Coping with Complex Family Drama Over the Holidays

Avoid Family Drama

As the holidays approach, you may worry about upcoming family gatherings, which can be challenging for some people. There are a few strategies you can use which can help minimize some of the difficulty.    

First, steer clear of conversation topics which are potentially controversial or likely to provoke tension.    Politics, religion, money, and old family drama are best left alone at family gatherings. You are unlikely to change any minds. If a family member tries to start a conversation on one of these topics, don’t engage. Provide a neutral non-response such as “OK, I see.”   It takes two people to argue; the other will likely lose interest if you don’t take the bait. If they don’t take the hint and persist in trying to argue, then you can excuse yourself and remove yourself from that situation. Head to the bathroom to grab some water or help in the kitchen.     

If you and another family member tend to repeat the same negative patterns at gatherings, actively avoid falling into this trap. You can go into the gathering with the intention of conflict avoidance. 

Acceptance can also be helpful

Family members who tend always to behave a certain way or say or do certain things are likely to continue to do that. You will not be able to change them or control their behaviour.  Practice tolerance where possible and accept family members for who they are. The only behaviour you can control is your reaction. If someone does or says something which gets under your skin, work on not holding onto resentments, which ultimately cause you more discomfort. Consciously tell yourself you will let it go. Where possible, try to see the humour in complex family interactions and laugh them off to yourself.    

Manage your expectations

People often pressure themselves to have a memorable, magical holiday experience. This can lead to feelings of disappointment and frustration. It’s OK if everything doesn’t go perfectly and you don’t enjoy every moment. Avoid comparing yourself to others and telling yourself everyone is having the perfect holiday.  Limit or stay off social media, which tends to fuel this comparison.   
If a very long gathering is too much for you, limit the time you plan to spend with family.   Where possible, turn down activities or invitations which feel too overwhelming.  

Avoid Overconsumption of Alcohol

Avoid overconsuming alcohol, which can contribute to more heated and unpleasant family interactions. People often tell themselves drinking will help them endure a complex gathering, but it generally makes things worse. 

During the holidays, it’s important to prioritize self-care, physical activity and spending time with positive people who make you feel good.   If family gatherings don’t include folks like that, make some plans before or after your family gathering to see these positive people.    If you don’t have enjoyable traditions with your family, create some with your friends or significant other or just for yourself

Practice Gratitude and Breathe……

Take note of several things to appreciate about the gathering, the holiday or your life in general, however small.  Perhaps you enjoy your morning coffee, a favourite holiday movie or the scent of pine trees.    If you are focused on gratitude, your brain has less space to focus on complex family interactions.  

Use a simple breathing or coping strategy in your back pocket as needed.   For example, try square breathing, where you breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, exhale for four counts and hold that for four counts.   Repeat four times.   Choose a simple mantra to say to yourself, such as “This too shall pass” or “I am calm.”    After the gathering, give yourself credit for all you did to get through the event.    

Navigating the fog of Depression

Are you tired of being miserable all the time? Do you want to overcome your depression and live a happier life finally? Well, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that it’s not going to be easy. The good news is that it’s possible – if you’re willing to do the work. Here are some ways to get started on overcoming your depression.

Get out of bed and shower daily, even if you don’t feel like it.

Let’s be honest for a minute; getting out of bed and showering daily can feel almost impossible. Even if you know it’s good for your body, mind, and overall productivity, who wants to make the extra effort to start the day right? Our natural reaction is often to stay entrapped in the warmth and comfort of our cozy beds. But trust me – scraping yourself out of bed each day isn’t as daunting as it may seem. Once you start making small changes in your morning routine, like setting the alarm, getting dressed, and taking a shower, you’ll soon realize that your body and mind are craving that drastic change. So go ahead and take the risk — this might motivate you to get up early each day!

Eat healthy foods and get regular exercise.

Eating healthy foods and exercising regularly may sound like a chore, but it doesn’t have to be. Regular, consistent practice can lead to a healthier mental and physical lifestyle. And remember that a sense of accomplishment comes with every victory – big or small. Eating nutritious food and exercising regularly can become more than just steps to stay healthy – it could be part of your everyday life! So don’t think of it as dull or unenjoyable; think of it as an opportunity to show yourself some love.

