Category Archives: Support/Encouragement

How To Survive Holiday Travel


The holidays are a hectic time for many people. Between work, family, and social obligations, it can be hard to find time to relax. If you’re planning on traveling for the holidays, there are a few things you can do to make the process less stressful.

    • Plan holiday travel itineraries in advance
    • Travel during off-peak hours 
    • Start out well rested 
    • Build in extra money to your travel budget in case of emergencies
    • Arrive at the airport or other station early to more easily take care of last minute challenges 
    • Expect to run into snags
    • Pack light and carry on your bag, rather than checking it 
    • Allow extra time to travel from place to place and expect heavy traffic 
    • Send your gifts in advance or take gift cards
    • Limit alcohol and caffeine
    • Pack plenty of healthy snacks that travel well without refrigeration
    • Bring plenty of things to keep the kids happily occupied
    • Make waiting times go faster and regain a happy holiday feeling by meditating
    •  Use portable meditation props, like a favorite image on your smart phone or tablet
    • Plan to arrive at your holiday destination rested and excited to share your holidays with loved ones

Meditation Tips For Holiday Travel

  • Sit up straight and relax your shoulders
  • Let distracting thoughts dissolve away as you focus on deep breathing
  • Think about your destination and the loved ones you’ll be visiting 
  • Remember that you’re surrounded by people making similar plans – just like you 
  • Once you’re feeling relaxed and happy, let go of the details and enjoy that warm feeling 
  • Imagine wrapping up those good feelings and presenting them to everyone around you 
  • Gradually return your attention to the present moment 
  • Remind yourself of the fellowship you felt while meditating

Did you find this useful? Please share it with someone else who will enjoy it too!

To Your Success,

Juan




 

Seven Powerful Ways To Practice Gratitude Every Day


Introduction
When you’re in a bad mood, it’s easy to get stuck there. It takes effort to pull yourself out of that funk. And while you’re at it, why not make it easier on yourself by practicing gratitude? Gratitude is scientifically proven to lift your mood and make you happier. And if you practice gratitude regularly, then it becomes a habit. So here are some quick and easy ways to practice:

Keep a Gratitude Journal
The first step in practicing gratitude is to remember what you’re thankful for. To do this, keep a journal. This will help you remember what’s going well in your life and provide motivation to continue focusing on the positive aspects of each day. A gratitude journal can be used anywhere: at home, at work or school, while traveling—the possibilities are endless!

Keeping track of the good things in life is important because it allows us time to reflect on all we have accomplished and experienced during our lives thus far (and those who have influenced us along the way). 

Use a Gratitude Scrapbook
A gratitude scrapbook is a great way to practice gratitude. You can make your own or you can buy one. A gratitude scrapbook is like a regular art journal, but the focus of this book is on things in your life that are wonderful and meaningful.

You should write in your gratitude scrapbook every day and then read what you wrote when you are feeling down or have had a bad day. The act of writing down things that make you happy will help you feel better about what is happening in your life right now because it brings attention to all the things that are going well for you.

Make Gratitude Cards
You can make your own gratitude cards with a computer and card stock, or you can use an old-fashioned method by using scissors and a piece of paper. The idea is to create something that will remind you of what you are grateful for when you look at it. You could even send these cards to friends and family as a way to express your feelings of thankfulness toward them! Or if you prefer, keep them for yourself!

Be Grateful for Your Discomforts
A lot of people think of a discomfort as something to avoid and run away from at all costs. When you’re uncomfortable, it’s natural to want the feeling to go away quickly so you can return to the comfort zone. But if we want to practice gratitude and be happier in life, it’s important that we learn how to appreciate our discomforts as well as our comforts in life—because without them, there wouldn’t be balance!

Create a Gratitude Corner In Your Home
This can be as simple as putting a plant or little figurine in one corner of the room, or you can make it more elaborate. For example, you might put up a picture of someone who inspires you and that reminds you to be grateful for all they have done for humanity (like Mother Teresa). You could also create an entire wall dedicated to being grateful by adding pictures of things that inspire gratitude in you (like friends or family), and adding inspirational quotes around the room. 

