Are you worried every time someone coughs or fearful crowds will make you sick? You're not alone. Diseases are endemic. We are always advised to use universal precautions such as washing hands, using hand sanitizer, cleaning well, and wearing masks around those who may be ill. However, what do you do when there are no Lysol, Purrell, or mask products for miles around? For many this causes increased stress and anxiety that can significantly impact both their personal mental health and their family relationships. This scarcity of common items signals that world anxieties may have reached peak levels. Around the world, people are canceling conferences and events in panic over the COVID-19 pandemic. As we can observe with the current events, people are bombarded 24/7 with news of vast infections and deaths. Our brains react to this perception of a crisis and our levels of fear-based anxiety increase. This can be the start of a vicious fear driven cycle, which causes people to react more, get more anxious, and become even more fearful and unable to function effectively and logically. While there are benefits of the anxiety caused by pandemics, such as:
Virtual sessions are as easy to do as 1-2-3!!!
Our simple process:
Who are you and what do you want for 2020? Many feel that the chaotic world is closing in on them or they are trapped in the role of being a caregiver, parent, friend, child, partner or confidant, unable to shut out the needs, wants, opinions, demands, and chaos of society and others. It is hard being relied on or co-dependent 24/7, yet the thought of being alone can be hard and challenging for those struggling with co-dependency or whom are relied on by others. Freud even noted that “the first phobias relating to situations are those of darkness and solitude.”
Yet, if you are seeking to incorporate minimalist philosophies into your life, find peace, gain focus, or strategize on how to move forward and become a better you, we recommend adopting a practice used by philosophers, such as Plato, monks, and celebrated celebrities for centuries. Entire books by renown authors, such as Peperzak, showcase the benefits of solitude. Bowker, a psychoanalytic political theorist, found that productive solitude is a labor and can be uncomfortable at first, but offers countless benefits. Productive solitude is not isolation from the world, instead it is going off the grid for a bit, being alone for a few hours or days, or otherwise separating yourself from others and the world for a period of time. Benefits of this include:
Due to these and other benefits, solitude can increase your emotional and physical capacity, while making you a better entrepreneur, colleague, leader, parent, friend. Partner and more.
Here are some ways to experience productive solitude:
As you take the time and space to reconnect with your thoughts, dreams, and needs, the sound of solitude will have a beautiful ring to you and soon you will look forward to it, despite your co-dependencies or other responsibilities. Let’s make 2020 the year you commit to your mental health and happiness. Commit to productive solitude and see the benefits for you and those around you.
Birditt, Kira S., et al. "Better off alone: Daily solitude is associated with lower negative affect in more conflictual social networks." The Gerontologist (2018).
Bowker, Matthew H. "A View from Political Theory: Desire, Subjectivity, and Pseudo‐Solitude." The Handbook of Solitude: Psychological Perspectives on Social Isolation, Social Withdrawal, and Being Alone (2013): 539-556.
Ingleheart, Jennifer, ed. Two Thousand Years of Solitude: Exile After Ovid. Oxford University Press, 2011.
Jiang, Da, et al. "Everyday solitude, affective experiences, and well-being in old age: the role of culture versus immigration." Aging & mental health (2019): 1-10.
Larson, Reed W. "The solitary side of life: An examination of the time people spend alone from childhood to old age." Developmental review 10.2 (1990): 155-183.
Lay, Jennifer C., et al. "By myself and liking it? Predictors of distinct types of solitude experiences in daily life." Journal of personality 87.3 (2019): 633-647.
Littman-Ovadia, Hadassah. "Doing–Being and Relationship–Solitude: A Proposed Model for a Balanced Life." Journal of Happiness Studies (2019): 1-19.
Long, Christopher R., and James R. Averill. "Solitude: An exploration of benefits of being alone." Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 33.1 (2003): 21-44.
Nguyen, Thuy-vy T., Richard M. Ryan, and Edward L. Deci. "Solitude as an approach to affective self-regulation." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 44.1 (2018): 92-106.
Peperzak, Adriaan Theodoor. System and History in Philosophy: On the Unity of Thought & Time, Text & Explanation, Solitude & Dialogue, Rhetoric & Truth in the Practice of Philosophy and its History. SUNY Press, 1986.
