2019 Summer Mental Wellness Newsletter To Help You Feel Good Now

I thank all of my clients for the journey we have taken, and for the things you have so generously shared. I am hopeful that the tools and skills you are implementing will improve your mental health, and also improve all of your relationships (especially your relationship with yourself). Here are some tools, and resources for frequently discussed topics in 2019. I hope you find them helpful as reminders, and/or as new helpful tools for your own use.


RELATIONSHIPS / COMMUNICATION:
Remember to be a Calm, Compassionate, Curious, Detective (CCCD) in all of your communication (always start with, and stay with, compassion). Couples can fight, disagree, argue, be angry and even triggered, and remain friends; so long as they remember and maintain in their minds “my partner loves me and cares about me”. People are often NOT able to hold this ‘kindness and friendship story’ about their partner if kindness and compassion (friendship) is not present within your ‘disagreements’.

Compassion and friendship acts as a wet blanket for the fire of anger and invalidation that we tend to experience when triggered. Remaining compassionate and curious prevents us from feeling attacked or triggered, like we are in a fight. With compassion we become curious: Why are they crying, yelling, shutting down, or upset with me? Why is my friend so hurt that they are lashing out at me?

If you no longer see them as your friend, that is likely the root of your issue. We sometimes find it difficult to hold these two ideas together (1) My partner/spouse/boss/kids are upset with me and (2) They love and care about me. Instead we often say, “THEY are upset with me and they shouldn’t be!” (we act/react like children). But if we remember they are our friend and that they care deeply about us, then we can remain our Calm, Compassionate, and Curious adult selves. 

BOOKS THAT WILL IMPROVE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS:
Crucial Conversations: Tools For Talking When Stakes Are High (link is here)
John Gottman: The 7 Principles For Making Marriage Work (link is here)






ANXIETY & PANIC:
“Try living life with a fire alarm going off inside your head at 100 decibels”. It’s not easy but this is what most people with high anxiety and panic attacks have to deal with (sometimes almost Every. Waking. Moment).

  • Practicing mindfulness helps.
  • Practicing self-care and self-compassion helps.
  • Medication often can help (to turn down the fire alarm long enough for you to practice implementing helpful tools and skills because you likely can NOT effectively practice them with an active fire alarm situation).


Practicing saying, noticing, and believing, these 3 things helps:

  • "No mean or negative stories allowed (about myself, or about others)."
  • "I am always doing my very best with what I bring to the moment (and so is everyone else)."
  • "I deserve kindness, especially from me."


Practicing the skills and tools in this book (The Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills Workbook for Anxiety) also helps (link is here).


I sincerely hope that you and your families and friends have a wonderful, happy, and engaging life journey the remainder of 2019!

~ Matthew Miller (587) 220-1384 (personal cell)








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Calgary, Alberta, Canada