movie cinema at night 11 Jan 2019

BY: Angela Lake, MA, LPC, NCC | Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Specialist, Trauma, Parenting, & Relationship Expert

Michael French / Personal Development / philosophy / Uncategorized

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Let?s Go to the Movies!

A lot of articles on our website look at therapy and various topics, but for this one, we?re going to have a little fun.? I like movies that I can connect to as a man.? I have a unique insight into how your creative juices and inspiration–as a man–are created or driven by visual images.? Any guy willing to admit that the last few scenes in Toy Story 3 brought tears to your eyes?? Or the scene in Field of Dreams when Kevin Costner?s character Ray finally got to meet his (spoiler alert?) dad and ask his father, in his prime, to play catch.? That one gets me every time.

Can you think of movies that speak of a man?s transformation?? If you?re sitting in a counseling session, you?re there because either you or someone you know is longing for change and growth.? Today’s man is challenged by the ever changing definition of what a man should be.? My father’s generation might say that John Wayne was his ideal of a man.? In the 1970s, Bruce Jenner was my idea of what a man should be–and how that has turned out!? Today, we have views of manhood that are so different.? Men struggle to define what being a man is?

Al Bundy and Homer Simpson are not who I would consider Men of the Year candidates.??? But there are movies out there that break the modern dysfunctional stereotype of manhood.?? The movies I?m going to share are merely a subjective list.? These are films that moved and impacted me. Your list might be very different.? At the end of this article, please comment and I would love to see your own list of what movies have inspired you to a higher standard of manhood.? Read on and I hope you enjoy this edition of Mike?s take on film.

First, let?s take a look at the world of football in the cinema.

?Rudy???

scene from Rudy

I love football movies.? The first one I think I cried at was “Rudy” starring Sean Astin.? I didn’t discover this gem until well after it had come out on home video.? This is based on the true story of a boy becoming a man and never giving up on a dream despite so many obstacles thrown in his way.? I still get goosebumps when I watch the film, and I tear up when the crowd begins chanting, “Rudy, Rudy, Rudy” and he finally gets to go in at the end of the game fulfilling his dream.? Remember Jerry Goldsmiths rousing score and when his family sees the fulfillment of Rudy’s dreams as he takes the field?? This movie is simply wonderful and a great illustration of never giving up.

“Remember the Titans”?

denzel washington in remember the titans

The first football movie that was inspiring to me.? I loved the theme of racial reconciliation through adversity.? This is a journey I have been on for awhile now.? I related to Coach Bill Yoast (Will Patton) and his challenge to embrace change while being an example to his football players and more especially, his little girl.? Something about football movies means some great music and the theme of Remember the Titans is instantly recognizable to me.? The soundtrack of some classic songs added an element of nostalgia.

“Facing the Giants”?

Christian movies have struggled for years to compete with mainstream Hollywood.? These movies struggle because they don’t have star power, or a big budget.? People that aren’t religious or spiritual think the films are too preachy.? The qualities of these films have been mediocre at best.? That began to change with “Facing the Giants.”

Not only was it a great story about High School football but it was the first film that I recall that presented the Gospel and a strong life changing message within the context of the story.? You can feel the genuine love and encouragement the movie cultivates within you. You don’t often find this level of faith-driven emotions in film.

My favorite part was the Death Crawl, a grueling exercise in endurance.? I recently watched this movie for the first time in a couple of years and unexpectedly choked up during the scene.? The football player, Brock, doing the crawl represents us and the player on his back reminds of the heavy load that we often carry as men in life.? That “load” is probably different for everybody.? How many times have we given up or not given our very best because we’re tired or hurting?? Or we felt the load was too much to bear?

The other person in the scene with Brock is his Coach.? The Coach was next to him every step of the way.? The Coach is active and not just standing on the sidelines observing.? At one point, the player cries “It hurts!”? The coach says, “I know it hurts! Keep going!” The coach reminds him of his need to give it his very best.? Not when things are easy and going great but when it’s difficult and painful. If you’re a believer in Christ, our coach is God.? There are moments in our life where it would be easy to give up and throw in the towel.

