South Denver Psychotherapy: How To Work With Anxiety.

Anxiety can be a painful, miserable experience that can take the joy out of everyday living. Depending on the type of anxiety you have, you might find yourself worrying constantly, becoming physically sick, avoiding interactions with other people, procrastinating on important tasks, or simply not enjoying the activities you once did.

Luckily, there are things that you can do to take ownership of your mental health and wellbeing and control your anxiety so it doesn’t control you.

Remember that your mental health and physical health cannot be separated from each other. Therefore, taking care of your physical health can do wonders for your mental health. This is certainly the case with anxiety. Exercising is a great way to reduce stress, since exercises releases natural endorphins, which help you feel good.

Diet also plays a role in anxiety management. Carbohydrates, such as pasta, rice, and beans give you energy. Tryptophan, a substance found in nuts and other proteins, help calm you down. Keeping hydrated and avoiding caffeine are key to keeping your anxiety levels healthy. Dehydration can cause fatigue, which can in turn trigger anxiety.

Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation can help ease anxiety. You can also practice yoga and meditation. With these techniques, you can essentially “trick” your body and mind into feeling calmer. In addition, make sure you’re taking enough time for yourself to do things you enjoy, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep.

Having a healthy social network can also work wonders for your anxiety. It’s a good idea to distance yourself from people who shame or ridicule you or bring you down and instead surround yourself with people who support you and build you up.

Pursuing psychotherapy and counseling services can also be effective for anxiety management. If you are in the Denver area and are interested in trying psychotherapy or counseling, contact South Denver Psychotherapy today.

Healthy Communication for Healthy Relationships: Love is Respect.

When you think of the perfect romantic relationship, what are some aspects that come to mind? Similar interests? Date nights once a week? A sizzling sex life?

These are all great qualities of a relationship. However, arguably none of these could exist without healthy communication.

Open, honest communication is an essential ingredient for any healthy relationship. Below are some strategies recommended by LoveisRespect.org to create an environment conducive to effective communication.

Find the Right Time: As anxious as you might be about whatever is going on between you and your partner, it is important that a conversation take place at the right time in order for it to be effective. So if your partner is watching the game or is in the middle of a task, it’s a good idea to hold off until they are ready. Set up a time to talk where both of you will be able to feel calm and engage.

Talk in Person: Have you ever noticed how people can be so friendly in person but then come across as terse or cold via email or text? Subtle cues like body language, tone, and eye contact get lost in written communication. Serious topics are best discussed in person.

“I” Instead of “You:” When pointing responsibility on the other person, it can come across as attacking or blaming, even if you mean well. This can cause the other person to get defensive. In addition, the only perspective you can be 100% sure of is your own. It is helpful, therefore, to frame things in terms of your point of view. For example, instead of saying “You never want to do anything with me anymore,” you could try “I feel like we haven’t been as close lately.”

Be Honest: Yes, the truth can be painful, but it is crucial to having a healthy relationship. Not expressing what’s on your mind is not fair to either you or your partner. Of course, there is always a way to be honest in a way that does not come across as harsh or hurtful. Again, instead of placing full responsibility on the other party, try to express the situation in terms of how you feel. Remember that your partner can’t read your mind. So if something is bothering you, say it.

Use the 48 Hour Rule: As discussed earlier, it is essential to communicate with your partner if there is an issue. However, you don’t have to discuss it right away. Along the lines of finding the right time, it might not be helpful to bring up an issue when you’re angry, overwhelmed, or not in the right frame of mind. You can take some time to process the issue. If the issue is still bothering you in 48 hours, talk to your partner. If not, you might consider letting it go.

Opening up the channels of communication can give your relationship the opportunity to prosper. If you are in need of marriage counseling, couples counseling or are experiencing relationship communication issues, South Denver Psychotherapy can help. Contact us today.

Source:

Love Is Respect. How Can We Communicate Better? loveisrespect.org

Healthy Eating for Better Mental Health.

Traditionally when we think of diet and nutrition, we think of physical health.

But it turns out that diet is just as important to your mental health as it is to your physical health. More and more, psychiatrists are trained to ask patients about their diet.

So, how should you eat to ensure better mental health? Below are some tips from Mental Health America.