Spend time with friends and family members who make you feel good about yourself.

Spending time with your loved ones can often be a breath of fresh air after navigating your hectic life, so choosing the right ones to spend more time with is essential. Remember, when choosing friends and family members, go for those who make you feel good about yourself. They should bring out the best in you, not the worst. Being surrounded by positivity should be high on your list of priorities – it often makes tasks seem easier and more manageable. It will likely propel you forward in all aspects of life!

Do something that makes you happy every day, even if it’s just reading a book or taking a walk.

We have all heard that every day should bring something to be thankful for, but what is the point if we don’t take the time to enjoy ourselves and do things that make us happy? We shouldn’t just settle for seeing the good side of a bad day – why not turn it into an opportunity to do something for ourselves? After all, even taking some time out of our day to sit down and read a book or go for a short walk can make all the difference in making us feel content. So let’s ditch the idea of merely surviving another 24 hours, and instead, let’s focus on doing something that makes us smile; our outlook on life will benefit from it!

Seek professional help if your depression is severe or doesn’t seem to be improving with self-care

Depression is an incredibly draining feeling to experience, and if it isn’t improving with self-care, then that’s a sign that you need even more help than you can give yourself. Seeking professional help may seem daunting and silly since you know yourself better than anyone else. But the feelings associated with depression are real, and so is the fact that they can be eased through specialized help. Whether talking to a therapist or physician and exploring different medication options, don’t be afraid to get the assistance you deserve. Life is too short to be weighed down by depression; let a professional help lighten the load emotionally so you can take back your life and finally break away from its grasp!

Don’t let depression win. Get out of bed, shower, eat healthy, and exercise regularly. Spend time with friends and family members who make you feel good about yourself. Do something that makes you happy every day, even if it’s just reading a book or taking a walk. Seek professional help if your depression is severe or doesn’t seem to improve with self-care.

Couples Therapy – The Gottman Method

‘Got’ The Gottman Method?

Being in a romantic relationship of any kind can be an exciting, fruitful, fulfilling and even euphoric adventure that many people experience and can benefit from. Like any relationship, however, it does not come without its challenges and rough patches. Sometimes, even in relationships without obvious struggles, you need a little bit of help! And there is no shame in reaching out for guidance, whether for strain and concern in the relationship or for ways to maintain one’s already healthy one (since there is always something we can improve and work on!).

First off, What is the Gottman Method?

The Gottman Method is an intervention-based approach grounded on the Sound Relationship House Theory. This metaphorical ‘house’ comprises a healthy relationship’s nine most significant and essential components. Each part relies on the other, and the success of each depends on the previous one (almost like stepping stones across a stream). The main goals of the Gottman Method are to improve communication skills, increase levels of partner intimacy and respect, find a technique to resolve conflict that works for the couple and maintain a caring and tender relationship. There are three main components of the Gottman Method: friendship, conflict management, and the creation of shared goals. The method allows couples to learn how to better their interactions, deepen their emotional connections, and teach healthy habits that result in relationship longevity and quality.

The Sound House Theory:

Imagine a typical house with walls, a foundation, and floors. With specific components, the house will be able to stand. Its structure has walls intertwined with trust and commitment to stabilize said ‘house.’ Healthy components of a relationship make up the floors.

The first floor is building love maps: here, couples get to know each other on a deeper and more emotional level, specifically within their internal and personal thoughts. The next floor is shared fondness and admiration: this is where couples openly express their gratitude and respect for each other. Then, is turning towards, not away: this requires both partners to become aware of each other’s needs and be able to give and take (evenly and within reason). Next is the positive perspective: partners put each other in a positive light on this floor, not regard their imperfections as bad or character flaws.

Following is conflict management: using a 3-step process, couples (1) consider each other’s feelings, (2) learn to discuss the issue at hand openly, and (3) when one or both parties begin to feel overwhelmed, they investigate in techniques that work for them and successfully lower stress levels during these times. Reaching one of the final floors is making each other’s dreams come true: this floor is heavily influenced by supporting and being in each other’s corner to achieve their dreams. Next is creating shared meaning: this is the final floor of the Sound House.

