Therapist Blog


Bringing in the New Year without the Stress of Typical Resolutions

Happy New Year everyone,

Within the last week, I've seen a lot of people reflecting what has happened in the pervious year, the highs the lows, where they have been and where they'd like to go. It also seems like there is a trend to move away from the traditional "resolutions" that are associated with the New Year, which in my opinion shows how people are becoming more realistic with themselves. Now I don't have the research proving that less people are making Resolutions, and this is purely anecdotal, however it is a trend I'd support.

Putting pressure on yourself to change your body, your finances, your relationships can be hazardous if you are expecting quick results. This is rather unmindful to expect to plow down these goals without the right resources and support. Plus, only 8% of people accomplish their resolutions.   I believe this is because of the rigid mindset that people take when creating their resolutions, they disallow flexibity and believe that once they are off track even for a day or a week that they start thinking "whats the point, I already failed, I might as well as not try". Or they have even deeper internal beliefs (perhaps unconscious) about themselves that get in the way such as "I'm lazy", "I'm too weak", or "I'm stupid". 

This is not to say that its impossible to make a healthy choice and intention to change your life, my point here is that it takes more than a step by step plan, it takes a healthy mindset and perspective. Lets look at how external and internal pressures might change the entire feelings and thoughts towards a behavior change.

An external pressure may be from another person or system that exists to complete a work assignment by a certain time line, this pressure can often gets muddled with shame, guilt, and fear, if you don't have any internal desire to complete said assignment. Now, what if the drive was internal, for example you arrive early to work not because your boss wants you to, but so you can settle in, drink your coffee without interruptions, turn on the music you like or put essentials in your diffuser and just sit and get in a good mindset for the day. Change like that would be driven by feelings of satisfaction, peace seeking, and being kind to yourself.  

Resolutions can be achieved if its something that comes from an internal place, with a healthy mindset, and making intentional choice not to beat yourself up if you are not always "perfect" with it. Having support to reach your goals is also helpful, and if therapy, coaching, a solid friend, partner, or parent is what you need to accomplish your goal, then ask for that support. 

Anger is Keeping You Stuck in Unhealthy Eating Behaviors

Eating disorders and negative patterns with food begin with personal pain (that can look like a lot of different things for people) and set up a vicious cycle of anger: destructive behavior, shame, depression, self-hate, and back to anger.  This anger is taken out on the self, as well as anyone that tries to take away or change the negative patterns with food the person may have. No matter what your food patterns, the misuse of food starts as a natural response of anger to pain. The longer the individual holds on to anger and the longer people respond to the individual with the negative patterns the longer the struggle tends to continue. 

For those that are conflict avoidant this faces a difficult challenge because they often cannot even identify that they are in fact angry. Breaking the cycle and finding the strength to disconnect from an unhealthy relationship with food requires relearning not only the proper response to food, but also the proper response to anger. Often society has taught us that anger is "bad", however it is as natural part of life and our emotions.

Recovery from an eating disorder can only be realized once you dig into the true origin of that anger. To free yourself from the control that anger is imposing on your choices, its recommended that re-experiencing your anger in its fullness,  is often the only way to let it go, and move on. 

Are you or your teen struggling with anger, shame, a disconnect with your feelings, it may be time to connect in order to begin the process of recovery. 

Times are a Changing

The only thing is life that is constant is change...

How do we manage these changes if we are feel scared, or stuck? If off, having those feelings or really any strong feelings about something new in life are completely normal and valid. I'm notorious for wanting to fun and hide, others face anger or feelings of being overwhelmed.

Here are my TOP 5 skills to use when faced with expected or unexpected change:

1. Take a step back, and look at the situation from a different angle, ask yourself what are the pros and cons of this change, and weigh out your options

2. Set an intention for how you want to be (or behave) during the change, so you can help prevent yourself from anger or sadness

3. Do at least one thing thats the same, so you can know that you will be ensured to have at least one comfort item/feelings/situation to hold on to during the change

4. Talk about your feelings with friends, family, your therapist, you'll find out fast, that you are really not alone in your thoughts, feelings or experience 

5. Take it one step, one day, one moment at a time, remember that you are ultimately in control of YOU, maybe not your environment or other people, but you are truly in-control of you.