5 Anger Management Tips for Parents

1. You can’t manage anyone’s feelings or behaviors—stop trying. You will only increase your child’s anger and resistance. Let him feel what he’s feeling; allow him to sit in his anger or disappointment. Remember, finding ways to cope with his uncomfortable feelings is a crucial part of developing into a mature adult.

2. Try to see your child as objectively and clearly as possible. Work on becoming emotionally separate enough to be able to see him without taking his behavior personally—or taking it on yourself. Understand what your child might be going through by seeing things through his lenses, not yours. Allow him to have feelings that make you uncomfortable.

3. Your child is not you. By accepting that your child has feelings that make you uncomfortable, you can better determine your response—and ways you can be most useful to her. And you can best help her manage her strong emotions by managing your own.

4. Think instead of react. Ask yourself, “When my child gets angry, what gets stirred up in me? What can I do with my feelings that won’t add fuel to the fire?” Remind yourself that your child’s job is not to behave or feel the way you think he should so that you can feel good—that’s your job. Your child is entitled to his own experiences. Pause and think, “What are the values and principles I want to live by in response to my child’s behavior?”

5. Wait until your child asks you for help in managing their anger. If you try to jump in and give advice without your child’s consent, she’ll probably feel you attempting to change her—and she’ll resist and get even angrier. If she asks for guidance or seems open to hearing ideas, you can talk to her and help her discover her triggers—the things you’ve observed that cause her to get angry or melt down. It might happen more when she’s tired, hungry or stressed about a test, for example. Maybe your teen daughter gets upset when her tween sister takes her things without asking. Talk to her about what you’ve observed. Next, help her with a plan of action. For older kids, it’s often useful to give them an acronym, like STOP, to help them calm down. This stands for “Slow down, Think, Options, and Proceed.” So an example conversation might be,

“Next time you’re really angry, Slow down and take a breath. Think about what you want to do or say. And then review your Options. Next, Proceed to action. Think about what you could do instead of screaming at your sister or pulling her hair. What will you do differently instead of getting into trouble?”

Read more: http://www.empoweringparents.com/Calm-Parenting-Anger-Management-in-Kids-and-Teens.php#ixzz2I9mlURoJ

Mental Health New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions tend to focus on weight, general health and finances, but they can also extend to mental health. Experts give their mental health New Year’s resolutions suggestions for you to try this year and every year after.

Chip Coffey, the director of Outpatient Services at St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center, sent nine positive mental health resolutions for the new year through email:

1. “I will treat myself with respect and speak nicely about myself. Try taping a list of 10 positive characteristics about yourself in various places throughout the house and workplace to remind you of these things.”

2. “I resolve to be mentally healthy. In the United States, there is still a stigma about seeing a therapist. However, it is truly one of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves. A therapist gives us an unbiased ear and can also help us to understand why we do the things we do … think of seeing a therapist as a mental health oil change.”

3. “I will be physically active on a daily basis.” Multiple studies show a link between exercise and improved mental health.

4. “I will act and not react. Many times we feel like everyone is pushing our buttons. When this happens, we are caught up in reaction. It is not that people are actually pushing buttons; it is that we became overly sensitive. If you know you’ll be around someone who says negative things, plan for this and have a list in your head of disarming statements.”

5. “I will learn to relax and enjoy. Many times we become so busy we forget how or even when to take care of ourselves. Take a yoga or meditation class. Find some activity like photography or journaling [that] is relaxing and enjoyable to you. Dedicate time to this daily, if possible, or at a minimum, weekly.”

6. “I will not define myself by a label. We often become our labels, e.g., I am depressed, I am fat, I am anxious. Drop your label; when you so it allows you to take control of the messages you have about yourself. For example, you could say, “I have depression, and today I will make sure to exercise to manage it.’”

7. “I will be mindful. Being mindful is about staying in the moment. I cannot change yesterday; I cannot predict tomorrow, however I do have control over the here and now. So, I will be aware in the moment, and enjoy that moment.”

