Temecula therapist

This is why your life sometimes feels sucky

Thanksgiving is around the corner. The turkeys are in the freezer, pumpkins are everywhere, the leaves are looking colorful, and the air is crisp. But for some reason you are not feeling your best. All you want to do is stay in bed, be upset and not talk to people. You wonder if something is wrong with you- and maybe there is something wrong- but perhaps a few simple tweaks can turn the day around. Sometimes you feel like your life just sucks. You get trapped in an ugly black hole. The more you try to climb out, the deeper you seem to fall. 

But little do you know that there are some things you could do to possibly help you get out of the hole for good.

Start your day off right

Many people start their days off without any intentions. They spring out of bed in the morning, rush into the shower, make a cup of coffee, skip breakfast and hope for the best. If you want your days to consistently feel great, then plan them out. Now don't get it wrong, there are no quick fixes to give you a perfect life. However, people who have an intentional approach to their lives often end up enjoying their lives more than those who wake up, are unplanned and who just hope for the best.

Try to wake up 10 to 15 minutes earlier than usual. I know it sounds alarming, but trust me, your future self will thank you. When your alarm rings, slowly get out of bed, say one or two things you're grateful for (It'll even be better if you could get a notebook just for this), say a quick prayer, meditate on scripture, then reach for a glass of water to rehydrate your thirsty body. Once you're out of bed, spend about 5 minutes stretching your body. As you stretch, create a visual for how you would like your day to unfold. Imagine yourself walking to work with a smile on your face, or dropping the kids off while saying "Have a great day," or giving your spouse a hug before he or she runs out of the door. 

Intentional minds create much more positive results.

Bring the joy

Once you begin to dive into your usual tasks, do them with joy. Even if you're picking up dog poop or combing your screaming child's hair, remind yourself that you are actually lucky that you get to do these things. These subtle mindset shifts will help you move from disgruntled to appreciative. When you go to the store, greet the greeters with a smile. Smiles are free, and they bring joy to most people (ignore the perpetually grumpy folks). 

Before you begin your work day, take 30 seconds to breathe and tell yourself that today will be a great day. It'll be great, not because everything will be perfect, but it'll be great because you have decided to bring the joy with your wherever you go.

Pick the right people to do life with

Life can be so sweet- that is if you have the right people to do life with. When your friends and family members are negative, uninspiring or unsupportive, then it's time to do something different. Now of course you don't get to pick your family members, but when you notice that you are trapped in a toxic environment, perhaps it's time to put them at arms' length. I'm not saying to cut them off, but you get to decide how much time you can spend with them, and how much of yourself to share with them.

The same goes with friendships. If the top 5 people you hang out with aren't living the happy, balanced life you've always dreamed about, then it's time to evaluate your circle. You should only be hanging out with people who leave you feeling recharged, excited about life and feeling great. if your friends seem to be going nowhere fast, chances are your life will go nowhere fast. You are who you hang out with. So take a long, hard look around you.

This might sound harsh, but I've seen too many people be sucked into negative spirals by friends who are no good for them. Find out more about how your friends could be increasing your anxiety in this blog post- This is how your friends are increasing your anxiety

Put the phone down

This last one sounds strange. What does a phone have to do with a sucky life? Well too many people spend entirely too much time scrolling mindlessly on social media. They could be working out, networking, taking naps, eating, and enjoying the world, but they spend all the time on social media. Make an effort not to pick up your phone right when you wake up and right before you go to bed.

Give your thumbs, your eyes, your posture and your mind a break. When you feel the urge to post all of your feelings to complete strangers, perhaps think of a friend you could share those feelings with. Create real connections. When you are at work, try to plow away at your actual work tasks and resist the urge to use your phone as a crutch. 

Another problem with too much phone use is that it creates the green grass syndrome. You begin to imagine that everyone is living their best lives except you. You look at their flashy cars, their 6-pack abs, their amazing executive offices, and you begin to feel self pity. Truth is, social media only highlights the best of the best. very few people chronicle their journey to the top. Most people only show themselves on their best days-with great hair, great makeup and their best outfits.

