Anxiety

Fighting the Holiday Blues | Life Counseling Solutions

Fighting the Holiday Blues

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Is it really? For many, the holiday season is a somber time where we remember loved ones lost or the scarcity and pain in our lives. Here are some ways to combat the holiday blues.

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  1. Reach out!

    As human beings we need to be with people. Making new memories is a great way to combat the holiday blues. Don’t have plans for the holidays? You still have time so start making some! Ask around to see what others are doing or create your own event by inviting friends. You’ll never know the fun you could have.Closely related to the first suggestion is this second suggestion:

  2. Lend your time.

    Do some volunteer work! Go serve food to the homeless. Look for ways to brighten someone else’s day. When you do these things you will see the joy in others’ eyes and in turn that joy will return to you. This will also enable you to spend time with others.

  3. Watch some funny movies.

    There is nothing like a good comedy to lighten your mood. Go for a classic or perhaps a movie you’ve seen recently that really had you laughing. The more funny movies you watch the better you’ll feel. They may or may not be holiday related, that’s entirely up to you and whatever will make you feel good.

  4. Read.

    Pick up a good book (or two). There’s nothing like getting lost in a good book. Go to your local library, bookstore, or look online for suggestions on books you can read. Once you have a good book […]

How to tell if Anxiety is an issue in your life? | Orlando Anxiety Counseling

How to tell if Anxiety is an issue in your life? | Orlando Anxiety Counseling

According to the national institute of mental, the most common mental health disorder faced by Americans is anxiety disorders. Women are 50% more likely than men to experience anxiety. At this point, you might be asking yourself what is anxiety really? Anxiety is a feeling of excessive fear and worry. It is normal for everyone to have a feeling of anxiousness at some point, but anxiety becomes a problem when it is all consuming. Today I am going to give you four quick questions to determine if anxiety is becoming a problem in your life.

  1. Do I always feel on edge? When you fall asleep at night is it difficult to turn off, instead of sleeping you have racing thoughts about all your worries and fears about the day and the next day. You pray and hope that sleep will eventually overcome your worries.
  2. Do I worry constantly about everyday tasks, big and small? You start panicking or worrying about a small task such as arriving at an appointment on time. A big task that you worry about can be an important meeting. You start feeling anxious and nervous thinking about the meeting, and you keep thinking about it over and over again.
  3. Am I experiencing more or new physical discomforts? The mind is very powerful. You can have nothing physiologically wrong with you according to doctors or blood work, but you still feel pain. For example, you have frequent chest pains, difficulty breathing, stomach issues, […]

How to Control the Uncontrollable- Taming Anger

How to Control the Uncontrollable- Taming Anger

Often times we paint anger as an evil and demonic thing that seems uncontrollable. But, what is anger? It is an emotion just like sadness, disgust, joy, and fear. Every emotion is essential to a person in order to function properly. Anger is just another emotion. It is an emotion notifying us that something is wrong. Anger is only dangerous when we let it overwhelm us.

Most people do not have a positive association when they think of anger because of their personal experiences. Often times you witness unhealthy expressions of anger or you experience/enact anger outburst on others. The key to healthy expressions is to not let your anger reach its boiling point. Here are three tips to reducing anger outbursts.

  1. Be aware– Notice what your signs are when your anger is escalating. Take some time to write down a list of physical and mental symptoms of your anger such as pacing, shaking hands, negative thoughts about a person or self.  It is very difficult to implement de-escalation skills when you already reached your max point. Therefore, it is important to know what your warning symptoms to implement these skills.
  2. Timeout– When you are involved in a heated dispute and start noticing yourself becoming increasingly agitated, it is important to call a time out. Ask the individual for a break or time apart to cool down, maybe even setting a time limit for yourself. When your emotions are high logical thinking goes right out the window and that is when you lose control!
  3. Distract yourself– Engage in an […]

5 Ways to Better Self-Care | Orlando Individual Therapy

5 Ways to Better Self-Care | Orlando Individual Therapy

I have often heard that we are our own worst critics. I’ve also heard that we talk to ourselves worse than we would talk to own worst enemy! Maybe it’s time to show yourself a little bit more love and respect. Here are five simple things you can do to improve your self-care, to enable a healthier you.

