Tag: joy

​​Relationship Tips for 2020 – Part 5

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Relationship Tips for 2020 – Part 5

Blog post by Jenn Baker, GSCI at Agape Therapy Institute

Welcome to the fifth and final installment of Relationship Tips for 2020. If you have the time, please check out Parts 1 through 4 for tips on acknowledging your partner, taking time for yourself, connecting with friends and family, and communicating more effectively. 

I’d like to follow up on last week’s relationship tips and have you check in with yourself. Did you have a chance to think about the ways in which you communicate in your relationship? Were you able to try out the dedicated listening or speaking tips from last week? How did it go? It takes time to become comfortable communicating and relating in new ways. Please be patient and kind to yourself as you try out these new skills. If you’ve struggled with this, know that you are taking the first step toward improving your relationship just by reading these tips and focusing on yourself and your relationship. 

Since some of these tips are more challenging than others, I decided to save my favorite tip for last. 

This week I’d like you to focus on:

Having Fun Together! 

Most importantly, make sure that you schedule time for you as a couple to have fun together. Set aside this precious time each and every week to play and connect. Focus on the things that you love to do together. If necessary, find creative ways to modify and adapt these experiences at home or outside. 

A few ideas include:

    • Plan a romantic date night
    • Play games together
    • Re-enact your first date
    • Spend time learning new things about each other
    • Cook a meal together
    • Cook a meal together
    • Make lists of places you want to go together and things you want to do together
    • Go for a bike ride or walk outside
    • Give each other massages
    • Volunteer in your community
    • Read to each other
    • Redecorate e or fix up your home

I hope that you have enjoyed learning about ways to foster joy and connection in your relationships.

Be well within! 

Book an appointment with Jenn by clicking here.


Photo by Leah Kelley from Pexels

Tags:

  • codependency
  • communication
  • counseling
  • couples therapy
  • covid
  • depression
  • family therapy
  • healing
  • joy
  • mental health
  • mindfulness
  • partnership
  • psychotherapy
  • relationships
  • resilience
  • self help
  • self-care
  • solution focused
  • stress
  • telehealth

Resilience

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Resilience

Blog post by Ashley Simpson, LCSW at Agape Therapy Institute

I was inspired yesterday by a quote that I read on social media. It spoke to the stories of resilience we all have. At times, and it feels like especially now, it can feel as though everything is negative, doomed, life-threatening, and dark. During times of darkness, stories can also be found of incredible resilience. 

This reminds me of the quote by Thich Nhat Hanh: “Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud.” 

Have you been able to find happiness in the mud? Have you found moments of meaning in suffering? Are you having trouble finding any happiness or meaning through your metaphorical mud?

This is an extraordinary time. We are living through a pandemic, an election year, a suffering economy and high unemployment, and a movement for racial and social justice. Families have been stuck indoors with others that may or may not be healthy for them. People have been unable to physically be together, to give a hug or hold a hand of a friend, to go out to a movie or dine indoors. People have lost their jobs, lost loved ones. It may feel like there can be no joy.

This is where the essence of therapy makes its interlude. How can we work together to find your lotus flower. To find the ways in which you have bloomed through this struggle. What can we learn in this moment? What feelings or thoughts can we sit with and explore more deeply? What can we look forward to in the future?

If you are struggling in the mud, struggling to find your joy or connect to your resilience, therapy could be a very beneficial place for you. A place to tell your story and to connect with your own brave resilience. 

Book an appointment with Ashley by clicking here.


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

Tags:

  • counseling
  • depression
  • existential therapy
  • healing
  • joy
  • mental health
  • mindfulness
  • psychotherapy
  • resilience
  • self help
  • self-care
  • solution focused
  • stress
  • telehealth

Cultivating Joy

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Cultivating joy

Blog post by Britt McKinney, RMCHI

This is the third post in our series exploring Yalom’s “ultimate concerns.”  If this is the first one you’re reading, here’s what you need to know: we can identify things about who we are by considering the meaning we ascribe to death, freedom, isolation, and meaningless in our lives.

Reading that for the first time may be intimidating, so don’t hesitate to earmark this post and read the ones that led up to this section of the discussion.

This post is the one promised last time to explore cultivating joy, which is a catchy way to say that we have the ability to create positivity in our lives. These are 4 tools you can use to increase your agency in enjoying life more fully.


1: When we discuss the concept of death, it gives us an opportunity to consider what it feels like to be alive. Since life and death often trigger anxieties, it is beneficial to take things one breath at a time, literally.

We can be present in the moment by using breath meditation, which can lower heart rate and blood pressure.


2: Freedom is paramount on this topic of joy and that’s because we have the freedom to influence our own outlooks and attitudes. That being said, why not focus on pleasurable thoughts?

Laughter is typically pleasant,,, but sometimes it feels forced. That’s okay! According to Dr. Madan Kataria, when we choose to laugh, whether it is genuine or contrived, and it can lower the cortisol (stress responses) inside us.


3: Isolation is the hot topic during “social distancing”... Right? So try looking at it creatively.

The words we use reflect the things we believe and at times the opposite is true. Either way, it is powerful to consider changing the words we use to describe this specific COVID-19 precaution toward the use of the term “physical distancing” and see what happens as a result.


4: Meaninglessness and joy is the interesting combination and the trickiest challenge to present.

We can consider the core emotions that are at the root of all things to work through this connection. There are a few primary emotions: joy, sadness, fear (some consider anger and disgust core emotions too). Considering ‘joy’ is a deep-rooted and motivating feeling, it is the one we can see when considering what is and is not meaningless. In other words, getting in touch with the things that bring us joy can be a compass for navigating through the way we pursue certain things instead of others.


This discussion of joy may not be a perfect fit for all. The beautiful thing: each person is free to create their own priorities.

Take what you need from this post and leave what’s left.


**Pronoun “their” used to encompass all people.


Britt McKinney is a master level therapist at Agape Therapy Institute.  To book an appointment with Britt, click here.


"Man Holding Silver and Black Camera" Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Tags:

  • coronavirus
  • counseling
  • covid
  • depression
  • existential therapy
  • healing
  • joy
  • mental health
  • mindfulness
  • psychotherapy
  • resilience
  • self-care
  • stress
  • yalom

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