Ask the Psychologist: Break-Ups
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How can you love and hate somebody at the same time? Watch this video to learn about the rollercoaster ride your emotions take after a break-up.
Transcript: Trust me, it is extremely easy to love and hate a person at the same time. Why ? Simply because you are...
Trust me, it is extremely easy to love and hate a person at the same time. Why ? Simply because you are dealing with a tremendous amount of emotions that are dedicated to the object of your affection. And because of this, as the old saying goes, there is a very thin line between love and hate. To be so emotionally invested in someone means that you have placed yourself in an extremely vulnerable emotional position. That means when things are going well it feels really great. But when things are going wrong it feels really bad. Now that you have just broken up with this guy who you love, this tremendous amount of emotion that you felt cannot just disappear, it is just too strong to turn off or dismiss and therefore remains in your psyche, but is channeled into hate. Think about it, If you felt very little for him, or you only went on a few dates , you would not be so emotionally invested in therefore breaking up would be of little consequence. You probably would not give him much of a second thought and move on to someone else. So the good news is eventually that emotional energy will begin to weaken and dissipate. If you stick to your guns and decide not to reunite with him, eventually you will begin to feel less love and yes less hate. Another scenario might be, you may meet someone new and can then transferred that emotional energy into dating and possibly falling in love with this new person. However, beware of the curse of the rebound relationship. My advice therefore is to work out and resolve your issues of the old relationship before venturing out prematurely into a new one.More »
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Stress is a familiar burden to all Americans, but for some, it's chronic -- and even detrimental. Whether you're under chronic stress, or anticipating a stressful situation, assessing your anxiety is the key to managing it.
Last Modified: 2011-08-25 | Tags »
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You may feel overwhelming stress and anger -- and then take it out on your family because they are the ones closest to you. Watch this video to learn better ways of handling anger without hurting those you love.
Transcript: This is a great question because quite often we do take out our stress and anger on the ones that we...
This is a great question because quite often we do take out our stress and anger on the ones that we love. The old saying is true... You always hurt the ones you love.... As well as familiarity breeds contempt. Of course the reason this happens is because our loved ones are the ones who are closest to us and in the path of our wrath. We may feel less fearful of taking advantage of their love and kindness because they may not fight back in the way that a stranger might. Thus the answer to the question is simple. Knowing that you take advantage of July of them because of stress and anger, always stay very conscious as to what the source of that stress and anger is. Quite often you will find that it is not your loved one. Therefore, when you are about to let loose, employ the rule of: stop, breathe and walk away. Compose yourself and really think about what you are about to do. Also think about how you have unnecessarily hurt that loved one simply because they would there. Once you compose yourself come back and talk to that loved one and instead of bashing them, talk to them and together we work out strategies that can help you minimize that stress and anger that can be so destructive to you, your loved one or anyone else in your path.More »
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Feeling angry is inevitable; it's how you express it that matters. Watch this video to learn how to channel and convey your anger in healthier ways.
Transcript: Well first and foremost let me inform you that anger is not necessarily a bad thing. As a matter of fact...
Well first and foremost let me inform you that anger is not necessarily a bad thing. As a matter of fact it is an emotion that expresses some frustration that we are feeling. Controlling anger should not mean sitting on it or internalizing it, which will result in more anger or depression or even physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach aches to name a few. So the notion of controlling anger should be seen in the light of expressing or channeling your anger in healthy and appropriate ways to you and the people around you. The following are some easy solutions and strategies to appropriately controlling and expressing your anger. --Take a deep and continuous breath. This will allow you to relax your body and in turn your mind, allowing some of that anger to dissipate and deflate. --Take a walk...... away from whatever is causing the anger, continue to breathe deeply. This will allow you the time to get a better handle on your emotions and the cause of your frustration or anger . --Do some physical exercises., Such as jumping jacks, push-ups, situps, even a short jog. When you are angry- your body is very tensed and tough so that will allow some of that anger to be expelled in a healthy manner. --Along with the exercising, do some stretching or even meditation. That will also relax your body. It will also allow you to get more oxygen to assist in clearing your thoughts .--You can journal and write down some of your thoughts. This will allow you to channel your anger from your brain, to paper, and avoid saying something hurtful to someone else. Write down all your thoughts. This writing exercise will also help you better analyze and take the time to consider what is going on. --Take responsibility for where you may be causing or contributing to the anger. That will take the focus off the person or situation that you believe is setting you off. Concentrating on yourself makes you less helpless and more empowered to solve the problem. --Use positive mental attitude. As I like to say, flip the script and trick the devil by spinning whatever is negative into positive. Be grateful for the little things including the Sun in the sky, and the love of your friends and family. For sure a combination of these techniques will help you control and even better get rid of that negative energy and anger.More »
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People with hypochondria believe they are seriously ill, despite doctors saying otherwise. Watch this video to get details on the causes, symptoms and treatments of hypochondria.
