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It's not easy to eliminate behaviors that are detrimental to our well-being, but it's necessary for any strong woman to do so in order to live a successful and fulfilling life. A brave woman is one who has the courage to take ownership of her actions and take the necessary steps to ensure that she is not tolerating any negative behaviors. This blog post will explore 10 behaviors that a strong woman would never tolerate from herself.

Playing Small

Playing small is a behavior that a strong woman would never tolerate from herself. It's the act of downplaying her abilities, talents, and achievements in order to avoid attention or avoid intimidating others. When a woman plays small, she is essentially dimming her own light and potential. This behavior can stem from fear, self-doubt, or societal pressure to be humble and modest.
Playing small not only limits a woman's personal growth and success, but it also sends a message to others that she is not confident or capable. It can lead to missed opportunities, unfulfilled dreams, and a lack of self-fulfillment.
A strong woman recognizes her worth and refuses to diminish herself. She knows that by embracing her strengths and achievements, she inspires and empowers others to do the same. She understands that playing small serves no one, especially not herself.
Instead, a strong woman embraces her talents, skills, and accomplishments. She shines her light brightly, knowing that it is through her authenticity and confidence that she can make a positive impact on the world. She embraces her power, embraces her voice, and refuses to apologize for her greatness.
Playing small is not an option for a strong woman. She knows her worth, owns her power, and uses it to create a life of success, fulfillment, and impact.

Ignoring Her Own Needs and Boundaries

brave woman

Ignoring her own needs and boundaries is a behavior that a strong woman would never tolerate from herself. It is a common trait for women to put the needs and wants of others before their own, but this behavior can lead to feelings of resentment, burnout, and overall dissatisfaction with life.

When a woman ignores her own needs, she is essentially neglecting her own well-being. She may prioritize the needs of her partner, children, or career over her own physical and mental health. This can result in feelings of exhaustion, stress, and ultimately, a decrease in her overall happiness.

Additionally, ignoring boundaries is another behavior that a strong woman would not tolerate. Boundaries are crucial for maintaining healthy relationships, both personally and professionally. By ignoring her own boundaries, a woman opens herself up to being taken advantage of or manipulated by others. This can lead to feelings of resentment, lack of respect, and ultimately, a loss of self-worth.
A strong woman recognizes the importance of self-care and understands that taking care of herself is not selfish, but necessary. She sets boundaries and prioritizes her own needs, knowing that it is essential for her own well-being and happiness. By valuing herself and her own needs, she sets a positive example for others and creates a foundation for healthy and fulfilling relationships.
Ignoring her own needs and boundaries is simply not an option for a strong woman. She knows her worth and understands that prioritizing herself is the first step towards living a fulfilled and empowered life.

Making Excuses for Other People's Bad Behavior

Making excuses for other people's bad behavior is a behavior that a strong woman would never tolerate from herself. It's the act of justifying or rationalizing the unacceptable actions or choices of others, often to protect their reputation or to avoid conflict. When a woman makes excuses for someone else's bad behavior, she is essentially diminishing her own worth and enabling a cycle of toxic behavior.
Making excuses not only allows the person responsible for the bad behavior to continue their harmful actions, but it also sends a message that their behavior is acceptable or forgivable. It can lead to a loss of self-respect and an erosion of personal boundaries. By making excuses, a woman may unintentionally validate harmful behaviors and undermine her own self-esteem.
A strong woman recognizes the importance of holding others accountable for their actions. She refuses to make excuses for someone who consistently engages in toxic or hurtful behavior. She understands that doing so enables a culture of disrespect and can have negative consequences on her mental and emotional well-being.
Instead, a strong woman chooses to set healthy boundaries and address the bad behavior directly. She understands that everyone is responsible for their own actions, and she refuses to take on the burden of justifying or excusing the actions of others. By holding people accountable, she empowers herself and sets a standard of respect and integrity.
Making excuses for other people's bad behavior is not an option for a strong woman. She knows her worth and understands that she deserves to be treated with respect and kindness. By refusing to make excuses, she takes a stand for her own well-being and sends a message that she will not tolerate toxic behavior in her life.

Staying in Toxic Relationships

Staying in toxic relationships is a behavior that a strong woman would never tolerate from herself. Toxic relationships can take many forms, including romantic partnerships, friendships, or even familial bonds. These relationships are characterized by manipulation, control, emotional abuse, and a lack of respect and trust. When a woman stays in a toxic relationship, she is sacrificing her own well-being and happiness for the sake of someone else's toxicity.
A strong woman values her own worth and understands that she deserves to be treated with love, kindness, and respect. She knows that staying in a toxic relationship will only erode her self-esteem, self-worth, and overall mental and emotional well-being. By staying in such a relationship, she is essentially telling herself that she is not worthy of a healthy, loving, and supportive partnership.
Instead of tolerating a toxic relationship, a strong woman chooses to prioritize her own happiness and walk away. She understands that she cannot change the toxic person, and it is not her responsibility to do so. By ending the toxic relationship, she opens herself up to the possibility of finding genuine love and connection with someone who treats her with the love and respect she deserves.

Settling for Less Than She Deserves

Settling for less than she deserves is a behavior that a strong woman would never tolerate from herself. It's the act of accepting mediocrity or subpar treatment in various areas of life, whether it be in relationships, career, or personal growth. When a woman settles for less than she deserves, she is essentially compromising her own happiness and stifling her potential.
A strong woman recognizes her worth and understands that she deserves the best in life. She knows that settling for less not only limits her personal growth but also undermines her self-confidence and self-esteem. By accepting less, she is essentially telling herself that she is not deserving of the love, success, and fulfillment she desires.
Instead of settling, a strong woman sets high standards for herself and her life. She knows that she is deserving of healthy, fulfilling relationships, a satisfying career, and personal growth and development. She is willing to put in the work and make the necessary changes to create the life she deserves.
A strong woman understands that settling for less is a disservice to herself and those around her. By holding herself to a higher standard, she inspires others to do the same and creates a ripple effect of positive change. She refuses to accept anything less than she deserves and is willing to wait for the right opportunities and relationships to come her way.
Settling for less than she deserves is simply not an option for a strong woman. She knows her worth and is determined to create a life of fulfillment, success, and happiness.

Fearing Change or Taking Risks

Fearing change or taking risks is a behavior that a strong woman would never tolerate from herself. It's natural to feel apprehensive about stepping out of our comfort zones and embracing the unknown. However, when we allow fear to hold us back, we limit our growth and potential for greatness.
A strong woman understands that change is necessary for personal development and success. She recognizes that staying stagnant in familiar territory will only result in missed opportunities and unfulfilled potential. While the fear of the unknown may be present, she refuses to let it dictate her actions.
Instead of succumbing to fear, a strong woman embraces change and takes calculated risks. She understands that growth requires stepping into the discomfort and uncertainty that change brings. By pushing past her comfort zone, she opens herself up to new experiences, possibilities, and opportunities for personal and professional growth.
A strong woman recognizes that taking risks is essential for achieving her goals and aspirations. She knows that in order to accomplish great things, she must be willing to take bold and courageous actions. Even if failure or setbacks occur along the way, she views them as valuable learning experiences and uses them to propel herself forward.

Being Too Self-Critical or Perfectionistic

Being too self-critical or perfectionistic is a behavior that a strong woman would never tolerate from herself. It's the act of setting impossibly high standards for herself and constantly berating herself for any perceived shortcomings or mistakes. When a woman is too self-critical or perfectionistic, she is essentially sabotaging her own self-esteem, confidence, and overall well-being.
A strong woman recognizes that nobody is perfect and that making mistakes is a natural part of life. She understands that holding herself to impossible standards only leads to feelings of inadequacy and burnout. Instead of constantly criticizing herself, a strong woman practices self-compassion and acknowledges her own worth and value.
A strong woman also understands that perfection is an illusion and that striving for it is a futile endeavor. She embraces the concept of growth and learning, allowing herself room to make mistakes and grow from them. She knows that true strength lies in the ability to be vulnerable and to accept oneself, flaws and all.
Rather than being self-critical, a strong woman focuses on self-improvement and personal growth. She sets realistic goals and celebrates her accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. She recognizes that progress is more important than perfection and that self-acceptance is the key to a fulfilled and happy life.
Being too self-critical or perfectionistic is not an option for a strong woman. She knows that by practicing self-compassion and embracing her imperfections, she can truly thrive and reach her fullest potential. She refuses to let her own self-judgment hold her back and instead chooses to love and accept herself unconditionally.