So before you get sucked in, put the phone in a drawer, or in another room. Put your head up, and enjoy the life you actually have. Remember, the grass isn't greener on the other side. It's actually greener where you water it.

And if you are feeling like you just can't take these steps on your own. Click here to schedule a free 15-minute consultation call to determine if I'm the therapist to move you from sucky life to happy life. You can also call me on 951-905-3181. I help women who are overwhelmed and anxious, create boundaries, find their strengths and live calm lives.

 

Top 6 reasons why you haven't met with a therapist

You've known for a while that something is off. Your mind is swirling with worry all the time, you feel sad when you should be happy, and sometimes, you seem to cry for no reason at all. You know you're a smart, competent woman, but sometimes you just doubt yourself. You wonder if you'll be like this for the rest of your life. It's bringing you agony and you just can't stand it.

You've heard some of your friends talk about therapy. It has crossed your mind to maybe call someone, but you're not sure if a therapist will be able to help you. After all, you're not 'Crazy,' so why would you want to call someone? Well, here are some of the possible reasons why you probably haven't picked up the phone to schedule your first appointment.

1) You're too scared: Well, that's all good. Most people are terrified when they first call or email me. It's actually quite normal. Think about it- you've struggled with this huge problem for weeks, months, or even years and it's terrifying to bare your soul to someone you barely know. Well, one of the reasons why therapy could work so well for you is that your therapist is a neutral third party who is trained to identify behavioral and relational patterns. I personally don't judge you when you walk through my doors. My job is to ask the right questions so we can figure out-together- how to get you out of the rut you feel. If I were to criticize you or judge you it'll actually get in the way of me doing great work.

2) You think a therapist might label you as crazy: I've heard this one before. "I just want you to know that I'm not crazy." Well, when a potential client calls me, I don't for a second label her as crazy. The way I see it, people call a therapist when they are tired of feeling stuck. It's as simple as that. Never would you hear me use degrading or insulting words. And if your therapist ever addresses you in a demeaning or disrespectful way-please run fast in the other direction. You don't deserve such horrible treatment.

Let's set the record straight. Therapy isn't for "Crazy people." Therapy is a great way to treat mental health symptoms, get some clarity and move closer to the goals you have set with your therapist. Therapy can be a powerful tool because your therapist is well trained and can give unbiased guidance. If you were "Crazy," a therapist wouldn't be able to help you anyway. 

3) You don't want your friends or family to know that you're talking to a therapist: The great thing about therapy is that it is actually confidential. This means that we keep whatever you say as a secret. Just call me Murrieta's best keep secret. The only issues we must report by law are child abuse, elder abuse, dependent adult abuse, as well as if you are a danger to yourself or somebody else. And of course, these laws are put in place because we protect people who cannot otherwise protect themselves. I'd rather you get mad at me, and I ensure you're safe, than let you harm yourself. So your family and friends will not find out that you are in therapy- unless you want to tell them. I pride myself as being the best kept secret in the Murrieta/Temecula area.

4) You don't know if you'll be able to trust a therapist: Talking to someone you've just met is really difficult. Trust me, I know. But the great thing about therapy is that because there is no judgement, your therapist is able to see things clearly. When you are in the eye of the storm, all you see is debris and chaos. And usually, you- the client are in the eye of the storm. But your therapist sits right outside of the storm where he or she can see everything else. Of course at first it will all feel awkward when you come into session, but with time-if the therapist is a great fit for you- you'll feel more comfortable.

This is why I offer all new clients a free 15 minute consultation call so we can both decide if we will work well together. I also only see a very limited number of clients so I can provide each client with individualized, targeted service.  You're not a number. You're a person with feelings, challenges and goals. And my job is to help you overcome those difficulties. And then what happens if you meet with a therapist and you absolutely can't stand her? Well, you just let her know that you're not a good fit and you find someone else if you so wish. You are under no obligation to keep on working with a therapist you don't connect with or trust.

Find out more about ways that a therapist can help you in this post- How can a therapist help you?