Transcript: The American Psychological Association claims five-percent of all U.S. adults suffer from hypochondria....
The American Psychological Association claims five-percent of all U.S. adults suffer from hypochondria. Hypochondria is a mental illness where a person worries and fears they're seriously ill, despite all contradicting medical evaluations and assurances. Hypochondriacs misinterpret normal bodily functions or minor health issues as signs that something very serious is wrong. For example, a hypochondriac may misplace his wallet and become convinced that he's developed Alzheimer's disease; or he might be certain a standard headache is really a brain tumor. Hypochondriacs tend to exacerbate their condition by obsessively consuming medical research, frequently checking their vital signs, such as temperature and heart rate, and by regularly scouring their bodies for lumps, sores, or other problems. When doctors reassure them nothing's wrong, hypochondriacs may go "doctor shopping," looking for practitioners who believe them that they're sick. Hypochondriacs can get so obsessed that their work, family and social lives suffer. And 60-percent of people with this condition also suffer from another mental illness, namely major depression or an anxiety disorder. Doctors find that a history of physical or sexual abuse may foreshadow hypochondria. Growing up with a hypochondriac parent, or having a serious illness, as a child is also a factor. Whatever the cause, hypochondria is tough to treat, as patients have a hard time admitting that their problems are mental, not physical. Talk therapy is the most common treatment for people seeking help. In therapy, patients learn how to change the thinking and behaviors behind their symptoms. Certain medications, like Lexapro, Paxil and other antidepressants in the selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitor class, are also helpful. The goal of treatment is not to cure hypochondria, but help the patient live as normally as possible, even if symptoms continue. If you or a loved one seems to suffer from hypochondria, make an appointment to see a mental health professional.More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-01 | Tags »
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You don't need coffee to feel refreshed and awake. This video tells you about the top 10 energy boosters that you can use to revitalize your mind and body.
Transcript: Back away from that java-whether you're suffering from a 3pm slump or chronic lethargy, there are better,...
Back away from that java-whether you're suffering from a 3pm slump or chronic lethargy, there are better, healthier ways to get yourself energized. Eight out of ten Americans admit to low energy levels on a regular basis. Whether this comes from overexertion, stress, or some combination, many of us often feel like we're walking around in a daze! Boost your energy with these ten tips. One of the quickest ways to restore energy is to drink up, but forget that chronic caffeine fix! Caffeine may energize quickly, but it often leads to restlessness and insomnia later-hardly a recipe for restoration. Instead, drink water! Our bodies and brains are 70 percent water, so filling up on eight glasses daily is like putting fuel in your gas tank. You can also maximize your energy with the foods you eat. Some foods are digested slowly, minimizing unhealthy blood sugar swings that can lead to depleted energy levels. Some healthy snacks that boost energy include raisins, turkey, apples with peanut butter, hummus with veggies and nuts. To boost energy over the long term, be mindful of when and how you eat. Start your day with a hearty breakfast and keep things lighter at lunch and dinner. Enjoy a snack when energy fades, but keep it under 200 calories. Maintain optimal energy levels by consistently taking a multivitamin containing 100 percent of the recommended daily vitamins and minerals. Many people with chronic low energy find that a B6 or B12 supplement can help them feel alert. Co-enzyme Q10 is another nutrient that is essential for energy production. Oxygen is a great source of energy. Although you're always breathing, you may not be doing so effectively. Perk up with this yoga trick-alternate nostril breathing! Block your right nostril and breathe in slowly through your left until your chest is fully expanded. Hold your breath for a count of five. Then, block your left nostril and exhale. Repeat up to 10 times. And speaking of yoga, some basic movements can increase your energy enormously! Get started with the Standing Sun solution. Breathe in for three counts as you raise your arms overhead. Then, breathe out for three as you bend forward from the hips, keeping your head between your outstretched arms. Finish by grasping your legs firmly with both hands and pulling your body down toward your legs. Acupressure can also help you tap into your energy reserves. Apply firm pressure to point ST-36 on your legs for a natural boost. To locate point ST-36, measure one hand-width, or four fingers, down from your knee. This point is located between the shin bone and the leg muscle. Pressing ST-36 releases energy blockages in your legs. If you're still lethargic, you might want to try the most natural remedy there is-sleep! Experiment by going to bed 15 minutes earlier or taking a catnap. With these natural tips, lagging energy levels can often be a thing of the past. But please see your doctor if you experience listlessness that lasts for an extended period of time.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-20 | Tags »
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How does excessive stress affect your body and mind? You may be surprised to learn the many ways in which too much stress impacts your health. Learn more about the biology of stress by watching this video.