Comparing Herself to Others

Comparing herself to others is a behavior that a strong woman would never tolerate from herself. It's the act of measuring her own worth, success, and happiness against the achievements and lives of others. When a woman compares herself to others, she is essentially diminishing her own uniqueness and worth. This behavior can stem from feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, or societal pressure to meet certain standards.
Comparing herself to others not only undermines a woman's self-confidence and self-esteem, but it also distracts her from her own path and goals. It can lead to a constant state of dissatisfaction and a never-ending cycle of striving for what others have rather than embracing her own journey.
A strong woman recognizes that she is on her own unique path, with her own unique set of talents, strengths, and opportunities. She understands that comparing herself to others is an unfair and fruitless exercise that only serves to deplete her own sense of self-worth. Instead, she focuses on her own progress and growth, celebrating her own achievements and milestones, no matter how small they may seem.
A strong woman embraces her individuality and understands that success and happiness are not one-size-fits-all. She knows that by comparing herself to others, she diminishes her own potential and the power of her own unique gifts. Instead of looking outward for validation, she looks inward and trusts in her own journey and abilities.

Giving Away Her Power or Agency

Giving away her power or agency is a behavior that a strong woman would never tolerate from herself. It's the act of relinquishing control over her own decisions, actions, and choices, and allowing others to dictate her life. When a woman gives away her power or agency, she is essentially surrendering her autonomy and disregarding her own wants, needs, and desires.
A strong woman recognizes the importance of owning her power and taking charge of her own life. She understands that she has the right to make decisions that align with her values, dreams, and aspirations. She knows that by giving away her power, she is sacrificing her own happiness and fulfillment.
Instead of allowing others to determine her path, a strong woman embraces her agency and takes responsibility for her choices. She understands that her decisions have consequences and that she has the ability to create the life she desires. She stands firm in her convictions and refuses to let others manipulate or control her.
A strong woman understands that she is the author of her own story. She knows that by giving away her power, she is relinquishing the opportunity to live life on her own terms. Instead, she embraces her power and agency, knowing that she is capable of creating a life of purpose, passion, and fulfillment.

Allowing Herself to be Victimized or Mistreated.

strong woman

Allowing herself to be victimized or mistreated is a behavior that a strong woman would never tolerate from herself. It's the act of accepting and tolerating abusive or harmful behavior from others, whether it be in relationships, friendships, or even in professional settings. When a woman allows herself to be victimized or mistreated, she is essentially surrendering her own worth and self-respect.

A strong woman recognizes that she deserves to be treated with kindness, respect, and dignity. She understands that no one has the right to belittle, abuse, or manipulate her. By allowing herself to be victimized or mistreated, she is essentially enabling a cycle of toxic behavior and perpetuating her own suffering.
Instead of accepting mistreatment, a strong woman stands up for herself and sets clear boundaries. She refuses to tolerate any form of abuse or disrespect and takes decisive action to remove herself from toxic situations. She knows that by prioritizing her own well-being and happiness, she sets an example for others and creates a life of empowerment and fulfillment.
Allowing herself to be victimized or mistreated is not an option for a strong woman. She knows her worth and understands that she deserves to be treated with love, respect, and kindness. By refusing to accept mistreatment, she takes back her power and creates a life of happiness, freedom, and self-love.

Gambling addiction is a serious issue that can wreak havoc on a person's life. It can cause financial ruin, strain relationships, and even lead to mental health issues. Recovery from a gambling addiction is not an easy journey, but it is possible. In this blog post, we will discuss the steps that one can take to bounce back from a devastating gambling addiction and regain control of their life.

The Warning Signs of a Gambling Addiction

Gambling can be a fun and exciting pastime for many, but for others, it can lead to a destructive addiction. If you're concerned that you or someone you know may be struggling with a gambling addiction, it's important to recognize the warning signs. Some common signs include:

- Increasing frequency or duration of gambling sessions

- Needing to gamble more to feel same level of excitement  

- Hiding the extent of gambling from friends and family

- Neglecting responsibilities and obligations in favor of gambling

- When attempting to cut back, feel at unease

- Experiencing financial struggles due to losses

- Continually chasing losses by placing more bets in hopes of winning back money

It's important to remember that everyone's journey towards recovery looks different. Recognizing the warning signs of a gambling addiction is an important first step in seeking help and finding support for a healthier, happier life.

The Devastating Consequences of a Gambling Addiction

A gambling addiction can have far-reaching consequences that affect all areas of a person's life. It's not just a financial issue, although that is certainly a major aspect of the problem. A gambling addiction can wreak havoc on a person's mental health, physical well-being, relationships, and professional life.

Financially, a gambling addiction can leave a person deep in debt, with maxed-out credit cards and unpaid bills piling up. This can lead to bankruptcy, foreclosure, and even homelessness. It's not uncommon for those with a gambling addiction to resort to illegal activities, such as theft or embezzlement, in order to fund their addiction.

Mentally, a gambling addiction can cause depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. The constant cycle of winning and losing can be emotionally exhausting, and the guilt and shame associated with the addiction can be overwhelming.

Physically, a gambling addiction can lead to exhaustion, insomnia, and even substance abuse as a way to cope with the stress and emotions of the addiction.

Relationships can also suffer as a result of a gambling addiction. Loved ones may feel betrayed and hurt by the addict's behavior, and the addict may become increasingly isolated and withdrawn.

Professionally, a gambling addiction can lead to job loss and career derailment. The addiction may cause a person to miss work, perform poorly on the job, or engage in unethical or illegal behavior that leads to termination.

The consequences of a gambling addiction are severe, but it's important to remember that recovery is possible. Seeking help and creating a plan for recovery is the first step in turning your life around.

Acknowledging the Problem and Seeking Help

The first step towards recovery from a gambling addiction is acknowledging that there is a problem. This can be difficult for some individuals who may not recognize the severity of their addiction or may be in denial. It takes courage to confront the reality of the situation, but it is an essential step towards moving forward.

Once you have acknowledged that you have a gambling addiction, it is important to seek professional help. This can include therapy, counseling, or joining a support group. The National Council on Problem Gambling is a great resource for finding help in your area.

When seeking help, it is important to find someone who understands the complexities of addiction and can provide you with the support you need. A therapist or counselor can help you identify the root cause of your addiction and develop coping strategies to avoid relapse. They can also provide guidance on how to rebuild relationships and regain the trust of loved ones who may have been hurt by your addiction.

Joining a support group can also be beneficial as it provides a safe space to share your experiences and learn from others who are going through similar struggles. It can also provide a sense of accountability, which is crucial in the recovery process.

Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. It takes courage to admit that you need help and take the necessary steps towards recovery. By acknowledging the problem and seeking help, you are taking an important step towards a better future.

Creating a Plan for Recovery

Once you have acknowledged your gambling addiction and have made the decision to seek help, the next step is to create a plan for recovery. This plan should include a set of strategies and tactics that will help you overcome the addiction and stay on track towards long-term success.

Here are some tips to consider when creating your plan:

1. Set specific goals – Before you start your recovery journey, it's important to identify what you want to achieve and set specific, measurable goals for yourself. These goals should be realistic and achievable, but also challenging enough to keep you motivated.

2. Find a support network – Surround yourself with people who understand what you're going through and who can offer support and encouragement when you need it. This might include friends, family members, support groups, or a therapist.

3. Create a daily routine – Establishing a daily routine can help you stay focused and accountable. This might include setting aside time for exercise, meditation, or other healthy activities that will help you stay on track.

4. Avoid triggers – Identify the situations, people, or places that tend to trigger your gambling addiction and take steps to avoid them as much as possible.

5. Seek professional help – Consider working with a therapist, counselor, or other addiction specialist who can help you address the underlying issues that may be contributing to your addiction.

Remember that recovering from a gambling addiction is a process, and it won't happen overnight. But with a solid plan in place and a commitment to staying on track, you can overcome this challenge and regain control of your life.

Implementing Healthy Habits and Avoiding Triggers

Once you've acknowledged your gambling addiction and taken the necessary steps to seek help and create a plan for recovery, it's time to start implementing healthy habits and avoiding triggers that could lead you back down the path of addiction.

One of the most important habits to establish is self-care. Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally by getting enough sleep, eating well, and finding healthy ways to manage stress. Regular exercise can also be incredibly beneficial, as it helps to release endorphins and reduce stress.

