Mental health counseling for Medi-Cal clients in the Fresno California area.

Mental health counseling for Medi-Cal clients in the Fresno California area.

Wanted to share this information with all of you.

Are you still walking on that broken leg?

Confused brain

Mental illness.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

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

Why is it so hard to seek treatment for mental health problems?

If you had a broken leg, most people would head immediately for the hospital to seek treatment. If you’re incredibly drunk or high, you might put off going for treatment until you sober up. That’s a terrible idea. The longer you walk on the broken leg, the more damage you could do.

Not attending to mental health problems is the same thing. There are effective treatments for mental illnesses. Avoiding that treatment doesn’t make a mental illness go away. But some mental illnesses the longer you put off treatment, the more help you will need. Here are some reasons people avoid seeking help for their emotional problems.

Do you think having feelings is a bad thing?

Many people develop the mistaken attitude that feelings are bad, and we shouldn’t have them. Men especially have been prone to this. Society tells you that if your sad, anxious, or afraid, you should ignore those feelings and get back in the game. There’s a difference between acknowledging your feelings, the way you would a physical pain, and allowing those feelings to take control of you.

Feelings are a valuable source of information. When we say that someone makes us sick to our stomach, there are nerve cells wrapped around the stomach and intestine which contract. Have you ever thought that someone was a pain in the neck? When you have that feeling, reach up and rub your neck. You’ll find it is stiff and the muscles have contracted.

Our nervous system sends signals when things are wrong. Some of those signals get interpreted as physical pains, and some get interpreted as feelings. In both cases, the body is trying to tell you something.

Do you feel you should be able to cure yourself of a mental illness?

Many people have the mistaken belief that if they bottle up feelings, those feelings will go away. We learn in anger management classes the bottling up anger allows it to build up steam. The opposite approach, venting your feelings, is just as dangerous. Exploding in anger can send you to jail and permanently destroy relationships.

The middle path, which is the most effective, is to learn to process those feelings and work through them. While you can learn skills to more effectively manage your mental and emotional challenges avoiding treatment for a mental illness is like trying to remove your appendix at home without anesthetic.

Do you expect an instant cure for your mental health problem?

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a pill you could take, and you would magically lose all that extra weight? How many people have tried drugs that are supposed to grow their muscles and make them stronger? When it comes to your physical or mental health, change takes time and effort. It’s better to work on staying mentally healthy then expecting an instant cure for an emotional crisis.

Becoming physically healthy requires that you do the work. So, does becoming mentally and emotionally healthy.

Do you believe that the treatment will be worse than the disease?

Many people believe that treatment for mental illness means they must take medications that often come with severe side effects. There are indeed a few very severe mental illnesses that really require taking medication. And while medication can help with many mental illnesses, both therapy and self-help methods are also effective.

Getting help for mental health issues may involve some effort and some discomfort, but in the long run, you can save yourself a lot of pain by seeking help.

Do you think that therapy will be long, expensive, and painful?

Treatment for mental health problems is more available than it has ever been. Most medical insurance plans also cover mental health. More and more employers are providing employee assistance plan coverage for both mental health and substance use disorder issues.

Some mental health problems can be treated in as little as a single session. Many people find that a few sessions of counseling can help them create a plan for improving their lives and adapting to stress better.

There are newer techniques that don’t require you to revisit all that past pain. Solution-focused therapy helps you craft the solutions rather than stay stuck in the problem. Positive psychology approaches can help you manage your problems by building on your current strengths.

You may believe that going to see a counselor means you are crazy.

Do you sometimes think that if you go for help, you’ve lost control of your life? Seeking help doesn’t mean that it all. Top athletes all have coaches. Lawyers, if they have any sense, don’t represent themselves. Sometimes it can help to get another perspective on the challenges you’re facing. You may not be able to see your own swing, but a coach can tell you what you need to improve on. The same thing goes for a counselor. Sometimes if you’re struggling with life’s challenges, another perspective on your problems can be just what you need.

Do you have mental or emotional problems that would benefit from help? What’s keeping you from seeking out that help?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

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.

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.

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

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.

How is your mental health?

How is your mental health?

Mental Health or Mental Illness

Mental Health or Mental Illness?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

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

Being mentally healthy is more than just not being mentally ill.

There’s a lot of difference between having a physical illness and being healthy. The same thing is true of mental health. Being mentally healthy takes some skills and some practice. Whether you are someone with a mental illness or someone who just has difficulty coping with life, there are ways to become more mentally healthy.

What are some of the characteristics of the mentally healthy person?