God doesn’t give up and I believe He is in the trenches with us in tough circumstances. His encouragement cries, “I’m with you. Don’t quit, keep going!”? Because He knows how much better we are by not quitting.? Setting this example as men, fathers and husbands demonstrates that struggling and living a life of perseverance will not go unnoticed by the younger generation.?? The results of our struggle if we keep going will far exceed our hopes and expectations.? If you haven’t seen the film, watch it and see how the Death Crawl plays out.? The end result of what the young player went through even surprised him.

A Man’s Man of a movie.

Finally, a look at what I think epitomizes the best qualities of being a man in the movies.?? These films have made me laugh and cry.?? My top three:

Gladiator:

Russel Crowe in Gladiator

Russel Crow starred as Maximus Decimus Meridius.?? He was Rome’s version of Chuck Norris.? You don’t mess with Maximus.? He showed extreme courage in the face of losing his family and defying an Emperor.?? Some movies have quotes that people remember and this film is full of them.

Favorite quotes:? “On my command, unleash Hell.” and? when Maximus was confronted by the Emperor, he chillingly replied, “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the TRUE emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.” Movie lines don’t get much better that that!

To Kill A Mockingbird

caucasian man next to an african american man in to kill a mockingbird

This bestselling novel by Harper Lee was published in 1960.? In the movie version, Gregory Peck played Atticus Finch, a lawyer, and widowed single dad.? From the website www.artofmanliness.com, this description of a man who lived with integrity every day:

“In Maycomb County, Atticus was known as a man who was ?the same in his house as he is on the public streets.? That was the standard he lived by. He did not have one set of morals for business and one for family, one for weekdays and one for weekends. He was incapable of doing anything that would broach the inviolable sanctity of his conscience. He made the honorable decision, even when that decision was unpopular.”? He chose to defend a black man and many people felt that was the wrong choice.? In Atticus’s mind, as long as he knew he should help someone, popular opinion didn’t matter.? He responded back to his detractors,

?They?re certainly entitled to think that, and they?re entitled to full respect for their opinions, but before I can live with other folks I?ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn?t abide by majority rule is a person?s conscience.??

?Dances With Wolves?

kevin costner with a wolf fom dances with wolves

This Oscar winning film was an illustration of a man being transformed.? Starting off at point A and by the time the movie ended, he was at point B and a very different man.? The journey that he experienced where he believed Native Americans were savages, and even had wanted to sacrifice himself as a hero to embracing and accepting a new people as equals.? That’s the power of man being willing to look at life through a different lens.

Lieutenant John Dunbar played by Kevin Costner at the height of his acting career grew leaps and bounds by the rugged serenity of his new surroundings. Not to mention a really cool pet wolf and faithful sidekick, his hoarse.? Likewise, echoes of his transformation were mirrored by Rodney A. Grant’s character Wind in His Hair.? He disliked Dunbar but over time slowly accepted him and at the end proclaimed him his friend.? I cry every time I see the scene as Dunbar and his wife “Stands with a Fist” leave the camp and Wind in His Hair sits on a horse high on a rocky ledge crying,

“Dances with Wolves. I am Wind In His Hair. Do you see that I am your friend? Can you see that you will always be my friend?”

Who grew the most, the soldier or the Native American?? Perhaps they were both transformed. ??Have movies encouraged or motivated you to be open to growth? Are they simple forms of escapism or do they challenge us to look deep within ourselves and strive to be living our very best? Movies have been a great form of self care for me. I enjoy escaping for a few hours.? But as the credits role, I have to return to real life.? These men are both real and fictional. They share a common value such as courage to do what’s right. They may stir motivation within us to embrace change and to live life differently within ourselves.? Films with a message call us to life of intentional integrity.?? It’s integrity of how I strive to live my life when I have my final curtain call that will determine how I’ll be remembered.? Not what movies I like.

If you are looking to elevate your game, find hope and meaning for transformation in any area of your life, I can help facilitate that journey of becoming intentional in manhood.? Contact me at Armstrong Family Counseling today.

lonely girl 03 Dec 2018

BY: Angela Lake, MA, LPC, NCC | Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Specialist, Trauma, Parenting, & Relationship Expert

Christian / Loneliness / Relationship

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Loneliness

I’ve had the privilege of working with many different types of people-addicts, veterans, couples, singles and even a few kids. Although they each had individual issues, they each grappled, in some way, with loneliness.

