anxiety

How to Feel Less Anxious About The Future, Relationships And Finances

Are you feeling anxious or worried about your future, a relationship or finances? Is it keeping you up at night? Or is it affecting you every day life, your interpersonal relationships?

You’re not alone; one of the major worries in individual’s lives involves one of these aspects in many instances. Here in this blog let’s discuss some ways to support and lower your stress level.

 

Mindfulness to Reduce Anxiety

Mindfulness is one way for someone to lower stress levels. Mindfulness shifts perspective to what is going on in the current moment and less emphasis in the past or to the future. By becoming more present one is able to slow down racing thoughts and soften anxiety.

Mindfulness reduces stress as well as builds resilience with our responses to stressors. Check out Colette’s podcast on apple podcast today to try out some mindfulness mediations, newdayvitalitytherapy.com. Start somewhere, start here, and start today.

 

You Have the Ability to Be Empowered and Happy

You have the capability to feel less anxious and be empowered as well as happy by starting to ask yourself the question, what do I need? What can I give myself today? By practicing self- compassion and self- awareness we begin to seek our internal needs and in hand empower ourselves to live happier more fulfilled lives.

I encourage beginning to ask your self the magic question each day, what do I need today? And throughout the day checking in on how you can fulfill that need.

 

How Therapy Can Help You Feel Less Anxious, Calm and In Control

Therapy can help lower stress levels and put you back in the drivers seat, in control. Therapists are trained on ways to help build clients toolbox of support and resources to feel more regulated, grounded and centered.

If you or someone you know is suffering from anxiety reach out to our team today, we are honored to support you and be apart of your journey, newdayvitalitytherapy.com.

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

Why So Many People are Not Merry and Bright Around the Holidays & it’s ok

Expectations, finances and sadness are high around the holidays for many and yet such a large group of people going through these emotions feel outcasted and misunderstood, making them feel more alone and disconnected. Let’s go through each aspect of turbulence that people may feel during the holidays.

Expectations: we are expected to be jolly, merry, bright and cheerful when truth be told we may hate our job, may be suffering from depression or still struggling to develop a self-love relationship with ourselves. December will not take away any struggles we have been dealing with for the other 11 months of the year and it is foolish to think otherwise. How are we expected to give so much to others at this time when we have not yet adequately discovered how to give to ourselves? Society is expecting our whole mindset to change in a snap and it is just not possible.

Finances: without being said, so much money is spent during this time, which first and foremost is bitter as it takes away from the point of the season: togetherness, love and appreciation. We chuck out big cash for emotional reward. Coming back to expectations, we spend all this money and put in so much effort to get someone a gift and we are returned with a simple” thank you” (or better yet to discover they returned it) …the emotional reward does not pair up to our mental effort, making us feel the effort was pointless and disappointing.

Sadness: accompanied by grief is common during the holidays. We reflect back on our childhood and are haunted by the fact that many of our loved ones are no longer here, making a time that was once special for us feel lonely and emotional. It may be difficult for us to appreciate the family and friends we do currently have in our life because we are a little extra focused on those who we no longer have at this time.

In case no one has told you: all these feelings and the 100 others you may be feeling right now are okay. I will repeat: these feelings you have are okay. Put a label and a name to your emotion, notice where it is rooted from. Rather than keep these thoughts to yourself, talk about these negative emotions because THAT is what will make you feel more connected to others at this time. You may assume the person on the other end will not “get” you, but you are likely to be surprised that they have similar feelings and having the conversation will draw you closer and more at peace: which is exactly what the holidays are meant to do for relationships to start with.

If you or a love one is having a difficult time around the holidays reach out to our staff today, we are honored to be apart of your journey. Psychotherapy and Counseling serving Westchester NY

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

You Are Not Broken

 

This ⭐️ this message if your reading is meant for you right now. Seriously meant for you. I wrote this many years back and so often share with my clients and every single time it’s a profound reaction, crying, smiling or both and many other powerful feelings. It’s shown to be a powerful message that so many need to hear over and over. My feeling is that so many need this message right now. This is my gift to you my friend, I see you, hold space for you, you are not broken, I believe in you my friend and always will?

 

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

3 Ways to De-Stress in Ten Minutes

anxiety stress therapy Westchester NY

The “Five Senses” Mindfulness Exercise

This exercise is very popular in the therapy world to reduce stress and great tool to use in order to shift your mind away from the internal thoughts that are going a mile per minute. This exercise will allow you to slow down, notice things outside your thoughts and sure enough you will feel more at ease and your attention will be gravitated to other stimuli.

