7 Secrets For Improving Your Emotional Health and Becoming A Happier Person

From PsychCentral

Many lucky children are raised by families that are able to provide them with all of the tools to live a happy and healthy life.

But as a psychologist who specializes in Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN), I know that many adults were not so fortunate. In fact, I can say without a doubt that children who grow up in families who are not aware of the importance of feelings or emotions usually grow up with some important gaps in their emotional toolbox. These are the people who grew up with CEN.

As you read the 7 Secrets of an emotionally healthy person below, I hope you will be thinking about yourself and about how well you are able to do them. And about the possibility that perhaps you grew up in an emotionally neglectful home.

7 Secrets of an Emotionally Healthy Person

  1. Manage your feelings. Life is so hectic and stressful that we all find ourselves trying to manage schedules, jobs, children, and finances, believing that the better we do at all of those things, the happier we will be. And all of them are very important, of course. But few things can erode your quality of life more than unexpressed anger, unresolved sadness, or unexpressed fear, for example. Unacknowledged, unresolved feelings have a way of sapping our energy and strength. They also can emerge at the least helpful times, and ruin a whole day. Most people are unaware that emotions are important messages sent by their bodies. Most folks do not realize that if they pay attention to their feelings, they will receive answers to many questions they might have about themselves, their lives, and the people around them. Acknowledging that you feel sad, for example, helps you think about why you feel sad. And that may be your body saying, “You’re losing something” or “You need something.” Your feelings can tell you very important things about your life.
  2. Know what you want. It’s entirely possible to go through your whole life seldom paying attention to what you want for yourself. For example, some folks fail to consider what they want to do for work, instead of taking whatever opportunity presents itself. Some people worry too much about what other people want and organize themselves around that. This can even apply in much smaller decisions, like what to do, what to eat, or where to go. Failing to check in with yourself and think about your wishes and desires leaves you vulnerable to ending up with a life you never chose. But when you pay attention, consider your wishes, and plan for yourself, you’re far more likely to end up in a place you have consciously chosen, and with a life that you purposely carved out for yourself.
  3. Welcome criticism. Receiving negative feedback from others is difficult, for sure. It’s never easy to hear negative comments from another person. Most of us will go to great lengths to avoid hearing criticism; and once we hear it, we get too hurt, angry or upset to adequately process its message. But if you think about it, it’s not humanly possible to go through life without making mistakes. And the people who are willing to criticize us are the ones we should value the most. Criticism is, after all, an opportunity to learn. Not that it should be accepted without question; all criticism is a product of its creator, and it usually says as much about the criticizer as it says about the person being criticized. But as long as the criticizer is generally well-meaning, once you sift through his motives and needs in your own mind, you can usually glean a helpful bit of information about yourself, and how to be better.

Read more here…

Why Is CBD Everywhere?

From the NY Times

Cannabidiol is being touted as a magical elixir, a cure-all now available in bath bombs, dog treats and even pharmaceuticals. But maybe it’s just a fix for our anxious times.

It’s hard to say the precise moment when CBD, the voguish cannabis derivative, went from being a fidget spinner alternative for stoners to a mainstream panacea.

Maybe it was in January, when Mandy Moore, hours before the Golden Globes, told Coveteur that she was experimenting with CBD oil to relieve the pain from wearing high heels. “It could be a really exciting evening,” she said. “I could be floating this year.”

Maybe it was in July, when Willie Nelson introduced a line of CBD-infused coffee beans called Willie’s Remedy. “It’s two of my favorites, together in the perfect combination,” he said in a statement.

Read more here…

Co-Occurring Disorders and Overcoming Addiction for Women

As women we face a unique set of factors that make us more susceptible to addiction and substance abuse, and commonly suffer from co-occurring disorders as well.  In my journey as a woman in recovery I had to overcome much more than substance abuse. I also suffered trauma, sexual abuse, depression and anxiety. My hope is that sharing my experience with other women will help them to see that they are not alone and if I can overcome these things in my life they can too!