Another crucial step in recovery is learning to avoid triggers. Identify the situations, people, or emotions that tend to lead you towards gambling and actively work to avoid or manage them. This might mean staying away from certain places, people, or activities that trigger your gambling urges. You might also find it helpful to develop new hobbies or interests that distract you from gambling and keep you focused on positive pursuits.

One of the most powerful tools for overcoming a gambling addiction is mindfulness. This involves being present in the moment and paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations. When you become aware of the triggers that lead to gambling urges, you can use mindfulness to defuse those urges and stay focused on your recovery goals.

It's also important to recognize that setbacks can happen along the way, and it's okay to ask for help when you need it. Be honest with yourself and others about your struggles, and reach out to a support group or professional counselor when you need additional guidance and support.

Remember, recovery is a process, and it takes time and effort to establish new, healthy habits and avoid old, harmful patterns. But with the right tools and support, you can bounce back from a devastating gambling addiction and lead a fulfilling, happy life.

Repairing Relationships and Rebuilding Trust

One of the most painful consequences of a gambling addiction is the damage it can do to our relationships with loved ones. The lying, deceit, and financial strain can all take a toll on our ability to trust and be trusted by those closest to us.

But just because we've made mistakes in the past doesn't mean we can't take steps to repair the damage and rebuild the relationships we've lost. Here are some strategies for repairing relationships and rebuilding trust after a gambling addiction:

1. Take Responsibility: The first step in repairing any relationship is to take responsibility for your actions. Acknowledge the pain and hurt you've caused, and be honest about your mistakes. Apologize sincerely and be prepared to make amends.

2. Be Consistent:  Stick to your commitments and follow through on your promises. This will show your loved ones that you are serious about changing and are committed to building a better future.

3. Seek Counseling: Sometimes, repairing relationships requires professional help. Consider seeking counseling or therapy to work through the emotional issues that may be underlying your addiction. This can also be a safe space to talk through the challenges of rebuilding relationships.

4. Show Empathy: Take the time to understand the impact your addiction has had on your loved ones. Be empathetic and try to see things from their perspective. This will help them feel heard and validated, and will also help you develop a deeper understanding of their needs and feelings.

5. Stay Accountable: It's important to remain accountable throughout the recovery process. Keep your loved ones updated on your progress, be transparent about any slip-ups or relapses, and continue to prioritize your recovery above all else.

Repairing relationships and rebuilding trust is a long and challenging process, but it's also incredibly rewarding. With hard work, commitment, and empathy, it is possible to repair the damage and rebuild strong, healthy relationships with those we love.

Finding Support and Staying Accountable

Recovering from a gambling addiction can be a challenging process, but it's important to remember that you don't have to do it alone. One of the keys to successful recovery is finding support from others who have gone through similar struggles and are now living in recovery. 

There are many resources available to help you find support, including 12-step programs such as Gamblers Anonymous, therapy and counseling, and support groups specifically for those recovering from a gambling addiction. 

In addition to seeking out professional support, it's also important to stay accountable to your recovery plan and goals. This may involve regularly checking in with a sponsor or support group, setting and tracking personal goals, and identifying and avoiding triggers that could lead to a relapse. 

Keeping a journal can also be a helpful tool in staying accountable, as it allows you to reflect on your progress, identify areas where you may need additional support, and celebrate your successes. It's important to remember that recovery is a process, and setbacks and challenges are a natural part of that process. But with the right support and commitment, you can overcome your addiction and live a fulfilling, healthy life in recovery.

Feeling stuck in life can be a difficult place to be. It can be hard to find the motivation to keep going and make progress in our lives. Fortunately, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) offers a powerful tool to help us get unstuck and make meaningful progress. By focusing on acceptance and creating commitment to action, ACT provides us with a roadmap for finding greater clarity and purpose in our lives. In this blog post, we'll explore how acceptance and commitment therapy can help us break free from feelings of being stuck and get back on the path towards fulfillment.

Understanding Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on mindfulness, values, and acceptance of internal experiences. It is based on the idea that we all experience negative thoughts, emotions, and feelings at some point in our lives. Instead of trying to get rid of these experiences, ACT aims to help individuals accept and deal with them in a more effective way.

ACT is rooted in the contextual behavioral science tradition and emphasizes the importance of psychological flexibility. The goal of ACT is to help individuals lead a meaningful life by focusing on their values and taking actions that are in line with those values. It is a form of therapy that can help individuals who struggle with anxiety, depression, chronic pain, substance abuse, and other mental health conditions.

One of the key principles of ACT is that our thoughts and feelings are not the problem; it is our reactions to them that cause us distress. The therapy helps individuals develop psychological flexibility so they can better manage their internal experiences and respond more effectively to external challenges.

ACT encourages individuals to be present in the moment and to be mindful of their thoughts and feelings. This allows them to better understand their experiences and to respond more effectively to them. By learning to accept their thoughts and feelings, individuals can free themselves from the grip of anxiety and depression and make choices that are in line with their values.

ACT is a short-term, solution-focused therapy that typically lasts for around 6-12 sessions. It can be conducted one-on-one or in a group setting. During the therapy, the therapist will work with the individual to identify their values and help them develop strategies to live in line with those values.

In the next section, we will look at the six core processes of ACT and how they help with psychological flexibility

The Six Core Processes of ACT

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a type of psychotherapy that is grounded in the concept of psychological flexibility. In other words, the ability to adapt and change behavior and thought patterns when necessary in order to achieve one's goals. This approach aims to help people move towards their values and goals, even in the face of difficult emotions or experiences. To achieve this, ACT focuses on six core processes.

1. Acceptance: One of the primary goals of ACT is to help people accept their experiences, even when they are unpleasant or uncomfortable. This process encourages individuals to avoid suppressing or avoiding negative emotions and thoughts, but rather to observe them in a non-judgmental way.

2. Cognitive defusion: Cognitive defusion involves stepping back from thoughts and recognizing them as simply mental events, rather than taking them as reality. This process can help individuals better regulate their emotional responses.

3. Present-moment awareness: Focusing on the present moment, rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, can help individuals feel more grounded and centered.

4. Self as context: This process involves separating oneself from one's thoughts and emotions, recognizing that they do not define the entirety of one's self.

5. Values clarification: Identifying and clarifying one's personal values can help individuals align their actions with their goals and find greater meaning in life.

6. Committed action: Finally, ACT encourages individuals to take action in alignment with their values and goals, even if it means facing difficult emotions or situations.

By utilizing these six core processes, individuals can cultivate greater psychological flexibility and lead more fulfilling lives.

How ACT Helps with Psychological Flexibility

One of the primary goals of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is to help individuals develop psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility refers to the ability to adapt and adjust our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to different situations in life. In other words, it means being able to respond effectively to life's challenges, rather than getting stuck in unhelpful patterns of thinking and behavior.

ACT works towards building psychological flexibility through a variety of techniques and strategies. Here are some of the ways ACT helps with psychological flexibility:

1. Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a core component of ACT, and it involves being present in the moment, observing our thoughts and feelings without judgment. Through mindfulness, individuals learn to accept their thoughts and feelings as they are, rather than trying to push them away or ignore them. This allows for greater emotional regulation and the ability to respond to difficult situations with more clarity and calmness.

2. Acceptance: In ACT, individuals are encouraged to accept their experiences, rather than fighting against them or trying to change them. This means accepting both the positive and negative experiences in life, as well as our thoughts and feelings. By learning to accept these experiences, individuals can develop greater emotional flexibility and resilience.

3. Values-based Action: Another key aspect of ACT is the focus on values-based action. This means identifying our values, or what is most important to us, and taking action that aligns with these values. This helps individuals to live a more meaningful and purposeful life, even in the face of difficult situations.

4. Cognitive Defusion: Cognitive defusion refers to the process of detaching from unhelpful thoughts and beliefs. Through cognitive defusion techniques, individuals can learn to observe their thoughts without being ruled by them. This can help individuals to let go of unhelpful thought patterns and increase their flexibility in responding to challenging situations.

By incorporating these and other techniques, ACT helps individuals to develop greater psychological flexibility. This can lead to greater emotional regulation, improved relationships, and a greater sense of overall well-being.

Techniques Used in ACT

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) uses a variety of techniques to help individuals build psychological flexibility and move towards a values-based life. Some of the techniques used in ACT include:

1. Mindfulness: This involves focusing on the present moment and accepting your thoughts and emotions without judgment. Mindfulness can help you develop a more positive relationship with your internal experiences.

2. Defusion: Defusion techniques help you become less fused with your thoughts and feelings. This can help you detach from unhelpful thoughts and become more aware of your internal experiences.