Create a Gratitude List Every Day
One of the simplest, most effective ways to practice gratitude is to create a Gratitude List every day.

  • Write down three things you’re grateful for.
  • Don’t write down the same thing every day! Do this for at least 21 days in a row, and see how your perspective changes as a result.
  • Don’t write down the same thing every week! 
  • If you repeat any particular entry more than once within two weeks’ time, put an asterisk next to that item—but don’t stop writing it down! The point here is not about quantity but about quality.

A small change in your focus can make a big difference.
It’s time to use the law of attraction to your full advantage. Let’s be real: it can feel like a lot of work to change your thoughts, especially if  you’re surrounded by negative people and their constant barrage of stressors.  In addition to practicing gratitude, here are some other ways that you can make those positive vibes happen:

  • Be grateful for who you are. Your personality is unique, so don’t ever compare yourself with others. The things that make up “you” aren’t perfect—but neither is anyone else’s! 
  • Exercise gratitude every day through meditation or journaling (it’ll take less than 5 minutes). We tend not think about our blessings until they’re gone—or until we’ve lost something valuable in life like our health or home—but there are always going be things we should be thankful 

Conclusion
In these ways, you can practice gratitude and make your life happier. Which one will you practice today? Are you already incorporating these practices in your life?

To Your Success,
Juan

How To Manage Stress As A Single Parent: Five Tips To Help You Cope


Photo: Sydney  Rae

Any parent knows that raising a family is hard work, but for single mothers, the challenges can be especially daunting. Not only do you have to juggle the demands of work and child-rearing, but you must do it all  on your own. It’s no wonder that stress levels for single parents are through the roof.

Many single parents, especially moms, are experiencing dangerous levels of stress, and they don’t see any way around it. Chronic stress is harmful to your body, mind and spirit. Between work, finances, and caring for the kids, it’s easy to let the little things fall by the wayside. Here are some helpful suggestions:

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends or family. They can watch the kids while you run errands or take a break, and they’ll be happy to lend a helping hand. When you have people that you can turn to, you’ll be able to release stress in a positive way. When you need a bit of reinforcement, it helps to know you can pick up the phone and call in backup!
Your support system might consist of family members and friends who are willing to
listen to you vent or even help you around the house.

Remember to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. Eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercise are all important for managing stress levels. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, talk to a therapist or counselor who can help you develop healthy coping mechanisms. Make time for yourself. Schedule at least 10 to 15 minutes just for you into each day. This time can even be for something simple, like painting your fingernails, taking a hot bath, or reading for pleasure. Your alone time will refresh and revive you!

Plan ahead. The best thing you can do when you’re a single parent is to plan ahead. You’ll find that the simple things in life that often cause the most stress can be managed or outright eliminated when you plan ahead. Prepare meals in advance and freeze them until you’re ready to use them. Have everyone put out their clothes the night before, shoes by the front door, so getting the day started will be a breeze.

Involve the kids. You can’t do everything by yourself, so get your kids involved in getting things done. Any help they are able to contribute will save you a lot of time and stress each day, plus it’s teaching them the importance of responsibility and contributing to the family. Teach them age-appropriate tasks like cleaning their room, doing laundry, making the grocery list, planning meals, cooking, taking out the trash, vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms, and so on.

Know your limits. When a friend, co-worker, or family member asks something of you that you know you can’t do, say no. It may not make the other person happy, but knowing your limits can help you from being overworked unnecessarily. If you don’t respect your time, who else will?

These are all very simple, yet effective, ways to deal with the stress of being a single parent. These tips won’t do away with stress altogether, but they’ll help you manage it in a way that will allow you to get things done and enjoy your life and kids. Your kids will only be small for a short time, and you don’t want to waste these years in a stressed out daze. Instead, take advantage of the here and now by incorporating these stress management tips into your life. 

With a little bit of planning, help, and effort, you can juggle being both the parent and
provider of your family. Which one of these suggestions will you implement today?!