Deadlines loom and the holidays approach, all you want to do is finish work for a critical project. However, your work neighbor is distracting you with their relationship woes; then another colleague walks up from behind and taps on your shoulder startling you. Chitchat, weird noises, unexpected physical contact, and other disruptions abound. Due to your open workspace, where desks are shared and walls are scarce, you feel bombarded with distractions and unable to work efficiently. Your recent trauma, be it sexual assault or another event, makes you even more on edge. Is this familiar? These are some of the challenges people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) face daily in open workspaces.
Even for people without ADHD or recent traumas, open workspaces reduce productivity and focus, while increasing sick leave rates, as noted in the research by Haynes, Mak, Bodin, Haapakangas, and others. A BBC report estimated that open office concepts reduce productivity by 15%, yet continue to be favored by many employers. Open office concepts aren’t disappearing soon. They were originally designed to maximize collaboration, improve employee social interactions and maximize employee satisfaction, as noted by Al Marzouq et al, but they have since also been promoted to reduce employer costs by reducing the office space, office equipment, and walls required per employee. Currently, approximately 70% of American companies have cubicle free, wall free open offices (Smollan et al). This trend is expected to increase as more people work part time from home, utilize flex schedules, seek more collaboration and for other reasons don’t need full time use of an office desk, as found in studies by Bernstein and Maher.
Since open offices aren’t going away, here are tips to consider in order to work as effectively as possible within them.
If you are facing challenges focusing, avoiding distractions, or managing emotions in the workplace due to ADHD, trauma, or office setup, please make time to consult with your work supervisor, counseling and/or medical teams to formulate a plan that allows you to be the best you in the workplace, and still adhere to your company’s mission, regulations, and protocols.
You deserve to have the tools you need to excel in your workplace and career.
AlMarzouq, Mohammad, et al. "Open source: Concepts, benefits, and challenges." Communications of the Association for Information Systems 16.1 (2005): 37.
Bernstein, Ethan S., and Stephen Turban. "The impact of the ‘open’workspace on human collaboration." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 373.1753 (2018): 20170239.
Bodin Danielsson, Christina, et al. "Office design's impact on sick leave rates." Ergonomics 57.2 (2014): 139-147.
Haapakangas, Annu, et al. "Benefits of quiet workspaces in open-plan offices–Evidence from two office relocations." Journal of Environmental Psychology 56 (2018): 63-75.
Haynes, Barry P. "The impact of office layout on productivity." Journal of facilities Management 6.3 (2008): 189-201.
Khazanchi, Shalini, et al. "A spatial model of work relationships: The relationship-building and relationship-straining effects of workspace design." Academy of Management Review 43.4 (2018): 590-609.
Maher, Alena, and Courtney von Hippel. "Individual differences in employee reactions to open-plan offices." Journal of environmental psychology 25.2 (2005): 219-229.
Mak, Cheuk Ming, and Y. P. Lui. "The effect of sound on office productivity." Building Services Engineering Research and Technology 33.3 (2012): 339-345.
Oldham, Greg R., and Daniel J. Brass. "Employee reactions to an open-plan office: A naturally occurring quasi-experiment." Administrative science quarterly (1979): 267-284
Smollan, Roy K., and Rachel L. Morrison. "Office design and organizational change." Journal of Organizational Change Management (2019).
Why can’t she at least pretend to be interested in my passions, if she loves me? Why does she act like an irresponsible child? Why does she miss deadlines, and forget dates important to our union? Why does she have difficulty managing finances? Why is there a lack of any focus or follow through? Is she committed to the relationship? How would this work with kids? Does this sound familiar? It does to John. He fell in love with a brilliant, sharp witted and adventurous girl with unmatched intensity. When he was sick in bed, she talked and talked and talked, keeping him entertained for hours. However, right after marriage and merger of residence, he began to feel the relationship falling apart. John could not understand how she could transform in seconds from a sweet and a dotting wife to a fire breathing dragon screaming in anger. The tiniest things, such as a spilt cup of milk, could set her off. He was wondering if divorce was the only solution, but he loved her and wanted to sustain his family unit.
