Sharing Appreciation Online: A Different Way Of Counseling

Man, by nature is good. This philosophical view reminds us that no matter how bad a person is, there is still goodness that resides within, it only needs to be triggered so that it will rise against the negative emotions. Everything is a matter of how we perceive life in general. Most of the time, a person who has a negative perception of life is consumed by hatred and dissatisfaction, and these negative attributes are the results of ungratefulness. Most of the time, it is hard to get into the core of someone who is filled with negativity, thus as much as we want to help, it would be hard for someone to accept verbal counseling. Nevertheless, there are still different ways of making someone realize his attitudes, one of which is sharing personal experiences about appreciation and will enable that person to achieve some crucial points in life.

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The Attitude Of Gratitude

Positive psychology proposes that the attitude of gratefulness is one of the ways in attaining happiness in life. The premise of showing gratitude in everything we have makes us happy is indeed a proven fact. Cultivating appreciation in our hearts and keeping it as part of our routine diminishes the negativity that we may encounter along the way. Dr. Jo Wolthusen, PsyD wrote, “Someone who is living a life full of gratitude appears to be having the radiating happiness that can be contagious.”

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Sharing Is Caring

Happiness can be contagious, so is gratefulness. A person with a grateful heart knows the value of sharing promotes happiness as well. Also, a grateful person is very eager to share with the world how gratefulness can help us in finding joy and contentment in life. Dan Mager, MSW, agrees, stating that “grateful people are generally more helpful, generous of spirit, and compassionate. These qualities often spill over onto others.”

If you are an appreciative person, you would only wish that everyone can realize the value of showing appreciation is the key to becoming satisfied with whatever we have.

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Finding ways to share how gratitude changed our lives is now easily brought about by the wonders of digital technology and the internet. We have now the ability to broadcast the many blessing we receive and the good things that are happening in our lives online. Through social media platforms, we can post daily affirmations and share with other people who follow us our experiences. By doing so, we become instruments of change as we can influence others who have forgotten to cultivate appreciation in their lives which makes them unhappy and contributes to their dissatisfaction.

Also, we become a virtual counsel for those who are having a hard time accepting the principle behind gratefulness equals happiness. This is the perfect way of exchanging experiences in life that have taught us to become better. Stories of appreciation found online are a good source of healing from bitterness and negativity in life. 

Final Words

For people who are still holding on to their pride that they do not want to open personally, reading stories of gratefulness online enables them to let go of their arrogance and embrace the reality that behind their failures is the ungratefulness they have been keeping since then. Only then, they will experience pure bliss because there is no more harmful attitude that is holding them back. 

“Gratitude, in the most basic terms, is being thankful and appreciative of the good things you have,” says Sheela Raja, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in the Colleges of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

Helping others through our little ways is already a product of gratitude because a grateful heart is also a cheerful supporter and sincere giver. If only all of us will learn to live with appreciation and celebrate the victories and failures in life, then none of them will believe life has punished them because of the challenges they are having.    

 

 

 

Want To Be Happy? Practice Thank You Therapy

Have you experienced opening the door to someone and not receiving a mere “thank you”? Or helping someone carry their load yet no “thank you” was given? That’s the worst thing that can ever happen to your day. It’s just frustrating that some people don’t value gratitude anymore.

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Sonja Lyubomirsky Ph.D. says, “The lack of interest on gratitude or kindness is one of the reasons that these practices are so powerful in creating positive emotions and making people more satisfied with their lives.”

One of the ways of becoming happy is to practice the attitude of gratitude. By becoming thankful for all the things coming through, be it something right or not, we still should show appreciation because everything has its reason and purpose in our life bound to make us wiser and tougher as we continue to exist.

A thankful heart creates a definite aura of life. It radiates happiness and contentment to others as well. Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D. wrote, “Feeling and expressing gratitude turns our mental focus to the positive, which compensates for our brain’s natural tendency to focus on threats, worries, and negative aspects of life. As such, gratitude creates positive emotions, like joy, love, and contentment, which research shows can undo the grip of negative emotions like anxiety.”

