About David Joel Miller

David Miller is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Clinical Counselor, faculty member at a local college, certified trainer and writer.

What is your stress mindset?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Stressed

Feeling stressed out?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How stress affects you depends on your stress mindset.

When we say something is stressful, most people think of this as a bad thing. Some stress is harmful. But sometimes stress can be helpful. Research tells us that without stress hormones, you might have difficulty getting out of bed in the morning. Stress hormones can divert blood flow to muscles making you run faster. A little bit of stress can also improve your alertness and attention. How your stress affects you depends on your stress mindset.

We experience stress in two different situations. There’s the ongoing kind of stress that comes from a demanding job or challenging home situation. If you’re unemployed, that’s stressful. Stress can also be the result of a sudden need to perform well. Going for that big job interview, that can be significantly stressful also. Having an unexpected significant challenge, making a speech, finishing a project, or taking a big test can all be stressful.

What will happen to you when you’re faced with a challenge? Are you one of those people who fall apart under stress? Or are you the type of person that can rise to the occasion, for whom stress brings out the best in you? How stress will affect you is likely to be the result of the thing some psychologists describe as your stress mindset.

Do you have a negative stress mindset?

If you face stress with the belief that this is awful, harmful, and debilitating, you have a negative stress mindset. People with a negative stress mindset repeatedly experience stressful events as unpleasant, or debilitating. They worry about things in advance. A negative stress mindset makes it more difficult to cope with a challenging task.

People with a negative stress mindset often believe they do not have the resources necessary to cope with the stressor and experience the challenge as exhausting. If you expect things to be stressful, you will try to avoid them rather than trying something new which may be beneficial.

What’s a positive stress mindset?

People who see stress positively believe that it can improve their focus. They see challenges as opportunities to up their game. For them, stress increases their motivation. The challenging activity provides them a chance to learn and grow as well as to display their talents to others. As the pressure rises, their performance improves.

People who have a positive stress mindset, when faced with a difficult task, look for ways to cope with the challenge. They view this challenge as an opportunity for learning and growth. They are likely to come out of the experience energized regardless of the outcome.

People who believe in the potential positive outcomes from stress are less likely to be overwhelmed by difficult life circumstances.

How can you cope with pressure?

Developing a positive stress mindset can improve your ability to cope with pressure. Think of pressure as another form of exercise. Avoiding exercise results in you becoming weaker. Avoiding anything stressful reduces your ability to cope. Look for small things that you can do to challenge herself to develop better coping-skills when under stress.

Learn to interpret those butterflies in your stomach as excitement rather than thinking of them as a warning of danger. Preparing in advance for the possible stressful event can reduce that feeling of stress. A big test will be more stressful if you haven’t studied for the exam. Practicing needed skills until they are automatic will make you more confident in performance situations. But all that preparation will not help you if you interpret challenges with a negative stress mindset.

Look for the positive benefits of challenging situations.

Developing a positive stress mindset includes learning to view each new challenge as an opportunity to grow and improve. When faced with the unexpected situation, look for the potential positive outcomes. Ruminating about what could go wrong will make the event more stressful. Focusing on opportunities will reduce the feeling of stress.

To reduce stress, don’t listen to your inner critic.

Putting yourself down doesn’t improve your performance. Most of us have an inner critic telling us we are not good enough. Critics criticize. Those who accomplish things in life ignore their inner critic and move forward. If you expect to do poorly, your performance will sink to the level your brain expects.

For more on this topic see:     Stress or Productivity

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Dark Family Secrets: Some family secrets can be deadly.

What if your family secrets put you in danger?

Letters from the Dead The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking, and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders, see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

Advertisements

Risk.

Risk.

Risk.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Never was anything great achieved without danger.”

― Niccolò Machiavelli

“Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.”

― Dali Lama

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life”

― Muhammad Ali

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Drug Counseling Video #4 Treatment Planning.

Drug Counseling Video #4 Treatment Planning.

Treatment planning for drug and alcohol counseling. Planning for treatment of all the parts of the client’s life that have been affected by a drug and alcohol use disorder. Services the drug program will provide, and services to which the client will be referred. The difference between referrals and linkages. Consent to release confidential information. Referrals and consultation.

How to stop procrastination.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Time running out

Procrastination.

To avoid procrastination do the hardest thing first.