In the past ADD/ADHD had to be diagnosed before age 7, so adults went through life undiagnosed and untreated. People with ADD/ADHD often would struggle in school, unless someone provided them structure and supervision. At work they may have trouble finishing projects, multitasking, switching activities or even meeting the basic demands of their career without getting overwhelmed. At home they could destroy relationships with their unpredictable mood swings, short fuse, and lack of focus. Fortunately, now, in most cases during graduate school or college, physicians and mental health professionals, can diagnose adults with ADD/ADHD, due to a change in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Happily, John was able to regain the trust, intimacy, and open communication he once had with his wife, and the married was saved because his wife was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and sought treatment, which included couple counseling for work around communication and psycho-education.
Are you or someone you know:
These are some, but not all the symptoms of adult ADD/ADHD. If these are affecting your life or that of a loved one, consider talking with your primary care physician or a mental health professional. They can do an assessment for ADD/ADHD and help you better manage your life and relationships.
If diagnosed, management and treatment options with professional oversight may include:
Relationships and marriage take two, learning about how ADD/ADHD can impact relationships can help you build trust and strength in your relationships. Seeking both medical and psychological advice and consultation around the appropriate treatment for your unique circumstances is advised.
Brown, Thomas E. "ADD/ADHD and impaired executive function in clinical practice." Current Attention Disorders Reports 1.1 (2009): 37-41.
Brown, Thomas E. "Differential diagnosis of ADD versus ADHD in adults." A comprehensive guide to attention deficit disorder in adults: Research, diagnosis, and treatment (1995): 93-108.
Dixon, Ellen B. "Impact of adult ADD on the family." A comprehensive guide to attention deficit disorder in adults: Research, diagnosis, and treatment (1995): 236-259.
Kessler, Ronald C., et al. "The prevalence and correlates of adult ADHD in the United States: results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication." American Journal of psychiatry 163.4 (2006): 716-723.
Nadeau, Kathleen G. Adventures in fast forward: Life, love and work for the ADD adult. Routledge, 2013.
As with mental health challenges, diabetes is an ailment that many have to endure to no fault of their own, yet it carries so much stigma for those belonging to ethnic groups and/or those clinically obese. To manage over the course of one's life, or support loved ones we are responsible, it will challenge one's emotional capacity, as the chronic nature of the disease can support hopelessness. Anxiety and depression are common, however, such may be representative of treatment burnout. Whether you are a child diagnosed with Type 1, or an adult with Type 1 or 2, management can seem unsustainable even with the most rigid compliance. How are patients and parents psychologically impacted? What are some of the challenges that acts are barriers to maintaining a healthy balance?
Requires tapping out of sports, or campus-related activities when sugar levels lower- which can support the appearance of unreliability.
Requires you to work through shame and embarrassment around the need to monitor blood levels, consume insulin, and/or wear monitoring devices.
Concerns around disclosing your diagnosis to a romantic partner during a developmental stage when perfection may be expected or desired.
Pressure around having to make on your own healthcare decisions with medical teams, manage your health, and continue your regime during a time you are learning to trust your own judgment without daily parental supervision.
Requires healthy eating during a time when healthy eating is already challenged by campus life.
Can impact sleep, travel, and activities throughout your day.
Requires 7-10 sticks which can be disruptive during professional or academic pursuits.
Insurance can impact how you treat- with access being a huge issue.
Can impact intimacy and sex drive.
Can impact self-esteem/self-confidence.
Can impact your psychological presentation, including mood, communication, and capacity.
Can be anxiety-provoking with fear looming of the impact of low blood.
Can impact psychological behavior when blood glucose drops.
Can impact your dietary preferences and habits around eating.
Capacity to confront societal judgment.
Can impact sleep due to the need to monitor the blood sugar levels of your child throughout the night.
Requires 7-10 sticks.
Requires advocacy when finding trained childcare willing to accept your little one.
Can require careful planning as the detection of low/high levels can shift the schedule of the whole family.
Supports the feeling of isolation and responsibility for genetically passing on to your child.
Requires absence from work for doctor visits and emergencies.
Requires careful planning of meals to avoid disrupting the blood levels of your child.
Requires a great mathematical aptitude to calculate units of insulin and caloric intake all day.
Requires great capacity for monitoring the alignment of food intake and insulin consumption.
The presentation of your child can be misdiagnosed as behavioral issues within the academic system.
Requires financial stability and adequate insurance to support your child's health.
Capacity needed to confront societal judgment.
Let's talk about costs...