Transcript: Stress is a normal physical and psychological response to the demands and pressures of life and we ALL...
Stress is a normal physical and psychological response to the demands and pressures of life and we ALL experience it! When exposed to an event that provokes stress, the human body and brain respond as though they are in danger. That means that the brain's hypothalamus signals the body's adrenal glands to produce more of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones speed up heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. They cause pupils to dilate, thereby improving vision, they increase blood flow to the muscles, putting them on alert to act, and they prompt the liver to release energy-increasing glucose. This is known as the stress response, or the fight-or-flight response. When it works correctly, the stress response can be very beneficial, causing a person to perform well under pressure. For example, a little stress may make an individual ace an interview, or help her win an athletic event. But long-term stressful situations may cause the stress response to overreact, or fail to even turn off at all. When this happens, a person may experience negative physical effects, like a weakened immune system, stomach trouble, and difficulties sleeping. Emotionally, a person may become tense, depressed, or moody. This is known as CHRONIC STRESS, and can be due to a number of factors. Common causes of chronic stress include major life changes, like having a baby, or relationship difficulties, like a divorce, and health problems, like cancer. Social issues-like an unpleasant job or a negative living environment-can ALSO lead to chronic stress. Chronic stress is disheartening, stress management techniques can help get the fight-or-flight response under control. To get started with stress management, it's vital to figure out what is CAUSING stress in the first place. Some people find that keeping a detailed stress journal helps them pinpoint causes of stress and how the emotion makes them feel. Once stressors are identified, it's possible to brainstorm strategies to reduce them. Sometimes, this can be as easy as turning off the television when the news is distressing or taking a different route to work when traffic is bad. And other times, more GENERAL techniques can help get chronic stress under control. These techniques include exercising regularly and getting enough sleep, relaxing with deep breathing or massage, and focusing on the present with mediation or imagery. Although these methods are effective, occasionally, stress simply becomes too much to handle alone! If chronic stress is affecting YOUR life, make an appointment to see a mental health professional.More »
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Everyone lives with stress, but too much can take a serious toll on your mental and physical health. That's why it's important to control it. This video can show you the best ways to reduce stress.
Transcript: Learning to avoid unnecessary stress is a vital part of having a healthy, happy life! Here are some tips...
Learning to avoid unnecessary stress is a vital part of having a healthy, happy life! Here are some tips to help you do just that! Before you take steps to avoid stress, you need to first pinpoint what is CAUSING you undue stress. This isn't always as easy as it sounds, which is why it can help to begin keeping a stress journal. In the journal, begin writing down the times you feel stressed and what you believe caused the emotion. Then, record what you did to deal with the situation. By doing this regularly, you'll find that a stress journal can help you identify the regular stressors in your life, some of which you may be able to avoid simply by controlling your environment. This can be as easy as cutting off ties with someone who puts you on edge, or avoiding hot-button topics like politics or religion. It may also include making small changes, like turning off the television when the news is overwhelming or not answering work emails after dinnertime. Controlling your environment is important, but so is controlling your time! Time management helps YOU decide which things are pressing and which can be moved to the bottom of your list or OFF your list completely! Executed effectively, time management allows you to do more of the things that you want to do! Similarly, managing your time allows you to find a balance between your personal and work life. That's good news, since the support and love that comes with a solid personal life is one of the best defenses against stress. Yet another way to avoid stress is to learn how to firmly and politely say, "No." Whether it's in your personal or professional life, taking on too much is a surefire road to tension, which is why such assertive communication is vital! And never underestimate the power of healthy lifestyle changes, like getting plenty of sleep, exercising several times a week, and adopting healthy eating habits. These seemingly simple adjustments will play a huge roll in your ability to cope with stress. You'll never be able to avoid ALL stressors. But with these simple tips, you WILL be able to sidestep many of them!More »
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If you're having trouble controlling your anger, anger management therapy might be something great for you to look into. Watch this video to learn more about how this type of therapy addresses anger issues.
