by Melissa Laks, LMSW
Why should we identify our emotions
Identifying our emotions and learning to manage them is one of the most important skills we can have. Feelings are powerful and can become overwhelming at times. With time and practice, we get better at knowing what we are feeling and why. This skill is called emotional awareness. Emotional awareness helps us know what we need and want (or don't want).
For us to deal with uncomfortable emotions, it is helpful to know exactly what we’re feeling in the first place. For example, feeling a general sad is going to be experienced differently than if you are feeling lonely. So, comforting sadness would look different then comforting loneliness.
By Melissa Laks, LMSW
Grounding is an effective way to calm anxiety symptoms. It is a self-soothing tool that you can use when you are having a bad day or dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety. The purpose of grounding techniques allows you to step away from negative thoughts, worries, and feelings and helps keep you in the present and focus on what is going on in the here-and-now. By focusing on the present surroundings, you can become more aware of your safe surroundings and start to feel calmer.
In this first grounding process, you identify objects around you to help your brain recognize where you are and that you are in a safe space.
Changing habits is not a simple or linear process. It takes time, effort, and dedication, which can seem difficult with busy schedules. The great news is that it's never too late to break or change an old habit and create a new healthier habit in its place.
Learning how to break or change bad habits can be daunting, as habits are often associated with negative emotions. We may get angry or upset with ourselves about everything we’re not doing, or feel like we’re doing wrong, but it’s often those feelings that identify wanting a change. The trick to breaking or changing bad habits is to find an approach that works for you and the habit that you would like to change. Every habit is different, so they can’t all be changed the same way or at once.
by Melissa Laks, LMSW
Therapy sessions can be a great source of support. You may learn about your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, as well as learn how to take control of your life and respond to challenging situations with healthy coping skills. But a lot of the work that is done in therapy is actually done between sessions, when you’re doing your daily routines. This is when you’ll get opportunity to apply what you’ve learned in sessions.