At it’s core, loneliness is about a lack of connection.? That connection could have been broken by the death of a loved one or the end of a relationship.?? Another type of loneliness can occur when a person makes a whole change of environment. ?Perhaps you moved to a new state for a job or fresh start. ?Making new friends can take time and that might lead to some lonely days. Loneliness can be weakened or strengthened depending on one’s perspective.?Let’s focus on three types of loneliness and take a look at strategies to overcome these types of loneliness.

Loneliness in relationships:

Most of my work is with couples.? Couples can lead a lonely existence in a relationship when they don?t feel listened to.? Being lonely in a relationship seems odd because we?re with somebody.? We share space with that person.? But if key ingredients are missing then the feelings of loneliness can and most likely will occur.?? Communication is a main “relationship” ingredient and if BOTH sides of the couple aren?t willing to work on this skills, that loneliness of not being heard and listened to can lead a spouse or significant other to another person or the end of the relationship.Couples can lead a lonely existence in a relationship when they don?t feel listened to.

Typically after an initial session, I email all my couples worksheets on reflective listening skills and creating fair fighting rules in handling disagreements.? Bad listening is a learned behavior that perhaps we learned from our parents.? We can learn new behaviors to improve our listening abilities.? Having fair fighting rules, if you use them, can move a couple from an adversarial relationship (Me, you, win, lose) to learning to fight the problem together and not against each other.? These are building blocks in becoming less lonely in a relationship and more connected.

Loneliness in singleness:

Are you single?? Do you struggle with loneliness?? Maybe not every day, but sometimes?? I can relate.? I didn?t get married until I was 41 years old.? I spent most of my young adult life in single groups and dating sites on the internet hoping to find that one connection that would cure my feeling lonely.? When I was 30, I watched a lot of friends get married.? ?I kept asking God when was it going to be my turn to start a family.? I wasn?t a hunk, but I’ve always been a nice guy.? Nice guys finish last.? I felt like that and my loneliness led me to have some incredible pity parties. ?Me, myself and I showed up and all three of us never made the party better.? It wasn?t until I started working on myself and focusing on personal growth areas that I began to change and that brought about a different perspective shift.

My focus took a change to where it wasn?t all about me.? My identity wasn?t rooted in desperation to be with someone any more.? I found my security as a single person was rooted in my faith and having healthy friendships.? I could be independent and happy and still be single.? One day I was listening to a guest speaker at my church and he had experienced incredible loss in his life.? He had lost his whole family in a massive flash flooding accident.? He was the only one that survived.? Google: Robert Rogers family and learned how he coped.? He had appeared on many of the morning talk shows and people asked him how he could go on and survive such a tragic event.?? He said it was the peace of God that was getting him through it and quoted this verse that changed my life:

Philippians 4:6-7: ?Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.? And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Right then the light bulb turned on in my brain.? I wanted that peace in my love life.? So, at 38 years old, this scripture set me on a new path. ??I trusted all of my hopes, my dreams and my expectations of being with someone over to God’s care.? I had to be at peace whether I married someday or never dated again.? What about you?? If you?re single, how have you coped with feeling lonely in your singleness?? Moping about it and having endless pity parties won?t help.? Remember, if you do nothing, nothing changes.? Focus on others.? Volunteer at your church or a community group.? Find social groups that align to your interests and hobbies so you can meet other people.?? If you need more ideas, reach out to me.? I can help because I?ve been there. ?I would love to help you take the first few steps of finding happiness in being single.

Loneliness in children:

One little documentary was released this summer that captivated the nation if not the world.? ?Won?t You Be My Neighbor? is about Fred Rogers and his passion for making connections.? He connected with kids like almost nobody else.? He showed them that no matter who they were, they had value.? They mattered, and they are loved.?? He also listened to the children he interacted with. ?He was genuinely interested in what they had to say.? That told them that they had a voice.?? Most of us have seen Mr. Rogers Neighborhood on PBS when we were younger.? The message of Mr. Rogers needs to be repeated over and over.? Because many of today?s kids feel like they don?t have a voice?except on social media and sometimes that?s a scary place to be.? Research continues to show that kids and teens that are constantly on social media and not interacting in person are more prone to loneliness and self esteem issues.