Mentally healthy people have goals they’re working towards but see those goals as opportunities. They don’t see themselves as failures because they haven’t reached those goals yet. They adapt to changing circumstances and are continually learning new things. Mentally healthy people can have meaningful relationships with others, and they work on those relationships.

Mentally healthy people experience contentment.

The mentally healthy person has perfected the art of being content. Lots of people mistake excitement, those peak adrenaline experiences, for happiness. Your attitude in life is a significant factor in your mental health. Always chasing the next thing you want can leave you feeling empty. Make sure you pause to enjoy what you have and never underestimate the value of intangible things, like your spiritual beliefs and your friendships.

Life is fun when you’re mentally healthy.

A mentally healthy person enjoys life. They look forward to each day for what it might bring. They don’t avoid life’s challenges but look at those experiences as opportunities. They don’t wake up saying good God its morning. They thank their higher power for another morning.

Mentally healthy people make hope their friend.

Mentally healthy people hold onto the belief that if they try, they can reach their goals. They believe that their efforts will be rewarded. They avoid the belief that their successes are outside their control. People who are high in hope can generate multiple plans to reach their goals, and they don’t get stuck in believing that if one thing doesn’t work, they will never be successful.

The mentally healthy person cultivates resilience.

Things happen. People with mental illness struggle to cope with daily life. Mentally healthy people experience problems in life, but when something destroys their dreams, they build new dreams. Going through difficult times doesn’t mean you’re a terrible person or that life will never get better. Don’t focus on the obstacles; instead, focus on the opportunities. Many of the people who have been highly successful in life had been knocked down multiple times. The reason for their success was often their ability to get back up and try again. Resilience doesn’t mean rigidity. If what you’re doing isn’t working, re-examine your goals and your approaches.

Learning a new skill can improve your opportunities. Developing new and better friendships can also provide you with a support system that carries you through the tough times.

Learn stress management techniques to improve your mental health.

Life can be stressful. Some people experience more stress than others, and some days are more stressful for all of us. But learning to manage your stress rather than getting stuck in it will make you less susceptible to the ill effects of stress.

Mentally healthy people know who they are.

They pursue their goals because they reflect their core values, not someone else’s values. One road to mental health is getting to know yourself, who you really are, at a profound level. Expect that who you are will change across the lifetime as a result of life experiences and the relationships you enter or exit. Cultivate the belief that setbacks are an opportunity for growth in another direction.

Learning to adapt to new situations increases your mental health.

Sometimes we’re faced with challenges, and we don’t like them. Whether you like them or not, the mentally healthy thing to do is to adapt. Rather than staying stuck on what you can’t do, people who take the attitude of looking for what they can do, strengthen their mental health. Learning to adapt to new situations and new technology fosters mental health. Resisting change adds to your stress and harms your mental health.

Keeping your life in balance strengthens your mental health.

Life consists of many segments, like the spokes on a wheel. Meaningful work is an essential part of keeping your life in balance, and that work doesn’t necessarily have to be paid employment. It does need to be something that gives you a feeling of accomplishment.

The other spokes in your life wheel should include relationships, both close intimate family relationships and friendships. Your physical health, religious or spiritual beliefs, and the ability to play and have fun, all contribute to keeping your life in balance and you mentally healthy.

Mentally healthy people feel good about themselves and others.

We found little evidence that beating yourself up for mistakes makes you work harder. The way to increase your self-esteem is to do more worthwhile things. The more things you do, the more room there is for some of those efforts to turn out poorly. Don’t take failing at a task to mean that you are a failure. No one hits a home run every time they’re at-bat. Forgiving yourself when you’re less-than-perfect, and trying again should build your self-esteem.

Consider that if you don’t like yourself, you make it very hard for others to like you. Mentally healthy people accept themselves, warts and all. Part of a happy life is learning to be your own best friend. You should love yourself just as much as you love others.

Mentally healthy people do what they can to care for their physical bodies.

Get plenty of sleep. It’s not a waste of time. Lack of sleep is a significant cause of mental health issues. When you don’t sleep enough, you don’t think well, and everything is overwhelming. Eat adequate healthy food, but don’t let food become your drug of choice. Make sure you stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water.

If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation. Alcohol dehydrates you, and it is a depressant. Don’t try to see how much of a dangerous substance you can use before you become depressed.

What steps will you take to improve your mental health?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

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.

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.

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

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.

Anxious.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Anxious.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.

If you are anxious you are living in the future.

If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

― Lao Tzu

“True love is not so much a matter of romance as it is a matter of anxious concern for the well-being of one’s companion.”

