Careers Answers

Why I do feel scared to risk of doing anything in life. I'm thinking all of the time I have lost, which makes it worse

There's no such thing as feeling an emotion for no reason. Our feelings are always valid and, with enough care and concern, explainable. Having a daughter can be a scary thing indeed, leaving the hospital in particular as you mentioned. This anxiety may indicate an insecurity around your preparation to be a mother. Feeling unprepared or ignorant about the journey of motherhood you were embarking on at that time potentially brought up some other issues you have been dealing with. Understanding that anxiety around preparation may indicate insecurity, we must ask a fundamental question: who is supposed to teach us core values around being prepared? Our parents! The difficulties we have as parents raising our children are a reflection of the difficulties our parents had raising us. Thinking about what themes in life your parents still to this day struggle with will assist you in identifying what work you may still have left to do in your own life. The same can be said about getting a job. Were you taught or shown ever how to create a resume, submit one, job etiquette, etc? If so, I wonder what type of grit and commitment landing a job can take or confidence building instruction did you receive. These blindsides won't just be present in how we struggle to find work, or relate to family, it may even be present in how we make friends as well. A feeling of preparedness is essential to healthily executing all things. A lack of preparation can easily stand in the way of productivity. Knowing that you aren't a terrible person, dumb, stupid, blameworthy, etc. at your lack of knowledge is the first step. Forgiving yourself for believing that you should know things when you were never shown in the first place is imperative. Doing so will begin to establish behavior that not even your parents potentially can/could do. This is how you know you are breaking a cycle. Any time you are actualizing your life in a way those before you still struggle to is proof of you developing your own unique expression of how to get things done. 
(M.Ed, LPC)
Answered on 01/23/2023

How do I get my anxiety under control? Will it ever go away?

What Changed? What do you notice is being affected by the pressures at work? Why now, and why are you letting it bother you more now than in the past? The type of work or money you make, has that changed? It isn't always the immediate circumstance that affects us, but what that reminds us of, or what is triggered inside. For example, if you notice that you are feeling pressured to keep this new job because it pays so well, that can add to the pressure of the work and the fear of the manager. Or, let's say you have troubles at home; then yes, there would be more pressure to make a name for yourself at this new, and less established place. Ask yourself, what is work triggering in me that may have already been there? Or what else is going on putting more pressure on work?  Inadequacy, in general, is a topic worth addressing when it comes to workplace anxiety. If we have an inadequacy, then there can be more pressure to perform at our jobs as a way to overcompensate. With our work quality, recognition leads to promotion, which to an inadequate person will validate us and make us finally feel safe. However, the mind tries to tell you; you are OK, but it will not be OK unless you make peace with all parts of yourself.  Now, I am basing this next topic on an assumption of inadequacy; however, in my clinical experience, this is a common theme among people who struggle at work. When the pressure is so significant that we have physical ailments, then we know something deep inside is being triggered; we are being threatened at a vulnerable state. Your job could be what you attach to in providing your identity and your reassurance. So then, the job isn't what matters, but what it does to bolster the self-conscious. Remember, your job hat is just one hat you wear, not your entirety. Being defined by any one thing is setting you up for failure, especially on a bad day at work, or feeling new and inadequate at your qualify of work.  Work on noticing thoughts that get you anxious. Notice that you have thoughts and that these are provoked at times in life or at work. Now, as I stated before, the context makes incidents more significant. So then, it is important to note not just the immediate situation, but what else is going on in life. What else are you experiencing that is causing you to feel such pressure? Then, notice your thoughts and how they are getting your attention. Often I hear people say things like, "I can't leave this job."  This is usually followed by "I need the money" or "this is temporary on the road to something greater." Yet, we are willing to put our body in a health detriment in service to a career? That shows too much identity, attachment, and reliance on a job and money to make our life happy. That thought/belief is cancer, and it is what you can address by distancing from thoughts while in the moment at work.  First step: Notice your thoughts, and what they reveal about you. If you decide to work with a therapist, make sure the topic stays on what you notice, and what you are experiencing, and articulate the abstract in your mind. Do not do or fix anything; notice thoughts and allow them to exist. This will remind you that you have thoughts and that you don't have to act on these thoughts. You have emotions, but you don't need to fix them or get away from them either. Let it all be without fixing or attending to all things.  Anxiety is a part of life; it doesn't go away. Accept it, work with it, and the pressure to rid yourself of it will dissipate.
Answered on 01/22/2023

What do you do when it feels like everything you've built for yourself in your life is crumbling?

Hi Alex, good afternoon! It is really great that you are reaching out for support at this time. Thank you so much for bringing this important question to the "Ask a Licensed Therapist" forum! It sounds like you are seeking guidance on how to  manage your recent medical diagnosis. My hope is that I can assist you in coming up with strategies to navigate this experience as well as manage the feelings that you are having at this time. First and foremost, I realize that this must be incredibly difficult to find out that you have a genetic disease. How recently did you find out about this diagnosis? Did your primary care provider suggest that you begin to terminate your employment? It sounds like you will have no choice but to leave your job and that you anticipate that this is going to be a challenging change for you since you love working at your current job. What do you do for work? Are you planning to take on another job at some point? Depending on where you are at in the process, you may want to connect with a therapist who specializes in career counseling as a means to figure out your next steps in your career. A career counselor should be able to assist you in developing an exit interview as a means to process this experience and reflect on your work history. In your question, you mentioned that you feel as if your life is crumbling. Based on what you wrote, it seems like you have put in a lot of effort to build the life you want. I can imagine that the idea of not being able to live the fulfilling life that you had envisioned would be devastating, to say the least. How are you feeling about this situation? You mentioned that this diagnosis was unexpected for you. Are you feeling a sense of shock? I want to encourage you to identify your emotional experience using the feelings wheel. This resource is online and free. The feelings wheel encompasses a myriad of feelings that you can pin point in any given moment. You may be feeling more than one emotion at a time. Once you have an understanding of how you are feeling, it would be great to begin identifying as to why. These are some of the first steps in the process of developing emotion management skills. If you are willing to try, take some time every day to keep track of your emotions in a feelings diary. I highly recommend incorporating this into a therapeutic writing exercise. Therapeutic writing and journaling can be an incredibly powerful process technique. For more information on the benefits of journaling, check out the information from the Therapeutic Writing Institute. As for your concerns about giving up your interests and hobbies, I can certainly understand why you would be questioning a lot of things right now. Are you open to trying out new activities as a means to replace the hobbies that you are having to give up? Take some time to check out a list of coping skills. There are many resources online that provide ideas for coping strategies. Perhaps you can try out one new coping skill each day. As another means to cope with this experience, I would like to encourage you to participate in art therapy interventions. The art making process can be fulfilling, healing and eye opening. As a registered art therapist, I have witnessed first hand the benefits of therapeutic art making. If you have time, I recommend that you try out the "Road of Life" directive. In this art based drawing assessment, you can draw, paint, collage or sculpt a representational road of your life. Take some time to envision a map of your past, present and future. With the art materials of your choice, you can channel your energy into your art work. This processing technique may assist you in gaining additional insight into your experience as well as solidifying your expectations for the future. It is a possibility that you may find some solace in the art making process. For more information and ideas on the topic of art therapy, please check out the information provided by the American Art Therapy Association. Their website is:  You stated in your question that you are finding it difficult to accept your current situation. In order to become more familiar with the process of accepting this experience, I would like to encourage you to try out the principle of radical acceptance. This dialectical behavior therapy approach could be very beneficial for you to try. The radical acceptance strategy is considered to be a distress tolerance skill. Essentially, you can begin to practice this technique by accepting all things at all times. Acceptance has been researched and proven to be helpful in tremendous way for many individuals. One of the elemental aspects of acceptance is to commit to removing judgement about the current situation and see experiences for simply as they are. Additionally, McMaster University has some examples of mindfulness based approaches and stress reduction strategies that are free on their website. Diaphragmatic breathing and guided visualization exercises are on this website: At this time, I would like to recommend that you begin attending individual counseling sessions. In addition to attending one on one therapy sessions, you may also want to consider attending a therapy Group or a Groupinar. This will give you the opportunity to tell your experiences as well as hear from the experiences of others. Thank you again, Alex, for taking the time to ask this essential question on the BetterHelp platform. I hope that you find my response to your question to be helpful for you in some way. I want to wish you all the best on your therapeutic journey. Take good care and have a nice day.
Answered on 01/13/2023

