Family Relationships

Join other women in the sandwich generation - share ideas and solutions as you learn to nourish family relationships without starving yourself.

Monday, October 24, 2011

How to Exorcise Ghosts from the Past

Although Halloween today revolves around trick-or-treating and costume parties, in the past masks were worn to placate the evil spirits. You may not believe in witches and goblins, but when was the last time you thought seriously about ghosts that haunt you?

Your thoughts are mental products although they don't necessarily reflect an absolute reality. However, for you, they do represent how you feel. The bad feelings you have may be due to normal temperament, stress overload, situational sadness or even clinical depression. Did you know that 1 in 4 people actually suffer from depression at some time in their lives and close to 50% do not receive treatment? If you have had extreme sadness or feelings of helplessness and hopelessness for over two weeks, it's best to schedule an appointment with your medical professional to assess your symptoms and, if necessary, refer you to a specialist.

When there is no obvious trigger, do you try to minimize, ignore or dismiss how you feel? Instead, here are some ideas to help you better understand your negative emotions. You can learn how to reframe your thoughts and take better care of your emotional self. Begin by following these social support and self-care tips:

Honor your body to improve physical and emotional wellbeing. Pay attention to your exercise routine, your sleeping pattern and what gives you pleasure. Try to stay away from situations that cause stress and increase the ones that make you feel more relaxed and alive.

Focus on what you can accomplish rather than on what you can't. Look on the bright side of difficult situations as you create a balance between caring for others and your own needs. Take at least half an hour and read a book, listen to music or call a friend - it may help to mark it in your schedule until it becomes a regular part of your day. Although you can't always control external circumstances, you can control how you handle them.

Explore our website, Her Mentor Center for articles about what impacts the emotions of your family relationships as well as yourself. And log on here Wednesday for more practical insights that can help you beat the blues.

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