To Your Success,
Juan

The Scary Ways Stress Affects Our Health. Conclusion


Welcome Back to the LETS TALK ABOUT STRESS series!

Diet and eating habits
When you’re under stress, you may find yourself turning to unhealthy comfort foods or overeating. You may also have trouble sleeping, which can lead to fatigue and make it even harder to make healthy choices. There some things you can do to try to improve your situation. First, try to identify the sources of your stress and determine what you can eliminate or reduce. If work is a major source of stress, how can you change your job or reduce your workload. If you’re dealing with personal issues, talk to a therapist or counselor.

In addition to making changes in your life, you can also take steps to improve your diet and eating habits. Eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day to keep your energy up, and make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid sugary and fatty foods as much as possible,  limit caffeine and alcohol intake. Exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and take time for relaxation and fun activities that help reduce stress.

How Stress affects your overall well-being.
When you experience stress, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode. This causes a number of changes to occur, including an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure, as well as a release of stress hormones like cortisol.

While some amount of stress is normal and even necessary (it helps you to stay alert and perform under pressure), chronic stress can have negative effects on your health. Over time, it can contribute to conditions like anxiety, depression, heart disease, and even obesity.

There are a number of things you can do to manage stress and improve your overall well-being. Exercise, relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing, and getting enough sleep are all good options. You can also try to keep a positive outlook and find ways to better cope with stressful situations.

How to manage Stress to improve your health
Stress is a common problem that can have a negative impact on your health, it can make it difficult to manage other health conditions. There are many different ways to manage, the best approach may vary depending on the situation. Some people use relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation. Others may find that exercise or journaling helps to relieve stress.

If you are struggling to cope with stress, it is important to talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. They can help you to identify healthy coping mechanisms and develop a plan to improve your overall health.

What are your thoughts? Sound off below! See you in a few days!

To Your Success,
Juan

The Scary Ways Stress Affects Our Health. Pt 1


Photo: Simran Sood

Welcome Back to the LETS TALK ABOUT STRESS series!

It’s no secret that stress takes a toll on our mental and emotional health, but did you know  it can also wreak havoc on our physical health? In fact, stress is a major contributing factor to many of the most common health concerns, from heart disease to obesity. So what exactly happens to our bodies when we’re stressed? And more importantly, what can we do to combat the negative effects of stress?

Chronic stress can take a toll on your body, causing  a variety of symptoms. You may experience:
Headaches
Muscle tension or pain
Chest pain
Fatigue
Digestive problems
Sleep problems

We will divide this segment in two parts, for the sake of time and attention span. Today, we will look at how stress affects our mental, emotional, social wellbeing and sleep habits, as well as useful coping mechanisms. Part two concludes by examining the affects on diet and eating habits, overall wellbeing.

Stress is a normal part of life, but it can take a toll on your mental health. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or just not yourself, stress could very well be the culprit. Chronic stress can lead to problems like anxiety, depression, and trouble sleeping. It can also make physical health problems worse.

If you’re struggling to cope with stress, there are things you can do to feel better. Talking to a therapist can help. So can exercise, relaxation techniques, and making lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep.

How Stress affects your emotional health
When we’re stressed, our bodies release a hormone called Cortisol. Cortisol helps us regulate our metabolism, but when we’re constantly under stress, it can have a negative impact on our emotional health.

Studies have shown Cortisol can cause symptoms of anxiety and depression, and interfere with our ability to form new memories and concentrate. In addition, cortisol wears down our immune system, making us more susceptible to illness. 

Exercise is a great way to reduce stress levels, spending time with friends and family can also help. If you’re still finding it difficult to cope, it’s important to talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.

How Stress affects your social health
Chronic stress can have negative effects on your social life. You can become withdrawn and irritable, anxious and depressed, which in turn negatively affects your relationships. It is important to make time for yourself, and focus on your mental and emotional health.

