Signs You’re Doing Better Than You Think (Self-Awareness Therapy)

Life gives you all challenges that sometimes you cannot handle. Some things can cause your emotional, physical, and mental state at risk. In some instances, you might believe that the world is turning against you. But when you think about it, you are probably doing better than everybody else. You might not get convinced about your strengths, but you know you have the potential to make things work regardless of your flaws. So here are the indications that can tell you that you may be doing better in your life regardless of your negative thoughts.

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You Can Pay The Bills – You know you’re in a good state when you can pay your bills. When you can handle your priorities and not taking things for granted, that is a sign that your life is okay compared to others. Though, of course, you are not exempted from life challenges. You will experience some setbacks and issues that are sometimes out of your boundary. But because you can secure your consistent obligations, you are more than okay to handle things.

You Can Earn For A Living – Note that earning a living is not guaranteed success in life. But on the brighter side, if you can manage to do things without compromising your overall needs, you are probably getting by. It might not be that okay for some instances because there are limitations you might encounter. But that is already enough to feel that you are worthy of your life. Having a job that pays enough cash can make you appreciate even the little efforts you make for yourself.

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You’re Not Worried About Your Next Meal – Even if you think the world is entirely a black hole that puts you in a very negative situation, the fact that you can still eat three meals a day is a sign that you are far more than okay than what you think. You might not get all the things you want and might struggle to achieve your other needs, but having food on the table is the most important.

You Have At Least Two True Friends That Sticks Around – The best sign that can tell you that your life is probably still okay despite your struggles is when you have at least two true friends that are more than willing to stick around. Despite the world pushing hard on you, having best friends can encourage you to stay positive with life. They can help you whenever you forget to try to help yourself. Your life is still far more amazing as long as you know you are safe with them.

You Have A List Of Goals You Want To Achieve – Of course, all individuals have goals. But you know you’re okay when you have goals in life that you hold on to. If these goals encourage you and motivate you to do your best, you can confidently say that you are not falling on the edge. That is because these goals will certainly help you build yourself towards success. Your goals will become your stepping stone in staying on track regardless of life difficulties.

You Have Experienced Hardships – The true meaning of success would not be complete without hardships. The moment you experience it, you know you are on the right path. There are times you might struggle emotionally, physically, and mentally. But when you understand the essence of those unfortunate situations, you will see that life has a lot to offer.

You Ask For Help Whenever You Need It – You are definitely in good faith when you understand the importance of asking for help. It means that you understand your capabilities as a person. You know that you can’t do things alone, and asking for help is one way to acknowledge your growth.

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You Know There’s More To Life Than Materials Things – You might not agree with this, but your life is okay when you live with memories and important people. You are surely in the right mindset to accept that life is not all about material things. That is a sign that you can provide yourself the best mental and emotional assistance.

You’re Not The Same Person A Year Ago – You might think that because you struggle in life more than enough, that is the end of it. But I suppose you might be wrong. You are far more than okay because you were not the same person a year ago. You are more mature, careful, and responsible. You acknowledge the significance of learning from your mistakes.

You Choose Happiness On Your Own Terms – Life is always a struggle, and sometimes you can’t have it all. But you are doing better than you think when you know that you are contented and happy. There’s too much pressure around, and the only way you get through with all those negative things is by choosing your happiness over anything.

 

Therapist-Arranged Self-Care Action Plan

You may say that self-care is all about taking action to pamper yourself, given that there are tons of comforting things you can do. But self-care is more than just treating yourself. It is definitely not a reward that you only consider when you think you did something great or feel like it. Instead, it is a vital piece of your overall well-being that needs a hundred percent attention. Self-care is something you do for yourself not because it is beneficial but because it is a necessity. Thus, you need to understand that you are responsible for your own development. With that, I offer you a therapist-arranged self-care action plan that will surely guarantee you amazing overall wellness.

