Monday, April 29, 2019

4 Ways to Develop Frustration Tolerance 

Instead of being overwhelmed by emotions, learn to accept and react accordingly with these tips. 


Adobe Stock/Prostock-studio
For most, leading a balanced life—between work and play, time with loved ones, friends and for self-care—is the goal. But the realities of life make attaining that balance sometimes seem impossible.
Major life disruptions, like losing a loved one, going through a divorce, having a serious illness or losing a job, can be stressful and emotional. While some can manage those emotions well, for others, these changes create feelings of frustration and upset which can result in panic, anxiety and frantic attempts to restore order.
Low frustration tolerance can lead to chronic feelings of depression, anxiety and dissatisfaction, so it’s important to strengthen your ability to tolerate frustration. Doing so means you’ll be better equipped to deal with life’s unpredictability, ultimately helping you overcome obstacle. Optimal Frustration Tolerance, a term associated with Self-Psychology, has to do with our ability to manage feelings of frustration in ways that lead to emotional growth and the development of new coping skills.
Here are four ways to strengthen your frustration tolerance.
  1. Accept feelings of frustration. Frustration is a normal human emotion. The more you fight it, the longer those feelings will linger.  
  2. Ride out frustration. Sitting with our feelings before reacting is necessary for finding effective solutions to issues. Being emotionally overwhelmed can be a hindrance to finding those solutions.
  3. Practice mindfulness. Frustration tolerance is a learned behavior. Mindfulness helps with being able to slow down your mind and body when feeling anxious. Ultimately, you’ll be in a better place to come up with better solutions to obstacles. 
  4. Talk to a mental health professional. Therapy can be a great way to examine and improve frustration tolerance.

Monday, November 19, 2018

5 Ways to Digitally Detox 

Consider taking time off from your devices to boost mental and physical health. 

Fotolia//Farknot Architect
The average American spends more than 10 hours each day glued to their screens. It’s no wonder: A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that eight in 10 Americans have a Facebook profile, 32 percent have an Instagram account and 24 percent are on Twitter. By 2020, it’s predicted that worldwide social media users will reach 2.95 billion people.
Because of our connectivity, we spend an average of two hours every day sharing, liking, tweeting and updating on these platforms. Unsurprisingly, spending hours looking at our screens increases our risk for depression, anxiety and loneliness. Plus, we rob ourselves of time that could be used for personal and emotional development.
This season, kick the habit and try a digital detox.  
  1. Catch up in person. Cultivating emotional intimacy is necessary for close relationships. It’s important to feel and see emotion face-to-face, not just through a digital filter. Although texting and messaging is useful, try finding a balance between in person and digital interactions.
  2. Do something creative. Paint, draw, write or knit—just engage in creative activities. Doing so improves our mood and decreases anxiety. When you do these activities, you establish a flow, in which sense of time and space recedes and our concentration, enjoyment, energy and focus kicks into high gear. 
  3. Connect with nature. Go for a walk, hike or run. Sitting in front of a screen for hours is not only bad for our health, it’s also bad for our emotional well-being. Studies show that just looking at flowers, trees and bodies of water dramatically improves mood, lowers anxiety and cultivates feelings of connection.
  4. Be present. Living in the digital age means multi-tasking. Recent studies indicate a strong connection between multi-tasking, diminished concentration and higher levels of anxiety. Commit to practicing mindfulness meditation at least once a day while on a digital detox.
  5. Set daily goals. Ask yourself what you’d like to achieve each day. In the digital age, we’re so focused on getting as much done as possible, that we forget to concentrate on the quality of each individual task we are undertaking and the way we feel while completing them.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Are You In a Relationship with a Narcissist?

Four tips for dealing with those with NPD. 


Fotolia//Worldley Calvo Stock
Does this scenario sound familiar:
“My dad is so self-centered. He only talks about himself; he’s never interested in what’s going on in my life or in my kids’ lives. He gets angry over the littlest misunderstandings.”
Or perhaps this scenario sounds like someone you know:
“Lately, when I’m with my girlfriend, I feel so alone. All she does is take selfies, posts them on social media, and then stares at her phone for hours to see how many likes or comments she gets.”
If either of those scenarios sound familiar, chances are you’re in a relationship with a narcissist. Being in a relationship with someone who has narcissist traits or been diagnosed by a mental health professional with narcissist personality disorder (NPD) can be difficult.
At the core of NPD is an inability to receive or give love. To be officially diagnosed with NPD, a person must demonstrate certain behaviors and attitudes, like a grandiose sense of self-importance, exaggerations of achievements and talents, and expectations of recognition and admiration.
Those with NPD often react with rage, hostility and aggression to criticism, whether real or imagined. They also struggle with empathy and are unable to recognize or identify others’ emotional needs.
Studies show that most people with NPD or those that have narcissistic characteristics rarely seek treatment. So how can you handle someone with these characteristics? Here are four tips to help navigate these relationships.
  1. Don’t blame yourself. It’s not uncommon for those in a relationship with someone who has NPD to blame themselves for their loved one’s hurtful actions. Remember that he or she is internally struggling with feelings of shame and a fear of rejection.
  2. Learn the signs, causes and symptoms of NPD. Knowing and understanding the signs, symptoms and causes of NPD can help prepare you for when your loved one is more challenging. It can also help you avoid unnecessary conflicts.
  3. Have someone to talk to. Loving someone with NPD or features of the disorder is challenging. Having someone to talk is a form of self care. Consider joining a support group, talking with a mental health professional, or making time to talk to a close friend or family member.
  4. Have a sense of humor. When appropriate, use humor when dealing with egocentric behaviors. Making a harmless joke, breaking into benign laughter or cracking a genuine smile can diffuse anger and hostility.