In 2017, U.S. health care costs were $3.5 trillion. That makes health care one of the country's largest industries. It equals 17.9 percent of gross domestic product. In comparison, health care cost $27.2 billion in 1960, just 5 percent of GDP. That translates to an annual health care cost of $10,739 per person in 2017 versus just $146 per person in 1960. Health care costs have risen faster than the average annual income. Health care consumed 4 percent of income in 1960 compared to 6 percent in 2013. Those with chronic illness such as diabetes require a substantial source of funding to maintain a healthy balance. Its beyond a need to exercise and consume a healthy diet.
Let's talk about access...
Shortage of nephrologist : At this time, there are 39,950 people per nephrologist in the United States Source: Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education: http://www.acgme.org/adspublic/reports/accredited_programs.asp. So if a patient lacks medical literacy, or finds themselves under-insured, proper life-saving care is unachievable. Its equivalent to diagnosing someone with Cancer, giving them brief insurance how to stay alive, then sending them out into the world to navigate such on their own. Effected most would be those that lack a great aptitude for math, the under-insured, and those enduring severe mental illness.
At Ince Counseling, we have been trained to support patients via talk therapy and offer our psychological perspective to their treatment teams as patients continue to balance their medical needs while balancing the demands of their busy lives. If this resonates with your circumstances, contact our scheduling team at 1.833.968.8255, option 1 to schedule your intake. If you'd like to chat with us prior to determine a fit, a free phone consult can be obtained by scheduling via our website.
By: Tamara Ince
Especially important for those who plan to request certification for airlines, accommodations for college dorms, or accommodations for apartment living, all animals are not considered eqaual if they wish to register or receive public accommodations for their support animals. While it is true that animals classified as emotional support animals receive legal protections against pet fees for rental housing or fees for airline travel, along with allowances to live or be in places that pets can not, there is a difference between the protections afforded emotional support animals and those provided to support animals covered under the American Disabilities Act, and other Federal laws.
For example, under the Federal American Disabilities Act, service animals covered by this regulation must be permitted anywhere that is open to the public, including restaurants, and are not subject to fees. Whereas emotional support animals may be prohibited from restaurants and subject to access fees to venues, other than airplanes and housing in some jurisdictions. While most service animals receive formal training to do a specific task, many laws for service animals, such as the Federal American Disabilities Act, does not require official certification, leaving room for interpretation and owner training. The American Disabilities Act defines a service animal as an animal that “has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person's disability.” An example is a person with depression owning a dog trained to remind her to take her medication. Psychiatric service dogs may do tasks, such as providing bracing for a person dizzy from medication, waking the owner on the sound of an alarm when too medicated to wake, doing room searches for persons with PTSD, blocking persons in dissociative episodes from wandering, leading a disoriented handler to a place, and other similar dogs. In contrast, an emotional support animal does not need to have any training, though it does need to be owned by a person with a diagnosed disability. In general, for an animal who helps you to be classified as a service animal and not an emotional support animal it must be:
The definition of “disability” varies by law. For example, the Fair Housing Act states that in order for a person to meet this standard they must have a physical or mental impairment that “substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment. The Air Carrier Access Act protects any person who is a passenger with a disability. Similarly, the documentation and registration requirements vary by regulation. For example, in some jurisdictions, if the disability is not visible or the need for the animal is not evident, you may need to provide a letter from a medical provider, registration documentation from a regulatory or private entity, or other documentation. Registration requirements vary from forms and fees with self-affirmations of need to requirements for physician notes and specific diagnoses. In order to fully understand the registration requirements and what type of provider (e.g. physician, therapist, counselor, etc.) can provide needed documentation, please talk with your local regulatory agency, school or business disabilities department, leasing office, airline or other entity. Online resources are available at:
By: Tamara Ince
Jim Crow Laws and the legal segregation and discrimination that continued through the 1950’s may seem like ancient history, yet racism and oppression still exist and affect your financial prosperity, outward persona, feeling of safety, degree of acceptance in groups, self-confidence, personal image, health and ability to form vulnerable relationships with people from other races and cultures. It even affects how you see yourself fitting in society. Is there any wonder why minorities may seem edgy or defensive? Minorities not only face everyday stresses and anxieties, by they also face the impact of oppression and racism.