― Gordon B. Hinckley, Stand a Little Taller

“But life is very short and anxious for those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear the future.”

― Seneca, On the Shortness of Life

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

Coping in the coronavirus world.

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

Illustrate illness storm.

Coronavirus storm.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

The coronavirus is changing the way we live our lives.

In my last post, I wrote about the macro issues, the big things we as a society need to grapple with as the coronavirus storm rages, people die, and our healthcare system strains to the breaking point. Today I wanted to share with you some of the micro issues, the challenges I faced in my own life, home, and relationships, as I try to cope with this changing situation. As you read this, please remember I am an old guy, born shortly after World War II and now in my seventies. Keeping up with new technology, changes in fashion, and an ever-evolving world has been a struggle for me even before the coronavirus. The changes now feel like a merry-go-round that has started to accelerate out of control.

What are my significant personal challenges?

Over the last two months, my life has changed more than I could ever imagine. I suspect it has for every one of you who is reading this blog. Now it a good time to share with all of you some of the changes I’ve been experiencing in my life and some thoughts for what the future holds.

Many counselors and therapists are reluctant to share about themselves. As my students, and probably most of you readers realize, I feel like I need to be more open and honest about my experiences. Here are a few of my experiences and observations on the way the coronavirus has changed my life.

Sheltering in place has changed everything.

I thought I had my schedule all worked out. Each week I have been spending part of one day at a local nonprofit doing clinical supervision. I had it down to a routine. Show up, run the group, sign the forms, and then go home. Because of the shelter in place order, the trainees and interns have had to learn to do therapy via telehealth. I’ve had to learn a whole new technology to do their supervision remotely. What had been a simple routine procedure has had a sharp learning curve.

Beyond the technical parts, every one of those therapists in training is also a person. It’s hard to think about your client when your life is in turmoil. The ever-present thought that by spending time in a small consulting room with the client, you’re putting your life in danger, must be reckoned with. Part of each training session now is devoted to having the therapist check-in and see how they are coping with the ominous threat of the coronavirus looming over them and their families.

Despite all the difficulties in shifting to an online way of life, I think the shelter in place was an enormously wise decision. I live in California, and we implemented the stay at home protocol early on. I also live in the Central Valley, a mostly rural and less densely populated area. Early action and sparse population have resulted in extremely low infection rates and even lower death rates. I have every reason to think the virus will get here eventually, but the slow spread has so far avoided overtaxing our medical system.

Shifting from teaching in-person classes to online classes has been traumatic.

I’ve been teaching classes at two different local colleges for over 12 years now. I had my system in place. I have created PowerPoints, quizzes, and tests; all the materials I need to run a class. Suddenly there were no in-person classes. The classes have all moved online. Fortunately, I’d taken a class and how to teach online courses back in the summer of 2016. My efforts to create videos for the counselorssoapbox YouTube Channel has turned out to be a significant blessing.

While it’s been a frantic pace of the last few weeks, I knew how to convert my lectures to videos and upload them to YouTube so that my students can watch them anytime they want from the relative safety of their home.

If only the transition had been that easy. This semester I’m teaching three separate classes. One is a 16-week long semester class. Another is an eight week, twice a week class. While the third class was a hybrid part in-class part online format, all three have a different start, midterm, and end date. Beyond that, the three classes are being conducted on two separate learning platforms. Over a couple of weeks, I’ve had to become considerably more familiar with both Moodle and Canvas.

Over the years, I’d accumulated quite a test bank of questions. It was easy to assort the questions, print out a copy, and make as many copies as needed for class. The process of turning these into online quizzes and tests turned out to be a whole lot more complicated.

Working from home requires confronting my age.

I’ve been retired from a full-time job for over two years now. Whenever I must enter my birthdate on anything, I am forced to recognize that I’m getting older. Despite having retired, I’ve been doing more part-time work and staying incredibly busy. Keeping busy and active, I suppose, is my way of avoiding admitting I’m not as young as I used to be.

Then, when I got the email from the college saying that anyone over a certain age was not to come on campus and I realized I was quite a few years past that age, I’ve been forced to admit to myself I’m now in that high risk older adult category. Furthermore, whatever I may think about taking risks with my own life, I have had to realize that I can’t take the risk of contracting something and bringing it home to others who are at an even higher risk.

I’ve had to transition my therapy clients to distance counseling.

