SETTING GOALS DURING THIS NEW SEASON

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September 16th, 2020 >> accountability, achieve, attainable, commitment, goal setting, measureable, motivation, productivity, reflect, SMART goals, time oriented

SETTING GOALS DURING THIS NEW SEASON

By: Destiny M. Johnson

During this new season of ambiguity, one might find themselves searching for meaning and direction. Things that felt so common and routine like leaving the house to attend an event, going to get food, or going for a walk have decreased due to the easily transmitted and wide spread of coronavirus, COVID- 19. The typical day for many individuals has changed and left much uncertainty about the future. Some pressing questions may be, how do I find normalcy when things keep shifting and changing?  How do I make a schedule that fits my new lifestyle of being home with children? How can I still progress in my career while managing homeschooling? How do I measure my productivity?

Although these questions are arising, take heart in knowing you are not alone during this difficult time. Many are in transition and taking stake of what is important to them. Adjusting and setting goals to enhance productivity doing this new season is essential during this time.

Why making goals and writing them down are important?

Setting goals are important because they provide tangible productivity, direction, and degrees of purpose to one’s life. Goal setting yields many with the opportunity to become intentional and an active participant in their life rather than a bystander. Goals allow for everyone to seek out and define objectives and aim to complete them. 

Did you know, you are more likely to accomplish a goal if you write them down? Writing down Goals can free up space in your mind, so you can focus on other things or more specifically on things that matter. Also writing down goals helps you remember them and stay attentive to what you want to accomplish.

Here are some tips for Goal Setting:

Define your WHY…. for Setting Goals

·         It is good to identify why you want to accomplish a goal. Is this goal for you or others? Why is this goal important to you? Who does the goal serve? What is the purpose of your goal? Is this a Project Goal, Personal Goal, Career Goal, Passion Goal etc. 

Find you Motivation

·         Ask yourself, what and who is your motivation? Is this Intrinsic or extrinsic motivation? Intrinsic motivation definition refers to behavior that is driven by natural and inborn satisfaction. Someone with this motivation looks for an internal reward such as personal growth and development. There is a strong personal desire to thrive that energies a person to complete a task. The opposite is extrinsic motivation, which is driven by others recognition or external rewards or to avoid punishment. Rewards or incentives can be praise, promotion, fame, or money. Either types of motivations can be used however, it is vital to know where your motivation comes from. Knowing where your motivation stems from will allow you to draw from that place if fatigue begins to occur during your process toward achieving your goal.

Determine the Duration

·         Establish if the goal is short-term, weekly, monthly, or long-term and if you are willing to commit to the duration.

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals.

 S.M.A.R.T. Goals are effective because they are:

·         Specific – They are clearly defined and identify your uniqueness. Define what you want and do not be vague. Clearly defined goals help you stay on track, so you do not drift away or change the goal midway because it was too general.

·         Measurable – They can be quantifiable and able to be proven.

·         Attainable – They are reasonable to manage and possible to be achieved. Be honest with yourself and set goals that can be successfully completed.

·         Realistic – They are a true representation of you and relevant to who you are. Make it personal!

·         Time Oriented – They are planned with a beginning and an ending, deadline, or timetable. Do not fall into a cycle of starting a goal with no set timing of accomplishing the goal. Time sets the boundary and can help with accountability.

 You can create goals in bite sizes. This format of goal setting will help guide you, track progress along the way, provide accountability based on the time you have set for yourself and ultimately help you reach completion.

Have Accountability

·         Use of technology such as reminders and notes on cell phones, excel spreadsheets, computer software, etc.  Also, Apps to track progress are great. Some tracking apps that can be used are goal setting tracker, daily planner, todoist, trello, and Monday.

·         Journaling and writing down goals using a planner are great accountability. Other fun alternatives are using post it notes, dry erase board, vision board with goals or even writing goals on a mirror. Visibility of goals remind you that you are working toward something and help you manifest them.

·          Accountability Partner or Group. Who is in your circle of influence and supports you? Reach out to those family or friends for support and let them in. This connection will help you when things get hard and they will also be there to help celebrate your progress. 