The 2017 events at the U.S. Air Force Academy’s preparatory school in Charlottesville, Virginia, where racial slurs were written on black students’ doors shows that racism, both overt forms and microaggressions can have a toxic impact on the mental health of individuals. Microaggression, a term Chester M. Pierce, a Harvard Psychiatrist, used in 1970, originally referred to the insults and dismissals of African Americans by non-African Americans. However, psychologist Derald Wing Sue later defined it as “brief everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership.” For minorities, these microaggressions may come in the form of media and societal perceptions.
There is a great body of evidence showing how microaggression can cause or contribute to mental health issues, including personality disorders, anxiety, stress, drug addictions, food addictions, abnormal obsessions, depression, anger, avoidance, intrusion, hypervigilance and low self-esteem, as noted in research from Columbia University. Physicians have found that microaggression contributes both directly and indirectly to mental health challenges because it can cause high levels of stress hormones in the bloodstream for extended periods of time, which causes wear-and-tear on the body. Moreover, research shows that perception of microaggression is associated with a reduced or inability to trust others, fewer opportunities at work and school, increases in unhealthy behaviors, and poor relationships. Microaggression can cause the destruction of unions, which are already challenging to maintain. Yet, few get help because talking about or admitting mental health concerns has been considered taboo in many minority groups.
Don’t let stigmas create self-doubt and shame, your condition is not a sign or weakness, nor is it something you should be able to control on your own. Don’t isolate yourself, there are people who can help. Get professional help. At Ince Counseling, we are seeing that an increasing number of minorities are realizing the benefits of accessing mental health resources and processing traumas through counseling. In particular, we have seen a significant number of minority men seeking help. Together we can work to minimize the physical and psychological harm of microaggression through increased awareness of one’s own biases, understanding of societal biases, increased understanding of the nature and impacts of microaggression, and focused guidance.
If you are suffering from overt or microaggression, or if you are an advocate that is exposed to discrimination or works with discrimination, we suggest you partner with a professional to help you process your traumas, to help you cope better, to guide you to healthier choices for dealing with issues, and to empower you to better process the impact of discrimination. If you find your relationships, success, life, or person being negatively impacted by mental health challenges, please contact Ince scheduling team at 1-833-968-8255 for help now.
You can also find support and get questions answered through:
Carter, Robert T., and Amy L. Reynolds. "Race-related stress, racial identity status attitudes, and emotional reactions of Black Americans." Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 17.2 (2011): 156.
Constantine, Madonna G., et al. "Racial microaggressions against Black counseling and counseling psychology faculty: A central challenge in the multicultural counseling movement." Journal of Counseling & Development 86.3 (2008): 348-355.
DeAngelis, Tori. "Unmasking Racial micro aggressions'." Monitor on Psychology 40.2 (2009): 42.
Hernández, Pilar, Mirna Carranza, and Rhea Almeida. "Mental health professionals' adaptive responses to racial microaggressions: An exploratory study." Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 41.3 (2010): 202.
Nordmarken, Sonny. "Microaggressions." Transgender Studies Quarterly 1.1-2 (2014): 129-134.
Sue, Derald Wing, et al. "Racial microaggressions in everyday life: Implications for clinical practice." American psychologist62.4 (2007): 271.
By: Tamara Ince
World renowned physician and researcher Sir David R. Hawkins, M.D. Ph.D. found that “disease is an expression of one’s attitude and habitual ways of looking at things.” Prolonged exposure to negativity and trauma can disrupt your nervous system and contribute to anxiety, cardiac problems, insomnia, emotional flooding, digestive issues, and more. However, affirming love, whether it is self-love or love from others, heals. Not only can love heal people emotionally and mentally, published research articles from Anand, Daykin, Garland, Greenlee, Zebrack and others have shown that, when integrated into treatment plans, love can help heal medical ailments, even supposedly terminal ailments such as cancer. For example, Stamatis Moraitis was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and told treatment could not save his life. He skipped treatment and went home to bask in the love of his wife and old friends. Over twenty-five years later he was still alive, feeling better than ever, farming a vineyard, and living to 102.
Small acts like a mother kissing an injured toddler, a family providing a supportive loving environment, or simple acts of kindness by people, who you feel have your best interests at heart, can reduce or eliminate the effects of physical and mental pain and illness. Yes, logically a kiss should not be able to remove pain, but distributed love actions do have a placebo effect, as noted in the research by Esch. Just think back of how, when you felt like the world was collapsing around you, after receiving a simple text or e-mail from a loved one the day or your motivation to push on instantly improved. Alas, as we progress through life and our career, things become more complicated and we lose our core support network. As Maya Angelou noted in Touched by an Angel, we can end up living “coiled in shells of loneliness”. This is why it is critical for people to build out their support network as they age, so they can bring more love into their life so, in Angelou’s words, it can come “into our sight to liberate us into life.”
