Restart and Refocus
As 2021 unfolds, there is much to ponder about the past and future. One thought is to compare happiness and level of progress from last year’s season. We can have a healthy reflection and decide this rather quickly. Many of us tend to be hard on ourselves, so I ask that we slow down and actually do a self-inventory. Below is a more balanced look at our life as a whole.
Score these from 1-5 below.
1. Spiritual footprints left to assist others?
2. Motivation in paying it forward?
3. Determination to try something new?
4. Is our journey going to an acceptable finish?
5. Did we honor our value system?
Notice money and financials did not make the list. Yes, it is a very important facet of life, but for our psychological peace, it may not need to be a point of top interest. The reflection of our soul may be the most valuable asset we have to stand on high ground and contentment.
If you scored a 25, you may think about teaching others how to become a light in this ever-changing world. If you scored between 20-24, you have become grounded and can look forward to prosperity in your life. A score of 15-19 may just need some extra refining to achieve greatness. Finally, scores of 14 and below may be a sign of depression, anxiety, and unhappiness.
Consider seeking therapy, or widening your social support circle. Humans are likely to accomplish their goals with just the right mixture of hope, determination, and praise. It is almost as if we are on a scavenger hunt. Never give up. If your exploration has not provided you with greatness, you may be on a slightly skewed pathway that only needs a simple adjustment.
When the Holidays Become Overwhelming
Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Years are just around the corner.
Are You Prepared?
With all of the excitement that accompanies the holidays, some people, just thinking about it, provokes a great amount of anxiety and grief. If you’re one of those people, there is a great benefit to continue reading. Even if you handle the holidays with great aplomb, you can get through it while experiencing more joy, less anxiety and sadness.
Here are three steps:
1. The amygdala in the back of our brain registers memories and is thought to play an important role in emotion and behavior. Sometimes these are not the best. Think about having an EMDR session to reduce the intensity of any anxiety inducing trauma memory.
2. When we are suffering, sometimes it is best to reach out to others and offer help. Not only does it aid in distracting you, it also produces the brain chemical, oxytocin, which helps balance our mood when we are joyfully helping others.
3. Get in touch with your boundary system and make sure it is secure. Sometimes when we conjure up an actual image, it helps us to better protect ourselves and to focus on the details of our boundaries.
Think of it like this: If you wanted horses to live on your property, you would install appropriate fencing to keep them extra safe. Investing in a good security system that provides alerts, will prompt you to check that your fence is secured, ensuring the horses can't get away. The same is true with boundaries. As soon as anxiety sets in, one should be aware of the many characteristics that can emerge. Take a quick assessment of yourself -- and-- know yourself well. If you seem to be falling, your fence must be down somewhere. Fix it by focusing on the issue at hand and get back to healthier living.
If you feel like you need additional assistance about how to better prepare for the holidays, please schedule a session.
Christine Cantilena Barnes
A licensed clinical mental health counselor, Christine has been a part of Atlanta’s professional community for over 25 years.