Tag: stress

Back To Basics: 4 Ideas To Keep You Going Strong

How ‘ya holding up these days?

So many people are being hammered by negative stress, anxiety, anger, fear, depression, and a few other things. So much to think about to take care of yourself and those you love.

What are you doing to keep yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually uplifted? Feel free to share your ideas with me-I may even collate them and share them back with all of you (minus any identifying info of course!).

For many, it’s coming down to the basics:

1. Focus on what you can control. Worrying about something you can’t control only keeps any anxiety-igniting thoughts alive and well. There are some things you can control; decide on those and do them.

2. Reconnect with your body. Do a body scan, find any areas of tension, and then BEFORE you do your deep breathing, tighten the tense part even more, THEN, do your deep breathing to relax it.

3. Acknowledge any intrusive thoughts or strong feelings. Be gentle with yourself about this. If you have a mind, it’s gonna wander, so do your best to not dwell on these particular thoughts or feelings-that only keeps your amygdala activated, which keeps the body in a state of anxiety. You certainly don’t need that now.

4. Find ways to laugh. Whether it’s funny jokes shared online, silly videos, funny movies, or TV shows, find ways to laugh. There are several online sites that have some really funny jokes-laughter is great medicine to decrease negative stress and build resilience. Maybe even try laughter yoga.

5. Stay connected. We’re all in this together and we’ll get through it together, but right now, we have to remain physically apart. However, don’t let physical isolation turn into social isolation-stay in touch with family, friends, and neighbors. Now we can use technology as a force for good to stay connected.

As for me, I’m keeping a quote by His Holiness The Dalai Lama, very close:

“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” 

I’m also keeping the exercise up to keep my immune system, especially my IgA and IgG up (thank my good friend and colleague, Ken Nedd, MD for this information).

We will get through this,

As always, I love helping women live happier lives. Whether you call it depression, anxiety, stress, or nerves, I’d like to help. I invite you to call me at 512.680.2874 for your free (up to) 15-minute phone consultation. Let’s discuss how I may be able to help.

And remember, TBC is completely online now, which frees up your time so you can enjoy your life more!

Looking forward to hearing your story and helping you feel better,

Stay healthy and connected,

Dr. B.

Stress and Your Heart: You Don’t Want This For Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hope you’ve said that to those you love and care about and they’ve said it back to you. It’s really good to know you have social support to surround, love, nurture, and have your back when stressors come your way.  Just knowing you have that social support, whether it’s close or far away, is one of the many ways you can keep the negative stress wolves from your door.

And even though Wear Red Day was February 7, to help your get even more benefit from having a strong support system, it’s time to think about how negative stress can affect your heart.

Think about it, when you’re at work and your boss imposes a new deadline or your 17 year-old again tells you, “you just don’t understand”, or someone cuts you off in traffic and barely misses hitting you, your stress response is probably gonna kick in.

What’s happening to your heart then?

As soon as you add your own meaning to any of the situations above, your breath quickens, epinephrine helps dilate your bronchial tubes in your lungs, cortisol ramps up, your blood gets thicker because the epinephrine releases fibrinogen to help clotting, and your blood pressure rises. Some blood vessels open up, but hey, the ones returning to your heart-they constrict. Yes, that means your blood is crashing back into your heart like water hitting the levees in New Awlins during Katrina-and look what happened to them.

And since the culture in which we live encourages a chronically activated stress response, the wear and tear on the heart can contribute to developing devastating consequences, like hypertension, heart attack, arrhythmias, damaging artery walls, and plaque buildup to name a few.

So today, if you haven’t already, reach out, spread the love and allow it to return back to you. Your heart and your health in general, and yes, this includes your emotional and spiritual health, will thank you for it.

As always, I love helping women live happier lives. Whether you call it depression, anxiety, stress, or nerves, I’d like to help. I invite you to call me at 512.680.2874 for your free 15-minute phone consultation. Let’s discuss how I may be able to help.

And remember, TBC is completely online now, offering video therapy and coaching, which frees up your time so you can enjoy your life more!

Looking forward to hearing your story and helping you feel better,

Dr. B.

 

 

5 Easy Ideas For Change You Can See

Time to catch up as we continue into this new year. I’ve been working on making some positive changes I can see this year at TBC and I’ll slowly be unveiling them over the next several months.

If your intention for 2019 is to create more ‘change you can see’, then you’re in good company. For me, it’s the year of the Boar in the Chinese calendar-hence, it’s my year and I’ve decided to get as much out of it as I can. But no matter what your lunar sign is, I want to share 3 questions to keep you on track with your intentions so that this year, you can finally experience what you keep on telling me you want to experience. You might want to journal your answers as you settle down with a good cuppa in your favorite snug.

Ask yourself:
1. What would I like to see that’s different about situation X? Be very specific!