3. Values clarification: Identifying and clarifying your values can help you set meaningful goals and create a sense of purpose in your life.

4. Committed action: ACT encourages individuals to take action towards their goals and values, even in the presence of uncomfortable thoughts and emotions.

5. Cognitive restructuring: This technique involves examining and challenging unhelpful thoughts and beliefs that may be contributing to psychological distress.

6. Metaphors: ACT uses metaphors and stories to help individuals understand and accept difficult experiences, such as pain or anxiety.

Overall, ACT aims to help individuals build a more flexible and adaptive approach to life. By using a range of techniques, therapists can help individuals develop the skills needed to overcome psychological barriers and move towards a more fulfilling life.

Who Can Benefit from ACT?

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) can benefit anyone who is struggling with negative thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that are causing distress in their life. ACT is a flexible and adaptable therapy that can be used for a wide range of psychological and emotional issues. Here are some specific groups that may benefit from ACT:

1. Individuals with anxiety and depression: ACT has been shown to be effective in treating anxiety and depression, as it helps individuals develop psychological flexibility and increase their acceptance of negative thoughts and emotions.

2. Individuals with chronic pain: ACT can help individuals with chronic pain by increasing their acceptance of pain and teaching them techniques to manage their thoughts and emotions related to pain.

3. Individuals with addiction: ACT can help individuals with addiction by teaching them mindfulness techniques and helping them develop values-based actions that are more meaningful and fulfilling than addictive behaviors.

4. Individuals with relationship issues: ACT can help individuals improve their relationships by increasing their communication skills, helping them identify their values and priorities, and increasing their acceptance and compassion towards themselves and others.

Overall, ACT can benefit anyone who is looking to increase their psychological flexibility, decrease distress, and improve their overall well-being. However, it is important to note that ACT may not be suitable for everyone, and it is important to discuss your specific needs with a qualified mental health professional.

Challenges with ACT

While Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has shown great promise in helping people deal with a range of psychological issues, it is not without its challenges. One of the main challenges is that it can be difficult for some people to understand the concepts of mindfulness and acceptance, which are at the core of ACT.

For example, some individuals may have a hard time accepting difficult thoughts and feelings, especially if they are related to trauma or painful experiences. They may feel that acknowledging these feelings will only make things worse. Similarly, mindfulness exercises, such as meditation, may be uncomfortable for some people who have difficulty focusing or who feel uneasy being alone with their thoughts.

Another challenge with ACT is that it requires a certain level of commitment and effort on the part of the individual. The therapy process can be demanding and may require a willingness to face difficult emotions and make behavioral changes. This can be challenging for individuals who are struggling with motivation or who are resistant to change.

Finally, like any form of therapy, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. While ACT has been shown to be effective for many people, there are individuals for whom it may not be the best option. In these cases, other forms of therapy may be more appropriate.

Despite these challenges, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy can be a powerful tool for individuals seeking to overcome psychological barriers and achieve greater levels of well-being. By working with a skilled therapist and committing to the process, many people have been able to achieve lasting change and lead more fulfilling lives.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a widely used form of psychotherapy that has been proven to be effective in treating mental health disorders. CBT focuses on identifying and changing the thought patterns and behaviors that are causing distress in an individual's life. Cognitive restructuring, a core part of CBT, is a technique used by therapists to help their clients reframe and adjust their thought patterns. In this blog post, we will be breaking down cognitive restructuring in CBT to help better understand how it works.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It is a short-term, goal-oriented therapy that helps individuals identify negative thought patterns and replace them with positive, constructive thoughts. CBT has been proven to be an effective treatment for a range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse.

CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts and beliefs impact our emotions and behaviors. In CBT, the therapist works with the client to identify these negative patterns of thinking and to restructure them into more positive and helpful ones. By challenging negative beliefs and replacing them with more positive ones, clients can experience an improvement in their mood and behavior.

CBT is a collaborative approach that involves the client actively participating in their treatment. The therapist helps the client to learn and apply skills to challenge and modify their negative thought patterns. Homework assignments and daily monitoring of negative thoughts are often used to reinforce new skills and help clients build confidence in their ability to challenge negative thinking.

Overall, CBT is a solution-focused and evidence-based approach to therapy that can help individuals improve their mental health and lead a more fulfilling life.

Understanding the Cognitive Restructuring Technique

Cognitive restructuring is a technique used in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help clients challenge and reframe their negative thought patterns. CBT operates under the premise that negative thinking and distorted perceptions can contribute to emotional and behavioral problems. Through cognitive restructuring, clients are able to learn how to identify and replace negative thought patterns with more realistic and positive thoughts.

The cognitive restructuring technique is based on the principle that our thoughts have a significant impact on our emotions and behaviors. Negative thoughts can create negative emotions and behaviors, while positive thoughts can lead to positive emotions and behaviors.

During a cognitive restructuring session, a therapist will work with their client to identify negative thoughts that are causing emotional distress or behavioral problems. This could involve exploring past experiences that have contributed to these negative thought patterns or looking at current situations that trigger negative thoughts.

Once negative thought patterns have been identified, the therapist will work with their client to challenge these thoughts. This involves examining the evidence for and against the negative thought, looking for alternative explanations, and considering how the thought might be affecting their emotions and behaviors.

Once the negative thought has been challenged, the client and therapist can work together to reframe it. This involves finding a more positive and realistic way of thinking about the situation or experience. This might involve finding evidence to support a more positive thought, imagining a positive outcome, or identifying opportunities for growth and learning.

The ultimate goal of cognitive restructuring is to help clients change their negative thought patterns and create more positive emotions and behaviors. This often involves practicing positive self-talk, using affirmations, and changing behaviors to reinforce positive thoughts. With time and practice, cognitive restructuring can help clients overcome emotional and behavioral problems and improve their overall quality of life.

In the next section, we'll explore how to identify negative thought patterns in order to start the process of cognitive restructuring.

Identifying Negative Thought Patterns

One of the first steps in cognitive restructuring is identifying negative thought patterns. These negative thoughts often arise automatically, and individuals may not even be aware of them. However, they can have a significant impact on mood, behavior, and overall well-being.

Some common negative thought patterns include:

- All-or-nothing thinking: Seeing things in black and white, with no room for shades of gray or nuance.

- Catastrophizing: Expecting the worst possible outcome in any situation.

- Mind-reading: Assuming you know what others are thinking, without any evidence to support your beliefs.

- Overgeneralizing: Making sweeping statements based on limited experiences or information.

- Personalization: Assuming responsibility for things that are outside of your control.

When these negative thoughts occur frequently, they can create a pattern of negative thinking that can be difficult to break. Identifying them is the first step in the process of cognitive restructuring.

One effective way to identify negative thought patterns is to keep a thought diary. In this diary, individuals can write down negative thoughts as they occur, along with the situation that triggered them. Over time, patterns may emerge, and individuals can begin to see the types of situations that tend to trigger negative thoughts.

It can also be helpful to pay attention to physical sensations that arise when negative thoughts occur. For example, do you notice a tightness in your chest or a knot in your stomach? Becoming aware of these physical sensations can be a signal that negative thoughts are taking hold.

Once negative thought patterns have been identified, it becomes possible to challenge and reframe them, which is the next step in cognitive restructuring.

Challenging and Reframing Negative Thoughts

It's time to challenge negative thoughts patterns once they have been identified. Challenging negative thoughts involves questioning the validity of the negative thoughts and looking for evidence that supports or disproves them.

For example, if you're having thoughts like "I'm never going to be successful," you can challenge that thought by asking yourself, "Is that really true?" You might look for evidence that supports the thought, but also for evidence that contradicts it. Maybe you've had successes in the past, or maybe there are people in your life who believe in you and your abilities.

Once you've challenged the negative thought, it's time to reframe it. This means taking the negative thought and turning it into a more positive or balanced thought. Reframing allows you to see the situation in a different light, and can help you feel more hopeful and empowered.

For example, you might reframe "I'm never going to be successful" as "I've had setbacks in the past, but I'm still capable of achieving my goals." Or you might reframe "I always mess up" as "Everyone makes mistakes, and I can learn from mine."

It's important to note that reframing doesn't mean ignoring or denying the challenges in your life. Instead, it means acknowledging them and finding a more helpful perspective. By practicing this technique, you can begin to shift your thinking from negative to more positive, and ultimately improve your mental health and well-being.

