Anchor Your Day ~ a mental health blog by Counselwise ~

Depression Fact #1

Depression makes it hard to give. I often see clients who come into therapy because they live with a person who is struggling with depression and they are looking for ways to cope. One of the things that is quite common to hear is their perspective that their loved one “doesn’t contribute very much” which in turn places a greater weight on them to manage the household and family. And, as sympathetic as they attempt to be, resentment eventually plays a role in the dynamic between them.

The fact is, sometimes it is hard to think of other people when you’re wrapped in a prickly blanket of sadness, and yet being able to invest in others, to minister to not only your family but to the community as well (even in small ways), helps to lift that weighted blanket. In turn, it often takes only a little bit of give for the loved one to begin to move from their own growing feelings of exasperation and withdrawal to one of greater hope and reciprocity.

Follow the link for a great self-help guide for depression and anxiety:

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“I Am Important and So Are You”

Is the healthiest position in the communication styles we have been looking at. Known as assertiveness, it is a way of communicating that validates your own needs without dismissing anyone else’s. Regardless of what communication style you have noticed yourself belonging to, we can always move towards this position to achieve feeling balanced. (As an aside, if you already move from the position of “I am important and so are you”, keep up the good work!)

When we want to honour our own importance, the first step is to be able to recognize our own needs. Sometimes we have to ask ourselves, “What is it I really want in this situation? How do I wanted to be treated?” Once we can identify

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Communication Styles: Post 3

Moving right along in our discovery about communication styles, today’s post is about “passive-aggressiveness.” True to its name, it is a combination of both the passive and aggressive positions. In this style of communication, you sacrifice your own needs, and although it feels willing enough, it also comes with some resentment attached to it. And as a result, usually somewhere along the line, you “get back at” the person who asked you to sacrifice your own needs in some way. The message that is sent to both yourself and others is “I am not important and neither are you.”

A good example of all three styles of communication takes place in a restaurant. Picture three types of people seated down in a steak house; all three have ordered their steak medium-well. When the orders come from the kitchen, it is discovered by each of these people that their steaks are a bit too rare. The passive person will say nothing; after all, they don’t want to upset anyone, hence they deny their importance. The aggressive person

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Communication Styles: Post 2

Yesterday we looked a how the “passive” style of communication can position ourselves into unimportance; today we will focus on what tends to be an “aggressive” form of communication. What characterizes this form of communication is the pull to have your own needs met first. Typically speaking, a person has learned that their needs trump others’ either because as a child their needs were not met (and they defaulted to elbowing their way to the front of the line) or they were taught, through direct or subtle messages, their greater importance in life. Either way, it has come to this person honestly and in order to feel safe, their wants and desires fight for primacy.  Sometimes aggressive communication includes

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Communication Styles: Post 1

We tend to adopt a certain style of communicating based on our temperament, learned behaviour and our experiences growing up. You will most likely see yourself, as well as others in your life, in one of four styles of communicating.

Today we will look at what it is like to communicate in a passive way. If you are apt to communicate in this style, you tend to sacrifice your own needs for others; and you do so willingly. This is an important distinction because it actually feels natural to sacrifice your own needs first. Often a passive communication style includes having difficulty saying no,

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The Energy Within

There is no doubt we live in an extroverted society; there tends to be a greater value placed on being social, outgoing and gregarious. I have noticed in my practice that often times when I mention to someone the possibility that they might be a tad more on the introverted end of the scale, there is almost a look of disfavour on their faces. But let’s set the record straight. The word introvert is not about being reclusive or hermit-like; it is not about “hating people.” The biggest difference between an introvert and an extrovert is where they get their energy. Introverts get it from within and extroverts get it from other people. This is why a person at a party

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“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:

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