Silver Spring Therapy

Is Technology Holding You Back from Enjoying Life?

Do you find yourself always reaching for that phone, tablet, computer? Constantly checking what others are doing on Facebook, maybe even feelings of envy arise, as you scroll through someone’s photos showing them to be gloriously happy and you sit and think to yourself, how have you got this lonely and removed from life?

For a start, please don’t think or believe that peoples portrayal of their lives is accurate. We see the happy and highlighted moments of people’s lives – not the realities of the mundaneness of the day or the arguments we get into. 

It’s an illusion. People can create a false picture of themselves to be happy all the time, because, who wants to air their dirty laundry via the internet. What’s important to remember is, happiness is always going to be a temporary state. If we were happy all the time, we wouldn’t be able to learn gratitude. Life is peaks and flows and sometimes we are angry and disappointed and low and depressed, and that’s okay. All feelings are valid and it’s what we ALL go through on a daily basis, whether people choose to admit it or not.

Modern society seems to crave closeness and connection, but also wants the protective barrier of the   computer screen. We are a nation that seems closer than ever, but also worlds apart. I can have some deep and interesting conversations via Facebook and that leaves me temporarily satisfied, but then I sit down in front of the TV alone. We have lost the art of real conversation. Connectedness.

We tend to neglect meeting each other face to face these days. Most of our communication is actually subtle body language, so no wonder we feel separated and alone, because we are. If you think about it, in text, we can edit ourselves. In reality we have to show ourself in all its raw messiness and that creates anxiety for some. It’s created a nation of people far too aware of ‘image’ and less aware of real experiences and real connection.

Are you the one always making plans but people either cancel or you do. And you still spend all night on Facebook chatting to each other? We have become self conscious and worried. Someone has to break the cycle. We are losing ourselves and each other. It’s like we crave authentic exchanges, but don’t know how to have authentic exchanges any more.

Put that phone down, go and sit in a cafe and have a latte. Take a book if you feel anxious. You might be surprised that others may want to interact. Find local groups to join, exercise classes etc. It may feel strange at first, but you will find others are also there alone and chat will naturally come. Don’t edit yourself. Don’t plan what you should say. Just be in the moment and you will find being entirely present in that moment will make you feel more alive than any Facebook chat could.

Dan Millman – Way of the Peaceful Warrior

Where are you? Here
What time is it? Now
What are you? This momen

Is it 'Anxiety' that's Bothering You?

Most people can relate to the feeling we call anxiety: your heart races, your palms feel sweaty, your thoughts may be frantic or repetitive. As a response to stress, these feelings are normal and not necessarily harmful. In fact, anxiety is a useful reaction to danger, triggering our internal “alarm system” and preparing us to either confront or escape a threat.  

Anxiety may also come in the form of worries. We all worry. Worries are thoughts about what may happen in the future. Worries are the warnings our mind sends us that something bad might happen, so we’d better prepare.

Anxious feelings and worries can serve a useful purpose. Anxiety can motivate us to prepare for dangers or challenges. Worries help us to identify potential problems and proactively seek solutions. But for some people, these feelings of worry and anxiety are overwhelming or do not subside once the problem is resolved. When anxiety prevents you from living life the way you want, or when worries become obsessive intrusions, it is time to seek help.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in our country. It is estimated that 40 million adult Americans, or 18% of the population, suffer from anxiety disorders[1]. The term “anxiety disorder” encompasses several types of conditions, including panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and phobias. Closely related disorders and ones that often occur alongside anxiety include obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and depression. 

The good news is that anxiety disorders are highly treatable. Getting help for anxiety that is out of control or impacting your life is a sign of strength, not weakness. A good counselor, like those at Sun Point Wellness Center, can help evaluate the causes and impact of your anxiety and will help you to develop strategies for coping and regaining control.

 It is normal to be nervous about starting therapy. Particularly for people who struggle with anxiety, talking about your most private feelings with a stranger may seem overwhelming and frightening. Your therapist understands this, and will work together with you to make the experience as comfortable and stress free as possible. Making the decision to see a therapist is an empowering first step to changing your life, and you should feel proud of yourself for making this commitment.

Signs that it is time to seek help:

     You are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep

     You’ve become unable to concentrate, have a short temper, or are irritable

     Your anxiety is interfering with your work or relationships

     You feel anxious or worried most of the time for no obvious reason, or even after the stressful event has passed

     You have physical symptoms, such as headaches, tension, diarrhea, nausea, fatigue or chest pain, that are not explained by another medical condition

     You are using alcohol or drugs to cope or mask your symptoms

     You find yourself worrying obsessively and feeling constant impending dread

     You have withdrawn from social relationships and/or activities you once enjoyed

     You feel like you’ve tried everything, but you just can’t climb out of this hole

If you or a loved one needs help with anxiety, contact us at Sun Point Wellness Center, or find a therapist near you.

[1] https://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics

How to Get the Most Out of Your Therapy Session

We all have limited time and money that we can spend in therapy - so how can we maximize the time in sessions that we have?  Therapy can be an effective and reliable tool to cultivate a state of mental and emotional well-being. Having someone objectively listen to your problems on an occasional basis can make you feel understood and help you to cultivate more self-awareness. However, in order to truly benefit from the experience of therapy one has to play an active role in order to make the best of each session.   Here are some tips to help you achieve just that:

  • Journaling: Keep a journal where you write down anything that feels significant to you such as any breakthroughs or milestones you’ve experienced during the week. Communicating this information to your therapist will make him/her more efficient at helping you to achieve your  goals.

  • Set Goals: Think about what you’d like to achieve at the end of each session. Take the initiative to reflect on issues that you’d like to discuss during the session and express your desired outcomes to your therapist beforehand.  

  • Try Not to Over Think: Try not to overanalyze your thoughts and emotions prior to the session. Instead of mulling over negative emotions rather to use the tools given to you in therapy to objectively  reflect on situations rather than allowing them to overwhelm you. This’ll help you to enter the session feeling at ease with yourself.

  • Stay Positive: Cultivate good habits to keep you in a positive state of mind. For example take a walk or go for a jog outside at least once a day. Connecting with nature or being in a calm environment can make you feel more centered and prepared for the issues to be discussed. Being calm can also help you to feel more open and vulnerable enough to make progressive breakthroughs in therapy.

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  • Be punctual and arrive on time.  This will allow you to the most out of every minute of your therapy session. 

  • Be Open: Be vulnerable and honest with your therapist during the session.  Candor can go a long way towards reaching significant breakthroughs and transformations.

Lastly, remember that you don’t need to know everything prior to the session so don’t put too much pressure on yourself or place  unnecessary expectations on the outcome. Flow with the process of the session and use these tools to keep yourself on track when you’re in the outside world. If you have activities/goals between sessions, try using these recommended techniques used in therapy to help you experience ongoing progress.

Feel like you're not getting enough out of therapy?  Tell you're therapist - explore what might be going on - and which sessions have been the most productive and why others have not been as 'breakthrough' as others.