Revisit, Reflect, Recalibrate

Not all goals are easy to accomplish therefore, revisit the goal and take time to reflect. It is necessary to check on your progress periodically throughout your process. Remember reflection is part of the journey. Take inventory on where you are mentally and emotionally. Reflection will help you determine if things are going well or if things need to be recalibrated for more efficiency. It is okay to modify the goal, this does not mean you have failed. Things change and we must adjust and keep moving forward. 

Trust the Process

Understand that hiccups may occur so be patient with yourself and be open to the process. Achieving goals have their highs and lows and require resiliency.  Pace yourself but do not be afraid to push past uncomfortability. Be kind, be gentle, and take care of yourself. Some goals require mental and emotional strength, time, money, and effort. Whatever the goal may need trust that if you are doing your part it will all work out. 

Celebrate the Progress and the Wins

Do not forget to clap for yourself. The finish line is not the most important part of the race. The journey tends to be what you spend the most time on,  so celebrate each milestone no matter how small. Then when you accomplish what you set out do it big you deserve it.

Hacking Happy

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July 10th, 2020 >> depressed, happy

When people say, “choose happiness,” it sounds like an unrealistic task. You can’t just decide to be happy and then magically feel rainbows in your heart. However, there is science behind eliciting happy emotions in order to become a happy person. What makes you smile? Do that, and in time you might find yourself feeling happier in general. This is called “Behavior Activation.” When we are in a negative headspace, we tend to self-punish and convince ourselves that we don’t deserve to do things that we enjoy. When we are depressed, we tend to lack motivation to do things we once had interest in. 

If we force ourselves to engage in things that we like, we end up being in “the mood” again (sound familiar with sexual libido?). Here’s a task: write a long list of situations that elicits good feelings. Try to engage in or expose yourself to at least one of those each day with the purpose of feeling happy. Even if it is looking at pictures, you might be pleasantly surprised with how it makes you feel! Here’s a sample list for ideas:

  • Watching animal videos on YouTube
  • Manicures
  • Flowers
  • Sweet treats
  • Dancing
  • Stand-up comedy
  • Talking to a friend
  • Helping others
  • Cleaning the house
  • Exercising
  • Singing/ Listening to music
  • DIY projects
  • Visiting the beach
  • Cooking
  • Getting a haircut
  • Dressing up
  • Being cozy in a soft blanket
  • Watching a movie
  • Hugs
  • Reading
  • Making a collage
  • Being around your favorite color

Getting Out of the Quarantine Slump

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April 25th, 2020 >> COVID-19

By: Silva Depanian, MA, AMFT, CAMC

Have you noticed your energy flagging lately? How about feeling low motivation and poor mental health? Over the last few weeks in quarantine, I myself have had to make some mental shifts and reassess my needs due to this new change of pace while staying at home. Here are three tips that have helped me get out of my quarantine slump, and that I hope you will try out to help yourself too:

  1. Have stimulating conversations. We are social creatures accustomed to having dynamic days filled with a variety of stimuli. We used to interact with people at the office, while taking a walk outside, while going shopping at the mall. Please note, an interaction doesn’t necessarily mean having a full conversation. Simply making eye contact, smiling and nodding at someone walking by, or saying a quick hello can stimulate the mind and counts as human interaction. Without the constant stimulation, our mental energy flags from the monotony experienced during quarantine. To break this monotony, shake it up with conversations! Keep in touch with friends, family, partners, and colleagues, whether via video conferencing, making a phone call, or shooting a text message. Create your own opportunity for interaction.
  2. Activate your creative mind. This shift to a more monotonous, repetitive lifestyle can be stressful and depressing. Create a mental shift by actually doing something creative! Try working with your hands and make fun new things, whether it’s art, food, or attempting a funky hair or makeup style. Focusing on a creative activity helps to keep you in the present instead of thinking about how you wish things could be different.
  3. Give yourself a break. Now that many of us are at home, there is an odd pressure to “make the most of your free time.” Really, this is a time to reset, not necessarily a time to conquer the world. It is important to be kind to yourself through this stressful global event. As your mind slows and is no longer bombarded by constant stimuli, all those triggers and difficult emotions you’ve been avoiding have the chance to resurface. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the perceived need to keep pushing yourself, slow down. Reflect. Rest.