Practicing Positive Self-Talk

Once negative thought patterns have been identified and challenged, it's time to practice positive self-talk. This technique involves replacing negative self-talk with positive affirmations, which can help boost self-esteem and promote healthier thinking.

Examples of positive affirmations include:

- I am capable and strong

- I deserve to be happy and loved

- I am making progress towards my goals

- I am worthy of success and fulfillment

To begin incorporating positive self-talk into daily life, it can be helpful to write down a list of positive affirmations and recite them to oneself daily. It's important to focus on specific affirmations that resonate personally, rather than generic statements.

It may also be helpful to create a gratitude journal, where one can reflect on and write down positive experiences and moments of appreciation throughout the day. This can serve as a reminder of the good things in life, even amidst challenging situations.

Through practicing positive self-talk and gratitude, individuals can begin to shift their focus towards the positive aspects of life, rather than dwelling on negative thoughts and experiences. This can lead to improved mood, increased resilience, and a healthier mindset overall.

Changing Behaviors to Reinforce Positive Thoughts

Cognitive restructuring in therapy involves more than just challenging negative thoughts; it also includes changing behaviors to reinforce positive thoughts. Once you’ve identified your negative thought patterns and begun reframing them with positive self-talk, it’s time to take action and start making changes in your behavior.

For example, if you’re struggling with social anxiety and tend to avoid social situations because you believe you’ll embarrass yourself, your therapist may suggest practicing small, manageable social interactions to reinforce positive thoughts about your abilities. You might start by making eye contact with strangers, then progress to saying hello or starting small talk. Each successful interaction can serve as proof that your negative beliefs are not accurate, which can help build confidence and change the way you perceive yourself in social situations.

It’s important to remember that changing behavior can take time and effort, but it’s an integral part of cognitive restructuring in therapy. Your therapist will work with you to identify achievable goals and help you develop a plan to reinforce positive thoughts through actions. Whether it’s practicing mindfulness, taking up a new hobby, or actively challenging negative beliefs in social situations, these behaviors can serve as proof of your ability to overcome negative thinking patterns and reinforce positive change.

Ultimately, the goal of cognitive restructuring is to change the way you think and behave, leading to lasting changes in your mood, emotions, and behavior. With time, practice, and support from your therapist, you can learn to identify negative thought patterns and replace them with positive self-talk, leading to a happier, healthier life.

Examples of Cognitive Restructuring in Action

Now that we understand how cognitive restructuring works, let's take a look at some real-life examples of how this technique can be applied in therapy.

Example 1: Sarah, a client who struggles with social anxiety, often thinks "people are judging me" in social situations. Through cognitive restructuring, Sarah learns to challenge and reframe this thought by asking herself, "Is it really true that everyone is judging me? Can I know for sure what others are thinking? And even if they are judging me, does it really matter?" She also learns to replace this negative thought with positive self-talk, such as "I am a likable person" and "I am confident in my abilities to interact with others." By practicing these new thought patterns, Sarah becomes more comfortable and confident in social situations.

Example 2: John, a client who struggles with depression, often thinks "I'm a failure" when he makes a mistake. Through cognitive restructuring, John learns to challenge and reframe this thought by asking himself, "Is it really true that one mistake defines me as a failure? What evidence do I have to support this belief? And even if I did fail, does that mean I am a failure as a person?" He also learns to replace this negative thought with positive self-talk, such as "Mistakes happen, and they don't define me" and "I have many successes to be proud of." By practicing these new thought patterns, John begins to feel more confident and motivated.

Example 3: Mary, a client who struggles with low self-esteem, often thinks "I'm not good enough" in various situations. Through cognitive restructuring, Mary learns to challenge and reframe this thought by asking herself, "What evidence do I have that I'm not good enough? Is this belief based on facts or just my own perceptions? And even if I'm not perfect, does that mean I'm not good enough as a person?" She also learns to replace this negative thought with positive self-talk, such as "I am worthy of love and respect" and "I have many positive qualities that others admire." By practicing these new thought patterns, Mary begins to feel more confident and self-assured.

In these examples, we can see how cognitive restructuring can help clients identify and challenge negative thought patterns, replace them with positive self-talk, and change behaviors to reinforce these new beliefs. By working through this process in therapy, clients can learn to overcome negative thought patterns and develop a more positive and empowering mindset.

Anxiety is an all-too-common part of life, and it often manifests in the form of racing thoughts. These thoughts can be overwhelming and incredibly disruptive to our mental health. Learning how to cope with racing thoughts and anxiety can be a difficult process, but it is possible. In this blog post, we'll explore ways to silence the storm within our minds and regain peace of mind. From mindfulness exercises to lifestyle changes, there are plenty of methods to help you quiet the chaos of racing thoughts.

Introduction to Racing Thoughts

racing thoughts

Have you ever found yourself unable to focus or calm down due to a constant stream of thoughts racing through your mind? This is known as racing thoughts and it is a common symptom of anxiety. Racing thoughts can be triggered by a variety of things, such as stress, trauma, or even caffeine. They can make it difficult to complete tasks or even engage in conversation with others. In this post, we'll explore the negative effects of racing thoughts and techniques for quieting them.

Negative Effects of Racing Thoughts

Racing thoughts can have several negative effects on both our physical and emotional well-being. Physically, racing thoughts can lead to an increased heart rate, difficulty relaxing, and muscle tension. Emotionally, racing thoughts can manifest as anxiety, depression, irritability, and feelings of overwhelm.

These symptoms can also have a significant impact on our daily lives. Racing thoughts can make it difficult to focus on tasks, leading to decreased productivity and motivation. They can also disrupt our sleep patterns, causing us to feel fatigued and unrefreshed even after a full night's sleep. Over time, these negative effects can start to take a toll on our overall quality of life, leading to chronic stress and other health problems.

It's important to note that everyone experiences racing thoughts differently, and some may be more severely impacted than others. However, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to take steps to address them before they begin to interfere with your daily life. In the next section, we'll discuss some techniques for quieting racing thoughts and managing anxiety.

Techniques for Quieting Racing Thoughts

When we find ourselves caught up in racing thoughts and feelings of anxiety, it's important to have some coping strategies in our tool belt. Here are a few techniques that may help quiet your racing thoughts:

1. Mindfulness Exercises - Meditation, deep breathing, and body scans can be powerful tools for calming racing thoughts. Practicing mindfulness involves bringing our attention to the present moment, allowing us to be more aware of our thoughts without getting caught up in them.

2. Cognitive Behavioral Techniques - Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a popular form of therapy that can help manage racing thoughts. It involves identifying negative thought patterns and learning to reframe them more positively.

3. Distracting Activities - Engaging in activities that occupy your mind and body can be a great way to distract from racing thoughts. Exercise, reading, and listening to music are just a few examples of activities that may help.

4. Self-care Practices - Taking care of our physical and emotional needs is essential when dealing with racing thoughts. Getting enough sleep, eating well, and reducing stress can all contribute to better mental health.

It's important to note that what works for one person may not work for another. It's worth trying a variety of techniques to see what helps you the most. If racing thoughts continue to disrupt your daily life, it may be time to seek professional help.

When to seek professional help

While coping mechanisms and lifestyle changes can greatly aid in reducing racing thoughts, there may be times when seeking professional help is necessary. If racing thoughts are affecting your daily life and causing significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or academic functioning, it may be time to seek the guidance of a mental health professional. Some signs that it may be time to seek help include:

- Feeling unable to control your thoughts or racing mind

- Difficulty concentrating on tasks or making decisions

- Experiencing panic attacks or intense feelings of anxiety

- Avoiding social situations or activities due to racing thoughts

- Changes in sleep patterns, such as insomnia or oversleeping

- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide

A mental health professional, such as a therapist or psychiatrist, can work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that may include medication, therapy, or a combination of both. It is important to remember that seeking professional help is a brave step towards managing your racing thoughts and improving your overall well-being. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing racing thoughts or other mental health concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) helpline can provide resources and support at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).

Additional Resources

Managing racing thoughts can be a challenging and complex task. If you are struggling with racing thoughts, consider exploring the following books, podcasts, and resources for additional support:

- The Anxiety and Worry Workbook: The Cognitive Behavioral Solution by David A. Clark and Aaron T. Beck

- Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment-and Your Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn

- The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

- The Anxiety Coaches Podcast with Gina Ryan

- The Calm Collective Podcast with Cassandra Eldridge

- The Daily Meditation Podcast with Mary Meckley

- The Calm app for guided meditations and relaxation exercises

- Headspace, a popular meditation app

- Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) for support and information

If you are struggling with racing thoughts and anxiety, it may also be beneficial to seek professional help. Here are a few tips to get started:

- Reach out to your primary care physician or a mental health professional for an evaluation and potential referral.

