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Rise Above Stigma! Mental Health Awareness

Rise Above Stigma! Bell Let’s Talk Day: Wednesday, January 28, 2015!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 is an important reminder of how we should think about, talk about, act, and treat others with mental illness. Not just today, but every day.

WHY? Most people cannot afford treatment to or are on a wait list for months.

MESSAGE:

If you are currently experiencing concerns about your own mental health, having difficulty managing emotions, or having trouble creating or maintaining healthy relationships, please act now. Remember that it takes courage and strength to reach out for help from loved ones or a mental health professional. This help is one difficult, yet life-changing step away. Help yourself and get help from people who care about you (and want to help you)!

We all struggle in life from time to time in our own ways. Take the time to assess your own self-esteem and emotional well-being, noticing any negative changes in your usual behaviours. Awareness of such changes, a strong desire for the suffering to end, and a willingness to help others is that next step you need toward reestablishing more meaning and positivity.

TAKE ACTION:

Take care of yourself, first and foremost. Practice mental wellness. Do what it takes to make you happy. Actively set aside that extra time in a day, week, and month to focus on you and how you can continually contribute to your overall wellbeing.
-Spend less on takeout, and more on pampering yourself.

Refrain from judging or criticizing those who have been labelled with or who have symptoms of a mental health disorder.
-Be conscious to avoid derogatory or hurtful terms that may offend those suffering with a disease.

Talk about therapy and encourage those around you to go. Never judge or criticize those who are seeking treatment for mental illness.
-Why don’t question medication for physical illness?

Listen to those around you with mental illness and ask questions.
-Learn about what they are going through and how you can help them, or how you can help prevent others from experiencing the negative effects of a similar disease.

Educate yourself on how you can help to spread awareness of the life-threatening effects of a mental health disorder (and how it impacts you or loved ones).

FAQS

– Mental health problems and illnesses also account for more than $6 billion in lost productivity costs due to absenteeism and presenteeism. (The Mental Health Commission of Canada)

– 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a form of mental illness at some point in their life. (Canadian Institute of Health Research)

– At this very moment, some 3 million Canadians are suffering from depression. (CMHA)

MOTIVATION TO END STIGMA:

**Make the choice to rise above stigma and be more aware of your acceptance and non-judgment, toward yourself, those around you, and society in general.

**We need to make mental healthcare more accessible, affordable, and acceptable. You, as members in society, as a collective, have the power to influence that. Start by taking care of ‘you’ and others around you!

Here is more information on how psychotherapy or counselling can benefit you or those around you: https://www.etobicokepsychotherapy.com/etobicoke-psychotherapy-counselling/

Steps to Build Your Confidence

We tend to get down on ourselves at certain times of the year, and the winter can be one of them. Take this as a healthy reminder to always work on yourself – there really is always room for self-improvement. It’s important to keep in mind that there are steps to build your confidence, rather than wallowing in self-created misery. Please read the following tips that are helpful to you or anyone around you. You create your own happiness, and you can increase your confidence with these simple suggestions.

Stop comparing yourself to others. Trying to live up to or compete with someone else’s personal standards is a losing game. Instead, focus on being the best YOU that you can be.

Compliment yourself regularly, either by looking in the mirror and noting something you like about yourself, writing it in a journal or cell phone note. Don’t tell me you can’t think of one thing every so often. It’s great to compliment others on their success, as long as we make sure to do the same for ourselves.

Exercise consistently, at least 30 minutes of exercise several times a week, to strengthen your body, to burn calories, and to relieve stress. Exercising also provides a sense of empowerment that can positively enhance your self-esteem.

Simply smile. The mere act of smiling changes blood flow to the brain and can actually makes you feel happier and relieve tension and stress. A smile sets off chemical and physical reactions within your mind and body, releasing endorphins that boost your mood and increase confidence.

Focus on your accomplishments. Forgive yourself for mistakes, let go of guilt, and focus on the positive by celebrating your victories. Consider writing down your accomplishments, so you can review them when you’re feeling down. This will help to renew or revive your confidence.

Get the support you need to succeed. Take steps, rather than procrastinating, to accomplish your wellness goals. For example, join a gym class, where fellow members will help keep you motivated.

Make a list of your positive qualities. Write down at least ten positive qualities about yourself and return to this list as often as needed to boost your confidence.

Find something special in each day. Even if it’s in a small way, do something pleasant and rewarding, like catching up on your favorite television show, calling a friend to catch up, or indulging in a bubble bath.