how can i deal with my thoughts in a healthy manner?

Hi, and thanks for reaching out for help. Having read what you wrote, I understand that you are going through some endings at the moment; at work and with your partner. These are causing you anxiety and to feel discouraged about the future. From this situation are coming thoughts which you would like to deal with in a healthy manner. I'll explain what I understand to be a helpful way of dealing with such thoughts. In my view, I would see those thoughts as messengers, telling us what is going on for you at a deeper level. Therefore, if we can accept them and find out what their message is, they can help us. To ignore the thoughts or to medicate ourselves (or self-medicate) is likely, in my experience, to make such thoughts stronger as they seek to be heard by us, and perhaps they become more extreme too, to get us to pay attention to them. I suggest instead to become aware of them - for example you can start a thought diary, a journal where each day or whenever you like, write down the thoughts that you are having. Get yourself a notebook, a pen or pencil and have it somewhere convenient, and when it works for you, start writing. Describing thoughts as they are, uncensored, no matter how uncomfortable, just writing down some words to describe those thoughts. Keep the journal for yourself, this is for you only, although you might find it helpful to explain some material with a therapist. In this way you will be starting to accept the thoughts as they are and by becoming familiar with them, they will have less shock value, less power to disturb you. Then you can start a dialogue - what might be behind a particular thought? Why is this troubling me? Is there anything I can do now, that would help me feel better? Are there people or resources around me now that could assist me with this? By taking action and listening to those thoughts you can start feeling more in control, more responsible. Those thoughts are no longer in control, you are!   With best wishes Clement
Answered on 01/09/2023

How do I get over crippling anxiety?

Free Your Mind Anxiety is something we all have. Anxiety disorder is when we notice how anxiety interrupts our social, work, or romantic lives. When we notice how anxiety affects us, we can start to do the work where it needs to be done. For example, if I have anxiety that prevents me from going out with friends, I can do the work in what I notice that doesn't allow me to do what I want/need to do.  Your situation seems to be as such because your anxiety has gotten the best of you and boiled over. How do we get our life back from the anxiety monster? We notice the monster and what it tells us about ourselves. Anxiety is the biological response to something your mind notices is worrisome. The subconscious part of your brain (which is most of your brain) is constantly picking up information. The information your brain is picking up is telling your limbic system to overreact. It benefits you not to try to stop anxiety but to learn how to live with it.  So, your subconscious mind overreacts to something, leaving you with the uncomfortable fight or flight response known as anxiety. Now anxiety communicates with your brain to produce thoughts and beliefs to get you to react. Your reaction to what fear tells you is intended to keep you safe, but now it is keeping you from living your life. So then, what do you want to do, and how is anxiety stopping you from doing it? What I mean is explicit, what thought gets the attention that prevents you from doing what you want?  Our beliefs are formed from early childhood. Our beliefs create our thoughts and emotions and then our reactions. It is often our earliest beliefs about ourselves and the world around us that we need to learn about ourselves because they often go unnoticed. To figure these things out about yourself doesn't cost anything, and it's worth your time to ask, "what do I believe here that is contributing to my problems?" Do not overlook beliefs such as the belief that you won't be happy until you rid yourself of anxiety. It is that belief that may prevent you from being happy ever. It is called a happiness trap to believe you will be happy when... So, what can you do? Identify what matters to you, identify what interferes with what matters, and do the work to challenge the thoughts anxiety produces, keeping you from the life you want. Ask yourself "why"  five times for any decision to see why it matters to you. You want to go out with friends- why Being with friends matters to you- why It's good to have relationships- why You don't like being lonely- why You want what's good-why Good people want good things.  In my example, I ultimately discovered that I want to be a good person. I want to be a good person who makes good decisions and benefits people. So then, I can find identity in my choices that I want to make the decision that would define me as "good." Nobody wants to be a "bad" person, unless of course, they see, "bad" as something their social circles promote- which to them, actually makes them "good."  Anxiety ramped up and didn't allow me to do the necessary work to identify what matters. So, it is my responsibility to work on not letting my thoughts consume me because I have things I care about. I still have the thoughts, but I do what I care about. Again, even with anxiety, you can do what you want and still experience anxiety. Do not get trapped into thinking ridding anxiety will make you happy. You can be just as "happy" now with anxiety the way it is.  Let the thoughts produced by anxiety pass. You do not have to change your life according to your thoughts. 
Answered on 12/27/2022

I think I may have adhd, I have really overwhelming thoughts and a lot of anxiety. What do I do?

Hello Bec, It is very nice to meet you. Thank you taking the time to send in your question. You ask a very good question, this is also something that many people struggle with, so please know that you are not alone. Think of it this way - thoughts control feelings, feelings control actions and behaviors. So, using your example about going for job interviews, it might look something like this. You get an interview, your first thoughts are "I am not going to do well in the interview, other applicants are better and more qualified than I am, etc" Your feelings will become nervousness, insecure, doubtful of yourself. Your actions that likely follow will be head down, quiet voice in interview, fidgeting in chair, avoiding eye contact, sitting awkwardly in the chair, etc. What you want to do is change the thoughts. So, when you do receive an interview, you tell yourself that you are qualified (you would not have been contacted for an interview if you did not have the proper qualifications to begin with). When you walk into an interview feeling confident, you will look self-assured and ready to work. That is what employers will be looking for. Confidence is a very attractive feature. When you do find yourself overwhelmed, take a step back and look at the entire situation and scene around you. What is it that is causing the anxiety? If feeling overwhelmed in the situation, take a break, step away from what is causing the distress. You also brought up ADHD. There could be many different reasons for the symptoms you are experiencing. I would encourage you to speak with a therapist to further explore the anxiety and develop strategies and a treatment plan to address this anxiety. You might also consider meeting with a psychiatrist for ADHD symptoms. A few things that are often helpful for ADHD symptoms include: Breaking tasks into smaller/more manageable parts. Take frequent breaks from assignments, projects, tasks, etc.  Create and maintain a daily schedule. I hope that you have found this information helpful and I wish you all the best moving forward on your journey.
Answered on 12/06/2022

Should I quit being a teacher?