5) You don't have time: Majority of my clients come in to see me once a week, and then when things get better, we go down to every other week, and sometimes, even once a month. It all just depends on their individualized needs. But what happens when you can't seem to fit 1 hour a week into your schedule? Well, then you discuss it with your therapist ahead of time so that you both can work on a mutually agreeable solution. Some people choose to do online therapy. It's therapy from the comfort of your own home or office. The benefit is that you still get to work on your goals, while in the comfort of your home. You also avoid driving time. It's definitely something to think about. I wrote more about online therapy in this blog post- The benefits of online therapy

6) You don't have the money: Sometimes people do not even search for a therapist. They assume that they cannot afford one. Some therapists are contracted with specific insurance companies. It means that they signed a contract with that company so they can be reimbursed for services provided. Note that for an insurance company to cover your sessions, you will have to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Same thing as if you were going to see a physician. He or she will have to give you a diagnosis in order to be reimbursed. Sometimes you will be responsible for a co-pay or you'll have to meet a certain deductible. It all depends on what insurance plan you have. You can call your insurance company to verify how much it would cost and how many sessions they are willing to cover. 

Sometimes therapists will not bill your insurance company directly, but they will charge you a fee up front before each session. Therapists' fees range so don't assume that you can't afford one. The key is to keep searching for the right fit. And in some cases, if you have a PPO insurance, you might be able to get reimbursed if you see a therapist who doesn't have a contract with your specific insurance company. Of course, always ask your insurance company first to verify your benefits. Usually, you'll pay the therapist's fee upfront, then the therapist will give you a receipt called a super bill. After you submit the super bill to the insurance company, they will reimburse you according to their specified rate.

And there you have it. These are the top 6 reasons why many people do not reach out to a therapist when they are struggling. If you are on the fence about working with a therapist, click here to schedule a FREE 15 minute consultation call to find out if I can help you go from stuck to thriving. And if we decide we are not a good fit-that's alright too.

How to set appropriate boundaries in your relationships

If you follow me on social media, I talk about boundaries A LOT. Why? Well because boundaries either create a sense of safety or they provide a sense of vulnerability and insecurity. We all have boundaries- even if we don't know it. Some people have very rigid boundaries that keep them safe, yet keep people out. And others have very porous, open boundaries that let lots of good (as well as bad) in. But porous boundaries hurt you in the process. Having both types of boundaries serves a specific function. Rigid boundaries will definitely keep you safe-especially if you've had loss and hurt in the past. It's a great way to protect yourself when you've experienced lots of bad. The problem is that rigid boundaries also keep good, safe people out. So you'll definitely feel safe, but you might end up being lonely.

With porous boundaries you will get lots of good people coming into your life, but the bad will also be able to come in. It's a great way to get to know lots of acquaintances and have tons of fun, but it means you don't have a screening process to let the good in and keep the bad out. Many people I talk to don't give much thought to boundary setting. I suggest that you start to think more about it. If you don't think about boundaries, you might open your world and your heart to people who aren't a good fit- thereby causing you a world of pain, confusion and frustration. In reality you want healthy, flexible boundaries so you can keep the bad out and allow the good in. And once the good is in, flexible boundaries allow them to stay in.

So, how do you begin to set boundaries?

1) Get clear on what your values are: If you've never decided what your values are, you'll open your life up to just anyone and everyone. So sit and think, "What are my top 5 non negotiable values?" These will serve as a guide when you're on the hunt for friendships, acquaintances, business partners and romantic partners. Because boundaries aren't just for marriages, boundaries affect every aspect of your life. If your values include honesty, sobriety, patience, family togetherness and love, then you will instantly screen out anyone who doesn't have the same values. Does this mean all your friends have to be just like you? Nope. It just means your friends should have similar values- even if their personalities are different from yours. If you value sobriety, but everyone you hang out with is using substances, chances are you'll always feel uncomfortable around them and might even end up using just like them. You are who you hang out with after all.

2) Know what your people limit is: How many people do you want in your life? Sometimes you might feel the need to have 100 close friends. Well, not everyone can tolerate a full social life. Be honest with yourself. If you feel exhausted being with a lot of people or always being on the phone to check up on the people in your life, then perhaps you don't need a huge list to fulfill your social needs. But if you have a few close friends and a yearning to open your life up to more people then perhaps you need to do just that. But be honest with yourself. Are you expanding your social list because you think it's the thing to do, or will adding more people bring you more joy? It's your life. You get to set the limit regardless of what others think.