Here are the steps to do the exercise:

  1. First you will notice 5 things you can see. What is surrounding you in your environment? Cars passing by? Birds on the trees? Cookies on the kitchen counter ? Take note of five of the these things that are in your sight
  2. Next you will note to self 4 things you can feel. Draw your awareness to how your body feel on the couch your sitting on or the feel of the silk blouse you are wearing. What textures are you currently feeling. Take notice there.
  3. Now you will shift your attention to 3 things you can hear. Can you hear the conversations of others around you? The sound of your family member blow-drying their hair? The sound of passing traffic out the window? See how far you can extend your senses and how far you can hear past the room you are in.
  4. The fourth step is noticing 2 things you can smell. What scents are around you? Is there a candle burning ? Something baking in the kitchen ? Can you smell the laundered sheets around you ?
  5. Finally, you will notice 1 thing you can taste. Perhaps this is the sip of a drink you just went for or a mint you just had. What is the current taste in your mouth ?

The Self- Massage Exercise to De-Stress

No matter where you are or how little time you have you can easily throw in a self-massage as a tool to debrief from current stressors. Self-Massage is also a nice form of self-care and giving back to yourself. One of my favorite ways to self-massage is using a jade roller and using upward motions of the roller on my chin, forehead and cheeks. If I am not at home and do not have a jade roller available I will administer self-massage with my hands. I will put pressure on my shoulders and move my hands in upward motions in my face similarly to how I would with the roller. Always resort to YouTube for new ideas and techniques to provide self-massage.

Three Part Breathing Exercise

A personal favorite breathing exercise of mine is the three part breath. This exercise is a breath control technique commonly used in yoga but can be used off the mat as well to reduce stress.

Start off by placing your left hand in your upper chest and your right hand on your belly-button. Now, you will begin to sip in breath to your navel (1) , then sip a little more air into your belly (2), then a third sip of breath into your chest (3). Exhale a sip of breath from the chest (1) then another exhale from the belly (2) and a complete, extended exhale from the navel (3). Repeat this breath-work a few rounds until you feel at ease.

 

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

Living with feelings of uncertainty during changing times

The year 2020 has shed light to so many issues, good and bad. If you’re anything like me, this year has been filled will feelings of fear, anxiety, unrest, and most of all uncertainty. Between a global pandemic turning our world upside down in only a few months, social unrest due to the blatant injustices of Black, indigenous, and people of color, and the large divide amongst Americans as the election becomes closer and closer, we’re left to navigate the uncertainties that our nation, communities, and families face today and for our future.

It almost feels inevitable that we have experienced and will continue to experience stress this year. We’ve been living in fear of getting sick or having a loved one get sick. Some of us have lost our jobs, homes, savings accounts, and worst of all losing a loved one to COVID19. BIPOC communities face a continued fear of merely existing, as police brutality and systemic oppression literally kill them through violence or through the disproportionate disparities in health care, which are known factors contributing to the higher morbidity and mortality among people of color, as compared to white Americans. Most of us fear what the next president elect will mean for our basic human rights, the rights of our families, and our future children and generation to come. This is an extraordinarily amount of stress to contend with while still having to move along each day to be able to survive and provide for ourselves and our families.

Exorbitant amounts of chronic stress are known to have serious implications on the mind and body. Some of these effects include irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches, insomnia, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal issues, lowered immune system functioning, and other physical issues. Chronic stress is also known to lead to an increase in the likelihood of the development of a mental illness, problems concentrating and decision making, memory and poor judgment.

These uncertain times are bound to leave us feeling anxious and stressed. If you recall earlier in the blog, I stated that 2020 has brought bad and good, and you’re probably wondering…where is the good? Well believe it or not, good can and will come from this! Let’s first talk acknowledge that the anxious/fearful mind overestimates the risk, threat or danger and underestimates the ability to use coping resources. I can’t confidently say that the current state of our world is without real threat or dangers (because it is with real threat and dangers), but I can provide coping resources to help you navigate this time of uncertainty.

