Can’t Sleep? Don’t try this!

Can’t Sleep? Don’t try this!

If you have trouble sleeping, you may not qualify for a diagnosis of insomnia, but the disturbed sleep may still be significant enough to cause fatigue, stress and perhaps lower functioning. Over time, trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep, or waking up multiple times may be indicative of a more serious problem. If the disturbance persists more than six months, it should not be ignored. A diagnosis of anxiety, acute stress, or another mood disorder may be needed–and perhaps a visit to the MD to see if there may be some organic cause of the persistent sleeplessness. In the meantime, what to do if sleep won’t come until the wee hours of the morning–until almost when it is time to get up? More

Are you a human being or a human doing?

When I make a mistake, forget something, mess up something or miss an appointment... is it just what I do sometimes, or does it say something about who I am? This is a crucial question whose answer can make a difference between a healthy or a not so healthy opinion of one's self. Answering the question requires an understanding of the difference between "being" and "doing." It is the being that determines a person character, true personality and, ultimately, his or her true self. It is the doing that often is out of character and does not accurately reflect the ...
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What is true forgiveness?

We evaluate violations of psychological or physical boundaries in terms of the the amount of injustice perceived. Usually, there is a difference between the way we would like to see the violation resolved (e.g., "I'd like to see him admit to his wrongdoing and ask for my forgiveness") and what we expect to actually happen (e.g., "He's uncaring and has no remorse. I expect him to hurt me again"). More serious violations are the hardest to accept and generally produce an inability to forgive in the wounded party. Unforgiveness is a feeling that encompasses a constellation of negative emotions, such ...
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The stress of negative self-talk

There is a constant traveling companion who goes with us everywhere we go. Never leaves our side. Never seems to take a break. Anytime we do something, don't do something, say something, fail to say something, our traveling companion utters a comment, blurts out a remark, passes judgment on what just happened to us. These comments are whispered directly into our brains, are not heard by anyone else, and come through sometimes subtly, sometimes very loud and clear. To those of us who are lucky to have had a positive development of our self-esteem, this inseparable traveling companion utters encouraging, ...
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How is talking about my problem going to help? 10 reasons why it is better than not talking at all.

1. Talking about issues forces us to put them into words and thus can focus the mind on important details of the problem. This works very well in all circumstances, but especially if you have trouble concentrating your attention or if your thoughts and feelings about the issue feel like they are all jumbled together. Talking about thoughts and feelings helps bring more clarity to the situation and may be of significant help in coming up with possible solutions. 2. Telling the story to someone else, instead of just telling it to yourself over and over (also known as ruminating), helps you sort out what ...
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Theo Pallake at Stresshacker.com

Top 11 reasons to love yourself

You must love yourself because… 1…you're the only one you've got You were born, you grew up, you became an adult...and there you are...you!  There's no escaping the reality of it.  You are the only one in the world who is... you. Your uniqueness, your particular blend of talents, skills, shortcomings, idiosyncrasies, background, and experience is unmatched by anyone else on the planet. Doing something positive with this unique treasure of a life begins by accepting that you are the only one you are and will ever be. 2… it is a prerequisite to loving anyone else If you are ...
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I need to change… right now!

Many clients who come into my office for help with relationship problems or individual issues are seeking a change of some sort, in themselves or in their situation, and they need the change to occur right now. It is not unusual for someone to come in and expect that one session of counseling, i.e. a conversation that will last about 45 minutes, will be sufficient to solve a serious problem, identify the change that is needed and make it happen right there and then. It is also not unusual for some clients to quit counseling after one or two sessions, ...
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Stressful Patterns: How Your Attachment Style Can Help or Wreck Your Important Relationships

When it comes to relationships, your attachment style can mean the difference between bliss and torment. But what is your attachment style? Where does it come from? How does it work? To understand the concept of attachment, we must go back to the cradle and to the world which the infant first inhabits. It is a world where primary needs (food, shelter, warmth, cleanliness, security, and human contact) reign paramount. Anytime the infant must experience hunger, disconnect, isolation and pain, a little trauma is the result. When those needs are frequently left unattended, a “primal panic” can be the result, ...
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Don’t let a good crisis go to waste!

When adversity strikes and when it lingers on in our lives, it is easy to think that all of it is just a bad experience and that nothing good can possibly come of it. In fairness, there are situations that look just like that: hopelessly bad. Take for example an important relationship that won't heal on its own, an otherwise bright child who doesn't seem to follow the right path, a career that is going nowhere, an income that is simply not enough, or a personal problem that does not seem to get any better. All these are crises, mostly crises of growth whose resolution requires deep changes to ...
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Suicidal? Let’s Talk About It

Far from encouraging suicide, psychosocial talk therapy (a.k.a. individual counseling) that focuses on the suicidal thoughts can be a life saver. Findings by a recent study conducted by Johns Hopkins University researchers confirm that there is a 26% lower risk of repeated deliberate suicide attempts and death in individuals who received psychosocial therapy following a suicide attempt. This is true in spite of the well-known fact that deliberate self-harm is a strong predictor of suicide. The aim of this study was to examine whether psychosocial therapy after self-harm was linked to lower risks of repeated self-harm, suicide, and death from ...
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The Stress of Unbelief and the Courage of Faith

Not believing in anything beyond our finite life can be stressful. However, believing in a higher power and life beyond our earthly existence can also be stressful. How can these two radically opposed worldviews lead to the same outcome of stress? The obvious answer is that being alive and conscious is in itself a source of stress. Beyond the obvious, however, there are more subtle reasons for the stress caused by unbelief and belief alike. Why not believing can be stressful A fundamental tenet of unbelief in a higher power and life beyond death is that the purpose of life ...
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Does Faith Help Prevent Depression?