8. “I will work towards being the person I want to be. There is an old quote about life being a journey to be enjoyed not an obstacle to be overcome. When we see our lives as obstacles we do not enjoy life much. When we see life as a journey and a time to continue to be the person we desire to be, life is much more pleasant and enjoyable.”

9. “I will not be hard on myself if I make resolutions and do not keep them. I may want to try them later in the year. I may realize that it will take more time than I thought to work on issues and I will look at this as a good things and not a bad thing. I do not fail by trying.”

NOW HIRING

Community Outreach for Youth and Family Services is currently looking to fill the following positions:

East Point Office:

Nurse- Promotes and restores patients’ health by completing the nursing process; collaborating with physicians and multidisciplinary team members; providing physical and psychological support to patients, friends, and families; supervising assigned team members.

Clinical Director- The Clinical Director is responsible for the management and quality assurance of all clinical services provided by COYFS, including the training and supervision of all clinical staff. The Clinical Director works closely with the Program Director, relating to the program and clinical services provided. The Clinical director is also part of the Senior Management Team, which supports compliance with all delivery of services to the fiscal, ethical, and legal standards upheld by the Georgia Board of Behavioral Health and the core values and mission of COYFS.

Therapist- Manages service delivery for a specific niche market in alignment with the overall strategy of the agency. Plans and manages the delivery of community-based mental health services for a group of up to 30 clients in that market. In close collaboration with the Clinical Directors, and Senior Management Staff, manages services in accordance with Georgia Department of Mental Health regulations and guidelines. The incumbent shall be responsible for providing direct clinical services, and managing the delivery of such services for a specific niche market. The Therapist should support the entrepreneurial efforts of the Agency Director(s), affording the incumbent the opportunity to assist in growing the Agency, participate in program development, advocacy and direct services. 

Community Liason

Augusta Office:

Mental Health Technician (MHT)- Position responsible for direct, basic and supportive care to clients within the Crisis Stab program. Provides crisis intervention, training, health monitoring, personal care and transportation. Provides direct individual and group supportive therapy services This position will provide oversight and intervention to consumers experiencing major behavioral health crisis and disruption in functioning.

Nurse- Promotes and restores patients’ health by completing the nursing process; collaborating with physicians and multidisciplinary team members; providing physical and psychological support to patients, friends, and families; supervising assigned team members.

Group Facilitator- The individual in this position is responsible developing and implementing 
Educational programs and services offered by COYFS’s Mental Health Services program. The individual in this position will: engage in ongoing quality Improvement of, develop, coordinate, and implement psycho-educational curricula and programming offered/ to be offered in Chester County School Districts and other appropriate community venues; review industry best practice, assess gaps in service at local community and Countywide levels and generate new or enhanced programs and services to meet the needs of the community serve in a highly visible public role on County Mental Health committees and various working groups and take an active role in committee work; liaise with key Stakeholders (funders, consumers, local government, service providers, peer Organizations) to generate, strategically analyze, plan and implement Opportunities for meaningful collaboration and partnerships; ensure that all services are compliant with licensing regulations where necessary; establish all program goals/workplans, and perform on-going program evaluation and assessment; and all related reporting for program activities. Requires deep commitment to empowerment and recovery; Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC) a plus.

Macon Office:

Intake Coordinator- To plan, coordinate, and implement the initial assessment and delivery of mental services, therapy, and counseling for youth and family members. To ensure that staff provide 24 hour coverage, 7 days per week in accordance with the service model. To manage and deliver support to children and adults with mental health or substance abuse issues in conjunction with promoting recovery, symptom reduction increased coping skills, and achievement of the highest level of functioning in the community.

Nurse- Promotes and restores patients’ health by completing the nursing process; collaborating with physicians and multidisciplinary team members; providing physical and psychological support to patients, friends, and families; supervising assigned team members.

