All Posts in Category: Mental Health Basics

Potent Techniques for Relapse Prevention

Myth: Relapse just happens out of the blue.

Fact: The onset of relapse starts well before an individual indulges in drinking or consuming drugs. 

Relapse Prevention is a very delicate topic to talk about. It is an unfortunate reality that in addiction recovery, relapse can occur multiple times and can be devastating. Individuals face challenges in maintaining sobriety and dealing with the withdrawal symptoms. The write-up will cover the proven techniques for keeping yourself or your loved ones on track. By the end of this article, we promise you will gain a better understanding of how to prevent relapse. Let’s get started!

Relapse prevention requires comprehensive techniques that can significantly reduce the risk of experiencing a setback.

  1. Identify the stages: To prevent relapse one must recognize the three stages of it – emotional, mental, and physical. All three phases pose a potential risk of relapse. During the Emotional Relapse Phase, the individual may not be contemplating using, but their thoughts and actions may provoke a relapse. They feel emotionally detached and keep their feelings to themselves while feeling anxious and irritable. In the Mental Relapse Phase, they start to battle with their inner selves as they are torn between wanting to use and not wanting to. During this phase, they may start bargaining with themselves and plan to use it again. Physical Relapse is the third and final stage, and this is where alarm bells should sound. If the individual proceeds with using the substance, they will have relapsed. It all begins with one lapse, one drink, or one pill, and before they realize it, they are back to their old ways. 
  2. Be mindful of your triggers: When you’re in recovery, it’s crucial to be mindful of your triggers. For some people, certain places or situations can drive them back into drinking or using drugs again. These triggers may be different for everyone, so it’s essential to be aware of your triggers. If you’re not sure what your triggers are, take some time to reflect on your past experiences with addiction. 
  3. Recall the reasons for your walkout: It can be challenging to resist the urge to use when recovering from addiction. That’s why it’s important to remind yourself why you chose to walk down the path to recovery in the first place. Recall the feelings of being out of control or sick when using and the embarrassing things you may have done or people you may have hurt. By doing so, you can find the motivation to stay strong and resist temptations.
  4. Get in touch for help: If you’re struggling with addiction, trying to recover on your own can feel like an impossible task. That’s why it’s crucial to seek support from professionals who have experience and knowledge in treating addiction. Whether it’s a doctor, addiction treatment centre, therapist, or counselor, getting support can make the process of recovery much easier.
  5. Engaging in aftercare programs: Engaging in aftercare programs for addiction recovery is a crucial step toward long-term sobriety. Addiction is a chronic disease that requires consistent maintenance, and aftercare programs provide a structured environment for individuals to continue their recovery journey. These programs may include group therapy, individual counseling, educational workshops, and support groups. Aftercare programs also offer a sense of community and connection, which is essential for individuals who may have lost relationships due to addiction.
  6. Manage withdrawal symptoms: Withdrawal symptoms can be one of the greatest challenges of recovery from addiction. They can range from mild discomfort to life-threatening complications and can include nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and seizures. Proper management of withdrawal symptoms is crucial for success in recovery. The first step in managing withdrawal symptoms is to undergo a thorough medical evaluation. A professional healthcare provider can determine the severity of the symptoms and prescribe appropriate medications to help alleviate them. It is important to follow the healthcare provider’s instructions closely and not to attempt to self-medicate, as this can be dangerous.
  7. Handling setbacks: In recovery, setbacks are inevitable. While they can be discouraging, it is important to approach them with resilience and a willingness to learn. Instead of beating yourself up over a slip-up or relapse, view it as an opportunity to gain insight into what triggered the slip-up or what may need to be addressed in your recovery plan. One effective strategy for handling setbacks is to practice self-compassion. Rather than engaging in negative self-talk or shame, treat yourself with kindness and understanding. 

Relapse prevention is not a one-time event, it is an ongoing process of self-awareness and personal growth. By implementing the techniques outlined in this comprehensive guide, individuals in recovery can increase their chances of maintaining sobriety and living fulfilling lives.

For further in-depth insights on relapse and related information, go through the link.

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Take charge of your emotions and start rewiring your mind!