- Consider seeking out therapy with a licensed therapist who specializes in anxiety disorders.

- If necessary, medication may also be prescribed by a mental health professional.

- Don’t hesitate to ask for help–seeking professional support can be an important step in managing racing thoughts and anxiety. 

Remember, there is no one “right” way to cope with racing thoughts. It may take some trial and error to find techniques that work best for you. With time, patience, and a commitment to your mental health, you can learn to manage racing thoughts and find inner peace.

Next Steps

Living with racing thoughts and anxiety can be a challenging experience. The constant influx of thoughts and worries can make it difficult to focus on daily tasks, social interactions, and personal relationships. However, it's essential to understand that you're not alone, and there are effective techniques and strategies for coping with these overwhelming thoughts.

By trying out the techniques outlined in this article, you can develop a greater understanding of how your mind works and gain control over your racing thoughts. Remember to be patient with yourself and to keep an open mind. What works for one person may not work for another, so be open to trying out different techniques and find what works best for you.

In addition to trying out different coping strategies, it's important to remember that there's no shame in seeking professional help. Sometimes, the support and guidance of a mental health professional can be just what you need to overcome racing thoughts and anxiety.

Lastly, I encourage readers to share their own experiences and strategies for managing racing thoughts. Sharing your journey with others can be a powerful tool for breaking down stigma, fostering understanding, and inspiring hope. Together, we can create a community that supports and uplifts each other in our journeys toward mental wellness.

-Seth Showalter, LCSW

Have you ever felt like a fraud, like your successes are due to luck rather than skill? If so, you may have Imposter Syndrome. This psychological phenomenon affects many people and can have a profoundly negative effect on self-confidence. However, with the right approach, it can be overcome. In this blog post, we will explore how positive self-talk can help you to defeat Imposter Syndrome and regain your sense of self-worth. Imposter Syndrome is an issue that affects millions of people all around the world. It is characterized by feelings of self-doubt and insecurity, and can leave sufferers feeling like a fraud or a phony. Fortunately, there are ways to combat Imposter Syndrome and one of the most effective techniques is positive self-talk. In this blog post, we will look at how positive self-talk can be used to overcome Imposter Syndrome and help build a more confident and secure self-image. Imposter Syndrome is a common condition that many individuals struggle with. It can be very difficult to overcome, as feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt can be hard to shake off. Despite these challenges, it is possible to take control of the situation and rise above it through the power of positive self-talk. In this blog post, we will explore the ways in which positive self-talk can help us to overcome Imposter Syndrome.

What is imposter syndrome?

Imposter Syndrome is a pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, accomplishments, and abilities. People with imposter syndrome feel like they don't deserve their accomplishments and attribute their successes to luck, deception, or other external factors. These individuals may also experience anxiety, fear of failure, and self-doubt, and may constantly feel like they are about to be exposed as fraud or imposter. Imposter syndrome can affect people in various areas of their lives, including work, relationships and personal endeavors, and can be particularly challenging for those who face high levels of pressure or who are striving to achieve excellence.

How does imposter syndrome affect people?

Self-Doubt: Imposter syndrome causes individuals to doubt their abilities and competence, making them feel like they are not good enough. 

Fear of Failure: People with imposter syndrome may avoid taking risks or trying new things for fear of failing and being exposed as a fraud. 

Overwork: Individuals with imposter syndrome may compensate for their perceived lack of competence by overworking and putting in excessive effort. 

Anxiety and Stress: The constant worry and fear of being exposed as a fraud can lead to high levels of anxiety and stress. 

Isolation: People with imposter syndrome may feel isolated and unable to connect with others because they fear their true incompetence will be revealed. 

Overall, imposter syndrome can have a significant impact on an individual's mental health and well-being, and it is important to recognize and address these feelings to prevent them from negatively impacting one's success and personal fulfillment. Imposter syndrome can be particularly damaging to one's career, as it can hold individuals back from taking on new challenges and pursuing opportunities. It can also lead to feelings of inadequacy and insecurity, which can make it difficult for individuals to establish and maintain healthy relationships with others. If left unchecked, imposter syndrome can lead to long-term self-doubt and low self-esteem, making it challenging for individuals to achieve their goals and lead fulfilling lives. Fortunately, there are techniques for overcoming imposter syndrome, and one of the most effective is positive self-talk. By changing the narrative we tell ourselves and reframing our thoughts, we can start to shift away from negative self-talk and towards more positive and empowering thinking. In the next section, we'll take a closer look at the power of positive self-talk and how you can start incorporating this technique into your life.

What are some techniques for overcoming imposter syndrome?

Imposter Syndrome can be a tricky thing to overcome, but there are several techniques that can help: 

1. Recognize and acknowledge your accomplishments. Write down all your achievements, even small ones, and remind yourself of them often. 

2. Reframe Your Thoughts. Instead of thinking, "I don't belong here," try to reframe it to something like, "I belong here because I have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed." 

3. Talk to Someone. Open up to someone about how you're feeling, whether it's a friend, a mentor or a therapist. 

4. Don't Compare Yourself to Others. Recognize that everyone has their unique journey and that comparing yourself to others can be counterproductive. 

5. Practice Self-Care. Take care of yourself by getting enough rest, exercising regularly, and doing things you enjoy. 

Remember, it's normal to feel like an imposter sometimes, but it's important not to let those feelings hold you back from reaching your potential. 

Why is positive self-talk effective in overcoming imposter syndrome?

Positive self-talk can be effective in overcoming imposter syndrome because it helps to counteract negative thoughts and beliefs about oneself. Imposter syndrome is often characterized by a feeling of inadequacy and a belief that one is not good enough or does not deserve success. By engaging in positive self-talk, individuals can challenge these negative beliefs and replace them with positive and empowering ones. 

For example, someone experiencing imposter syndrome may think "I don't deserve this job or promotion, I only got I because of luck." With positive self-talk, they could reframe this thought to "I worked hard for this position and earned it through my skills and abilities. I am qualified and capable." 

By consistently practicing positive self-talk, individuals can improve their self-esteem, boost their confidence, and ultimately overcome imposter syndrome. 

How can you start using positive self-talk?

Notice negative self-talk: Pay attention to when you're being self-critical or thinking negatively about yourself. This could include things like "I'm not good enough" or "I'll never be able to do this." 

Challenge negative thoughts: Once you notice negative self-talk, challenge it. Ask yourself if the thought is true or if it's just something you're telling yourself. Try to reframe the thought in a more positive way. 

Practice self-compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and understanding. Remember that everyone makes mistakes and has flaws. 

Use positive affirmations: Write down positive statements about yourself and repeat them often. This could include things like "I am capable," "I am worthy," or "I am enough." 

Surround yourself with positivity: Surrounding yourself with positive people and things can help you maintain a positive mindset. 

Remember, positive self-talk takes practice, so try to be patient with yourself as you work on building this habit. Incorporate positive self-talk into your daily routine. Whether you're getting ready for work or working on a project, try to use positive self-talk throughout the day. The more you practice, the easier it will become. Over time, positive self-talk can help you overcome imposter syndrome and boost your confidence in all areas of your life, including your career.

In addition, it's important to address the root cause of your imposter syndrome. Whether it's feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, or other mental health concerns, seeking support from a therapist or counselor can help you work through these issues. By combining positive self-talk with professional support, you can overcome imposter syndrome and achieve your goals with confidence and clarity. Remember, you are capable of great things, and you deserve to feel proud of your accomplishments. With the power of positive self-talk and self-care, you can overcome imposter syndrome and thrive in your personal and professional life.

When it comes to treating teen anxiety, parents often struggle with the decision of whether or not to pursue medication. It can be difficult to know which medications are right for their anxious teen, or even to know if medication is the right choice at all. For this reason, it's important to understand the role of medication in managing teen anxiety. By consulting with a teen psychiatrist and weighing the potential benefits, side effects, and considerations, parents can make an informed decision about the best course of treatment for their teen. In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive guide to choosing medication for teens with anxiety disorders.

The Benefits of Medication for Anxious Teens

For teens who struggle with anxiety disorders, medication can be a powerful tool in their treatment. A qualified teen psychiatrist Columbia Missouri can provide the guidance necessary to choose the appropriate medication and dosage for each individual patient. Medication can help reduce the severity of anxiety symptoms and make it easier for teens to manage their anxiety and continue with daily activities.

