Motivation Answers

How do I move on?

Tragedy There is nothing that can be said here to make anything better. What happens in life are these inevitable situations where pain stacks up and pushes us to our limit. You were not yet an adult, but your parents' children, and now you are trying to visualize life without them, meanwhile living with the pain of watching them both die so abruptly.  Everybody will say this, but what would your parents want for your life? After all, they were the ones who sacrificed to get you to your adulthood. If they committed to their purpose, it was to get you fashioned into a responsible adult who, if blessed, takes on a family and does what is good for others. You are seeing this situation through the lens you are familiar with in your life. There is an alternative view: practice empathy and see the same situation from your parents' eyes.  Since you are a parent, you know what it is like to watch a cute little, helpless baby start to roll over, crawl, then walk, form a personality, and before you know it, start to talk back. The psychological development of children is just as much a milestone as walking or talking. Please stick with me here. However, when our little child minds become aware of others, such as our parents, we become aware of ourselves. When we become aware of ourselves, we start to say and do the things that expand on this "self" idea. Parents have to watch it go down every time we say "no," or "I hate you," or worse. You see, your parents have already sacrificed to do what was necessary, not for the pain itself, but for the joy of seeing you grow up and do the same for others.  Love doesn't stop at death, but continues on in teaching and modeling. Your parents gave you love, and you innately know love. Because of their sacrifice and their gift to you, in raising you and watching you grow and keeping you safe to grow into the person you need to be for others, they served their purpose.  I guess this always comes down to purpose. What is it in life that is worth all of this? What do we think of our life? Is it for comfort, or for purpose? Often when we mourn and lose hope in any purpose in life, it's because we seek the familiar comforts. Your parents served their purpose so that you could be comfortable? No, they sacrificed, innately, to provide for you to become something for others as well. This is the basic premise of humanity and one that you are responsible for, from them.  Use the gift they gave you, their time and genetics, to go out into the world and do what you are supposed to do. If, at this point, you do not know what that means or what that looks like, find what matters most to you. Whether that is service to others, or maybe it is an encouraging word. Whatever your view is on the afterlife, some people become more aware of their transcendent, spiritual self. Your job now is to appreciate mom and dad through living the life they would have wanted for you.  Your children do get to meet your mom and dad, their best parts, in fact, through you. I hate sounding wishy-washy, but this is reality; your parents are not "gone," but only in one form. Your parents invested their entire life into you, and now your kids get to see what that is like as you filter out and give to them the best parts. You have a job, and though sadness is present, you have things to do. Bring the sadness with you. Bring the pain and hurt with you on this. That feeling right now, what you are experiencing, hold on to that. Not as a victim, but remember it because one day, you will need to tap into that pain to relate to someone else and what they are going through. No, your situation will not be theirs, but, you will know what it is like to hurt. Maybe that will be for your own kids, as they grow up and face this harsh world. Maybe one day, you will sit at the foot of the bed while they are crying because a friend was mean or maybe they themselves messed up. Your job at that moment will depend on you today and what you contribute to yourself in finding hope in the darkest places. You can actually find gratitude in all of this when you think about it.  Your parents did all of this, to give to you, your kids, and the world you experience the gift of a fully formed and caring you. Show the world what they sacrificed for.
Answered on 02/07/2023

How do I choose joy everyday, instead of resentment and anger?

Thank you very much for asking your question regarding your emotions, it's a very interesting, meaningful and important topic for all human beings, as we are speaking about one basic pillar of our lives.  Basic emotions (Fear, Anger, Sadness, Disgust, Joy and Surprise) are common for many animals, including us, because they are natural (they are not learnt) and they are adaptive, which means they are there to help keep us alive and adapt to the changes of the environment we are living in. What does it all mean? That it's important to listen to them and take them into account.  In order to do this, I would recommend always assessing the experience of your emotions in a rational way. As you describe after your question, there are many good things going on now that you can focus on, but there are also many other things you are lacking and it's normal that it brings you certain emotions. In this sense, I honestly encourage you to explore new ways to enjoy yourself a bit more and, perhaps, socialise and make plans if possible, so you can address that loneliness. Besides, you could add to your daily routine some exercises of self-improvement (assertiveness, self-appreciation, sports, hobbies, meditation, etc.) that are very helpful in terms of improving your self-esteem and your self-confidence.  Working on all this together will allow you to feel better and happier, so you won't have as many unpleasant emotions towards your partner and your current situation. Actually, you will feel more grateful and enjoy more your time at home and with your partner.  I honestly think you can achieve this, you only need to assess your situation rationally and in a realistic way, so you can plan your long-term goals. Then, you can set some short-term goals (weekly and daily), so you approach your objectives little by little. Once you have your plan, try to stick to it and believe in yourself. Finally, remember always to be nice and kind to yourself during the whole process and try to keep it forever, being your own best friend is one of the most important things to be able to achieve anything.  I hope it all goes fantastically for you. Wish you all the best. 
(Master's, Degree, in, Third, Generation, Psychological, Therapies, Bsc, in, Psychology, Msc, in, Prevention, of, Addictions)
Answered on 02/06/2023

How can I build back my confidence and motivate a job search?