This change in daily structure has been rough on so many. As such, it is vital that we create our own structure. I call on you to discover your own, possibly shifted needs during this new time, while living this new lifestyle. Just remember to be kind to yourself as both your body and mind adjust.

   Silva Depanian is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist offering therapy for individuals and couples in Glendale, Pasadena, and Hollywood. She specializes in helping individuals with anger management, chronic pain management, and codependent relationship issues. She is offering 30% off for new clients through the end of May.

Beauty rising from the chaos – Silver lining of COVID-19

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April 15th, 2020 >> COVID-19

During this very uncertain and strange time in history many people find themselves in a state of confusion, conflict and chaos. Feelings of anxiety, helplessness, and fear are at their all-time high. However, it is our individual responsibility to reframe our perspective during times of crisis and give ourselves and others grace and patience as we ride out the tedious and indefinite task of orders like “shelter in place”. Many are asking themselves “How will I make ends meet”,” Why do I feel so alone”? “How will I support my kids and manage working from home”? “What will I do now that I’ve lost my job”?  (Heavy stuff, right)? These realities are what we are faced with during this time, but we cannot be overtaken by what we cannot control. So, to reframe these thoughts, we ask, how do we embrace the circumstances that we are in with positivity?

Every rose has its thorns, but thorns don’t keep us from picking the flowers (ouch!) As we live and grow, we come into the understanding that love does not cease to exist without pain. The same is true in times such as these, understanding that life is not lived without hardships, uncertainties, or uncomfortable situations. However, it is our personal responsibility to find the silver lining.

The following are silver linings to consider:

  1. Spending Quality Time with Family and Friends

    Have you ever said, “I wish I could have a day off to spend some extra time with my family”? Or, “I wish I could catch up with my friends like we use too”? This is the perfect time to love on your friends and family, as life is so short.  A few ways to connect with each other is by using technology to your advantage, use Zoom, House Party, or Facetime to virtually connect and get creative with those who are at a distance. Have a game night or sit at the dining room table and share a meal with your family. Watch a movie or talk about frivolous things with your significant other.

  2. Slowing Down

    Taking time to rest is vital. Slowing down allows us opportunities to reflect, plan, and strategize toward implementation. Not taking the appropriate time to pause, can result in burn out, stagnation, and being on autopilot. Waiting, does have to be passive, you can actively wait. For example, meditation, reflection and journaling, making a hot breakfast in the morning, taking naps, and sleeping in.

  3. Focusing on What’s Important

    Most days we are bombarded with the nuances of life. The routine of being busy, but tragedy has a way of resting order. Which helps us identify what really matters during this time (this may look different for everyone). I challenge you to sit with your values, and that which you hold dear to determine what is of most importance. Find ways to align with the present as you prepare for the future.

  4. Appreciation of What We Have

    Take a deep breath! Inhale, then exhale
    Count your blessings and find gratitude in the small things. Such as not fighting  traffic on the 405 (thank God for that!), spending excess money on gas, hanging out with your pets a little more, and being able to spend a little more time taking care of  home (tackling that large load of laundry), and listening to the birds outside your window.

    Now it’s your turn, what are a few of your favorite silver linings?

Destiny Johnson, M.S

Avedian Counseling Center is offering three free individual sessions to a limited number of people and, Talin Honarchian, LMFT, will be starting a free virtual support group on Mondays at 11 am for those directly impacted by the Coronavirus. Call us at (818) 426-2495 to learn more.