Hello, So you've worked really hard to become a teacher, and it took a lot of time. I'm not going to tell you whether you should quit the profession or not, but I also believe that it's common when facing a lot of frustration trying something that's relatively new, it's easy to feel like it's impossible and that things can't get better. You also don't seem to be getting a lot of support as you're starting this profession. You're also starting the career at a time when there is a massive teacher shortage, and so maybe you're being asked to take on more than you normally would. Without having a regular classroom and the ability to build rapport and develop a stable routine at one particular location, this is a very, very difficult way to start.  You mentioned that you had a mentor who helped you when you were training, and it sounds like you've lost some of that support and guidance. You're losing passion and motivation, but that's not necessarily because you're in the wrong field, but perhaps because your early experiences as a teacher aren't at all what you expected, and they aren't necessarily indicative of what your future experiences will be like. Your statement of, "I feel like it has ruined my experience for me and it's doubting my skills as a teacher" suggests that you know that your current experiences aren't providing necessarily what you need as someone starting out as a teacher. It also suggests that you know that what your experiences are currently aren't reflective of what your experiences will be like in the future. It's common for people to seek therapy when experiencing work-related stress, especially when new at a job or in a career. This is a challenging time for you, and you may ultimately decide that teaching is not for you and that there is something else you'd prefer to do (even though it's hard now to know what you would do instead, the fact that you've made it this far through school and being placed in this position provides evidence that you could be successful in a number of different fields), but with some additional support it can get easier. It may also just take some time. My suggestion is to consider participating in therapy (whether that be on this platform or elsewhere in your community). I wish you the best of luck, and if you have any additional questions or if I can help at all, just let me know. Remember that you're probably doing much better than you realize, so try to pay attention to the evidence that shows that you're adapting, that you're competent, and that you're growing. Take care, Nicholas DeFazio, MRC, LPCC-S, LICDC
Answered on 11/10/2022

I feel anxious at my new job and want to quit

Hi! Thank you for reaching out for help! I know that it can be challenging to navigate anxiety in the workplace. Sometimes there are added pressures from co-workers, employers and sometimes even family to live up to certain expectations at work. There are a few things that I would consider when exploring anxiety at work. Anxiety often times is acting as an alarm system in our body. Anxiety is not always a bad thing. It often is highlighting something that we need to be more mindful of, or something we might need to explore within ourselves. So I would begin by asking yourself if there is something this anxiety might be highlighting? Is there something specific at work that feels overwhelming? Are the people you work with contributing? Would communicating with your boss or coworkers more effectively help the anxiety decrease?  Something else I would explore would be what does your self care look like outside of work? For many people, self care is simply making sure they are spending enough alone time with themselves doing something they think helps them relax. I like to explain to my clients that self care is something so much bigger and better than simply relaxing. Self care should help you grow your capacity to handle stress. Self care is the thing or the things we do that help our emotions come back into alignment. Self care helps us take the weight of stress and anxiety and put it down and/or help us eliminate it completely. Stress and anxiety are unavoidable in life, but when we have an intentional plan in place to help us manage our stress and anxiety, it becomes something that should ultimately make us stronger. I would encourage you to find and establish a good self care plan to hopefully help the stress and anxiety you are experiencing at work feel more manageable.  Lastly I would encourage you to find a therapist that might be able to help you explore more specific details of your anxiety at work. I am not sure if a therapist would tell you if you should or should not quit your job, but I would imagine that they will help you figure out where this stress and anxiety is stemming from and help you consider all of your options.  I hope you found this helpful and will take some time to explore what your anxiety might be highlighting and what type of self care you might be able to implement into your daily routine. Best wishes!
Answered on 11/09/2022

I find it difficult to express my hurt when I’ve been wronged. I find it difficult stand up for me.

Hi Dee,  There are many reasons one can feel insecure or anxious about speaking up and also about how others view us.  One year at a job is actually not that long by the way, but I do hear you that you say you really do not feel comfortable setting boundaries and speaking up for yourself. You describe yourself as being conflict-avoidant so I am thinking it sounds like you are having trouble setting boundaries.  People can have trouble setting boundaries for various reasons, including how they were raised, etc.  If your boundaries were violated as a kid, for example, you might have trouble knowing how to maintain appropriate boundaries as an adult.  This can include asking for what you need and approprately saying no to requests that are not in your job description, for example. You ask what can you do.  Let's do some "fact checking".  What evidence do you have that there is word around the office that you are doing a bad job?  Please notice how you tend to focus on that vs. the fact that your BOSS (probably way more important) is telling you he or she does not think so.  You even consider that he or she is isn't telling you the truth to make you feel better, but I think this is probably doubtful because most bosses care much more about the job you do vs preserving your feelings.  Of course we hope they care about your feelings but why would he or she be essentially telling you not to worry if you were not a valued employee?  Also, if you are able to utilize the work from home option then I agree this is fortunate for now and let's do another fact check: are you sure you misuse it?  I am reminding you to focus on the positive feedback you are getting and not only the perceived negative.  This is not to minimize your feelings at all; I get that you care a lot about your job and work relationships a lot while at the same time learning how to speak up for yourself and your needs.  So hang in there, take deep breaths, and notice how you talk to yourself.  We as humans can often be our "own worst enemy" and it's always good to be aware of negative self talk, and then work on changing this.  Be gentle with yourself; it actually sounds like you are doing great at your job!
Answered on 11/09/2022

How to cope with overthinking and overwhelmed by stress without breaking down

Dear Ire: I am truly sorry that you are feeling such great pain, and have been enduring such great emotional distress! It seems that you have been working hard for years in order to assure graduation, with your degree.  It also appears as if right now you need a place, and the space to first focus on what is the most distressing aspects of your current life as a student, and to find the means to resolve those underlying issues.  Coping with these distressing elements, and seeking relief for what you describe above, is the first priority (it seems to me), because if that emergent crisis that you are undergoing is not addressed, and a resolution does not happen, you already anticipate what will occur: You “breaking down”.  So therefore, the first order of business is prevention of the “breaking down”.  This preventive step can help protect all that you have already done, plus will also preserve your health, and wellness.    Coping without “breaking down”, involves first of all: An Assessment.  Thereafter:  Decisions, and ensuing protective Actions.  There are planning questions that you can embrace, so as to discern the short term, and long term problems that you may be facing, and that can then be part of a plan to resolve what troubles you.  These questions can include the following inquiries: What is it that is leading you to feel so mentally exhausted, now?  Can you identify how much rest you will need in order to not “break down”?  When you indicate that you are “feeling too much at once”, can you list, and identify what it is exactly that you are presently feeling?  Are there also fears?  Are there perhaps any other traumatic events from either the past, or the present?  The answers to these questions, can lead you to prioritize what happens next.  You get to make this determination, and if you need help, you can go to a therapist to possibly help you structure this within the next few days, so that you can decide how it is that you will orchestrate what happens next, and how to execute the actions that will meet your immediate, and longer term needs. Please, notice that I am only addressing you, and your determinations, and your ensuing choices.  You are the only one who can play an active role on what your needs are, and how these needs can be addressed.  Once that is done, then you can enlist the opinion of others, and define how it is that those opinions can either help you, or not, but everything can be subsumed under your determinations, and decisions, moving forward. I hope this is a helpful anteroom to provide you the necessary steps to organize your set of actions, moving forward toward your success.
(M.S.W., L.C.S.W.)
Answered on 11/08/2022

How can I feel better about myself or feel like I know my purpose?

