Resiliency In The Face Of Chaos

Resiliency In The Face Of Chaos

Resiliency In The Face Of Chaos

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Everywhere you look online the Coronavirus (or COVID-19) pandemic is mentioned. It has been in every headline, every news outlet, on Facebook feeds, even in every email in my junk inbox. As an Online Therapist and Life Coach, my clients have been asking, “How do I adjust to this current situation?” Today I want to provide you with the same advice I share with my clients on resiliency in the face of chaos. 

When It’s Out of Your Control

The world has faced other health and public concerns, however, never on this large of a scale. It’s scary to read all of the headlines, especially when positivity is rarely reflected in the articles.

Facing a global pandemic and navigating life through COVID-19 is uncharted territory for all of us. Never before has an entire society had to worry about school closures in the middle of the semester, grocery store outages, and heavy financial stress.

There are so many new challenges that we are all facing – many challenges that are merely out of our control. How do we individually and collectively move into a new way of doing things when discomfort and uncertainty surround us?

Focus on the Positive

I want to point out that never before has society been so connected in terms of education and communication. Never before has our local and state communities come so closely together, offering to help. Never before have I seen so many people step up to help their friends and families during this uncertain time. [Read: Building CommUNITY During Social Distancing and Self-Quarantine for more on community during COVID-19]

What COVID-19 is teaching us as a community is that we are resilient and that resiliency in the face of chaos allows us to focus on the positive and find gratitude even in uncertain times. 

What is Resilience?

Resiliency is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. Looking at the world on a global scale, it is in our nature to be resilient and as a collective, this feels more natural as we support one another. However, on an individual scale how can we personally develop resiliency in the face of chaos? 

Acknowledge and Accept

What I practice with my clients is the acceptance of personal feelings or emotions that may feel otherwise uncomfortable. Acknowledging and accepting that you feel scared, worried, confused, angry…these are all okay and valid emotions. The important thing to remember is that you will not feel like this forever – things will get better. 

Focus on Your Journey Ahead

While staying grounded in the present is an excellent way to overcome feelings of anxiety. Thinking about your personal journey and where it is leading you can encourage a sense of comfort knowing that your goals and dreams are still yours, they are still valid and real. 

A few questions you can ask yourself in order to build resiliency in the face of chaos are:

  • What are my hopes and goals for myself moving forward?
  • What can I hope to learn from this experience? 
  • Where have I found meaning and how can I help others in similar circumstances, even if it’s not the same?

Look for Inspiration

Online, pictures spread about animals returning after decreased human activity. Although there is no solid proof of this yet, it does inspire and give us hope in the times we need it. Nature is resilient and hopeful! 

In Spain, you can see people conversing and even exercising with each other from the balcony. 

In Italy, there are videos upon videos of the community gathering in song and music showing the world that despite this uncertain and scary time, we can continue to come together and show each other kindness and comfort. 

Here in the USA, stores are changing their hours to help the vulnerable populations get a headstart on shopping. There are local businesses and volunteer organizations offering food, child care, and even tasks such as getting the mail.

Shift Your Way of Thinking

This isn’t to say that the news shouldn’t be taken lightly or that the impacts of COVID-19 are minimized. Instead, trying to shift from a panic mentality to a resilience mentality can help both in the short and long term. [Read: Intentional Living – How to not Panic in the PANIC for more…]

In the short term, during social distancing and isolation, it is necessary to be thinking about the future and how you are growing. 

In the long term, it will be important to recognize the impact that this pandemic has caused and use it to move forward with helping yourself and helping others.

Right now we are in the midst of a forest fire. It seems like everything will be destroyed and yet, new growth begins to happen again. We are growing, we are coming together, and we will rebuild.

Here’s to your resiliency in the face of chaos,
Megan Brice M.S., LPCC

P.S. How are you building resiliency in the face of chaos? Share with me in the comments below!

Megan Brice, M.S., LPCC is a career counselor, life coach and therapist who creates a warm environment for you to explore the depths of who you are, so you can grow. She challenges, encourages, and empowers you to embrace transition in order to create future fulfillment.

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Living Intentional 

As an online therapist and life coach, and strong proponent of intentional living, I am keenly aware that we all are being greatly impacted by COVID-19 and feeling the collective stress all around us. This may be a good time to take heed of our own behavior and how we choose to engage this unsettling reality unfolding daily, without spiraling into a panic. 

The Antidote To A Panicked Mind Is An Intentional Mind

1. Be intentional with what you allow in.

 As a therapist, I like to encourage my clients to stay informed yes, but try limiting the amount of time that you spend on social media sites. The antidote to a panicked mind is an intentional mind.