Depression and Anxiety

I can remember having anxiety as young as five years old.  I would ring my hands together and was constantly worried about something.  I was five years old what could I possibly have to be worried or stressed about?  But that is just how anxiety works, there is no rhyme or reason to it. It feels like you are constantly about to fall off a ledge.  I also have always been a perfectionist so if I was not the best at something in my eyes I was a failure. This only fuelled my anxiety and depression because I always felt like I was never good enough, or at least that’s what I told myself every day.  

My depression was at its worst when I was a little older, and I had my first suicide attempt at 15.  I tried self medicating with drugs and alcohol for years, which only led to worse depression and several more suicide attempts because I felt as if there was no other way out from how I was feeling.  I just wanted to give up.

My journey in recovery began when I was 34 and my addiction has spiraled out of control.  I knew nothing about addiction or that there was another way of life. Through treatment and working a program I have been sober for three years and found healthy ways to deal with my anxiety and depression, and become a happy, strong woman today!

Sexual Abuse and Trauma

When I was 19 years old memories of trauma and sexual abuse from my dad came flood black that I had blocked out for many years… Was I crazy?  Was I making it up? Did this actually happen? These memories and questions were just too much for me to process and my drinking took off into full blown alcoholism to numb my pain.  I had convinced myself that I was just being dramatic and was making up something that didn’t really happen because it was my dad, and that could not have happened! This was the hardest obstacle in my sobriety to overcome, acknowledging that this did in fact happen and begin to heal.  An alarming rate of addicts have also been victims of sexual abuse, but for many the shame of it keeps them from speaking up.

Through therapy with a psychiatrist I was able to resurface some of those painful memories of the abuse from the ages of five to fifteen.  I opened up to my mom when I was 25 about the abuse and she was hurt and angry. I still had to see my dad at family functions several times a year but did not tell anyone besides my mom what had happened to me.  One day I had enough of being a victim of sexual abuse and finally stood up for myself and spoke my truth. I told my dad that I knew what he did to me when I was younger. Of course denied it which just fuelled my insecurities about if it did actually happen.  

The most difficult and empowering day came when I was in a treatment center doing work with the owner in front of about 100 of the other patients.  He asked me if I had ever dealt with the sexual abuse from my dad and instantly the tears started rolling down my face. Over the next hour everything came flooding out of me, and I was able to scream all of the things I wanted to say to my dad about what he did. The most amazing part was after it was over everyone that was also sexually abused raised their hands.  Over ninety percent of the room raised their hands, I finally knew I was not alone. That day I went a victim of sexual abuse, to a survivor.

No matter what we have gone through we are not alone!  There is a healthy, and happy life in recovery just waiting for us! You are stronger than you think you are, and don’t ever let anyone tell you differently!  As women in recovery is important that we treat our minds, body, and spirit.Then we can begin on the road to healing, recovery, and transformation of our lives.

Crystal Hampton is a 37 year old avid writer from South Florida.  She loves snuggling with her teacup yorkie Gator and boyfriend Adam.  She works for a digital marketing company that advocates spreading awareness on the disease of addiction. Her passion in life is to help others by sharing her experience, strength, and hope.   

https://paducahrehab.com/

https://nashvilleoutpatientrehab.com/

13 Surprising Signs of Burnout You May Be Missing

From Thrive Global.

Pay attention to these symptoms so you can stop burnout it its tracks.

We all have those moments when we look around and realize the way we’re living and working…well, isn’t working. When we have that wake-up-call moment, we realize that we’d been missing some signs — be they physical, emotional, interpersonal, or professional — that something wasn’t right.

Burnout is a significant issue across most career fields, with dire consequences for individuals and businesses alike, according to a growing body of research. As we push through the whirlwind obligations of our busy lives, it can be hard to recognize the symptoms and signs of burnout before they reach a critical pointand demand to be addressed.