2. What will be the good things about changing my current behavior?/attitude?/way of thinking?/relationship(s)?

3. What will my life be like in 1 year (3 years?; 5 years?) from now if I change my current behavior?/attitude?/way of thinking?/relationship(s)?

Those 3 can get you started.

As an example, I’d like to share some of the highlights of one of the positive changes I’ve decided on for TBC this year.

1. Different: Not every professional woman wants, needs, or benefits from engaging in therapy. Plus, they may NOT have a psychiatric diagnosis-instead, they may just want to learn skills and strategies.  Therefore, offer them an alternative to therapy that still helps them break the stress-worry cycle so they can experience confidence and calm, even in chaos, and feel energized, resilient, and power FULL, all in a time sensitive manner. This is the Calm and Confident SystemTM; a one-month (accelerated) or 6-month program designed especially for professional and executive women…

2. Good things: Can strip what I do to share skills, wisdom, and practical information without all the therapy minutiae; can reach and work with women around the world; can work on-line which provides more time and location freedom…

3. In 1 year: Can help more women from around the world; more time and location freedom…

But to accomplish this, I’m all about action steps-yes I have to do the work to make this happen. To be blunt, the same goes for you if you want change you can see, you’ll have to do the work. Unfortunately far too many people ignore this step and rely on magical thinking.

That never works!

After you’ve answered the above 3 questions, you’ll need to start thinking about what you’ll need to do, to get what or who you want. What will you have to give up, stop doing, start doing, etc…? Answering these questions won’t be easy and you may not get the answer the first time through, but the benefits will be worth it; think of where you’ll be after you’ve put the positive changes into place.

For some of you the Calm and Confident SystemTMmight help accelerate you on your path to where you want to be. If you believe that could be you, schedule a 30-minute Calming ConversationTM with me. Can’t wait to talk with you!

As always, I love helping women live happier lives. Whether you call it depression, anxiety, stress, or nerves, I’d like to help. I invite you to call me at 512.680.2874 for your free 15-minute phone consultation (traditional therapy) or for your 30-minute Calming ConversationTM. Let’s discuss how I may be able to help. If we decide to work together, I’ll have tea and chocolate waiting for you. 

Loads of Respect!

Dr. B. 

Dr. B. is now an Ambassador for the National Register of Health Service Psychologists. If your site has psychology practicum students, psychology interns, or early career psychologists, call me to schedule a free presentation about the benefits of membership in the National Register. 

Don’t Let Stress Grinch Your Holiday Season

Wow, where has 2018 gone?

It’s holiday time again and you know what that means: unfortunately many people believe that this means everyone “should” be happy, “should” get along, “should” spend a lot of money, and “should” overeat. But do you really want to live a “shouldy” life? I don’t and you probably don’t either. To stop the “shoulds” from coming down your chimney, here are 10 easy ideas so that stress doesn’t grinch your holiday season.

Don’t Let Stress Grinch Your Holiday Season

1. Be in the moment. Enjoy and savor the conversations and interactions as they occur. If they don’t uplift you, take yourself out of them.

2. Say “NO”, mean it, and stick to it. This applies to people, events you don’t want to attend, or any thing that forces you to overspend or overextend yourself. Become a broken record if you have to.

3. Avoid regrets. Decide beforehand what you’d regret not doing or who you’d regret not seeing – then do that.

4. Decide how you want to feel. This means monitor and change thoughts that don’t encourage feeling good.

5. Create your own tradition(s). Just because your family always did things a certain way doesn’t mean you have to do the same.

6. Don’t allow others to “guilt-trip” you. If someone who has harmed you (in whatever way) in the past will be present, don’t allow others to tell you things like: “forget about it”;  “get over it”, “they didn’t mean it”, to try and force you to attend or interact with them. Refer back to # 2.

7. Get moving. Exercise helps you feel better, think more clearly, quiets your busy mind, gives you more energy, and staves off stress hormones. Invite others to join you for a walk or a pickup game.

8. Learn to delegate. You can’t do everything or please everyone. Share the responsibilities so you can have some enjoyable extra downtime.

9. Make yourself a priority. You have to fill your own well first, so you can be there for others who may need you. Keep close to your regular routine, like exercising, food plan, meditating, etc..,

10. Spend some quality time alone. Make sure you take care of your emotional and spiritual self by nurturing, loving, and being good to yourself.

As always, I love helping women live happier lives. Whether you call it depression, anxiety, stress, or nerves, I’d like to help. I invite you to call me at 512.680.2874 for your free 15-minute phone consultation. Let’s discuss how I may be able to help. If we decide to meet, I’ll have tea and chocolate waiting for you.

Looking forward to hearing your story and helping you feel better,

See you in 2019!

Dr. B.