Are you struggling with the overwhelming emotions of depression and constantly encountering negative thoughts? Do negative thoughts keep cruising around your mind or hindering your mental peace? If yes, we must work together to overcome these obstacles and improve our well-being. Persistent negative thinking can be a vicious cycle, and curating them with persuasive rewiring techniques can help break the chain of negative thoughts and stop the spiral of depression. 

The write-up below will give you valuable insight into the harmful effects of negative thinking, including the various types that exist and how it affects the body. Besides this, we’ll also explore strategies for combatting this destructive mindset.

At some point in our lives, everyone has irrational or negative thinking. However, when the thoughts become excessively amplified, they can adversely affect the way we see ourselves and those around us. It is arduous to perceive things differently once we put on the negative filter. This phenomenon is called cognitive distortion. Fortunately, such thinking patterns can be unlearned through actionable steps which we can undertake to improve our mental well-being.

Negative Thoughts in Depression

Negative thoughts can fuel depression. It is the most common symptom and can even exacerbate depression. These thoughts can be self-critical and pessimistic and can take over our thinking patterns. They can range from brief flashes of negativity to a pervasive mindset that dominates our thinking. Regardless of their intensity, negative thoughts can be very distressing and can have a profound impact on our mental health.

Types of Negative Thinking and Their Effect

  1. Repressed Emotions: Repressed emotions are the ones that are subconsciously avoided by us. They quietly brew within our bodies, causing various negative impacts that we may not even be aware of. It takes a significant toll on the immune system, making the individual vulnerable to illness and diseases. Besides this, refusing to acknowledge and express our emotions can lead to significant stress and anxiety.
  2. Cynical Thinking: Cynical thinking is a critical perspective in that one looks at a person or any situation through a negative lens. It is a defence mechanism that protects one’s ego from being bruised due to failure. However, the constant negativity of Cynical thinking can cause chronic inflammation, leading to a plethora of health issues such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer.
  3. Black-and-white Thinking: Black-and-white thinking refers to the tendency to see things only in two extremes – good or bad, right or wrong, with us or against us. Such thinking can have negative consequences on a person’s health, as it often leads to rigid and inflexible attitudes, difficulty dealing with change, and increased stress levels. 
  4. All-or-Nothing Thinking: All-or-nothing thinking refers to the idea that things should be either perfect or worthless, with no in-between. This type of thinking can have a detrimental effect on one’s health and well-being. For example, individuals who engage in all-or-nothing thinking may feel like a failure if they can’t meet their high expectations, causing them to experience stress and anxiety.

Combating Negative Thoughts

Don’t let negative thoughts hijack your life. There are seven techniques to break the negative thought cycle.

  1. Recognize what thoughts affect you: Identifying negative thoughts is the first step towards breaking their cycle. This is akin to identifying the foes in a war – until you know who or what you’re fighting, you won’t be able to win the battle. This can be done by jotting down your thoughts in the journal, which helps you to identify patterns of negative thoughts and understand the triggers.
  2. Accept the Thoughts:  Never try an escape mechanism always accept the ideas that are flowing in your mind. It is natural to have various thoughts, both positive and negative, and suppressing them won’t make them disappear. Instead, acknowledge them and allow yourself to experience them fully. This will help you gain clarity and control over your emotions. Remember, denying your thoughts only prolongs the process of dealing with them.
  3. Challenge Negative Thoughts: Challenge the negative thoughts and reframe them in a more positive light. By actively reframing negative thoughts, we can start to break the cycle of negativity that can feed anxiety and depression. It can be challenging at first, but with practice, it becomes easier to recognize negative thought patterns and reframe them in a more positive and realistic way.
  4. Break from the Social Platforms: The demands of the outside world can become quite taxing, particularly when you are working on yourself. It is perfectly acceptable to switch off from it all and indulge in some “me time.” It’s not necessary to have an all-encompassing awareness of current affairs. Furthermore, in this digitally interconnected society, you are not obliged to be accessible around the clock if it jeopardizes your own emotional well-being.
  5. Release Judgement: We often judge ourselves harshly, which leads to negative thoughts that spiral out of control. By learning to let go of our judgments and accepting ourselves as we are, we take a step forward toward breaking the cycle of negative thinking.
  6. Practice Gratitude: Negative thoughts can be overwhelming and can throw us into a downward spiral of negative thinking. However, there are proven methods to manage negative thoughts and one of them is practicing gratitude. It is often said that counting your blessings instead of dwelling on your worries can have a profound impact on your state of mind. Gratitude is the practice of being thankful for what we have and acknowledging the positive aspects of our lives.
  7. Seek Out Professional Support: Negative thoughts can be debilitating, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Seeking the help of a mental health professional is a proactive step towards managing negative thoughts and reclaiming control of one’s well-being. Professional help can also provide a safe and non-judgmental space for individuals to express their thoughts and concerns. Sometimes talking to a trusted friend or family member may not be enough, and in these instances, seeking the assistance of a professional can make all the difference.