Based on what I have read, the experience you had from your most previous workplace negatively impacted your level of confidence and motivation. Unpleasant experiences can have that effect. Here are some points to remember to help you move forward in a healthy manner.  Confidence can come from a sense of mastery and self-efficacy. When you have a goal in mind, including career goals, accomplishing small objectives that progress towards the completion of your goal can build that confidence. Career goals may include advancing your knowledge in the field, sharpening the skills necessary to succeed in the workplace including networking, and formulating certainty about the job position itself. You mentioned having stellar previous performance reports from your most recent job position, which shows you are capable of getting the tasks done. It was the culture clash that led to your termination. Therapy can help you be more specific in identifying what the culture clash looked like for you individually, find the connection between what was identified and the job termination itself, and provide evidence-based recommendations and strategies to practice based on what was discussed.  If there is a part of you wanting to feel more knowledgeable, take some refresher courses or continued education. These courses are present in many different occupational fields to build competency and allows you to establish objectives to accomplish, thus allowing you to develop that sense of mastery. Depending on the type of career field you are in, many require continued education hours. There may even be conference opportunities, volunteer work, and pro bono to help with networking as well. Visualize the person that has the confidence you seek in the field – what you describe as having the level of intelligence and skill. Ask yourself what that individual would do? How would they engage; what resources would he or she utilize to maintain a certain level of confidence? When you identify those answers, act on those behaviors yourself. This may mean coming out of your comfort zone, and finding the willingness and openness to try something new.  Dress for what you want, and practice what you preach. These are two common statements that possess so much power in meaning. Look at the importance your field brings and apply that sense of importance in your own life; do not neglect the part of you that feeds into your work. Additionally, practice self-care and a work/life balance to prevent burnout.  Journal and reflect upon your strengths and areas of improvement. Notice any unhelpful thoughts that keep you bound and transition those unhelpful thoughts into something more constructive. This is not to encourage any false thinking patterns or distractions. This is for you to perceive your situation, capabilities… your engagement in your career with a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset. Knowing and building more awareness with your strengths can help you handle your setbacks more adaptively – to accept these setbacks instead of trying to look away from them because it may bring discomforting emotions.   I hope this information helps. Asé.
(Licensed, Professional, Counselor)
Answered on 02/03/2023

How can I snap myself out of my blah days?

Hi Rae, I am so glad that you reached out for some help with this. If you are anything like me, those "blah days" come a lot more frequently in these cold winter months without a lot of sunshine!  As a therapist, some of the first things that I like to look for in my clients are their strengths! I can already see a lot of your strengths just in that little bit of information that you wrote. The first one is that you want to make positive changes, as evidenced by you asking this question. The other good thing I see here is that you want to have the motivation, and you see what the issues are. You know a lot more about yourself than I do. Remind yourself what your other strengths are. You can look at these as motivation to move yourself forward.  Are these behaviors a result of burn out? Is there an area of your life where you are giving more of yourself than you have? Something that can help with this is setting better boundaries. Make sure the people in your life that require your attention know your limits and don't let them push you past those limits. Maybe you need to identify those for yourself. Setting boundaries can be difficult but very much worth it. Have you heard to saying, "you can't pour from an empty cup?" This could be the situation that you are putting yourself in. Remember to take time for yourself.  On the other hand, if you are in a pattern or habit of not accomplishing your goals, little things can feel like big things. Look at little things as accomplishments. Do you have a sink full of dishes that needs done? Doing half of those dishes is still more dishes than you had done before you started. Doing one load of laundry is more laundry than was done before. Recognize and praise yourself for reaching those little goals.  The last piece of advice that I am going to offer you is to give yourself some grace. Sometimes, it is okay to do nothing. Sometimes you need that, and it is okay.  I hope this helps!  -Melissa
Answered on 02/02/2023

How can I help myself?

Hello Lola, Thank you for reaching out, I'm sorry you are struggling to come to terms with the personal losses around you. it sounds difficult for you right now. At times these can sometimes feel difficult to process, however unpacking them in a safe space may help you come to a better understanding of these. Bereavement, grief and loss can cause many different symptoms and they can effect people in different ways. Some common symptoms are shock and numbness, overwhelming sadness, crying, tiredness, exhaustion anger and guilt. These feelings may not be present all the time but may appear unexpectedly and we don't always recognize them ourselves. They may also not be linear and can often affect people in different ways - and that's ok. I hear you when you say you have lost motivation to do things, it's definitely something we can discuss further if you wish. It's important that you acknowledge these feelings and don't try to figure out everything out at once, maybe set yourself some small manageable goals without putting pressure on yourself? Trying not to focus on the things you can't change may be helpful, it can be good to break things down into manageable pieces rather than feel overwhelmed by your whole situation. Maintaining a routine can often help and give a sense of purpose. It sounds like it's time for you to focus on yourself to help you feel better with some extra self care. Perhaps you could look at what you enjoyed before feeling this way and pick up some things that made you happy? Being present in the moment can often help, breathing exercises, meditation, journalling or exercise can often make us feel better. Also reaching out to friends and family may also be beneficial for support so that you do not have to feel alone around your losses. Rest assured, you are not alone in your thoughts. It's important that you give yourself time to grieve and remember that there is no right or wrong way to feel, it's a very personal and unique process.  Sending kind wishes Lisa
(Bsc, Hons, Degree)
Answered on 01/31/2023

Why do I feel like I am always stuck in life and can't find my purpose no matter how far I've got?

Hi Vals, Thank you for asking this question. This is a common issue that many people from all walks of life face whether they become successful or not. From this you can see that the issue has nothing to do with being successful or financial stability, rather it has more to do with being content with what you already have. It is challenging to work on this as it is related to many deep rooted issues. However, if worked on one can overcome it and make life joyful and happy.  To start with you should become aware of your achievements, your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Reflect and then write down how each of the achievements made you feel and the reason for this feeling. Then reflect on the  motivation you had while you were working on this- were there external factors motivating you? If there were only external factors then are there any intrinsic factors that you think of that can develop overtime to become your intrinsic motivation? This would require a lot of reflecting and while you are writing all these thoughts down it will help clarify your thoughts and your feelings towards your goals.  The next thing I want you to think about is gratitude. List 10 things in your life you are grateful for. Are they related to any of your goals and achievements? As you are thinking and making the list think about life in general and see how when you did achieve some of your goals or while you had these blessings in life were you grateful in that moment- why or why not? This will help clarify your thought process and set your thought process to become more positive.  As you go through these exercises you will get a better understanding of yourself and why you choose to do certain things and what your priorities are in life. As you are becoming clear you can redshift your thought process and set more meaningful goals and find intrinsic motivation to work on rather than external validation. This will help you tremendously in finding your purpose in life and not choosing to do things for meaningless purposes.  I suggest that you work with a counselor to help you navigate this as it would be very helpful. I hope this was helpful for you.  Best,  Dr. Saima 
Answered on 01/31/2023

How is it possible to remove bad thoughts and ideas and just focus on the moment and be happy?