Group Facilitator- The individual in this position is responsible developing and implementing 
Educational programs and services offered by COYFS’s Mental Health Services program. The individual in this position will: engage in ongoing quality Improvement of, develop, coordinate, and implement psycho-educational curricula and programming offered/ to be offered in Chester County School Districts and other appropriate community venues; review industry best practice, assess gaps in service at local community and Countywide levels and generate new or enhanced programs and services to meet the needs of the community serve in a highly visible public role on County Mental Health committees and various working groups and take an active role in committee work; liaise with key Stakeholders (funders, consumers, local government, service providers, peer Organizations) to generate, strategically analyze, plan and implement Opportunities for meaningful collaboration and partnerships; ensure that all services are compliant with licensing regulations where necessary; establish all program goals/workplans, and perform on-going program evaluation and assessment; and all related reporting for program activities. Requires deep commitment to empowerment and recovery; Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC) a plus.

Coping with Stress, Depression, and the Holidays

The holiday season often brings unwelcome guests — stress and depression. And it’s no wonder. The holidays present a dizzying array of demands — parties, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining, to name just a few.

But with some practical tips, you can minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays. You may even end up enjoying the holidays more than you thought you would.

Tips to prevent holiday stress and depression

When stress is at its peak, it’s hard to stop and regroup. Try to prevent stress and depression in the first place, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past.

  1. Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.
  2. Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.
  3. Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can’t come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos.
  4. Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all of your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they’re feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too.
  5. Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don’t try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts. Try these alternatives: Donate to a charity in someone’s name, give homemade gifts or start a family gift exchange.
  6. Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. That’ll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. And make sure to line up help for party prep and cleanup.
  7. Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. If it’s not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.
  8. Don’t abandon healthy habits. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt. Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks. Continue to get plenty of sleep and physical activity.
  9. Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Take a walk at night and stargaze. Listen to soothing music. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.
  10. Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.

 

Take control of the holidays

Don’t let the holidays become something you dread. Instead, take steps to prevent the stress and depression that can descend during the holidays. Learn to recognize your holiday triggers, such as financial pressures or personal demands, so you can combat them before they lead to a meltdown. With a little planning and some positive thinking, you can find peace and joy during the holidays.

The Mayo Clinic Staff  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress/MH00030/NSECTIONGROUP=2

How to Reduce Stress With Exercise

 

Here are a few ways to help reduce stress! Stress has become one of the leading causes of high blood pressure, which can lead to a host of preventable sometimes fatal diseases. Check out this video for somequick ideas that can be done in the comfort of your own home! Good luck! Let us know how these ideas and exercises worked for you!

Normal and Abnormal Anxiety: What’s the Difference?

On the most basic level, anxiety is an emotion. Simply stated, an emotion is a subjective state of being that is often associated with changes in feelings, behaviors, thoughts, and physiology. Anxiety, like all emotional states, can be experienced in varying degrees of intensity. For instance, we might say we are happy, but a more intense expression of this same emotion might be an experience of joy. But unlike the emotion “happiness,” which has several different words to convey these differing levels of intensity (e.g., intensity ranging from happiness to joy), anxiety is a single word that represents a broad range of emotional intensity. At the low end of the intensity range, anxiety is normal and adaptive; at the high end of the intensity range, anxiety can become pathological and maladaptive. As we will soon see, while everyone experiences anxiety, not everyone experiences the emotion of anxiety with the same intensity, frequency, or duration as someone who has an anxiety disorder. Let’s look more closely at some of the differences between the normal emotion of anxiety, and anxiety as a disorder.

The normal emotions of anxiety and fear
Anxiety, and its close cousin fear, are both considered emotions. While there is considerable overlap between these two terms, there are some important differences. Fear is generally considered a primary emotion, while anxiety is considered a secondary emotion that represents the avoidance of fear (including the avoidance of fear-producing stimuli). Primary emotions refer to emotions that are recognizable through facial expressions, and can easily be interpreted by an observer (e.g., happiness, anger, sadness, fear, surprise, disgust). Secondary emotions, such as anxiety, are not readily recognizable to an outside observer, and are usually considered an internal, private experience.

However, the most important distinction between fear and anxiety is that fear is the response to a danger that is currently detected in the environment, while anxiety refers to the anticipation of some potential threat that may, or may not, happen in the future. In other words, fear is a response to an immediate danger in the present moment of time, while anxiety is associated with a threat that is anticipated in a future moment in time. Anxiety reflects the anticipation of fear and represents an adaptive attempt to prevent the fear-provoking circumstance from occurring. In an anxious state, a person is readying themselves and preparing themselves to cope with a future problem or dilemma which they anticipate will cause some kind of harm if not prevented from occurring. In this respect, anxiety is a normal and adaptive emotion.