Breaking the cycle of negative thoughts is a gradual process that requires patience and commitment. By implementing the techniques discussed in this article, it’s possible to rewire the brain and shift from negative thinking patterns to more positive ones. Self-awareness is crucial for identifying negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones. Exercise, diet, and good sleep habits are also important in maintaining mental well-being. 

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Magnifying Mindfulness – The Whats, Whys & Hows.  Part 2

Benefits of a mindful lifestyle

Adopting a mindful lifestyle has many benefits and is integral to leading a healthy, fulfilling life.

  1. It makes life more peaceful and relaxed and you can confront and manage arduous and stressful events with ease.
  2. When you adopt a mindful lifestyle, you will gain a better understanding and appreciation of yourself. You will be gentler and more patient with yourself.
  3. By practicing mindfulness meditation, you can reduce your anxiety levels and protect yourself from depression and panic attacks.
  4. Studies suggest that mindfulness may be beneficial in aiding people to better handle rejection and social isolation.
  5. A mindful lifestyle will bring joie de vivre in your life, which indirectly will strengthen your relationships, both personal and professional.

How to practice mindfulness

When life gets hectic, try to incorporate brief moments of mindfulness throughout the day. Many everyday mundane activities can be transformed into opportunities by practicing mindful awareness. For example, while doing the dishes, try to focus on the sensation of the warm water, the smell of the soap, and the feeling of each dish in your hands. When eating, slow down and savor each bite and notice the flavors, smells, and textures.

A few steps to be followed while practicing mindfulness.

  1. Take the time to cultivate a state of mindfulness, whether through meditation or in smaller moments of awareness throughout the day.
  2.  Start by sitting down and taking deep breaths, focusing on all that is being sensed at the moment.
  3.  Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions, allowing each thought to exist without judgment. 
  4.  Explore any strong emotional reactions that come up, using them as an opportunity to address any underlying challenges. 
  5.  Become aware of your body and the sensations it is feeling in the present moment. 
  6.  Acknowledge any negative thoughts and feelings, but move forward without clinging to them. 
  7.  Discover how the practice of mindfulness can bring you a sense of greater peace and inner joy. 
  8.  Allow yourself to be fully immersed in the sensations of the present moment. 
  9.  Connect with your breath and be aware of its calming and soothing effects.
  10.  Observe your thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them. 

Obstacles – Mind is the biggest obstacle

Mindfulness has become increasingly popular as a way to live life more meaningfully, but one of its biggest obstacles is often overlooked. Many of us struggle to stick to a mindfulness practice due to a lack of motivation and/or mental distractions like rumination or intrusive thoughts. Self-doubt often creeps in and many people find it difficult to focus on the present moment. The obstacle of the mind can be overcome by creating a beneficial environment. To practice mindfulness, we must learn to be kind to ourselves and recognize that negative thoughts will come and go. Once we are able to accept our present state, we can start to gently shift our focus away from distractions and mind chatter. It helps to create a calming ritual by setting aside time each day to practice mindfulness, such as daily meditation, yoga or simply taking time for a peaceful walk in nature.

Living a mindful lifestyle frees you from the pressures of a hectic daily schedule. It is beneficial for your physical, mental and spiritual well-being. And the best way to get to these much-talked about benefits is to simply start, one baby step at a time.

So, ask yourself, what are your thoughts about it in this very moment?

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Magnifying Mindfulness – The Whats, Whys & Hows. Part 1

Are you mindful or is your mind full? Full of fiction, and narratives that aren’t relevant in the now?  Full of disturbing and disruptive thoughts that pull your mind in all directions?