Thank you for your question, and please know you are not alone in feeling the way you do. Having a purpose, and knowing that we are fulfilling our purpose, is very important, and often our sense of self is heavily influenced by this. Sometimes feeling overwhelmed can be just from being really busy with very little breaks, but it can also be a sign that it is a good time to take a look at life and really figure out if what we are doing right now matches where and what we want to be down the road. A change in direction is sometimes needed, and one way to determine if that is the best thing to do is to work with a therapist or someone with a similar role to help you evaluate your current path and explore the pros, cons, and where your interests and attention really fall in comparison to where you are spending your time, energy and sometimes money.  Change and redirection can look like all kinds of things depending on circumstances and resources or options available, so recognizing the big and little pictures can help us figure out where to start. For example, maybe there is a way to change up your daily or weekly schedule, or shift environments, and that is what makes the difference. I am just tossing this out as examples, and understand that it might not apply to your individual life. Having emotional support can also be very helpful during these types of times. If you have a strong support system, or a particular go-to person for when you talking things out would be helpful, it is OK to lean on them. However, sometimes that support just isn't there or maybe we aren't ready to share what we are struggling with just yet. That is where resources like BetterHelp can be beneficial. It is also important to stay in touch with how you are feeling, as hopelessness and anxiety could be indicators of something else going on besides your current situational/life stressors. Additionally, try to stay mindful about how you are coping and what your daily habits look like as you are coping with these feelings. If at any point you feel like you are not able to handle things, please call 988 for immediate help. This is like 911 for mental health emergencies.
Answered on 11/04/2022

What are some grounding exercises to help with exam anxiety?

Hi, and thanks for your question.   First of all, as I understand it, even *getting into* nursing school is incredibly difficult, so I'd like to commend you for the accomplishments you've already achieved in getting to where you're currently at. It would stand to reason that the NCLEX is even more challenging than getting into nursing school itself, and of course, that challenge may compounded by the realization of "knowing what you don't know" that comes with having completed a course of education in a very important profession. That being said, conscientious persons such as yourself might be especially prone to second-guessing themselves, "imposter syndrome" and the like. Knowing (and normalizing) that what you're going through is "a thing" (i.e., many nursing students and students of other healthcare professions experience a similar phenomenon) is half the battle, so to speak. The other half, as you may have already identified, is having some tools to keep those kinds of thoughts in check. 1. Be aware of your thoughts (and then control them before they control you) This speaks to the tendency we all have to get into patterns of thinking that may perpetuate additional unhelpful thoughts and behaviors. Become aware of what you're thinking, what may have triggered those thoughts at that particular moment, stop yourself from any continued thinking of the unhelpful thought, and then develop a more reality-based, compassionate and helpful thought to replace the *un*helpful thought with. Here's an example... Unhelpful thought: "I'm never going to pass this test." To self: "STOP." Helpful thought: "This test is important to me, and I'm going to try my best. The outcome beyond that is unknown at this time." 2. Focus on the present-moment Anxious symptoms tend to be the consequence of too much "future living" (or in other words, focusing too much on things that haven't happened yet which you don't have control over) whereas depressive symptoms tend to be the consequence of too much "past living" (or in other words, focusing too much on things that already happened that you no longer have control over). When we're focused on the present moment, *that* is truly the only moment we have control over. Some ways to stay focused on the present moment are: Focusing on the physical sensation of your body in space and time, by directing your attention to the feeling of your body in a chair; the feeling of your feet on the ground; the feeling of a cold or hot beverage on your lips, down your throat, and into your belly Diaphragmatic breathing exercises in which you lay flat on the ground or a surface and place one hand on your upper chest and one hand on your belly, breathing in such a way as to *only* move your belly. Breathe in slowly for a count of 3, and breathe out slowly for a count of 5. Repeat this about three times. Repeat the same series of inhales and exhales, but breathe in for 4 and out for 6, repeating about three times. Some people find it helpful to repeat an encouraging/calming mantra to themselves while breathing in and out, or to visualize a flower opening and closing along with their inhale/exhale. Once you've gotten the hang of this exercise while laying down, it can be done anywhere, whether sitting or standing, and after mastering the belly breathing component, you needn't always put your hand on your belly and/or chest. 3. Transcend the Feeling/"Name It To Tame It" When you notice yourself feeling anxious or depressed, instead of identifying with the feeling (e.g., "I'm anxious,"), note to yourself that "Anxiety is happening." Simply reframing the situation in a slightly depersonalized way can help you gain just enough objective distance to allow the more "long-range" view of yourself to step in and intervene, perhaps implementing one of the above strategies or otherwise engaging your behavioral activation system to disrupt the potential pattern of unhelpful thoughts. 4. Five Senses Grounding Techniques In this approach, you'll focus your attention on your five senses (which is another way of accessing the present moment), and direct yourself to name: 5 things you can see 4 things you can hear 3 things you can feel 2 things you can smell 1 thing you can taste Another other point of potential interest in your particular situation may be to avoid overthinking and second guessing during the actual test administration by allowing yourself a certain amount of time of consider the answer to a question, and if you're stuck between answers or find yourself frozen on a question, mark it and return to it later. Don't allow yourself to ruminate excessively on whether or not a particular answer is correct; if it's not readily apparent to you within a reasonable amount of time, accept that reality, and move forward to answer other questions (to keep your momentum going and to keep any test anxiety from creeping in), and return to the "stickier" questions later. One other thing to consider is that your experience with this testing process can be valuable in helping you understand the experience others may have with anxiety and depression, as well as various processes for overcoming and working through difficulty. It's almost like a "laboratory" of sorts, and how you get through this particular challenge can be of benefit to you professionally if you remain curious, compassionate, and non-judgmental toward yourself along the way. You may even want to consider journaling about this time in your life, as it can not only help you solidify the lessons you're learning about the emotional/psychological/behavioral aspect of what you're going through, but it can also help you to maintain your eye on the bigger picture -- because some day, you'll look back on these times and how you get through it can become a resource to you in regard to other challenges that will come your way in the future. Best wishes to you!
(M.A., LMFT)
Answered on 10/27/2022

How do i find my purpose in life? And how do i know if i’m having an anxiety/depression attack?