However, some people think that the only things that we should be thankful for are the right things coming to us. The truth is, more than being disappointed with the mishaps of life, we should be grateful for these, too, because these are the life lessons and experiential learnings that can make us a better person.

Being Grateful

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Gratitude is the therapy of the human soul, a potion that can turn a bad day into a blissful one. If only all of us can learn to add the phrase “thank you” in all our triumphs and tribulations, then there would never be any reason for us to see life as challenging as it can be. The virtue of gratitude teaches us to see more than meets the eye; it is like seeing the beauty of a person despite his flaws and incapacities.

The Science of Gratitude

In positive psychology, the effect of expressing gratitude shows a tremendous change in the context of finding genuine happiness in life. For people who find it hard to see the goodness in everything, the therapeutic effect of saying “Thank you” is an excellent way of training the mind not to take things hard. As what others say, 10% of what is happening in our life is beyond our control, and 90% depends on how we take things and react to it. This means that we are in control of our reactions, and often we tend to be in a fury over 90% of what has transpired. 

In this case, “Thank you Therapy” might just save your day and spare you from having a bad day. Imposing this positive attitude is like spreading happiness all throughout. This attitude does not only provide benefits to the person doing it but instead, it also makes the other person happy. This is useful conditioning for those who have sensory issues.

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Final Words

Practicing gratitude enables us to see the rainbow in every storm. It lets us value everything in life, even the problems coming our way. Instead of worrying, we take every challenge as an opportunity to become better. These are two simple words that carry significant meaning. If practiced every day, it can emanate a positive vibe to each one, thus changing our perception.

“Instead, shift your focus and be mindful of the everyday things that you would miss if you didn’t have them. There’s always something for which to be grateful, even during difficult times.” – Cherie Dortch, clinical psychologist. 

Saying “thank you” can be an antidote for the lack of appreciation shown by others. The key to finding happiness through gratitude and contentment on whatever life may bring us can change each new day with optimism and positivity.   

Living With An Ungrateful Heart: Seeking Psychiatric Help

Some people experience negativity in life where they feel that all the forces in the world are against them. All of us have gone through some point in our life wherein we feel like nothing good is happening or ever going to happen. This can be a phase that we are having especially if things don’t go as we like it to be – a failed exam, a breakup, loss in business prospects, or even a death of a loved one. As human as we are, we tend to bounce back and face the music. We like to meet the battle and conquer whatever struggles we are currently in. Nonetheless, some individuals cannot afford to handle these tragic situations, and they would resort to feelings of indifference, hopelessness, and helplessness.

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Dissatisfaction Leads to Unhappiness 

Imagine waking up every day feeling upset and thinking that the world is being unfair to you.  This is the life of unhappy individuals. They feel like the world has given up on them and that they could no longer have the things they want, without noticing or appreciating the things that are already there. Psychologist Ryan Howes says, “Maybe the reason you feel so hopeless isn’t rooted in reality, but instead in a false narrative about your abilities or circumstances. Maybe you tell yourself that you don’t really deserve a raise or loving friends. Maybe you tell yourself that you’re not that smart or creative or capable.”

There is no satisfaction at all, as they keep on asking for the things they lack in life.  All these adverse predicaments engulf their positive outlook on life – always complaining about certain aspects.

Aside from dissatisfaction, these people also nurture feelings of ingratitude. Living a life of ingratitude hampers one from seeing the goodness in life; it limits the capacity of the heart to appreciate anything at all.  As a result, they find it hard within themselves to feel inner happiness and satisfaction in life.

Psychiatric Counseling Can Help

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It is not healthy for a person to continue living with this kind of outlook in life. Depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders can happen if the same emotional conflict is felt all throughout. And as Deborah Serani, PsyD says, “Depression is not a weakness of character, laziness, or a phase. Tough love, like telling someone to ‘buck up’ or ‘try harder,’ doesn’t work, and worsens the illness. Depression is a disorder that develops from environmental and biological issues that are unique to each person.”
Relationship with family, friends, and work can be affected as well as the person becomes distant, aggressive and belligerent in his dealings. It can alter one’s cognitive functioning as well which might lead to involving in an unfavorable situation that can compromise one’s safety.