One of the benefits of medication is its ability to provide quick relief. While therapy can be effective in treating anxiety disorders, it can take time to see results. Medication, on the other hand, can provide relief from symptoms within a few weeks or even days.

Medication can also help reduce the risk of complications related to anxiety disorders, such as depression and substance abuse. By treating anxiety symptoms, teens may be less likely to turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with their anxiety.

It is important to note that medication is not a cure for anxiety disorders. It is just one tool in a comprehensive anxiety treatment plan. Along with medication, therapy and other treatments should be used in conjunction to provide the most effective treatment.

If you think your teen may benefit from anxiety treatment that includes medication, speak with a teen psychiatrist Columbia Missouri who specializes in anxiety treatment. Together, you can determine the best course of treatment for your child and help them manage their anxiety disorder.

Potential Side Effects

While many teens don't experience side effects when taking SSRIs or SNRIs for anxiety treatment, it's important to be aware of the potential risks. However, the side effects that do occur are usually mild and go away within the first few weeks of treatment.

The most common side effects of SSRI and SNRI anxiety medications for teens include:

- Sexual problems

- Decreased appetite

Other possible side effects include suicidal thoughts, agitation, and an increased risk of bleeding.

It's crucial for parents and physicians to discuss potential side effects with teens, especially those who struggle with perfectionism or anxiety side effects like panic attacks, social anxiety, or generalized anxiety. If one medication isn't working or causing serious side effects, teens may need to change medications or seek anxiety help for teens through a teen psychiatrist near me.

In Mid-Missouri, there are options for anxiety treatment for teens, including telehealth services in Missouri. Choosing the right anxiety medication and managing anxiety in children requires collaboration between the patient, their parents, and their physician or mental health provider. So don't hesitate to seek out anxiety help for teens, and start your journey towards relief today.

Considerations for Choosing a Medication

Choosing the right medication for a teen with an anxiety disorder can be a complex process that requires the expertise of a teen psychiatrist. There are several factors that a psychiatrist will consider when selecting an appropriate medication, including the severity and type of anxiety symptoms, medical history, and any existing medications or health conditions.

One of the most important considerations when selecting an anxiety medication is the potential benefits it can offer. Many medications can effectively alleviate symptoms of anxiety and allow teens to function more effectively in their daily lives. Some of the benefits of anxiety medication include:

- Reducing anxiety symptoms, such as panic attacks, social anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive behaviors

- Improving mood and energy levels

- Enhancing cognitive function and ability to focus

- Improving sleep patterns

- Enhancing overall quality of life

In addition to these benefits, there are also several potential side effects that must be taken into account. Some of the most common side effects of anxiety medication include drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, and weight gain. While these side effects may be manageable for some teens, others may find them to be too significant to continue taking the medication.

Other considerations that a teen psychiatrist will take into account when selecting a medication include the teen's age, weight, and any other medical conditions or medications they may be taking. They will also carefully monitor the teen's response to the medication and make adjustments as necessary to ensure optimal results.

Overall, anxiety treatment can greatly benefit from the use of medication, particularly when combined with counseling and other forms of therapy. If you believe that your teen may benefit from anxiety medication, we encourage you to reach out to a qualified teen psychiatrist in Columbia, Missouri, to discuss your options. Together, you can create a comprehensive treatment plan that will give your teen the best chance at long-term success.

The Benefits of Using Counseling in Conjunction for Anxious Teens

While medication can be an effective tool in managing anxiety disorders, it is important to note that it is not a cure-all solution. Counseling can play a vital role in helping anxious teens develop coping mechanisms and strategies for managing their symptoms in the long-term.

At Columbia Missouri, we offer a variety of anxiety treatment options, including telehealth for anxiety and teen psychiatrist services. Our counselors work closely with our prescribing physicians to create a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses all aspects of your anxious teen's mental health.

One of the benefits of using counseling in conjunction with anxiety medication is that it can help teens better understand and manage their symptoms. With the help of a licensed counselor, anxious teens can learn how to identify triggers that cause their anxiety, develop effective coping mechanisms, and work through any underlying emotional issues that may be contributing to their anxiety.

Additionally, counseling can help anxious teens build resilience and improve their overall mental health. Through regular counseling sessions, teens can learn how to regulate their emotions and manage stress in a healthy way, which can improve their quality of life and prevent future mental health issues.

If you are the parent of an anxious teen in Columbia MO, don't hesitate to reach out for help. Our team at Columbia Missouri is here to provide the support and resources you need to help your teen manage their anxiety and lead a happy, healthy life. Contact us today to learn more about our anxiety treatment options and how we can help your anxious teen thrive.

Get Help for Your Anxiety Teen Today!

If you have a teen who is struggling with anxiety, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible. There are a variety of effective treatment options available, including medication and counseling.

One way to get your teen the help they need is to schedule an appointment with a teen psychiatrist in Columbia, Missouri. A trained psychiatrist can assess your teen's symptoms and determine if medication is a good option for them. They can also provide counseling and therapy to help your teen learn coping strategies and reduce anxiety.

Another option is to seek out anxiety treatment programs specifically designed for teens. These programs may offer a combination of medication, therapy, and other interventions to help your teen manage their anxiety.

No matter what path you choose, the most important thing is to take action and get help for your teen. Anxiety can be a debilitating condition that can have long-term effects on a person's mental and physical health. By seeking treatment, you can give your teen the tools they need to overcome their anxiety and lead a happy, healthy life.

Our Brave Anxiety Treatment Team: Aisha

Hello, parents of anxious teens! My name is Aisha, and I'm a board-certified PMHNP with expertise in both inpatient and outpatient psychiatric treatment. As a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, I specialize in medication management for teen anxiety disorders. I hold a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and a minor in nursing education from The University of Missouri. MIZ-ZOU!

One of my goals as a provider is to establish an amazing rapport with my patients. This involves a focus on both psychological and physical health needs, using a holistic approach to treatment. I have a passion for supporting anxious teens in mastering their anxiety symptoms, improving their health and happiness, and ensuring they thrive.

In my clinical experience, I have worked with many teens struggling with anxiety. I understand that medication is not always the first choice for treatment. Still, it can be an effective tool when used in conjunction with counseling and other therapies. Choosing the right medication can be challenging, but I am here to guide you and your teen through the process.

At our clinic, we believe in maintaining a high level of intrinsic motivation. We are here to do more than just the minimum required of us each day. Our goal is to help your teen live a happy and healthy life, free from the grip of anxiety.

Parents, if you're interested in scheduling an appointment for your teen, please complete the Consultation Form on our website. I'm looking forward to working with you and your teen!

Our Brave Anxiety Treatment Team: Seth 

Seth is a highly trained and gifted therapist with a passion for supporting anxious teens. He understands that anxiety can be debilitating for teens, and he is dedicated to helping them overcome their fears. One of the things that sets Seth apart from other therapists is his ability to easily connect with teens. He has a natural ability to create a safe and welcoming space where teens can feel comfortable sharing their fears and concerns.

Seth uses a variety of treatment modalities to help anxious teens, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Interpersonal and Person-Centered Therapy. He believes that each teen is unique, and he works with each of his clients to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to their individual needs.

If you are a parent looking for a teen psychiatrist in Columbia, Missouri, who specializes in anxiety treatment, Seth is here to help. He can provide counseling services for your teen, helping them learn to manage their anxiety and overcome their fears. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with Seth and take the first step toward helping your teen live a happier and healthier life.

Do you typically nervous, anxious or on edge for no reason?

Do you consider yourself a worrier? 

Are you always considering the “what if’s”?

If so this is really common and may be Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). In this blog post we will explain Generalized Anxiety Disorder and how it can manifest for those who struggle with GAD.

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by persistent and excessive worry about a number of different things. People with Generalized Anxiety Disorder may anticipate disaster and may be overly concerned about money, health, family, work, or other issues.”

You might have Generalized Anxiety Disorder if you find yourself worrying for seemly no reason, your worry is disproportionate to the situation, or you expect the worst even when there is no apparent reason for concern.  

It’s important to know you are not alone. The Anxiety and Depression Association notes “Generalized Anxiety Disorder affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. population, in any given year. Women are twice as likely to be affected.” 

Where does your Generalized Anxiety Disorder stem from?

Anxiety stems from a perceived threat. Think of it this way, anxiety is like a warning system letting you know there is potential danger. Your body can produce various physical symptoms while your mind conjures up thoughts of worry or fear. Your body is amazing! It’s letting you know you may be in danger, helping you prepare to act and respond quickly to keep yourself from harm.