Before checking the latest coronavirus pandemic updates, doing this one thing can make all the difference in keeping your stress at healthy, manageable levels. Set the intention to answer the “why” before you start spending an inordinate amount of time scrolling through your newsfeed.

I have clients, for example, who tell me that they find themselves frantically reading articles streaming across their computer screen, hoping to assuage their fears. Mindlessly reading distressing information can produce even more anxiety.

When we let our minds fall into a fear trap, without us even realizing it, we are giving our power away. We are relinquishing control over our choices, which can leave us feeling even more helpless. We do have control over our minds and how we take care of our mental diets. 

2. Set An Intention That Helps You To Be Clear About Your Choices

Set an intention that helps you to be clear about your choices, such as why you are choosing to read “this” article, so that you aren’t unconsciously engaging with a worry-mind from the outset. (Here are more tips for managing coronavirus anxiety.) Otherwise, you may be making yourself vulnerable to “downloading” insurmountable amounts of stressful information with no protective self-care parameters in place. 

By setting an intention, this can help you make deliberate choices that serve your overall wellbeing. Your intention may be: I am taking the necessary precautions to keep myself, loved ones, and others safe. 

Then determine a healthy time-limit for watching or reading news, maybe it’s no more than 30-minutes (your vagus nerve will thank you; more on this in a minute.) And be intentional about deciding what information is helpful and what information is not helpful, so that you are not causing unnecessary stress, as this has been shown to weaken the immune system, which is not what you want.  

3. Emotionally Regulate Yourself

Now let’s talk about the vagus nerve as I mentioned above. This nerve plays such a huge role in our stress response, as it is connected to the parasympathetic system, the part of the nervous system working synergistically to allow for optimal and harmonious functioning – essentially the queen “regulator” influencing your stress response. Which is to say that it is important to take care of your vagus nerve so that it takes care of you! One way you can do this is to start your day with an intentional, mindfulness breathing meditation. 

Deep breathing helps us to calm and regulate our “emotional control center,” so to speak. And the more we emotionally regulate ourselves, the more we can respond to stress – something a panicked heart simply can’t do. 

4. Check-and-Balance Yourself Often

So intention setting is like having a “superpowered” way to check-and-balance yourself often. You can ask yourself:  Am I acting from a place of fear? You can start doing this with every activity, like eating. If you think: I have to eat more whole foods or I’m going to get sick! This can actually work against your well-meaning intention and bring on added stress.

Practice setting pure intentions and affirming when you eat healthy foods, for instance, I am nourishing and replenishing my body and supporting my body’s innate desire to take care of me. (Check out: Developing a Healthy Relationship With Food)

5. Get Into The Habit Of “Intentionalizing” Your Day To Keep Panic At Bay

Now is a really good time to focus inwardly, establish self-reflecting routines, act more consciously, accept the as-is showing up in your life right now, so that you can navigate the isness of your present situation while allowing a new context to emerge. 

As you practice calm and acceptance, you are inviting the wherewithal to adapt into your life. It may mean establishing new routines, discovering new ways to stay connected and relevant. 

This is all made possible when we start by quarantining ourselves for any “emotional viruses” that are keeping us from being the superpowered, creative shapeshifters that we are – and that is so essential to cultivate into our lives right now.  

I hope that you read this and start “intentionalizing” your day. 

Warmly, 

Amy-Noelle Shih, M.A., LPC

PS. Connect with me and join the conversation on Instagram @growing_self! Also, my colleague Dr. Lisa created a short video demo-ing a great breathing technique to help lower stress available for you on Instagram too.

Amy-Noelle Shih, M.A., LPC is a powerful, dynamic, couples counselor, individual therapist and life coach with a direct, authentic approach to personal growth. Her style is as affirming and positive as it is effective, and all about helping you create alignment and joy in yourself and in your relationships.

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by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Music Credits: Lobo Loco, “Sometimes It Rains”

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Lisa Marie Bobby, PhD, LMFT, BCC

"Hi, I'm Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby. For over a decade, I've been helping people all over the world create Love, Happiness and Success in their lives through positive, compassionate and effective Marriage Counseling, Therapy and Life Coaching. I'm so pleased to be able to help you, too. There is help for you here, and I'm glad you've found us.

