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Reasons Why Sleep Is Vital to a Teen’s Mental Health

Now that school is back in session, teenagers face new stress of balancing homework, extracurricular activities, family situations, and social events. It’s a lot for a developing brain to manage, and many teens need extra mental health support. The pressures of ongoing responsibilities and a jam-packed schedule can make it hard for people of all ages to cope with stress. Often, the most effective mental health solutions start with self-care and small, daily habits. In order to have the resilience and wellness needed to get through the day, teenagers must begin with a good night’s sleep. Teenagers and Sleeping Habits The problem is that many teens are developing poor sleep habits. They stay up too late, often spending hours on social media, playing video games, or texting with their friends. These activities stimulate the eyes and brain, making it hard to fall asleep at a reasonable hour. Exhaustion sets in the next day, making it hard to get through daily responsibilities due to lack of sleep. So, a teenager often feels the need to take a nap after school, which disrupts the sleep cycle even more. This vicious pattern takes an undeniable toll on mental health and overall wellness. Why…

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September Is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Did you know that suicide is the second most common cause of death in teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19? September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and this topic is more important than ever. The mental health strain from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on people of all ages. The National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month started through The Jason Foundation. Clark Flatt wanted to honor memories of his son, so he founded the movement to bring awareness about the topic of suicide in our communities. This organization offers resources and training to help people of all ages learn the signs of suicide. A Silent Epidemic Suicide is a “silent epidemic” sweeping across the nation. As a result, mental health experts designated this month as a National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month as a way to share information with family, friends, advocates, teachers, and the community. The goal is to reduce the risk of suicide by identifying the early signs of mental health issues. Not only are teenagers at risk for suicide, but adults are also facing mental health challenges that lead to suicide attempts at times. By educating the public about the risks and signs, we…

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The Stages of Bereavement and How Therapy Can Help

It may not occur to you that you can get help during bereavement. Yet, if you have lost a loved one, the feelings of grief can overwhelm your life. So, what are the stages of bereavement? What can you expect from bereavement therapy? And how can you recognize when you need to seek counseling? Read on to find out. The Stages of Bereavement You may think that someone close to you has to die in order to experience real grief. But you can experience bereavement during any significant life change: divorce, relationship end, job loss, illness diagnosis, moving, retirement, or sending a child off to college. Here are the stages of grief: Denial: The first stage of grief includes feeling like your loss didn’t happen. You pretend that everything is okay and compartmentalize the loss as if someone is just on vacation or away on business. Anger: Sometimes, when you experience the anger stage of bereavement, you direct your big emotions toward something unrelated to the loss. This could be a neighbor who is blaring their music or a child who is acting up. Bargaining: You go through scenarios where if one thing went differently, you would still have your…

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Divorce Counseling: Why It’s a Good Idea

Starting the process of divorce can be a challenging step to take. Some families choose to put off filing for divorce until after the holidays or a celebratory life event to delay the misery. However, it is possible to navigate divorce in a minimally invasive way for the couple and the children. Divorce counseling is a great way to discuss divorce as a couple with a mental health expert to guide you. What Is Divorce Counseling? Divorce counseling can start pre-divorce when you meet with a trained divorced counselor to discuss their intentions. The counselor will guide you and your spouse through the divorce. They will provide tools along the way to help ease the burden on the children, in-laws, friends, and even pets. When the couple meets with a divorce counselor, they share a goal of navigating the divorce in a civilized matter. What Benefits Will Counseling Offer? You will find there are many benefits of divorce counseling. Communication is vital to the process, and meeting with a therapist creates a safe place for both sides of the couple. The counselor can guide you to: Decide if Divorce Is the Best Option: Part of the pre-divorce counseling includes the…

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Identifying Depression is the First Step toward Getting Help

It’s normal to feel down from time to time – the ups and downs of life affect every person on the planet. But when the emotions like despair or hopelessness set in, they could impact every aspect of your life. In this situation, you should be proactive about identifying depression to find the right strategies for your personal needs. Recognizing the warning signs of depression is not only vital for yourself, but you can also use this information to identify depression in loved ones. This article can help you with identifying depression. Then, it’s best to seek a professional diagnosis and treatment right away. The symptoms of depression fall into three categories: emotional, physical, and mental. Here are a few signs to watch for: Emotional Signs of Depression Depression has an undeniable impact on your emotions, then causes a domino effect on the mental and physical symptoms. Overwhelming and persistent feelings of sadness are the most widely known symptom of depression. It’s also common for people to experience anxiety as well. As the depressive thoughts start to spiral, you might feel a loss of hope. This experience can make people feel like there is no way out of the dark…

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How Can Counseling Help a Child with a Behavioral Condition?