Managing Stress Related to COVID-19

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March 30th, 2020 >> COVID-19

In recent weeks, many of us are experiencing strong emotions related to the growing concerns over COVID-19. Everyday seems to bring more reports of confirmed cases and that number continues to rise according to the California Department of Public Health. As we are advised to practice social distancing and “safer at home”, we can find that stress and anxiety are increasing, spiraling into unwarranted fears. Losing social contact has also impacted our emotional wellbeing and although many of us have turned to virtual means, we are still finding ourselves feeling overwhelmed with the uncertainty of COVID-19. Although many parts of this pandemic are out of our control, it is important to identify what we do have control over.

Here are some helpful tips on managing stress and anxiety during this chaotic time.

·      Set Boundaries – It is important to keep yourself up to date with information on various media platforms, but if you find yourself consumed with this information then set media limits.

·      Relaxation- There are various ways of practicing relaxation including deep breathing, grounding, and/or meditation. You can start practicing deep breathing by inhaling a slow deep breath, holding your inhale for 4-5 seconds, and following it by a slow exhale. 

·      Journal – It is okay to feel whatever you’re feeling. Express your feelings in a healthy and constructive way. Journaling can provide you with an outlet to express and organize your thoughts.  

·      Self-care – Focus on loving and taking care of yourself, especially in times of stress. Remember if you do not take care of yourself, not only is your emotional health affected, but also your physical health as your immune system is compromised. Take a moment to identify simple ways to practice self-care.

Taking positive actions and identifying areas of control can help manage our fear. Remember that we are all going through this pandemic together and this too will pass. If you find yourself having difficulty controlling your anxiety or stress related to COVID-19, it can be helpful to talk to a mental health professional.

Talin Honarchian, LMFT

Avedian Counseling Center is offering three free individual sessions to a limited number of people. And, Talin Honarchian, LMFT, will be starting a free virtual support group on Mondays at 11 am for those directly impacted by the Coronavirus. Call us at (818) 426-2495 to learn more.

Fatigue and Chronic Pain

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August 21st, 2018 >> fatigue and chronic pain

Chronic Pain Support Group

Fatigue and Chronic Pain

Have you been feeling tired lately? Does the word “tired” not even begin to cover the level of your seemingly constant exhaustion? You might be experiencing fatigue!

If you are not familiar with the term, fatigue is not just feeling tired. It is a severe, sometimes incapacitating feeling of exhaustion that is made worse by physical and mental exertion. Unfortunately, those who experience chronic pain can sometimes find themselves encountering debilitating fatigue in addition to the physical strain they already face. If this fatigue persists for more than six months, you might even be experiencing chronic fatigue syndrome. Be aware that there are many symptoms of chronic pain and chronic fatigue that overlap, and so, differentiating between the symptoms of each illness may become difficult. Those experiencing both illnesses may notice non-restorative sleep, brain fog, widespread chronic pain, neurological abnormalities, and sensitivity to light, sounds and odors. Of course, presentation and severity of symptoms can vary for each individual, but in all cases, both illnesses require heightened awareness of individual needs.

As mentioned, fatigue can become exacerbated if you overly exert yourself, as is also true with chronic pain symptoms. As such, it is imperative that those experiencing chronic pain and chronic fatigue remain in tune with their body’s and mind’s needs at all times. In your case, self-care is not a luxury; it is a way of maintaining quality of life. There are several ways to be mindful of your needs when experiencing both chronic pain and chronic fatigue.

 

  1. Do a body check.

    When was the last time you stopped what you were doing and conducted a mental scan of how your body is holding up? If your last body check was recent, do you conduct the scan regularly, or wait until you are already feeling pain and exhaustion? Pay attention to your body when it’s trying to speak to you! Proactively checking on your sensitive areas and being aware of your warning signals is extremely useful if you want to lessen the amount of times you feel the worst symptoms of your illness.

  2. Plan and prioritize.

    Planning breaks during activities is essential in order to avoid aggravating your symptoms. Over-exertion may not seem like too big of a problem when you are in the middle of having fun or getting chores done, but you will feel the negative effects soon enough when your pain flares up or severe exhaustion drags you to sleep. Take scheduled breaks, even if you don’t feel like you need one yet! If you are out and about, the break can include simply sitting down or leaning on something for five or ten minutes so your body can relax. If you are hard at work and forcing deep focus on your assignment, switch to a mindless or easier task for ten to fifteen minutes so you can give your mind a chance to rest and recalibrate. Regularly plan breaks based on your limits and needs. Prioritize your mental and physical health over your tasks and activities.