This website is devoted to your wellbeing, and offers loads of free information and actionable advice that you can start using today to create positive change in your life. Browse around to meet our experts, get free advice on our blog, listen to a podcast, or take our "How Healthy is Your Relationship" quiz. Or, if the time is right, you can schedule a free consultation with any of us to talk about your situation -- and, most importantly -- your hopes for your future." -- Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

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How to Stay Stress Free

How to Stay Stress Free

How to Stay Stress Free

The Art of Cultivating Calm

Do you feel like it’s hard to manage the stress of it all? If you’re like so many of our high-achieving type-A life coaching and therapy clients here at Growing Self, you probably have days when you’re feeling spread thin. Let’s face it: Staying on top of everything is a lot! Between managing a high-impact career, running a household, staying on top of laundry, groceries, personal projects, having a high quality relationship with your partner, and perhaps a kid or three PLUS finding time to self care, take occasional showers, and maintain your friendships… whew! We’re all going in a thousand different directions, and it can feel extremely stressful. The idea that you stay stress free sounds like an unattainable dream.

This is especially true when you feel, like so many people do, that you’re struggling to stay on top of it all. When we become overly busy, things start to slip! When you’re rushed, it’s hard to stay organized. When you’re going a zillion miles an hour, you start to forget things, lose things, and feel less and less organized. That leads to feeling even more stressed and out of control, and then it’s even harder to keep up. It’s a downward spiral of stress, mess, and panic. Not a sustainable way to live!

How To Stay Stress Free (Really!)

So… how do you get off the hamster wheel of modern life and stay stress free? How do you begin to get yourself organized and back in control? Most importantly, how do you create a sustainable system that allows you to not just do the things that you need to do but manage your life in such a way that you don’t constantly feel like a frantic stress-ball?

My guest on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast, Marilyn Paul, PhD, is here to show us how. Dr. Paul has been on the faculty of Yale Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital School, and is the author of “It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Shoes” as well as “An Oasis of Time: How a Day of Rest Can Save Your Life.” Dr. Paul is an expert in time management and personal organization by professional training… but she’s also a fellow traveler with powerful stories about the life lessons she’s learned as someone who has also struggled to keep up with it all.

If you have days when you feel like you’re drowning, I hope you listen to this conversation. (And yes, totally okay if you’re listening to this while you’re multi-tasking ten other things at the same time: I get it!) But you’ll be glad if you can fit this in to your day: Dr. Paul shares so many insights and tips, and compassionate, empowering ideas that you can use ASAP to cultivate calm and order in your life, so that you can feel genuinely stress free from the inside out.

Your partner in growth,
Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

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How to Stay Stress Free

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

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Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

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Leaving Toxic Relationship?

Leaving Toxic Relationship?

Breaking Free From a Toxic Relationship

LEAVING TOXIC RELATIONSHIP? Or thinking about it? If so, my heart goes out to you: You’ve already been through the wringer. As a therapist who specializes in toxic relationship addiction, and having researched and written a breakup recovery book, I know from years of experience that when you’re addicted to a toxic relationship, it messes with your mind. Toxic relationships trash your self esteem. They damage your ability to trust. But even worse, after tolerating months or even years in a toxic relationship it can make you feel like you can’t even trust your own judgement anymore.

This is completely understandable. For the record, anyone can get mixed up in a toxic relationship. Having this experience doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you. It’s happened to me, too. It’s easy to get sucked in to an exciting, passionate relationship that makes you feel the chemistry you’ve been longing for. The early stages of toxic relationships often feel like what we believe “true love” is supposed to feel like — intense, obsessive, and all consuming.

This very reason is why toxic relationships are SO confusing. They are, by definition, fraught with the highest of highs. When you’re in an unhealthy relationship, there is an elation when you connect, a sense of “completeness” when you’re with the person you have such intense feelings for… but also the lowest of the lows. And the lows always come. Being mistreated, emotionally abused, betrayed, and having your boundaries crossed (and crossed and crossed) are also part of the experience of being in a toxic relationship. Throw in a little gaslighting, and after a while, you don’t even know which way is up anymore.

Why It’s So Hard To Leave a Toxic Relationship

Even if you know (intellectually) that it’s time to cut the cord to a toxic relationship, it’s easier said than done. Relationship addiction is a very real thing, and just like an alcoholic or substance abuser can have an unhealthy, yet very real, bond to a substance…you can also have an unhealthy attachment to another person. And just like any other addiction, being addicted to a toxic relationship isn’t something you can just quit easily. Breaking free from a toxic relationship is a recovery process that takes time, self-awareness, growth, and a lot of support.

