Stay Positive

FullSizeR

It can be challenging to maintain a positive attitude, especially when things aren’t going your way. Positive thinking means looking on the bright side even when there doesn’t seem to be one. It is also hard work! However, while it might be easier to indulge in negative thoughts than to find the silver lining, this thinking pattern is damaging to your self-esteem and mental health.

Some inspiration to help you make the most of a bad situation…

  1. “Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.” You cannot change the past, but you can still create beauty and purpose from your mistakes.
  1. “What we think, we become.” If we harp on our negative thoughts, we may become a negative person who has trouble finding
    the joy in life. Conversely, if we try to see the good in the world we become part of the good in the world.
  1. “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” With a change of perspective, some seemingly-negative situations are an opportunity to be creative. Move in a direction that you may not have previously considered and you may be pleased with the results.

Still can’t shake those negative thoughts? The problem may run deeper than just your attitude. Test your mood: go online to http://www.BeckPsychotherapy.com and take a free, anonymous mental health screening.

Bipolar Disorder: State Your Terms (Correctly) !

Bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder that is frequently misunderstood. This is in part due to the common use of its dictionary definition as an adjective: having or relating to two poles or extremities. While the definition of the adjective “bipolar” is applicable to bipolar disorder (the noun), the two are not one in the same.

 

Bipolar disorder, as the name suggests, is characterized by shifts between two opposing moods. These moods, however, are not just any two emotional  extremes: Bipolar disorder is specifically an alternation between mania and depression, both of which are disorders on their own. When people with bipolar disorder experience mania, their energy is high, their thoughts are racing and overly idealistic, and their demeanor appears “happy.” When they experience depression, their energy becomes low, they may seem hopeless, and their disposition seems sad.

 

Knowing your terminology will help you better understand the nuances of mental health disorders. Even more importantly, this knowledge can inspire you to encourage your friends and family to use other, less-stigmatizing language.

 

If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms that might be consistent with bipolar disorder, head to http://www.BeckPsychotherapy.com to take a free, brief online screening and discover treatment close to you.

Tis the Season(al Depression)

Winter blues getting you down? You’re not the only one. The winter months exacerbate mental health issues with limited hours of light and cold temperatures. Millions of Americans experience mood changes, heightened anxiety, and lack of energy during this time of year. January can be a hard time for many, as the holiday season ends and the monotonous gray weather drags on.

While the characteristics mentioned above are common, experiencing feelings of hopelessness at the same time each year might be a sign of seasonal depression. If the winter blues start inhibiting you from completing your normal activities, consider taking a mental health screening at http://www.BeckPsychotherapy.com.

Seasonal depression is treatable. Although it is hard to drag yourself out of bed on a cold winter’s day, getting regular exercise and spending time outdoors are forms of prevention. Some at-home yoga or a short trip outside could also brighten your mood.

Five Simple Ways to Practice Self Care in the New Year

Rather than entering 2017 with the mentality, “new year, new me,” focus instead on taking care of the current you. Self-care can be a tricky thing to manage amidst a busy schedule and daily responsibilities, but it is the most important responsibility of all. You owe it to your friends, family, and above all yourself to be the best that you can be.

Here are five easy ways to practice good self-care this new year:

1. Set aside “me time” every day, even if this means a brisk ten-minute walk or taking a break to read ten pages of a book. Finding time to let your mind rest lowers anxiety and stress levels that build up during the day. With a refreshed mind, you will be more productive when you return to your regularly scheduled activity.

2. Invest in your passions. Think about what you love and start doing it. Learn woodworking on the weekends. Join a monthly poetry or reading group. Teach yourself a few magic tricks or maybe a foreign language. Having an identity outside of your daily priorities helps strengthen your sense of self. With work and family priorities, it can be challenging to find time to develop your own interests, but—unlike “me time”— passion building does not need to happen every day. Like you, it is a work-in-progress.

3. Cultivate your relationships. Studies show that people with strong social support systems are happier and live longer. Spending time with friends and family isn’t just enjoyable, it’s also good for you!

4. Make a realistic plan to take care of your body. Health-based New Year’s resolutions regularly fail because people set the bar too high. If you have gone to the gym once a month for the past year, it is unlikely that you will now go every single day. If you have been living on sandwiches during the week, perhaps it is not wise to suddenly cut bread out of your diet. Instead start out slowly, with a health routine that makes sense for you and fits into your schedule. Everybody is different and every body is too!

5. Check in on your mental health by taking a quick, anonymous mental health assessment at http://www.BeckPsychotherapy.com. Oftentimes, we become so focused on staying physically healthy that we forget to pay attention to our emotional health. However, mental health directly impacts how we feel physically and our level of energy. Remaining healthy in the new year involves supporting all aspects of ourselves.