3) Write a detailed list of the type of people you deserve: Now that you're clear on your values and how many close friendships you can comfortably tolerate, the best step is to dig deeper and write out the specific qualities you want in your people. Realize that hot every person is your person, and that's just okay. Even if the people around you believe both of you would make great friends or acquaintances, you don't have an obligation to include everyone in your life. So, what are the qualities you deserve in a friend, acquaintance or partner? Write them down, review them regularly and study them. This list will set you up for boundary success.

4) Write a list of the type of people you don't deserve: After you've created a list of the qualities you'd love in someone who is a part of your inner circle, what qualities do you absolutely not deserve in a person? Think about habits and character traits that drive you nuts. Or think back to people who have caused you pain. What qualities do you need to be protected from? Of course, you should add things related to abusive and controlling traits as those will only bring you pain- no one deserves abuse and mistreatment.  

5) Figure out what type of person you need to be to attract the right people: Like attracts like. The next step is to figure out what type of person you need to be in order to attract people with your desired traits. Why do you need to do this even for friendships? Well because your friends will either raise your self esteem or completely tear it down.  You need good quality friends who will fill you with joy, give you sound advice and help your journey through life be better. The people you spend majority of your time with will do a great job of shaping your ideas about who you are- so pick wisely. Many women think they can attract nice, respectful friends, but are they also nice and respectful? You see, if you want to attract good people, you also have to work on building your character. Sometimes coaching or therapy- depending on what your needs are- can help you with this.

6) Figure out a system to push out the bad: Once you've set your values, figured out who you deserve around you, and worked on building your character, the next thing to do is to weed out the bad. When someone tries to date you, but you realize they don't meet your character standards, then you simply turn away (or run!) in the other direction. It's that simple. You don't owe anyone anything. What if the person is family? Well it's time to learn how to spend less time with that person and reduce the impact they have in your life. Remember, bad boundaries could even affect your self esteem.

So are you ready to start creating healthy boundaries? Which one of the above works best for you? And if you'd like to work with me on setting clear boundaries so you can become a confident women, click here to schedule a FREE 15 minute consultation call. Life is too short to spend it with people who don't life you up. I also offer online counseling or therapy sessions for women who live anywhere within California.

Could gratitude help your anxiety?

One of my favorite sayings is "When you focus on the past, you get depressed. When you focus on the future, you feel anxious. But when you focus on the present, you will be okay." And it really is true. If you have anxiety, you probably spend a good amount of time thinking about the things that could go wrong with your day or worrying about how you are going to handle different situations. In some cases, the worry becomes so awful that it weighs you down and your thoughts just don't stop. Anxiety could also trigger muscle aches and tightness in your neck, shoulders and back. Some people worry so much that they end up with ulcers.

But what if I told you that focusing on the things you're grateful for could probably reduce your anxiety a little bit? You see, when your mind is filled with worry, it can quickly spiral into anxiety, and full blown anxiety can be tough to kick.

The first step is to get yourself a little notebook. Just something light that you can keep by your bed side or carry around with you. Some people like notebooks with encouraging quotes on them or pictures of peaceful scenes. Those are fine too. Each day, when you wake up, think about one thing that you are grateful for. It can be as simple as the trees in your yard, clean, running water, or the yummy sandwich you ate for dinner the night before. I'm sure you're thinking "This sounds too easy." Well it's not super easy if you're used to worrying about everything that could go wrong and beating yourself up for the things you messed up on. But gratitude is truly a practice that gets easier with time. I call it a practice because it takes works. Naturally, most of us would rather focus on the bad-like a glass half empty kind of situation. But make yourself think up something different each day.

Does this mean that you should never think about the things that are going wrong in your life? No. But honestly how many problems have you fixed by thinking about them 100 times a day? What you should focus on is what you can do in the moment to make the problem better, rather than just reminding yourself that you have a problem. The truth is that majority of the fears you have will never come true. So don't bother spending all of your energy wondering if something bad will happen to you. 