happy young woman relaxing at home, self-care

  1. Get more sleep! Yes, late nights can be very productive but your body and mind need sleep to recover and rejuvenate. You’ll be glad that you did and getting a full night’s sleep will lead to an even more productive tomorrow.
  2. Meditate. Take the time to meditate at least once daily. Clearing your mind can work wonders in your day. It doesn’t matter if you do it before you start your day or at the end of the day. It is a natural way to relieve stress and give yourself a much needed time out.
  3. Laugh. They say laughter is the best medicine. Take some time to laugh! Maybe watch a tv show that you find funny. You can also laugh at yourself. Instead of feeling bad about that mistake you made earlier in the day, try to think of it in a bigger picture and how it looks in the great scheme of events. It’s okay to laugh at yourself. Don’t take yourself so seriously.
  4. Get (or do) a hobby! Working on your hobby has many benefits. It’s a good way to release stress. While doing a hobby you would be able to relax and find some enjoyment. […]

AP Classes Causing Teen Anxiety? | Orlando Teen Anxiety Counseling

Are AP Classes Causing Your Teen Anxiety? | Orlando Teen Anxiety Counseling

Some of my favorite clients to work with are my “AP kids.” These are the teens that are taking advanced placement classes in high school, have a drive to get into a good college, have a passion to be successful, and always set their standards high. I love working with these types of people because they are willing to put in the work that therapy often requires. They strive to be the best and that includes in their mental health. So, what is their downfall? Just that. That perfection mentality makes it very difficult to find satisfaction in themselves for who they are. See Performance Based Identity Blog. What is the most common issue I see with these types of teens? ANXIETY.

Because AP classes require much more work, focus and dedication than standard or even honors classes, teens tend to feel overwhelmed, pressured and anxious. I have had clients sit on my couch and bawl hysterically over their AP class. I’ve had others have self-harming thoughts and behaviors because they could no longer handle or cope with the pressure. While AP classes are prestigious and impressive on a transcript; if not handled correctly, AP classes could be the demise of your child. Here are some tips to help your teen get through these difficult classes.

teen anxiety test

  1. Implement time management and organization. One of the biggest struggles that many AP kids feel is If not handled correctly from the beginning of the school year, AP classes can begin to drown your teen due to poor organization. Have your child come […]

How do I stop picking the wrong person?|Orlando Relationship Counseling

How do I stop picking the wrong guy? (or girl?) | Orlando Relationship Counseling

The Millionaire Matchmaker, Patti Stagner, constantly tells her millionaire clients who have “trouble finding love” that their picker is broken. Meaning, they keep picking the wrong type of person: cheaters, liars, abusers, “commitmentphobes”, etc. Do you see this pattern in your own life? Here are some tips on how to move forward and get into a healthy relationship.

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1.     Learn from your mistakes and be aware of the red flags. If you keep choosing a significant other who cheats on you, then you need to look at the warning signs before you commit. For example, does he have a wandering eye? Has she cheated in every past relationship? Is he in no place to settle down and commit? Then move on. If you always pick someone who doesn’t value you, then make being valued in your relationship a priority. If within the first few weeks, he is ditching you for other plans, it won’t get better…and I hate to say it…but it will only get worse.

2.     Make a list of must haves and priorities. When you learn from your past relationships, you may not know exactly what you want, but you will definitely know what you DON’T want! Use that to help you create a list of the must-haves in a significant other. For example, maybe you don’t want a messy person, but that’s not necessarily a deal breaker; however, someone who has a bad temper may not be for you because you experienced an abusive relationship in the past. Don’t only make the list, but stick to it…even if you’re […]

How to Find Your Worth in Your Self & Not in Others

How to Find Your Worth in Your Self and Not in Others 

Many people struggle daily to build and maintain a positive self-esteem. Some struggle more than others because they have not yet developed a true sense of self. It is impossible to have self-esteem without a sense of self. How can you feel good about yourself if you don’t really even know who you are? When developing your sense of self, one of the key factors is to find your self-worth in yourself and not in others. Most of us are guiltier of this than we would like to admit. For example, if a girl is dating a guy who is verbally and emotionally abusive and tells her things like she is fat, worthless and disgusting, then she tends to believe this about her self and lose her sense of worth. She adapts his belief of her, which in turn affects her self-esteem.

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So, how do you find your self worth in yourself rather than others?