  3. Mind your sleep hygiene.

    Conducting regular body scans and planning much needed breaks are good to do during the day, but figuring out a healthy sleep schedule is very important during the night hours. Bad sleep hygiene can have many negative effects on both chronic pain and fatigue, especially since both include non-restorative sleep as a symptom. As you may have discovered, getting sleep does not always mean getting rest. Therefore, it is important to have a nightly routine that prepares your body and mind for rest. For example, try going to sleep and waking up around the same time every day to maintain a consistent sleep cycle. Avoid exposing yourself to the blue light emitted from your TV, phone, or tablet before sleeping, as this stimulates the brain and reduces the release of the sleep chemical melatonin due to the blue light being perceived as daylight. Lastly, make sure your sleep environment is comfortable and lacking any disruptive sounds or lights. Remember, you might not be able to control your pain and fatigue, but you can certainly control what you do to mitigate the intensity of your symptoms! Be kind to yourself. You are worth the effort.

 

References:

  1. What is ME/CFS: About the disease. Retrieved from https://solvecfs.org/about-the-disease/
  2. What is sleep hygiene. Retrieved from https://sleep.org/articles/sleep-hygiene/

When Social Anxiety Meets The Dating World

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August 21st, 2018 >> social anxiety and dating

When Social Anxiety Meets The Dating World

Can you be socially anxious AND also be able to date?

If you struggle with social anxiety, you might believe that the answer to this question is NO….how can you have social anxiety and be able to go out on dates? Well, good news…. there ARE ways that people with social anxiety can make dating work!

Anyone experiencing social anxiety knows that it can be an extremely life hindering battle. The persistent nervousness and accompanying negative thoughts can be crippling and sometimes it’s difficult to leave home unless it’s absolutely necessary.

However, we were born to live in community, to love and be loved. Social anxiety can make it difficult to initiate romantic relationships, but that does not mean we don’t want to have physical and emotional intimacy with someone special.

Having social anxiety does not mean that you have to live in isolation or that you won’t be able to find that special someone. You just need a different approach.

Here are 5 DATING tips that can help you work through your SOCIAL ANXIETY:

Practice Celebrating Who You Are

A hallmark feature of social anxiety is the fear of being judged. People with social anxiety are often their own worst critics. Usually, the only person judging you is you.

Minimizing self-judgement can be done by frequent positive self-talk.

Answer the following questions:

What is it about your personality that a romantic interest would find attractive?  What physical qualities do you have that you like about yourself?  Try to name a few.  Frequent acknowledgement of these attributes can help build your confidence.

Create a Mock Dialogue

Consider the social settings where you might meet someone for a date. Mentally place yourself in that scene. Next, think of a few lines that you can easily memorize and could use during your date. Having a few phrases memorized can help to ease you into the flow of conversation. By using this technique, the pressure of saying the “right” thing can be reduced, which can reduce your overall anxiety.

Don’t Hide Your Nervousness

It’s ok to be nervous! Remember that your romantic interest is also human, and could also be feeling nervous during a date. Dating is not easy for anyone and first dates can be especially difficult for everyone involved.

Admitting that you are nervous is ok and most likely not something that your date would perceive as negative.

If You Get Nervous Keep Going

For those with social anxiety, it is common to want to run away from conversations after you think you made a mistake or said the “wrong thing.” Learn to accept those embarrassing moments.  Maybe you can turn them into a joke.  When dating, one thing that people look for in a potential partner is a sense of humor.  Whatever you do, make sure that you own the awkward moment and embrace it!

Meet People Under as Little Pressure as Possible

When you are looking to date, you might want to avoid social settings that are large.  People with social anxiety typically find partners at small venues and not around large crowds. Small groups tend to ease anxiety.