The ills of society have left our kids feeling lonely.? Divorce has caused kids pain and hurt and even damaged their thoughts. Often, their hopes are drowned out by the roar of their parent?s anger. Some children become pawns in a game of power play that parents create to get their kids to side with them.

What can we do about this growing epidemic?? Here are a couple of suggestions.

  1. Interact with your children. Make time to take them on parent-child dates.? Trips in the car are valuable for conversation. ?Listen to them. ?Get to know you kids interests, hopes and fears.? Find out who their friends are and get to know their parents.? Have fun with your kids and let them know it?s ok to have feelings, good and bad.
  2. Be consistent in your own behavior.??Follow through with what you say you will do.? Model appropriate behavior around your children.? Your kids are watching you and they look to you for moral, emotional, structure, and spiritual guidance.? If you?re not providing these, the child that gets older can become more susceptible to listening to those voices and examples that do not have their best interests in mind.

Lastly if a child is lonely, we have an incredible opportunity to help them form healthy connections? Do they have someone they can talk to and spend time with like a teacher, friend, relative, mentor or parent? ?We all need healthy connections and children are not different.?? This article has just scratched the surface to what some face.? Counselors at Armstrong Family Counseling have a wealth of experience to help adults and children cope with loneliness.

Connecting with others is a big way to overcome the stigma of loneliness. If you are lonely and need to talk, contact us today.?

24 Jun 2018

BY: Angela Lake, MA, LPC, NCC | Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Specialist, Trauma, Parenting, & Relationship Expert

Life Coaching / Personal Development / philosophy / Therapy

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Q&A With Lauren Dees | LSCSW | Grief & Trauma Expert, & Group Counselor

Why do you do what you do?

My main goal is to connect with people, build real authentic relationships & participate in a journey of change together! I encourage my clients to be authentic, transparent and assertive in getting their needs met. I feel genuine satisfaction and gain energy after every session. This is honestly my dream job.

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What makes therapy with you unique?

I use humor and laughter to break barriers with clients. I am easy going and I understand that life happens. My goal is for therapy to be enjoyable and something people can look forward to instead of dread! I use unique ways to connect with clients-art, music, games, role play?whatever is needed to keep it fresh and engaging.

What is a therapy session with Lauren like?

Lauren Dees | LSCSW | Armstrong Family Counseling | LGBTQ Therapist | Grief And Trauma Expert

I use mindfulness meditation strategies at the beginning of every session to help patients relax and be in the moment. I love many different modalities, specifically I use DBT tools, CBT, SFBT, ACT, EFT and EMDR to assist my clients with problem solving, process trauma, reduce misery and improve their quality of life.

I love to play games, do collages, make playlists and other strategies to keep therapy fun and interesting. I enjoy connecting with clients in the group setting as well, engaging with each individual, as well as helping the group become cohesive and work towards similar goals.

What makes you, you?

I am a musician and often incorporate the feelings that are created by music into therapy. I enjoy utilizing music as expression. I also am a photographer and enjoy making clients laugh and smile throughout their wedding/engagement sessions because capturing joy is a passion of mine. I play volleyball weekly, sing karaoke, travel whenever I can and use those hobbies and experiences to help my clients understand different avenues where they can express themselves or build mastery. I have lost a parent and have experienced grief/loss first hand, so I use that knowledge to truly connect with those who are suffering from loss.

How does your specific skill set benefit your clients?

After working with me (or during) I help my clients feel and more importantly, assist them with accepting things they can?t change, feel in touch and in control of their emotions, develop healthy and happy relationships and feel a sense of fulfillment & mastery.

Contact Lauren today and start the journey towards healing and discovery.