Use your energy wisely. Use it for gratitude and use it to actually solve a problem. If you cannot solve the problem, then use your resources. Find someone who can either help you or introduce you to somehow who will help. Try using gratitude for 30 days and you'll see how different your life will be after a month.

And if you are a woman who still struggles with anxiety, but you just don't know how to manage it on your own, consider seeking therapy. Sometimes a trained, neutral party is who you need to get you from anxious to calm. If you are near the Temecula/Murrieta area, you can click here to schedule a free 15 minute consultation call. We will talk about your struggles and how we can work together to get you from anxious to calm and in control. I also provide online therapy within California if you live too far away from my office or you would just rather be in the comfort of your own home when we work together.

How your thoughts are making you anxious

You spend a lot of time trying to keep the butterflies in your tummy at bay. You've tried breathing, yoga and reading every self help book out there, but nothing is working out for you. Your anxiety is off the rails. You wonder if you are broken, because every day is a challenge. You think to yourself, "Why am I the only one who struggles so much?"

Well, maybe your thoughts are holding you back. There is a belief among therapists that your thoughts, your feelings and your behavior are all linked. If you change one, you can change the others. Let's say you really want to begin a new, exciting career. If you say to yourself, "I'm pretty sure I'll never be able to succeed in this new career," those thoughts would lead to feelings of frustration, sadness and maybe even insecurity. In essence, you've defeated yourself before the battle has even begun. The feelings of frustration, sadness and insecurity would lead to procrastinating on filling out applications, staying up late while worrying about your future, and just generally feeling sorry for yourself. And even if you're able to break into that new career, when you have a defeatist attitude, you will not be bold enough to pursue your career fully and put in all your effort.

You get it? Your sucky thoughts might be dragging you down.

So how do you begin to change this downward spiral?

Start by challenging your thoughts. First figure out if indeed your thoughts are true. If they aren't, figure out what the truth is. So if you're saying to yourself, "I won't succeed in my new career," what is the proof that this is actually true? Have you ever tried that career? Have you ever succeeded at a career or job in the past? Do you have skills that could help you succeed? Is it really truly that you won't succeed? How do you know that you won't succeed? Where's the logical proof? You see most of us think irrational unhelpful thoughts but we convince ourselves that these thoughts are true.

Next, what is the proof that your thoughts are false? Think of the reasons why your thoughts are false. Think of all the times you've succeeded at a job. Actually write them down so that you can remind yourself that you do well at some tasks. It might be helpful to write your thought at the top of a piece of paper, then draw a line right down the middle of the paper. On the left write out 'Why my thoughts are true.' Then on the right, write out 'Why my thoughts are false.'

Once you're done with both columns, come up with other thoughts to support your conclusion. So if you realize that you do have what it takes to break through in a new career, you can tell yourself, "Even though this career change will be difficult, I have succeeded in other things before and I have a great chance of succeeding now." Say this to yourself as often as possible. This will help you feel more motivated to take action. So do not discount the fact that you will face difficulties. Acknowledge that and then include your reason why you will be okay. 

Don't get it wrong. Positive thoughts alone will not get you anywhere-you must also take the necessary steps to set yourself up for success. In our example above, if you're not trying to learn about the new career, you definitely will fail.

So try this out and let me know how it goes. You can comment below. If you have been struggling with anxious thoughts and you're sick and tired of feeling like the world is about to crumble around you, now's the time to get help. I help anxious women regain their sense of self esteem and live boldly. Click here to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation. Let's get you from frazzled to calm.

How to teach your child important skills without having to pull out all your hair

Your wish for your child is that he becomes self disciplined, independent and he is able to follow rules so that he can become a successful, productive citizen. However, sometimes you feel extremely frustrated because you have to repeat instructions 700 times before he budges. Well, don't despair. It is possible to teach your child rules and give him self discipline without the feeling of daily frustration.

First of all, why is it important for a child to be self disciplined? Well it's simple. A self disciplined child is able to regulate his emotions better (not scream and shout when things don't go his way), he will be able to follow rules easier (when he's in school and the teacher says to complete 5 questions, he'll be able to do it) and honestly, he'll get along with the kids on the playground a lot better.

