anxiety

Avoidance Causes You To Miss Out!

Do you ever avoid situations or people because it’s too stressful or painful to be in that experience? Avoidance is a natural human defense mechanism, but sometimes it can be detrimental to our own growth and happiness.  

Today, I was walking through our freshly cut hay-field to get a message to my husband and father-in-law.  While talking to a family friend who was present, I said “I love the smell of fresh cut hay, but it does not love me.”  I knew for even the maybe 5 minutes I was standing there, I was going to have some discomfort. As I walked away, I noticed itching in my legs.  Then while driving away, I could feel a little discomfort in my breathing.

You see, I am a very allergic person.  But I live in the country where I am exposed to all things I am allergic too.  Now, I could move (but I’m pretty sure I’d have to leave my husband behind), but staying here is more beneficial to me than avoiding.  

 

Not to mention how BEAUTIFUL it is where I live!  

So what is an allergic country girl to do?

Be Aware…

If you know situations cause you discomfort (maybe it’s not an allergy but more depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress, panic), be aware of those triggers.  I am aware of what triggers my allergies and am prepared for the consequences of being around them.

Find the Win…

For me, I was able to see God’s beauty in this hayfield.  I took a beautiful picture of it. Being outdoors is so inspiring and calming to me.  It’s worth it to have the experience!

Have a Plan…

So let’s say you are going to be around family that triggers your depression or anxiety…  If it’s not an unhealthy relationship, and you want a connection with that person, then have a plan of how you will combat the negative reactions your body will likely experience.  

  • Know your limits and have a plan of escape.  

When I am around certain people from my past who tend to cause difficulty for me, I make sure I visit them instead of them visiting me.  This way I can leave when I’m ready instead of having them in my home wishing they would leave already and not wanting to ask them to leave.  

If your reaction is anxiety or panic, make sure you have a go-to method for calming your body and mind.  

Sometimes avoidance is good when it’s too overwhelming for you to manage.  But just remember, avoidance can become a very unhealthy way to cope, and you will miss out on some great life experiences and connections.  

Need some assistance in creating your plan?

Click Here to Download a Free Worksheet!

Then, comment below and share with me how avoidance affects your life!  

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Dayna Sykes

Licensed Child & Teen Therapist

Gordonsville Counseling & Play Therapy

 

P.S.  If you have a teen girl who struggles with avoidance and you’ve tried everything to help her break out of this, then Empowering Teen Girls Group may be just what she needs to build her confidence, boost her ability to cope with difficult situations, and learn to connect with others in the process.  

P.P.S  Do you tend to walk on eggshells around your teen and avoid her throughout the day?   Every effort you make causes her to lash out and become angry. Sign up for my free email course, “Learn to Connect Better with Your Teen”, and get 5 days of action steps you can take to better support and connect with your teen.  Just Click Here!

 

Let Me Be Real for a Second...

Can I be real with you for a second? I have been finding it very difficult to create content for you guys.  I believe it stems from feeling like I’ve been put in a box.  I want to help you with your family and your children and provide practical tips and advice, but I also want to reach into the deep darkness that women experience and help you see the light at the end of that tunnel you have dug for yourself.

I, for some reason, have placed myself in this box where I have created rules that I cannot share my faith or I have to be very careful about how I share it, but in reality, it does not make sense.  In my everyday life, I want to portray my faith in God and give a since of hope to others.  I can only do this because God has blessed me with this ability to listen and give Godly guidance.  Even though others may not see it as a godly approach, everything I do I want to come from Him and be for Him.

So when I give you support and offer advice, KNOW I am doing this from a Godly perspective.  My parenting advice and experience comes from the only way I know how to parent, which is through discipline and training from scripture.  Sure I have been trained in different areas and I've read lots of parenting books, and with all that knowledge, I still know that the only true successful parenting comes from God.

I’m not trying to sell you a simple guide to parenting.  There are no 5 miraculous things you can do to become successful in parenting and raise a child that has no struggles.

I am trying to provide you with loving, supportive guidance that comes straight from a biblical perspective.  Yes, the training and work experience help my position---But these are all things God has provided in my path that He alone is directing (when I allow it).  I want to help you moms out there who are struggling with guilt, shame, feelings of loneliness.  I want to reach out and help you see that there is a way to happiness and peace in your home.  I want to provide a safe place for your children and teens to share their struggles and take that burden off your family when you are at the end of your rope and do not know where to turn.

My goal is also to provide a safe place for mothers of all ages and phases to be able to share those thoughts we often keep in our heads and never let see the light of day.  Fears. Dreams. Anxiety. Goals. Guilt. Desires. Anger. Frustration. Shame. Doubt. Excitement.

I want to create a community where mothers can come together and feel supported and loved.  Where you can gain a sense of connection and combat the isolation we experience sometimes. Even when we are surrounded by our family, it can be a lonely place.  You may feel disconnected and needing female insight.  Maybe you are struggling in many areas and feel you have no one to talk to because of fear of being shamed or judged.