How Stress affects your sleep.
Stress can cause us to have trouble falling or staying asleep, and it can lead to restless nights. Over time, you can suffer from sleep deprivation. Stress hormones like cortisol, can make it hard to fall and stay asleep. Cortisol is a hormone that helps us deal with stress, but it also makes us more alert and can keep us awake at night. Racing thoughts and worry keeps us awake at night. Physical symptoms like headaches or muscle tension are not uncommon.

There are a few things you can do to try to improve your sleep. First, try to stick to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends. Second, create a relaxing bedtime routine; taking a warm bath or reading a book. And finally, try some relaxation techniques like deep breathing or visualization before bedtime.

Let me know if you found any of these suggestions helpful!

To Your Success,
Juan

 

Your Relationship With Food


While I don’t think there is anything wrong with occasional over eating, after all, many things propel us to gorge ourselves into a food coma. Relationship ending, failing an exam, being let down by others, etc.  However, you cannot ignore there is a problem, when you hide the habit from others, feel ashamed, and tried to stop on your own.

Overeating can have many causes, but they all produce the same result. You gain weight and feel like you’re out of control. While you may  blame yourself for lacking willpower or not trying hard enough, there could be something else at work. The real reasons (besides the mental and psychological aspects) why you eat more than you intend, may surprise you, and some are relatively easy to fix. 

There are many common lifestyle habits that tend to undermine a healthy diet. Take a look at this list to find out which things you’ll want to do differently.

Dealing with Eating Habits That Make You Overindulge:

  1. Be flexible. You may think you’re being virtuous for starting a super-strict diet, but being too rigid can backfire. Allowing yourself a few treats can keep you from feeling so deprived, that you wind up eating an entire pizza.
  2. Shrink your menu. On the other hand, planning your meals and snacks around a limited number of healthy foods can help you eat less. The lack of variety dampens your appetite.
  3. Eat mindfully. A lot of overeating happens when you’re busy with something else. Sit down and pay attention to your food instead of watching TV. Beware of nibbling while you’re preparing meals or lingering at the table after dinner.
  4. Slow down. A leisurely pace gives your brain time to tell your stomach that you’re full. Chew thoroughly and pause between bites.
  5. Listen to cravings. Intense urges are usually trying to tell you something important. Eating light snacks can keep you from getting so hungry that you long for junk food.
  6. Avoid low fat foods. Did you know that low fat foods are usually only about 10% lower in calories? Plus, they’re often higher in sugar and sodium, which can make you want to eat more.
  7. Limit artificial sweeteners. Sweetness is one of the signs your brain uses to try to determine how much to eat based on how many calories a food has. Artificial sweeteners make those calculations difficult. Over time, your brain loses the ability to make correct judgements.

Dealing with Other Lifestyle Habits That Make You Overindulge:

  1. Sleep well. A lack of sleep can make you want to eat more and make it difficult for your body to digest food efficiently. Go to bed early on a consistent basis so you can get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
  2. Socialize wisely. We tend to eat more when we have company. Be especially vigilant when you’re enjoying holiday dinners and office parties. Try to find a lunch mate who eats healthy, so you can support each other.
  3. Exercise more. Physical activity burns calories and helps to fight depression and anxiety, which can lead to overeating. Aim to work out at least 30 minutes a day 3 times a week.
  4. Deal with your feelings. While it’s natural to associate food with celebrations and comfort, it’s important to have other ways of managing your emotions. Call a friend or write in your journal.
  5. Talk with your doctor. A slice of cake rarely does much harm, but sometimes there are deeper issues at work. If you binge frequently or feel guilty and ashamed about your eating, talk with your doctor. Effective treatments are available.

Understanding the reason why you overindulge is the first step in finding solutions that enable you to stick to a balanced diet, and maintain a healthy weight. Use these tips to take control of your eating, so you can stay fit and enjoy your food more.

To Your Success,
Juan

 

How To Avoid Losing Yourself In a Relationship


Does the rest of your life suffer when you fall in love? Do you have a tendency to lose yourself in a relationship? I certainly have! Looking back, it’s rather terrifying, how easily and completely depended on another for “life support”?