Happy? Boy, do I have a metaphor for you.  Imagine this; you are a bus driver in charge of doing what a bus driver does, driving the bus to and from places carrying what? Passengers. So the thing about the passengers is that you don't control who gets on and who gets off. The best you can do is drive the bus. Sometimes you have individuals who try to get your attention or distract you, and what happens when you take your eyes off the road? You get distracted, and you could crash the bus. So, it would be best if you kept your eyes on the road, no matter who gets on your bus.  See, the thing about life is, we aren't in as much control over ourselves and the environment as we are made to believe. You have thoughts and emotions, but they are not what defines you. You have to shift your perspective on how you think about things, not what you think about. Saying you aren't happy says that you would be better if you woke up tomorrow and felt happy. But what is happiness but a temporary state of mind that never actually lasts that long? Looking at human emotions, there are significantly more negative than positive emotions. So, to hold out for permanent happiness is a waste of life. Instead, you can let go of the belief that being happy and you could live in the state of presence.  One thing that therapy, yoga, athletics, and careers have in common is that we perform efficiently when we are in the moment. When we are distracted, our thoughts are racing, or we believe that some other place would be better, we aren't present. To be present means to be in the moment fully and to pull your attention to the moment with you. Rather than indulge the thought that you aren't happy or that this or that would be better, or the underlying belief that you would be happy when... So, you notice the passengers on your bus, and yet you keep your eyes on the road no matter what the passengers do or say. Your job in life isn't to cure, remedy, or set every passenger straight, but to drive the bus. You have the ability to do this, but you've formed a bad habit of indulging a little too much, the thought that you aren't happy and then that thought's cousin that says you could be happy if you make more money, or lose weight, or get that job. How many people sacrifice thousands of dollars and years of their life to go to school for a career they believe the whole way through will make them happy, and then get the job and are worse off than before?  Your moods will change. They convince you that they are you, and you believe your thoughts and feelings. You let the passengers tell you what to do and then are surprised that you didn't get to where you wanted to go. You can't kick the passengers off the bus; they are there with you. You have to accept they exist, even if you don't like them, and pay attention to what matters most to you.  What is all this pain of life, pain of change, and attempts to be happy for? What does all of our life bend in service to? Is the ultimate value to be happy in life? Or is there something deeper, something less selfish and more significant for others? It doesn't have to be, but there could be something you think is what you care about, but in reality, you are missing the real thing. Here's a way to find out what someone's value in life is: What is happiness, but maybe a sign that you made the right choice in life? Making the correct choice could be a sign of being an intelligent person. What kind of people are smart? Well, maybe good people are smart. You can see then that maybe all of this is in service to being a "good" person. Now you can start to do the mental work in what matters and what is worth living and enduring all this pain for. If you want to be content and feel satisfied, make sure that every move you make is in service to your highest value; anything less than that is suffering.  Pain without purpose is suffering.  Let go of your old belief that you must address every thought to improve. Let go of the belief that you won't improve until you rid yourself of problems. Get rid of listening to the thoughts that tell you how to remedy life's issues. Get accustomed to sitting with thoughts and emotions. And do all of this in service, not to be less miserable, but in service to what you value in life the most.  This will lead to a fulfilling life, making you pretty dang happy. 
Answered on 01/28/2023

How can I better myself and complete the task I want to?

Hello there, what an excellent question you've posed. Finding and maintaining the balance between productivity/task completion and self care/relaxation & family/social endeavors seems to be a universal task of being human and is a common issue for most folks I work with (myself included :). I rely on evidenced based modalities including motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral therapy in sessions to identify & prioritize goals and set realistic expectations to allow successes upon which we build continuous growth. Once we understand more about what your desired outcomes are, what motivates you and what your priorities and obligations are, we will begin to build a routine in small steps as we set intentions for behavioral follow through. I will support you to continue actively assessing your experience not only in terms of productivity but also in quality of life. We will practice new habits and gradually establish a routine with structure and built in flexibility that will support self efficacy and enhance value placed on things you want and need to do beyond task completion.  I welcome the opportunity to meet and discuss this process in greater detail.  Overall,  the short answer is that if you set realistic, achievable goals and establish & maintain boundaries around work/life balance, and consistently check in with yourself to make subsequent choices along the way with your desired outcomes in mind, you can absolutely accomplish anything you can conceptualize.  If you are struggling with implementing some structure and concerned about burnout when home/work lives becomes unbalanced, I suggest that you start by generating a running list of things you do and don't want in your existence (i.e. I require the ability to work remotely because I prioritize being able to be home for my kids' sports games and pick up/drop off at school). That could be helpful as a first step towards understanding what your priorities are and what you need to thrive in all aspects. I do hope this was helpful and wish you success! I appreciate the opportunity to be part of your experience and welcome the chance to work together if and when that makes sense for you.  Take care,  Heart 
Answered on 01/26/2023

How can I stop being in a slump?