Transcript: Do you hold grudges, feel cynical, or have trouble maintaining healthy relationships? There's a chance...
Do you hold grudges, feel cynical, or have trouble maintaining healthy relationships? There's a chance you may be a good candidate for an anger management program. Here's why: Everyone gets angry, but it's usually a passing emotion, dealt with and done. For some people though, angry, recurrent outbursts and inappropriate fits of rage, burden all facets of life, from romantic relationships, careers and even physical health. Problematic anger can't simply be ignored or "dealt with" independently. In severe cases, anger management counseling is life changing! The goal of most therapy for anger management is two-fold: to teach you to identify what triggers your anger, and to help you learn how to respond in a healthier, more constructive way. The most common psychotherapy approach for these objectives is called cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT. CBT helps people learn to avoid anger-inducing situations, such as taking public transportation if traffic jams are a trigger. Mostly though, anger management counseling fosters anger mindfulness, which helps when triggers are unavoidable. For example, you may learn to replace irrational thoughts, such as "The world is out to get me," with rational ones, like, "EVERYONE experiences bad luck or disappointment from time to time." These are the COGNITIVE parts of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Meanwhile, your therapist will also teach how to RESPOND to anger in better ways. You may study in-the-moment relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, or learn a soothing mantra, like "Relax." You'll also gather better problem solving and communication strategies, like physically pausing before saying what's on your mind. These are the BEHAVIORAL parts of CBT. Most patients will see marked improvement in just eight to ten CBT sessions with a therapist! In fact, the average CBT recipient is significantly better at dealing with anger, than 76-PERCENT of people with UNTREATED anger issues, according to a series of studies published in the journal Cognitive Therapy and Research. Seeking help for out-of-control, inappropriate anger just makes sense!More »
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Most people don’t realize how stress can affect their lives--for the worse. Check out this video for more information on what stress does to your body.
Transcript: A new survey conducted by the American Psychological Association and the National Women's Health Resource...
A new survey conducted by the American Psychological Association and the National Women's Health Resource Center found that 43 percent of American adults suffer adverse health effects from stress. While stress can be a normal physical and psychological response to the demands and pressures of one's life, too much of it can be deleterious to one's health. When one is exposed to a stressful situation, the body responds by producing more of the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones cause changes in the body, such as increased heart and breathing rates as well as increased overall sweating and in particular, sweaty palms. An influx of these hormones may also result in stomach or gastro-intestinal problems, like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Generally, these symptoms are the result of acute, or short-term stress. Examples of acute stress include making a big presentation or responding to a traffic jam. Most of the time, acute stress symptoms-which are also known as the fight-or-flight response-abate when the stressor does. But sometimes, acute stressors happen too often, so that the body does not have time to recover. And OTHER times, stress is caused by situations that last over a long period. This chronic stress may be due to issues like a difficult job, or to disease. People suffering from chronic stress, OR from frequent acute stress, often experience long-term effects that can be harmful to overall health. Physically, stress can weaken the body's immune system, making a person more likely to get sick. It can lead to heart problems, like high blood pressure, abnormal heartbeat, and in more extreme cases, even heart attack or heart failure. Stress can make the symptoms of stomach problems-like irritable bowel syndrome and peptic ulcer disease-worse. Being constantly stressed often leads to muscle tension in the neck, shoulders and lower back and it's been linked to reproductive issues, including erectile dysfunction and lowered fertility! Stress can also exacerbate skin conditions, like psoriasis, eczema or acne. In fact, it's estimated that between 75- and 90-percent of ALL doctor's visits are due to stress-related ailments and complaints!But the long-term effects of stress are NOT just related to the physical body. Emotionally, stressed people are often depressed, moody, and irritable. They tend to find it difficult to focus on even simple tasks, and may worry constantly about small things. Over time, stress can also lead to relationship conflicts, and social withdrawal, as well as to drug and alcohol abuse. With all these documented negative effects, it just makes SENSE to seek medical help if you struggle with constant stress!More »
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It's hard to know if you need anger-management treatment. Anger is normal, but out of control rage isn't. See how to recognize if you need help.