The mind can be a soothsayer, but it struggles to calm down and accept reality as it is. The mind tends to wander more frequently in the past or brood on the future than staying in the present, implying that our mind is not calm and is enmeshed in the complex web of imaginations and useless thoughts. The article will give you an insight into a mindful lifestyle and the benefits one can gain by adopting it. Furthermore, we will discuss the challenges of practicing a mindful lifestyle and how one can practice mindfulness.

Definition of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is reawakening oneself to the present rather than ruminating on the past and worrying about the future. To live mindfully, one must be aware of all sensory perceptions and be in the present moment both physically and mentally. The focus is on everything that is immediately surrounding one’s mind, body and soul. 

Developing mindfulness can be used as a strategy to objectively observe and identify thoughts, feelings, and sensations in the body without automatically succumbing to self-criticism and judgment. This can help one to better manage challenging emotions, that otherwise override our mental faculties.

History of Mindfulness

Since ancient times, people have used mindfulness techniques. They go back all the way to when Buddhism emerged as a spiritual path: the Buddhist concept of ‘Sati,’ relates to the “moment-to-moment awareness of present events.” Buddhism was founded somewhere in the fifth century BCE by Siddhartha Gautama (who after attaining Nirvana was called Buddha). Nevertheless, Thomas William Rhys Davids, a British magistrate in Galle in erstwhile Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), recognized the term ‘mindfulness’ as the most accurate translation of the Buddhist idea of Sati in 1881. This led to the current translation of Sati to mindfulness. While mindfulness was widely practiced in the East, it didn’t make its mark in the West until the 1970s. Jon Kabat-Zinn is considered responsible for the emergence of mindfulness in Western culture. 

Under the guidance of various Buddhist masters like Philip Kapleau and Thich Nhat Hanh, Kabat-Zinn learned mindfulness. 

He created a program called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) while serving as professor emeritus of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the late 1970s. The course aimed to help patients to cope with pain and stress that is associated with chronic illnesses. Research showed that that patients would frequently strive to escape discomfort, but doing so ended up causing them greater misery. Kabat-Zinn concluded that the more successful method was mindfulness training.

Mindfulness involves two key aspects

  1. Awareness: It entails being consciously aware of your inner thoughts and feelings in the current moment. This means being having presence of mind in the present moment and acknowledging whatever emotions and thoughts you may be experiencing. With practice, being mindful can lead to a greater sense of understanding and a deeper connection with yourself.
  2. Acceptance: It is the ability to observe and accept thoughts without any evaluation or avoidance. Acceptance encourages you to observe objectively and learn from your experiences in a non-biased manner. This helps you to cultivate compassion and kindness towards yourself and ultimately leads to deeper self-understanding and self-love.

                                                          To be continued… Part 2 discusses the benefits of mindfulness and how to successfully practice it to your advantage.

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Let your mind exercise well!

In this write-up, we’ll uncover the miraculous power of meditation and learn why it’s indispensable to practice it and to add to your everyday life. We will also explore its religious roots and explain the goal of meditation, including a fool proof guide on how to get started. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of how to use meditation to be more at one with yourself.

Meditation: What is it?

Meditation is an archaic skill that’s been proficient for thousands of years, yet, there is still a misconception that meditation is only practiced by saints and mahatmas sitting with crossed legs on the hilltop. In reality, meditation is something that anyone can do, and it can enormously improve one’s life. Meditation is an act of self-calming. You let go of what you cannot control and strive to boost clarity. This action is one of voluntary commitment and not a directive. In the practice of meditation, you make a promise to yourself and your goal and gain insight into your identity. Meditation is a technique for relaxing the mind in which one tries to clear all the thoughts, worries, and stress. 

What are the benefits of engaging in regular meditation practice?

Meditation is a substantial practice that holds many benefits in one life.

  1.  Increase your self-awareness: Meditation is a tool for calming your mind and concentrating on your thoughts, ultimately allowing you to come face-to-face with the real you, thus enabling you to gain a better understanding of yourself.
  2. Reduce your stress: Meditation helps to relax the body and mind and reduce the production of cortisol, the stress hormone.
  3. Improve your concentration: Meditation works wonders in developing concentration. It increases the capacity of the brain to process information, enabling us to think more clearly and efficiently.
  4.  Healthy sleep patterns: Meditation helps to slow down the racing thoughts that interfere with sleep, making it easier to relax and drift off into a deep sleep at night.
  5. Enhanced Immunity: Meditation can boost the body’s immune system, helping to ward off infections and illnesses.

