How Worrying Can Get the Best of Us

Girl thinking about future with worrisome scribble near her head
As humans, we tend to worry. We worry about what might happen tomorrow, next week, or maybe even later today. If we draw breath, we’re susceptible to worrying. While none of us are alone in the worry-wart business, worrying is unique to mankind and to the future. We don’t worry about what happened in the past, only the effect of those events on the future. I also don’t believe we humans will ever be free from worrying; rather, managing worry appears to be the challenge. Sometimes our worries are well-founded. They prompt us to take action – hopefully positive action – to reduce, redirect, or [...]

Accepting Reality When You Know You Can't Change It

animated woman opening curtain
Sometimes in life we end up in situations we can’t change. Radical acceptance is all about fully accepting reality in situations that are beyond your control. This doesn’t mean you approve of the situation, are giving up, or that it isn’t painful. You are still allowed to (and should!) feel however you feel, but by accepting that it is what it is, you give the problem less power over you and you can begin to move forward. Practicing radical acceptance has been shown to reduce feelings of shame, guilt, and anxiety, and it can reduce distress in dealing with negative thoughts or events. Mental [...]

6 Small Steps to Help Manage Stress

woman sitting in the light of a window looking relaxed
Stress is an unavoidable part of life, but it doesn’t have to be a disabling one. The term stress refers to our emotional and physical reaction to events that we find challenging. These events can be negative, such as the loss of a job, or positive, such as buying a home. Stress also can be short-term or chronic; chronic stress can take a serious toll on our well-being, leading to heart disease, depression, and other health concerns. The more knowledgeable we are about how stress affects us and why, the better equipped we are to manage it. Stress management is the practice of learning and [...]

7 Ideas for Finding Positivity After Loss

A white shining cloud emerging from behind a dark cloud
At some point in our lives we all experience loss. It may be the end of a relationship, being let go from a job, losing a home, or the death of a loved one. You may have experienced a lot of loss in the past few years – upheavals to our routine, cancelled events, milestones we've missed. It's natural to grieve all these things, and it can be hard to feel any positivity after loss. By looking for opportunity in adversity or ­finding ways to remember the good things about who or what we’ve lost, we can help ourselves to recover mentally and emotionally. Mental Health America offers these 7 tips [...]

Stress and Mental Health in the Workplace

Man sitting at work desk with piles of papers around him looking very stressed
The average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime. That is equivalent to 11,250 8-hour workdays. It’s safe to say that your job and workplace can have a considerable impact on your mental health and quality of life. If employees are experiencing a lot of stress at work, they're bound to be unhappy. In a 2021 Work Health Survey conducted by Mental Health America (MHA), they set out to provide an opportunity to better understand four different mental health challenges that employees face in the workplace. Mental Health Challenges Employees Face 1. Financial Insecurity With [...]

Tips for Adapting after Trauma and Stress

animated person sitting on the ground with eyes closed and thought bubbles around her with anxiety shape, broken heart, rain cloud, low battery, and storm cloud
We all face trauma, adversity, and other stresses throughout our lives. When people think of trauma, they often think of things like abuse, terrorism, or catastrophic events (big ‘T’ trauma). Trauma can also be caused by events that may be less obvious but can still overwhelm your capacity to cope, like frequent arguing at home or losing your job (little ‘t’ trauma). Trauma of any kind can be hard on your mental health but working on becoming more resilient can help you feel more at ease. Mental Health America offers these tips for healing as part of its Tools 2 Thrive initiative: Process your [...]

Dealing with Anger and Frustration

animated person holding hands to head and looking frustrated
In challenging times, you may ­find that you have little patience with other people or get upset over minor things. Anger and frustration are complicated emotions that often stem from other feelings, like disappointment, fear, and stress. Taking some extra steps to decrease your overall tension can prevent your feelings (and the reactions that they cause) from spiraling out of control. Try these 8 tips for coping, provided by Mental Health America: Pause before reacting When you feel yourself getting mad, take a moment to notice what you’re thinking, then take a few deep breaths or count to 10 [...]

When Winter Days Are SAD

Fall and winter can bring on symptoms of seasonal depression or SAD
The change in seasons can do more than alter the weather, it can also affect our mood. Starting in the fall and into the winter season, the days are shorter and usually less sunny. For some individuals, the change in season can be accompanied by a change in mood, known as seasonal depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that typically begins in the fall and lasts through the winter months. As the season progresses, the symptoms of SAD may worsen. Activities you once enjoyed no longer hold the same interest, and you may repeatedly [...]

5 Ways to Better Manage Your Emotions

people holding papers in front of their faces showing different emotions
When we understand why we feel the way we do, we can better express and manage emotions in our daily lives. This is called emotional wellness – one of the dimensions of wellness. Here are ways we can achieve emotional wellness: 1. Increase your awareness of your emotions Do regular self check-ins. Take time throughout the day to ask yourself what you are feeling. Identify your thoughts and actions to see if those are contributing to your emotions. 2. Accept your feelings Allow yourself to feel both positive and negative emotions. Learn to let yourself feel negative emotions and not just ignore [...]

Anxiety Can Be Contagious, Too

two people sitting back to back with a cloud of anxiety over their heads
You know the old saying "laughter is contagious." Laughter, happiness, joy; a lot of things fall into the category of being easy to spread. Unfortunately, bad things are contagious, too. Colds, illnesses, and even a bad mood. Your stress, frustrations, and anxiety can spread to those around you. Protect them by protecting yourself. How Anxiety Affects Us When we are stressed or anxious, it’s difficult for our brains to absorb any facts, much less decipher fact from fiction, and we go into survival mode. Intellectual information doesn’t register because we are running away from danger. When our [...]