Hi Luna,   Thank you for your question. It sounds as if you are worried about what the future holds for you. It sounds as if anxiety prevents you from doing things you would like to, and it is getting you down. You want to succeed and have a sense of what this means to you. Some days sound like there is a lot of hopelessness and that you can't get out of bed? It sounds, too, as if you don’t know if you are anxious or depressed but something does not feel right for you- you have lost a sense of if you have a future at all, though you have also reached out for help.   It might surprise you that it isn’t uncommon to feel this way and uncertainty around the future can be very difficult to sit with. Some people might call it something else, or have a name for it, which can be isolating. The most important thing to know is that this is how you feel, it is your reality, and it is valid. At the moment, working out why you feel this way and how to change it is hard, which is why counseling can help.   The first step in learning to cope with how we are feeling about uncertainty is to listen to the wisdom of your body. You want to freely admit and be honest, accepting that just because you're struggling with how you feel doesn't mean you're weak, it just means you're human. Perhaps list all your sources of stress and how you might react to them differently and with empathy for yourself. And coming to terms with a problem is difficult, unless we stop denying that there is a problem with how it is responded to. You have been fine up until now, good enough is more achievable than perfect, but if you want to get up and face the day, something needs to change.   The kind of thoughts that we tell ourselves when we feel we can't cope give us permission to continue to stay in denial and not deal with our emotions, because that can be kind of scary, dealing with emotions, because what does that mean? It doesn't mean you don't want change things; but it might mean you may need help to see the resources you have to cope with what you are experiencing right now.   Thinking about the future can be difficult. Sometimes, when life becomes difficult, we lose track of ourselves, including the things, people and connections that are important to us. Success can be a measure of happiness. I'd invite you to have a think about the quality of the relationships you have. How do you know your friends are just that and what stops you talking openly about how you are feeling? Emotional intimacy, active listening, support, and companionships are all important. When these are missing in your life, it could lead to feelings of emptiness and loneliness, too. Think about how you would be with a friend if they were going through what you are experiencing. Often, we don’t speak to ourselves the same way we do our friends, which damages our relationship with ourselves.   Likewise, to improve our relationship with ourselves, it can be helpful to set goals that feel manageable given where you are at the moment. Like with creating content for YouTube and TikTok- is it fair to expect yourself to put yourself out there when you're feeling so vulnerable and unsure where to start?   When we have an expectation of ourselves that is asking too much, it can be aspirational, but unrealistic expectations seem to get in the way of consistency at least as often as they support it.   Sometimes our expectations and plans can be so lofty we forget where we are and don't take into consideration how we feel, it is disempowering. As an alternative, we can create a simple list of things you feel able to do that moves you towards the general direction of your goal. For example, you could break down your goal to be on YouTube into smaller, manageable steps.   Organic growth over time helps identify what we can do with the resources we have. It helps to appreciate that our energy levels change, and our resilience can ebb and grow. And anything that gets us to happily show up every day is the mechanism- expectations that are too high lead to feeling like we want to shut down.   Even if it feels overwhelming and painful, thinking and talking about significant feelings, events or thoughts that trouble you may help you process them. Depending on how strong you feel about these events, going through the process with a counselor is highly advisable.   Take care of your physical needs. When bodies are run down, you're more susceptible to burnout. Make sure you have a good diet. Avoid abusing yourself with rigid diets. Try to get as much exercise as you realistically can, avoid addictive substances and get plenty of sleep. Attend the basic needs you're not attending, eating healthy, not too much caffeine and being mindful of getting enough sleep.   And then you also want to nurture yourself more than others. You need to show up for you. You need to have a better balance and you do have a choice, although it is hard, to do so. I want you to always ask yourself, what am I doing today to nurture myself while I'm still there for others and away with my concerns?   It is important to remember that everyone needs support sometimes and care always, including you. Sometimes social media can impact this. Be mindful when you're on social media how much time you spend there and what type of accounts you follow. How people present themselves is often different to their life - they present their best or worst parts of their day, but rarely show everything, particularly the mundane or things that won’t get them ‘likes’. It can cause comparative behavior, where one never scores higher than the ones that seem ‘perfect’ or like they have their lives together.   Making time for self-care and listening to yourself is an important part of life. Not taking care of your needs can cause problems of self-worth which could also impact feelings of needing to be more and, do more, too. 
(MA, Counselling, Cognitive, Behaviour, Therapy, Level, 5, PGDIP, Integrative, Counselling)
Answered on 10/18/2022

How do I deal with child trauma that resulted into people pleasing and to set boundaries?

Content/Trigger Warning: Please be advised that the article below might mention trauma-related topics that include types of physical abuse & neglect that could be triggering. Hello Jem, this is an excellent question.  I am often working with clients who experience complex trauma, which is not necessarily overt physical abuse or neglect.  Many of us develop a layer of complex trauma because of a parent or parents were unpredictably supportive or angry with their children when they expressed their needs and tried to exert boundaries.  When you may have initially first tried to find your voice, with your family of origin, to set your boundaries and find your own strong identity which usually starts to happen around the age of 10 and continues throughout your teen years, you might have needed to shut it down to feel safe again.   This is a trauma response called "fawning" which allows a person to maintain engagement in potentially unpredictable and invalidating relationships.  Fawning looks and feels much like you describe.  It is a people pleasing that invalidates the persons individual needs, in favor of maintaining closeness at all costs and preventing potential problems and conflicts that almost always arise in relationships that negotiate and then respect boundaries.  This is harder for you to do because doing so may have a feeling of fear and anxiety connected to it, and, of course, it is usually a learned skill over many years developed in later childhood.  Many of us experience deep connections in our work relationships which then can take on a  similar dynamics to that in our families since we spend so much time together.  These relationships can actually trigger your trauma response since inherent in work is the feeling that it is threatening to your well being if you are not perceived positively. Of course, feeling guilty for staying in your lane at work, and not taking on other's tasks for them, and or, sharing with others your limits around time and energy, is not easy for you when you haven't practiced it!   It can certainly help you to understand how to communicate through this with others using techniques like reflective language.  This is something you can certainly practice at get better at at any age.  It can also help you to seek treatment that specifically addresses your learned trauma response.  This can be achieved in many ways depending on your style as a person and the way you process things in the world. I use psychodynamic principles as well as family systems frame works to help my clients gain a deeper understanding of themselves.  As they do this, much of the charge in their story begins to diminish by being seen, validated and clearly expressed.  Having words to put to your feelings and to be able to talk about it with others in your life, not just in your therapy, but with friends, romantic partners and even your family, is often the key to finding your boundaries and limits in your personal relationships.  This is a form of therapy that requires a commitment of time, and you may indeed want to give your therapy time, especially if you are carrying layers of confusion and family traumas.   A way to reduce your symptoms quickly, and can even be important to do in conjunction with traditional talk therapy, is using a treatment technique called EMDR, that helps clients rework their trauma response.  It is possible to find a therapist who uses EMDR in conjunction with traditional talk therapy.  Some therapists also use a form of CBT that focuses directly on their trauma.  This can also be effective depending on how you may prefer to work through your challenges.   In any of these methods you may expect to find a certain amount of self awareness and relief within a few months of care.  However, a deeper more lasting change in you often happens around 6 months of care and well into a year.   Sometimes you will uncover much inside you in the process of therapy that you will absolutely want to keep working on and you will realize that your personal growth is enhanced, you feel stronger in your life and your relationships and ready for change, and you witness how being validated in treatment effects you.  If you can, consider developing a therapy "relationship" to help you work through your childhood traumas.   I hope that this helps you make some choices for yourself in moving forward and I want to wish you all the best.  Thank you as well for asking such an important clear question. Warmly, Elise B. Jacobson, LICSW Social Worker
Answered on 07/20/2022