Meditation and Religious Practice 

Though the nature of meditation is not religious but, the meditation practice has been associated with religious traditions. During meditation, one will sit still in a comfortable body position, most often in the dhyana mudra, which involves keeping your hands open and laying on your lap, with your thumbs lightly touching. This allows your focus to be single-pointed, turning inward towards the divine. However, one has not had to be compulsorily religious to engage in meditation practices.

Goal of Meditation

From a young age, we have been solely educated only to observe and verify things in the external world. No one has ever taught us to look inside, find ourselves, and recognize our genuine being. Hence, this lack of self-awareness results in our difficulty to connect with others, leaving us feeling disoriented and let down in life. The goal of meditation is to uncover the true self. Meditating go beyond the mind and connect with our true state of peace, love, and bliss. The mind, which is usually unruly and disobedient, can prove to be an obstacle when trying to do so. It is normal to experience daydreams, fantasies, and even hallucinations when first attempting to still the mind and achieve meditation. Nevertheless, the effort is worth it to experience the genuine tranquillity of meditation.

Preparatory step for Meditation

  1. Fix a time schedule: Fix a particular time to meditate. Early morning between 3:30 and 5:30 is Brahma muhurta and also, the mind is more refreshed, calm, and peaceful. This time of the day is dominated by sattva guna which signifies purity in the mind and in the atmosphere too.
  2. Choose a location: Pick a place that is comfortable, quiet, and free of distractions.
  3. Get Comfortable Position: Find a position in which you are comfortable, whether it’s sitting in a chair, cross-legged on the floor, or laying down. 
  4. Set a Timer: Set a timer for the length of time that you’re going to meditate to ensure you don’t become lost in the practice. 
  5. Focus on Your Breath: Concentrate on your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Notice the sensation of air entering and exiting your nostrils. 
  6. Observe Your Thoughts: When thoughts arise, acknowledge them without judgment, and then let them pass away.
  7.  Practice Non-Attachment: Let go of any attachment to the outcome of your practice and allow yourself to observe the present moment.
  8. Make a Commitment: Commit to practicing meditation on a regular basis, no matter how long or short the sessions are.
  9.  Close Your Practice: When the timer goes off, take a few moments to reflect on your experience before bringing your awareness back into the present moment.

Meditation can be an effective tool to help us connect more deeply with our inner selves. By practicing meditation regularly, we can gain a greater understanding of ourselves, leading to better physical and mental health, improved focus, and a greater sense of peace and well-being. With its diverse benefits, meditation can be an invaluable part of our journey toward greater self-awareness and self-compassion.

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Building Healthy Boundaries for Remote Work

With a drastic rise in remote work and the advanced use of technology, work, and life has become more intertwined. Unlike an office job, remote work does not offer equal physical boundaries. In this writing, we will explore why it is of the utmost importance to set relationship boundaries when working remotely. Moreover, we will confer the importance of setting boundaries, how to do this effectively, and how to manage a remote team environment with boundaries in place. We will also cover certain boundaries related to work and the home.

If you are feeling stressed working remotely, then you are not alone. It has been observed by Blue Jeans in a survey that many remote workers who are new to this kind of work are notching up more hours of work than usual, which could be a result of feeling the pressure to work from home. As technology has advanced, remote work has become increasingly common. Though there are many benefits to remote work, as it allows for greater flexibility in schedules and the lives of workers around the world, it can be tough to set a line between professional and personal relationships. Without these lines, remote workers can experience burnout, stress, and feelings of isolation. Additionally, remote workers may be less likely to develop meaningful relationships with their peers, as there is less of an opportunity to build strong connections through in-person interactions. To ensure a successful remote working environment, it is necessary to establish clear boundaries between work and personal life, set achievable goals, maintain regular communication with colleagues, and take necessary breaks. Additionally, remote workers should take advantage of virtual tools, such as video conferencing, to stay connected with their team. By these proactive steps, remote workers can maximize the potential benefits of working from home while avoiding the risks associated with the remote working lifestyle.