Before you can leave a toxic relationship, if you’re like many people, you’re wrestling with questions that need to be answered before you feel confident to move on. Relationship questions like, “How do you know if a relationship is toxic?” or “Can a toxic relationship be saved?” or “What are toxic traits in a relationship?” are all very common questions, because when you’re in a toxic relationship…. it can be hard to tell. What’s normal in a relationship? What’s a toxic relationship? What’s a deal breaker, for ME?

Having the time and space to reflect, reconnect with yourself, and get those questions answered are a vital part of the healing process. For many people, the strength and clarity they need to cut the cord for once and for all only comes after they’ve answered those questions.

How to Recover From a Toxic Relationship

As a therapist who has worked with countless people around toxic relationship addiction, I know that getting clarity is not just the most important first step of healing — it can be one of the biggest challenges in recovering from a toxic relationship. Especially if you’ve already been mistreated, had your boundaries crossed, and are questioning your own judgment – you really need an outside perspective to help you reconnect with your own inner wisdom about what’s okay, what’s not okay, and what you need to do. Even more importantly, you need support and guidance to help you do the hard and often painful of breaking free from a toxic relationship.

That is why connecting with other supportive people, whether it’s a good therapist or wise life coach, or supportive person who’s lived through this themselves, can be so crucial.

Leaving Toxic Relationships: New Podcast

In order to provide you with the empowering support and perspective that can support YOUR growth and recovery, I’ve invited writer Shannon Ashley to join me on the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast. Shannon writes (and so well!) about topics like relationships, self-esteem, emotional health and wellness, and more for Medium.com, and other outlets. She has also written extensively about HER lived experience in a toxic relationship, and about the journey of growth that helped her break free.

Shannon is not the type of “official” relationship expert that I often have on the show — she’s so much more. She’s a fellow traveler who has walked through the fire, and come out the other side. She has been able to give a voice to the experience that you’re going through, and she has a unique perspective on what it really takes to heal from a toxic relationship. I’m so pleased that she’s here to share her hard won wisdom with YOU today.

If you’re struggling to break free from a toxic relationship, I hope that you listen. (Or, if reading this makes you think not of yourself, but of someone you love who may be dealing with this, I hope you share this episode with them.)

Wishing you all the best,

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

PS: If you’re in an “iffy” relationship and want to get clarity about whether it’s healthy or not, consider taking my free “How Healthy is Your Relationship” quiz. Here’s the link.

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Breaking Free From a Toxic Relationship

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

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Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

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If you are struggling in your partnership – you’re not alone. There is support for you here. Today on the Love, Happiness and Success Blog, Online marriage counselor and relationship expert Seth Bender, M.A., MFTC is sharing with you his 6 strategies to a thriving relationship during chaos. Read now…

How to Feel More Secure in Your Relationship

How to Feel More Secure in Your Relationship

Persistent feelings of insecurity can tank a relationship. Learn how to strengthen your sense of trust and the emotional security of your partnership, on this edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.

Life After Loss

Life After Loss

We’ve all endured losses recently. On this podcast, two compassionate online grief counseling experts share advice for how to cope emotionally, how to heal your heart, and how to rebuild your life after loss.

What Happy Couples Know

What Happy Couples Know

No one teaches you how to have a great relationship. Documentary filmmaker Roger Nygard shares what seven years of research uncovered about what happy couples know. He’s here to share it all with you, on this episode of the podcast.

Coping With Job Loss

Coping With Job Loss

If you’re recently unemployed – you’re not alone. In fact, there are many others experiencing this same anxiety and stress due to COVID-19, questioning “what now?” Today on the Love, Happiness and Success blog we have Online Career Counselor and Life Coach, Markie Keelan, M.A., LPC sharing encouragement and tips for those looking for answers in what feels like a very unpredictable time.

Protect Your Relationship In Times Of Stress

Protect Your Relationship In Times Of Stress

Is your relationship experiencing a “new kind” of stress while you’re both stuck at home and navigating new boundaries around space, support, and relationship maintenance? Online Marriage Therapist and Relationship Expert, Silas Hendrich, M.S., MFTC shares 5 Easy Ways to Protect Your Relationship in Times of Stress on the Love, Happiness and Success blog now!

Find Your Focus: 7 Simple Steps to Your Dream Career

Find Your Focus: 7 Simple Steps to Your Dream Career

Whether you are transitioning your career, starting over, or experiencing new challenges working from home, Online Career Coach and Executive / Leadership Coaching Expert, Teena Evert is sharing her 7 Simple Steps to Your Dream Career. Find Your Focus!

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