It’s natural to be swept away when you first start dating someone new. The trouble starts when you no longer recognize who you are. It can happen in healthy relationships, especially if you have unrealistic expectations about romance. In less healthy relationships, it’s not too difficult if your partner tries to pressure or manipulate you into becoming dependent on them. Research Narcissist Personality Disorder. It’s a real thing. 

Learn how to balance love with the rest of your life. Try these tips for having a more fulfilling relationship with yourself and your partner. You can tell that you’re sacrificing too much if you know where to look.

Spotting the Warning Signs

  1. Maintain other connections. Neglecting your family and friends is one of the most common and obvious signs. Make time for them in your schedule. When you’re with them, be sure to talk about more than your new love interest.
  2. Do your job. Are you too distracted to meet deadlines and participate in meetings? Keep your mind on work when you’re at the office. Save personal calls and texts for lunchtime if necessary.
  3. Watch your spending. Maybe you’re celebrating a little too much with shopping sprees, overeating, or other indulgences. The sooner you slow down, the easier it will be to fix the damage.
  4. Enjoy your hobbies. It’s great if your partner introduces you to new interests but beware of giving up the things you love just to please them. For example, you can take a class while they go to a hockey game.
  5. Voice your opinions. Speak up for yourself. Let your partner know you like jazz more than hip hop. It’s natural to disagree sometimes.

Being Proactive

You may have noticed that even when you start a new relationship, you soon fall into the same patterns you established with your last partner. If you want things to turn out differently, you’ll need to address your personal issues. Albert Einstein said: “Doing the same things over and over, and expecting the same results is insanity”

Keep these tips in mind:

  1. Boost your self-esteem. Make yourself a priority. Remember that you are worthy of love and respect just as you are. Treat yourself with compassion and repeat positive affirmations.
  2. Create boundaries. In a healthy relationship, partners encourage each other to set their own ground rules. Explain what you need and what you find unacceptable.
  3. Set goals. You’re less likely to lose yourself if you’re excited about other aspects of your life. Develop passion projects that motivate you to learn and grow. As a bonus, you’ll probably make yourself more interesting.
  4. Practice self-care. Treating yourself well makes you stronger and more resilient. It also reminds you of your worth. Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Sleep well and deal with stress constructively.
  5. Spend time alone. Do you enjoy your own company? It’s important to have a healthy relationship with yourself in order to bond with others. Solitude gives you an opportunity to increase your self-awareness and center yourself.
  6. Take a break. If you’re dissatisfied with your love life, you might benefit from giving up dating for a while. Use the time to examine your dating criteria and form new habits.
  7. Consider counseling. Working with a therapist might help too. That’s especially true if you’re trying to recover from an abusive relationship or think that childhood issues are affecting your adult behavior.

Hold onto your identity when you’re in a relationship. Losing yourself is too high a price to pay for wanting to be a couple. You and your partner deserve to feel secure and loved for who you are. 

Wishing You Well,

Juan

 

Get Clear on Why You Care So Much


One way to learn to stop caring so much about irrelevant issues and thoughts of others is to dig in deep and study yourself in a new way to get to the bottom of the reasons you care so much. Three ways help you get clear on why you care so much that you can use.

Journaling 
You can use your computer, buy a specialized journal, or you can simply use a notebook you have created to journal. It’s up to you what type of system you use and whether it’s modern or analog. The important part is that you try to use your journal to express your thoughts, emotions, and stream of consciousness about a problem you’re trying to solve or a feeling you’re trying to explore without judgment or censoring.  Write in your journal every day when you’re trying to understand why you care so much. You may end up discovering your life purpose or a new reason for getting up each day, one you had not realized before. 

Meditation
Before you use your journal, it can help to clear your mind using meditation. Meditation practice is all about not thinking and not judging your thoughts or feelings even as they still happen during the meditation.  Each time you meditate, you can have a purpose of self-discovery, or goal to clear your mind and relax.  To practice this type of meditation, you’ll want to find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lay down. Concentrate on your goals for the meditation, close your eyes, and start focusing on your breathing.  Think about the situation you’re trying to understand for a moment, then clear your mind. If any intrusive thoughts come in, brush them aside by refocusing on your breathing. You mustn’t allow any outside information or sensation to distract you during this time.  Many You Tube videos offer instructions and help.

