Is Social Media Bad for Your Mental Health?

March 23, 2020

Social media use can increase depression and loneliness, according to a recent study. So, if you have been feeling a bit low lately, but you can’t quite put your finger on why, it may have something to do with your social media habits. It’s hard not to feel inadequate or jealous when looking at photos of people […]

Is Social Media Bad for Your Mental Health?

March 23, 2020

Social media use can increase depression and loneliness, according to a recent study. So, if you have been feeling a bit low lately, but you can’t quite put your finger on why, it may have something to do with your social media habits.

It’s hard not to feel inadequate or jealous when looking at photos of people whose lives seem “picture-perfect” all of the time. Also, social media can make you feel like you’ve been with friends, but you really haven’t connected to anyone. The “alone in a crowd” type feeling can make you feel more lonely than just hanging out by yourself. Research is showing a definitive link between spending time on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and a sense of loneliness and isolation.

Take a Social Media Detox

I encourage my clients to take a social media break every now and then, when they start feeling anxious or depressed in reaction to checking social media. It helps to gain a more positive sense of reality. They often report back to me that the detox offered some amazing and unexpected benefits such as:

Improved Self-Esteem

When you take a break from comparing yourself to other people, you can start to look at how great you and your own life really are. You can focus on what you have, not what you don’t.

New Interests and Hobbies

When you spend less time trying to get that social approval from of ‘likes’, ‘retweets’, and ‘upvotes’, you suddenly find you have a lot of time on your hands for other things. Most people realize that feedback from things in the real world is much more satisfying than “perceived popularity” in cyberspace.

Improves Your Mood

More time really visiting one-to-one or in small groups helps us feel more grounded and connected to people. This can drastically improve our mood and sense of well-being. Reach out to a friend and schedule a call or get together to help boost your mood!

Better Sleep

Many people are on their mobile phone in bed, checking their social media accounts. The blue light from these devices disrupts our sleep patterns and our emotional reactions can also get us riled up. Try giving yourself an hour or two before bed to wind down with no devices. Try reading a book or watching a show on a TV across the room to avoid the blue light interference.

Able to Enjoy the Moment More

Try using those extra few minutes to try daily mindfulness. By being present in our lives, we feel an increased sense of peace and joy. That’s priceless.

So, how do you perform a social media detox?

Follow these 4 steps:

  1. Temporarily deactivate your accounts. Don’t worry, you can reactivate them again in the future should you choose.
  2. Remove all Social Media Apps and notification pathways from your devices.
  3. Use a web filtering tool to block social media sites. (Why tempt yourself?)
  4. Be prepared for some withdrawal symptoms and have other activities ready to replace the void.

If you are having difficulty letting go or notice that your anxiety and depression are worse than you realized, therapy can help. Call me today to schedule a free consultation.

10 Signs You’re Addicted to Working

January 13, 2020

We live in a society that worships achievement and success, so being a workaholic may seem like a win. However, is denying yourself pleasure until the work gets done honorable or stealing your quality of life? While having a good work ethic is definitely a key to living your best life, you don’t want to […]

10 Signs You’re Addicted to Working

January 13, 2020

We live in a society that worships achievement and success, so being a workaholic may seem like a win. However, is denying yourself pleasure until the work gets done honorable or stealing your quality of life? While having a good work ethic is definitely a key to living your best life, you don’t want to take “work before play” too far or you may burn out.

The Dangers of Being Addicted to Work

You may think that a workaholic would be every boss and manager’s dream employee. After all, if you’re someone who’s addicted to work, you’re generally the first one to arrive, last to leave, refuse to take vacations and take on mountains of work.

However, workaholics are often not seen as team players, don’t delegate, and can’t handle their workload efficiently. Also, since these individuals refuse to take time off of work, they can become sick. Workaholics experience far more work-related stress, anger, anxiety and depression, which can result in physical symptoms like headaches, migraines, GI upset and insomnia.

Are You a Workaholic?

Wondering whether you are a workaholic? Here are 10 signs you may be addicted to working:

  1. You work over 50 hours each week.
  2. You feel the need to be constantly busy.
  3. You have trouble relaxing and/or having fun when not working.
  4. You are a perfectionist.
  5. Writing to-do lists is fun for you.
  6. Your loved ones complain about how much you work.
  7. You’re often caught not listening or paying attention to conversations because you’re focused on work.
  8. You’ve often been called a “control freak.”
  9. You are neglecting other aspects of your life, like attending your child’s play or music recital.
  10. You become highly stressed when you are forced to turn off your cellphone and other digital devices.

Workaholism is a Real Disease

Workaholism is an actual disease like alcoholism that tends to be passed down from parent to child. Work addicts use work as a means to cope with emotional discomfort and feelings of inadequacy.  Due to this real, intense need for work as a distraction, other areas of their life tend to suffer and the cycle goes on and on.

Workaholics can benefit greatly from cognitive behavioral therapy where they can learn coping strategies that allow them to feel better and work less.

If you or someone you know is addicted to work and would like to explore treatment options, please contact me to schedule a consultation. It’s time to build some balance in your life.

How to Talk to an Angry Teenager

August 19, 2019

It’s well known that the teen years can be a trying time for parenting. It may feel like their rebellion is a personal attack and that they are determined to make your home life miserable, but in reality, this is a natural process. Your teenager is maturing both physically and emotionally, and while they may […]

How to Talk to an Angry Teenager

August 19, 2019

It’s well known that the teen years can be a trying time for parenting. It may feel like their rebellion is a personal attack and that they are determined to make your home life miserable, but in reality, this is a natural process. Your teenager is maturing both physically and emotionally, and while they may look like an adult by this stage, their brain is still developing. When their frontal cortex develops in a few years, their brain development will finally match their bodies and you may feel like you are dealing with a different person. Until that time, here are some tips for talking to your angry teen.

Change Your Parenting Style

If you have an authoritarian parenting style, “My way or the highway,” you’ll benefit from switching styles. An authoritarian method of parenting will cause you to butt heads with your teen, resulting in increased anger and chronic fighting. If you can switch your style to an authoritative style, you will get better reactions. An authoritative parent deals with their child in a manner that takes in to account their development stage and circumstances. That means explaining your reasoning, giving consequences that take your child’s feelings and circumstances into consideration, and overall putting the relationship with your child first. Not that your responses will make them happy all of the time, but they should know that you are acting with love and to teach them something important.

Frame the Conversation

When it’s time to have a conversation with your teen, first frame the conversation so they know that while you might be displeased with their choices, you are not rejecting or hating them as a person. If you come at your teen with anger, they are more likely to get defensive or shut down. Since their frontal cortex isn’t finished developing,  they’re unable to fully control their emotions or foresee the consequences of their behavior. This can make teens highly reactive and appear irrationally angry. To avoid this, let them know that you are irritated, disappointed, or upset with their choices or behaviors, but that you’re not angry with them as a person.

Listen

Overall, it’s important to keep lines of communication open with your teen. You can turn anger into dialogue by simply making an effort to listen to and understand your teen. Use reflection to ensure that you heard them and understand their feelings. “What I heard you saying is…” Trying to give advice or enforce rules can break communication down when you need it to stay open.

Your teen is trying to figure out their identity as they go through many hormonal, growth and development changes that are out of their control. Try to understand that their anger is about asserting themselves or trying to separate themselves as an individual. This is a difficult time, and your teen needs empathy. Stay your child’s safe and secure base, so you can help them through it.

If you’re a parent having a difficult time with a teenager, a Psychologist or therapist can be a great resource for parenting support or to help your teen through this challenging time. Contact me today if you would like to set up a free consultation.