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Step 1: Recognize That Self-Care Is A Must

Before considering changing your routines for the better, you must first recognize that it is genuinely okay to take care of yourself. That way, you would not feel that you are only making the positive habits out of favor. You have to realize that self-care, though it is not always perfect and convenient, helps you in lots of ways, including:

  • Preventing burnout from all days of work-related task
  • Reducing psychological impacts from the stressful environment
  • Helps with fatigue and other physical discomforts
  • Improving concentration and focus

It is vital to understand that regardless of your productivity level, you are still prone to stress as a human being. Thus, recognize that you are required to have compassion and kindness towards yourself.

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Step 2: Work On A Habit That You Know Works

Ideally, before you change your lifestyle or begin to work on a habit, you need to research inwardly and outwardly what works best. Self-care holds the best solutions that can make your mental, physical, and emotional well-being healthy. Almost all self-care actions can help everyone. However, it would be best to recognize that what works for others might not work for you. Things like getting proper nutrition, hydrating, having enough exercise, resting and taking small breaks, going for walks, maybe the best of all. But it does not guarantee that it will provide the same benefits for everybody.

Note that everyone’s needs are unique. Thus, it would be best that you research what actions make you feel better. You can try working on some things that don’t cause you too much pressure. Some of the habits you might want to consider include:

  • Waking up early
  • Cooking healthy foods
  • Walking outside
  • Journaling
  • Learning new skills
  • Spending time with great people
  • Practicing Meditation

Step 3: Manage Your Thoughts And Feelings

You can always try everything that suits your needs as long as it is a flexible way to care for yourself. But the truth is, you have to have an organized method, especially during your negative experiences. Meaning, the self-care you give yourself daily is not the same during the times you are depressed. When you get overwhelmed with the process of mental and emotional healing during the times of your psychological distress, you might get caught with perfection. As a result, you might feel pressure to try everything to get better despite sacrificing a bigger cost. It would help if you manage your thoughts and feeling by working on the following:

  • Filling yourself with compliments and affirmations
  • Learning from your mistakes
  • Doing everything that makes you happy
  • Focusing on inner peace
  • Activating positive thoughts
  • Managing your emotions to handle stress better
  • Exploring for growth and overall development

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Step 4: Recognize The Warning Signs

It would not be that easy, but you need to try recognizing the warning signs before you engage in self-care. You must identify that there are things that can proceed to the red zone. And despite trying your best, you might end up making things worse. Self-care is not just about the way you confidently handle yourself. Instead, it is the totality of your effort to keep your overall well-being in shape and functioning.

The pattern of your thoughts and behavior has a lot to do with your unstable emotions. You must understand what makes you act that way. Once you can distinguish your negative habits and realize that you have to change, you need to start eliminating those by one. You might want to check on these warning signs:

  • Overthinking about negative things
  • Constantly disregarding positive self-talk
  • Staring to change something but never intends to finish
  • Getting depressed and anxious over nothing
  • Focusing on other people’s negative opinions

Takeaway

Self-care comes in a variety of forms. There are ways you can accomplish it without entirely exerting an effort. When you manage to find the best self-care that fits your needs, you’ll be better able to take care of others as well. It will be a way for you to prioritize what’s important to your overall wellness.

 

Why Counselors Use Exercise As Mental Health Treatment

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Regular exercise has many benefits to our body. It can help decrease your risk for heart diseases, diabetes, and other health problems. But did you know that exercise can also affect your brain?

Many studies have proved the role of exercise in reducing the risk of depression and anxiety. Exercise can also ease symptoms of social withdrawal and low self-esteem.

Read on if you want to learn more about the connection of physical activity to your mental health. Who knows? This might be the sign you’ve been waiting for to start being physically active!

How Does Physical Activity Improve Mental Health?

There are many possible causes of depression. While we cannot always identify the exact cause, many different factors come into play. Stress, for one, may lead to depression. But fortunately, exercise can play a role in stress management!