Relationship boundaries in remote working

Relationship boundaries are essentially invisible lines that help to maintain healthy relationships and prevent people from feeling taken advantage of, uncomfortable, or violated. In remote working, these boundaries are

1. Avoid communication with a co-worker outside of working hours.

2. Avoid discussing personal matters.

3. Maintaining professional language and behavior.

4. Do not engage in any physical contact. 

Furthermore, it is imperative to be clear and consistent when setting and communicating expectations, so that everyone knows what the boundaries are, what is acceptable behavior and communication, and what is not. Respect and politeness should also be an integral part of any remote working relationship, and any boundary violations should be addressed immediately and resolved as soon as possible.

Always remember that boundaries are flexible and can evolve as the relationship and working conditions develop.

 Boundaries around work

 It’s better to define healthy boundaries around work. As many employees have shifted to working from home, employers and employees alike are coming to realize the advantages of remote working. However, it is also true that remote working comes with its own set of challenges. In order to overcome certain challenges, it is necessary to set certain boundaries.

1. Set specific timeframes for when to start and when to stop the work: If you are working around the clock, it can leave you feeling burnt out and counterproductive. Working remotely gives us the flexibility of when to work. However, it shouldn’t mean always being available. When we set timeframes, we create structure and self-discipline. It also helps us to be more aware of where our time and energy are going during the workday. Having an established start and end time also helps to focus and prioritize what needs to be done in the allocated time while avoiding procrastination. Knowing that at a certain point of the day, you have to wrap things up encourages us to complete our tasks in a timely manner.

2. Establish Clear Areas of Responsibility: With remote working often comes the need to establish clear areas of responsibility. Without clear boundaries when it comes to understanding roles and tasks, problems can quickly arise. It is paramount to clearly define roles and responsibilities beforehand so that everyone is aware of their duties and responsibilities. When everyone has clarity over which tasks they are responsible for, it can reduce confusion and frustration.

3. Set Deadlines: Setting deadlines while working remotely can help us to stay motivated to finish tasks and can be essential in avoiding procrastination. Deadlines provide a sense of structure to our day and allow us to stay productive. They allow us to break up our tasks into achievable pieces and personalize our workflow to fit our personal needs. Whether you prefer to work on one big task for the day or break up your work into small mini-tasks, setting personal deadlines can help you stay motivated and on track.

Boundaries around the home

Establishing boundaries around the home is vital for soothing stress and maintaining productivity. In order to set clear expectations, some boundaries need to be outlined:

  1.  Designate a specific workspace within the home. Consider that space as the ‘office’ and use it solely for work-related activity. The space should remain free of any kind of distractions to ensure that you can focus completely on work tasks.
  2.  When you’ve finished work for the day, it’s necessary to leave that space and step away from your computer. 
  3. Communicate to your family that you’re in the workplace, they must refrain from contacting you unless it’s an urgent matter.Always remember

Structure in the age of remote work is much more challenging because you have fewer natural boundaries. But for a more productive, enjoyable, and sustainable lifestyle, one must establish relationship boundaries in remote working to manage personal and professional relationships. It is important to remember that boundaries are different for everyone, and it is up to each individual to decide what is best for themselves. Creating a set of regulations and guidelines will help to maintain a sense of clarity, respect, and trust between colleagues. This will help create a sense of comfort and security in the workspace, ultimately resulting in a more productive and successful working environment.

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Relapse is not an indication of failure!

The following article explores the concept of relapse as an opportunity for growth and reflection. We will delve into the meaning of relapse and discuss the causes of relapse while providing strategies for developing resilience and self-awareness to prevent it in the future. Relapse can be a daunting and shameful experience for many people, but with the right mindset and approach, it can become a powerful tool for personal growth and development. By examining what led to the relapse and identifying areas of vulnerability, we can learn how to avoid similar situations in the future and become more resilient. Furthermore, relapse can provide an opportunity for reflection on our values and practicing self-care.

What is Relapse?

Relapse is a common occurrence in the recovery process of substance use disorder, mental health issues, and other behavioral health challenges. It is the reoccurrence of precarious substance usage or behaviors that can lead to feelings of shame and guilt. However, if approached appropriately, relapse can be a powerful tool for personal growth and development.