You can also try meeting your “hot date” through a friend.  Let your friends know that you are looking to date and ask them if they have any acquaintances they think would be a good fit.  Meeting someone through a trusted individual tends to ease pressure and you might find a good match!

When to seek Professional Help

If you are struggling with social anxiety, the best method to gain better control of your life is through therapy. Consider reaching out to a therapist or joining a support group.

I hold social anxiety groups at my Sherman Oaks office. Contact me at (818) 426-2495 for more information on overcoming social anxiety!

 

Anita Avedian, LMFT, CAMS-IV
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Certified Anger Management Specialist IV
Director of Anger Management 818
Social Anxiety and Dating

Disclaimer: The recommendations given in this article are not a replacement for therapy. Please consider seeking help from a mental health professional if you are experiencing mental or emotional distress. If you have a medical or psychological emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Thank you.

References

Social Anxiety Disorder. (n.d.) In Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Retrieved from adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/social-anxiety-disorder.

Conversation Starters for People with Social Anxiety

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April 22nd, 2015 >> Social Anxiety and Shyness, Uncategorized

Have you ever been in a social situation and didn’t know what to say? Social anxiety can lead to avoiding starting conversations because of our insecurities. We might think that we don’t have anything interesting to say or that people wouldn’t care about our opinions. How many times have you been to a party, or a conference, or out for an evening of fun, and seen people that you’d like to get to know. But rather than allowing yourself to be vulnerable and exposing your interest, you chose to avoid approaching them? Though these worries may be common for many people, it is extremely difficult for the people with social anxiety.

If you have social anxiety, and would like to take some steps towards overcoming this concern, answer the following questions:

1- What is the worst that could happen?

2- Will introducing yourself result in being criticized or teased?

3- If you don’t hit it off with someone right away does that mean you won’t ever get along with another stranger?

If you really think about numbers two and three, the answer is probably “no.” What’s likely to happen when you have a small conversation with someone is that it may not lead into something meaningful; however, the practice of starting such conversations will help you build some confidence to approaching more people. Eventually starting conversations will lead to the possibility of developing more meaningful and deeper relationships. Think about it: we’re all strangers before we become friends, associates, colleagues, or even lovers.

In order to better prepare you for starting a conversation in any situation, we have four tips for you to try.

First, don’t worry about the first words out of your mouth being the funniest, cleverest or most meaningful openers. It is common for someone with social anxiety to have the perfect approach, and opening. We are very critical of ourselves. A casual introduction or comment on the weather works just fine. For example, “I noticed your smile and think it’s very endearing.”

Second, depending on where you are when meeting someone, you can ask rely on comments pertaining to your current surroundings. If you are at an event, you could ask how the other person knows the host. Or whether they’ve been part of the event in the past.

Third, talk about a positive aspect rather than a negative experience. It’s not fun for people to hear negativity.

Fourth, ask open-ended questions and maintain a good balance of comments, stories, and questions. Be sure not to ask too many questions consecutively. And also make sure you’re not the only one talking. Oftentimes it is easier for the socially anxious person to ask questions and take the attention away from themselves.

These four tips can be practiced in a safe setting such as a social anxiety group before you take them into the world. Each time you initiate a conversation, it will get easier. Moreover, the more you practice, the easier it gets. Conversations are wonderful learning tools. Once you have developed a few simple skills, you will be on the road to developing more meaningful relationships.

“There is no such thing as a worthless conversation, provided you know what to listen for. And questions are the breath of life for a conversation.” ~James Nathan Miller

 

Examples of Conversation Starters

1. “I don’t know anyone around here so I thought I’d come talk to you.” or  “I’m a little nervous talking with strangers, but I just had to come say hi.”

2. Talk about something you know the person is interested in. “What about the game last night!” “Yankees (or other team) aren’t doing so well this season.” Or “Your flowers are looking lovely.” 

3. “You look like a [lawyer/CEO/baker/some noble profession].” The person is bound to ask why  you guessed that particular profession

4. Talk about a funny, embarrassing moment.

5. “What’d you get up to earlier today?

6. ‘You look lost. Do you need help?”

