Tag: self-care

Transformation Tuesday

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#TransformationTuesday #WaybackWednesday #ThrowbackThursday #FacetoFaceFriday

By Iliana Bianca Torres, MS, LMHC at Agape Therapy Institute

It’s funny with the advent of social media that we have these named days of the week.  My personal favorite is #TacoTuesday, but it got me thinking.   Do we need a specific day of the week to make certain topics a focus?  I think not. But taking from the named days of the week I want to focus on #TransformationTuesday.

It means different things to different people.  Some have pulled themselves up from their boot straps and made their lives completely different, others learned to take control of their lives and learn to live better, while others make physical, relational, or emotional transformations.

In the scope of complete transparency, #TransformationTuesday means a lot to me because of the transformations I have made in my own life.  I understand what it means to live as a post bariatric surgical patient and all the physical, mental, and emotional changes that come with it.  How completely alone you feel in your pain and the shame you feel for having “let yourself go” to the point where you need surgical intervention.  Everyone’s reasoning for bariatric surgery may be different, however, the journey remains similar for us all. It is a special club that unfortunately you pay admission for with your health.

The process of getting approved for the surgery comes with its own struggles as well as preparing for it.  Going through the actual surgery and then allowing yourself to ask for help during the healing process can be difficult for some.  The recovery would be nearly impossible for even the strongest of people to go through alone. You may also find that what was already within you becomes amplified through this journey, meaning unresolved issues or emotions you may have thought you had a handle on suddenly resurface.  It may bring up things you didn’t even realize you needed to deal with until you got real with yourself about your health, because getting real with yourself about your health forces you to become real with yourself about the role you played in the decline of your own health.

It is grueling to think about.  I can remember the years of research I did on the different types of surgeries, their outcomes, and on the surgeons themselves.   But to do that I first had to admit that I was no longer in control of my own health and needed medical intervention. In retrospect I should have sought counseling during this time because you become very vulnerable through this entire process and having a mental health professional to walk me through this process would have been so beneficial.  Are you struggling with your health and considering bariatric surgery? Or maybe you have already gone through the surgery and find yourself struggling through the healing process. Is the weight of it all too much too bare? Are you looking for someone who can walk you through the process from a been there done that perspective? There is a safe place for you to work through these issues at Agape Therapy Institute.

About Iliana Torres, MS, LMHC

Iliana Torres, MS is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at Agape Therapy Institute.  She works with children, adolescents and adults in individual, couples and family counseling.  She works with a wide array of issues that people present with in counseling (not just those that concern weight and eating), including substance abuse and addiction, anxiety, depression, OCD, identity, trauma, and more.  To book an appointment with her, call our office at (407) 900-8633 or go online to agape.clientsecure.me to self schedule.

Tags:

  • counseling
  • mental health
  • self-care

3 Reasons to Be for Yourself by Rick Hanson, PhD

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Hi There!

I'm sharing this because it's too good not to.  I absolutely love Rick Hanson - he's one of my favorites!  He blends mindfulness, neuroscience and practicality so seamlessly.  So, I'm super excited to announce that he's coming out with a new book!  To preorder your copy of Resilient: How To Grow An Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness click here.  (By the way, I'm not affiliated with him - this is just a genuine wanting to share a great resource.)  

Besides that, though, I also wanted to share his recent blog post on 3 Reasons to Be for Yourself.  Client "read more" below to continue reading.

Enjoy!

-Susan Deane, LMHC, LMFT

To Book An Appointment with Susan: https://agape.clientsecure.me 

3 Reasons to Be for Yourself
by Rick Hanson, PhD


When we treat others with respect and caring, the best in them usually comes out. Much the same would happen if we could treat ourselves the same way.

Yet most of us are a better friend to others than we are to ourselves. We care about their pain, see positive qualities in them, and treat them fairly and kindly. But what kind of friend are you to yourself? Many people are tough on themselves, critical, second-guessing and self-doubting, tearing down rather than building up.

Imagine treating yourself like you would a friend. You'd be encouraging, warm, and sympathetic, and you'd help yourself heal and grow. Think about what a typical day would be like if you were on your own side. What would it feel like to appreciate your good intentions and good heart, and be less self-critical?

Why It's Good to Be Good to Yourself
It helps to understand the reasons why it's both fair and important to be on your own side. Otherwise, beliefs like these can take over: "It's selfish to think about what you want." "You don't deserve love." "Deep down you're bad." "You'll fail if you dream bigger dreams."

First, there's the general principle that we should treat people with decency and compassion. Well, "people" includes the person who wears your nametag. The Golden Rule is a two-way street: we should do unto ourselves as we do unto others.

Second, the more influence we have over someone, the more responsibility we have to treat them well. For example, surgeons have great power over their patients, so they have a great duty to be careful when they operate on them. Who's the one person you can affect the most? It's yourself, both you in this moment and your future self: the person you will be in the next minute, week, or year. If you think of yourself as someone to whom you have a duty of care and kindness, what might change in how you talk to yourself, and in how you go about your day?

    Third, being good to yourself is good for others. When people increase their own well-being, they usually become more patient, cooperative, and caring in their relationships.

    Think about how it would benefit others if you felt less stressed, worried, or irritated, and more peaceful, contented, and loving.

You can take practical steps to help yourself really believe that it's good to treat yourself with respect and compassion. You could write down simple statements – such as "I am on my own side" or "I'm taking a stand for myself" or "I matter, too" – and read them aloud to yourself or put them somewhere you'll see each day. You could imagine telling someone why you are going to take better care of your own needs. Or imagine a friend, a mentor, or even your fairy godmother telling you to be on your own side – and let them talk you into it!

Tags:

  • counseling
  • mental health
  • mindfulness
  • psychotherapy
  • self-care

What are we reading?

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This month, Susan Deane is reading (actually, listening, using Audible), Reconciliation by Thich Nhat Hanh.  She's finding it to be one of the best informative pieces on how to practice mindfulness, and why we should practice mindfulness.

Being mindful is one of the first steps in resolving, or "reconciling" painful emotions - pulling them up from the unconscious mind into the conscious mind, and doing the work to let go for the sake of our own inner peace and well being.  Holding on to painful emotions only hurts our own self at the end of the day.  Doing this keeps us from living fully in the present moment and being able to experience something new, and perhaps something much more wonderful than the traumas from our past.

But, it is "normal" to get stuck in living the traumas of our past.  It is a biological protective mechanism.  Evolutionary psychology explains that our more primitive parts of our brains are hardwired for what's called "negativity bias."  This means we are vigilant of potential threats (negative experiences) in order to survive, and when we've already experienced one or multiple negative experiences, it skews our perception even more of the likelihood of more negative experiences.  

The problem is that sometimes our negativity bias sticks even when, rationally, there really is no longer a threat.  So, we get stuck and have a hard time experiencing life with a fresh perspective where we can take in the good and live a healthy, content life.  Living as if the threat is still present also causes chronic stress on the body, and over time can lead to the development of illness.  Studies show we benefit from living a relatively relaxed life, where stress is kept to a reasonable amount and we experience positive emotions and experiences daily.

For more information about Susan Deane, visit her page on Agape Therapy Institute's website.

If you're interested in purchasing Thich Nhat Hanh's book, Reconciliation, here is a link to the book on Amazon.

Tags:

  • counseling
  • inner child
  • mental health
  • mindfulness
  • psychotherapy
  • self-care
  • stress

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