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coping Tag

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,...

COVID-19

COVID-19: Seeking a silver lining

COVID-19 is frightening. Most of us are wondering what COVID-19 will mean for our future. Not knowing what to expect is stressful. In fact, the three largest contributors to stress are: 1. uncertainty; 2. lack of information; and 3. lack of control. I’d say the Coronavirus has checked all three boxes. Many people are struggling with boundaries, privacy, and managing emotions while quarantining at home. Negotiating space, finding ”me time” for self care, and sitting with the uncomfortable feelings challenge even the best coping strategies.  So, let’s get back to basics. There’s no magic bullet but perhaps the closest thing is gratitude. Take a breath, get grounded in the now, and connect with your core values. Look around you and notice how many have manifested in your...

Anxiety & Panic are Ruining My Life

“I feel like I can’t breathe.” “My chest is tightening.” “I’m afraid I’m going to faint or die.” You might be wondering if you’re having a heart attack, or other medical crisis. It’s uncomfortable, even frightening. You don’t know what to do or how to make it stop. It seems unpredictable. You feel helpless. You're avoiding certain social situations, or even leaving your home because of it. Anxiety & panic are ruining your life. The paradox is that the more you focus on it, the more you feed it.  And the more you fight it and avoid it, the  more you feed it.   So what exactly is happening? And what can you do about it? I’ll start by defining anxiety and panic, providing some statistics about each, and...

Turn Toward the Enemy – Mastering negative emotions

You feel stuck. Trapped. Immobilized. When in the therapy and coaching room, conversations about fear, regret, disappointment, and frustration arise and take center stage.  It’s easy to fall prey, be guided and controlled by negative emotions, even feel consumed by them. It's an uncomfortable place. It's dark, heavy, constricting. It can hold you hostage. And it can intensify before it dissipates. Recognize negative emotions not as your enemy but as your informant. Acknowledge them. Accept them. Be open to them. Question them. Break them down. Look those unsavories in the eye. Release their grip. Identify the building blocks of negativity. Uncover the hidden messages. Initiate a plan designed for empowerment. When you turn toward your anger, fear, and sadness you validate the experience of the pain. You soothe and comfort, rather than avoid...

Psychology Today – The Narcissistic Injury

This is a re-post of my article published in Psychology Today on December 7, 2015. You Feel Stung, and Badly: Someone says or does something that hurts deeply. You feel unseen, betrayed, invalidated, or simply criticized. You may feel it’s unfair or that you deserve it. Either way, you are having a tough time recovering. It eats at you. The hurt somehow sticks. You feel ashamed that you can’t just let it go. Or respond in a healthy way. So you either nurse the wound privately, or you lash back in an over-reaction. This is the Narcissistic Injury. It’s common – and you need not be a Narcissist to feel its sting. In this post, Heather Edwards(link is external) gives us ways to recover. OUCH! It hurts!  Like a psychological punch in the gut. It...

7 Paths to Peace Amidst Terror

Anger. Fear. Helplessness. Rage. Suspicion. Guilt. Despair. These are just a few of the negative emotions felt all over the world since the Paris and Beirut terror attacks last week. Like a suction cup, you're glued to the TV, Internet, and radio. You are scared. And you’re angry that you’re scared. Layering feelings upon feelings. It means they won. You want this to go away. Yet you obsess about what’s next and what it means for your future. It marks the beginning of World War 3. It’s something you didn't foresee in your lifetime. Questions abound. Is it best to stay home? Should I avoid the city? Are the subways safe? Can I freely discuss my concerns? How do I know if the person next to me is...