By Kristen Sohlman, HBA, RP
For some, Halloween is a time to enjoy the colours of the Fall season, to feel the joy of dressing up, to go trick or treating, and to get to know your neighbours and community in a different way! Some mental health professionals believe that Halloween is an opportunity for creativity and for children to safely explore any possible feelings of fear connected to scary things safely with friends and family. But what can you do when Halloween is over, and your fears turn out to be more than scares of a holiday season?
The type of fear I am referring to is not the fear from an actual scary situation, but an irrational fear that seems to rule your thinking, that can negatively affect your ability to cope with life’s experiences, and prevents you from living a productive, healthy, and growth-enhancing life. Fears can present themselves in a variety of packages including fears of places, animals, objects, people, events, atmosphere, family members, disasters, illness, public speaking, authority, or the unknown. The difficulty with fear is that it can immobilize you, prevent you from trusting others, prevent you from letting go or changing, can make you resistant, can stifle your motivation, keeps you locked in self-destructive behaviour, and prevents you from believing in yourself!
By Elizabeth Perzan, MSW, RSW
You should be happy, but something just feels off.
You can’t be tired…you only hit snooze once this morning. You made it to work on time. You did great in that meeting and don’t forget that hilarious joke you told. You made time for friends and family and even cooked a great meal for supper. Maybe it’s a tightness in your chest, or an ache in your stomach. But no, you’re not really sure. Either way, your head and your heart just don’t seem to be on the same page.
No, nothing is wrong with you. And you’re not alone.
As human beings, we experience a wide range of emotions on a daily basis. It's okay to feel down sometimes. We can’t expect to be happy 24/7, even if everything seems to be going well. In fact, closing the door on negative emotions can actually backfire, diminishing your ability to feel happiness, joy, and contentment. Simply put, we need the bad emotions in order to appreciate the good ones.
By Linda Kelly, MSW, RSW
Being triggered is a big joke in the meme-world these days.
Social media runs rampant with disdainful attitudes about oversensitive individuals and groups that are “triggered” by seemingly innocuous comments and jokes. In fact, there are a lot of groups out there that are infinitely well meaning; yet vilified because they identify discrimination and abuse that others don’t acknowledge.
Given the intense negative connotation associated with THAT word, it makes sense when even I, as an experienced psychotherapist, was denying being triggered by an event that actually did upset me!
Let’s get this straight (AHEM, please take a breath and hear me out).
To be “triggered” simply means that your internal alarm system has been set off.
By Jennifer Robinson, MSW, RSW
Emotions are a very important component of our lives.
We feel different emotions throughout every single day, they influence our thoughts our behaviors, and ultimately determine our decisions. Emotions can be very helpful, they can help us to identify how we feel about a situation, a person, or a thought, however at times they can also be harmful if we don’t know how to express them in healthy ways.
These tips can help you to be more in tune with your emotions;
By Kristen Sohlman, HBA, RP
Normal emotional flow is like having the oil system on your car working well: everything keeps moving through the system. When part of the system breaks down or the filter gets clogged, oil stops moving through the system, and the engine overheats and might be damaged by the grit. Stuffed feelings are like having a broken oil pump or a clogged filter. When your feelings don’t circulate, you get emotionally “overheated,” and can result in damage to yourself and to others. Stuffed feelings can result in fear, anger, and substance abuse.
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