Like a Snowball Rolls Downhill Momentum goes both for the good and the bad. It seems that momentum picks up quicker at times when we form bad habits. It's like the momentum of "bad" habits is the sticky wet snow, when the momentum of the "good" habits is that white powder (I hope you live in a snowy region with my metaphor). Either way, it's like we know, deep down inside of us, that what is easy and pleasurable is often not good for us, and therefore it takes little effort. Whereas the good things, those tough and challenging situations that produce something real and good and worth living and suffering for, can so easily fall away.  You are dealing with a problem that every human being on the planet has ever faced. Nonetheless, your problem is a unique one in your mind. You think and perceive things differently than everyone else. Sure, there are similarities, but your context is yours and yours alone. You may be struggling with doing what you need to do, but you aren't going to be better or worse for having done the thing.  First off, self-compassion. Do not think that doing whatever motivates you will fix anything inside of you. All doing something does is remind you of something that is already in you that gets revealed when you are in the right environment. Based on our experiences and fight or flight responses, our mental health and ego might argue that the tough thing is good. Instead, the mind, the ego, will argue that tough things are bad because it is painful, and then we concede on what we know (pre-frontal cortex) to be good for the low-hanging fruits of no longer being in pain. But again, whether or not you do what you set out to do, you are still the same you.  So then, what do you want to do, and what do you identify is holding you back from it, a feeling? Is that what this is about, a feeling? You know your feelings can come along as you do what you want/need to do. You know that you don't have to alter your feelings to do what you need to do? You know that your feelings are initiated by thoughts, which come from beliefs about yourself. Do you believe you are capable of doing what you need to do, or that what you are told you need to do is anything you want to do? These are the questions you need to ask yourself, starting with what is holding me back and whether you want to do it.  Living life avoiding the stick, hence avoiding pain, leads to nowhere. Leading a life chasing the carrot, which could have lots of pain, is often a life well-lived. Do not let your thoughts, which want you to be safe, tell you what to do. Emotions are like an ignorant friend. The emotions come from a genuine place to keep you safe, but they don't care about the long-term outcomes. You need to realize who is in control here and take it back. Right now, it sounds like you gave up your power to the feelings which are this way today and that way tomorrow. Learn to sit with those emotions and learn to allow them to speak while you live unaffected by them. I am not saying to ignore thoughts and feelings but rather embrace them. Embrace your thoughts and give yourself credit in your attempt to live the best you can when you do fail. There is pain no matter what you do in this life, the pain of guilt when not doing something, the pain of pain when doing something. Allow your mind to live in this duality of painful, yet purposeful. Pain and purpose go hand in hand. You are going to be better, the best, in fact, when you learn how to endure emotions and thoughts and head toward what matters for you in life. Whatever you say interferes is in the mind, and it has tricked you think thinking that its thoughts are your thoughts. The brain secretes thoughts like the pancreas secretes insulin; it's just what the brain does. None of these secretions have to be dealt with; not all have to be answered or remedied. They can all pass on by, like leaves on a stream. Practice this with the small things in life, letting the little things go, to practice letting go of the big things.  You have thoughts; you are not thoughts. You have feelings; you are not feelings. Be the you that realizes this and separates from the thoughts and feelings.
Answered on 01/23/2023

How do I know I can be fixed

Hello Cho: You have asked a great question. It takes a lot of courage to express your thoughts and to allow yourself to be vulnerable in this way. This is a strength. It means you recognize and you undestand that something is just not right for you. Even more so, you have a desire to get some help. These are all good things.  You asked: How do I know I can be fixed. The answer to the question boils down to what you allow yourself to believe about yourself. How do you narrate your life story? Do you narrate it from a place of lack, victimhood, despair, doomsday, over-the-hill disgrace? Do you narrate it from a place of strength, optimism, victory, and determination to make life work for you?  I noticed you mentioned nursing school a couple of times. It seems as though you are drawn to being a nurse or helping people. I want you to explore that a bit more. Do you want to be a nurse? Do you want to help people? Do you want to work in a medical facility? Do you have to wear the title of nurse to fulfill your life's purpose?  If the answer is yes, I want to be a nurse then I want you to analyze what worked and what did not work while you were on the road to becoming a nurse. Were there too many distractions? Was there a lot of stress? Did we say yes to too many things that did not serve us? Did we put healthy boundaries in place? Did we have a good grasp of the material? Did we need change our study habits? What happened? Now that you have your answer, think about what you can do to remove those barriers out of the way. Do you need a quieter place to study? Is there someone who finished the nursing program that could tutor you?  Sometimes, we have a tendency to think in Black or White thinking. Doing so is a cognitive distortion. When we think in black or white thinking we have a tendency to be narrow in thought. We are less likely to consider other options or ways of looking at life's challenges. We start to catastrophize and make things bigger than what they are. In the end, we become affected by the distorted reality of thought that festers, if unaddressed and corrected.  Saying, you have not really even had a life yet veers into the black or white thinking category. That is because the mind is given two choices, either we have completed nursing school and we have had a life, or we have not completed nursing school and we have not had a life. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. While, you may not have had the life that you envisioned, you have had some victories and moments of fulfillment when you obtained your B.S. degree. While you may not have had the life that you envisioned, you still have a desire to work in a helping profession and that could give you hope that your life can become more than what it is right now.  Another thing to consider is your values. What are your values? What do you hold as most important is life? Is that nursing? What else? What else do you value? How do you live life in accordance with your values? If you feel you do not do that very well, then perhaps a task for you is to write out a plan. Sometimes, we get so caught up in things working out perfectly. We presume that getting into a particular profession will occur in a straight line. Well, that does not always happen. Sometimes, we get from point A to point B through winding roads.  Determine what it is that you need in life at this point. Determine what you want. Determine what barriers exist to you getting what you need and want. Write out an action plan with goals and objectives to help you get from point A to point B. Surround yourself with people, places, and things that will support you in a healthy way.  Many people change career fields all of the time. The limitations that exist are the limitations we choose to put on ourselves. Have you heard of Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken? Well, he did not a professional chef until he was 40 years old, and he did not franchise his company until he was in his 60s. People perceive age and "limitations" differently. How will you choose to look at it.  On another note, sometimes when we want something so bad and it seems to escape our reach, the loss can trigger the grief process. This is quite normal. You may feel in denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, before getting to a place of acceptance. Consider working with a good licensed mental health professional to help you work through these emotions and thoughts.  Cho: you deserve to have happiness. Sometimes, things do not go our way and we are left to pick up the pieces. You can do that. Take one step forward and another. Before you know it, you will be on your way to living the life you allow yourself to have.  Well Wishes, 
Answered on 01/23/2023

I've never done therapy but wondering how therapy can help me make both big and small decisions.