How do you pursue and support healing love? If you are not in a partnering relationship, you can reach out and connect with colleagues at work, volunteer activities, group sports, travel, or support groups. You can also adopt a pet (aka emotional support animal) or plan activities to reconnect with friends or family. If you have a partner, try putting more effort into positive communication, seeking understanding, being supportive, sharing needs and wants, finding balance and win-win solutions, being present and accountable to your partner, and just showing up to provide support wherever and whenever your partner needs it to help them grow and excel.
Let’s celebrate Valentine’s Day. I encourage you to pursue love in all forms, so that you have the physical and mental support you deserve and need to continue to grow and reach your full potential. If healthy love alludes you, contact us at Ince Counseling, 1.833.968.8522. In honor of Valentine’s Day, this February through mid-March, we are offering a limited number of discounted rate (Special Pricing) for singles and couples interested in Relationship Consulting. Let’s make sure your February is full of love.
Brecher, Edward M. "Love sex and aging." (1983).
Breitbart, William, et al. "Pilot randomized controlled trial of individual meaning-centered psychotherapy for patients with advanced cancer." Journal of Clinical Oncology 30.12 (2012): 1304.
Brockmann, Hilke, and Thomas Klein. "Love and death in Germany: The marital biography and its effect on mortality." Journal of Marriage and Family 66.3 (2004): 567-581.
Daykin, Norma, Stuart McClean, and Leslie Bunt. "Creativity, identity and healing: participants' accounts of music therapy in cancer care." Health: 11.3 (2007): 349-370.
Ellsberg, Mary, et al. "Intimate partner violence and women's physical and mental health in the WHO multi-country study on women's health and domestic violence: an observational study." The Lancet 371.9619 (2008): 1165-1172.
Esch, Tobias, and George B. Stefano. "Love promotes health." Neuroendocrinology Letters 26.3 (2005): 264-267.
Garland, Sheila N., et al. "A non-randomized comparison of mindfulness-based stress reduction and healing arts programs for facilitating post-traumatic growth and spirituality in cancer outpatients." Supportive Care in Cancer 15.8 (2007): 949-961.
Out with the Resolutions and In with the Successful Mission(Carving Out a Mission Statement for 2019)
By: Tamara Ince
Since the days of ancient Babylon, around four thousand years ago, people have made New Year’s resolutions. During their massive 12-day festival, the Babylonians made promises to the gods to pay their debts, return borrowed objects, and make life changes. These promises over the years evolved into New Year’s resolutions. This practice continued throughout ancient Roman. Then the early Christians modified it, when they commenced the tradition of thinking about one’s past mistakes and resolving to make changes in the future every Jan. 1.
Despite its secular origin, it has now become commonplace. Approximately 45% of Americans say they make New Year’s resolutions, according to recent research. However, only about 8% are successful. Out of those that are successful, according to research by Norcross et. al, approximately 53% had at least one slip. With such a dismal success rate, despite having over 4,000 years to perfect the art of New Year’s resolutions, I challenge you do embark on a new way to set 2019 goals. Instead of setting a New Year’s resolution and waking up a year later with a failed resolution and an unchanged life, I challenge you to actively implement steps to navigate 2019 based on a mission statement.
A mission statement can be developed around a habit you would like to break, a goal (such as purchasing a home or earning a degree), or a result you would like (such as better relationships). Once you have created your mission statement, you can develop an action plan on how to achieve the mission, with time-based goals. For example:
Mission Statement for a Couple: To refocus on our union and better support intimacy in 2019
Quarterly: Plan a trip to experience a new environment, learn, review quarterly progress, laugh together, and enjoy rest and relaxation
Monthly: Devote 1 day a month for a couples convention to discuss or revisit any concerns that have surfaced during the month and share potential resolutions. Embrace at the end of the day
Weekly: Engage in at least one unprompted act of kindness
When crafting your mission, do be specific about what you want, make it achievable, (for example no one is perfect, so having a mission to be the perfect spouse is unachievable), realistic (for example you know how many hours you have for your action plan so don’t plan more than you have time to do), and timely (set time periods for actions and deadlines for your mission). Developing and implementing a mission statement will help you focus on the important aspects of your life and increase the odds that you will wake up January 1, 2020 happier and more successful. Research has shown that mission statements can draw people together towards common goals, give hope for a better future, inspire couples and individuals to achieve their dreams through effective actions, convert broad dreams into an action-oriented roadmap to success, and empower people to maintain focus despite distractions. Let’s work to turn your visions and dreams into your realities.