One way to seek help is to consult a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist to help determine the reasons for dissatisfaction, ingratitude, pessimism, and depression. Once known, the person is guided to undergo psychotherapy to help change his perspectives on life. Depending on the psychiatric evaluation, the person shall be given some medications to help regulate chemicals in the brain and control the emotional turmoil felt within. Similarly, they may allow you to get online counseling (try BetterHelp) in the beginning.

On a personal level, the change must come from within the person himself. The only way of overcoming this is a mighty change of heart, together with the assistance and support of family and friends. Their perception of life will gradually change as they start to see the goodness in life. The counsel and support that they receive from the people around them are vital in opposing the negativity that is influencing their mind and heart on not to appreciate what life has given them.

Final Words

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Yes, it is true that many people recover from depression without taking medication. But that doesn’t mean that willpower alone is what got them there. Major depression, or clinical depression, is a problem with the neurochemistry of our brain not properly regulating our moods, and just willing yourself to feel better isn’t going to cut it,” explains Becky Howie, MA, LPC.

Counseling per se is an excellent way of making us realize that when ungratefulness consumes us, seeking advice or merely opening up about all the frustrations and challenges in life with someone we trust can help us appreciate the attitude of becoming grateful in life. 

How Can A Club Function As A Support Group?

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“School” is the most important place for children, a place where they find out about themselves and their world, where they meet and learn from each other and from teachers, a place where they prepare themselves for the future.” – John Victor, Senior Clinical Psychologist. 

High school is challenging for almost every student. They are constantly exposed to external stimuli that are either too challenging or too big to be overcome. These are times when students are tempted to try things but often don’t either because of peer pressure or because of a lack of confidence. One such experiment is taking part in school clubs. For such students, it is always better to take part in a club. A lot of studies have shown that this group of people tends to become a support group when supposed strangers chat and talk about life on a daily basis.

It becomes easier to get through difficult times when you know that you aren’t the only one in this. Several issues such as depression and anxiety are common but students refrain from visiting an expert because mental illness is seen as a stigma in society.  “Just like any other symptom, said Amresh Shrivastava, MD, “when the stigma is left untreated it can cause serious damage to the brain, and even to the patient’s life. Relapse is more susceptible in patients with untreated stigma, and risk of suicide is increased.”

If you are a student and you feel that you need someone to talk to, the best option is to join a school club. If you are a club member or president and you are looking for ways to start functioning as a support group as well, then this is how you can function as both:

  • Be Clear and Precise
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Let your club members know that you are planning to start a support group. Run the idea through them and give them a plan of action. Once everyone is on board, proceed with the flyers and specify the kind of support group you plan on conducting. For instance, if your support group is for people battling depression, then state it clearly. Once people start flowing in explain to them what a support group means and how it functions. 

  • Pick A Place

Pick a common spot and don’t change it. School spaces are ideal; you can schedule the meetings after school in a specific classroom. The idea is to pick a location that is easily accessible by all and free every time for a meeting. The problem with choosing a member’s home or yours is that the place might not be available all the time. 

  • Schedule 
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Schedule your meetings in a manner that suits everyone. You can schedule your meetings once a week at a specific time for an hour. One hour is the ideal duration for a support group meeting. Make sure you start and end on time so people take it seriously and the decorum is maintained. It doesn’t matter if people come in late or leave early; you should always start your meetings as per schedule. 

  • Talk to your Therapist

It is important that you encourage the group members to visit a therapist and talk to someone about their routines and how well they are doing. Get some ideas from them as they are professionals and know better.  Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. wrote, “Therapy can help you ease your pain and create a healthier and more fulfilling life.”

  • Keep an Anonymous Box 
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Most people don’t do this but since it is a school support group, it is important that you leave a box for people to talk and express themselves anonymously. This is bound to encourage them to one day talk about their feelings openly once they see how well their anonymous emotions are being received by the other members of the group. 