It is very similar to the first floor in terms of delving into and understanding each other’s deep and personal thoughts, but here, it focuses on how sharing their internal thoughts has created shared meaning. Finally, the house’s walls are made up of commitment and trust: without the borders, couples would not be able to explore the other floors of the house. Trust allows for mutual reliability and a sense of teamwork. Commitment provides for stability, stickability and overall improvement of the relationship.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse:

Despite the title, these traits do not cause the end of the world or the implosion of the earth. However, it describes how they can be problematic and bring tension into a relationship, potentially causing an ‘apocalypse.’ The first horseman is criticism: this can include nit-picking the partner’s flaws, calling out disappointments in the relationship or with one another, correcting one partner and making negative comments about one’s friends and family.

While expressing a complaint or concern can sometimes be necessary, avoiding it sounding like an attack (perhaps using ‘I’ statements to mitigate misunderstanding) is crucial. Next is defensiveness: this occurs when one (or both) partner sees a response as being an attack, so they ricochet back with another; one may also tend to put the blame elsewhere – to avoid this, it is essential to be aware of one’s actions and be able to take accountability. Then there is contempt: this typically entails dismissive and sarcastic commentary and body language. Sometimes, it can stem from unaddressed negative feelings, fueling the fire. Utilizing emotional regulations, awareness of self and resolving minor conflicts before they erupt can effectively elude contempt. 

Lastly is stonewalling: a partner completely shuts off verbally or emotionally due to physiological flooding. At the same time, effective communication is unlikely in this state, so pumping the breaks and making a U-turn back to the conversation later is the best option.

The Takeaway:

Overall, Gottman’s Method aims to help couples see ‘eye to eye’ and become closer and more invested emotionally. This method also serves as something that can (and should) be practised both inside and outside the therapist’s office. While it can help with resolvable conflicts, it significantly helps perpetual conflicts; it can answer the question of ‘how do we handle this’ to eliminate or minimize the feeling of hopefully ‘can I do this?’. If you haven’t ‘got’ the Gottman method yet and would like to, it is doable with support, an open mind, and some practice!

The benefits of being open about your mental health

It’s no secret that mental health is still stigmatized. In many societies, discussing your mental health struggles shows weakness. However, being open about your mental health can be beneficial in many ways. Doing so can help break the stigma, normalize conversations about mental health, and ultimately lead to better support for those struggling with their mental health. Here are a few reasons I believe being open about your mental health is essential.

Being open about your mental health can help you find understanding and support from others. We all may feel alone in our mental health journey from time to time, but something must be said to be honest and open about our struggles. By taking a moment to dive into our feelings and speak openly about them, we can help ourselves find understanding and support in those around us. It may seem intimidating initially, but even the slightest showing of openness can do wonders when alleviating tension in an otherwise uncomfortable situation. The power of connection that comes with being open about your mental health cannot be overstated – why not give it a try?

It can also help to reduce the stigma around mental illness.

Mental illness is a complex subject, and it can be tempting to shy away from the topic, but discussing it openly is one of the most helpful tools for supporting those with it. By removing the stigma surrounding conversations about mental health, we can create a more inclusive environment that promotes understanding and acceptance of different struggles while helping others feel heard and appreciated. After all, no one should face these issues alone — open acknowledgment is the first step towards creating more robust support systems for those facing mental illnesses daily.

Being open about your mental health can also help you better understand yourself.

Being open about one’s mental health is integral to a life of self-awareness and understanding. Instead of burying our troubles deep within us, we should confront them head-on and use them to learn more about ourselves. For those brave enough to take this approach, talking about your mental health helps bring clarity to our thoughts and allows us to gain perspective over our emotions. With this newfound insight, we can become the master of our destiny instead of being held hostage by our mental health issues.

Finally, being open about your mental health can lead to positive changes in your life.

With so much attention on the importance of physical health, it’s easy to forget that mental health is just as important. Unfortunately, our society still hasn’t embraced discussing mental illness with the same positivity and understanding as physical illness. Thankfully, things are beginning to change thanks to those brave enough to open up about their mental health struggles, which can often lead to significant changes for the better. Being honest about your struggle provides an essential sense of relief and allows for a more supportive environment. Of course, life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, but when we openly speak about our mental health, we give ourselves the opportunity—and permission—to improve our overall well-being.
Being open about your mental health is an excellent way to find support from others, reduce the stigma around mental illness, better understand yourself, and make positive changes in your life. So go ahead and be open about your mental health–you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Wishing you the best in your Wellness journey.