Resources to jump start you are:
Time Management Tools
Basil, Michael D., Debra Z. Basil, and Caroline Schooler. "Cigarette Advertising to Counter New Years Resolutions." Journal of health communication 5.2 (2000): 161-174.
De Vet, Emely, et al. "Ain’t no mountain high enough? Setting high weight loss goals predict effort and short-term weight loss." Journal of health psychology 18.5 (2013): 638-647.
Doran, James, Danling Jiang, and David Peterson. "Gambling in the New Year? The January idiosyncratic volatility puzzle." Unpublished working paper, Florida State University (2008).
Ellis, Albert. "Rational-emotive therapy and its application to emotional education." Paper delivered at the 17th International Congress of the International Association of Applied Psychology, Liege, Belgium. 1971.
Heffernan, Margaret. "Changing the game." Prowess Conference. Vol. 3. 2003.
Liebert, Robert S., and John M. Oldham, eds. The middle years: New psychoanalytic perspectives. Yale University Press, 1989.
Marlatt, G. Alan, and Burt E. Kaplan. "Self-initiated attempts to change behavior: A study of New Year's resolutions." Psychological Reports 30.1 (1972): 123-131.
Moore, Ann, and Gwendolen Jull. "New years resolutions and personal and professional development 2006." Manual therapy 11.1 (2006): 1.
Nelissen, Rob MA, Emely de Vet, and Marcel Zeelenberg. "Anticipated emotions and effort allocation in weight goal striving." British journal of health psychology 16.1 (2011): 201-212.
By: Tamara Ince
Society, spouses, and friends often expect men to be strong, successful, in control, problem solvers, bread winners, and the one who steps up when life falls apart. This causes men to suffer and even die from mental health challenges in silence. Every 20 minutes in the United States a man commits suicide, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Based on research by Dr. Nock, 3 out of every 4 US suicide victims are men. Around the world, men are up to 7.5 times more likely to kill themselves than women, according to Nock. Möller-Leimkühler found men are more successful than women at killing themselves on their first suicide attempt with few warning signs.
Unlike men, women often show signs. It is common for women to talk daily about their problems, share their thoughts and emotions with friends, go to support groups, confide in family and give warning signs when they are overwhelmed or suicidal. Often these conversation can even have therapeutic value. Men are commonly taught not to do any of this, so often no one knows when their male loved ones are in crisis. The men just hold it in and then resort to suicide or unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Unhealthy coping techniques, such as substance abuse, are three times more common in men than women. Being intoxicated or under the influence of drugs can increase risk of suicide because inhibitions are decreased, while levels of aggression and depression increase. Similarly, men may develop addictions, such as over-eating, gambling, and sex, and even become unfaithful in an effort to cope with life.
How do we empower our men to become leaders and excel? “Education is the key” noted author Michael Baisden in his book Men Cry in the Dark. No longer is participation in therapy considered a sign of weakness or failure for men. In fact, to reach their potential, men need to have access to emotional support, healing activities, healthy relationships, and education on emotional and mental health.
Activities such as 30 minutes of reading can significantly reduce stress, heart rate, and blood pressure, according to Dr. Rizzolo, just. So, as you learn, you can relax. Here are some books to start with.
healthy coping techniques, and strengthen their relationships with their children, partners, family, friends and colleagues, as noted by Haig, Massenzio, and Yardy.
Do you or someone you love struggle handling life? Now is the time to seek help so he can take charge of his thoughts and emotions. Half of Ince Counseling’s clients are men, a testament to the fact men need to and are taking their mental health seriously. Would you like to partner with Ince Counseling? Start by contacting our scheduling team at 1.833.968.8255.
Baisden, Michael. Men Cry in the Dark. Baisden Pub., 2013
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