  • Refreshments

Ask your group members to take turns and provide for light refreshments. As this support group is for students, you can always pool in for the refreshments. 

  • Create an Electronic Group

Make sure that everyone stays connected even if they aren’t at the meeting. Make a WhatsApp or Email group and involve everyone in it. This enables people to stay in touch even if no meeting is scheduled. They feel comfortable knowing they can always reach out whenever the need arises. 

  • Leader

It is important that you assign a support group leader; this allows the group to function better and hold up the dynamics well. 

Sharing stories can be a little intimidating so it is important that you hire a certified therapist to attend the meetings for training and monitoring purposes. Sometimes, in case something is triggered in a member, control is imperative. 

 

 

Why We Have Our Therapists To Thank For Our Well-Being

Whether helping the people in need is part of their self-actualization goals, or they want that particular career path, being a therapist isn’t exactly for everyone. It’s in our nature as humans to have a hard time coping with our feelings and solving our behavior problems. It’s hard, but a therapist does that for a living!

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Do you think you could do their work – to be on the other end of when a person is seeking help? What if you give the wrong advice? What if your words won’t make them better? Helping people to change for the better can be a burden on someone, and it takes an extraordinary person to do that. “While some therapists do specialize in severe emotional disturbances—including schizophrenia or suicidal thoughts—many focus on simply helping clients work through far more typical, everyday challenges like mapping out a career change, improving parenting skills, strengthening stress management skills, or navigating a divorce,” says Suzanne Gelb Ph.D.

Therapists are awesome! Here’s why we have them to thank for our well-being:

They Help Us To Become Brave And Honest

Therapy may not be appealing to other people. But even if it’s quite intimidating, and scary at times, having a meaningful takeaway after every session is an understatement. Therapists don’t always share their personal experiences. However, they surely understand your feelings and do their best to make sure you feel better. They listen with their hearts, as you pour out your thoughts and feelings to them. ” Listening and empathy skills are the hallmarks of good communicators, leaders, and therapists,” wrote Diana Raab Ph.D. A simple ‘Thank You’ letter after a fact of therapy is always welcome.

They Help Us Deal With Our Strong Feelings

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Some people need guidance in dealing with somewhat difficult feelings. Sally High, LMHC, says, “I help my clients overcome issues keeping them caught in unhealthy and destructive patterns that no longer serve a purpose. I am eager to help you and feel honored to assist in this journey. There are good therapist and then there are transforming therapist.”

For example, there are those teenagers who feel very shy or uncomfortable at school. Maybe it’s the transition from a different school to another, but the shyness gets in the way of making friends. A therapist helps by giving advice and encouraging you to act on your problem using the right direction. In some major cases, a patient may be feeling dangerous pent-up anger for a family member, or friend, and is getting aggressive and violent. Therapists help calm down and make the patient see reason. They acknowledge the difficult emotions and teach you positive ways to react. Again, not an easy feat.

They Help Us Enjoy Life More

When someone is busy, stressed, and depressed – that person seems to have the weight of the world on his or her shoulders. Therapists remind and encourage you to look for the positive things in life when you can’t see it. They point in the direction of where you should go and explain how it can make life worthwhile.

They Teach You That It’s Okay To Ask Help

One of the many myths of therapy is that “it doesn’t work.” In fact, some people think it’s a waste of time and money. You can read books and many online articles, keep the problems to your own, or try and solve them. It will be hard. Some people feel as if they can take on everything when they can ask for help. Professionally certified therapists are experts in how humans process thoughts and emotions. They’re often your “mind coach.”

They Strive To Make Your Future Bright

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There’s a common misconception that going to therapy means it would need to go on forever. That’s false. Therapy is temporary, but its effects are what’s long-lasting. Therapists help you work your stuff while teaching you the tools on how you could handle future “incidents.” The positive gains “continue and grow over time” as some of the work gets further consolidated after taking therapy.

 

 

 

Great Clubs That Your Kids And Teens Can Join

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When your kids get into preschool, they are more engrossed in play rather than learn, which is generally okay, since the first three years are designed to encourage kids to learn to play in groups and with different types of children. When they enter middle school they begin to tackle school and friends, and most often than not, they prefer talking and doing things with friends than study and learn. 