Hello Carrie, I cant imagine how difficult it has been for you getting multiple declines from vet school. I think first and foremost it must be identified that your perseverance in applying is an amazing strength. In therapy, we can make big and small changes through processing the thoughts and mindset that are leaving us feeling stuck and not happy and identify new thought patterns to help create the opposite. Together, we would also work on identifying and writing down your values. When we are able to identify what we value in life, making big life decisions becomes easier because we move towards alignment in our lives.  Continuing school and/or starting a family are large choices but also put you in a phase of transition. Solving small term goals starts with what is in your power and control now. It sounds like veterinary school has been a strong passion of yours and I think identifying where this passion comes from as well as your long term life goals may help you in deciding how to move forward.  Some questions that come to mind for you to possibly ponder: What has made you question that the vet school path is for you? Why did you originally choose this path? How do you view success and moments of failure? How have you made decisions in the past? Are there reoccurring thoughts that are keeping you in this "stuck" feeling?  These questions can help you ponder what your next steps are and why you feel like you do at this moment. It's important to know that a change of course or path does not mean failure. Often times when we shift goals and plans we think "I'm giving up" but rather you are making active choices to ensure that your goals and life values align for ultimate happiness. When we find this sweet spot, you are able to live in your truth. I hope that you continue to seek what you desire and while the small and long term decisions may seem uncertain, you have the potential to make them when a little clarity entered your head space. 
Answered on 01/23/2023

How do I find my stride again when my anxiety and possible ADHD have derailed me?

So as a veteran you have likely experienced situations that were very stressful. However I do not want to make the assumption that is where you developed your PTSD presentations. I would wonder where the PTSD came from? Did it come from your military work or did it come from another aspect in your life. What sort of current treatment are you doing to help you with PTSD? Making sure that you are currently in the correct therapy for PTSD including working with a prescriber if appropriate can really help. I hope that it is something you are in the process of getting appropriate therapy and treatment for. If it is not it would be a good idea to look at options for getting the care that you need.I am sorry for hearing about the anxiety diagnosis. I wonder what specifically makes you anxious? Often times anxiety can look differently for different people. I highly suggest if appropriate assuming you are medically cleared and safe making sure that you exercise regularly. Regular exercise can help with anxiety and PTSD. The best type of exercise is the type that you will actually do on a regular basis. Also it can help if the exercise is somewhat fun. Do you have any activities that you will regularly do that you find are somewhat fun? I highly recommend starting small and working up to regular exercise. As with PTSD and depression talking to a prescriber may be an option.  What do you know of mindfulness? Cultivating a mindfulness practice may help you with some of your struggles. It may inspire you to be more present and challenge yourself to get more done. Everything you are describing are internal events and challenges that may make it hard to actually get things done especially in the middle of winter. Mindfulness should be something that we cultivate. It is a present orientation to life. It is challenging ourselves to be in the here and now. To do with and accept ourselves for what is in front of us. It is shown to help with both anxiety and depression. I highly suggest doing your own research into mindfulness. Mindfulness can help you deal with the daily challenges of feeling deflated in the middle of winter. It is something that should be practiced regularly. It is evidence based.I am sorry to hear that your depression is spiking. If you can cultivate a mindfulness practice and regular exercise then it should improve. I highly recommend considering those two things. I would wonder what are your thoughts around depression? Often times examining and challenging depressing thoughts can help. This can be facilitated through talk therapy. One specific type of therapy that can help is CBT. I highly recommend considering talk therapy to help you with these issues. I know that reaching out to therapist questions is a step in the right direction, but really a regular therapist that you can talk to is more likely to help. We would need to talk about the specifics of your depression to try to get to the root of it and understand your personal nuances. This would likely help you with your motivation and ability to get things done.As far as coping with PTSD there are approaches that are evidence based. One thing that can help with PTSD is EMDR. I highly recommend doing research into EMDR and finding someone who can provide it if you are interested. It is an evidenced based approach for treating victims of trauma. If you research the technique and it is something that you want to do, then you should explore your options for getting the treatment. There are other approaches for PTSD. Talk therapy can help too.One thing that is challenging is that you present with a few diagnoses. I think it is important to keep in mind that the process of diagnosis is imperfect. Depending on who you talk to you may get different diagnosis. I am in no way saying that your diagnosis is incorrect. But they are not destiny, but rather diagnosis is a description. Often diagnosis can be a lacking description. This is why it is so important to consider a long term relationship with a therapist. It might really help to have someone who understands your individual story and the nuances of your situations. Basically behind all your diagnoses is one common variable and that variable is you. You deserve to be understood and treated holistically. Likely all these diagnoses are interacting and when you start to work on one you are actually going to be working on another one.This is another reason why it might be difficult to tell if your perceived ADHD is an actual diagnosis. PTSD, anxiety, and depression can all sometimes lead to shortened attention span. While an actual formal ADHD assessment may be interesting to do and helpful, that would take someone trained in that. Again adding another diagnosis may or may not actually help your motivation. I personally would rather know than not know. It will require getting a proper evaluation. Starting to work on any of your problems, because they are all interrelated, its likely going to lead to improvements overall.Winter and depression can be a hard combo to deal with. Many people feel a much lower mood during the winter months. You may just have a harder time of the year. Getting outside when you can and exercise can help. Sounds like you would likely benefit from regular exercise.I would consider that at the end of the day motivation follows action not the other away. Once you get moving and get proactive about solving some of your issues you will gain motivation. Taking one thing at a time builds up over time. You might find if you make a list of what needs to be done and take on the easy parts first that it will help. Do not give into not trying. Keep trying and stay in treatment and things should get better.
Answered on 01/22/2023

How do I begin getting stuff together?

