Head Into Spring With a Spirit of Renewal
March 26, 2021
Springtime represents the start of something new, and the blossoming of nature. It’s a season of hopefulness and new beginnings. For many of us, a change in season inspires the mind to think differently. It provides motivation to seek a happier and more fulfilling life.
Psychologically, it gives us an opportunity to shed guilt, shame, regret, anger, and frustration we might have felt this past year. A new season is a reminder to embrace hope, compassion, new beginnings, improved diet and fitness, and feel cleansed.
If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you, today, to think about the things that you want to change, or remove, in your life.
Did you find yourself feeling more angry in the past year? Acknowledge it, and set a plan to be purposeful about being more calm and relaxed throughout 2021.
How? Put a note on your bedside table that says “Calm.” Read it every morning and evening. Put a note on the refrigerator that says “Peace.” Say it out loud every time you see it.
Every morning, tell yourself three times “I will remain calm today, even if I start to feel myself getting irritated. If I do, I’m going to take a deep breath, smile, and remind myself to let things go.”
Improving Anxiety and Depression
Did you feel more anxious or depressed in 2020? There was certainly plenty to feel anxious about. But, we don’t want that to become our new norm, right? Let’s commit to feeling better in 2021.
Are you struggling with a relationship? Practice forgiveness, listen, and show kindness. If the relationship is too difficult, or past the point of repair, work to diminish the time and energy spent in that relationship.
I have written two books that relate especially to improving anxiety and depression. Last year, I published Healing Depression For Life. I believe it has tools for everyone to help them heal from depression.
My most recent book is The Anxiety Reset. It is my life’s work as it relates to understanding and gaining control over anxiety. Anxiety is at an all-time in America. If you struggle with anxiety, I hope this book may provide comfort and help.
What Can You Do? Practice DBT Skills Every Day
At The Center, we teach the importance of incorporating DBT skills into your daily life. DBT stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and it teaches four sets of behavioral skills – mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. Here are a few skills you can use every day.
- Mindfulness. By practicing mindfulness, you become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions. It encourages you to pause, check in with yourself, identify your emotions, and make consciously healthy decisions.You can do this by being keenly aware of your surroundings. Listen to each noise in your environment. Identify it, think about its origin. See the different colors and shapes in your environment. Finally, think about your personal sensations – what you are feeling physically, emotionally, what activity is occurring around you. The purpose is to experience your environment without dwelling and getting consumed by it.
- Non-Judgment. Being nonjudgmental doesn’t mean we ignore our pain or disappointment. It means we keep our feelings in perspective, helping keep our emotions and anger in check. When we can do that, we are able to think with a clearer head, and be more balanced. To be nonjudgmental, we don’t use universal judgments when thinking or commenting about our disappointment. As a simple example, instead of saying “the weather is always terrible,” we would say “it is raining today, and that frustrates me because I wanted to take a walk.”
- Reality Acceptance. This skill helps us understand and deal with setbacks and challenges that will undoubtedly occur in our day to day lives. We practice reality acceptance to help us keep things in perspective, and realize that getting angry, frustrated or anxiety-ridden over things out of our control only exacerbates our feelings.A couple of easy examples are being stuck in traffic when you are late for a meeting. It is easy to become anxious and angry. Remind yourself there is nothing you can do about it and accept reality.Another example is pulling into a filling station with an empty tank and lamenting at the high price of gas. In that moment, there is nothing you can do. Moving forward, you may choose to drive less. But, at the moment, there is nothing you can do about the price of gas when your tank is empty.
Accepting reality, and acknowledging there is nothing you can do about the price can help keep your feelings in check.
As you head into this new season, identify ways you can shed negative thoughts. Renew your commitment to feeling hopeful, and challenge yourself to improving your self-talk
If you or a loved one is struggling with anorexia, it’s important to seek professional help. Our world-class team of eating disorder professionals at The Center • A Place of HOPE has helped many people recover from eating disorders through our focus on whole person care. Fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to get more information or to speak confidentially with an eating disorder recovery specialist today.
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