Eat better. Pay attention to your food choices and nourish your body. Buy healthier foods and prepare well-balanced meals that will help give you energy and feel like your best self. If you eat poorly and/or overeat, your mood and confidence will reflect this negativity.

Finally and most often forgotten: explore a passion. Whether it’s a side job, hobby, or volunteer work, any small effort can lead to a sense of purpose and significantly improve your overall happiness and quality of life.

For more information on self-esteem counselling and ways to improve your confidence, call 647-961-9669, email carlyclifton@gmail.com, or visit:  https://www.etobicokepsychotherapy.com/self-esteem-counselling-etobicoke/

 

Ways to Improve Your Self-Esteem

Are you struggling with your confidence lately? Do you find your self-esteem is lower than usual? It could be someone’s comments, or a certain event that made you feel this way. At times, self-esteem decreases due to certain triggers. Whether your self-esteem is still going strong, fading, or feels like it has disappeared, it is important for us all to take steps to maintain and increase our confidence. Here are some things to keep in mind.

– Recognize and embrace your positive qualities. Make a list of all your assets including skills, experiences, talents, and anything else that makes you feel good about yourself. Make sure to include compliments that others have given you as well (even if you don’t agree with them).

– Accept yourself as a whole package, rather than focusing on the little parts. Accept that you are not perfect, and don’t let anyone make you think otherwise. Remind yourself of the positive characteristics that define you and have made you succeed, even in the littlest ways.

– Trust that you are competent, and remind yourself of all the problems you have faced and come through. Find ways to learn new skills if you feel defeated or unsure of how to deal with a certain problem. Take the steps necessary to do so. Take on new challenges, acknowledge accomplishments, and make note of when you go that extra mile and how it made you feel.

– Believe in your own worth, and make yourself a priority some of the time. Think of something you want to do and do it. Be selfish when you need to be – it’s exhausting trying to be selfless all the time.

– Think about your mistakes, or perceived mistakes, in a positive way. See them as opportunities to learn, and change your ways accordingly. This is your chance to move forward – not to feel guilty or embarrassed.

Need help learning ways to increase YOUR confidence and self-esteem? Want to learn the tools and skills to achieving a happier way of being?

For more information on how to increase your self-esteem or confidence, please see https://www.etobicokepsychotherapy.com/self-esteem-counselling-etobicoke/, or call 647-961-9669/ email carlyclifton@gmail.com

Does Your Partner Have Difficulty Expressing Emotions?

When partners aren’t able to express their emotions, it can unfortunately cause stress and tension in the relationship. The key to understanding our partner’s feelings, needs, and desires are emotions. Having a strong emotional connection means enhanced trust, security, and intimacy in a relationship.

If a partner isn’t communicating when their partner upsets them, this usually means they tend to avoid conflict. This can lead to resentment overtime and unexpected outbursts or explosions in the future as a buildup. We need to remember that individuals displaying emotions or expressing our feelings is not a sign of weakness or submission. In fact, we gain more self-control and balance in a relationship by doing so.

When someone isn’t used to showing their feelings, and they finally do, it can be overwhelming. You may worry about being vulnerable and exposing aspects of yourself that you do not normally share. Your partner is the person you should feel most comfortable with and with whom you should not feel ashamed. It is important to deal with emotions as they come, and not to suppress feelings or concerns. Emotions are meant to be experienced in waves, not to be obstructed or built up and then released all at once. It is much more harmful to the relationship to have this explosion of harnessed emotions than to deal with them one by one.

Understanding and communicating emotions in a straightforward manner is difficult for most people, especially at times of major anger or sadness. Emotions provide valuable information and lead to that desire we all have for our partner to just ‘get’ us.

So what can you do to help your partner express their emotions? The only way that your partner will want to share their emotions with you is if you create a nonjudgmental and supportive space for them to feel comfortable doing so. If it is difficult for your partner to initiate conversations like this, then it may be helpful for you to ask them how they are feeling. Part of creating a welcoming space for partners is not judging their feelings when they finally express them. Avoid making statements like “How could you be sad about that?” or “You shouldn’t feel that way!” Judging your partner’s emotions will only make them defensive and on guard.

Finally, pay attention to your reactions to your partner’s attempts to share their feelings with you. Like judging your partner’s emotions, your other reactions may shut down the conversation. If you find yourself getting defensive, angry or upset, acknowledging it to your partner can help.