How to disclose your mental health condition to a new partner

One of the hardest things about starting a new relationship is deciding when – and how – to tell your mental health condition. Do you wait until after the first date? The third? Or do you blurt it out on the first date to get it over with quickly?

There is no easy answer, but there are some things to consider that may help you decide. Here are a few tips for disclosing your mental health condition to a new partner.

It’s not always easy to disclose your mental health condition to a new partner, but being honest about it from the start is essential.

It can be tempting to pretend that everything in your life is fine when you meet a new partner – after all, who wants to manage the stigma and misunderstanding that so often come with openly discussing mental health? However, staying true to yourself and being authentic is essential. Deviating from that could mean clear expectations need to be established, and relationship dynamics are based on incomplete information. Ultimately, despite any awkwardness or challenges, being forthright with your relevant mental health history can help build trust and create a stronger bond, setting the stage for a more honest and supportive partnership.

You can’t control how your partner will react, but you can control how you tell them and what information you share.

It’s easy to get caught up in our emotions when it comes to telling someone something we think might hurt them; however, if we take a step back and consider the most efficient way of getting our point across without damaging the relationship further, then it can go a long way. It’s important to remember that you have control over how you deliver your words. Include only the pertinent information and try your best to be honest but also find a way to approach an uncomfortable topic least harshly.

Be prepared for questions and be honest in your answers.

Trust is an essential part of any romantic relationship, and it starts with being honest and forthcoming with questions early on in the courtship. Whether you’ve been together a week or several months, be prepared to answer questions honestly when your partner asks. Don’t feel like all of your secrets must come spilling out at once; being honest doesn’t mean you need to rush into divulging every detail about yourself, nor should you overwhelm your partner with all your information upfront. Instead, be gentle, take your time and communicate when both of you are ready. That way, trust can grow naturally over time.

Remember that your mental health is just one part of who you are, and don’t let it define you or your relationship.

It’s important to remember that just because you experience a mental health condition doesn’t mean it has to control your life. Of course, it should be taken seriously and treated with care, but acknowledging its presence doesn’t have to take away your identity or make you any less the person you were before – and this especially applies to relationships. Don’t let your mental health condition be the only part of whom people see; let them meet the real you too. After all, mental health is just a part of our complex tapestry; there’s still plenty of room to bring forth who you are!

Coming out to your new partner about your mental health condition can be daunting. But it’s essential, to be honest, and remember that you control how much information you share and when. Be prepared for questions, but don’t feel like you have to give all the answers at once – take your time and do it when you both feel ready. And finally, don’t forget that your mental health condition is just one part of who you are; it doesn’t have to define you or your relationship.


The Lasting Effects of Compulsive Lying on Relationships

Pathological and compulsive lying can seriously affect personal relationships at home and in the workplace. Chronic lying is defined as a habitual pattern of dishonesty and deceit in which an individual intentionally lies regularly about matters that are generally trivial or insignificant. Compulsive lying is defined as an inability to stop oneself from repeatedly telling falsehoods. It is often associated with pathological and compulsive behaviour. Pathological lying is a long-term behaviour pattern involving frequent and habitual lying without clear motives or benefits. Let’s take a closer look at how this behaviour can impact relationships with family members, coworkers, friends, and even strangers.

The Impact on Family Members

Pathological and compulsive lying can significantly damage family relationships, particularly between spouses or parents and their children. Lying within a family can lead to mistrust, resentment, guilt, anger, confusion, and even fear among the other family members. If left unchecked, it can cause irreparable damage to the relationship between family members as trust erodes over time. In addition to causing emotional distress for everyone involved, pathological lying can also strain the family financially if the liar lies about money matters such as income or debt.

The Impact on Coworkers

Pathological lying can also hurt workplace relationships between coworkers who must interact with each other regularly to complete specific tasks or projects successfully. Coworkers may start to feel untrustworthy of their colleagues if they begin to question their honesty or motives due to lies that were told in the past. This lack of trust can lead to feelings of conflict and tension within the workplace that could hamper productivity levels or make it difficult for employees to work together effectively.