When I became a stay at home mom, almost 8 years ago, I struggled through so many phases all alone.  On the outside, it looked like I had it all together.  Even when you came into my home, it was clean and organized.  I never shared my fears, anxiety, or struggles with anyone.  This led to some serious bouts of anxiety and depression.  (Do you know I almost erased that word depression?)  Isn’t it so hard to share those parts of yourself with others?  It wasn’t until I started taking steps to care for myself mentally, spiritually, and physically that I was able to get through the fog and see light.  Now don’t get my wrong, I loved being home and taking care of my children and my family!  I still do!  This is why I do not work full-time hours.  However, there is a loneliness that comes with being home all day every day with super tiny humans and no adults to talk to.

Before I became a stay at home mom, I was a work 60 hours a week and try to parent and take care of my home mom.  I SUCKED at it!  I mean majorly!  My house was always a disaster.  I felt guilty for always leaving my child with someone else, even though it was my mom-in-law who I know loves my children dearly.  I struggled with worldly desires vs. Godly desires.  I was not a patient person at home because I had given ALL my energy at work.  Can you relate?  That is not the life for me anymore!

I’m sharing this because I want you to know I have lived both sides of this as a mother and wife.  I too continue to have struggles in my own life with managing all the demands of the many roles women play.  I get it!  I’ve lived it!  I’m still living it daily.

If you are looking for someone to give you honest and caring guidance or for a place to connect with other women who get your struggles, then don’t wait to reach out.  Let me know you are ready to get connected by responding below.

Let’s work together to connect women- moms- wives and help them see they are not alone in this Big Confusing World!!!

 

 

Have a Blessed Day!

 

MY TOP 5 TIPS FOR BATTLING ANXIETY

Here is a round-up of my top 5 tips most helpful for you and your battle against Anxiety! 

1. Deep Breathing:  I teach deep breathing, AKA belly breathing A LOT in my practice because it is so effective and easy to do.  Click here to see how I teach this technique to children.

2. Mindfulness: This is a post I wrote a while back on my 3-2-1 approach to fighting off anxiety.

3. Change Your Thoughts: I teach teens and children this technique.  Our thoughts are what drive our feelings.  Our feelings drive our behavior/reaction, and the circle continues. Instead of thinking “this is going to be a horrible day”, change your thought to a positive one!   You could change it to “OK-this is a new day, and I’m going to make it a good one.”—“That was a bad dream, but it wasn’t real.”—“1 bad thing is not going to ruin my whole day!”  See how I did that?  More on this later…

2. Apps!    Click here to find apps that you can use as tools while you are working through your anxiety and depression. (Note: These are not to replace therapy, if needed, but to aide you in your ability to overcome your struggles.)

5. Talk it out.  This may be with a friend or a therapist.  Having meaningful connections can ease so many issues we struggle with.  You need someone in your life who gets you and who accepts you.  If you have no support, let me help you find it.

Don’t fight this alone!  I am here to help.

Call 615-683-1111 to set up a free 30 minute phone consultation.

3-2-1 APPROACH TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR ANXIETY

I woke up this morning feeling not so great.  My jaw and shoulders are tense.  I have a tingly sensation in my body.  I sit and think what is wrong with me?  Then I remember the bad dream I have and the people who are in it.  I’m experiencing anxiety at this moment.  I tell myself “I’m really anxious”.  So I work through ways to decrease my anxiety.

Yes!  I suffer from anxiety just like many other people do.  I’m hear to share with you ways to overcome your anxiety.  I teach adults and younger people many different techniques to manage their anxiety.

Here is my 3-2-1 Approach to Take Control of Anxiety3 Ways you need to Assess your body:

1.  Know the signs your body is sharing.  What do you physically feel like?  For me it’s muscle tension from my head down.  Sometimes I have headaches and shoulder pain from it.  Many people have stomach issues, trembling, dizziness even.  Get to know your body when you feel anxious, angry, sadness.  It’s not just an emotional feeling, it affects you physically too.

2. Find the trigger.  What is causing you to feel this way?  For me, it was the after-effects of a bad dream I had . I didn’t even remember I had the dream until I sat and thought about why I was feeling anxious.

3. Manage those thoughts in your mind.  Don’t let the trigger consume you.  Tell yourself for instance, “It was a bad dream.  Everything is fine.”  For me, my bad dream is a piece of my past that I know cannot happen again.  And because it was a dream, it was more intense than my past experience.

2 Techniques to Fight the Anxiety:

1. Deep Breathing: Take a deep breath in and let it out slowly.  When I teach people this skill, I use a balloon so they can visualize their stomach as the balloon.  When you take in breath, the balloon expands, then you slowly let it out as if air is seeping out of the balloon.

             Inhale:                                                                   Exhale:image0

 2.  Mindfulness: Another technique I often love to use for myself is mindfulness.  Today I did this while sitting at my desk.

Take a Deep Breath and Do These 5 Easy Steps:

5 Things I see (my messy desk : ), the light shining bright, books stacked up, a picture my kids made, my dusty blinds.

4 Things I hear…

3 Things I feel (the cold desk against my arms, my legs touching together crossed, the feel of the floor on my bare feet.)

2 things I smell (coffee brewing, the smell of my house)

1 thing I taste

Practice this technique.  as you get closer to 1 it gets a little more difficult to hone in on those senses.  I love to teach this technique.  It is very effective in bringing you to the present.  It will relax your body the more you are able to focus on just those senses and divert your attention to what is surrounding you.  The here and now….

So, as I completed this exercise, I thought this would be a good thing to share with you.  To let you know there are ways to overcome your anxiety, and yes, I too suffer from it at times.