Emotions are simply part of the normal human experience; as such, they are neither good nor bad. It’s what occurs afterwards that determines whether we experience a particular emotion as good or bad; i.e., the changes in our feelings, behaviors, thoughts, and physiology. At this point you may be wondering, “What could possibly be good about fear and anxiety? Don’t these emotions just make people feel miserable?” Well, the answer may come as a quite a shock, but fear and anxiety are actually very important emotions when it comes to human survival and achievement. The reason behind this statement is that anxiety and fear actually motivate us for action when faced with an immediate danger (fear), or when we anticipate a future threat to our well-being (anxiety). For example, picture a young mother and her child are crossing the street when the mother suddenly realizes they are in the direct path of an oncoming car. Imagine what would happen is she did not feel the least bit afraid. Or, imagine a law student preparing to take his bar exam so that he can become an attorney. What if he didn’t have any anxiety over whether he passed or failed his bar exam? Clearly without fear and anxiety to prepare their minds and bodies for automatic action, these individuals would be at risk for some very serious, negative consequences. So, while the experience of fear or anxiety may at times be an unpleasant one, we can see that without these important emotions we’d actually be far worse off.

Fear and survival: The fight-or-flight response

When people speak of fear they are often referring to the body’s physiological response to fear, known as the fight-or-flight response. More specifically, when we are in the presence of an immediate danger, our bodies will automatically begin to prepare us to either attack the threat (i.e., fight) or more often, to escape from the danger (i.e., flight), in order to ensure our survival. For example, when we are faced with danger our hearts begin to beat very fast. The reason behind this increased heart rate is that the emotion of fear signaled our body and mind to prepare for action. The nervous system responds to the signal of danger by attempting to increase blood flow throughout the body in an effort to deliver the extra oxygen our muscles will need for energy during a fight, or an escape from danger (e.g., running really fast). This increased blood flow requires the heart work harder, and beat faster. Similarly, because increased oxygen is beneficial when faced with danger, there is a natural tendency for people to begin breathing more rapidly and more deeply to meet the demand for extra oxygen. This extra oxygen enables the body to rise to the challenge of fight-or-flight.

Like many adaptive mechanisms, the fight-or-flight response has evolved over time to help ensure our survival. In ancient times, our ancestors came into constant contact with many types of very real dangers in their environment (lions and tigers and bears, OH MY!). Over time, with repeated exposure to these threats, our ancestors’ nervous systems began to evolve in a manner that made the fight-or-flight response automatic and immediate. This adaptation was very beneficial because it ensured the necessary physical responses, (such as increased heart rate and respiration) would occur without wasted time (immediate) and without having to think about it (automatic). This adaptation makes sense because human beings would be at a significant disadvantage if they had to stop and rationally determine best course of action whenever they were in danger. Consider again the example of the mother and her child crossing the street when she realizes they are in the direct path of an oncoming car. Clearly she does not have time to stop and weigh out all her options.

Although in modern times we may not encounter the same sorts of danger our ancestors had to face, we nonetheless still encounter threats in our daily lives that make the fight-or-flight response useful (e.g., physical threats such as being attacked by a mugger, social threats such as being ridiculed or embarrassed, and mental threats such as “blanking-out” on a difficult exam). Unfortunately, a problem arises when the fear response is triggered when no actual threat is present in our environment, and thus serves no useful purpose. This is called a false alarm, which will be discussed further, but for now it is important just to realize that without a certain amount of fear in our lives, we would actually have a much more difficult time surviving.

Matthew D. Jacofsky, Psy.D., Melanie T. Santos, Psy.D., Sony Khemlani-Patel, Ph.D. & Fugen Neziroglu, Ph.D. of the Bio Behavioral Institute, edited by C.E. Zupanick, Psy.D. and Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. Updated: Jun 28th 2010

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