Having an unpleasant chore hanging over your head creates a lot of stress. Doing things that are unpleasant now for a future benefit tends to get put off. Putting off that unpleasant chore and dealing with what is hanging over your head uses up a lot of energy. You’re only going to have so much willpower and when it’s gone nothing gets accomplished. By doing the hard thing first, you make the rest of your day that much easier. Completing a task you didn’t want to do, can give you a feeling of accomplishment and make you feel extra productive. With that one big thing off your list, you can breeze through several smaller chores.

Increase your productivity by creating a second morning.

If you’re one of those people who is most productive first thing in the day, but your productivity drops off as the day progresses, consider breaking your day into two segments. When you come back from lunch or shortly after that, revise your to-do list. Crossing off the things you’ve already completed will give you a sense of accomplishment. Begin the second part of your day by tackling the remaining “hardest to do” task.

If a new challenging project has cropped up, you can get it out of the way while you still have some energy rather than carrying it over until a tomorrow which may never arrive. This two-part day will leave you with primarily smaller, easier to do things to tackle at the end of your day when your energy is running low.

To defeat procrastination, break difficult projects into chunks.

When we are faced with large projects, they seem overwhelming. It’s natural to procrastinate when you’re overwhelmed. Breaking a large project into smaller parts allows you to whittle that project down to a manageable size. Tackle the overwhelming the same way you would eat an elephant, one bite at a time.

Do a time challenge to reduce procrastination.

Your day can slip by in those short 10-minute intervals between other things. When you have 10 or 15 minutes left before the next thing you need to do, or place you need to go, set a time challenge. Don’t tell yourself you don’t have enough time. Ask yourself how much of this project can I get done in these 10 or 15 minutes, I have available to work on my project.

Increase your focus by reducing your distractions.

Close your email browser. Turn off your cell phone. Close the door to your office if you can. When I’m writing, I wear a pair of headphones playing relaxing background music. This keeps me from being distracted by conversations and sounds in the environment. If you’re only going to have 10 minutes to work on something, give it your full attention.

Perfection is the enemy of productivity.

Trying to do everything perfectly can result in you getting nothing accomplished. The illusion that you need to write a perfect book has kept many a would-be writer from ever finishing their book. Some things only need to be good enough. Productive writers know that you must start by producing a messy, imperfect, first draft before they have something to revise and edit. Ask yourself just how perfect this project needs to be. Invest your time and energy into the important things rather than trying to do less critical tasks perfectly.

Don’t wait until you can make time to do something.

The idea that you can “make time” to do something you have been putting off is a mirage. There’s no way to make any more time. Each week consists of 168 hours. If you want to be financially stable, you need a money budget. If you’re going to be productive, you need to budget your time. You may be able to borrow money, but you can’t borrow time and pay it back next week. Create a time budget. Invest a little of your time each day into getting something accomplished, and at the end of the week, you can see how small investments of time compound.

Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do.

Focusing on how much you must do and how hard it will be to do it uses up a lot of time that could be better spent working on the tasks at hand. Narrow your vision to the one thing on your to-do list. Get as much done on that thing as you can, using the time and resources you have. If you tell yourself, you can’t do something you won’t be able to do it. Tell yourself you can do it and watch what can happen.

Avoid procrastination by making a public commitment.

Announce your projects to the world. Tell a friend. Tell your family. Tell someone at work. Once you’ve announced that you are going to do something positive, peer pressure will increase your motivation to get it done. When we tell ourselves what we are going to do, it’s easy to lie to yourself. When you have told someone else what you plan to do, there’s an extra incentive to get it done.

Plan a project-marathon.

If you’re the type of person who works best in chunks, block off an afternoon, or a day, and challenge yourself to see how much you can get done when you work on one thing and only that one thing for a set period. I sign up each year for NaNoWriMo (the national novel writing month contest.) I commit to trying to write a 50,000-word novel during the 30 days of November. Having that self-imposed deadline has resulted in my finishing novels three years in a row. These novels are first drafts and need a lot of revision but participating in these writing marathons gets something accomplished.

Why do you procrastinate?

Most people procrastinate because they have too many things on their to-do list. Why you procrastinate is not as important as learning how to put an end to the procrastination monster. Learn to say no. Scratch some things off that to-do list. Make it a point to decide what’s important and do that first. Once you’ve simplified your to-do list, apply some of the anti-procrastination tips in this blog post, and watch your productivity sore.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller.

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Dark Family Secrets: Some family secrets can be deadly.

What if your family secrets put you in danger?

Letters from the Dead The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking, and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

Impulsive.

Impulsive.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Impulsive.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”

― Vincent Van Gogh

“Men are driven by two principal impulses, either by love or by fear.”