How can i deal with extreme anxiety at work and feeling overwhelmed so i can't think straight?

Hi Betty! Thank you so much reaching out for support on the Better Help platform! I am so glad that you decided to ask this important question related to the topic of anxiety at work. Although many individuals do report feelings of anxiety, the actual symptoms an individual can experience can fluctuate and be different from person to person. How would you describe your own personal experience of anxiety? When did the feelings of anxiousness begin for you? It may be helpful to create a timeline of your anxiety experience as a means to highlight your overall history of anxiety. I can tell that you are committed to doing well at work and your job performance is very much a priority and important to you. What do you do for work? How long have you been doing this type of work? You mentioned that you have some feelings of fear related to making mistakes at your job. Does this mostly come up at work or does it also come up at other points in your life? If you were to make an error, what would be the consequence? It sounds like you have tried to rationalize your feelings of anxiety in the past. Some strategies to manage anxiety at work may include deep breathing exercises, such as four square breathing, belly breathing and butterfly breathing. Depending on the type of work you do, there may be other ways to incorporate anxiety reduction skills into your daily work routine. In addition to incorporating coping skills at work, you may want to consider practicing anxiety reduction techniques when you are not at work, so that utilizing these strategies at work feel more reasonable and attainable.  It sounds like you have a really introspective way of identifying your own personal experience with anxiety. What strategies and techniques have worked for you in the past to manage your feelings of anxiousness? Would you be willing to create a daily mood chart? It may be helpful to rate the frequency and intensity of your feelings of anxiousness as a means to relate and observe your feelings in connection to the things going on in your day to day life. It can be essential to establish a connection between thoughts, feelings and behavior. This is the founding principle of cognitive behavioral therapy. The idea is if you can change your thoughts, you can change your feelings as well as your behavior. In your question, you had mentioned that you would like to learn how to manage your feelings of anxiety at work. I can tell that you are committed to making positive changes in your life. In addition to the other strategies that I mentioned, it would be awesome if you could practice saying a positive affirmation on a daily basis. An example of a self affirming statement is: "I choose to create a safe space for myself to feel my feelings that I feel. I am okay with this and I choose to free myself from feelings of anxiety and stress. I am doing really well. Today is going to be a great day!" You can always personalize this kind of statement to meet your own needs and incorporate your personal inner voice. Try repeating a positive quote throughout your day and while you are working. This will also likely assist you in the process of boosting your overall confidence! If you would like more ideas or would like to check out the positive affirmation for the day, you can always look online for self affirming statements. I recommend looking into the work of Louise Hay! "You Can Heal Your Life" is an amazing and inspiring book by Louise Hay. It seems like you have already done the first step in recognizing your emotional state of mind and have begun the process of assessing your feelings of anxiousness. It may be helpful to ask yourself about your inner experience of anxiety and become an observer on your own feelings. It is ideal to try to make sense of the feelings that you are having to the best of your ability. You had stated that you have identified an increase in feelings of anxiety over the past year. If you had to guess, why do you think that you have been experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety over the past year? What would you say are some of your triggers? Perhaps it may be worthwhile for you to utilize self care skills as a means to manage and improve your overall symptoms presentation. As a provisionally licensed art therapist, I always recommend taking some time to create art. It is a little known fact that drawing from and coloring within a circle can lower heart rate and reduce blood pressure. This means that drawing within a circle has been scientifically proven to bring about feelings of relaxation. If you have not already, you may want to print some coloring pages, such as mandalas, or buy an adult coloring book. Utilize colored pencils, crayons, chalk pastels and gel pens to fill in various states within the circular space. If you can, you may want to pair the coloring with a hot cup of tea or a cool drink or listen to music or light a candle. This can be a very grounding experience to incorporate the five senses into art making activities. I also recommend individual counseling at this time. Meeting with a counselor on a weekly or biweekly basis can help you build your skill set and learn anxiety reduction skills. Mindfulness-based techniques are typically a first line of defense in my practice as a therapist. If mindfulness is not for you, there are other ways to reduce your feels of anxiety. The first step is identifying the feelings of anxiety and observing triggers. As I am typing up my response to your question, I came across this article that may also provide some additional answers and insight into the question you had asked! I hope that my response was helpful for you in some way!
Answered on 06/26/2022

How can I rest? Get more energy throughout the day?

