Three Minute Therapy
Anywhere, Anytime Coping Skills
A limit to some commonly used coping skills is that they can’t be used anywhere or at any time. You can’t whip out your journal in a board meeting or even begin to stretch and breathe deeply while giving a presentation.
Here are two anywhere anytime coping skills to add to your tool box. Use these when you are feeling anxious, overwhelmed, nervous, or unsure of yourself.
1. Color game – choose a color and count how many objects are within your eyesight that are that color. Ideally, pick a calming color like blue or green.
2. The five senses – connect to your sense of taste, touch, see, smell, and hear. Can you rub a soft or rough spot on your clothing? Can you hear the sound of laughter or music? Can you divert your attention to something pleasing?
Why do these work? Both of these skills keep us grounded and in the moment. We are increasing our awareness of our environment, slowing down our thought process, and regaining control over our breathing and central nervous system simply by having a narrow focus.Learn More
How to create room for BOTH
Both what? What on earth does that mean? Many times individuals, couples, or families will find they are fighting to choose a side. The context can be different every time.
Who is right here?
What is the real truth?
Should I love them or be upset with them?
Why I am I always giving in?
Compromise feels more like they won.
Relationships won’t work when you are consistently facing these questions and forcing yourself, or others, to choose a side. We are not one dimensional human beings. Everything about us is complex – from our respiratory system to our thought process to the roles we fulfill on a daily basis. Why would it be healthy then to respond to our environment with such a black and white approach?
When you find yourself fighting from a boxed in and well defended corner, you have immediately lost the opportunity for growth and closeness.
This is clear to see in relationships. We can all picture the last or the most significant conflict we have encountered with someone we love.
Did it end well? Was each person able to express their side AND listen to the other side? Were you able to clearly articulate what was ok for you and what wasn’t?
Did you scream and yell? Did you shut down? Did you act like nothing happened in the following days? Did you feel awful?
What feels better for you?
Coming from an individual perspective, it may not be as obvious but you probably can relate.
Did you allow yourself to be upset with someone you love? Did you clearly tell another where your limits and boundaries lie? Did you feel positive about being genuine and honest in your communication?
Do you hold it all in? Do you avoid conflict at every cost? Do you feel guilty and shameful for expressing yourself? Is everything your fault?
Creating room for BOTH refers to you being your most genuine and authentic self every minute of the day. Be kind and patient with yourself. Know you are a complex being who will experience an array of emotions. Accept that your loved ones are different than you. Understand that different does not mean bad.
Use the above healthy questions to guide you in creating a healthy life with fulfilling relationships.Learn More
Boundaries. How often do you hear the phrase “healthy boundaries?” What exactly does this mean? Who determines the boundary? Does the word boundary sound too harsh or safe or scary?
In this week’s support, I thought talking about boundaries would be helpful. They’re always showing up in my practice – who has them, who doesn’t, and what expectations are attached to them.
Setting boundaries can be extremely challenging!
Let’s look at what makes up boundaries, what they mean, and the ways they can be helpful or not.
First up – definition.
According to Webster, a boundary is a line that marks the limit of an area. This is a strong yet simple definition to use as a point of reference. Now break this down a bit and apply it to every day life and relationships and emotions… “marks the limit…” Everyone has limits, right?
At work – Tasks are set daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly because there are limits. Different roles and titles also identify limits. Limits can be defined by location too.
At home – Grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, cooking, paying bills, relaxing, and watching TV are not all accomplished in one day, and they shouldn’t be. Why? Because there are limits.
With partners, family, children, siblings – One person shouldn’t always be apologizing, or taking the blame, or compromising, or keeping the relationship intact, or checking in, or making sure everyone is ok. Even Superman had his limits. (kryptonite, in case you weren’t sure)
I want you to think about, (and if you’re really feeling it, write down) where your limits lie. What are some lines that you are not willing to cross? What are some lines, or limits, that others have put in place for you? Where do you do a really good job on staying within the limits? Where would you like to see change?
And if you have a hard time answering these questions, just go back to that strong yet simple definition. A boundary is a line that marks the limit of an area. Maybe your limit in that moment is to give yourself a break from thinking…
The initial benefits of recovery include:
· No more hangovers.
· No more withdrawal rollercoaster.
· No more anxiety about where to find the next drink or dose.
· No more hiding alcohol or drug use.
· No more lying to friends, family, and co-workers about alcohol or drug use — if that was happening.
The benefits of recovery can also span the following domains:
2. Social and civic functioning
3. Physical and mental health
4. Legal status and involvement
5. Employment and school
Recovery is the period of time that begins after an individual with an alcohol or substance use disorder takes proactive steps to restore and repair the harm caused by their time in active addiction. They may enter treatment for alcohol abuse, opioid addiction, or a problem with other illicit drugs. They may go to community support groups or begin recovery on their own: whatever the case, when they take that step, that’s when recovery begins.
That’s when things begin to change.
And as you’ll see, that’s when most things begin to change for the better.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of recovery, check out this article. This article, and the information cited above, were written by Christopher Johnston, MD, ABAM, the Chief Medical Officer for Pinnacle Treatment Centers, a leading drug and alcohol addiction treatment provider.
In addicted families, there are generally three rules:
Don’t Speak (about the addiction), Don’t Trust (anyone, even yourself), and Don’t Feel (don’t express feelings, don’t allow yourself to have them, and certainly don’t express any appropriate feelings)
Goals of treatment for addicted families include:
Talk about what’s going on
Learn to trust yourself
Know what you’re feeling and share it in a healthy and safe way