The Impact on Friendships

Pathological liars may find it challenging to form successful friendships because people tend not to like being lied to by their friends. Even if someone has only been lied to a few times by the same person, this may cause them enough discomfort to choose not to pursue further interactions with that individual. This means that pathological liars may have difficulty forming meaningful connections with others since people are likely wary of trusting them after having been burned by lies in the past.             

Treatment Options

Treatment options are available for individuals who suffer from a pathological or compulsive lying disorder, such as therapy sessions with a psychotherapist specializing in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). CBT focuses on identifying maladaptive behaviours, such as chronic lying, while teaching new coping skills so that patients learn how to better manage their emotions without resorting to old patterns of thinking or behaviour, such as chronic dishonesty, when faced with stressful situations in life or social interactions with others. Additionally, various support groups are available online. As a result, individuals suffering from similar issues can talk openly about their experiences while gaining advice from others who understand firsthand what they’re going through.
Pathological and compulsive lying can have severe consequences for personal relationships at home and in the workplace. It is essential to recognize when you or someone close to you may be engaging in this behaviour so that appropriate steps can be taken toward treatment options such as cognitive behavioural therapy to raise awareness; gain insight into their destructive behaviours or support groups. By accepting these proactive measures, individuals suffering from pathological lying disorder will gain more control over their emotions and learn how to better manage their thoughts without resorting to chronic dishonesty in various situations. With help, it is possible to break free of this destructive behaviour pattern and rebuild trust with those around them.

Wishing you all the best in your Wellness journey.

The Benefits and Pitfalls of Online Dating

This article was written through the lens of an anonymous client.

Dating – a fairly daunting task and concept. These days, society tends to pressure people into finding a partner, but it is a lot harder than it seems. There are so many factors: (mutual) attraction and interests, similar values and wants, overall compatibility and with online dating, the biggest of all, what each person is looking for. One of the biggest pitfalls of online dating, especially in this generation is it is seen and used more for hookups. If that is the route you choose to go on, great! There are plenty of options online whilst using safety precautions. My friends and I have dating apps including tinder and Hinge. While tinder is seen more as a ‘hookup’ app, it is still possible to find someone willing to go on a date. Even so, people on Hinge also ensue on the common theme of hookups only.  While these apps are proving difficult in finding a partner, there are upsides to online dating.

There is a very large pool of individuals to choose from. Dating apps have a distance setting preference in which you can choose the maximum distance a potential person can be from you. This allows for plenty of options of people not too far from you yet people you would not have met otherwise. It allows for a greater variety than everyday life may give. For example, an 18-year-old in high school may be interested in dating but suffer from a small population of individuals within their school, so they choose to go online. I myself am in university, and while there are plenty of people to meet, you can never be sure who is interested and available and plenty of people you would never have known existed can be found online. Bringing me to my next point, online dating makes it easier to show intentions.

Being on a dating app itself breaks the ice that you are looking for a romantic relationship in one way or another. In contrast, in person, sometimes intentions can get lost in translation, such as being unsure if someone is interested in a romantic relationship or sees you as a friend. You are there for that exact reason on a dating app – to date or become intimately involved with someone. Another upside to online dating is social anxiety. Seeing someone you are attracted to in person can be very nerve-wracking and challenging to approach if you should or should not talk to them (but if the timing is correct and you are comfortable, I would say introduce yourself! You never know unless you try). Again, with online dating, intentions are more transparent, so you know they are available and interested, and you can text or call before meeting in person. Circling back to the app used mainly for hookups, it can be challenging for people looking for short- or long-term relationships to find a partner.

For me personally, I am looking for someone to start a relationship with, but I find with many of the men I match and message with, they are only after hookups which can be discouraging. It can be disheartening when you get along with someone and have an attraction to them and you two are not on the same page. It is not uncommon for texting to become sexual and explicit very fast. On the other hand, my friends who have these apps mostly for hookups have found great success. They are mostly happy with their experiences and both parties equally understand what each other want and expect consensually.