Therapy
Today, we are fortunate to be able to access psychological therapy from the comfort of our homes using your computer or smartphone. Numerous companies offer this service and varying price points. In addition, many insurance companies include several sessions as part of your benefits.  If you seek therapy, make sure you find someone experienced working with you on overcoming people-pleasing and putting yourself last in life. Remember, your wants and needs matter too. Most therapists can guide you through the self-discovery process, to finally know what you want, regardless of what others think

Any or all three of these methods, help you become crystal clear regarding your motivations to seek approval from others and even help you stop doing it. Remember, what you want from life is important too, and following someone else’s dreams will never get you what you want and, more importantly, content in your life. 

Wishing You Well,
Juan

Strategies For Putting Yourself First


Below are some healthy ways to help you develop the habit, without burning bridges or negatively affecting your energy, enthusiasm, and motivation. These tips will help you achieve your goals, protect your mental and physical wellbeing, and overcome even your biggest challenges. Bear in mind, if you do have to burn some bridges, don’t dally, just get on with life, and know you are doing what is best for your future self.

Choose Your Purpose: Having a clear purpose is essential. It is the simplest, most basic thing every person needs to live a fulfilling and satisfying life. Without a purpose, you will end up living your life haphazardly. Your purpose also makes it easier for you to say ‘No’ to people and things that do not align with your highest good. Living it helps you identify what you need to do and when. Consciously reaffirming your purpose regularly multiplies your efforts of taking action.

Live by a Vision: Putting yourself first also requires that you develop a clear vision of the life you want to lead. A vision keeps you focused on the journey, and will allow you to effectively prioritize your tasks and projects as the important things will align with your purpose and vision of your ultimate life. To get clear about your vision, start by reflecting on these three questions: Who do I want to be? What do I want to do? How do you want to feel? If you are unsure about your vision, ruminating on these questions will assist you in getting clear. 

 Set Personal Goals and Plan: wise way to ensure your vision becomes a reality. Goals make the realization of your vision much more achievable, will keep you motivated and focused on what you want out of life. After taking the time to set your goals, set aside regular time to plan how you will achieve them.

 Learn New Skills: As you draw up your goals and develop your vision, you may find you need to learn new skills to make your ideal life a reality. Take some time to identify those areas that you may be lacking. Then take proactive steps to bridge the gap between your present level and your desired level.

Set Personal Boundaries: skill you need to master when learning how to put yourself first, because you will need it a lot on every step of your journey. That is especially true if you tend to be a people-pleaser. Others are used to you backing down and giving them what you want, so you’ll need to stay strong. Look them in the eye and kindly say, “No, thank you.” Even when they try to convince you to think otherwise, practice sticking to your decision by not get pressured into consenting. Setting personal boundaries is a vital skill because it enables you to defend your time and your rights which is an essential component of putting yourself first.

Get Active: Putting yourself first isn’t only about goal setting and getting ahead. It’s also about taking the time for self-care. After all, if you don’t take care of your health, you’ll be unable to live your purpose or fulfill your life’s vision. Put yourself and your health first by starting a program of regular exercise as soon as possible if you aren’t already doing so. Engaging in a brisk daily walk is all that’s needed to improve and maintain your health.

Eat Healthy: A healthy diet is equally as important as your body’s need to exercise. Eating a nutritious diet is a huge part of taking care of your health and putting yourself first. If your diet needs a major overhaul, take it one step at a time and work your way up to your ideal diet. Remember, putting yourself first is about being kind to yourself.

Get enough rest: Getting sufficient sleep is another essential component of putting yourself first. It is also necessary for boosting your performance and replenishing your energy. By getting enough sleep, you will be better equipped to face the hurdles of the new day with greater confidence, energy, and enthusiasm. Never allow anyone or anything come between you and the need to get enough sleep.