An active lifestyle has a lot of benefits to your mental health. We listed down some of the reasons why you should get up and start moving.

  1. Exercise Boosts Your Endorphins

Endorphins are also called the feel-good neurotransmitters of the brain. It puts you in a good mood and increases your sense of well-being.

Runner’s High

But it’s not just endorphins that your body releases when you exercise. If you’ve ever had a euphoric feeling after a run, then you might have experienced what we call a “runner’s high.” For years, we have credited endorphin for this comfortable post-run feeling. However, chemical substances called endocannabinoids naturally produced in the body are the more likely the heroes of “runner’s high.” 

Still, endorphins play a role in preventing your muscles from aching. More studies have yet to back this up, but we surely know that we have often felt euphoric after a good exercise session!

  1. Exercise Improves Your Sleep

Depression is deeply connected to sleep. Among the many symptoms of depression are sleeping problems like insomnia. Signs of depression in teens also include sleeping too much.

But did you know that exercise can work as effectively as prescription sleep medications? Stress and anxiety can keep you awake for hours and make you lose sleep. But since physical activity has already improved your mood (thanks to endorphins and endocannabinoids), you’re more likely to sleep more easily at night!

Additionally, since exercise is tiring, it makes you feel sleepy. However, you have to note that exercising to the point of exhaustion is also not good. Taking short walks or doing your daily chores can improve your sleep.

  1. Exercise Increases Your Confidence

Taking your physical activity sincerely means you tend to set goals and plan your schedule. Some people take part in challenges, too. When you meet these goals, you feel a sense of accomplishment, thus improving your self-confidence.

Some people set goals for getting into their desired shape. They feel better about their appearance once they reach this goal.

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Why Is Working Closely With A Counselor Or Therapist Important?

Anyone can develop exercise routines on their own. You can take a walk in the park, bike to work, play basketball, or even do your daily chores, and they already count as exercise. But if you’re seeing a counselor or therapist, you have to discuss your routines with them. You have to let them help you primarily if you have other health problems or haven’t been exercising for a long time. They can tailor a routine according to your preference and toleration. 

Best Physical Activities For Your Mental Health

Many studies suggest that aerobic exercises are beneficial to people with depression. These include:

  • Walking
  • Biking
  • Running
  • Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Dancing

Ensure to get your doctor’s approval regarding your routine. Take into account their suggestions, as some health problems might prevent you from certain aerobic activities. Take arthritis, for example. Typical aerobic exercises may be too hard on your joints and even worsen your condition. A professional may suggest aquatic exercises instead. They ensure that your routine does not interfere with your overall treatment plan.

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How Much Exercise Do You Need?

While lack of movement is not good, too much physical activity can also be harmful to you. This can even result in injury! Be patient and work gradually.

Most healthy adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (walking, swimming) weekly. Meanwhile, you can have 75 minutes of high-impact aerobic exercises (running, biking). 

Do not set unrealistic goals. Instead, aim for activities you enjoy doing, with the approval of your doctor, of course!

It’s Time To Get Moving!

Take a step to a healthier body and mind! Consult your counselor or therapist now and work with them in developing an exercise routine fit for you.

Physical activity can improve mental health. However, this alone is not enough treatment for depression or anxiety. Exercise is a beneficial addition to other therapies and medication that your doctor prescribed.

What Is Fitness Counseling And How Does It Help You Achieve Wellness

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Today, being fit and keeping up with the current health trends has been a huge priority for many. Because of the pandemic, many are motivated to achieve their fitness goals even in the confines of their home. But because of quarantine rules, it isn’t as easy to maintain and adhere to these choices as before.

The good thing is that fitness counselors help you achieve physical and mental triumphs despite the situation.

Are you interested in one? Here are the basics of the Sports and Fitness Psychology you need before participating in fitness counseling.

