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Dealing with What You’re Dealt


Some days you run around frantically trying to stay on top of everything; though you get it all done- it’s hard to do it all day-after-day-after-day.  Other days you can barely take out the trash or feed yourself because you feel so burned out.  The stress is stealing your sleep, wreaking havoc on your appetite, maybe even killing your sex drive.  It is for sure messing with your zest for life.

Your doctor, family, and friends all say the same thing: decrease your stress level.  But how can you possibly lower your stress given your work schedule and expectations, volunteer efforts, kids’ needs, health status, and the to-dos that relentlessly stack up each day?

You may find yourself coping with the stress in a variety of ways – zoning out with social media or online surfing, eating, not eating, shopping, not leaving the house unless you have to, gambling, working harder, hardly working.  These don’t seem to help, though.  The good news is that there are effective, surprisingly simple ways to manage your stress levels so that you can stay productive while still feeling satisfied with life.

In therapy for stress management, we focus on finding the key issues that keep you up at night, problem solving so that they feel more in your control, and learning coping skills to combat the mental, emotional, and physiological effects of stress.


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Emotional Resilience

Emotional Security for Stressful Times

Emotional Resilience is the ability to successfully adapt to stressful situations or interactions.  It allows you to cope with adversity without the stress having lasting difficulty or residual effects on your life.  The good news: emotional resilience is a trait that can be learned and improved!

Emotional Resilience is composed of several characteristics that increase our ability to both endure and bounce back from stress, struggle, and loss.  You already have many of these traits, but with unending stress, your go-to coping skills can burn out.  Lucky for you, therapy is a great place to invest in your emotional security.  Some of the many traits of Emotional Resilience that therapy can help you adopt and refine include:


Look on the bright side

This includes identifying the positive aspects of a situation and believing that you can handle what comes your way. (Notice, this is realistic positive thinking, not delusional positivism.)


Define your limits

Setting boundaries for work, self-care, how others communicate with you, how you talk to yourself is essential for maintaining balance in our lives.  When you set boundaries, you open yourself up to feeling secure, supported, and focused on what really matters to you.


Face your fears

This means taking an action oriented perspective of willingness to try scary things and not giving up despite set-backs, complications, and difficulties.

Cognitive Flexibility

Think outside the box

Cultivate willingness to consider other “stories” about what is happening in your life.  Instead of staying stuck in auto-pilot about how you view the world, curiously view life and your reactions to it.


Take time for yourself

Having awareness of what recharges your batteries and rejuvenates you, and then engaging in those activities nourishes your soul.  Self-care also includes practicing physical fitness and healthy eating habits.


Laugh about it

A great tool for getting through tough times is to find the humor around you.  This includes not taking yourself too seriously and, at times, laughing at yourself.

Emotional Intelligence

Feel it out

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the capacity to know what you are feeling, manage strong emotions (both wanted and unwanted ones), and then respond to the impulses that they evoke in a healthy, productive manner.


Become an expert on yourself

This means having the ability to identify what you think and feel, and the reason why.  With this skill, you are able to recognize the subtle cues of your body and emotions in order to know about your psychological and physiological needs.


Rely on those you trust

We all need a little help from our friends/family, so don’t hesitate to reach out.  Plus, connection with others releases neurochemicals that both calm you down and help you feel safe.

So let’s do this – let’s get you back to engaging in life with vibrant energy and optimism.  Let’s reconnect you with what lights you on fire and excites you about life.


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