If you notice that your kids tend to be more passive towards their school work, encourage them to join something that will not only help hasten to learn but also enlighten them to do more activities that are geared towards the development, growth, and progress of the youth. School and community clubs are some of the best avenues for your kids to join. This will expose them to practices that will help them practice their social and leadership skills as well. 

Check out some of these recommended clubs that you can consider if you want your kid to join one.

Types of Clubs and What They Do

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Book club. One of the most educational and enriching clubs that you would love your kids to join. There are activities that are designed to keep the kids and teens interested, such as group reading time and role-playing time, where they choose a book and perform it, assigning kids different roles. They can also be classified into groups and help each other read a more advanced book. This practices reading as well as team building skills. 

Career Club. Teens as early as 13 to 16 years old can join this group. Its aim is to help the children decide the career or vocation that they want to pursue. They are led by a teacher or an elder who discusses with them different careers that they can follow, and then the children are asked to talk about the career they’ve chosen and why. This way, they will learn how to decide at an early age which path they want to lead. Joining career clubs encourage children to appreciate their strengths and develop their weaknesses. 

Sports and Recreation Club. The United States has created several of these clubs that encompass teaching children positive eating habits and physical activities that develop their mind, body, and soul. They have sessions where they are taught how to prepare meals that are healthy and nutritious. They also engage in physical fitness and games that help them get moving and practice teamwork and friendly competition. Kids are also taught the value of cooperation and cultivate interpersonal and social skills. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America has created a number of sports and recreation clubs for kids of all ages. Some of these clubs are the Triple Play, Play Ball, and All-Stars. 

Childhood Bereavement Club. This club is not only for those who have lost their loved ones but also those who want to help and reach out to those who need comfort in their time of grief. Kids and teens need to develop a strong mental and emotional foundation to get through their feelings of grief, sadness, and depression. They may have anger problems that need to be attended to. Adult leaders guide these kids and teach them how to cope with these challenges. For teens that are initially hesitant to express, they are encouraged to read online blogs and articles that may push them to learn coping strategies.

 

Encouraging Kids and Teens to Learn Early

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These and many other clubs are available for kids and teens that are in the stage of curiosity and independence. Clubs are a great way to pull your children towards the right direction and keep them away from the possible dangers of growing up.  

Gratitude Lifts The Weight Of Anxiety

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Anxiety is a feeling that never really goes away. Anxiety is a reaction to a situation we perceive as stressful or dangerous,” Monique Reynolds, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist. Sure, it leaves from time to time, but it also comes back. To many, it can get overwhelming and distressing. Sometimes it feels like it’s trying to choke or down them into thinking that they’re not normal.  

People with anxiety disorders keeps the mind and body on edge. It makes them always ask themselves if there’s something wrong or if everything’s alright. There are times when their habit of asking these questions to themselves will only worsen the anxiety they’re feeling. It’s because it makes the mind focus on the negative thoughts they usually relate to anxiety. 

 You must be thinking, “Then why don’t they just stop?” They want to do it, but it’s not as easy as that. Anxiety clouds your mind and your sight. Sometimes the cloud gets too hazy, and it blocks almost everything around you except the negative thoughts. You won’t be able to see the good things because anxiety is preventing them. There’s zero visibility except for the one you see ahead, and in this case, it’s the negative feelings. 

How To Get Off Anxiousness 

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Anxiety is a disease of the mind. It plagues the mind until the mind can think of it and only it. When someone gets too engrossed up in it, it’s difficult to get them out of it because, during that moment, their mind’s focus is only on the anxious thoughts. 

However, there is one way to beat it. If anxiety plagues the mind, then use your heart. But how exactly do you use it? 

Be Grateful 

“When is the last time you took five minutes to truly express your thanks to someone who made a difference in your life? It’s such an easy way to get a mood boost (and seriously boost the mood of someone else) and you don’t even have to pay for a stamp and find a mailbox – you can just shoot off a quick email or text message.” – Amie M. Gordon, Ph.D.