1. Set boundaries: Before getting into any relationship or friendship, be very aware of the kind of people you want to let into your life. You do not deserve to be belittled; therefore, you need to make that your own belief, so that it is easy to stick to your boundary. Start vague like: “I will not allow people that do not value me into my intimate life.” And become more specific as you become more confident in your ability to set and stick to boundaries.

2. Embrace your qualities and your flaws. No one is perfect. Everyone has flaws. The sooner you realize that it’s okay to […]

5 Reasons Women Stay | Domestic Violence

5 Reasons Women Stay | Domestic Violence

Did you know that approximately 15.5 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year; and a current or former intimate partner kills three women each day? This is more than just a statistic to my family and myself. I counsel individuals every day who are or have been in abusive/violent relationships and my family lost my eldest sister Carmen Rivera to domestic violence over 20 years ago. If we are to truly help those that are in domestic violence relationships, it is imperative that we understand the psychology behind those who choose to stay in these relationships.

Ray RicePeople who have not been in abusive situations find it very difficult to understand this level of dysfunction. Many times the victims are blamed for staying in this situation.  In my sister’s case, she was no longer in the relationship with the man who took her life.  In fact, she had a restraining order against him when she was murdered.

Below are a few of the many reasons why people stay in Abusive/violent relationships.

  1. Dysfunctional Emotional Connection. Those who use power and control with their partners are often verbally, emotionally and physically abusive along with apologies, promises, and affection to their victims. This often confuses the victim and they can start blaming themselves.
  1. Toxic Shame. A victim deep down often feels that something is wrong with them rather than the behavior of their partner. This results in a tremendous amount of feelings of shame and embarrassment. This, more often times than not, leads them to cope with denial of the reality of their situation.
  1. Safety Concerns. In […]

5 Questions To Choose The Best Orlando Therapist

5 Ways To Choose The Best Orlando Therapist | Life Counseling Solutions 

Did you know that most consumers of therapy don’t take the time to learn about what they need to know about partnering with the best counselor or therapist who can help them be successful in meeting their therapeutic goals?

Firstly, YOU are the consumer so ask questions and “shop” around to find the best fit for you.  It is also best to highly consider referrals from family and friends who have had experience working with a particular counselor or therapist.

ORLANDOBESTTHERAPISTLife Counseling Solutions like many counseling centers offer a complimentary phone consultation or face-to -face meeting. You want to take advantage of this opportunity to briefly explain your problem(s) and ask the counselor or therapist to share how they would approach the problem. If possible, try to chat with at least three different counselors or therapists.   Here are a few questions that you can ask in that initial conversation:

  • How many couples or individuals with similar issues do you work with per week?
    • For example, the more couples that a couple’s therapist works with per week, the more experience she or he has working with couples. Therefore, if you are seeking counseling for your relationship, then you want a therapist who primarily works with couples.
  • Do you work with a couple together or in separate sessions?
    • Life Counseling Solutions believes that it is imperative to see couples together. The therapist can miss the dynamic of how the couple relates when they are seen separately. While there may be a good reason to have one or two individual sessions with each person in the relationship, this should be more the exception […]

3 Questions To Ask Before Divorce | Orlando Divorce Counseling

3 Questions to Ask Before Divorce | Orlando Divorce Counseling

Deciding whether to divorce or not may be the most important decision you ever make in your life.  There are many questions to ask yourself in which the answers will make clear what is right for you.  Below are three questions and answers that will be helpful in guiding your decision.

1. Why do I want to divorce?

If you’re thinking about divorcing your spouse, there are a number of questions you first need to ask yourself before moving ahead. The initial inquiry is why?

  • What is going on in the marriage and maybe more importantly what is going on within you to want out?  Self reflection holds the answers to all the questions we could ever have about ourselves and about our life.
  • Have you taken the time to go within and understand what is driving your need to end your marriage?
  • Is there a need going unfulfilled?
  • Is there a desire going unnoticed?

Looking at your marriage and how you show up is another way to gain clarity about your thoughts about divorce.

  • Has the communication between yourself and your spouse broken down?
  • Have you talked about your feelings with your spouse?
  • Do you feel listened to?
  • Do you listen when your spouse wants to talk about their feelings?
  • Have you created a space of open and honest communication for both of you to share your feelings?

OrlandoDivorceCounselingThe answers to these questions will help give you clarity on why you want to divorce.  It may also bring up more questions as well as other reasons why you may be thinking about ending your marriage.  I invite you to take the time to inquire on the why and initiate a discussion with your spouse on […]