So are you ready to learn how to teach your child important skills like how to brush his teeth, tie his shoe laces, make his bed, etc?

1) Make sure the skills are age appropriate: Sometimes parents expect just too much from their kids. Only teach skills that a child can master at that age. Don't try to teach a 2 year old how to wash dishes or a 6 year old to mow the lawn. Sure there are some genius kids who can do it, but the average 6 year old just doesn't have that type of mastery. Before you get upset that your child isn't able to do something, first ask yourself if he is capable. Some children are also not as mature as their age mates. So try not to compare your child to others. Teach him skills that he is able to complete.

2) Make sure your directions are clear and simple: Parents are known for shouting out 17 instructions at once- "Go downstairs, get a cup of water, get your bag, grab your lunch, comb your hair, then wait for me to come downstairs." Woah!! Very few children (or adults) can remember 7 instructions at once. First, do not yell instructions from one room to the other. Talking through walls isn't very effective. Call your child into the room where you are, then only give him 1 or 2 instructions at once. Sometimes you can have him repeat the instructions to ensure that he heard and understood you. If your instructions are not clear or simple you're setting him up for failure and setting yourself up for frustration.

3) Watch your frustration level: When you're in a hurry or you're upset, that's the worst time to dish out instructions. You won't have time to explain clearly and your child will be stressed out. Also, if you're giving your child an instruction for a challenging task, chances are that he's going to need extra help. So don't set yourself up for failure. Only assign difficult tasks when you know you're going to have an extra minute to help him. Most kids cannot perform well under pressure. It's a simple fact. They'll get upset or have a meltdown.

4) Remove all distractions: Before giving out instructions, make sure the TV and video game console are off. There's no point competing with World of War Craft or Sponge Bob-don't try. First make sure your child isn't distracted, then give him 1 or 2 simple instructions. Sometime your child won't understand your instructions. Instead of yelling or getting frustrated, just repeat it in an easier format. Many parents will say things like "Why are you so distracted?" or "You just don't listen." But the problem is not the child, the problem is with the teacher. 

5) Use praise: After your child follows through, praise him. If you ask him to pass the salt and he does, say "Thank you." If he cleans up his room, give him a high five. These things not only build his self esteem, but they encourage him to continue to contribute to the household in a positive way. I know what you're about to say, "My mom never praised me for mowing the lawn. So I'm not going to praise my child." Well if you want a child with high self esteem and self discipline who has a strong, positive relationship with you, it'll only help to sow the seeds now.

6) Leave room for questions and errors: Many parents run their households like military installations. They don't leave any room for their kids to question them. It's okay if your child asks you why you use Windex on the glass instead of Mr. Clean or why you mow the lawn in a certain way. Children are curious. If you're not satisfying their curiosity at home, when they get older, they'll find other influences to give them the attention they need- and you won't like it.  Plus the truth is that no one wants to raise a zombie child who doesn't ask questions. No one wants their child to just obey without reasoning first. If you want an independent, smart child, leave room for questions and for errors. The best investors and the most successful CEOs are people who are constantly questioning the system. Also remember that your kids will make mistakes. You can either beat them down when they do or teach them resiliency. It's your choice.

And to learn more about Why do your kids behave the way they do? click the link to read another blog post.

What are some ways you teach your child simple instructions? If you're in the Murrieta or Temecula area and you'd like to learn more about ways to improve your relationship with your child, how to strengthen his/her self esteem, and how to manage misbehavior so that your home becomes a safe haven, call me on 951-905-3181 or email me here. We'll talk about my 8-week parenting support group. If you feel like it's a good fit for you, I'll put you on the waitlist. You too can have a peaceful home with self disciplined, happy kids. 

Are you shy or do you have Social Anxiety Disorder?

