For Individuals, Couples and Families
These days people are becoming more aware of how depression, anxiety, stress and other symptoms can affect your physical health. You may look around and say to yourself, "It looks like everyone else is okay, why am I having so much stress?"
You may think it's impossible to hope for what feels like a loving relationship because you have tried everything and nothing has worked. You learned your relationship tools from your parents or caregiver and you have learned more along the way, but I have so many more tools to give you! Many people who were feeling hopeless, depressed and anxious, not only found relief, but found comfort and happiness
in the big and little moments of their lives...
If you are stressed out, sad or anxious about your child, your relationships or your life and don't know where to turn... If you have tried everything and nothing has worked... I can help!
How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb?
10 Hopelessness Hacks
1. To decrease your "fight or flight" response, repeat to yourself, "Your name, you're not going to die, you're going to be okay. You've been through worse and then you've been all right. Everything will be okay.
2. Gratitude can help hopelessness. If you are having trouble coming up with something you are grateful for then try this little hack: say “What am I grateful for?” fifteen times without answering the question. Usually before you are finished you will feel the dopamine release. If not, do it a second time.
3. Smiling for 20 seconds can trick your body into thinking it is happy and release dopamine. Laughing and fake laughing are good hacks too, your body does not know the difference between the two.
4. Do your best to release the four feel-good chemicals, which are dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins.
5. Doing your best to stay in the moment can help you from spiraling down a negative unknown future. If you do look forward, a little bit of hope can help. Planning little things to look forward to helps to release dopamine. At my house, we look forward to Friday night nachos and a movie. Simple but effective. Plan a drive. Talk about what trips you will take when it will be safer to do so. Take a small step toward a goal.
6. Endorphins are released with activity. Look into your own exercise toolbox to see what you can use, maybe you will find it is walking, running, calisthenics, dancing or Zumba.
7.Oxytocin can be released by touch. This can be difficult for single people who used to be able to get a massage to release it. Self-massage can help. For those quarantined with others, hugs are effective. Try five a day. Also, according to Dr. Joe Dispenza, deep breathing while visualizing your heart can help.
8. Seratonin is normally released when the sun comes out in the morning and melatonin is released when it gets dark. Serotonin gives you energy and melatonin can make you tired. Seratonin is what is stimulated in some antidepressants. When sleep patterns are off so is the normal pattern of serotonin and melatonin. Some people who are very anxious feel better waking up in the afternoon because the serotonin from light exacerbates the anxiety with excess energy. And they are more productive when melatonin is released because it is more calming. If you are having trouble sleeping, try turning off the light in the evening and using candles or the light of your electronics with the blue light turned off.
9. Limit your news intake to a manageable amount from a reliable source.
10. Make a list of what coping skills you enjoy and are available to you. Here are some examples: Meditation, exercise, get outside in nature, read a book, take a walk, create something, have a phone, or zoom conversation or listen to music. Think about what you have done that makes you smile. Remember good memories.