The nature of Relapse

Understanding the nature of relapse is crucial in preparing for the potential of its occurrence. It is important to assert and accept that relapse can sometimes be a part of the healing process and not an indication of weakened motivation or a failure on the path to recovery. People in recovery often get diverted from their plans due to triggers such as stress, emotions, or even boredom. These triggers can lead to a relapse, and it’s important to note that it does not always occur abruptly. It can be a gradual process that begins with small lapses in sobriety, such as having a few drinks or using several drugs. Generally, relapse occurs in patients who have been receiving treatment for a long time. However, it does not mean that one has to commence the treatment from the initial stage but rather, an adjustment in the treatment is necessary.

There are several triggers of relapse:

1. Stressful Life Events: Life transitions such as losing a loved one, divorce, job loss, or illness can heighten stress levels and trigger a relapse.

2. Poor Coping Skills: Some individuals have difficulty coping with difficult situations and may turn to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism, making them more susceptible to relapse.

3. Unsupportive Environment: Lack of support or understanding from family and friends can make it difficult to maintain sobriety and may lead to relapse.

4. Overconfidence in Recovery: Individuals who feel overly confident during the treatment process may prematurely end treatment, only for the illness to resurface later.

5. Challenging Emotions: Negative emotions such as sadness, loneliness, shame, guilt, or anger can trigger cravings and may lead to relapse if not addressed appropriately.

Some people are bad at coping-up with any difficult situation in life, and these people are more prone to relapse. If family and friends do not provide adequate support or do not understand the challenges of recovery, it can create an arduous atmosphere for staying sober. There are people who are overly confident during the treatment process, and they might cease their treatment prematurely if they are feeling better, only for the illness to come back later. Substance abuse can be often sparked by negative emotions such as sadness, loneliness, shame, guilt, or anger, and when faced with those same emotions during recovery, the brain’s instinct may be to turn to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism, triggering cravings.

After relapsing, it’s important to turn the experience into an opportunity for growth. Several steps can be taken to prevent future relapses.

1. Identify the cause of your relapse: Reflect on the circumstances and triggers that led to your relapse. Was it a stressful life event, poor coping skills, lack of support, or overconfidence in your recovery? Understanding the root cause can help you avoid similar situations in the future and develop strategies to cope with them.

2. Be vocal with your support system: Reach out to your support system, whether it’s family, friends, or a sober network. Share your experience and utilize this opportunity to strengthen your connections. Be open and honest about your struggles, and seek their guidance and support to help you stay on track.

3. Be honest with your treatment needs: If your relapse involved multiple slips, it may be time to reassess your treatment needs. Consider seeking detox or returning to inpatient treatment. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and be honest about the treatment that is necessary for your recovery.

4. Make healthy choices: Taking a proactive approach to your recovery can help you prevent relapse in the future. Make healthy choices, such as setting healthy boundaries, eating nutritious food, avoiding stressors, seeking support from a sober network, limiting contact with triggers, and ensuring that your environment is safe and supportive. Remember, relapse is not a failure but an opportunity for growth and development. By taking the necessary steps to identify the cause of your relapse, seeking support, being honest with your treatment needs, and making healthy choices, you can overcome your challenges and continue on the path to recovery.

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The Art of Moving On: Taking Steps Towards Healing

The article explores the importance of healing and moving on after a difficult time. We’ll discuss the challenges of overcoming trauma and grief and provide practical tips for recovery. We’ll also discuss the power of self-care, the value of seeking professional help, and the benefits of connecting with peers. Additionally, we shall highlight the importance of finding a balance in life and taking the time to acknowledge our feelings. We understand that the journey to healing can be arduous, and takes courage to take the first steps. We hope this article can provide insight and guidance to help you.

The healing process is an incredibly personal journey, and the art of moving on is a decisive part of it. Learning to move on from a difficult situation or experience can be challenging, but it is also necessary in order to make progress on the path to healing. Let’s delve into the steps you can take toward healing from trauma. 

Strategies for Coping with Trauma

1. Understand your emotions: Don’t hesitate to expose your real sentiments during this tricky period. Make sure to invest time in pinpointing the array of feelings you’re experiencing and work through them instead of trying to overlook them.

2. Look after yourself: Don’t neglect yourself. Allot time for self-attention and ensure you consume nutritious meals and get adequate rest.

3. Interact with acquaintances: Interact with friends and relatives, participate in a help circle or consult a psychologist if required. Communicating can aid in decreasing emotions of alienation and turmoil.

4. Recognize the challenge: Although it could be tempting to act bravely, it is essential to admit the hardship that accompanies a downturn. It is alright to weep, giggle, or be livid.