Hello and thank you for taking the time to share some of your experiences.  If it often difficult to manage work and personal stresses in our daily lives.  I think it is safe to say that our body reacts to stressful situations in a number of ways and yes, the reactions often include what you are experiencing.  With this being said, there are a couple of things I would like to suggest for you to try to integrate into a daily routine to assist you with stressful situations.  First, daily self-care is so important as it allows us to reset our body (physically) and our minds (emotionally). Self-care behaviors are good to implement daily, at least one hour per day. Self-care does not have to be complicated as it is a way to reduce overthinking and over exertion of our mind.  So, watching a funny show or movie, taking a long bath with soft smelling candles and some soft music, taking a walk in the park or on the beach, mediation or yoga with soft music and maybe soft smelling candles, going to the gym/exercising, dimming your lights to a soft yellow or orange color, refraining from serious or in-depth conversations, refraining from working, refraining from taking care of your children (if you have any), and/or refraining from any outside distractions during your self-care time.  It takes exercising these self-care behavioral patterns daily, until it becomes a routine without you even thinking about it.  Second, being okay with taking 5-10 minute breaks during work hours and walk around outside in the sun or sitting in your car or walking around the parking lot.  This will allow you to breathe in some fresh air throughout your day and release tension in your shoulders and back areas. It will also assist you with developing pro-active behaviors and not be reactive.  Count to 5 or 10 before responding to confrontations and/or conversations that others engage you in.  It is not always what is said, it is also how it is said (initiating and responding). Try not to feel that you have to eat lunch with others or spend your break times with others.  Take time to be by yourself, because this is your personal time.  Often times, eating lunch by yourself can help, because it reduces the need to engage with others when you do not wish to do so.  It allows you to take that pressure off of yourself and be okay with your "self-time."  Others may not agree or or understand your positions, but that is okay.  It's okay to agree to disagree.  Third, it is okay that you are not okay.  Everyone handles stresses in different ways, because we are all different.  Our body chemistry is different.  It is okay that you want or need to take a break for yourself after work.  Go for an hour or 30 minute drive after work to allow yourself to leave work at work and focus on what your evening will be like.  Allow yourself to breathe and be okay with enjoying the rest of your day doing what you want to do.  Try not to pressure yourself to please others or receive approval (validation) from others about your decisions.  Fourth, take an entire day at least once a week to focus on you.  You deserve it and you work hard for it.  Fifth, take one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time, and one second at a time.  Rome wasn't created in one day and we are unable to create and solve our situations in one day.  Tomorrow, will take care of itself when it gets here.  Live for today and let tomorrow starts when it gets here.  Sixth, enjoy embracing the good and the positive in your life.  Utilize drawing, coloring, painting, writing, reading, or any art or craft you can do to keep your mind from being idle.  If you do not have a hobby, identify one and embrace it. An idle mind is the devil's workshop.  Guard your mind with peaceful thoughts and positive actions.  Seventh, self-talk is what we tell ourselves to be true, even if it is not.  Change your self-talk to positive constructive actions.  Handle or work to resolve what you have control of and let the rest go. As we often say, everyone should stay in their lane.  We only have control over ourselves and we cannot make anyone do anything. Eighth, manage your diet in the amount of caffeine you drink (if any). Eat fruits and vegetables daily. Feed your body healthy foods, so it can provide your brain and body with healthy nutrients.  Be sure you are getting checkups from your doctor and sharing your concerns with him/her.  An unhealthy body is an unhealthy mind.  The body and mind works together to create an overall healthy YOU.  Lastly, forgive yourself for whatever is holding you back or has held you back. Forgive yourself for the decisions you made that did not turn out as you expected them to.  Let it go, because you cannot change what is already done.  We learn from choices and our decisions so we can do better.  Seek professional individual help, if you feel like you need it.  Do not let it fester until it is out of control.  Professional help is here and ready when you are ready! I hope I have said something to encourage you to "Embrace Life Responsibly" in being the best version of YOURSELF!! Take care, Wendy
Answered on 06/23/2022

How can I deal with daily anxiety/stress?

Thank you for the question, and for sharing your situation. The image you paint is certainly striking! I can understand how anxiety-provoking it must be to feel isolated and alone, drowning in your own thoughts! And you are absolutely correct that anxiety and stress can produce physical symptoms, as our body reacts to what our mind perceives as a threat. Shortness of breath, racing heart, headaches and even chest pains are all commonly associated with anxiety, with the production of cortisol and the “fight or flight” response. Your gastrointestinal problems may very well be your body’s way of communicating stress, as you suspect, but of course it is wise to get checked out by your healthcare provider as a first step. Bloating and stomach pain can be symptoms of several different physical conditions, unrelated to simple anxiety or stress. I encourage you to discuss these symptoms with a trusted doctor, to rule out a medical problem that may require attention.      Once your doctor has given you the all-clear, there are a number of strategies and techniques that have been demonstrated to be effective in reducing and managing anxiety. Many are grounded in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) models. I will describe a few techniques below, and I encourage you to look further for more detailed information, if any seem particularly helpful. If you are working with a therapist, they can also certainly help you identify opportunities to incorporate these in your daily life and practice them so that your anxiety is more manageable.   1. Change your environment  Your environment includes not only work and home, but also your physiological environment. Are you getting enough sleep? Is your diet reasonably well-balanced? Are your personal relationships fulfilling? Addressing issues in these areas will be important to lessening anxiety and stress.   You mention the lack of social interaction in your environment. For some, finding more time for quiet moments and solitude may be a stress reliever. However, your vivid description of how painful it is to have limited interaction with others suggests that you are more of an extrovert, and draw energy from being with people. It sounds as if you suspect the feelings of loneliness and isolation are a major contributor to the anxiety, if not causing it outright.  So for you, “changing your environment” may mean looking for ways to build in regular contact with people. Even small changes can help: Volunteer to show the new person around. Use break times to call your friends (and mark your calendar so you don’t forget to do it). Take your lunch in the break room and use the opportunity to introduce yourself to others and strike up a friendly conversation. If you are working remotely or your work schedule makes gathering with friends difficult, avoid the temptation to surf the web or collapse in front of the TV at the end of the work day. Going to public places such as a market, museum, park, or gym can dampen feelings of isolation and loneliness, even when you are on your own. Remember during the pandemic, when many people made multiple trips to the grocery store during the week, regardless of whether it was needed, just to be in the presence of others? We are social animals.    2. Manage (don’t ignore) your body’s fight or flight response “Powering through” stress and anxiety or trying to medicate it away isn’t an effective long-term strategy and as you have noticed, it can have a real impact on your physical and mental well-being.       Physical interventions that help your body stand down from the fight or flight response include:  - relaxation (controlled, belly) breathing - stretching and yoga - physical exertion (a workout or simply climbing the stairs at work) - visualizing calming scenes and positive images - progressive muscle relaxation - mindfulness exercises (grounding techniques such as focusing, one sense at a time, on the present)   Detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to perform these techniques are available on the Mayo Clinic website (, the National Alliance on Mental Illness site (, Healthline ( and many others. Try them and notice if they lessen your GI symptoms - and improve your mindset!   3. Challenge your thoughts A situation or even a thought may trigger anxiety, which can lead to an escalation of anxious thoughts and feelings. Observe your thoughts over several days. (A digital text or audio journal can be helpful for capturing them.) Look for patterns that may help you understand how the anxiety perpetuates and escalates. Notice the messages you replay in your head throughout the day (“self-talk”). Is it positive or negative? Encouraging or discouraging? Growth mindset or fixed mindset? Practice thought-stopping and resilience thinking. Winona State University is an excellent resource for learning more about these techniques ( and offers free worksheets and guidelines.   4. Express yourself Whether it takes the form of music, drawing, painting, photography, working with clay or even cooking, creative expression can be a wonderful outlet for stress and anxiety. Don’t listen to the little voice that may try to convince you that you “don’t have talent” or that the time invested is not worthwhile. The end result is far less important than the experience.   Thank you again for submitting the question and the thoughtfulness of your approach. I hope these practical tips will spark some ideas for how to reduce your stress and anxiety, both in the short-term and in the long-term. Take care.
Answered on 05/19/2022

I would like to know in what ways I can manage anxiety, I am a day trader and a serial entrepreneur.