Transcript: Anger is a normal even healthy emotion. But there is a right and a wrong way to express it. Anger management...
Anger is a normal even healthy emotion. But there is a right and a wrong way to express it. Anger management counseling helps you learn the difference. Frustration, annoyance and anger are all normal, healthy emotions. Everyone experiences them from time to time. Anger can motivate people to get involved in important causes, or to stand up for themselves. Anger also alerts and prepares the body to react to potential danger. In other words, anger can be a good thing! What's NOT good is when people express anger in violent outbursts, or when they spend a great deal of time simmering with rage, OR when they keep discontent bottled inside, failing to express it at all. People who have trouble displaying anger in a healthy way may experience a host of problems. Physically, they're more prone to headaches, high blood pressure and digestive upset. Emotionally, chronic anger can cause clinical depression or anxiety. How do you know if your anger is run-of-the-mill and healthy, or out-of-control and harmful? Angry feelings are a problem if they REGULARLY cause you to react in ways that you regret, whether that's physically hurting those around you, or emotionally disrupting your relationships. If people appear afraid of your reactions, if you have regular run-ins with the law, or if you attempt to intimidate others with your anger, you likely need help managing your emotions. The bottom line is this: If you have a problem with anger, you probably instinctively know it. When that's the case, it's important to see a mental health professional to learn healthy ways to manage your anger.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-21 | Tags »
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If you're stressed, you certainly know how it can affect you physically and mentally. Learn the top ten stress busters by watching this video.
Transcript: Ninety percent of us consider stress an inevitable part of our lives-but it doesn't have to be that way!...
Ninety percent of us consider stress an inevitable part of our lives-but it doesn't have to be that way! We all know what it feels like to be under stress, yet most of us don't know why we experience this condition. Let's look at how stress works. Doctors call the body's reaction to stressful events general adaptation syndrome. During tense times, our bodies release adrenaline and corticosteroids. This reaction, the fight or flight response, was designed to help man defend himself. The fight or flight response is healthy-in small doses. Unfortunately, exposure to A. continuous stressors, like traffic jams or B. piles of work, causes many of us to remain in this heightened state for hours, or even days. The result of this constant tension includes both short-term effects, like tense muscles and rapid heart rate, and long-term ones, like high blood pressure, a weakened immune system and depression. The good news is, we've got ten tips that can help. Let's start with diet: Research has shown that B-complex and C Vitamins, and the minerals magnesium and zinc, can help to ease stress symptoms. Vitamin C and magnesium lower stress levels because they help the brain produce serotonin, a hormone that regulates mood. Zinc and Vitamin B-complex fight free radicals, a term that refers to toxins found in the air and to harmful byproducts of digestion. Fresh vegetables, fruits, almonds, fish and whole-grains contain these essential vitamins and minerals and are great stress-busting foods. You can also combat stress with a supplement. St. John's Wort, is an herb that inhibits stress hormones and increases serotonin levels in the brain. Your approach can help too! Remembering that tension is a natural part of life can help curb your response to it. Take a minute to remind yourself that, This, too, shall pass. Sometimes a gentle touch, or acupressure, can relieve stress. One point, Lu 1, is prized for easing emotional stress and tense breathing. Find Lu 1 by sitting in a comfortable chair with your back straight. Use your thumbs to press the outside of your upper chest, just below your first rib. Maintain pressure for one minute. Another effective way to end your stress response is with simple meditation. For the best results, set aside 10 to 20 minutes for calm reflection. If you prefer a more formal approach, try this yoga meditation technique. Sit quietly with eyes closed. Pick a short phrase or word that calms you, like Ohm or Peace. Repeat the word as you clear your mind and relax your muscles. When mediating, always remember to breathe! Deep, relaxing breaths in and out through the nose help relieve stress. Even without meditation, just five minutes of deep breathing can be quite beneficial. And finally, if you're feeling stressed, take a time-out to do something you enjoy. Your body and mind will thank you. Stress is no fun, but with a little know-how, you can control your response to it, ensuring a calmer, happier you!More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-02 | Tags »
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