The Art of Gratitude is the action of using your heart instead of your mind.  

It might seem absurd because how exactly can giving gratitude help you with your anxiety, right? But there have been people who spoke up about this and said it worked and gave them peace. In fact, the Heart Math Institute studied how the art of being thankful can help with stress and anxiety for 15 years,  

The Art Of Being Thankful 

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Despite the fancy name, doing the art of being thankful is very easy. It’s a simple task that you can do at any time and any place. There’s no need for fancy machines or complicated steps. 

Just close your eyes and think of whatever you feel thankful for. “Gratitude is having the perspective that my entitlements are few and my blessings are great,” said Ryan Howes, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Pasadena, Calif. 

Look back at your life and think of the challenges you have overcome, of the people who were there for you during those times. Think again about the people who supported you, loved you unconditionally, and made life worth living. Remember your progress, where you started and where you are now. Remember how much you have improved.  

Everyone has at least one thing to feel thankful for. If people would focus on those thoughts and the people who matter instead of the negative ones, they’ll be able to have more control over their lives and with their anxiety. 

This isn’t a complicated exercise so don’t over think or complicate it. The best things in life are the ones that you take as it is. Do this every day, and you will feel better and more in control of your lifeyou’re your anxiety. 

Military Men On Appraising Stress – How To Cope

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It is said that the way people manage their stress depends on how they see the situation. Lazarus and Folkman’s Psychological Stress and Coping Theory explains how humans have two ways of appraisals: the primary and the secondary. (Military men who have been exposed to traumatic events are assisted in this area.) 

Primary Appraisal 

In this, the person will perceive the stressor and its relevance. If they feel like it’s not relevant, then they will not pay attention to it. However, if it is, then they will see it as a threat. “When we’re stressed, our body is stressed in the moment,” says Debra Kissen, Ph.D.

Secondary Appraisal 

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People who use this, on the other hand, ask themselves whether they can cope with the stressor. When it comes to the death of a loved one, most of the time the answer here is no. 

People who grieve may often think that they can’t cope with all the grief, frustration, and negative feelings, or the peak in the roller coaster. They feel helpless but since the ride isn’t done yet what other choice do they have than to bear with it, right? 

Coping With Stress 

Military men, like most people, cope with their stress disorders in different ways. The ideal way is to deal with it in a healthy way, but there will be people who cope with stress negatively. 

Some of the negative ways of coping may include: 

  • Giving up 
  • Blaming others 
  • Physically harming others like striking out 
  • Addiction (to gambling, alcohol, drugs, and the likes) 
  • Avoiding interaction 
  • Isolation 

Stress shouldn’t be ignored either. It is connected to a multitude of health problems like heart diseases, diabetes, headaches, migraine, and mental illnesses like depression and panic disorder. It would be good to seek help before the stress levels reach this point. 

William R. Klemm Ph.D. says, “People are constantly exposed to stressful situations. These may be physical, like participating in marathons or developing an illness. But stress can also be mental, wherein we become anxious and worried over certain events, existing or anticipated.” 

One of the ways to do that is by healthily coping with stress. Here are some ideas on how you can do that: 

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  • Write in a journal about your anxieties, stress triggers, and emotions. 
  • Avoid these triggers. 
  • Learn your limits. 
  • Cut off toxic people who only give you more stress and problems. 
  • Drop activities and tasks that aren’t needed. 
  • Don’t bottle in your feelings. 
  • Look at things more positively. 
  • Always be grateful. 
  • Don’t dwell on the things that you can’t control. 
  • Understand your emotions to know why you’re stuck in them. 
  • Count to ten so that irrational anger or situations won’t overwhelm you. 
  • Do breathing exercises. 
  • Call a friend or family member and talk to them. 
  • Have a balanced and healthy diet. 
  • Learn how to manage your anxiety
  • Get up and moving and do some exercise. 
  • Ask for help. 
  • Reduce, avoid, or stop substance use. 
  • Make time for doing something that you enjoy. 
  • Have adequate rest. 
  • Do meditation techniques. 
  • Practice yoga. 
  • Try new things and do your hobbies. 
  • Get a to-do list. 
  • Take it slow. 
  • Don’t force yourself. 
  • Be happy and laugh. 
  • Cherish every achievement and progress you do. 
  • Get a pet. 
  • Take some time off from gadgets and the internet. 
  • Know when to get help and how to accept help. 