Think about situations in which you have expressed your emotions and the gains you made in the interaction. Although many emotions may rise from initiating a discussion like this, you will only learn more about you partner and build a stronger connection.

Some couples may find it difficult to communicate emotions on their own. For more information on relationship counselling or couples counselling, please view: https://www.etobicokepsychotherapy.com/relationship-counselling-etobicoke/ , email carlyclifton@gmail.com, or call 647-961-9669.

Effects of Disrupted Sleep on Mental Health

Researchers discovered that being woken from a deep slumber from any sort of disruption (such as technology or crying baby) causes the same confusion, depression and fatigue as being severely sleep-deprived. As a result, this can have a detrimental effect on on-call professionals, including doctors or firemen, impacting upon their attention span and ability to make decisions.

Individuals who work ‘on call’ may receive several phone calls a night. These nightly wakings could be relatively short — only five to 10 minutes — but they disrupt the natural sleep rhythm. This negatively impacts one’s cognitive and emotional wellness. It has been found that disrupted sleepers were more confused, depressed, and fatigued. Research has shown a direct link between disrupted sleep and poor attention spans and negative mood after only one night of frequent interruptions. Anger can also be linked to this fatigue as a result of disrupted sleep.

Everyone, despite their profession or lifestyle, should be aware of the detrimental effects of the various kinds of disruption in sleep on daily functioning and mood. Thus, disrupted sleep can negatively affect one’s mental health. We should all consider countermeasures to avoid disruptions (such as cell phones on overnight), to minimize their consequences on our mental health.

 

Managing Anxieties and Worries

We all worry about how to manage anxieties and worries. Many are distraught from others around us: their struggles and tragedies. With increasing difficulties in finding jobs, entering school programs, and managing relationships, stress is ever-present. But are we equipped to deal with it effectively?

Constant worries and concerns about those around us are becoming more apparent. Understanding and controlling these worries are important so that they do not impede on our thoughts and affect our behaviours. When anxieties form, they can become a vicious cycle of worries – one leads to another, and so on. Uncontrollable worrying is a distressing affliction that feels as though it can become an inseparable part of your personality and character. Chronic worrying is often driven by a need to worry to “make sure things will all be OK”. This will affect your mood, and consequently, will have detrimental effects on your relationships, your work life, and your social life. 

When you catch yourself worrying, focus on problem-solving. Make use of your worry, because it  has a purpose… it is not useless. Continuing a worry and letting it spiral out of control will lead to less solutions. It’s important not to focus on what may or may not happen. Uncertainty is okay and should be accepted. Unexpected things happen, and accepting this in the longer term will make your life easier and reduce your anxieties.

 

Learn and read more about anxiety and how to manage it here: https://www.etobicokepsychotherapy.com/anxiety-counselling-etobicoke/

 

 

Acknowledge Your Success and Decrease Low Mood

Chances are, you are succeeding according to yours, others, or both standards. Everyone measures success in different ways. How do you measure your personal success? You need to give yourself more credit than you think you deserve! It is important to remind ourselves of successes we have had when we are down or in a depressed mood.

Depression often arises out of persistent low moods and lack of interest in usual activities. This often stems from low confidence levels. Are you being too hard on yourself?  It is important to acknowledge your success and perhaps re-evaluate your level of personal expectations. It is important to aim high, while setting attainable goals to achieve self-confidence.

For more on how to alleviate depression and depression counselling, please go to: 

https://www.etobicokepsychotherapy.com/anxiety-counselling-etobicoke/

The nature of happiness

Happiness is not automatic – it does not come without effort and perseverance. You are the source for your light and hope. You choose whether you succeed and whether you are happy!

Be proactive in solving any issues or concerns you may have. Seek help for persistent low moods you may experience. Obtain your happiness… create your happiness with the help of someone else in times of great suffering.

https://www.etobicokepsychotherapy.com/depression-counselling-etobicoke/

happiness quote

 

Think Positive to Increase Happiness

Think positive… one of my favourite sayings. Years ago, my father told me that these two words are his ‘mantra’ or positive self-talk, and they always stuck with me. Any version of this can be helpful to say in your mind when you are going through a difficult time or emotion. Positive self talk can be instrumental in increasing your personal happiness. Please read the following quote by Gandhi. Use it to guide some of your days or struggles you may be going through.

gandhi quote