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Heather Edwards Mental Health Counseling / Posts tagged "anxiety"
ritual grief quarantine

Ritual. Grief. Quarantine.

Ritual. It brings family, friends, and communities together. It binds you in your values. It bonds you in your shared beliefs. It connects your  mind, body, and spirit. But what if rituals don't exist? Sunday was Easter. I’m not a terribly religious person, but I knew that I wouldn’t be with my family for a traditional gathering. And it felt like a freight train rolled in and parked on my chest. I woke up sad. The familiar heavy fog of longing for something that wouldn’t be, had settled in while I slept. My family ritual was not happening today. And I'm not alone in that. Weddings, funerals, bar & bat mitzvah's, seders, school & sports events, and more have also been cancelled or modified. It's a loss...

Control vs Concern during quarantine

Right now, things feel out of control. And when things feel out of control, a sense of fear and helplessness can take over your thoughts.  You become the metaphorical rat in a maze searching for a way out, or around, the dreaded worst-case-scenario. This can be paralyzing from a psychological perspective.  But what if there are things you can influence right now? What if there was a way to discern the difference between your concerns and your control or influence?  When the two get muddled together, you lose the distinction between what you can actually change, and what you can't. Then you swan dive into the rabbit hole of hopelessness and isolation. Many people are struggling with control during quarantine.  Control leads to self efficacy, feeling proactive, and grounded. So,...

trauma, emdr, therapy

Dear Trauma: EMDR changes lives

Dear trauma, I don’t need you anymore. You served a purpose and kept me safe in the face of danger. But now you’re getting in my way. I got this. Yours truly. When trauma happens, your central nervous system reacts in one of 4 ways to protect you:  Fight - physically defending yourself  Flight - running away Freeze - if I don’t move, they won’t see me - think deer in headlights Faint - playing dead It’s involuntary and automatic. It’s your body‘s way of protecting you in the moment. So, thank your body for doing that - and let it know you’re safe now. In the case of PTSD and limiting beliefs, it’s not enough to know you’re safe. Your body's protective mechanisms get frozen in time...

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...

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...

Heather Edwards Psychotherapy in New York

EMDR Therapy Changes Lives

EMDR Therapy: Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing changes lives. EMDR can be thought of as an integrative physiologically based therapy that helps a person see emotional material in new and less distressing ways. A Certified EMDR therapist helps guide you in a specialized way to clear trauma, break through limiting beliefs, and create an empowered way of being you.   Using Mindfulness and bilateral stimulation while holding gentle pulsers, healthy memory processing is stimulated to gain emotional distance from difficult memories. Research shows that trauma & emotionally charged experiences can get physically frozen in time in your body. They live there in the present, interfering with your life, as if the experience is happening now. EMDR creates a natural flow of information processing so that balance is restored and memories become...

psychotherapy overanalyzer heather edwards

5 Signs You’re an Overanalyzer: And how to kick the habit

Are you plagued by indecision? Do you overanalyze whether or not there's a hidden meaning behind someone's words? Do you look for the possible trap or snafu that will make everything blow up in your face and leave you riddled with regret or shame? These thinking patterns can be debilitating if you run away with them. When you simply observe, rather that get consumed by them, you can keep a healthy distance and choose a different path. Here are five signs that you could be an over analyzer. Your friends keep saying, ”Just let it go.”. You feel more stressed, instead of less stressed, by trying to make the right decision. Your default internal monologue is, “I don’t know what to do.”, and you mentally go in...

The Deep Blue Sea: Calm the emotional tides

The ocean has a powerful and instantaneous way of clearing emotional clutter. It brings us back to our baseline and fills us with a calm energy. Here are 12 of my favorite quotes about the cleansing and uplifting qualities of this immense beauty. 1. When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused. -Rainer Maria Rilke 2. The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. -Jacques Cousteau 3. “Doesn’t it seem to you,” asked Madame Bovary, “that the mind moves more freely in the presence of that boundless expanse,...

heather edwards anxiety fear

Anxiety Reduction: Tips from the experts

De-stressing Tips for Every Scenario Joanna Powell interviewed me for tips to manage performance anxiety - specifically, public speaking. Check out the article published in Pilates Style Magazine. Americans are the most anxious people on earth. But experts say arming yourself with natural ways to calm the chaos is easier than you might think. It can come without warning -- or reason. Suddenly you're woozy with dread, your breath gets short and quick, and your heart thrums in your ears like a low-flying helicopter. Anxiety. Panic. The mean reds. Whatever you call it, everyone suffers that queasy, uneasy feeling of angst and trepidation at some point in life. Since the turn of the millennium, anxiety has surpassed depression as the most prominent mental-health issue in America, according to the...

Is Fear Your Driver? Pump the brakes. Take the wheel.

How to conquer a phobia: The psychology behind phobias and how you can face them Jackson A. Thomas interviewed me for tips on managing anxiety and panic. Check out the article published in Chicago's Community Health Magazine. They often come out when it rains and they’re used as fish bait. But Candace Tucker isn’t going anywhere near them. “I used to fish with my dad and sisters a lot, so naturally worms were involved,” says Tucker, a resolution specialist in Parma, Ohio. “The more I looked at them I started noticing how nasty they are. It’s the smell of them, how they wiggle and the nastiest part: They can grow another head if one is cut off.” This fear of worms, called vermiphobia or scoleciphobia, has inflicted Tucker since...