A little over two months ago, I had never even considered using the technologies that today I use every day. I’ve had to learn to use Zoom, FaceTime, and several other online tools. Not only do I have to learn new technology, but I’ve also had to develop some new skills to do remote distance counseling. I remind myself that little over two years ago; I had to have one of my interns teach me how to answer a text message. And today I’m making videos and discussing them with people via Zoom, the process of technological change looks less like a gradual uphill climb and more like scaling a sheer vertical cliff.

Working from home has been exhausting.

When I first considered teaching an online class, I thought it would make my life so much easier. The amount of work that it has taken to prepare the curriculum and upload it to the various platforms has left me exhausted. Stress can be very tiring, even when it motivates you to produce something positive.

Sheltering in place increases isolation.

One of the things I loved about my busy mix of part-time jobs was that it got me out of the house and kept me socializing with a wide variety of friends, students, interns, and clients. I’ve come to feel that the coronavirus has made me a prisoner in my own home office.

One of my colleagues and I were in the graduate program together all those years ago and have made it a habit to keep in touch. We try to get together every month or two for lunch just to check in with each other. With the coronavirus lurking outside, and the restaurants we would generally eat at closed, that monthly lunch together isn’t likely to happen again for a long time.

This last week we had to improvise our monthly get together. We sat talking together over FaceTime while I ate my lunch. I suppose that, for me, is one of the visible aspects of this anxiety-producing situation. One after another, I have found ways to adapt. I continue to teach, albeit online. I still see clients via distance counseling technology. And while my physical contact with other humans has been extremely limited, we’ve created ways to stay in touch with those people who are most important to us.

That’s my story of adapting to the coronavirus threat.

While my life is different now, I’m slowly adapting to this new form of existence. Gradually I’m getting back to my writing. I’ve developed a whole new set of skills. Somehow, no matter what happens, we humans find a way to adapt.

How are you dealing with the changes the coronavirus forced upon you?

Please share a comment below or send me one through the contact me page. If you use the contact me form, please let me know if it’s okay for me to share your comment here on the blog. Take care of yourself and do everything you can to protect yourself and those who are close to you.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

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.

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.

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

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.

Every day is April Fools’ Day when you are fooling yourself

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

Fool.

Fool.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Do you know what is real and what is a hoax?

Today is April First. In many places, people will be celebrating April Fools’ Day. This day is dedicated to a whole lot of fun practical jokes and good times. Not everyone should be laughing.

The challenge in life is to tell the difference between the truth and things that are not true, regardless of the label we choose to put on those less-than-true thoughts and comments. Today you may be able to get away with some untruths if you can tell the difference, but not every day.

The falsehoods told today in the course of the April Fools’ Day festivities are in the medieval tradition when Fools were jokesters, comedians and the like. When we know things are exaggerated and overblown they can be laughable and a bit of silly fun. Not all untruths are innocent.

The most dangerous types of lies are the kind we tell ourselves. People in recovery, from whatever they chose to call their problem, may find that they have been telling lies, giving people stories, so much they have begun to believe their own dishonesty. Substance abusers, required to be dishonest to continue their addiction are at special risk to have stopped seeing the distinction between the true and the false in their own minds.

If you have been telling yourself things that are not true and have started to believe those stories they can be a huge obstacle to overcome on your road to recovery.

People in recovery need to stop worrying about who they told what and begin to get honest with themselves. The most important person to tell the truth to is you.

Some recovering people have been told a lot of things that were not true. Those lies create a lot of pain and sometimes separating the true from the false can be a chore. When the addict starts to get honest the others around them are at risk to become confused about what is true and what is false.

Some people have families who have kept deep dark secrets. Those families can’t stand, to tell the truth. They pressure the other family members to deny things happened and to continue to rely on the make-believe family tale

Lie, falsehoods and the like are not the only untrue information that takes up residence in our heads. False memories and beliefs, delusions and hallucinations are also traps for the unwary.

There are technical distinctions between hallucinations and things that are really there. There is a realm of in-between things that the profession has to call in or out. Did you really see that or were you hallucinating? There are reports of things that look like a hallucination but are not.

People with addiction and mental illness may have seen and experienced things that other people tell you never happened.

Sometimes we see something and we decide what that means. If we are correct in our apprised that is all well and good. But what if you are mistaken in what you think this means or what has happened? We might call these false beliefs or even delusions.

It is likely that we can tell when someone else around us is delusional but can you tell when you are delusional? Are there things that kind of look like delusions but are not?

So while walking the road to recovery we need to take a look at hallucinations, false memories, and delusions and try to find ways to understand why our own mind may trick us into believing things that just are not so.