  1. First, make sure you get plenty of water. About 8 glasses of water a day helps prevent dehydration. Even mild dehydration can result in fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and mood changes.
  1. If you have an anxiety disorder or are prone to panic attacks, avoid caffeine, as excess caffeine can trigger panic attacks. If you feel like you need caffeine, try having a cup of tea instead of coffee.
  2. Diets that consist primarily of high-fat dairy and fried, refined, and sugary foods are found to significantly increase the risk of depression. On the other hand, diets that consist primarily of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and unsaturated fats can decrease the risk of depression by up to 30%.
  3. People with Vitamin D deficiency also have higher rates of depression. While most foods do not naturally have Vitamin D, some foods, such as orange juice and breakfast cereals, have Vitamin D added. Taking Vitamin D supplements and getting enough sun exposure can also help ensure that you are getting ample Vitamin D.
  4. Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in walnuts, flax, olive oil, fresh basil, and dark green leafy vegetables, may also be helpful in the treatment of depression and can help children with ADHD.
  5. Avoid skipping meals, especially breakfast, as this can lead to fatigue and “brain fog.” If you are in a rush in the morning, take something to go, such as a whole grain granola bar, yogurt, and a piece of fruit. This will give you the energy you need to jump-start your day.

If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or any other mental health issues and are seeking psychotherapy or counseling services, contact South Denver Psychotherapy today.

Source: Mental Health America. Healthy Diet: Eating with Mental Health in Mind.

Mental Health Benefits of Journaling.

 

Taking care of our mental health is critical to carrying out our daily tasks and attaining success in our lives.

If we are feeling anxious, depressed, or just not feeling like ourselves, it can become excruciating to do the activities needed to live a meaningful life—like when you’re physically ill with a cold or a stomach bug.

There are several things you can do to take ownership of your mental health. While seeing a counselor might be the most obvious, there are also other methods that you can do on your own that can be helpful as well.

One such method is journaling. According to Psych Central, journaling has a multitude of mental health benefits. A few of these are listed below.

1. Making sense of your thoughts and feelings. In the moment, particularly when we’re struggling, our thoughts and feelings can be jumbled and we may not know how to best articulate them. The process of getting them down on paper can bring new perspective and give you a better understanding of what’s going on in your mind. Furthermore, journaling engages both the left (analytical) and right (creative) brain, allowing you to solve problems more effectively.

2. Getting to know yourself better. Through writing about your experiences, you gain insights about who you are, what makes you happy, and what makes you tick.

3. Reducing stress. There is something deeply cathartic about expressing your feelings. If you don’t have someone you can talk to about your experiences, writing them down is a great way to let them out. Expressing yourself helps release emotions and decrease their intensity.

4. Recording your progress. When you look back at your writing, you will notice how much progress you’ve made over time. This will in turn increase your self-esteem. Life presents us with challenges, but through writing, you will discover that you are resilient and will come out of this difficult situation stronger.

A pen and paper can have remarkable effects on your well-being, just as much as going for a jog or practicing yoga.

Writing about our experiences is therapeutic, and so is talking about them. If you want to try counseling, South Denver Psychotherapy has a wide range of services to meet your needs.

Contact us today to learn more.

Source:

Purcell, Maud. October 30, 2015. The Health Benefits of Journaling. Psych Central.

Teens and Mental Health: A Guide for Parents.

Adolescence is a period of critical social and emotional development.

It can also be a period of rebellion, anger, mood swings, misbehavior, and outright disrespect.

Rest assured, this type of behavior is completely normal in teens and isn’t by any means a reflection on you as a parent.

In addition to teen psychotherapy and family counseling services, there are several ways you can help your teen get through this challenging time. Here is a list of three strategies to get you started as recommended the Child Development Institute:

  1. Give your teen some space. During adolescence, teenagers often wish to assert their independence from their parents. Show your teen that you trust them and respect their boundaries. Don’t completely ignore them, of course, but do give them the space to develop into their own people.
  1. Open parent-child communication. Make sure that your teen knows that you are always there for them if they ever need to talk. They should feel safe coming to you and expressing their thoughts and feelings. Even if you don’t completely agree with their opinions or totally understand what they’re going through, simply listening to them and showing them that you are open to considering their viewpoints can make all the difference.
  1. Encourage extracurricular participation. Teens are often struggling to discover who they are and to find their place in the world. Encourage them to try out different activities, figure out what interests them, and allow them to pursue what they love. Taking part in activities that we enjoy has a positive effect on mental health. Showing your teen that you want them to succeed in the activities they care about is not only beneficial for their mental health, but also for your parent-child relationship.

Adolescence is a confusing and anxiety-provoking period, but it is not forever. If you do seek further support, South Denver Psychotherapy provides both individual teen counseling and family counseling services to help teens and their parents navigate this complicated time period. You are always welcome to contact us to learn more.

Reference:

Child Development Institute. Teenager—Adolescent Development & Parenting Tips.