Why Avoiding Toxic Positivity is Important

It is becoming increasingly popular to always look on the bright side of life, no matter what happens. Never acknowledging that bad things do happen in life can have many negative consequences on someone’s life, however. The following guide gives you a few reasons why you may want to try to avoid toxic positivity in your life.

Toxic Positivity Can Cause Mental Health Struggles

When you are going through a difficult situation in life, and someone tells you to “look on the bright side” this can affect you in a negative way mentally. It can make you question if the feelings you have are selfish, are unnecessary, or are childish. It’s okay to have negative emotions from time to time. While you don’t want to dwell on them nonstop, having negative emotions is normal and healthy. Squelching these emotions can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety, which can also affect your life negatively.

Toxic Positivity Can Create a False Sense of Security

Trying to always see things in a positive light can instill a feeling that everything should be great all the time. When something goes wrong, it can limit the feelings of responsibility someone has, which can give them a false sense of entitlement. It can make someone feel as though they are owed the positive things in life and when they don’t occur, it can lead to someone thinking they did something wrong, weren’t good enough, or cause them to blame someone else for their problems.

Toxic Positivity Can Cause Social Awkwardness

Being around people who are positive all the time can create social awkwardness. It can make you feel as though you have to hide negative feelings when they occur out of a fear of letting someone down or feeling you’ll be judged. Not being able to share your feelings openly and honestly causes things to become bottled up inside which is not a healthy way to live life. Avoiding toxic positivity isn’t always easy to do. You may need to limit your social interaction to people who live a more realistic way of life and don’t always try to find the good in everything that happens. Limiting social media allows you to avoid being exposed to toxic positivity unexpectedly and can help to provide you with time to process the way you feel about something in a healthy way.

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A 5-Minute Exercise for Emotional Intelligence

Do you have days full of daily responsibilities? Does it often seem like too much? It is very easy to get overwhelmed with all the demands placed on modern adults. Things can pile up so fast that it’s easy to simply tune it all out and walk away.

While tuning out difficult tasks or things you don’t want to do has its perks, it can also be easily overdone. The serenity that comes with it can lead to complacency and even avoiding crucial tasks completely.

The more a person avoids work, the more anxiety they will face about the consequences of not getting things done. That’s why it’s important to have coping mechanisms that help people accomplish the tasks at hand that need to be dealt with.

It’s a particularly brutal cycle, but it’s also easy to break. There’s a technique that’s based on the fundamentals of emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is being able to identify your emotions, understand them, and then manage them effectively. One way you can do this is by using the 5-minute rule.

If you don’t deal with your stress proactively regarding a particular task, then your brain is likely to get overwhelmed with thoughts of how long the task will take and how difficult it will be. Fortunately, big and challenging tasks don’t often happen in just one sitting or session, as you’re likely to handle it by nibbling at it one small bit at a time.

This is where the 5-minute rule factors in. Just decide to work on a specific task for 5 minutes, with the promise to yourself that if you need or want to, you can quit once those 5 minutes are up.

Your brain should acknowledge that 5 minutes is not all that long. That’s actually enough time for more than one funny cat video on YouTube.

Most of the time, once 5 minutes are up, you’ll get so engrossed in a task that you’ll have momentum and keep going. Still, the 5-minute rule has done its brilliant work, which is helping you get started.

The next time you’re facing some burden you just don’t feel like facing yet, consider giving it just 5 minutes. You’ll fall in love with this trick soon enough.

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The Correlation Between Excessive Screen Time and Poor Mental Health

Electronic devices play a large role in everyday life. In fact, most people cannot go 24 hours without using their cell phone, laptop, or television. Although there are many societal benefits to using electronics, some health experts are worried that overindulging in screen time may negatively impact mental health.

These findings impacted both younger children and adults. Here’s a list of ways screen time can impact the mind of different generations.

Screen Time Impacts Children Mental Development

Children who spend hours on their electronic devices reportedly had a harder time engaging in activities that weren’t electronic-related. For instance, these children had trouble developing their imagination, being creative, and even making friends.

Children who spent an excessive amount of time using electronics also had a thinner brain cortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for critical thinking. Behavioral intelligence and the ability to socially interact are lower in children who have numerous hours of screen time.

Screen Time Negatively Impacts Self Image

While social media is great for keeping in contact with loved ones, it can also play a negative role in self-image. People who constantly compare themselves to others online begin to devalue their own lives, especially when they follow high-profile accounts. People who find themselves routinely feeling insecure when they are on social media should highly consider limiting use immediately.