When you go into a public place, do your stomach muscles tighten up? Do you just want to crawl into a ball or take off running as fast as you can? Do you make excuses when people ask you to go out? When you finally summon up the courage to step out, are you constantly worried that others will judge or embarrass you? Sometimes what you think is shyness is actually something called Social Anxiety Disorder. It’s an unbearable fear that happens when you interact with others in a public space. While some people might go out to unwind after a long day, you just want to go home and relax in front of the TV or cuddle up with a good book.

 Social Anxiety creates fear when you have to be in certain social situations where you could possibly be observed, noticed or scrutinized by others. Some of these situations could include eating out at a restaurant, going to a party, going on a date, speaking in front of a crowd or even just going to the grocery store.

 While these situations appear like normal everyday social situations to others, to you, they create a deep sense of fear, anxiety and worry. Before you are about to go to a restaurant, you practice walking through the door, you visualize all the people who will be staring at you and you even wonder if you'll have to escape from the emergency exit.

Usually when you are in social situations, you feel an increased sense of anxiety, you might have difficulty interacting with others because you believe they are judging you or scrutinizing your every move. You find it difficult to stay calm when you're with others, because you can't shut your mind off. The entire time, you might be thinking "Will they think I'm weird? Are they judging me? I know I'm going to embarrass myself. What id I fall? Will they laugh?" Although the situation might seem harmless to others, it fills you with such distress that you have to leave. Sometimes you get so nervous that you might embarrass yourself, that you’re not able to truly enjoy the company of others.

If this sounds like you, the good news is that Social Anxiety Disorder is treatable. All you need to do is contact a mental health professional who is experienced in treating Social Anxiety so that you can work on changing your thoughts, you can be slowly introduced to social situations and you can get your happy back. It doesn’t have to ruin your life.

You can work on it and be released from the constant anxiety you experience. If you are in the Murrieta area and you are in need of a counselor or therapist, contact me for a free 15 minute phone consultation (951-905-3181) so that we can decide if you’re ready to begin the healing process.

Have you ever experienced social anxiety?

What is anxiety?

You've felt funny for a while but you have no idea who to talk to or what to call it. Sometimes you feel odd butterflies in your stomach and other times you sweat. Maybe you get the odd feeling before stepping in front of a crowd, or just before you go outside in the morning. Your thoughts are constantly racing and you don't know how to slow them down.

You try to shake it off, but the feeling seems to be spreading from your mind to your body too. Your neck and back are always tight, you find it hard to sleep at night and you feel like you can't talk to anyone about it, because they'll think you're being dramatic. Sometimes it feels like the world is closing in on you.

Your feeling might just be anxiety. Anxiety is the thoughts and feelings of unease that sweep through a person's mind or body. Sometimes you might get anxious because there's an important event coming up, and other times you don't have any clue why you feel this way. There are many different types of anxiety disorders, which I'll talk about in another blog post coming up soon.

But the most common anxiety disorder I see in my practice is Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This means the person isn't necessarily worrying about something specific, but there are many worries about many different things swimming through your mind all day long. For example, you could be worried about your weight, your kids' grades, your marriage, your long to do list as well as your career. Even when things seem to be going well on the home front, you might have this impending feeling of doom like something bad is about to happen.

So how do we treat anxiety?

Well there are many different ways. Some people choose to see a psychiatrist and get on anti anxiety medication. Others find more holistic treatments such as yoga, exercise, meditation and prayer. And still others choose to speak to a counselor or therapist and learn different ways to train their minds on how to not be so focused on situations, but think more realistically. Different therapists work from different approaches. Some focus on thought patterns, others focus on the emotional component, still some use approaches such as mindfulness among others.

Some people choose to use a hybrid method such as by taking meds and going to yoga. Or through prayer and therapy.

It really doesn't matter which route you take, or if you use a combination of treatments, all that matters is that you seek help if you feel that your anxiety is not under control. As I am not a doctor, I cannot prescribe medications. I also am not a yoga instructor or a certified physical trainer, so I cannot advise you on exercise or diet.

My approach to treating anxiety

My approach as a therapist, is to use a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Simply put, CBT looks at how to reduce anxiety by focusing on irrational thoughts. We work on shifting those thoughts, which will in turn shift your feelings and then your behavior. We know that your thoughts, feelings and behaviors are all linked. If you change one, you''ll change the other two.