Butterfly | Angela Lake | Armstrong Family Counseling 24 Jun 2018

BY: Angela Lake, MA, LPC, NCC | Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Specialist, Trauma, Parenting, & Relationship Expert

Therapy / Trauma / Uncategorized

Comments: 2 Comments

Angela Lake’s Philosophy

A personal philosophy I have is the butterfly in the cocoon. The caterpillar typically has spun a cocoon around themselves, and are struggling and fighting to change (fighting their existence of being a caterpillar, fighting the environment, fighting the metamorphosis itself). If someone tears open the cocoon the butterfly will die. The caterpillar must do the work to change and become the beauty the lies within. They may not understand who they are as a caterpillar, they may not know how to change, they may not have an environment that is safe for them to change, they may fear or not believe they can become a butterfly.

As a therapist I want to assist in understanding of self, to define desires or goals, to encourage and support change and work toward goals, to give tools and interventions, to provide information and education, and to celebrate the butterfly.

Contact me today to start your journey towards, healing, hope, and joy!

14 Jun 2018

BY: Gabe Fry | LPC | Relationship, Depression, & Anxiety Expert

Anxiety / Life Coaching / Personal Development / Therapy / Uncategorized

Comments: 1 Comment

Can Talking To Someone Help My Anxiety?

There is an old proverb, ?Confession is good for the soul?. ?But is it really?

It sounds odd but can talking with somebody make you feel better? ?It can and it does. But why does it work? Why can just something as simple as talking about something that you are worried about, or feel guilty about make you feel better and less stressed?

To understand that question you have to understand how memory storage in our brains work. ?Doctors as far back as the 1890?s have recognized some memories fade into nothing and some memories resist that fading away. ?Mostly the memories that won?t fade are ones that are charged with emotions.

Simply, there is a part of us that feels and there is a part of us that thinks. ?Generally, we want to keep these things in balance. However, in life when we are scared, worried, guilty or sad we feel those emotions strongly. ?When your feelings are strong it diminishes your capacity to think; especially, your ability to say what you are feeling.

Have you ever seen a parent tell their screaming child to ?use your words?? ?The parent instinctively recognizes that a child has to calm down and talk before they can stop being hysterical. That is because when the part of your brain that feels gets overwhelmed your body will actually shut down parts of itself in order to conserve fuel. ?When the ?fight or flight? part of your mind is triggered, energy is diverted from other parts of your brain?systems in order to give you energy to fight of run. One area that is impacted?is your ability to think rationally. ?

So, let?s say you got in an argument that escalated. Or that you made a mistake at work and are scared you will be fired for it. ?So, in that moment you are feeling strong emotions instead of thinking.? If you do not communicate with anyone about it, after your emotions have calmed down, you will be putting that memory into the bookshelf of your mind with an emotional charge.

So what does an emotionally charged memory do? ?An emotionally charged memory is one that when you think about that memory you feel that emotion all over again. So you could be lying in your bed after having had a great day but start thinking about something from your past and BAM! Right there in your bed you feel what you felt then. ?Despite the fact that you just a moment ago felt at peace with the world. That is an emotionally charged memory.

Going back to the initial question, why does talking help you feel better?? Because in order to take the charge out of a memory you have add thought to that memory.? ?Remember that you both think and feel.? A memory that is all feeling and no thinking will remain a charged memory.? But when you talk about the past, especially when you think about what you were feeling and why, it helps add thought to that memory . ?A memory that has thought and feeling in it a memory that can be put on the bookshelf of your mind and just fade into the thousands of other memories there.

When you talk to someone who influences you to think about why you felt what you felt it can make that emotional charge go away which feels wonderful. ?This is why the whole practice of counseling even exists. To help people remember their past without feeling what they felt in the past.

Do you feel that you are haunted by your past? ?Do you feel that there are things in your past that you will never get over?? Let’s get together. I can help you move forward. Contact me today!

Girl at peace around flowers 21 Apr 2018

BY: Angela Lake, MA, LPC, NCC | Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Specialist, Trauma, Parenting, & Relationship Expert

Depression / Emotional Intelligence / Life Coaching / Personal Development / Uncategorized

Comments: 2 Comments

The Mental Health Benefits of Physical Self-Care

Saying the mind and body are connected is nothing new. The Ancient Greeks attempted to understand the mental phenomena of emotions and their complex connections to physiological order. That fascination continued through the Roman era, the Renaissance, and on throughout history — and that?s just Western European culture. Physicians and philosophers all over the globe have explored the mind and body connection since the beginning of time and even recent science backs up the claim that they are intrinsically connected.