Thank you for submitting your question. I am sorry that you are having some challenges in your life at this time. Many people find themselves in the position of wanting life to be different. Most will battle the dilemma you are now trying to tackle: where do I even start? And how do I get the motivation to get going? When individuals feel like they want things in life to change, they often reflect heavily on the externals. So, the job, the location they live in, the house they reside in, the hobbies, the car. In reality, the better place to turn your attention when you feel like you are stuck and wanting a turnaround is inside yourself. It is super easy to get locked into place right from the very get go because what you are looking at is the big picture – you want to change all of your life. That is a huge, overwhelming thing. It is better to think a little smaller. And to start small. Simplify things and don’t worry so much about “where” to start and just begin. Begin with something – nearly anything will do. Motivation is a tricky thing. It is a bit like the wind. It comes and it goes. What you actually want to focus on instead is discipline, routine and action. Taking action is simultaneously a cause of motivation as well as an effect. The only way to stop procrastinating is to get up and do. If you sit around waiting for motivation to strike you? That could be a bit of a wait. We often find ourselves immobilized. It can be from fear. It could be apathy. It could be overwhelm. Truth be told, once we start doing something (anything!) it helps us do something else . . . . and then something else . . .  and then another something else. Changing your life isn’t about waking up tomorrow and doing all you can to accomplish your dreams. That’s a lot! And that will be a daunting task which is apt to freeze you in place. But a small action which just nudges you forward a bit? Now that is doable. Focus your attention on habits. What habits are needed to get you where you need to be. You say you know where you want to go. That’s great. What are the habits you need to put into place to get to that place? What are doing now that is helping? What is getting in the way? Are you prone to procrastinating? Do you engage in a lot of negative self-talk? Are there people in your life that you are spending a lot of time with who are discouraging you? If you aren’t sure what is getting in your way, seek out someone you trust and ask them to help you do an evaluation of your life to figure out what barriers are potentially holding you back. Change can begin with just one thing. Choose one key thing to begin with and start there. Then later you can build on that. For example, keeping a daily gratitude journal is a habit some people have. It becomes a key habit for them. Research has found that the habit influences other aspects of their lives such as it increases their general sense of well-being, it helps them sleep better, they have less physical pain, and, quite notably, it increases their desire to change. Expect some bumps in the road. With change there can be hiccups and, at times, some chaos. Such is life. Anticipate it ahead of time. Recruit family and friends to help you. Support can be very helpful when we are trying to transform. They can help, they can encourage, and they can be there to pitch in if that’s called for. Be mindful of who you lean on. Some people are natural naysayers who tend to discourage and find the negative in all things. They perhaps won’t be the most ideally suited to being on your transformation team. That’s okay. They aren’t bad people. They just aren’t the right people for this task. Be watchful of anyone who may try to pull you back or hold you in place. And you might find changing your life means changing some of the people you spend time with. There is a quote from motivational coach Steve Marabol which sums it up well: “If you hang out with chickens, you're going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you're going to fly.”Here are things to keep in mind to help you get started with change: Decide you want to changeFigure out what change looks like and what you want (be as clear and concise as possible) Accept that you will have to step outside your comfort zoneDecide what habits need to be added and which ones to cut back onRecognize challenges will come up. If you can anticipate and plan for some, great. Think about who might be part of your transformation support teamFocus on the small little steps to get you goingStop thinking about it and just do something, anything – get some momentum goingIf you don’t currently have a life that you think is good, it is never too late to make one that is. And if you continue to struggle, consider working with a therapist. A therapist can help you identify barriers, help you come up with a plan, and can help keep you accountable.
Answered on 01/21/2023

How can I get my motivation back?

Hi Brynn!  I am so glad that you are reaching out for some help with this. Anxiety and depression can be difficult to deal with on your own. Thankfully, there are some techniques and coping skills you can utilize to help combat these feelings. Did something happen to trigger this? What thoughts are you having surrounding the feelings of depression and anxiety? As humans, our thoughts, feelings and behaviors are all connected. Often times, thoughts that we don't even realize we are having can lead to these feelings. One way to identify your thoughts is to take two-three minutes to write down all of your thoughts as they come without fear of being wrong or judged. It doesn't matter what they are, just write them down. When you are done with that, read through them and identify which thoughts are intrusive. An intrusive thought is one that is present but not helpful or purposeful. Challenge that thought. Why is it there? What purpose is it serving you? Where did it come from? Reframe it to make it more helpful to you. For example; if someone is thinking "Wow I am never going to get all of these chores done!" a great way to reframe it might be by thinking; I can do this one step at a time. Looking at the big picture is overwhelming but taking small baby steps can help you gain some motivation and can help things to be less overwhelming.  It is important to focus on the here and now. Be in the moment. Ask yourself, what can I do in this moment right now to make the next five minutes better? Then do that. You can make it less than that if needed, or more than that. Focus on small things, including small amounts of time. If your dishes need to be done, can you do one dish right now? Even if it is hard and you have to force yourself, just do one, and then come back to the dishes a little bit later and do two dishes. Then look at the progress you made. No, the dishes still probably aren't completely done but you made progress.  I hope some of this was helpful to you! I wish you the best!  -Melissa
Answered on 01/21/2023

How can I stop having negative thoughts and be happy even though I’m not happy?

The only thing guaranteed is pain. One of the cruelest things in life is the false belief that life shouldn't be painful. In reality, it's quite the opposite. Life is full of pain, both good and bad. Good pain is the pain we endure on the road to our highest values. Bad pain then is the pain we experience when we avoid what matters to us because of fear or anxiety. Then when we feel shame or guilt, that is when we are in a bad pain situation. So, in your situation, what sort of pain are you in? The way you speak, it is as though you are a victim of circumstance. Life beating you down and no opportunities at work, is this what you want to teach your daughter? Do you want to model that you should only be in good spirits when fate or luck goes your way? Now, I know our language to a three year old seems insignificant, but you are acting as though what you believe to be true. Not just your language, but your body language, your choices, motivation, spirits and how much you engage in play. You become what you think. Your thoughts determine how you view life and it will be noticed by your daughter. Here's the good pain, to notice when you have those familiar negative thoughts and instead of indulging them you choose to see some alternative, something good in it all. You look for the good to start the habit of looking for the good. If you find the pain helpful in life because of the lessons it teaches you or the coping you have to practice, you can change your entire life. Honestly, look for the good in every situation and you will see good. Think about how going to the gym strengthens muscles. For you, working your brain to see how you benefit from every situation is the new exercise to then see the benefit of experience. From that perspective you will live differently and model endurance in even the toughest situations. When you experience situations in life that you allow to wear you down (choice) you can break the habit and see the positive in it (choice). This is all your choice and breaking habits is painful, but it's the pain on the road to what matters most in your life. You want to model good behaviors, it's not about circumstance, it's about what you choose to see in any situation. Again, it's all pain, life is full of it (accept it). So, instead of avoiding pain by putting responsibility on to circumstance and off of you, own your choice in life and accept life as it is. Imagine, you are in the same situation but view it as a learning opportunity, how great life can be in any circumstance. Don't believe the thought that your life will only be better when you get the opportunity at work or get a win at life. That belief is a cancer and shows your powerlessness. You give up your power when you think it's dependent on life circumstance. Take your power back, own your choices, practice seeing the good in any situation, and you will model the resistance you want to see in your daughter as inevitable pains will come her way in life as well. 
Answered on 01/21/2023

I often don't feel motivated to do anything, and waiting it out feels awful, what do I do?

