December 1, 2017

Woke Up in a Bad Mood?

Posted in Compassion, Mindfulness tagged , , , , at 8:09 am by kellyfdennis

photoIt happens to all of us at one time or another, we wake up cranky and/or grumpy. Sometimes we can identify the reason, we slept poorly, have a busy day, the kids are fighting, the cat puked (and you stepped in it), etc. However, sometimes the source of the mood isn’t easily identifiable. When that happens here are some things you can try to help yourself feel better:

-Try some self compassion. Just acknowledging to yourself know that you feel grumpy right now and that’s ok is helpful. This feeling won’t last forever, and you can love yourself even if you’re grumpy.

-Stop whatever you’re doing, take a deep breath and just notice your surroundings. What do you see, smell, hear, and feel? Sometimes just disengaging from autopilot for a moment is enough to lift your mood.

-Take a brisk walk outside. Physical exercise releases natural feel good chemicals in our brain which can help dispel a bad mood.

-Try just accepting it, instead of fighting against it. “Ok, this is how I feel right now, let’s just move on.”

-Think of situations and moods in the short term. A big contributor to a bad mood is catastrophizing about something. “Oh, no, this commute is going to be awful; this presentation is going to suck; this day is going to drag on forever” If we can think about just what’s happening now and stop ourselves from making the negative predictions, the bad mood may lift.

-Get out of your own head and focus on someone else. When we shift our focus to helping others or at least paying attention to them we engage the natural emotional warmth that occurs for us as humans when we are in relationship.

-Listen to some uplifting music and feel free to sing along at the top of your lungs!

I hope you’re bad mood has lifted by now!

Be Well and Have A Wonderful Day!

February 14, 2014

Anxiety…Friend or Foe?

Posted in cognitive behavioral therapy tagged , , , , , , at 4:15 pm by kellyfdennis

anxiety-fear-puzzle-means-anxious-and-afraid-100236308Many of the clients with whom I work struggle with anxiety; we all have a little anxiety. It helps us study harder for tests, or to be more cautious in a dark alley late at night. Anxiety is adaptive and helpful in normal amounts. However, sometimes, our normal anxiety gets ramped up. Our primitive flight or flight response switch gets triggered when it really doesn’t need to be. Our heart rate increases, our breathing becomes shallow, all of our physical resources rally to confront the danger…but there really is no danger. The “danger” switched got flipped when it didn’t need to be flipped.

This kind of anxiety for some people becomes a panic attack. Fear increases to the point where s/he thinks s/he is going crazy or is going to die of a heart attack. It becomes debilitating because once a panic attack happens, the person then becomes fearful that a panic attack will happen again and takes great precautions not to have this happen. The individual may stop going to places with a lot of people, may stop riding mass transit, and may stop interacting with friends. The fear of having a panic attack becomes all-encompassing.

For others anxiety manifests in social situations; the individual becomes increasingly self-conscious to the point of desiring to leave the situation. There are also people who become severely anxious around feared objects or animals.

There are many different forms of anxiety. If you find that the amount of anxiety you are experiencing is causing any of the symptoms above or is getting in the way of being able to work or have relationships, then it’s time to get it checked out. The first stop should be to you primary care physician to make sure there aren’t any underlying medical conditions that can masquerade as anxiety. If not, then give therapy a try. Cognitive-Behavioral therapy has been found to be very beneficial in the treatment of anxiety disorders. There are also some helpful visualizations and grounding exercises on my You Tube Channel. I hope you’ll check them out and help yourself on the journey to feeling better!

Be Well and Have A Wonderful Day!



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Do Not Weigh Your Self-Esteem on a Scale

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