Heroes for Hope: Building Resilience for America’s Children Continued

You can find part I of my interview with Dr. Blau by clicking here.

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gary M. Blau, Ph.D., who is involved in wide variety of programs designed to improve the lives of children and families and has been working to raise awareness of Children’s Mental Health.

In my interview with Dr. Blau, I asked about the treatments that are available for children with mental health challenges.

There are numerous evidence based treatments, Dr. Blau said.  There is hope and children do recover.   With grant money through SAMSA and other programs and coordinated networks of care, such as the National Traumatic Stress Network, support services provide children with helpful and necessary services.  Dr. Blau states that varying forms of specific kinds of treatments such as trauma focused cognitive behavior therapy, which is a short term treatment focused on becoming aware of thoughts and traumatic event might effect reactions and behavior are highly effective.  Other promising treatments include SPARCS for teenagers  and ARC.  Dr. Blau emphasized the importance of becoming aware of a child’s mental health challenges, early intervention, addressing problems, finding and effective treatment approach.

cyndi lauper, Gary Blau, heroes for hope, LGBT, mental health, children, national children’s awareness day, SAMSA, substance abuse and mental health services administration, trauma

Simple Solutions for Problems with Willpower: Part 1

The levels of stress you experience can have significant negative effects on your life.  Often people engage in problematic behaviors, such as over or under eating, drinking and smoking in response to stress.  These types of behaviors can create both physical and psychological problems and increase stress over time. To relieve this stress,, people generally buy hemp and CBD substitutes from CBD Shop UK

Many Americans experience stress on a daily basis.  To better understand the stress faced by average people in America, the American Psychological Association (APA) conducts an annual survey to determine where our stress is coming from.

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Change Feelings of Anxiety

Do anxious, fearful or uneasy thoughts sometimes take over your life?  Or do you find yourself unable to sleep, full of unrelenting doubts and avoiding certain activities or people?

Like anger, which I discussed in a recent post, anxiety, even when painful, can serve an important purpose in our lives. For example, anxiety about your child’s health can cause you to stay up all night to monitor a high fever.

But sometimes we can get stuck.  We become nervous and overlook parts of the situation that are not threatening.  Or we feel doubt and begin a relentless cycle searching for solutions, missed details and anticipating all possible outcomes. When anxious, we’re more likely to attend to any potential threats in our environment and to interpret circumstances as threatening that at other times we would not. Once the cycle begins, anxiety can stick around, damage our relationships and keep us from positive life experiences.

As with anger, sometimes the only way to change painful anxiety is by changing how you act.  The key word here is sometimes.  In the case of anxiety, it’s important to determine whether you have reason to feel anxious.  If your child’s health is at risk from a high fever, then it is important to respond to your anxiety.  But, changing how you act will change your levels of fear and anxiety if you are exaggerating or misinterpreting the danger.  Anxiety about speaking in public, for example, can be greatly reduced by speaking in public.  Usually our fears of criticism are overblown and exaggerated beyond any real disparagement we might encounter.

Changing how you act will only change how you feel if you change both your actions and your thoughts.  Speaking in public, all the while thinking “this is awful” “I can’t stand it” or “this is a catastrophe” will not reduce anxious feelings about public speaking.  You have to change your thinking, as well as your behavior.  This could mean thinking “I’m nervous, but doing okay.”

Steps to Change Anxious Feelings

  1. Figure out your emotion. Emotions can be complicated and confusing.  Figuring out what you are feeling, for example nervous, annoyed, fearful or anxious, is an important first step.  Are underlying feelings of guilt or anger influencing your anxiety?
  2. Ask yourself what action goes with that emotion. For example, avoidance generally goes with fear.  Anxiety often has an impact on our thoughts.  Anxious thoughts are often repetitive and focused on possible negative outcomes.
  3. Ask yourself ‘do I want to reduce my levels of anxiety?’  It only makes sense to try to change those feelings you want to change.
  4. Figure out what the oppositeaction is.  The opposite of avoidance is approach.  Remember, in the case of fear and anxiety changing how you act only works if your fear is not justified.  If you are in physical danger or under threat, your anxiety can be serving an important purpose.
  5. Do the opposite action all the way.  Throw yourself in to acting differently in both your actions and your thoughts.  Acting differently, without thinking differently won’t work.  You have to do both.

The ability to solve life’s problems and live the life you want to live sometimes means acting in opposition to your feelings.  You may need to approach a feared experience or re-focus on aspects of your life that are non-threatening.  Doing so can reduce anxiety that has become destructive in your life.

The Surprising Link Between Stress and Long Life

Many people experience on-going stress life stress from financial need, work demands and the pressures of family life. The challenge of managing stress with healthy habits, such as exercise, less worry, or better eating can leave us worried about the impact stress is having on our health.  However, Howard S. Friedman PhD suggests that when it comes to your health and how long you live, stress is not necessarily all bad.

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