Screen Time Impacts Physical Health

Believe it or not, social media also plays a role in overall physical health. People who spend hours online are more likely to be sedentary, which leads to being overweight and obesity. This furthers mental issues because it discourages people from going to the gym or working out in public. If left untreated, this will lead to anxiety, depression, and other underlying health conditions like type 2 diabetes.

Using electronics can be a beneficial experience. However, too much screen time takes a negative toll on physical and mental health. Children who spend too much time in front of electronics also have a delayed mental and physical development that hinders them into their adult life. To avoid the negative aspects of being on electronic devices, it’s best to create a healthy balance on and off-screen.

Alternative Ways to Cope with Failure

Failure is an inevitable part of life every single person faces. It’s easy to get into your own head and think of every reason as to why and how failure occurred, which can spiral into some intense negative thinking. Anxiety and depression easily creep in when one doesn’t accomplish their goals, so coping with failure properly is all about knowing how to handle outcomes. Luckily, there is a proper way to handle failure rather than screaming into a pillow in agony.

Finding the Good

There is a silver lining to every single thing that happens in a person’s life. Losing a job could open the door for possibly getting a new, better job. Not getting into the dream college could make way for potentially going to a better college. It’s all about finding reasons to keep going because there is a silver lining in every situation. Failure can hit hard depending on how meaningful a certain dream may have been, but it doesn’t have to be impossible to seek the good.

Having New Goals

Being somebody who can jump up and start anew is the kind of person everybody should aim to be. Life can take some twists and turns, and certain goals can take a dive for the worst when things don’t go a certain way. Don’t be scared to reach for new dreams, have new goals, and find new ways to grow as a person. Creating new goals will help anyone cope with the loss of their previous dreams.

Reframing the Idea of Failure

The things people say to themselves can dictate how they end up feeling when things don’t go their way. They’re hard on themselves and refuse to take no for an answer. Reframing thoughts in regards to failure is the way to cope. It’s about acknowledging that this isn’t the end of the world. Putting their best foot forward is all that matters.

 

These are powerful new approaches to failure that can make it easier when things don’t go a certain way. It doesn’t have to end in bitterness or anger. Anyone can reframe their mind from anger to gratitude and being able to see the good in any situation. Just a switch can make a difference.

What to Know About Antidepressant Withdrawal

Most people are aware that there will be a period of withdrawal when someone stops taking certain drugs, such as painkillers, or more serious substances like cocaine and heroin. However, some people don’t realize that there may be a possibility of antidepressant withdrawal when a person stops taking their prescribed medication. If this happens, does that mean that the person was addicted to the antidepressant?

 

If a person has taken antidepressants for a number of weeks, then there is a possibility of withdrawal if they abruptly stop taking the medication. These symptoms, called antidepressant discontinuation syndrome, can last for a couple of days up to a few weeks. Certain types of antidepressants are also more likely to cause a user to experience withdrawal symptoms.

 

The following symptoms may occur within one to two days after a person stops taking their antidepressants:

 

  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Muscle aches
  • Chills
  • Insomnia
  • Vivid dreams
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Electric shock sensations
  • Nausea

 

An individual may also often see a return in their depression symptoms after stopping their antidepressants cold turkey.

 

While withdrawal symptoms are common for someone who has stopped taking antidepressants, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they were addicted to the medication in the first place. Long-term chemical changes occur in the brain of an addict, characterized by very intense and uncontrollable cravings. These cravings can make it difficult to control the use of addictive substances. However, antidepressants do not cause these changes.

 

A doctor can help an individual minimize the risk of withdrawal from antidepressants. They will likely recommend a slow taper of the medication. As the person reduces the dosage of their antidepressant over the course of several weeks or more, their body begins to gradually adapt to not having the medication in its system.

 

Some doctors also prescribe different types of antidepressants or medications for short-term assistance. These will help the body adjust to the absence of the other medication. In the case of a patient switching from one brand of antidepressant to another, their doctor might simply start them off at the equivalent dose of their previous medication.

 

It can be hard to tell if the symptoms a person is feeling are returning depression symptoms or if they are withdrawal symptoms. Patients should always keep their doctor informed of their symptoms and feelings. If the depression returns, many doctors will recommend starting treatment again, either by prescribing the same antidepressant or offering a new brand.

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How to Declutter the Mind for Better Mental Health

Spring cleaning involves more than getting rid of unused property. The mind also has to be decluttered every once in a while. Otherwise, it’s difficult to mentally and physically function at an optimal level.

 

People who find themselves regularly suffering with anxiety or stress-related conditions should highly consider making some changes, including:

 

Trying something new.