If you are not taking care of your physical self, your mental health is likely not where you want it to be. For instance, one of the main symptoms of depression is poor personal hygiene. Addicts are another good illustration of this problem. Addicts turn to self-harm in the form of drug or alcohol abuse as a way to cope with their own mental health issues. While environmental and genetic components also contribute to the disease, the mind/body link plays its part.

Taking the time to take care of the physical self can have a helpful impact on your mental health and addiction recovery. In addition to seeking help and supervision through a physician, try incorporating the following self-care rituals into your routine.

Establish a Solid Sleep Routine

Sleep is awesome, so why do so many of us get so little of it? According to the American Sleep Association, 50 to 70 million American adults have some sort of sleep disorder, insomnia being the most common one. Sleep problems are common in addicts, as well. Drug and alcohol abuse disrupt the body?s natural rhythm along with the neurochemicals and hormones that help control rest. After a while, the body forgets how to rest properly.

Thankfully, you can retrain your body by establishing a sleep routine and following it religiously. It?s not just about going to sleep and waking up at the same times every day — although those two things are key. Practicing good sleep hygiene has a lot to do with how you spend the hours before bedtime.

  • Limit stimulants including nicotine and caffeine.
  • Invest in some soothing herbal teas you can drink leading up to bedtime to help brain and body relax.
  • The glow of your television, computer and smartphone screens keep the brain alert. Turn them off and put them away an hour before bed.
  • Turn your bedroom into a sanctum of rest. Buy yourself nice linens, keep the room temperature cool, and use a white noise machine or essential oils to create ambience.
  • Read a chapter of a book before you fall asleep to help your mind wind down. If you are still not sleepy, read another chapter until you are.

Exercise Regularly

You may think exercise is just something you have to do if you want to lose weight, but it?s essential to the addiction recovery process. Drugs and alcohol trick your body to think it needs them by triggering the brain?s reward system. When you give up those substances, you can help beat cravings with exercise. Physical activity also stimulates that part of the brain while also releasing neurochemicals like dopamine and endorphins, which relieve pain and promote a positive mindset. You don?t have to train for a marathon to get these benefits, either. Just walking an extra half hour a day provides significant benefits.

Explore Healthy Stress Release

Finding some way to release stress and anxiety in a healthy manner is essential for addiction recovery. Meditation, yoga and hobbies like knitting help people tune out those thoughts and criticisms without having to use drugs or alcohol. Think of them like exercise for your brain. During these mindful exercises, you will experience negative thoughts. However, by recognizing those thoughts, dismissing them and returning your attention to your activity, you are training your brain to dismiss them on its own. The more you practice, the easier it becomes and your brain learns to automatically pass over self-criticisms in your day-to-day life so you can stay focused.

***

Since the mind and body are connected, your physical health has a significant impact on your mental health and vice-versa. When you struggle with a mental health issue like addiction, incorporating a solid sleep routine, exercise, and healthy coping mechanisms for stress all contribute to recovery. Incorporate daily physical self-care routines in your efforts to heal yourself holistically.

**Visit Brad’s website and learn more about becoming the best you here

Content Woman Holding Light 22 Feb 2018

BY: Angela Lake, MA, LPC, NCC | Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Specialist, Trauma, Parenting, & Relationship Expert

Depression

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A little boy choosing between a cupcake and apple. 09 Feb 2018

BY: Angela Lake, MA, LPC, NCC | Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Specialist, Trauma, Parenting, & Relationship Expert

Emotional Intelligence / Habits / Life Coaching / Personal Development

Comments: No Comments

Choices = Energy

We all have bad days. It’s okay. But, it is essential to keep in mind that we all choose how much we allow our circumstances, at any given time, to influence our energy?positive or negative.

It?s okay to be human. We all make mistakes We all repeat the same slip-ups until we decide to choose another option?which often requires a paradigm shift. Changing one?s frame of mind is never easy. Change is hard!

Know what else is tough? Learning to walk and talk, but we did it?because we kept trying to learn. We were intentional about acquiring that skill because at that time, it was important to us.