“Before you can deal with stress, you need to recognize that you’re actually stressed out, which isn’t always obvious. In order for me to de-stress, I need to acknowledge my stress-state in the first place,” says John Duffy, a clinical psychologist. 

Nobody is saying it will be a smooth ride. The whole idea here is for you to understand that stress is manageable. It will take a lot of effort and willpower to overcome this mental health issue, more so if it is associated with grief and trauma. But it can be done. 

How To Add Meaning To Your Life With Club Activities

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Depression and anxiety are seen to be extremely common in school and college students. Trapped between being treated as a teenager and being expected to behave like an adult, these individuals may start feeling unappreciated and alone. “Depression and anxiety are like flip sides of the same coin, says therapist Nancy B. Irwin, PsyD. “Being depressed often makes us anxious, and anxiety often makes us depressed.”

Moreover, the idea that no one cares or that life has no purpose can also be emotionally damaging for them. Hence, it is important for them to find new ways of adding meaning to life; joining a school club or group can be the first step towards it.  According to Eric R. Maisel Ph.D., “We experience emotional distress in all sorts of ways – as sadness, anxiety, addictions, unproductive obsessions, unwanted compulsions, repetitive self-sabotaging behaviors, physical ailments, boredom, and various angry, bleak, and agitated moods.”

What Do School Clubs Do?

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School clubs are basically similar to an organization or entity created by a group of school students supporting a certain cause or purpose. One can find a vast range of club with different activities in a school. Students can choose to join a music club, a group of writers or perhaps people campaigning for environmental protection. Each school club engages in various activities ranging from sports events, fundraising bake sales and even exposure trips.

How can club activities add meaning to your life?

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  1. Social interaction

Club activities can place one in close exposure to people sharing similar passions, providing great opportunities to talk to someone about one’s interests. The right kind of social interaction also allows one to grow not only as an emotionally strong person but an intellectual one as well. Psychologist Susan Pinker stated, “Direct person-to-person contact triggers parts of our nervous system that release a “cocktail” of neurotransmitters tasked with regulating our response to stress and anxiety.

 

Furthermore, participating in school club activities will allow one to make new friends and interact with like-minded people. This socializing is extremely important for realizing one is not alone in this world and there are others who also have alike beliefs. 

  1. Pursuing your passion

For someone who wants to join the basketball team or perhaps become an environmental lawyer, a school club can be a great place to start figuring out what one wants to do in life. It can also provide you with the opportunity of realizing your hobbies into something more worthwhile and productive. Organizing tree plantations or cleanliness campaigns can help you understand what you might experience in a certain field or career.

  1. Stepping into the real world

Most school students hear their parents and teachers tell them about how hard practical or real life is. School club activities are a great way to get a taste of their reality. As students or youngsters, one may not realize the complexity of the outside world and may even feel overwhelmed when exposed to it after student life ends. Hence, school clubs which operate in a fairly similar manner to small businesses, provide students a chance to test their aptitude and skills, as well as also figure out what they are best in doing. 

  1. Supporting a cause

Almost all school clubs have a designated goal that the members plan on achieving every year. Whether it is supporting the local basketball team or women’s rights, this cause can mean a lot to the members of the club; hence, mostly also being the reason for their membership. The club activities are also designed to support and ascend this aim further. Therefore, in most cases being part of these club activities can make one feel productive as well as valued.

  1. Healthy activity

Instead of wasting time on the internet binge-watching a random television series or perhaps engaging in dangerous behavior involving drug abuse and bullying, school clubs offer students a way of using their time learning new things. School club activities allow one to meet new people and question old ideas. It helps in building responsible individuals who have a sense of purpose and ambition in life. Plus, participation in school club activities also definitely looks good on their student profiles. 