Ghosting or being deleted/ignored can also happen. In my case, when the people I am talking to realize they will not get a hookup, they will unmatch with me or do so randomly. I then get left thinking why, which can be unpleasant. Others will never message back after a time or at all. Another pitfall to online dating is the risk of fake people and accounts. On some people’s accounts, they take pictures from google or even screenshots of influencers’ social media accounts and use those as their own. Some are obvious; some are not. For example, I was messaging someone, and when they added me on Snapchat, their name was completely different than the name they put on their account. The excuses he made for the reasons were not believable. When I looked closer at the pictures, I realized someone else’s name was on them – an apparent screenshot of someone’s account. For me, this is why I ask people for their Snapchat. This way, we can accurately see pictures of each other and hear each other since tinder pictures can be deceiving and typically are the best versions of oneself.

Although online dating allows you to input specific preferences such as age, gender, height, ethnicity and more to find the most compatible group of people, it can still feel limited sometimes. However, I have a particular type of individual in mind that can be hard to find, primarily online. Therefore, my options dwindle because of how specific my preferences are. This can also be discouraging for people looking for any relationship. I enjoy meeting people in person – getting a read of them and an impression of them is much easier. Although sometimes, online dating can quickly go wrong, I stay hopeful that my person remains out there, whether it is online or not. But I know I’m doing my best and putting myself out there; I put my best foot forward to meet new people who could be my person. I tell myself as long as I am being safe, there is no harm in going on a date; it is all about trial and error. The biggest thing with online dating is learning how to overcome the disappointment – whether it be someone ghosting, turning out to be someone they are not or a failed date, it takes a lot of resilience. The best way to think about it is that each failed attempt leads you closer to your person. And who knows, maybe it was the universe helping you dodge a bullet, no matter how disappointing it is in the moment. All you can do is keep trying.

The perception of “Failure” Redefining Success

Success is defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. Societal standards define clearly what the dream or goal should be. You should go to school (god forbid you to fail a class), find a job, be married by 25, and have children. This timeline does not leave room for error, thus condemning those who “fail” at any point. However, what if your aim or purpose was to grow as a person?
Personal growth can be maximized when you fail at something. Failing to meet your goals improves your critical thinking and problem-solving skills and gives insight into your ability to improve yourself.
We are all human. We have all failed from time to time. Recognizing that you cannot change what has happened but can change what you do with it will redefine your perception of failure.

There are two options:

  1. Internalize your failure, question your capabilities and possibly your value. You are creating a cycle of self-degradation and low self-esteem.  

2. Accept that you have failed, reflect on the experience and learn critical lessons.

You are creating a habit of showing yourself compassion allowing you to analyze the situation and develop from it.
To choose option 2, you need to allow yourself to recognize your personal power. It is straightforward to get caught up in day-to-day life, feeling like you are going through the motions with no control over what happens. And you don’t have control over the outcome. But perception is reality, and you can control your perception. You are in control of your life, values, and thought patterns.
Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly
-John F. Kennedy
Going through life with the purpose of self-growth enables failures to be a catalyst toward success. Failure is inevitable, so use it to your advantage; to empower yourself to develop your insight, resilience, and character. Although society tells us otherwise, failure is not something to be feared. Failure shows that you dared to try something and that you are not afraid to be vulnerable. Reflect on some of your “failures,” evaluate if you chose option 1 or 2, and evaluate how they shaped you as a person. Do not fear failure or let it hold you back in the future. Go through life seizing every opportunity with confidence in yourself and the reassurance that you can succeed, even while experiencing “failure.”

The Pangs of Rejection and Overcoming the Inevitable

Applying for a new job. Swiping right on a potential match. Putting in an offer on a new home. Reaching out to a friend you haven’t heard from in a while. Proposing to your significant other.

These scenarios put you in a vulnerable position with generally one of two outcomes. You’ll either get the response you want, or you’ll be met with rejection. Many of us fear the latter outcome the most, as there is nothing about being rejected that feels good. We have a natural, emotional reaction to being rejected, which can complicate things because rejection is inevitable whether we like it or not. It’s a part of life, something we can experience when we begin to feel and understand our emotions.

Since you have to live with it and can never tell when it will hit, it may be worth understanding the concept of rejection, your body’s reaction to it, and how you can use that pain to your benefit. Chances are you can recognize when you’ve been rejected, but do you understand what happens after it sets in or why you feel how you feel after being rejected?