― Niccolò Machiavelli, The Discourses

“…our impulses are too strong for our judgment sometimes”

― Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. There are an estimated 100,000 words in the English language that are feelings related. Some emotions are pleasant, and some are unpleasant, but all feelings can provide useful information. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Drug Counseling Video #3 Clinical Evaluation.

Drug Counseling Video #3 Clinical Evaluation.

Drug Counseling, Clinical Evaluation, Screening, Assessment, and Crisis Intervention. In drug counseling when is assessment done? Types of assessment, how to assess. The two types of collateral and why it may be important. Diagnosis of drug use disorders. Recognizing behavioral addictions.

Grow Your Power.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

No Power?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Empowerment – growing your power.

Ever wish you had more power? Would you like to be more in control of your own life? Do you feel helpless to change your life? There are ways to increase your power, be more effective and have more of the things you want in life.

No matter how much or how little power you feel you have today, you can begin to grow that sense of personal power, step by step, starting today.

You may have learned to be helpless, been in a situation where no matter what you did, you were told you were wrong. Your efforts may have been invalidated and unrewarded. People may have taught you to be helpless. If you learned to be helpless you can unlearn that way of thinking.

Right now, what are you doing to enlarge your feelings of personal power? If not today, when will you begin to take control of your life?  Here are some ways to grow that personal power.

Look for areas in your life where you can take control.

If you focus only on the areas that are out of your control, you become debilitated and paralyzed. Focus on your choices.

When you think you have no control, you make it so. You may be in a situation where you are dependent on others. You have more control than you think. You may not be able to control your situation or surroundings, but you can control your attitude. You can think like a victim, or you can think like a survivor and be a participant in your life.

Look for help or a mentor to develop your skills.

If you are in a low power situation, an abusive relationship or poverty, look for resources that can help you. Teachers, counselors, or mentors can help you to grow your power.

Can’t find a person to help you? Look for books on changing your life.

Begin making your own decisions.

Look for areas in your life where you can decide for yourself. Large or small, it does not matter, begin the process of thinking about how you feel about things and what you want. Cultivate the habit of making as many decisions about your life as possible. Especially pay attention to how you feel about things. If you feel helpless you may be giving up your power to someone else without even noticing you are giving your control away.

Try new things to grow your self-esteem.

Are you going for ice cream? Look for a new flavor to try. You may like it. You may not. Check off that one from your to-do list. The more experiences you have in life, the more you can adapt to change. Like it or not change is a part of life. Doing a wider variety of activities increases your sense of competency.

Volunteering to help others make you more confident.

This is a great way to try on new behaviors. In 12 step groups, people will become secretaries of meetings or chair a meeting. The experience of trying on a new behavior can increase your self-confidence. You may surprise yourself with how well you can do something.

Practice leadership to improve your confidence.

In many residential treatment facilities, the group selects client officials. Each week as clients come and go, these officials change. Clients frequently tell me this was the first time in their lives they have been in a leadership role. They discover talents they never knew they had.

Do something for yourself to feel more confident.

Taking good care of you is not being selfish. You can’t be of service to others if you don’t have it to give. Self-care is important. Making yourself a priority tells you that you are worth being cared for. Feeling good about yourself, knowing you mater will enlarge your sense of personal power and control of your life.

Make something “your own.”

Find something that brings joy to your life. Do you have a favorite author? Which sports team is “your” team? Do you crochet? Do you cook Italian? What interest or activity says, “you?” What is your religion or spiritual connection?  Feeling that there is something you connect to makes you feel more anchored, more a part of the community.

You’re going to spend your whole life with you. Invest some time in getting to know you.

Learning a new skill will make you feel more competent.

Expanding your skills is a great way to make you feel more competent and useful. Is there something you always wanted to try? If not now, when will you do this? Look for someone in your life who has this skill and ask them to teach you. Go to places where people who have this skill hang out and learn from them. Clubs, online blogs, and short-term classes are all great sources of information. Stores sometimes teach courses on how to use the products they sell.

Get more education or training, and you will feel more confident.

Opportunities for education and training are more available than at any time in history.  There are plenty of adults of all ages back in school, learning a new skill. Check out some of the online tutorials which show you how to do something. Staying current on your skills makes you feel better about yourself.

There are some suggestions for creating empowerment and growing your personal power. Have you found any other ways to feel more competent and in charge of your life?

Leave a comment and share with the rest of us the things you have done to empower yourself and grow that personal power.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Dark Family Secrets: Some family secrets can be deadly.

What if your family secrets put you in danger?

Letters from the Dead The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking, and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.