What Is Fitness Counseling

Fitness counseling, also known as fitness therapy or psychology, is an approach in psychology that combines sports science and psychology to help clients achieve their personal wellness goals.

Its primary function is to help athletes and coaches plan, strategize, and improve their performance during their games. It can also help fitness-enthusiastic individuals learn how to become their best selves when engaging in physical activities.

In addition, Sports Psychology researchers try to understand the connection between psychological factors and performance in physical activities. Conversely, they also check if engaging in such activities benefits an individual’s psychological state in the long run.

Focus And Scope Of Fitness Counseling

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Fitness counseling offers an array of solutions to the usual fitness struggles and exercise needs.

One of the primary goals of this form of therapy is to help individuals reach their highest potential and peak performance. This involves offering counsel to athletes or other individuals and their parents, coaches, and team staff.

Fitness counseling helps manage mental and psychological problems that may interfere with the fitness process. It provides solutions to manage stress and anxiety. It can also make you positive even when facing drawbacks in your fitness goals. This form of therapy can also help build leadership traits in team sports, training endurance or determination, and promoting cooperation within athletes.

Counselors in this field can help athletes and individuals who face long-term physical injuries overcome their difficulties and find hope in their recovery. Being stranded or immobile due to persisting injuries can be harsh for their mental health, so it is the job of psychologists to guide them moving forward.

Counselors can also guide athletes and sport-inclined individuals who are losing interest in their chosen sports and activities. Professionals can help them maintain and adhere to their usual health routines and make them feel more enjoyment while practicing their exercise programs.

Famous Techniques And Strategies

Along with the scope of this counseling type, there are also an array of techniques fitness counselors use when attending to their client’s various needs.

They primarily start with educating their clients about the different methods to shape their performance to the next level. This may include discussions on motivation and grit, increased focus during games, and improved overall performance.

Counselors can help clients perform a technique called Self-talk. This technique requires a client to repeat positive words and thoughts in his head. This promotes an increase in his attention towards a specific goal or objective.

Motor Imagery is also a usual tool in sports and fitness psychology. A visual and mental rehearsal of what an event or sensation will be like, in reality, can stimulate different senses.

Pre-performance Routines can be for both athletes and sports-inclined individuals. These are physical and mental actions they do before their event. Pre-performance routines give clients a sense of consistent performance, controlled actions, and predictability.

The most basic and familiar technique here is Goal Setting. Counselors and psychologists help clients list, determine, and differentiate their short-term and long-term goals and plans. Together with athletes, they check how measurable and attainable the goals are over the course of therapy.

Finally, Regulating Arousal is a good strategy for individuals. It improves a person’s performance by regulating their physical or mental activity. You can visualize winning sports events, discuss positive self-talk, or listen to empowering music or songs. You can also perform gentle and relaxing muscle techniques, slow breathing exercises, and meditation.

How To Find The Best Counselor

The Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) regulates standards for professionals in sport psychology. They are also the ones who provide certifications to qualified individuals.

In finding the best fitness counselor, make sure that they are licensed and recognized by the AASP. You can also look into their credentials if you find them fit for your choices and preferences.

Because you might need multiple counseling sessions, make sure to hire a counselor with whom you feel more comfortable. This is key to becoming more open in the long run.

Be well aware of your counselor’s manners when working with you. Check how professional their care is for you and if it pushes you to become your best self. Pay attention to how effective their approaches are for you and your current mental and physical capacities.

Conclusion

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Whether you are a professional athlete, a student-athlete, or an exercise enthusiast, engaging in Sports and Fitness Counseling or Therapy can be beneficial in improving your performance which is eventual in achieving your major goals in life.

Physical engagement and having good coaches can help you succeed with your sports and athletic career. Therapy can help you manage your mood, increase focus, and learn how to motivate yourself in the future. It can also promote retention and help you adhere to your goals despite setbacks and hurdles that may come your way.