DBT works mainly on helping you focus on the present. So instead of thinking about what you're going to do when you get back home, all the tasks on your to do list, how you're going to fix your marriage, how your life is falling apart, you'll learn how to focus on one thing at a time-living moment by moment.

So there you have it. If you've ever experienced anxiety, what helps you reduce it?

And if you're in the Murrieta area or you live anywhere in California, and you're tired of battling anxiety and worry all on your own, give me a call at 951-905-3181. I'll give you a free 15 minute consultation in which we'll talk about your worries and ways in which I might be able to help you find your calm. I believe that before you schedule an appointment with a therapist or counselor, you should have the opportunity to talk to him or her first.

Can a therapist help you?

You've felt lost and confused for years. Even though you put on a brave face for the people around you, your life feels miserable. You've lost your voice snd you're not sure how to find it again. You pour all the energy you have into your family, but at the end of the night, you feel like you're left with nothing.

 This is where therapy comes in. The first step is to find a therapist you trust. Finding a therapist is very much like learning to ride a bike. You fall a few times until you finally get it right. Don't be afraid to ask the therapist a million questions. "Do you take my insurance?" "How many years have you practiced for?" "What's your specialty?" "Tell me how you work." "What's your cancellation policy?""Can you help me with my goal?" "How long will our sessions be?"

 A therapist will help you sort through your thoughts and feelings and get you to your goal. I always encourage people to have a specific goal when they start therapy. This goal will ensure that both you and the therapist are clear on what exactly you're trying to accomplish. That way you can decide if you are on the right track and you can measure your progress.

Therapy can be uncomfortable as you might end up remembering painful memories or uncomfortable feelings, however a flower cannot grow without being buried in dirt. Sometimes it takes some discomfort to get you to your desired place. Also realize that during your first few sessions, you're only trying to see if you're a good fit with this therapist. Don't be afraid to let the therapist know if something isn't working for you-openness leads to great results. Also don't feel bad if you don't click with the therapist. Keep searching until you find your person. 

 So could therapy be right for you? Call today at 951-905-3181 or email me for a complimentary phone consultation and let's talk about achieving your goals. In this free 15 minute phone call, we will talk about what issues are bothering you, when they started, and you can also ask me whatever questions you need to know me better. It's your time to interview me as see if I'm a good fit for you.

5 tips to reduce anxiety

You know that uncomfortable feeling. It's the pit in your stomach, the thoughts that run through your head and prevent you from getting a good night's sleep. It's anxiety. Here are 5 things you can do to reduce overwhelm in your daily life:

1) Know your limit: If you're anything like most ambitious women, you'll find that your plate is always piled high with activities from the moment you wake up, until the moment you sleep. Know that you only have 24 hours in a day. Learn to add only about 5 items on your to do list and either delegate other tasks, or save them for another day.

2) Plan ahead: Many people feel anxious when they have to cram 25 tasks into 1 day. One day a week, sit with a blank calendar and write out every single task you want to accomplish during the week. When you've done that, pencil in each item during the week so that your entire week will be planned without hassles and headaches.

3) Ask for help:So of course we would all like to think of ourselves as super heroes. Well you know what? Every super hero has her kryptonite. Ask for help when you need it. If dishes need washing, ask your teenagers to help you. If you need to pick milk up from the store, ask your spouse to do it. There's no shame in that.

4) Schedule regular self care:If you're always on the go and always in work mode, you stand the risk of overworking yourself. Schedule at least 10 minutes each week to unwind and relax. Do something simple like sipping a cup of tea, spending some time alone in silence or even sneaking in a quick nap. Your mind and your body will thank you.

5) Put things in perspective:When things aren't going your way, do you focus on what is going wrong or do you shift your mind to the things that do go right? In a moment of overwhelm, it's really easy to focus on unfinished tasks. In that very moment, slow down, breathe and remind yourself about your wins and accomplishments. Stop whatever you're doing and come back to it when you're in a better mood. You'll thank yourself.


What can you do to reduce anxiety today? If you'd like us to work together to reduce anxiety and overwhelm, schedule a consultation with me at 951-905-3181.