This whole area of what is true what is false and what you think you know is a lot confusing. In some posts over this month I want to explore delusions, hallucinations both true and pseudo and some other aspects of getting honest with ourselves. Since psychologists and therapists call some of these phenomena by different names and understand it differently I want to start by looking at how these two professions get such different answers and then proceed to some thoughts about why your brain and our survival may have benefited at times from believing things that turn out to not be true.

Stay tuned for more on the subject of the real and the false, truth and lies over the coming month. These posts will be interspersed with some other topics as they come up so as not to put all the readers to sleep at the same time.

Have a great day fooling around and we will return to the search for reality and recovery tomorrow.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

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.

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.

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

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.

Feelings fill you up.

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

Angry child

What is he feeling?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Some feelings expand like blowing up a balloon.

Remember the old saying “nature abhors a vacuum?” This is especially true when it comes to feelings. Emotions and feelings are an essential part of human nature. Somewhere along the line, feelings got a bad rap. Some people think the way to deal with feelings is to stuff them down inside and pretend they don’t exist. Other people believe whatever they feel needs to be released before they explode. They justify dumping their feelings all over others by saying venting feelings is healthy.

It’s essential to learn to manage feelings.

Learning to manage feelings is a three-part process. First, you need to learn to recognize that you are feeling something. Next, you will need to determine what this feeling is. Lastly, you’ll need to decide what you want to do with it.

What you don’t want to do is dismiss positive feelings as unimportant and hold onto the negative feelings, the anger the fear and the resentment, as you watch them grow.

Have you ever noticed that whenever you feel intensifies when you hold onto that feeling? Going over that feeling repeatedly, a process called rumination, causes it to take root and grow.

Anger expands rapidly.

Have you ever tried to simply sit with your anger? You will notice the longer you sit holding that anger, the larger it becomes. Anger is a high-pressure emotion. It can quickly take over all the space in a human being. Hold onto a little irritation, long enough, and will become chronically filled with rage. Learning to de-escalate your anger is an important skill.

Negative emotions make you heavy and bloated.

Just like some food can upset your stomach, negative emotions, anger, fears, resentments, can leave you feeling tired and drained of energy. It is best to consume these feelings in minimal quantities. Better yet, for good health, avoid putting these feelings into your system in the first place. When you can’t avoid negative emotions, try taking some positive feelings to settle your stomach.

Gratitude is a satisfying feeling.

If you consume a little gratitude each day, you will find your life becomes more satisfying. Like a desert, there is always room for a bit of gratefulness. No matter how happy you feel, you will find there is still room for a little more gratitude.

Some feelings are like cut flowers.

Some feelings will never fill you up. Peak excitement feelings like alcohol, drugs, and sex, frequently are confused with happiness. All these feelings increase the amount of dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter chemical, in the brain – temporarily. The problem with trying to fill up on peak experience feelings is that they fade very quickly. You can’t create a beautiful garden by planting cut flowers. An occasional bouquet of flowers in the house can be lovely. But if you try to fill your life with only cut flowers, it quickly comes to look and smell like a funeral parlor. Once people feel these sharp feelings, the bloom fades very quickly. Requiring them to continually hunt for more peak experience feelings to fill their emptiness.

Some feelings are timid and need room to grow.

Some of the most satisfying feelings, contentment, serenity, and satisfaction, grow slowly and are quickly crowded out by the more aggressive, faster-growing feelings. If you spend time cultivating these shy, slow-growing feelings, they will eventually fill your life with joy.

What feelings are you cultivating?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

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.

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.

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

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

Books are now available on Amazon.

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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.

Anger triggers – what get you angry? – Video.

Anger triggers – what get you angry? – Video.

A counselorssoapbox.com video by David Joel Miller, LMFT, LPCC

Learning to recognize what’s triggering your anger is a first step in learning to manage your anger. In this video, we look at possible anger triggers and how to recognize when you becoming angry.

Attention.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Attention.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. (21)”

― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

“I pay no attention whatever to anybody’s praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.”

― Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

“The writer should never be ashamed of staring. There is nothing that does not require his attention.”

― Flannery O’Connor

“We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.”

― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art.

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

Why can’t we forget the painful past? – Video

A counselorssoapbox.com video by David Joel Miller, LMFT, LPCC

Do you have trouble forgetting the painful past? Do the traumas and mistakes of the past make it difficult to enjoy life in the present? There are reasons why your brain wants to remember the pain and can’t remember happy life events. This video explores why you can’t forget the pain of the past and ways to shift the balance, so you remember more happy things and fewer unpleasant events.