That’s why we asked our Thrive contributor community to share the burnout symptoms they didn’t recognize and wished they had. Their stories highlight the many (and sometimes unexpected) ways burnout can manifest in our lives, and their advice provides important insight into what we can do to address these symptoms head on.

Making careless mistakes

“It was only in retrospect that I recognised that one of the signs of burnout was making the kind of stupid, careless mistakes that lead to minor irritations such as being locked out, leaving my laptop in the back of a cab, scratching the car, or getting the date wrong for an important family event. At work, I was (just about) keeping my head above the water. At home, it was all going to pot!”

—Louise Rodgers, public relations consultant, London

Losing your “voice”

“When I look back on the signs I was heading towards a burnout, the biggest one that stands out for me is the feeling of losing my voice. Not physically, but metaphorically. When I’m not taking enough care of myself my ideas dry up. I feel like I have nothing to say or share. Now, as soon as I start to feel this way, I immediately evaluate if I’m making time for me, and if not, I get right back to it. Personally, that looks like seeing friends and being creative through knitting or crocheting.”

Read more here…

How to transform anxious thoughts into productive actions – from NBC

Mental health experts share their strategies for shifting your worries into something healthier and more productive.

With the fervor of the midterm elections, the time change, the barrage of tragic news stories in addition to just, you know, normal life stuff, many of us are feeling more anxious than usual.

Though some of us suffer from anxiety disorders, often requiring treatment, anxiety in itself isn’t abnormal; it’s actually quite natural, existing in part to motivate us to get out in the world and do our best.

“Everyone has a little bit of anxiety,” says Dr. Kate Cummins, a licensed clinical psychologist. “It’s the reason you get up and out of bed and ready in the mornings when your alarm goes off [and] the reason you prepare well for an interview or meeting at work.”

10 apps to help kids control their emotions

From Mashable

Welcome to Small Humans, an ongoing series at Mashable that looks at how to take care of – and deal with – the kids in your life. Because Dr. Spock is nice and all, but it’s 2018 and we have the entire internet to contend with. 


Millions of people around the world can attest to the positive effects of mindfulness on their mental health and well-being. Take reduced stress levels, improved concentration and organization, and a greater ability to control emotions and experience compassion and empathy, just for starters.

These are all things we want for our kids, right? And it’s easier than ever, thanks to the range of digital tools right at our fingertips. One of these apps could be the perfect way to introduce your child to a world of calm, mindfulness and emotional maturity.

1. Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame

Breathe, Think, Do With Sesame is a great introduction to mindfulness for younger grade-schoolers. With the help of a cute monster, kids learn calming breathing techniques to help them cope with potentially frustrating or distressing situations: putting on shoes, saying goodbye to parents, fixing a block tower, waiting in line and going to sleep in the dark. Each scenario can be revisited, depending on your child’s particular struggles, and there’s also a parents’ section packed with tips and strategies. The app also has a Spanish-language setting.

Available on iOS and Android.  

2. Calm Kids

Calm, which was named Apple App of the Year 2017 and Google Play Editor’s Choice 2018, ranks as one of the top mindfulness and wellness apps for adults but it also has a great section for children, Calm Kids. It provides mindfulness exercises, relaxation activities and “Sleep Stories” for kids of all ages, which are updated every week. The app or desktop version has a 7-day free trial; after that it’s $59.99 a year.

Available on iOS and Android.

3. DreamyKid

DreamyKid is aimed at kids age 8 and over, with its programs most suitable for kids who struggle with self-confidence, anxiety or settling down at bedtime. Strategies include a “rainbow body-scan,” “schoolwork mastery meditation” and confidence affirmations, and there are also a wide range of relaxing, ambient background sounds to help send your little one to sleep. The app is free, but the guided meditations are $3.99 each.

Available on iOS.

