to work together as a unit.
People seeking a healthier, closer relationship can benefit from relationship counseling. This type of counseling is used to treat a wide array of conditions including:
Often times, people assume that parenting is something that should just come naturally. After all, having children generally does. As any parent would agree the challenges associated with bringing up any child, whether they suffer from a psychological disorder or not, are numerous and at times overwhelming. Parents may turn to a number of defense mechanisms that will ultimately worsen the issue. Parent therapy helps parents to manage their stress levels and helps them to develop better coping mechanisms, which in turn provides a healthier more controlled home environment.
At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child's success is the positive involvement of parents. -Jane D. Hull
We all have times when we lack confidence and don’t feel good about ourselves. But when low self-esteem becomes a long-term problem, it can have a harmful effect on our mental health and our lives. Self-esteem is the opinion we have of ourselves. When we have healthy self-esteem, we tend to feel positive about ourselves and about life in general. It makes us able to deal with life’s ups and downs better. When our self-esteem is low, we tend to see ourselves and our life in a more negative and critical light. We also feel less able to take on the challenges life throws at us. Living with low self-esteem can harm your mental health, leading to problems such as depression and anxiety.
The most important opinion you have is the one you have of yourself, and the most significant things you say all day are those things you say to yourself. -UNKNOWN
Adapting to change can be hard, as even beneficial life transitions tend to cause some stress. Throughout a persons life one can expect to experience a significant amount of change. Some of these changes, such as marriages, births, and new jobs, are generally positive, although they may be accompanied by their own unique stressors. Other major life transitions, such as moving, retirement, or entering the “empty nest” phase of life may cause a significant amount of stress. Those who find themselves experiencing difficulty coping with life transitions may find it helpful to speak to a therapist in order to become better able to adjust to changes they cannot control.
By changing nothing, nothing changes.-TONY ROBBINS
Stress is very common and in many cases is a good thing. Stress can help us feel attentive and can help us accomplish many tasks very well. In addition, if we are too calm during certain situations we can feel less motivated which will lead us not to react well and possibly make a bad decision. The issue occurs when we have too much stress and many times comes from overusing our bodies natural resources. This can lead to physical problems such as difficulty sleeping, heart disease, obesity, depression and anxiety disorders. However, stress can be managed with certain steps and help from therapy.
In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just important as our answers.FRED "MISTER" ROGERS