Hi Mya! Thank you so much for asking this essential question on the BetterHelp platform. It is a wonderful sign that you are reaching out for support at this time. The concept of motivation is a truly great topic to bring to the "Ask a Licensed Therapist" forum. I will do my best to answer your question. I hope to assist you in coming up with a plan to further address your concerns about motivation. First and foremost, I can certainly understand why you would be seeking out answers about this important topic. The fact that you are unable to do anything, even the things that you like to do, sounds like a distressing situation. It makes sense why you would be feeling concerned since you are noticing a lack of motivation to do anything at times. It does sound concerning that this feeling can last for hours and that you have to lay down and do not feel like moving. This experience sounds paralyzing, in a sense. I realize that you had mentioned that this experience of feeling and thinking happens completely at random but I would like to try to encourage you to focus on seeking out a pattern for this behavior. You can begin doing this by keeping track of the days in which you sense that your motivation has been dwindling. It will more than likely be beneficial for you to improve your self awareness skills through self observational information. Utilize a calendar, daily planner, notebook or journal to keep track of these patterns of behaviors. Over time, you may observe a trend and a connection in your thoughts, feeling and experiences.You can also begin this process by asking yourself some thoughtful questions. I recommend documenting your observations of these behavioral patterns as well as answering the following questions through therapeutic writing. Writing and journaling can be a fantastic processing technique. Journaling about this experience can be a skill that you add to your tool box, which in turn could hopefully inspire you to try out other new coping skills, too. Some of the questions you could ask yourself that first come to mind include: Are there triggers in your life that impact your lack of motivation? What are some of the warning signs that you notice contribute to your lack of motivation? What emotions do you notice feeling during moments of low motivation? If your motivation could improve in any given moment, what would that look like for you? Who can you rely on to help you get back on track? What would help you to feel more motivated? What was the most motivating moment that you have endured? Secondly, I would like to give you some feedback for the way that you manage the situation. The strategy to wait for the feeling to pass is a very intuitive one. This sounds like the dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) technique in which individuals notice feelings and allow them to pass. It can certainly take a lot of practice to do this. Therefore, I am so inspired to hear that this strategy is already something that you are trying out on your own! You can keep doing what you are doing as well as look deeper into the concept of mindfulness. Essentially, the mindfulness DBT approach offers a way for individuals to remove judgement from their situation and their feelings. Removing judgement can be a helpful way to move past a certain emotion or concerning experience. Distress tolerance, emotion management and interpersonal effectiveness skills may also be beneficial for you to try out. For more information about these DBT core skills, please check out the website:  Another go to strategy for building and maintaining motivation is going to be utilizing positive self affirming statements. An example of a positive affirmation is: "I am feeling motivated to succeed. Today is a good day to make a new change happen. I am feeling motivated in this moment and I choose to feel this way throughout the day." Personalized mantras and motivational messages can be incredibly powerful, inspiring and thought provoking. For more information and details on the power of inspiring quotes, please check out the writing by Louise Hay. In her book "You Can Heal Your Life," Hay outlines a myriad of self affirming statements that can be utilized on a daily or weekly basis. When working with clients that lack motivation and are actively seeking to improve ambition, I oftentimes provide guidance and advice to allow ambition to over come anxiety. Think in terms of there being two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Ultimately, intrinsic motivation comes from the self and extrinsic motivation comes from others and external factors. In addition, it can be really helpful to visualize your motivation as an external object, symbol or shape. Think of a metaphorical way to describe your feeling of motivation. What symbol would you choose to best describe your motivation?  As an aspiring art therapist, I always recommend that individuals take some time to create art. The art making process can certainly provide a naturally motivating tool for creative problem solving. There are essentially countless art therapy directives that may be beneficial for you to try. One idea that comes to mind is to participate in a self portrait kinetic drawing. In essence, you are to draw yourself doing something. For more information on the benefits of art therapy, please check out the website for the American Art Therapy Association: At this time, I would like to recommend that you begin attending individual therapy sessions. In concluding my response, I would like to thank you again, Mya, for your time asking this vital question on the "Ask a Licensed Therapist" forum. I sincerely hope that my response has been helpful for you in some way. Best wishes for an improvement with your overall feelings of motivation. Take good care and have a nice day! 
Answered on 01/18/2023

How can I get confidence to get back to a work place and remove my self doubt?

Hi Emily, It is very nice to meet you. Thank you for taking the time to send in your question. You ask a wonderful, insightful question. Confidence has to come from within yourself. Your thoughts control your feelings, which control your actions and behaviors. It starts with you reframing the negative thoughts that you are not good enough for the job or that you will not do will in the interview or get that job offer. Reframe that thought and tell yourself that you will do well and you are qualified for  the position. Instead of thinking about and focusing on what could go wrong, think about the reasons you are qualified for the position you are interviewing for. Walk into the interview with your head held high, walk with confidence and assertiveness. Show the interviewer that you are the best person for the job and give reasons why. Identify your positive traits and why the experience that you have makes you the best candidate for the position.  It is understandable that it feels difficult to start something new and make changes. We can get into our own comfort zones and become complacent. Changing up an existing routine and pattern can feel scary and intimidating. Making the decision to do this takes courage and determination! It sounds like you are motivated and want to get back into the workforce. Some additional things to keep in mind include reminding yourself that you are not going to know everything that there is to know about a job when you first start, and that's okay! We all go through that period of having a learning curve and learning the policies and procedures for any new job we take on. Do not get overwhelmed by this. Remind yourself that it is okay to ask questions if you do not know something or if you need help. I hope that you have found this information helpful and I wish you all the best moving forward on your journey. You also indicated having depression. I would also encourage you to work with your care provider, whether it be a psychiatrist or a therapist. They will be able to help you work through these struggles you are experiencing. 
Answered on 01/13/2023

Would therapy be right for me or is this something I can work through myself?