Frequently Asked Questions About Motivational Enhancement Therapy

We all have those days when merely getting out of bed is a challenge. It normally happens on occasion. However, make sure to observe such instances. Once these occasional slumps stretch to days, weeks, and even months, there must be something serious going on. 

For one, serious mental health conditions can cause this feeling. If it’s the case, it can take a negative toll on our lives and how we connect with people around us.

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Many types of therapy are available that can properly address different mental health disorders. Behaviors and habits can change with the right help. One of the most effective treatments is motivational enhancement therapy. 

Motivational enhancement therapy aims to change and refocus your motivations in life. Usually recommended to people facing substance abuse problems, this method is backed by numerous studies. 

Like most types of therapy, it begins with asking yourself questions that can address negative behaviors. Because it involves making conscious adjustments, it is a difficult process for most. Some even end up rejecting it. 

But then,  things can get better over time. The therapist is available to assist through the process. They can help assess and provide feedback on your actions while also preventing relapse. 

The best way to gain the desired results is to be open to the process. Although it may take hard work, it is essential to trust the therapists and the process. Gradually, as the therapy moves forward, it will help bring a new perspective. 

Want to know more about motivational enhancement therapy? Read on to learn if this type of treatment is suited for you. 

How does motivational enhancement therapy work?

Motivational enhancement therapy, also known as MET, is a treatment with a primary goal to change or motivate an individual from the name itself. It is primarily used in people with substance abuse disorders or behavioral problems. These people usually resist changes in their habits, lifestyles, and other things. MET is an approach used to overcome those disrupting their well-being.

Is motivational enhancement therapy the same as motivational interviewing?

One can say that motivational enhancement therapy and motivational interviewing are the same. Their main goal is to help addicts overcome and become motivated in behavioral changes.

However, the difference between the two relies on specificities. MI is often used in a general setting with general goals and is usually the first step taken when a patient wants to start motivational therapy. In contrast, MET is tailored to a more specific purpose.

Is motivational enhancement therapy evidence-based?

Yes, motivational enhancement therapy is evidence-based. This particular type of treatment is already backed up by numerous findings and researches, all of which are credible.

How do therapists motivate clients?

Therapists motivate clients through MET’s five principles: communicating with understanding, preventing arguments, neutralizing opposition, elaborating on contradiction, and encouraging ability. These five principles will bring out an individual’s strength to overcome difficulties in changes.

What type of therapy is motivational interviewing?

Motivational interviewing is classified as psychotherapy. Specifically, an adjunct is usually used with cognitive-behavioral therapy. It is a client-centered approach, giving more importance to the individual and helping him/her resolve any change-driven problems he/she has.

What are the five stages of motivational interviewing?

The pre-contemplation stage, the first stage, is similar to a denial stage wherein patients are not ready to change yet. The second stage, the contemplation stage, serves as an assessment stage for patients to consider which behaviors or habits need changing. The third stage, called the preparation stage, allows the individuals to determine how they will change.

Next is the action stage, from the name itself, when they already work themselves out to change. Lastly, during the maintenance and relapse prevention stage, the therapist oversees the client’s progress.

What should you not do in motivational interviewing?

Whether you are undergoing motivational interviewing or you are the one doing the MI, remember not to use scare tactics, not to pressure yourself, and refrain from being biased or giving out your judgment, among many other things. It is vital that both the client and the therapist are comfortable and at ease with each other.

What is the rule in motivational interviewing?

RULE is an acronym for the four core principles of motivational interviewing. It stands for Resist the righting reflex, Understanding the patient’s motivation, Listening with empathy, and Empowering the patient. If you follow these RULE or core principles, instead, a successful MI is guaranteed.

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What are the six stages of change?

The six stages of change follow the five motivational interviewing steps: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and relapse prevention. The difference is that maintenance and relapse prevention are separated, making each one a different stage. So, therefore, change has six stages.

 How do you motivate physicians to improve compliance?