Over time, people lose their natural desire to try new things. By going against the urge to avoid new experiences, it allows for more brain expansion and enhances overall wellness.

 

Getting some exercise.

Many people don’t know that exercising is just as important for brain health as it is for maintaining physical health. In fact, health experts suggest that regular exercise promotes brain growth and expands memory.

 

Best of all, this mental growth doesn’t require intense workouts. Something as simple as taking a walk or a bike ride can improve brain function. Aim for at least 30 minutes three times per week.

 

Don’t ignore circadian rhythms.

Stress can lead to trouble sleeping. When stress-related insomnia occurs, it interrupts the body’s natural sleep cycles, also known as circadian rhythms.

 

When circadian rhythms are off, it creates a downward spiral. Insomnia sufferers get very little sleep at night and subsequently don’t have enough fuel to properly handle their day-to-day tasks. In severe cases, fatigue can cause life-threatening conditions.

 

To avoid these harsh consequences and improve mental sharpness, take heed to these rhythms. Even if it means making an extra effort to fall asleep. Lavender aromatherapy, taking a warm bath, and even installing blackout curtains are major steps toward regulating circadian rhythms.

 

Make time to laugh.

How often do people under large amounts of stress take time to laugh? Laughter releases endorphins, which are the neurotransmitters responsible for alleviating pain and stress. Watching a funny movie or going to a comedy club are great ways to de-stress after a long day.

 

Life comes with many ups and downs, which can cause a roller coaster of emotions. When used on a regular basis, these mind-decluttering techniques improve mental and overall health. If stress and anxiety symptoms persist, speak to a healthcare professional immediately.

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The Importance of Self-Compassion

Whether a lack of compassion comes from a small failure or a major disappointment, people tend to be harder on themselves than other people. Over time, lack of compassion leads to further mental and emotional issues like anxiety, depression, and stress.

Therefore, people need to practice more self-compassion. Here is the list of self-compassion benefits and improvement techniques worth trying.

It’s a motivator.
People that criticize themselves usually talk themselves out of reaching their goals. Some people are harder on themselves due to years of being criticized as a child. By practicing self-compassion, it’s easier to accept flaws as motivation to improve rather than a reason to give up.

It improves overall health.
People often underestimate the impact of negativity on their health. Constant self-doubt triggers a person’s fight-or-flight response, which increases cortisol levels. Higher levels of cortisol, or the stress hormone, leads to serious illnesses. In severe cases, high levels of stress can be deadly.

With self-compassion, even difficult times don’t have such a negative impact on health. Actually, having compassion leads to adopting healthier coping mechanisms that would otherwise cause mental and emotional problems.

Ways to Practice Self-Compassion
Practicing self-compassion can be difficult at first. To become better at self-compassion, it’s best to do activities like:

Pretend to be a child.
People naturally treat children with compassion and love. Therefore, people should treat themselves with the compassion they’d show a child to change their perspective and better their chances of achieving their goals.

Write a letter.
Receiving encouraging letters from loved ones usually makes the recipient feel better. To get out of a funk, it’s a good idea to write a letter from a loved one’s perspective. Over time, people that write letters to themselves make self-compassion a habit.

Meditate
In difficult times, it’s a good idea to meditate. With closed eyes, taking deep breaths while thinking of positive mantras helps improve self-compassion.

While self-compassion doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a great way to live a healthier life. Eventually, these techniques help people learn their value, which allows them to form better relationships and overcome everyday setbacks.

Understanding Your Personality for Optimal Productivity

Flow or “the zone” is a state where a person’s physical and mental performance goes through the roof. A zone is also a place where people are absorbed in what they do, and time seems to fly. Flow is universal. People can train themselves to move into this space when certain conditions are met to make the state repeatable and reliable.Peoples’ personality contributes to their productivity. One cannot use another person’s system for productivity as personality varies from person to person. What works for one person for personal growth may not work for another. Organizations reach out to different personalities to increase productivity to find out the systems could not give them results.

Some personality traits that play an essential role in optimal productivity include a person’s risk tolerance, the openness to try new things, and whether one is introverted or extroverted. Personality traits are difficult to change as they are genetically coded.

Onboard processes for optimal performance

Curiosity, purpose, passion, mastery, and autonomy are intrinsic motivators that give room for peak performance. Curiosity, passion, and purpose are the basics of optimal performance, followed by autonomy, which is the desire to pursue purpose and passion. Mastery pushes people to become experts in what they do.

Proper alignment of intrinsic motivators takes time as it varies from person to person. While in the alignment process, people should focus on cultivating and amplifying their strengths and values to enhance their personality.

How to find one flow triggers

There are 22 flow triggers, and one needs to understand what works for them for optimal performance. Examples of flow triggers include deep embodiment and high consequences. Triggers change from time to time as people develop and strengthen their personalities.

Body and Brain Preparation for Peak Performance

Apart from focusing on triggers, people should check their physical and mental health for performance. They should ensure their energy levels are up and anxiety is in check. Eating healthy, having enough sleep, and exercising are some of the activities that enhance healthy living. Mindful meditation and performing breathwork exercises regulate emotions and lower anxiety. Take 20 to 40 minutes a day and engage in these exercises to improve overall health and flush out stress.

When people understand their personalities, work on their physical and mental health, they are assured optimal productivity in what they set to do.

The Impacts of Distance Learning on Mental Health

Spring Semester 2020 was the last time many students were physically inside of a classroom. With on-going spikes of the Covid-19 pandemic, many institutions have had to resort to unorthodox and sometimes drastic measures to ensure the safety of the students, staff, and community. Whether in-person or distance learning, both have had substantial effects on the mental health of those involved, and neither offers an ideal substitution of what was once normal.

In many locations, distance learning has been the only option offered as communities struggle to control climbing infection rates. With much focus on the virus, the importance of students’ mental well-being seems to hardly be a pressing topic. Increased academic workloads to compensate for in-person instruction have become a typical complaint among students coupled with fewer resources and quality hands-on instruction; specifically with math and science. In addition to the coursework, isolation has been another major issue with distance learning, specifically with secondary and college-aged students. Students at this age are developing much of their identity through social interaction. During this time, they learn to work in a societal unit and form peer bonds, all of which are hindered by the current lack of peer contact. As mentioned in an article by The Higher Education, Wellness and Mental Health in 2020 Online Learning, this can cause anxiety and depression. In some rare instances, even suicides have been attributed to the isolation of distance learning.

In-person learning comes with its own set of problems. Mask mandates, solitary seating, and plexiglass desk shields are hardly part of the typical school landscape. Back to back quarantines have contributed to the feelings of isolation coupled with instructional inconsistencies as students navigate in-person and distance learning. In addition to the academic toll, extracurricular activities have also been crippled due to frequent cancellations. Missed proms, graduations, and other milestones are leaving many students resentful and angry. All of these things can be detrimental to a developing adolescent mind and have also been linked to cases of anxiety, depression, and suicide.

The long-term effects of distance learning on mental health haven’t yet fully been observed, but like past adaptations that have shaped a generation, this will also be studied and discussed in future classrooms; perhaps even virtually.

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How Nature Impacts Mental Health

Scientific research shows that the environment can help relieve stress, which later impacts our lifestyle positively. What you are hearing, seeing, or experiencing at any moment has a significant impact on how your nervous systems, immune system, and endocrine works. An unappealing environment can cause one to feel sad, helpless, and anxious. Feeling anxious increases blood pressure, muscle tension, heartbeat and suppresses the immune system.

Regardless of one’s age, social status, or culture, we all find nature pleasing. According to a recent survey, numerous people retreat to a natural setting whenever they feel stressed.

Here are the benefits of nature on mental health.

Nature Restores

Research shows that many people’s mood improves after spending time in nature. The outside environment can change one’s mood from stressed, depressed, and anxious to more balanced and calmer. Spending time in nature is associated with psychological wellbeing, positive mood, vitality, and meaningfulness.

Frequently viewing nature scenes elevates our ability to be attentive. The reason behind this argument is because humans find nature interesting. Time in nature allows our minds to rejuvenate, refreshing us for new explorations.

Nature Soothes

Scientists have proven that nature assists humans in dealing with pain. It is argued that our minds are naturally programmed to find plants, water bodies, trees, and other natural elements attractive. Therefore, these natural elements distract us from discomfort, pain, and anxiety.

Nature Heals

It is proven that viewing nature scenes reduces stress, fear, and anger and elevates pleasant feelings. Spending time in nature enhances physical wellbeing as well as emotional wellbeing. In turn, it reduces heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, and secretion of stress hormones. Research shows that even house plants can go a long way in reducing anxiety and stress.

Nature Connects

Nature can help us connect with other people. There is a large number of people who met each other when viewing nature scenes. In research conducted by the University of Illinois, people who lived in apartments with green spaces were found to care more about their neighbors, had a feeling of unity, and were more concerned about helping others than people who didn’t have trees and plants in their building. Additionally, natures equip people with the energy to deal with life demands.

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