Read more here…

10 apps to help kids control their emotions

From Mashable

Millions of people around the world can attest to the positive effects of mindfulness on their mental health and well-being. Take reduced stress levels, improved concentration and organization, and a greater ability to control emotions and experience compassion and empathy, just for starters.

These are all things we want for our kids, right? And it’s easier than ever, thanks to the range of digital tools right at our fingertips. One of these apps could be the perfect way to introduce your child to a world of calm, mindfulness and emotional maturity.

1. Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame

Breathe, Think, Do With Sesame is a great introduction to mindfulness for younger grade-schoolers. With the help of a cute monster, kids learn calming breathing techniques to help them cope with potentially frustrating or distressing situations: putting on shoes, saying goodbye to parents, fixing a block tower, waiting in line and going to sleep in the dark. Each scenario can be revisited, depending on your child’s particular struggles, and there’s also a parents’ section packed with tips and strategies. The app also has a Spanish-language setting.

See more here…

Teen anxiety and depression more likely in kids who don’t trust or communicate with parents

From ABC News

When children are small, their faces light up at the sight of mom and dad. But fast forward a few years, and the same parents eventually get eye-rolls.

Adolescence is a time to navigate self-identity and peer pressure from every angle, but what causes some teens to thrive while others struggle with anxiety and depression?

While previous reports have credited environmental risk factors, such as poverty and racism, for anxiety and depression in teens, a new study adds another one: a fracture in the parent-child bond.

As teen participants of the study moved through adolescence, their attachment to their parents changed significantly, with the largest drop occurring in middle school. Attachment levels stabilized by the end of high school, but the more a teen felt alienated during their adolescence, the less likely they were to trust and communicate with their parents.

Dr. Suniya Luthar, co-author of the study, told ABC News that parents can prevent these feelings of distrust from developing.

Read more here…

Helping in memory of her son, Patrick, who died by suicide

From The Gazette

This much Martine Brault knows: she will never see her first-born son again.

Patrick Chouinard died in a fiery crash on Sept. 6, 2017, at about 5:50 a.m. He was 20. Brault believes that when he drove his car at high speed into a concrete viaduct wall on Quebec City’s Autoroute Duplessis, he did so intentionally. That his death was a suicide. The coroner needed dental records to confirm his identity.

Only after Patrick’s death did his mother learn that he most probably suffered from depression. He’d been somewhat irritable and angry of late. Mostly, though, he was a happy-go-lucky guy who loved having fun with his friends and whose passion was cars.

“People with depression are really good at putting on a face and saying everything is OK,” said Brault, a Quebec City veterinarian. “But when I spoke to his friends after his death, I learned that he had confided in them that everything wasn’t so OK.”

She would learn that Patrick often spent the night driving around in his car, grey with gold mag wheels. “He must have been the only one in Quebec with those wheels,” she said. That sometimes he had dark thoughts: He told one friend that his car would be his coffin. Two nights before his death, he spent the night sitting on train tracks on a railway overpass 400 feet in the air.

Friends said there were phrases he’d use:

Things aren’t clear in my head.

I am confused.

I am down.

I am anxious.

Read more here…

Taking a paws for mental health in Innisfil

Exam time can be stressful for teenagers and the Innisfil IdeaLAB and Library has a solution: dogs and doughnuts.

The new Dogs and Donuts program was first tested in the summer 2017 and again on Dec. 15, 2017.

It pairs dogs from the St. John Ambulance therapy dog program with area high school students after school.

“We come here to get community service hours for Nantyr Shores Secondary School,” Ashlee Pauze said. “This is the first time we visited with the dogs.”

She has a dog at home and appreciated petting a bigger dog, a labradoodle named Dooley.

Dooley’s owner Greg Belanger has been with St. John Ambulance for over four years.

“I accidentally found out about the program when I first moved here after doing first aid training.”

Dooley just celebrated his 350th therapy visit.

Read more here…