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Author: Heather Edwards

Heather Edwards Mental Health Counseling / Articles posted by Heather Edwards (Page 2)

Suicide Prevention: How to get help

I was recently interviewed by a freelance writer for an article about suicide prevention for a dating website. When it goes live, I will post it here. For now, I’m sharing some important information about how to help someone who might be in danger. Have you noticed posts on social media that sound threatening? Or have you heard vague references to self harm? If so, take action. Definitely tell someone. This could be a cry for help. You can talk to your friend if you think it would be helpful or family members and friends who could reach out to them. Don’t gossip or blow it off. Take it seriously. This could be a life or death situation. Be prepared with phone numbers to crisis counseling services...

mindful holidays

Holiday Magic: Mindful strategies

‘Tis the season to be jolly, right? Well, sometimes. If you take a mindful look at the way you approach the holidays, you'll find that you actually have a mixture of feelings - like joy and sorrow, pleasure and stress, boredom and excitement, for instance. The holidays can be bittersweet, especially for those who have lost someone they love. They are stressful for those forced to mingle with family members they don’t admire. And they are lonely for those who are alone. It’s a time ripe with celebration, gratitude, and giving. And it’s a time of wishing and grieving.  So whatever your circumstances, how do you surf the waves of emotion that arise during the holidays? Mindful practices can keep you rooted in your truth, feeling ground, and present,...

Mind Tricks: Conquer your fear

Mind tricks, a.k.a. cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), EMDR distancing techniques, chunking, and meditation practices saved me at Huayna Picchu.    Little did I know, I would be frozen with fear upon arrival at Machu Picchu. With each step along the Inca trail, I held onto the mountainside to prevent being sucked into the valley 8000 feet below. My legs felt shaky, my breath was shallow, and my head was dizzy. Welcome to acrophobia, the fear of heights.  When my guide suggested I would be hiking the big black pointy mountain, Huayna Picchu the next day, I was stunned. Huayna Picchu is a 9000 foot mountain that overlooks Machu Picchu. The part we would hike is a 1000 foot vertical climb in less than one mile. It’s named...

tattoo trauma

Tattoos for healing?

Tattoos date back to neo-Paleolithic times, serving purposes both for good and for bad. They have been used to record history, brand prisoners and slaves, express self-identity, and reclaim control over one’s own body. For many today, clients are claiming trauma recovery benefits. This intriguing Psychology Today guest blog by Heather Edwards combines insight about what tattoos can mean to folks, along with an interview with an artist in the craft, Paul Booth.  The notion of a mark on oneself is as ancient as the Mark of Cain, after murdering his brother, Abel in the Book of Genesis.  Nathaniel Hawthorn’s Puritan-era “Scarlet Letter” may not have been a tattoo–it was sown to one’s clothing–but it did mark the community’s condemnation of an adulterer. Not surprisingly, there is another side to...

sleep mental health insomnia

Insomnia Tips: Sleep like a baby

Insomnia wrecks your mood, energy, and focus. Kayla Johnson from Tuck realizes this and requested that I share sleep resources with my readers. A good night's rest regretfully eludes many of us. Consequently, the outcomes can be dire. Insomnia has many links to mental illness as a cause and an effect. I'll share a few of Tuck's insights and research findings here. Chronically sleep-deprived people, some 20 percent of Americans, are more prone to costly diseases, accidents, and workplace absenteeism, at a steep cost to our national and global economy. The cost of drowsy driving motor vehicle accidents alone is estimated at $56 billion per year. Shift workers, healthcare workers, long-haul truck drivers, military operators, and others in jobs with demanding hours are at higher risk for sleep deprivation and...

hatred vs empowerment

Hatred vs. Empowerment: Flip the Script

Sexual harassment. Terrorism. Racism. Genocide. Human trafficking. Dis - empowerment. The list goes on. We are divisive and rageful, hateful and blaming, exploiting and violent. You feel exhausted, disempowered, and depressed. Your power is not in what separates you, it’s in what connects you to others. It’s in being receptive rather than reactive. Your conscious mind’s ability to reflect, evaluate, and problem solve sets you apart from other animals. You choose how to think and behave. You crave empowerment, self worth, and purpose. You need to feel connection, love, and belonging - without it you suffer. These are basic human needs. As long as food, shelter, and safety are provided, you aspire for meaning and a higher purpose. It’s visceral and biological. Looking outward isn’t as...


Valentine My Love: Let’s start over

Oh Valentine, imagine a “diamond in the rough” - maybe as a rundown house, a rusty sports car, or your relationship. It’s dusty, decrepit, & deteriorating. Yet, you know that if you gave it a little TLC it could shine again. Houses and cars can be restored. And so can your relationship. All you and your valentine need is a little hope to get the ball rolling. See the potential. Use a little elbow grease. Take a chance. Do something different. Restoring a house or car requires plans, resources, and often a team. The same applies your relationship. First, get clear on what you want to change. Second - and this is the hard part, consider your role in the problem. And lastly, develop a strategy. If communication...

Heather Edwards psychotherapy coach

SAD AF: Slay the happiness vampire

This is for the dreamers, overachievers, procrastinators, and perfectionists. It’s a the middle of winter. A time that can be bleak and isolative. The days are fleeting. The nights are long. Gray skies blanket the possibilities and stifle your mood like a punch in the gut. SAD knocks at your door like the vampire of happiness. Your bed looks more and more inviting. Your motivation escapes you. You’re tired, a little somber, and you worry about your future. This is S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder). S.A.D. resembles a mild depression and typically occurs in winter. It challenges many of us - the creatives, the empaths, and everyone in between. In case you’re wondering if you have S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) here are a few symptoms: decreased energy increased appetite (for...


Goals from your Soul: 2019

Goals from your soul will make 2019 a breakthrough year! Standing on the cusp of a new year can feel exciting and overwhelming. There’s a lot of pressure in setting goals that you’ll keep - this time. After all, how many have you abandoned in the past? But that doesn’t mean that you should stop setting goals! It means that you need to plan according to your unique talents and values. When you do, they’ll align deep in your core. Personal meaning will keep you committed and focused. When you look back at the year 2018, what happened? Notice the events, interactions, and accomplishments that filled you with energy and a sense of something really meaningful to you. Notice the things that you didn’t love, too....