Schedule Relaxation: Sometimes you may be lacking the energy you need to live your ultimate life. Rather than trying to push through such times, it is better to maximize your relaxation and recovery. You can engage in activities that will help reduce fatigue and replenish your energy, such as meditation, yoga, massage, or a quick nap. If you find you run low on energy and motivation on a regular basis, start scheduling relaxation or downtime into your day. A consistent relaxation routine will keep you on more of an even-keel, so you don’t burn out.

Journal : Apparently, you have 60,000 or more thoughts per day. When you feel you have a lot to do and you are overwhelmed with too many ideas, journaling will help clear your head, can lead to better self-awareness, which is the foundation of putting yourself first. You can journal any way you wish—with paper and pen or by using an app. You might choose to journal every day or only when you feel overwhelmed or unsettled. Whatever works for you is perfect.

Practice Gratitude: Take some time each day to reflect on the positives in your life. It’s easy to focus on the things we’d like to change and neglect to be appreciative for all we have. It is very important to have a realistic perspective on your life and identify the positives for the sake of your health and wellbeing. As you find the time to write down and reflect on all the things you are grateful for each day, you will reduce your stress levels and naturally find more and more to be grateful for in your life.

Putting yourself first is something you must make a conscious effort to do. You must fill your cup first, or you will end up with nothing left to give.  Be prepared for pushback, as this new way of living might not sit well with those in your circle, who take, take, and take. Stand your ground, in a few months, you won’t recognize the person staring back at you in the mirror!

To Your Success,
Juan

 

Things You Should Know About Seeking Treatment For PTSD


There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to PTSD, and it most likely will not be resolved in a short amount of time. Furthermore, if there are comorbidities involved, it will take longer for the therapist to determine what diagnosis and treatment are appropriate. The type of treatment you or your loved one receives is up to your therapist, but below are some common forms of treatment.

Cognitive Processing Therapy
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a specific type of therapy used to help people change the way they view trauma. It has been effective in helping reduce symptoms of PTSD, and many mental health specialists recommend this course of action. It’s thought to be one of the most effective treatments available. Trauma changes the way a person feels about themselves and the world, often causing them to develop an overly negative and hopeless view of things. This type of therapy can help them begin to reprocess the way they think about things. 

Prolonged Exposure Therapy
Since avoidance is a symptom of PTSD, therapists will sometimes use a treatment called Prolonged Exposure therapy (PE). This treatment helps people confront the things they’re avoiding in increments. This type of therapy will induce more anxiety and stress than CPT typically does, so therapists will try to equip their patients with anxiety-reducing coping skills.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
EDMR is a different kind of treatment than talking through traumatic events. Instead, the patient is asked to think about the traumatic event while the therapist directs their eye movement. It’s thought that the eye movement while remembering a traumatic event can help drain the emotion and negative feelings attached to it. This type of therapy is still relatively new and is considered a non-traditional form of therapy. 

Medication For PTSD
For some, medication may be helpful in addition to therapy. According to the National Center for PTSD, antidepressants are sometimes effective for treating symptoms of PTSD. These types of medications include SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors). Your doctor or therapist can help you determine if medication might be right for you.

Treatment for PTSD may not be a cure, as with most mental health disorders total recovery can be difficult or unobtainable. However, many people who receive therapy see a significant and life changing improvement of symptoms. For some, therapy may even lead to a near absolution of symptoms. 

If you’re suffering from PTSD or you know someone who is, know that there are people who can help:

  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
  • For veterans, the National Center for PTSD is also available by calling 1-800-273-8255 or you can reach online here: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net

Hotlines are a good short-term solution, that should be followed up with therapy work from a trained professional. Build up a support network of people ready and willing to help when symptoms of PTSD become overwhelming.  Be patient with yourself (or your loved one) because PTSD is a real disorder that requires time and care to improve.

Remember, setbacks don’t erase all progress. For best results, learn all you can about PTSD, seek professional help, and keep your focus on healing. 

To Your Success,
Juan