Improving compliance means improving patient care. To motivate physicians to improve compliance, one can start by removing any other administrative responsibilities or work so physicians can focus on working on their clients.

Other factors to consider are having them work with better technology and possibly more clinical staff. It is also essential to address any mood disorders if it starts affecting physicians due to various reasons.

 Why is behavior change so difficult?

Changing one’s behavior is difficult but not entirely impossible. One of the main reasons why many people tend to resist change is because they have been accustomed to one habit or lifestyle for so long that they see change as a potential threat or harm to what they are used to. The unfamiliarity change brings scares them.

 How do you influence and motivate others?

Using your voice to influence and motivate others should be put into fair use. To control and inspire other people, you should be able to empower them. Empowering others starts by empowering yourself first. Just like how loving others begin when you love yourself first.

It would be best if you also remembered to remain true to yourself. This way, your authenticity, and honesty will inspire others to follow you.

How do you motivate people in a team?

Motivating a team is more than just being their leader. As an efficient and effective leader, you must set a comfortable and safe space for every single one of your team members. It is crucial to building trust, loyalty, and understanding within the team. This way, you will be able to motivate and influence them better.

Do not forget to allow your teammates to have opportunities to grow and learn outside of the team.

What causes a lack of motivation?

Lack of motivation is almost always associated with psychological disorders, especially depression. However, there are other causes for it, such as lack of clarity, lack of goals, feeling overwhelmed, physical conditions, and disruptive habits such as alcohol drinking, to name a few.

 How do you improve morality?

Developing a strong morality is crucial as it guides us to give and have better judgments. Improving one’s character should always start from knowing what is right from wrong and what is good for you from what is not. It also involves having high self-awareness and self-management.

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Changing your habits is always difficult but not entirely impossible. Since you have had these behaviors for a long time, you may tend to resist at first. You may also doubt and worry about your capacity to change. 

But have patience in yourself and recognize this discomfort. It may initially be a painful process, but it will get better. Rest assured that you will eventually enjoy the fruits of your hard work. 

Motivational enhancement therapy is for those dealing with substance abuse issues, lack of goals, and destructive behaviors. By working with a therapist, you can take action to commit to change. Eventually, you will feel more empowered and excited about the future.

The process will begin by being aware of the present problem and how it affects you. After which, it will be necessary to adjust your thoughts to facilitate change. Then, the therapist will constantly evaluate the progress as the treatment continues. 

It will be a long journey of ups and downs. Expect to encounter bumps along the way. But through therapy and the therapist’s help, you will be able to overcome these hard times. 

Right now, you may be feeling uninspired and demotivated. But with the right help and guidance, this too will pass. Have confidence in yourself that you can change for the better. 

Life And Mental Health

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I have been asked recently – how is your life these days? A classmate of mine back in the University sincerely asked that question and was waiting with caring eyes. I did see the genuine concern for me, and it seems that she knew what happened to my marriage even if she was continents away.

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Family Needs Help

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Having issues in the family is a common thing; everyone goes through, but some families may need a little more help than others. The help we may need can differ from one family to the other, and sometimes it may be hard for us to admit that we need help, but accepting the fact that we need help is the first step to fully healing. I have here a few of the reasons why you should consider Family Counseling and I hope you find the answers you are looking for right here.

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Keeping My Head High – Lockdown Is Making Me Go Downhill

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One month into the lockdown, and I lost my job of six years. I cannot blame my boss for closing down his business. We were in the travel agency industry, and right now, who’s traveling? I mean, it will take a long time before tourism will jump back. This pandemic has destroyed the lives of billions of people on this planet. And I am one of them.

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On Lockdown: How’s Your Mental Health These Days?

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We are all advised to stay at home, and almost everything is in lockdown. This is due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and it is very stressful. People are worried, angry, fearful, and anxious all at the same time. This can seriously take a toll on one’s mental health, not just for the adults but also for kids and teenagers.

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