As humans, we crave security, consistency, and predictability. When we are paralyzed with uncertainty, our minds love to conjure up worst case scenarios and countless predictions so we feel prepared if the worst was to come. If you feel overwhelmed by uncertainty and worry, it’s important to know that you’re not alone; many of us are going through the same thing in real time. It’s also important to understand that no matter how helpless you feel, there are steps you can take better manage these circumstances, alleviate your anxiety, and face the unknown with resilience.

1. Act on what you can control.

a. Most of our life is and feels uncertain and uncontrollable, however re-focusing your efforts on things within your control will help you problem-solve. Sometimes, the only thing we can control is our attitude and response to uncontrollable situations, and even that is worth looking into if you find yourself struggling to find things you can control.

2. Openly feel, acknowledge, and experience your emotions

a. Suppressing/avoiding/distracting your emotions is a short-term solution to problems that will manifest themselves in other ways if not managed today. Find a safe space, a friend, a therapist, anyone who can provide you with an environment to process your feelings safely. Allowing yourself to become comfortable with the idea of uncertainty will indirectly reduce your feelings of stress and anxiety.

3. Challenge your automatic thought processes that tell you life needs to be certain in order for it to be manageable.

a. How much can any of us be absolute certain about life? Unfortunately, nothing in life is guaranteed, perfectly calculated, or predictable. When you find yourself having the feeling or thought that you “need to know” something, ask yourself how possible it is to really know? Try and re-focus on more realistic thought processes. Something you can tell yourself when you have a thought like that is “No matter how much I try to plan out every situation and outcome, life can surprise me. All reaching for certainty really does is feed my worry and anxiety.”

4. Identify the specific situations of uncertainty that give you the most distress, and practice acceptance.

a. Start recognizing your thought patterns, emotions, or bodily sensations you experience when the sense of uncertainty creeps in. Notice what particular situations bring about those thoughts/feelings/sensations. Name what you’re experiencing i.e. “This is anxiety over uncertainty” and try to observe the experience nonjudgmentally. Research shows mindfulness and acceptance practices reduce unpleasant experiences, as the more you allow them, the more you realize the feelings will pass. This will provide you comfort when another situation involving uncertainty arises.

5. Practice Mindfulness

a. Mindfulness stresses the importance of being present in the here and how. With all this fear of uncertainty, most of us are glued to our devices, reading countless news articles, stories, debates, etc.… We are losing time being present in the moment. There are many techniques online to practice mindfulness. You can also practice mindfulness techniques with a therapist if you find you are unable to do it on your own. One quick tip is to stay away from technology. Take 20-30-60-minute breaks from any technology and focus on anything in the here and now, even if its your pet, children, your family, or doing a chore like washing the dishes. You can use any of your 5 senses to help you engage in something in the present. For example, lighting a candle and focusing on the scent, or washing the dishes and focusing on the soapy bubbles on your hands. Don’t worry if you find that your focus keeps wandering back to your future fears and worries. It’s a skill, and like any other skill, it takes practice to master.

6. Managing Stress/Anxiety

a. There are many practical tips I can give to manage everyday stressors and anxiety that pile on in addition to the uncertainties of this year. For starters, movement is a huge tool in alleviating anxiety, do any sort of movement, running, dancing, yoga. Expelling that energy will relieve you of anxiety and release feel good endorphins. Give yourself time to relax. Take time for YOU. Try and get a regular sleep schedule with quality sleep, and lastly, try and up your nutrition game. All of these baseline changes will dramatically improve your ability to tackle the stress and anxieties of today.

The last “good” that I can say that has come out of this year, is the extent that therapy has become accessible to all. As a therapist, this warms my heart. I’ve never seen so many people open to the therapeutic process, willing to work on themselves to become better humans. You don’t have to go through this alone! Many of us find comfort sitting with uncertainty in a safe environment with someone we trust. You can remain in the comfort of your own home and talk through some of the emotions and experiences you are going through.

Here at New Day Vitality we care about your health and well-being. We’re currently offering online therapy through a HIPAA compliant video sources throughout the state of New York for stay at home services.

You don’t have to sit with uncertainty alone. Take-action on what you can control out of this situation. And what you can control, is learning how to respond to uncertainty with confidence that you will survive this and surpass this! Please reach out to us if you are finding that this time of uncertainty is difficult for you. We would love to support you on your journey through uncertainty and into resilience!

We are your anxiety experts of Westchester NY. Servicing the surround areas, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Scarsdale, Eastchester, Rye Brook, Rye, etc. and all of New York State for over ten years.

 

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella