Mental Health

3 Ways to Handle Negative Emotions After Your Divorce

Going through a divorce could be one of the most difficult things you can ever experience. Even if you initiated it, there's still likely to be all kinds of negative emotions running through you. These are some strategies for handling these tough feelings.

Find an Outlet

Negative emotions can't just be destroyed. Instead, they need to be redirected in a positive way. The Second Principle recommends using negative energy to fuel your creative ventures. All the time you spend feeling bad is time that could be spent on productive activities like working out, meditating, or spending time with friends. These outlets won't just make you feel better on their own. They'll require your full engagement in order for you to realize their benefits. It can take effort to feel better, but wallowing in your misery is no solution. When you have outlets for your negative emotions, you can be far less afraid of them.

Aromatherapy

Have you ever smelt something so wonderful that it immediately made you feel better? doTERRA explains how an aroma can hit the receptors in our noses and immediately go into the brain, changing our thought process and immediately changing our moods. Sometimes we tag a certain emotion, like feeling good, with a smell. When we are feeling bad and we reach for that smell again it brings us right back to feeling better because of that association and the immediate response our brain has to that smell. Essential oils can change our moods in a healthy and reliable fashion. Stock up on your favorite scents and have them available for when you're feeling upset or tense. Your negativity can be reduced, one smell at a time.

Self Love

The negative emotions you feel after a divorce might be directed at both your former spouse and yourself. Feeling angry towards yourself is understandable, but it doesn't have to be that way. When you find yourself criticizing yourself for anything, ask yourself if what you're thinking about or calling yourself is actually valid. Anderson and Associates recommends taking time to rediscover yourself. Marriage, children, divorce, and more have powerful effects on your self, and so finding who you are again is necessary. Then, find how you can bring self-love into your life. This could be reading a favorite book, calling a friend, or taking a bubble bath. Whatever you have in mind that's healthy is a worthwhile pursuit.

Negative feelings might feel bad, but that doesn't mean they are bad. Often, you need to express your feelings in a healthy way to be able to move on. Your divorce can be a struggle to get through, but you can persevere. When you look back, you will be able to do so with pride.

Importance of Group Therapy & How It Can Help

There's often a negative connotation associated with group therapy sessions. Unfortunately, it's led to a lot of false views about what they're really like. The truth is, they can actually be the best place to be if you've had struggles in your life and need a little help getting back on track. While it is true that sometimes certain jobs or government programs require people to go to support group meetings, people can also go on the recommendation of a doctor, church leader or on their own. No matter whose recommendation sent you to group therapy, there are four reasons they can be very important.

No Prejudice

Often, people's problems can come with a rash of judgments and misunderstandings of what the person is going through, whatever their case may be. People in your support group have all been where you are, and they are all on the same journey you're on. Getting a chance to hear these people open up and be honest about their issues can help you do the same, letting you get started on your own path to a better place. The best feeling people get during this process is when they truly know they aren't alone.

Financial Reasons

Attending group sessions are far more affordable than individual therapy. Therapy in a group setting allows you to be more efficient with getting care and won’t hit your pockets as much as individual therapy. Group therapy fees can range form $45-80 whereas individual can range from $110-$200 (depending on your area). Those fees reflect out of pocket costs. Group therapy is covered by most insurance that cover behavioral or mental health and just require you to pay your copay fees.

Learning More About Yourself

As Dr. David Susman points out in this blog article, things you learn in support groups can help you better understand your own self and be more aware of what leads to different struggles. It can be a time of reflection and perhaps a time to think of how things like spiritualism and inner peace may benefit you. Often, people come to group support meetings not expecting much, but they leave with knowledge they might never have dreamed of getting.

An Opportunity to Help Others

As you stay in a support group and see yourself start to take control of your life again, you'll find that, along with addressing your problems, you'll eventually get to help others. Fewer things are as rewarding, or make you feel you've accomplished as much, as being able to say you were a friend who guided someone else to a better place. Often, people's struggles can lead them to try to hide themselves away from the world. By being where you can help others, you'll find yourself comfortable as part of a crowd once again.

The bottom line is group support networks are not punishment at all for what you've been through, but instead they are here to bring change in ways you probably didn't think was possible. Sometimes, being connected with a group of strangers is exactly the way to bring your problems to the front and hear new perspectives on them. More likely than not, you'll come away with new emotional, spiritual and even financial support than you ever had before.

The path of recovery can be hard at times, and it’s essential to create or join a group therapy network. See how we can help you in your personal journey to better mental health.

4 Reasons You Should Never Be Ashamed To Talk About Depression

counseling therapy depression talking.jpg

Depression is often mentioned but never really discussed. It's a "condition," yet some don't realize it's legitimacy. This failure can lead those who live with it to question if this problem of theirs matters, thus leading to a feeling of guilt and shame. Here are four reasons why you should never be ashamed to talk about depression.

Depression Is More Common Than You May Think

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 16.2 million adults in the United States have felt depressed at least once in 2016, which is 6.7 percent of the adult population or 1 out of every 15 adults. And of this number, people ages 18 to 25 were the most represented group at about 11 percent.

These reported numbers show just how prevalent this illness is--and that's just what it is; depression is an illness. It's a result of chemical imbalances in addition to reactions to stressful life events and possibly other health problems (there could even be gene involvement for some).

Talking Helps; It May Be Essential to Recovery

The NIMH has on record that 63 percent of adults who experienced episodes of depression either saw a health professional (therapists, psychiatrists) only, were prescribed medication alone, or saw a health professional and were prescribed medication. Seeking help is the best thing you can do to combat depression. Unfortunately, some turn to substances for relief, though, this choice always backfires and ultimately comes at a hefty price, like with addiction and alienation (alcohol and recreational drugs can negatively impact relationships).

Of the 63 percent of adults who received professional treatment, according to NIMH, 13 percent of them saw a health professional, which is twice more than those who only received medication. 44 percent both received medication and saw a professional, which means 57 percent of all who received treatment talked about their problems with licensed individuals.

Talking helps find the root of the problem, and if help is sought, someone would be there to explore it with you.

Discussing Your Depression Helps End Stigmas

The National Alliance on Mental Illness believes that words and actions are necessary to end the bullying and discrimination affecting all people with mental illness. Taking these steps can lead to social change and the public rejection of stigmas--it proved successful for other movements, like with the Civil Rights Movement and LGBT activism.

That doesn't mean you have to go out and preach your story to make a change. Merely discussing it with a health professional, or even a friend, makes all the difference, for the afflicted as well as society.

Sharing Your Experience Could Help Others

This can be therapeutic for both sides. Sharing can relieve stress and improve mood while the person who listens may feel inspired to take a look at their own mental health or even share their own experiences.

Choosing to share is a personal choice, so you should never feel pressured or threatened to disclose your depression if you think it might not help your situation.

In the end, depression is an illness. And like other mental illnesses, it's not just black and white, but a sort of grey and sometimes includes blue and purple and red--to put it simply, it's complicated.

References

National Institute of Mental Health

Utah Centers For Addiction

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Self-Care in College

It's always a pleasure to get other points of view from other people that want to uplift others. Indira Midha from Indira's Inner Beauty whose mission is to "encourage others to become empowered and make it her mission to empower others who will hopefully go on to empower others" is sharing her thoughts on self-care for college women. This topic is important because college, in general, is stressful and without great support and an adequate self-care routine it can seem to spin out of control. I hope Indira's tips can get you started on taking care on yourself.

Guest Post by Indira's Inner Beauty

Engaging in self-care is one of the most crucial parts of taking initiative to positively nurture your mental health. I am a firm believer that nobody is responsible for your mental health but you. It is extremely important to have loved ones support and guide you, but the only person who can look in the mirror every single morning and decide that you'll be taken care of it you. As somebody who attends a rigorous university full-time, works for several publications, and runs a blog completely independently, I can attest to the challenges of making time for self-care. I often find myself feeling guilty for taking a breather when I have a million and seven responsibilities on my plate, especially time sensitive ones. The catch is, if you aren't taken care of and in good shape mentally, you can't effectively tackle your endless to-do list. Here are my tips on engaging in self care while in college, and what I do to keep myself mentally well. 

  1. Sleep enough and at a reasonable time. This one is extremely important. I am a firm believer that appropriate sleep is the foundation to good health. For me, it meant making sure that I turned off the Netflix at a set time each week night, and speeding up my morning routine. By committing to sleeping every day from 12am to 8am, I was extremely well-rested this past semester. This resulted in my mood elevating, and my focus being sharper than when sleep-deprived in previous semesters. Some people aren't willing to give up their morning makeup and hair routine for sleep, which is definitely very understandable. You do you, girl! For me personally, spending the hour sleeping instead of spending it on hair and makeup, like I would in high school, was life-changing for me. The extra sleep made me personally happier than the makeup did. 
  2. If you aren't a big workout person, like me, there are simpler ways to engage in physical activity. In my younger years, I loved participating in volleyball, tennis, and track & field at school. Now, if you tell me to run I will probably scream at you. However, I have realized that there are huge benefits to engaging in physical activity. My two favorite ways of doing this are through walking and dancing. My campus is huge and widely spread out, so I took it upon myself to walk everywhere when the weather permitted. This is an extremely simple way to just move. Before you know it, you'll have racked up a few miles! It may not be some tough workout, but it's proven to be good for your heart. Taking the stairs is a quick burst of a workout, if you have the habit of running up and down them like I do. Also, dancing is a very fun activity that I have recently really started to enjoy. I have the same amount of rhythm in my body as a potato, but I have so much fun. I am not into college parties, but I do love going to the Latin dance nights hosted by my university. I love having "dance parties" with my friends in my room. It's awesome for your physical health to get your blood pumping, and also for your emotional well-being to just put on a fun playlist of songs and dance around. It's not some scary commitment like going to spinning classes four times a week, or running miles every day. Whatever physical activity works for you, do it!
  3. Easy on the coffee. Coffee is a stimulant, so while it may help you wake up, it is proven to elevate anxiety in those who already deal with it. Being one of those people, I have decided to switch to green tea. I have gotten to a point where my anxiety is barely present in my life, except for when I have a big cup of coffee. Many people will disagree with this approach, but I say save the coffee for emergencies only. 
  4. Give yourself something to look forward to at the end of every day. This is quite simple, really. You have to bribe yourself to get through the long day, many times. Let me spill a secret: that's okay! I like to reserve anywhere between half an hour and two hours in my evening for me. I often use that time to get dinner and catch up with a friend, watch Netflix in bed, schedule a FaceTime date with a family member or friend who isn't at school with me, or paint my nails. These are things that make me happy. I love staying in touch with my loved ones, I love TV, and I like to have my nails painted because that prevents me from biting them. These are simple things that really help me get through the tough parts of the day. Having this time to unwind from school and work really helps me prepare for good sleep with a happy soul. Also, following this pattern, I like to give myself something to look forward to at the end of the week. I like to make fun and exciting plans the weekend after a rigorous work-week. This helps me keep myself in going and not feel like I'm drowning in responsibilities. Some things that I like to do on weekends are check out new restaurants with friends, go to a concert or performance (there are tons of awesome free or cheap ones on college campuses!), or have movie nights with friends and order takeout! 
  5. Put it in a digital list. For me, putting all of my responsibilities in a list is essential. I have so many things to do, and tight deadlines; I can't afford to forget things. I recommend keeping a running to-do list either in Word or on the notes app in your phone. Include all categories: school, work, blog, personal, errands - anything. This saves me from anxiety because I have my responsibilities sorted out and in front of me. Also, I recommend doing this digitally because you can have your list with you wherever you go, and it is so much easier to edit it (as opposed to on a paper with a pen). 
  6. Make time to keep in touch with your loved ones. This one is huge for me - I am always on the phone, FaceTime, or WhatsApp with my family members and friends from home. I am a very family-oriented person, so many people don't need to do this as often as I do, but I make sure to call or FaceTime with my mom at least twice a day, with my dad once a day, with my sister and niece once a day, with my best friend from home every few days, with my nephew once a week, with my aunt once a week, with my grandpa once a week, and with my cousin once a week. I also text and WhatsApp with them all the time. This may seem like a lot to some people, but with my family being spread out across the world for my whole life, I've always sworn by this. Interacting with my loved ones makes my heart happy, and theirs as well. Communication with loved ones is so healthy and therapeutic, no matter how little or how much.
  7. Find your place where you get things done, and find your place where you unwind - but make sure they aren't the same place. This is more of a productivity tip, but I found it extremely helpful to walk into the communications library or my favorite café, because my brain would go immediately into work mode. For me, my bedroom has always been my sanctuary. I make sure that I have lots of blankets and pillows to ensure optimal coziness. It was also extremely helpful to be able to walk into my room and automatically feel comfortable. I was very lucky to have a roommate who I became best friends with, so my room could be my safe place. Many people don't have that luck though. If it can't be your room, find a place where you can just walk in and feel comfortable. My friends found that safety in certain coffee shops, local parks, or dorm lounges after trying a few options out.  
  8. Eliminate (or cut down to the bare minimum) any interactions or people who make you feel negative feelings. This is so simple, yet so hard. But, after having made friends with some people who made me feel un-empowered, insecure, and unloved, cutting off or limiting those connections really changed my moods in a 180 degree manner. It also really improved the way I was feeling about myself and talking to myself in my head. There are 7 billion people in the world, we don't need to hold on to those who make us feel small, insufficient, or unworthy. There are many absolutely lovely people who can be supportive, positive friends. Look for those.
  9. Find songs and TV shows that you can lose yourself in and can help uplift you when you're down. This is essential for me. My small playlist of about 5 songs that uplift me has worked miracles for me. Sometimes you find the words you need to hear in music, and when you find a song that makes you feel this way: keep it. A few of my favorites are Love Me More by Maggie Rose (about self-love), Beautiful Flower by India Arie (also about self-love and empowerment), and The Climb originally by Miley Cyrus, covered by Sundance Head (about overcoming and embracing challenges). Also, I think it is very important to have a funny, light-hearted TV show that you can completely lose yourself in and giggle with to de-stress. For me it's Friends, because I grew up watching it and it provides humor with which you don't have to think too much. After a rough day, just 22 minutes with Rachel, Ross, Chandler, Monica, Phoebe, and Joey can help me feel better. Finding a self-care/unwinding show is a good way to help you remove yourself from stressful situations for a bit. 

I hope that these tips and suggestions can help you the way that they helped me! Please let me know if you try out any of these things, or if you have any other tips of this sort! I can be reached on Twitter and Instagram at @midha_ind, on Facebook at Indira's Inner Beauty, or via my blog, indirasinnerbeauty.com. I look forward to hearing from you! 

Love and best wishes, Indira

Lotus Therapies|Self-Care for College Women|Indira Midha

Indira Midha of indirasinnerbeauty.com is a 19-year-old blogger and college student who studies media at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Indira is very passionate about social activism, self-empowerment, and helping young girls through the challenges of adolescent female life. Please be sure to check out her blog and social media links!