When your child is acting out, it can be hard to know how to handle the situation. Sometimes, these behaviors become patterns that are difficult to change. So what should you do if your child is dealing with a behavioral condition that is affecting their interactions with family and friends? Investing in counseling support can be a great way to shift the behavior and help the child learn to manage their decisions more effectively. This professional support can be a turning point that has a life-long impact on the child. Behavioral therapies focus on the environmental factors that are contributing to the child’s reactions. Often, some unknowing reinforcements or rewards contribute to the frequency or intensity of the child’s behavior. The good news is that an experienced therapist can help with identifying the patterns. Then the parents can work with the child using behavioral therapy to change the environment, which affects the child’s behavior. Foundations of Behavioral Therapy The term “behavioral therapy” applies to a variety of treatments and strategies used by therapists. These therapies vary quite a bit from one practitioner to the next. But all of these therapies focus on incremental changes that help to shift a behavioral…

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How a Daily Morning Routine Can Help Anxiety

Anxiety can creep into your life from the moment you wake up until it’s time to go to bed at night. Even mild anxiety can disrupt your daily activities and make it hard to get through the day. If you want more control over ongoing anxiety, then implementing a daily morning routine is a great option to consider. Following a consistent morning routine sets a pattern for the day, creating a solid foundation that carries into the afternoon and evening. The goal is to develop a sense of confidence and peace in yourself, helping the rest of the day feel more manageable. Try implementing a morning routine to see how much your anxiety levels come down. Setting Yourself Up for Success with a Morning Routine As with any other new habit you want to form, it takes practice to dial in the right strategy for your new morning routine. Even with the best intentions, it’s hard to stay consistent if you don’t design the proper structure for your new habit. Consider these factors when you are starting your new morning practice: Choose the Right Amount of Time: If it isn’t realistic for you to set aside an hour in the…

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How Addiction Can Affect All Areas of Your Life

It’s challenging to face the reality that you or a loved one is dealing with the realities of addiction. Not only do these compulsive behaviors cause changes for the individual, but these issues cause cascading issues in every aspect of your life. Addictive behaviors change your brain and take a toll on other major organs in the body. As brain patterns and overall health are affected, addiction can cause various types of damage: mentally, physically, relationally, and professionally. As the addiction advances, you find it difficult to enjoy the things you previously loved. Eventually, these unhealthy patterns make it nearly impossible for a person to live a normal life. Either they are coping with strategies to hide their addiction, or the behaviors completely overtake the person’s ability to keep up with day-to-day responsibilities. Types of Addiction While many people think about just alcohol and drug addiction, addictive behaviors can span beyond these core issues. For example, in the mental health industry, addictions typically fall into these two categories: Chemical Addictions: The ongoing use of any substance that affects the chemical balances in the body. Common examples of chemical addictions include alcohol, prescription drugs, illegal drugs, marijuana, and tobacco. Behavioral Addictions:…

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11 Steps to Take for Anger Management

Are you someone who quickly flies off the handle when you are cut off in traffic or encounter a rude person at the grocery store? If you feel like your blood is starting to boil when your child is misbehaving, then it might be helpful to implement anger management strategies. It’s normal and healthy for everyone to experience anger. But when these emotions are difficult to control, they can affect your relationships and personal well-being. The good news is that you can learn to manage your anger more effectively. First, recognize the signs when something is triggering you. Then be proactive in your efforts and practice these anger management tips: Take a Breath Before Speaking When something makes you feel angry or frustrated, it’s common to respond swiftly and firmly. In the heat of the moment, you might say or do things that you will later regret. Instead of letting yourself speak freely, take a breath so you can collect your thoughts before speaking. Not only does this give you time to evaluate your response, but it also provides other people to do the same. Consider Your Tone of Voice While You’re Managing Your Anger Just because you are discussing…

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The Importance of Setting Boundaries in Work and Home Life

Healthy relationships start by setting boundaries in your relationships. Whether you are interacting with coworkers or communicating in a love relationship, you need to establish basic guidelines for yourself. Even if you aren’t consciously setting personal boundaries, you probably know how it feels when someone else crosses your boundary. For example, the time you stayed late at work because of pressure from your boss. Or when you missed a social event that you were planning to attend because a neighbor was asking for last-minute childcare. When other people cross your personal limits, it often results in feelings that you are let down, disappointed, or hurt. If you don’t understand how boundaries work, it can be hard to understand where these emotions originate. What are Boundaries? Boundaries are rules or limits that we create, showing other people how to behave toward us. These guidelines are often unspoken ways we interact with others based on a mix of opinions, attitudes, beliefs, and past experiences. On the other hand, we can proactively set healthy boundaries when someone surpasses appropriate behaviors. This process isn’t about controlling what other people are doing. Instead, boundaries manage how we respond when someone oversteps. Your response is the…

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