However, if you have Generalized Anxiety Disbar or any type of anxiety disorder, your alarm system might be functioning a little too well. Rather than sensing real immediate danger, you’re sensing a potential threat when there isn’t one.   

Therefore, not only is the worry you’re experiencing uncomfortable, counterproductive, but also difficult to control or stop.

What are the symptoms for Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Mental/Emotional Symptoms
- Consistently worrying or anxiety about a number of areas which are out of proportion to the situation or events.
- Overthinking plans and solutions to all possible worst-case outcomes.
- Perceiving situations and events as threatening, even when they aren't.
- Difficulty handling uncertainty.
- Indecisiveness and fear of making the wrong decision.
- Inability to relax, or let go of worry.
- Feeling restless, keyed up or on edge.
- Difficulty Concentrating
Physical Symptoms
- Irritable
- Fatigue
- Sweating
- Difficultly Sleeping
- Muscle Tension or Muscle Aches
- Trembling, Shaking or Feeling Twitchy
- Nervous or Easily Startled
- Nausea, Diarrhea or Irritable Bowel syndrome

Did you know stress and anxiety are actually healthy?

Believe it or not, a little stress or anxiety is normal. In fact, it’s actually necessary! We as humans would never have lived long enough to evolve had it not been for the development of having a healthy level of stress, anxiety, or even fear. Therefore, anxiety is considered adaptive and necessary for our survival. For example, I recently read a Facebook post by a fellow counselor. She was walking down the street and speaking to a client on her phone. 

Suddenly she had to interrupt the therapy session because, "OH SHIT OH SHIT A BEAR IS RIGHT NEXT TO ME!" She was walking down the sidewalk and suddenly realized there was a full grown black bear standing near her! Thankfully, the human race has developed the ability to perceive a threat! Because of this innate ability, she was able to take action! Placing a solid object (a car) between herself and the threat (a bear!), gaining distance from the bear, and seeking higher ground with another person. She possessed a healthy level of fear which enabled her to take action to protect herself. Anxiety doesn’t just keep you physically safe from dangers like bears, but helps in other ways too.

Anxiety has other benefits as well, like increasing your desire and motivation to be prepared, enhancing your ability to learn, and improving your performance. For instance, you’re getting ready to study for the big final exam and your starting to get really anxious. You begin feeling a little uncertain, nervous, maybe a little sick to your stomach. The fear of not passing the test begins to motivate you to study, and increasing your focus as you begin to retain the information. It’s no surprise you’re still somewhat anxious the day of the test, but to your surprise you did great on the test!

How to get support if you're struggling?

If your Generalized Anxiety Disorder is causing you distress we can help! Here at Brave Counseling & Psychiatry we are experts at anxiety. We would love to support you on your journey to wellness whether that be through therapy or medication management or both! Just call or text 573-825-6441. You can also fill our consultation form.

-Elizabeth Hocker, LPC

Having clear boundaries in our relationships is essential to our mental wellbeing.

Without them, we can experience relationship difficulties and unmet expectations that can cause us stress and even resentment. Establishing and holding boundaries can be difficult, but it is an important skill to learn. In this blog post, we will explore five ways to help you set and maintain healthy boundaries in your relationships. By following these tips, you can create healthier relationships and improve your mental health.

1) Determine what you want and don't want

One of the first steps to establishing and holding boundaries in your relationships is to determine what you want and don't want. This requires taking a closer look at your values and assessing whether your current boundaries are in alignment with those values. Boundaries are essential because they help us protect our emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Without them, we risk feeling overwhelmed, depleted, and taken advantage of in our relationships.

To determine what you want and don't want, start by examining your past experiences and see if there are patterns of boundary violations that keep occurring. For instance, if you find that people constantly interrupt you while you speak, you may need to establish a boundary that you won't tolerate being interrupted. Understanding the situations where you feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or unhappy is key to knowing what you need to change.

Next, prioritize your needs and wants by asking yourself what is most important to you in your relationships. What are the things that make you feel valued, respected, and loved? You might value honesty, kindness, or consistency in your relationships, and it's crucial to establish boundaries that ensure those values are being respected.

Establishing boundaries can be challenging, especially if you're not used to doing so. It can be tempting to say yes to everything, even when it goes against what you want or need. But setting boundaries is essential to our well-being, and it's important to communicate them clearly and assertively.

In the next section, we'll look at how you can communicate your wants and needs in a way that ensures your boundaries are being respected.

2) Communicate your wants and needs

Once you've determined your expectations, it's time to communicate them to others. It's important to use "I" statements when doing so, as this approach makes it clear that you're expressing your own feelings and needs, rather than making accusations or demands.

For example, instead of saying "You always ignore me when I'm talking to you," you could say, "I feel ignored when you don't give me your full attention when I'm talking to you." This approach is more likely to foster productive communication and prevent the other person from becoming defensive.

It's also crucial to directly communicate how you feel and what you need. If you don't tell others what your boundaries are, they can't be expected to respect them. Be clear about what behaviors are unacceptable to you and what you require in order to feel respected and comfortable.

At the same time, it's important to be sure not to downplay or undercut your boundary by adding a discounting statement like "but it's no big deal." If it's important enough to set as a boundary, it's important enough to take seriously.

Ultimately, effective communication of your wants and needs is the cornerstone of healthy boundary setting. When others know what you expect and require in order to feel safe and respected, they're more likely to respect those boundaries and work to maintain positive relationships with you.

3) Don't be afraid to say no

It can be challenging to say no, especially if you're trying to please others or avoid conflict. However, setting boundaries often requires saying no at times. The truth is, "no" is a complete sentence. You don't have to give explanations or excuses for your decision.

If you always say yes to everyone and everything, you may eventually become resentful of your feelings and needs being pushed aside. Learning to say no and being clear about your boundaries can help you prioritize your needs and protect your mental health.

Remember that saying no doesn't have to be harsh or rude. You can be kind, polite, and compassionate while still honoring your own feelings and needs. Instead of saying "No, I can't do that," try "I'm sorry, but I won't be able to help you with that."

It's important to remember that saying no isn't selfish or mean. You have the right to set boundaries and prioritize your own well-being. Saying no can actually be a form of self-care.

Practice saying no in small situations and work your way up to bigger ones. Start with something like saying no to an invitation that you don't really want to accept. Over time, you'll gain more confidence in your ability to set boundaries and hold them. 

In conclusion, don't be afraid to say no when you need to set boundaries. Saying no can help you prioritize your own needs and protect your mental health. Remember to be kind, polite, and compassionate while still honoring your own feelings and needs.

4) Set consequences for boundary violations

One of the most important aspects of setting boundaries is making sure that they are upheld. In order to do this, consequences must be put in place for those who cross them. 

Setting a boundary without consequences is like having no boundary at all. If there are no repercussions for violating a boundary, then people will feel free to continue doing so, causing frustration and disappointment. 

It's important to be clear about what consequences will be put in place if someone violates your boundaries. This can be something as simple as walking away from a conversation or ending a phone call if the other person continues to violate your boundaries. 

For example, if you have a friend who is always asking you for favors at the last minute, and this is causing you stress, you could tell them that you will not be available to help them in the future if they continue to ask you at the last minute. This gives them a clear understanding of what will happen if they violate your boundary, and it gives you the power to enforce it. 

5) Be willing to walk away

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, people will continue to cross your boundaries. In these situations, you may need to be willing to walk away. This could mean ending a friendship, a romantic relationship, or even leaving a job if your boundaries are not being respected.

Walking away is not always easy, but it's necessary for your own well-being. It shows that you value yourself enough to not tolerate mistreatment or disrespect. It's important to remember that you deserve to be surrounded by people who respect your boundaries and support your needs.

If you're struggling with setting and holding boundaries, it may be helpful to seek support from a therapist or counselor. They can help you identify areas where you need to set boundaries and provide you with the tools and techniques to do so effectively.

In conclusion, setting and holding boundaries is essential for our mental health and overall well-being. By being willing to walk away when necessary, we can ensure that our boundaries are respected and our relationships are built on mutual respect and understanding. Remember to take small steps, communicate your needs clearly, and be firm in enforcing consequences for boundary violations. You deserve to be surrounded by people who respect and support you.

© 2024 Brave Counseling and Psychiatry. All rights reserved.
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© 2024 Brave Counseling and Psychiatry. All rights reserved.
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