Cartoon baby learning to walk

At some point in adulthood, people get stuck in a cloud of shifting priorities. Work. School. Family. Church. Social engagements. We all?at one time or another?feel drained! The question is, what are we going to do about it?

For a change to happen, one must intentionally create new habits. These behaviors are meant to replace the old ways that were not contributing to our success. These new habits should be designed to impact areas in our lives that we need strengthened. Nothing changes, when nothing changes.

Meet Marty

burnt out female nurse

Marty was just like you?busy, overworked, stressed. She?s a single-parent who works very hard to provide for her two boys.

One day, Marty decided that she was going to do something about her energy. She had been reading a book by Brendon Burchard, High Performing Habits, that inspired her to generate more positive energy by intentionally adopting simple habits that would allow her to do so.

On a Tuesday morning, Marty set 2 random alarms?one at 10:17 am , another at 2:29 pm?that prompted her to stop what she was doing and take 10 deep breaths. She was intrigued by how effortless and odd, yet apparently obvious this exercise seemed, because Marty had known for quite some time that she wasn?t taking breaks throughout her day to just breathe?and as a nurse she knew how vital breathing is to one?s well-being.

settingn an alarm on a cell phone

Her first alarm goes off. She gets up from the nurse?s station, walks outside, and starts to count 10 deep breaths. Once she has started breathing she is supposed to ask herself, ?what kind of energy do I want and need right now?? She thinks about her to-do list, the patients she is caring for, and then she feels gratitude.

?I am grateful that I have all of these things to do and that I am entrusted with these people to care for. I choose to BRING THE JOY!?

This heartwarming moment was a gamechanger for Marty. A few hours later, when her next alarm went off, she once again walked outside to get a breath of fresh air. She started to breathe and as she did she felt the tension release from off of her shoulders. She was in the moment. She had already ?brought the joy once.? She thought about what kind of energy she needed at that moment, then, like magic, she had laser-like focus as she intentionally dialed into her mind to generate the energy she wanted. She caught up her charting and made her rounds again?with the intention of bringing more joy!

Brendon Burchard smiling | bring the joy

Six months later, Marty still has her 2 alarms that go off, and she has found that she takes more time to be present, in the present. She is able to stay focused at work. She?s incorporated a 3rd alarm. This one goes off on her drive home. She breathes, releases the tension, and asks herself what kind of energy her family needs. These triggers, changed her behavior in a way that impacted her state of mind, her work, & family relationships. Marty took control of her energy production.

 

Another key aspect of generating energy is taking control of our health?optimize it. If it has been over a year since the last physical exam, ?we really should get one soon. We all have to start somewhere, and this is a good place. Finding out where to improve our health and our body, and then intentionally improving those areas will bless us with health, strength, and vitality.

Exercise plays a HUGE role in one?s ability to generate energy. A good place to start is in the morning. Wake up 10-15 minutes earlier, stretch, and do 5 push-ups. Do this Monday through Friday for a month. Get excited about waking up earlier to do this?after all, by doing this, you are changing the world (your world). Increase your exercise to, eventually, consistently exercising for at least 30 minutes a morning, 4-5x a week.

Robin Sharma said, ?Good health is a crown on the head of a well person that only a sick person can see.?

Robin Sharma Quote

As we choose to do simple, different things like setting random alarms to breathe, breathing to intentionally set the tone, and optimizing our health, our bodies will reap from the choices we have sown. We will grow in health, mental clarity, and our ability to generate energy will have increased by leaps and bounds.

There are no shortcuts. Choices can and should be tough. Growth is never easy. Change is always possible. Change comes when we choose between comfort and wisdom?and choose to grow. It comes when we ask ourselves, ?What is TRULY best for me right now?? Then acting upon that answer.

Do you want the secret to life? Act. Do. Become.

Act on your choices, choose your reactions, and intentionally generate the energy and the feelings that are most important to you and will help you become the best version of yourself.

If you struggle with learning new habits, if you need help from a mentor to coach you as you strive to become all that you have the potential to become, or if you are ready to take it to the next level?career, relationship, personal life?then I can help you.

Click here to contact me to day for a free 30 minute consultation.

Get your copy of Brendon Burchard’s, High Performance Habits.

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