Anchor Your Day ~ a mental health blog by Counselwise ~

“Don’t Poke An Angry Bear”

Seems like pretty darn good advice! And that is exactly what anger does for us; it keeps us safe. Anger is a universal emotion; we can recognize anger when presented with it. And anger can be quite useful in that it can produce an action; it also provides relief. Anger however, is only useful when it is in our control; as soon as it moves to aggression (raised voice, yelling, hitting, name calling, etc.) it is no longer in our control and then works against us. When that “angry bear” shows up, it is either going to keep others from engaging with us or increase the conflict (anger will automatically make you feel defensive; it’s a survival strategy!) We are in a much better place when we can recognize our anger and then work to keep our cool. Anger is always precipitated by another emotion. Sometimes this is sheer frustration, but other times we skip over our vulnerable feelings such as sadness, guilt, fear and go right to anger to keep us safe from those tougher emotions. When we feel anger rising, we need to take a deep breath and ask ourselves “What am I feeling first?” Just focusing on this initial feeling can often help keep the anger away from a place that begins to feel out of control.

Photo credit: http://Photo by Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash

Questioning Your Relationship?

I recently read an article through Good Therapy entitled “5 Tips to Overcoming Insecurity in Relationships” (submitted by Zawn Villines).  A point that I found interesting about the article was that not all insecurity is unwarranted. That sometimes we have to objectively examine the behaviour of our partner to determine if he/she is incapable of meeting our reasonable, emotional needs; therefore creating the insecurity. If upon determining that your issue with insecurity in the relationship is not in your partner’s inability, but rather has come to you through your  own past experiences, these

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The Colour of Our Sky

I read the book “The Colour of Our Sky” by Amita Trasi while on holidays this summer. Nothing I like better than getting into a great book while sitting on the sunny shores of the beach and listening to the waves.

Here is a passage that I would like to share with you: “He used to take me around the village and tell me that all people are equal and that people from the lower caste should not be treated the way we were treating them. Initially, I couldn’t understand what he was trying to tell me. But later on, slowly, I discovered that there is one thing that we all have in common, irrespective of anyone’s caste or religion: we all get hurt in life, we all want to survive and be happy, and we all deserve to be treated well. After all, we don’t choose where we are born but we can work hard and pave our way to success. And every person on earth deserves to have that chance.”

“The Colour of Our Sky” by Amita Trasi is a worthy read.

Photo credit: http://Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash

Anxiety Fact #1

Anxiety is normal. We are actually pre-programmed to worry. Eons ago, when we lived on the plains, we had to worry. It was imperative to our survival that we worried about shelter, worried about how we were going to get food, worried about how to make fire. And so, anxiety, although it feels uncomfortable, is a very adaptive and necessary process and it is part of our survival brain. Everyone experiences anxiety at times.

“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.”
– Roy T. Bennett

Information for this post and a great website is:   https://www.anxietybc.com/

Photo credit: http://Photo by Ümit Bulut on Unsplash

Judge Judy: Part 2

Part Two on the podcast called “Clear and Vivid with Alan Alda” whose guest speaker was Judge Judy: In another part of the podcast, Alan Alda and Judge Judy are speaking about relationships and Judge Judy remarks that “Anger is a much easier emotion to deal with than pain or sorrow.” She goes on to put this into the context of divorce and how that can ultimately damage children. She says:

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Podcast: Alan Alda with guest Judge Judy

I recently listened to a podcast called “Clear and Vivid with Alan Alda” whose guest speaker was Judge Judy. In one part of the podcast, Alan Alda asks Judge Judy about her ability to read people and this is her response: “It doesn’t start out with reading people; it starts out with a story. It starts out with the common sense of things. It starts out with if something doesn’t make sense, it’s usually not true. Now there is aberrative behaviour where something happens and

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Fairy Godmother

I recently posted this quote to my Facebook page: “What if your fairy godmother is the wisest, smartest version of your self – whispering from the future? -Blissimo”

One thing that I know for sure is that I am certainly a wiser version of myself at 47 than I was at 22! The knowledge and experiences that we gather along the way help to inform our decisions, allow us to be more aware of our surroundings and can definitely help us to not feel quite so defenseless when faced with adversity. Perhaps what adds to this wiser, smarter version of ourselves is also a conscious decision on our part to always be moving forward, for it is in growth that we find the ability to be reflective. It is about being curious, not only about what interests us, but also about the things that hold us back; to give ourselves permission to expand or change what may not be working for us anymore; to attend to our instincts. Perhaps it is in this evolutionary time and space of growth that we can experience the unfolding of our selves into our own fairy godmother.

Photo credit: http://Photo by Ethan Hoover on Unsplash

A Body in Motion Stays in Motion

Who would have thought that Newton’s First Law of Physics was going to be useful in helping to understand the cycle of depression? But his Law of Inertia is often a good way to comprehend how depression can take hold of us. Depression uses two ways to keep us in it’s grip. One is through isolation; it likes to isolate us from the activities we like to enjoy and the people we like to spend time with. The second way is that depression kills effort. We often feel a change in our levels of motivation when feeling blue. Take isolation and no effort and we have the perfect recipe for disengagement. What is interesting about this, is that disengagement itself can lead to feeling blue. If we purposefully stayed in bed for days (when we weren’t in a depressed state), we would soon begin to experience the symptoms of depression! And so we can turn to Newton for some advice when it comes to beating the blues; get moving! Get up, get showered, make plans, get outside (even if you don’t feel like it); for a body in motion stays in motion and you will feel better for it at the end of your day.

Photo credit: Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash

 

Saying I’m Sorry

What is a proper apology? I can tell you that any apology that starts out with “I’m sorry but…” is not an apology. Neither is “I’m sorry you feel that way.” Essentially when you word an apology in these ways, you are negating the whole purpose of saying sorry which is to acknowledge a wrong doing while seeking repair. It is about owning up to your role in the conflict. Essentially, you wish to say you are sorry for the behaviour you feel guilty about EVEN when the person you are apologizing to may have their own reason to apologize. Example: When you want to say “I’m sorry that I yelled at you but you really pissed me off,” actually needs to be “I’m sorry that I yelled at you when I got angry. It is not the way I want to handle things.” Period. End of story. If you are lucky enough to get an “It’s okay, I got heated too and said things I didn’t mean either” than you are off to a great start in repairing the rift. And if you don’t get an answer, or the person you are saying sorry to is still feeling prickly, then reward the effort. Chalk that one up to a healthy choice in the relationship books and you are free to let go of any guilt that is still lingering around for having lost your cool. 😊

Photo credit: http://Photo by Max Bender on Unsplash

Relationship Phrases 101

There are 6 relationship phrases that are considered important when looking at the health of a relationship or family. After reading these phrases, you may think “Hey, we do that,” but let’s look at it a bit more closely. The 6 phrases are “Please,” “Thank you,” “You’re Welcome,” “I love you,” “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you.” Although at first glance this appears to be just about good manners, it is important to think about the context of when and how you use these phrases. Do you use them with your partner or spouse? With your children? Are they encouraged between partners, parent and child, siblings? Sometimes it’s easy to say “Grab me a coke when you go to the kitchen;” and forget the importance of the appreciation phrases of  “please” and “thank you.” Are you able to say sorry to your partner? To your child? That is sometimes a tough one, and it often comes from what we learned about apologies growing up. When we say

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