I commend you first for taking the step to inquire about whether therapeutic support could be helpful to address concerns that are affecting functionality for you. I understand that recognizing disruptions and how they impact life satisfaction while considering options for help involves several factors. What, if any aspects of life currently are working well for you including any examples of positive coping? Of the things you want to change or to make different what could be a starting point for you? Identifying a small, realistic goal for a change that you are motivated to make can be motivating for other changes and reinforcing positive aspects of life currently. Redirecting your focus on what is positive or meaningful can also be encouraging to you and lessen negative thoughts. As you think about current thought patterns and emotions, and areas that you you want to be more successful in, how much of the influence of those thoughts is comparing yourself to others? Failures and areas that are less satisfying can be primary thoughts making it challenging to identify thoughts or factors that may be going well. Additionally, comparing yourself to others could be less helpful when expectations are unrealistic and misaligned with what would be satisfying to you. There is also the consideration that comparisons to others can be based on snapshots of others’ lives without knowing challenges that can be present for others. Having compassion for self and recognizing those glimmers from your life can help towards identifying what you are accomplishing and how you can approach other areas that you want to improve.  With thinking about the value of therapeutic support, it could also be helpful to think about what would be beneficial to you and aid in making changes that you are ready to make. Motivation is a key factor to consider. Therapy can be a part of what helps, along with active steps you are willing to take and put into practice for you to achieve the level of wellness that aligns with your goals for healthy functionality and life satisfaction. Have you considered what would help you make changes without therapy and also how you would make changes with engaging in therapy? Would you consider that you would be investing in an opportunity to help yourself along with a professional who can facilitate that process along with you, similar to other areas of life that you may seek help from others?  If you can think of benefits and you are ready to make changes, including a small one that would improve things, you may find therapy to be helpful with gaining effective coping skills and increasing life satisfaction for you. 
Answered on 01/07/2023

Best advice for someone feeling stuck, unmotivated, unable to make a decision or move forward?

My advice to someone who is feeling stuck, unmotivated, unable to make a decision or move forward is to jump in the deep end and do it. Without risk you don't get reward. Easier said than done absolutely acknowledged. The words "All you can do is try your best with what you have" tends to be a good thing to say to yourself. when you are feeling this way. When feeling stuck it can also help to set and or have reasonable expectations about yourself and life. Sometimes we spend so much time trying to get to a point in life that maybe we set for ourselves, society sets for us, or maybe even our family or friends set for us.  Given the information you explained, it sounds like you have been trying very hard with what you have and as you said you are scared. There is a "What if" in what you are saying and it is absolutely justified. You can go through and weigh the pro's and the con's, the good's and the bad's of a situation where you feel stuck, however a person will justify the answer that they want. In my experience I have found that it is helpful to jump in the deep end and or go for it. Then when you get scared or struggle utilize the tools you have. The tools that you have been using in the past during difficult times or when you have felt stuck. Reshape those tools to help motivate and push yourself through the tough sticky glue of the situation.  I cannot tell you to stay or that decision must be yours. I live by the motto when you do positive things you get Positive results. So for you the translation may be taking the leap, making a move is a positive action even if it feels negative.  The initial jump or leap and then the utilization of existing tools that may just need to be done differently has been an observed success for many individuals. When times get tough it can be helpful to look at the times it was tough in the past and think to yourself, how did I get through that? The way you got through it is a self-preservation factor and those factors can help to motivate and push you through lack of motivation leading to unhealthy habits.  I hope this advice is helpful. Remind yourself jump in and utilize your tools. The tools just may need to be reshaped to fit the situation now. 
Answered on 01/05/2023

How do I stop letting obsessive thoughts affect me?

Hi, Lew thank you for your question regarding your ruminating on past events. Getting angry may stop you from being able to process your feelings of negative thinking about past events. If you start journaling and recognising it may help you become aware of your negative cycle thinking. There is a technique called The Stop Technique which enables you to stop the negative thinking, if you imagine when you are driving a car and the lights change to red, you stop the car. If you do not you will cause an accident which is a catastrophizing the event which is like our thought process so when you feel yourself going through the red light, try and put the stop technique in place. Remember red spells danger with a lot of things.  You can try thinking of other ways to stop ruminating maybe introduce some enjoyable activities things you like hobbies etc, music, gigs, reading, art. By doing this your thoughts may be deflected into positive thoughts instead of negative. You could look at setting some positive boundaries for yourself. Focus on the thought or situation and examine your thinking process, try and recognize your triggers. By noticing this you may be able to start some problem solving and you can start by challenging your negative thoughts. It's okay to make mistakes. Find ways of stopping your obsessive thoughts about your past mistakes because in turn this keeps the negative cycle going. If you can make a plan to take action when your thoughts begin take time to question these and readjust your life's goals. You start making small goals, they are a lot easier to accomplish which can help grow your self-esteem which help you in the long run to be more positive about the future and can have a positive outlook for you. Ruminating is a negative way of thinking but once you can master this and start changing negative to positive thoughts it may help you move forward and start to have more quality and think things through better. Worry breads worry which can be consuming and very tiring for you to cope with so by recognizing before we go the the red lights for stop can be helpful for you whether in relationship, work and everyday life. Hope this helps you Janice.
(Degree/, Bch, of, Science, Degree, Psychotherapist)
Answered on 01/02/2023