Have you ever been riding shotgun and all of the sudden your feet dig into the floorboard as if you’re trying to brake, and you grab the oh shit handle or throw your arms to the dashboard to brace yourself for a potential impact? Yeah, […]
Tag: mental health
Radical acceptance is a game changer! I spent YEARS toting around negative emotions over things that happened “to me,” and it wasn’t until I discovered radical acceptance did I find inner peace.
In a nutshell, radical acceptance is a lot like the serenity prayer, “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Radically accepting the present moment means you don’t fight it, you don’t get angry at it, and you don’t try to change it into something it’s not. You acknowledge your present situation, whatever it is, without judging the events or criticizing yourself. Don’t get it twisted radical acceptance doesn’t mean you condone or agree with bad behavior, it merely means you stop trying to change what’s happened by getting angry and blaming the situation. When you get mad and think a situation should never have occurred, you’re missing the point that it did, and you have to deal with it. Being overly critical, angry, and judgmental of a situation will only result in more pain and missed details, and it won’t improve your situation.
The whole goal is to refocus your attention on what you can do in the present moment. This acceptance allows you to think more clearly and figure out a better way to cope with your emotions. Another part of acceptance is recognizing that your situation exists because of a long chain of events that began in the past.
Long story short, you can’t change what happens to you, so to find inner peace accept the situation for what it is and move past it. Doing this will save you years of frustration and turmoil.
I don’t know about you, but Mondays can be a killjoy sometimes. If you are anything like me and find yourself riding the struggle bus through your Monday, or any day for that matter, I want you to give the “half-smile” technique a try. Research […]
Today I’m getting down and dirty talking about mental health medications. They are overprescribed, abused, and treated as a bandaid as opposed to a second tool at tackling symptoms. For Lordy sakes, my gynecologist was prescribing me Xanax without asking me a single question about my mental health. Don’t get me wrong, medication serves an incredible purpose at helping individuals achieve a quality of life that is worth living. They help take the edge off increased symptoms as individuals navigate the winding road of inner work, and for some, medication is crucial to wellbeing and success in life.
So why am I telling you this? To help educate you if you are thinking of accessing medication management from a provider. Mental health medication may temporarily cover up the symptoms, but if you’re not doing the inner work to find the core of the problem, you will not heal from medication alone. If you avoid the inner work, soon after you stop taking them, the symptoms will jump up from under your bed like a scary monster, and it won’t be a cute one from Monsters Inc.
Moral of the story, if you are considering medication or are currently accessing med management, I HIGHLY suggest you also do the work to find the root of the problem. That is where the healing and improvement in symptoms will begin. If your symptoms are causing significant impairment in your daily functioning, and your best efforts are failing, then yes seek medical help. If you struggle with acute mental health, medication management is crucial to success. And remember, NEVER be ashamed for taking medications to help improve your quality of life. I have accessed them in the past as I navigated a rough road of inner work.
Let’s talk triggers! Do you know your triggers? Do you know what a trigger is?
I define a trigger as an event, emotion, or experience that causes you to experience symptoms, memories, or flashbacks.
In 2003 I passed out and hit my head on the only large rock in our campsite. This resulted in me being life flighted out of the mountains and back to Boise. The last clear memory I have, was of me telling my mom I felt dizzy. The rest is just clips of something I can best describe as a nightmare.
I now associate feeling dizzy with passing out. To this day, if I feel light headed, I will start to panic. My first thought is to flee where I am at and sit down. My heart begins racing, my temperature rises, and I feel as if I’m suffocating. My thoughts are on a repeat loop of “you are going to pass out.” It’s a terrifying experience! For years, I never told anyone my fear of passing out and it only made my symptoms worse.
Just yesterday, the same feeling swept over my body as I walked down the hall at work. I had to keep telling myself “you are okay” and “you will be fine.” I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t walk against the wall in that moment.
Even as a counselor who has all the tools to manage anxiety, I still panic. I’ve had moments where I was able to regulate my breathing and reframe my thoughts. There have also been times where I isolated and popped a Xanax.
The moral of the story is that fear, anxiety, and panic attacks are real and they are bloody terrifying at times.
The first step to managing your symptoms is identifying your triggers. Once you become aware of your triggers, you can better cope when your symptoms arise. So many people walk through life with anxiety and they have no clue why they feel the way they do. That can make a person feel crazy!
I challenge you to be mindful. Really pay attention to what happened right before you felt anxious. Watch for your triggers and remember…
ANXIETY WILL NOT KILL YOU!
I’d love to talk to you about your triggers. Leave a comment below and tell me all about it.