The Pain of Rejection

The concept of rejection sounds pretty straightforward. After you’ve been rebuffed, your body undergoes an emotional response that causes you to feel a perceived pain. That pain, mainly driven by social rejection, can lead to increased anger, depression, sadness, and anxiety. However, you may not realize that the pain associated with rejection is not dissimilar to the physical pain you may experience with a broken finger. Your brain will react similarly, releasing cortisol and adrenaline and shifting your blood flow. This physical reaction causes symptoms like body aches and decreased appetite.

The reason our body reacts this way is mainly because of how much we rely on social acceptance. But there is a bit more to it, especially when you think of how much people, in general, value the opinions of others and use them as a means of validation.

Craving Acceptance and Overcoming Rejection

Just like our bodies crave food and water and will react negatively if neither is provided, our minds crave social interaction and acceptance. Without them, we undergo physical and psychological changes.

What’s important is that you don’t allow that rejection to cause you to spiral. You don’t have to sit with the pangs of guilt, sorrow, and regret that can come with rejection. There are a few things you can do to both use rejection to better yourself and minimize its effects.

Acknowledge Your Feelings

Regardless of where the rejection came from, you’re feeling it, and it’s real. Don’t try to bury the way you think. Instead, acknowledge your feelings and validate them. Talk about them with confidence and deal with the issue head-on.

Find the Opportunity to Grow and Learn

Take this experience and learn from it. Reflect on what may have happened and determine what you may be able to change for the future. For example, if you didn’t get a job you applied for, review your resume and see how you can change it. If you were rejected by a date, take a long look at the type of partner you’ve been pursuing and determine if you should change.

Put the Rejection Into Perspective

One rejection does not guarantee another. Remember that just because one thing didn’t work out, it doesn’t mean another won’t as well. Also, consider why you were rejected. It’s possible it wasn’t an issue with you but an uncontrollable external factor.

Practice Self-Love

If we feel good about ourselves and have high self-esteem, rejection won’t hurt as bad. Even when things go awry, talk yourself up rather than assign self-blame. Rejection doesn’t define you, but how you feel about yourself can.

An Inevitable Part of Life

Knowing that rejection is a part of life doesn’t make it easier to handle, but it does allow you to prepare yourself for when rejection may be a possibility. It would be best if you didn’t let rejection set you back. Instead, learn from what’s happened, put everything into perspective, and continue showing yourself self-love. You may mitigate the effects of rejection when you do experience rejection.

Happy Thanksgiving: A Reminder to Practice Gratitude

Wouldn’t you agree this has been one of the worst years yet? The isolation created by the COVID pandemic, and everything surrounding it? Depending on who you talk to the answer to this question varies. Some become engulfed in the negativity of their surroundings, spiraling into a toxic cycle of thought. While others who practice gratitude may tell you something different.

We all have unique experiences, among the shared one that is the pandemic. I am sure we are all familiar with our own personal struggles brought on or worsened by it. Many clients I have talked to have highlighted the isolation caused by the pandemic, with the majority focusing on the negative effects of it. However, some have recognized the opportunity for self-improvement and reflection that has been provided by this isolation.

Are you the same person as you were before COVID? What changes have you noticed? Instead of going to the negative (as our minds often do), try to put a name on the positive changes you have noticed in yourself: have you become stronger? More resilient? This type of thinking is characterized as challenging negative thought processes.

How we perceive things is our reality, which is why challenging these negative thought processes and practicing gratitude is critical to our well-being and happiness. When I notice myself spiraling into negative thought processes, I consciously make the decision to stop myself and list a few things that I am grateful for (however big or small). It can be difficult at first to recognize negative and unproductive trains of thought, but the more this is done the easier it becomes.

Here are some simple ways to practice gratitude:

  1. Watch inspiring videos that will remind you of the good in the world.
  2. Call your loved ones more often
  3. Add to your gratitude list daily.
  4. Challenge your inner critic.
  5. See the opportunities for growth and development in your mistakes.

Finally, do not forget to be grateful for yourself! For all your capabilities, your passions, and even your quirks. Reflect on all that you have accomplished in your life, and those who have supported you along the way.

Wishing you all the best in your Wellness journey.