5. Cultivate awareness: Live in the moment throughout your daily activities and nurture realization. Recognize your emotions, and don’t attempt to disregard the grazed.

6. Solicit aid: If you’re having difficulty managing your sorrows, don’t be worried about appealing for expert assistance. A specialist or adviser can give the care and direction necessary to aid you through this sturdy period.

Identifying the Roadblocks to Moving On

Moving on can be a difficult process of emotional growth, but understanding common roadblocks can help you take more control of your emotional healing. Grief and anxiety, in particular, are two of the most common emotional roadblocks that can stand in the way of letting go and moving forward. Awareness of indicators of bereavement and worry can assist you to distinguish and deal with the dilemmas that are impeding you from psychological recuperation. Symptoms may dwell in physical and psychological fatigue, sleep disturbances, difficulty concentrating, alterations in hunger, and sentiments of despair, fury, and misery. Warning signs of nervousness can incorporate physical reactions like accelerated breathing, chest pressure, tiredness, and difficulty sleeping. People who have uneasiness can likewise feel a sensation of dread, concern, and powerlessness.

In case you notice any of the indications, it is essential to receive professional aid. A mental health specialist can help you to comprehend your triggers and feelings, and give you the methods and encouragement you need to move ahead. Additionally, engaging in activities such as exercise, meditating, jotting down your thoughts, and mindfulness can all contribute to reducing the signs of sorrow and tension and enhance emotional healing. Ultimately, keeping mindful of your opinions and being conscious of the truth can aid in achieving a healthier and more balanced outlook. By taking these actions, you may start to seize control of your psychological healing and advance.

The art of moving on is an ongoing process that requires effort and dedication. It involves confronting the pain, understanding the reasons why it happened, and learning how to process and heal from it. With patience and a willingness to work through the pain, it is possible to move on and begin to heal.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Video Sessions in the Therapy World

Video Sessions

During Covid-19, video sessions Telehealth has become a convenient method in providing services for both practitioners and clients. What advantages are there to this form of treatment when it comes to counseling and therapy? The obvious factor is time. This method helps those with busy schedules save valuable time in traffic getting to the appointment. This form of treatment also expands care to those who would otherwise not be able to make it to the session, such as women with babies or young children or people with physical/emotional disabilities that prevent them from leaving the home regularly.

In order to increase safety during Covid-19, video sessions have also become popular. On one hand, this method provides ease and removes barriers. This major advantage allows underserved populations to gain the support during critical times. On the other hand, what are the implications of video sessions on the therapeutic relationship?

There is something about the in-person connection that appears to be very healing for those struggling with certain issues, especially depression. The basis of psychotherapy is the therapeutic relationship and how technology affects that relationship is important to discuss. In my experience, it’s been easier to work with clients who may have already started the therapy process in person and then transitioned to some form of tele-therapy that works for their schedule and lifestyle. The initial connection has been formed and then the therapy process is able to sustain the issues that technology poses. I have found it much more difficult to begin the therapy process using technology initially with clients. Those who were already in therapy prior to COVID-19 already established that supportive relationship with their psychologist or therapist, making it easier to adapt to the changes that have come along with COVID-19. Another disadvantage is that there is no way to completely guarantee privacy or confidentiality with the use of tablets and computers for video sessions.

From a clinical perspective, video sessions can easily create interruptions that are not part of traditional therapy. As a therapist, it’s pertinent to pay attention to the non-verbal communications that occur that can easily go unnoticed with video sessions. Clarifying and slowing down the therapy process may help clinicians and therapists within a session recognize the non-verbal cues that can often times go unnoticed with video sessions. Utilizing the advantages while minimizing the disadvantages of video sessions is key in approaching therapeutic work using technology.

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What Questions Should I Ask My Health Insurance Company Regarding Mental Health Benefits?

Health Insurance

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  1. Is mental health coverage included and what services? The most common CPT code that can be provided when calling to verify benefits for a 60-minute therapy session is 90837.
  2. Do I met my deductible yet? If not, what portion of the sessions am I responsible for until the deductible is met? What portion of my sessions am I responsible for once my deductible has been met?
  3. Is there a limit to the number of sessions per week, month, or year?
  4. What conditions qualify for treatment?

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