 

 

How Can Clubs Help Children Suffering From Anxiety?

Source: independent.co.uk

Millions of children around the world suffer from anxiety disorders and they are often dismissed by parents and teachers as being shy or just a “phase.” Parents and teachers likewise consider the possibility of an anxiety disorder when it is too late and they have gone past the age of being treated like kids. It is important that we as parents and teachers manage to differentiate shyness from anxiety.  

“Anxiety is the sense of discomfort, restlessness, or uncertainty that is internally generated,” says David Spiegel, MD, director of Stanford Medicine’s Center on Stress and Health. “It’s being a worrier without having the stressors outside.” When kids with an anxiety disorder are left alone or dissed by their friends, they start feeling empty and alone. Children with this disorder need extra attention. A child who is not making friends at all needs some sort of care because it is not normal human behavior. You can identify children with anxiety quite easily. They will seem distant from other students and sit alone during lunch breaks. These kids might feel uncomfortable around others and avoid participating in the class at all. They get extremely nervous and shaky during class presentations as well.

It is important that we keep an open eye and look for such symptoms. If you are a student then you can help other students out as well. You can take help from an existing club or introduce a new club that aims to help kids with an anxiety disorder. You can do the following to help out students that suffer from anxiety.

Source: inhabitat.com
  • Introduce Calming Methods

“Anxiety is a reaction to a situation we perceive as stressful or dangerous,” Monique Reynolds, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist.  When anxiety kicks in, our body starts to react in different ways such as increased heartbeat, dizziness, muscle tension, and heavy breathing. The balance between carbon dioxide and oxygen gets disrupted resulting in anxiety. During your club meetings, you must teach all members different methods to calm themselves down in a situation of an attack. These include inhaling and exhaling slowly as well as holding your breath for 2 seconds and then exhaling for 6 seconds. 

Source: inhabitat.com
  • Ignore The Negativity

Children who have an anxiety disorder think negative thoughts. They start believing that their opinions don’t matter and they won’t be appreciated by others. They are also scared of what people might say, they think everyone will say negative things about them. It is important that members and leaders encourage each other to overcome failure and negative thoughts. Conquering negative thoughts isn’t easy and it takes some time to overcome. You should teach your club members how to recognize the patterns set by negative thoughts and identify them as unrealistic. Push them to replace the negativity with positivity and then make it a habit. Thomas A. Richards, a psychologist, wrote, “Thoughts grow with attention.  If you focus on negative thoughts, they will grow and grow and become even larger.  If you focus on your progress and the new thoughts you are learning, they will grow stronger and take “automatic” control.”

Source: edutopia.org
  • Teach Them To Resolve The Issue 

Kids who are familiar with their anxiety status often avoid involving themselves in situations that cause stress for them. For instance, when kids with anxiety are out for dinner with family, they avoid ordering for themselves and most parents are fine with it. However, avoiding the situation altogether does not solve the problem. You as a leader of the group can encourage them to interact socially and make decisions for themselves. Talk to them about the issue and ask them to solve the problem as if they are solving a maths equation. Look for possible ways to achieve the end result without giving up. No matter what happens at the end, completing the task is important. This teaches them to solve problems on their own instead of relying on others. 

Source: buildingblockslanguage.com
  • Facilitate Communication

Children with anxiety hesitate when making conversation. The constant fear of being wrong and disliked is what stops them. It is a little difficult to make them talk, however specific activities can help them out. You can make pairs and ask them to talk to each other for a few minutes. You can rotate the pairing method and increase the time as they start to get comfortable with each other. It is important that you come up with such activities because this encourages them to communicate with each other and be more open about their feelings. It takes time for them to overcome the fear but they do overcome it eventually. Every once in a while you can bring a role model into your support group as an inspiration and ask them to give a motivational speech so the children can relate to it.

Make sure that you recognize the symptoms and try to help these students out. Remember they are fragile so choose your words wisely with them. Don’t push them too hard to speak publically, they will when they are ready.