There have been numerous reports in the medical press about the beneficial effects of faith-based beliefs as having a positive influence on stress, depression, and other behavioral health conditions, as for example a 90% decrease in the risk of major depression, assessed prospectively, in adults who reported that religion or spirituality was highly important to them. There is evidence that this beneficial effect is independent of frequency of church attendance, which has not been positively related to depression risk. Brain imaging findings in the adult children of high-risk families conducted at Columbia University have revealed large expanses of cortical thinning ...
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The Overwhelming Stress of Paranoia

My spouse and I have been married for several years and we have beautiful children. Beginning some time ago, and following some life events and difficult circumstances that have occurred to us and between us, my spouse has begun suspecting me (and accusing me) of having an affair, trying to hide financial assets, threatening physical harm, wanting to hurt the children, tapping the phone, bugging the house with cameras and listening devices, not loving, planning on leaving for someone else.  I haven't done any of these things.  I love my spouse with all of my heart, but this is definitely ...
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‘Tis the Season … for Reflection

I'm finding it hard to believe that Christmas is only a few days away and it's only two weeks until the end of the year. Where did this year go? The space between Christmas and the end of the year can be a great time to take a step back and reflect on the ups and downs of the past year, see what lessons there are to be learned, and to create some plans for the coming year. For those who really want to get their teeth into this, I recommend Jinny Ditzler's book Your Best Year Yet!, which takes ...
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I hate myself and it stresses me out!

One of the most important loves of our lives is the love of self, in the right measure, and in the proper perspective. Love of self is an important component in child development that helps produce healthy, fully functioning adults. The acquisition of a healthy love of self in the child can be disrupted or even completely blocked by a variety of factors: traumatic events; lack of love, attention and validation by primary caregivers; mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and attention disorders. Often, children perceive a disconnect between what their mind tells them they should think of themselves ...
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Stress, Women and Sound Sensitivity

Courtesy of Stockholm University's Stress Research Institute, a new study indicates that stress may make exhausted women over-sensitive to sounds.  The research offers evidence that women suffering from stress-related exhaustion exhibit hypersensitivity to sounds when exposed to stress.  In some cases, a sound level corresponding to a normal conversation can be perceived as painful.  This according to a study from Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University’s Stress Research Institute which tested sensitivity to sounds immediately after a few minutes’ artificially induced stress. The study, which is published in the online scientific journal PLoS ONE, involved exposing 348 people (208 women and ...
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How To Manage Stress in 90 Words

1. Stress is a necessary, useful part of life. EMBRACE IT. 2. Most stress is resolved in 1 of 3 ways: fight, flight or freeze. DECIDE WHICH IS BEST. 3. Stress triggers are known and predictable. BUDGET FOR IT. 4. Stress affects self-esteem/efficacy. WORK ON ITS CAUSE. 5. Stress affects mind and body. ATTEND TO BOTH. a. Mind: SWITCH OFF AUTOPILOT AND MANAGE OUTCOMES b. Body: i. Use up nervous energy. EXERCISE ii. Watch sugar/alcohol intake. NUTRITION iii. Keep a notebook beside your bed. WRITE YOUR WORRIES DOWN AND SLEEP ...
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The Stress-free Marriage – Part 2

Both spouses must be able to “see” the cycle that has taken over communication between them, before they can begin to make any changes. In identifying the cycle, each spouse must accept (even without agreeing with it entirely) that regardless of whether each spouse is guilty or innocent of wrongdoing against each other, the cycle itself is the most pressing problem. What matters most is not what cannot be talked about (the content), but why it cannot be talked about (the process). Noticing the process that takes place in most discussions helps the couple identify their cycle. Noticing the cycle ...
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Faith in God Positively Influences Treatment for Individuals with Mental Disorders

Belief in God may significantly improve the outcome of those receiving short-term treatment for psychiatric illness, according to a recent study conducted by McLean Hospital investigators. McLean Hospital of Belmont, MA is the largest psychiatric affiliate of Harvard Medical School. In the study, published in the current issue of Journal of Affective Disorders, David H. Rosmarin, PhD, McLean Hospital clinician and instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, examined individuals at the Behavioral Health Partial Hospital program at McLean in an effort to investigate the relationship between patients' level of belief in God, expectations for treatment and ...
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The Stress-free Marriage – Part 1

A good marriage is a stress-free, safe haven for both spouses. In its fold, both partners come to feel emotionally secure and emotionally stable.  They become physically, emotionally and cognitively connected to each other.  There is no challenge or difficulty that cannot be confronted and successfully managed together, as a couple. In the safe haven of marriage, each spouse feels freer to be truly herself or himself.  Both partners learn to make adjustments to better fit their personality to the other, and over time these changes become almost effortless, are positively motivated, and are long-lasting.  Neither feels compelled to be ...
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Anxiety: Fear Turned Inward

Let’s say on more days than not you feel pretty good about yourself and how you do in most areas of your life. Then one day, you struggle, perhaps at work, perhaps under pressure from a boss who expects more of you at times than you feel capable of achieving. The stress can be overwhelming. On the way home that day the elevator feels particularly confining and the freeway traffic is more irritating than usual, in part because when it stops you feel trapped too far from the next exit. You can’t sleep that night because your heart races and ...
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