I think the biggest thing is to try to stay mindful of the present moment, and have realistic thought patterns. It can be very easy to catastrophize (dwelling in worst-case scenarios), and make possible situations seem definite in our heads. This is especially true when dealing with uncertain financial situations. It's helpful to have realistic thinking patterns by telling yourself, "you don't know that is exactly what is going to happen," or "if that does happen, you will find a way through it because you've always managed to get by in the past.” Encouraging self-talk helps to prevent feeling helpless and hopeless.   Try to focus your thoughts on what is happening now, not what might happen in the future; and try to focus on what you do have control over, versus worrying about what you are powerless over (easier said than done!). For example, let's say you are powerless over the outcome of something. If there is nothing you can do but wait and see how this situation plays out, then logically no good will come from dwelling on those possibilities. You can instead focus your energy on what is in your power. Some thought-stopping techniques to help stop unhelpful thinking patterns are to envision a Stop sign whenever you notice you start to engage in these thought patterns. You can wear a rubber band and lightly snap your wrist when you notice these thoughts patterns too (but be very cautious with this one if you have a history of self-harm behaviors; this could do more harm than good if you start these patterns). You can "delay the worry time" by designating a time for you to worry, and anything outside of that time-frame, you remind yourself now is not the time for these thought patterns. For example, "I will worry about this situation at 7am tomorrow morning before my meeting. Any time before 7am, I will shift my thoughts to something else." This might be more realistic if you do, indeed, need to worry about something (sometimes anxiety is helpful because it motivates us to change things), but are just struggling with constantly worrying about it.    Any kind of mindfulness/meditation technique can be very helpful to combat anxiety, too. If you aren't familiar with mindfulness, there are many, many apps you can download to see what kinds are more helpful to you. Three apps in particular you can download are: Calm, Headspace, and Insight timer. Youtube also has tons of free videos to watch if you just type in meditation. Just as a side note, many people tell me they can't shut their brains off, and meditation is “too hard." My counter to that is, it's not really about shutting your thoughts off. It's more of paying attention to your thoughts nonjudgmentally, shifting them back to focusing on the physical sensations within your body, etc. (every meditation is a little different. Some focus on breathing, body sensations, counting, mantras, etc., etc.) Let’s say you really struggled to complete the exercise because your brain was all over the place today, even just paying attention to struggle will be helpful to calm you down. Essentially, you are just trying to get out of the endless stream of thoughts, and get into the present moment. When you do that, your body will naturally slow down more.    Exercise is good to combat anxiety because you can get out anxious energy during the workout, and your body will release natural, feel good endorphins when you’re done. Pay attention to your drinking and eating habits. Caffeine and other stimulants typically make anxiety worse. Smoking cigarettes, while it may temporarily relieve anxiety, actually makes anxiety worse in the long run. Alcohol, as well, typically makes anxiety worse once you stop drinking. Having good sleep is also crucial for mental health. Having overall health and wellness is very beneficial and correlated to good mental health.   I’m not exactly sure what you mean about how it is difficult to manage personalities of trading. I would need to hear more to give you more specific feedback on that. I hope any of this was helpful!
Answered on 05/17/2022

48 and am lost and have no drive or don't know where to even start I kinda just gave up been so low

Lostone, I appreciate you. I feel like though I am 36, I feel this question deeply. One thing to consider when we feel lost is identifying what that means and then going from there.  Ask yourself, "lost," why is this the interpretation of what I am feeling? Think about it, you could feel or identify feeling anything, but it's lost that you notice. Are you comparing yourself to others around you that are either less lost than you, or do they all know the way, and you don't? If you think others are on track, how did they do that? How are all the other people on track and you aren't? If this is the belief that our mind is telling us, then let's look at that and what that thought is really telling us. Apparently, the entire world knows what they are doing, and we don't.  Now, after we notice that we have identified something our mind conceived from a feeling in our body, we can begin either accepting this feeling in our life or changing it. There are really only two ways to do anything, alter or change after all. So if we accept, then work on what interferes with what you are struggling to accept in life. If we do not accept what we think about our situation or judgment on our circumstances, we can start using many techniques to change. There are ways to manage one's feeling of "lostness," which is to get a new job, a new home, or a new spouse; we can make resolutions and see how that all works out.  Now, when we spend our entire life trying to deny or alter what our mind notices, we start to notice that our mind thinks things all the time, and we can't stop them all. So the idea that you are lost might be turned into the grass is greener on the other side or the belief that things will get better when... In all fairness, those are all interfering thoughts from you being content right now.  What if you aren't lost, but you believe the thought that you are lost and that you should be somewhere else? What if it isn't true, and yet you've been held captive by this belief your entire life? What if you notice the thought that you are lost and distance from it as just a thought?  I am proposing that there is no problem with thinking one is "lost" but that it is that you believe you are lost, if anything. You aren't lost, you are where you are supposed to be, but the real problem is that you believe your mind when it tells you you are lost.  Think about it. 
Answered on 05/14/2022

How do I beat panic attacks naturally

Hi Kitty, I'm sorry you're having such a rough experience with your new job. Panic attacks are actually pretty common. One positive here is that, based on your message, they seem to be situational. This makes them much easier to address than if they were occurring randomly. The key though is to determine what may be triggering them. There's certainly not enough information in your message to determine what key issues are present here. I'll guess and say that maybe there is some trauma history behind the panic attacks, or maybe they're occurring because of anxiety associated with performing the job duties competently. While I can't give targeted recommendations based on your message, here are some general recommendations: The best natural remedy for panic attacks (when they're occurring or about to occur) is breathing. When you have a panic attack your blood pressure and your heart rate become elevated. Through breathing in and out with long breaths (it's recommended that you breathe out for two seconds longer than you breathe in, so for example, five seconds in and seven seconds out), you can increase the oxygen that goes to your brain, reducing your blood pressure and heart rate. You may notice a bit of lightheadedness, and you'll have to find what works for you. While it may not be feasible during a flight, paced breathing is another great technique. With this you will need to watch a clock. There are other great coping skills, and if they're not that effective, consider using more than one at once (such as counting backwards while doing deep breathing, or muscle relaxation while counting backwards). Grounding techniques may be very effective if you're having intrusive thoughts. There are numerous grounding techniques, but they can include counting the tiles on a wall, noticing the corners of the room (or plane), paying attention to how it feels when your feet touch the ground, looking for everything of a certain color in the room (or plane), etc. The purpose is to orient yourself with the present. Dealing with the underlying issues, whatever they are, is key. If trauma is the cause, there are excellent treatments for trauma, and I highly recommend EMDR treatment. CBT treatment can also be effective with trauma, and it can help with other causes of anxiety. I highly recommend you give therapy a try.  Take a look at your lifestyle and whether there are certain behaviors that may be contributing. For example, not getting enough sleep could increase your risk of having panic attacks. Consuming caffeine could do the same. You may find it helpful to exercise and to talk about your anxious thoughts on a regular basis as preventative measures.] Challenging thoughts that cause you to feel anxious can help. I don't know what those thoughts are, but if you can identify them (therapy can help with that), you can use counter thoughts and positive self-talk statements to change the way you think. When you change the way you think, you change the way you feel and the way you behave.    These are just a few ideas, and again, without more information it's hard to know exactly what's going on. I would be happy to work with you, and whether you choose to receive therapy on BetterHelp or elsewhere, I do encourage you to give mental health treatment a try. Take care, Nick 
Answered on 05/11/2022