7. My daughter’s birthday party is this weekend. It’s taken so much planning! What do you do for your kids’ birthday parties.

8. I bet you $50 you’re gonna turn me down.

9. ‘I notice that you bought some apple cider vinegar. I have always wondered, what are the health benefits?’

10. That’s an interesting T-shirt. What does that symbol stands for?’

11. Do you have any trips coming up?

12. Are you watching Game of Thrones? House of Cards? Enter popular TV show here __________?

13. I’m planning a special occasion meal. Do you have any restaurant recommendations?

14. I’m looking for a new book? I really enjoy (biographies, fiction, sci-fi) Have you read any good books lately?

15. I love your necklace, tie, ring, brooch? Where did you get it?

16. Are you looking forward to anything special this week?

17. How did you hear about this event? How do you know the host of the party? Do you come here often?

18. Did you have a chance to listen to the news today? I didn’t have time to check in. Did I miss anything?

19. What are you passionate about?

What is Social Anxiety and Should You Join a Support Group

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February 10th, 2015 >> Social Anxiety and Shyness

 

What is Social Anxiety and Should You Join a Support Group?

Social Anxiety is a psychiatric disorder. It is the third most common psychiatric illness in the U.S. right below depression and alcoholism.  It affects millions of Americans and can be a debilitating and life altering condition that can prevent us from going out, experiencing social situations, having fun, strengthening our self-confidence and being our best selves.

Sufferers of severe anxiety will dread the thought of meeting strangers or expressing their opinions especially if they disagree with the status quo. People with social anxiety contemplate negative thoughts in anticipation of their pubic interactions. One of the main contributors to social anxiety is low self-esteem. It is the feeling that we’re not good enough to be heard or to have our opinions valued. While anxiety can get in the way of our life it can also be arrested and prevented as long as we’re willing to do the work and make some changes to our everyday behaviors. Sufferers of social anxiety tend to focus on the negative, such as being judged, focusing on our imperfections, what people won’t like about us and a lack of interesting discussion topics, rather than focusing on all of the fascinating accomplishments we’ve made and our interesting opinions.

 

Reasons for joining a social anxiety support group:

Support groups aren’t for everybody. Many autodidacts and independent people will be averse to joining a support group in the belief that they can overcome their problems on their own. And while that may be true for some people it is not true for everyone. We are unique individuals with secular needs and no two approaches to life are meant to be the same.

One excellent reason for joining a support group is because one of the better ways to working through an anxiety is to face it, and learn to deal with the discomfort. For social anxiety, that would mean to put yourself in a situation involving others. The group is a safe environment since you will be surrounded with others who experience the same worries and fears, and who are there to work through their struggles as well. One of the reasons why overcoming social anxiety is difficult is because one typically avoids social situations in order to not feel the anxiety. In a support group, you will have the opportunity to work through your anxiety in a supportive atmosphere.  Are you ready to stop feeling so isolated?  Come connect with others, and take a step toward overcoming your own social anxiety. In a therapeutic setting, you are able to practice the skills and techniques suggested by the therapist to help you deal with social anxiety.

 

What are some strategies for change?

 

  1. Identify situations you fear and avoid so that you could select appropriate exposure practices.
  2. Identify the extent to which you are fearful of the physical feelings that you experience when anxious. This will help determine whether you should practice exposure.
  3. Assessing which social skills need improvement; assertiveness, public speaking, dating, or general communication.
  4. Approaches to treatment such as, TFT, EFT, and/or Cognitive-Behavioral.
  5. Medications/ holistic approaches.

 

 

New Social Anxiety and Shyness Support Group starting Wednesday, June 6, 2012, at 6:30 PM in Sherman Oaks.

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May 25th, 2012 >> Social Anxiety and Shyness

Support Group for Adults experiencing Social  Anxiety

                                            Facilitated by: Anita Avedian, MFT

New Group Starting on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, at 6:30 PM in Sherman Oaks.  

Do you avoid social situations? Do you worry about what others are thinking while you’re in public, at school, at the mall, or in social situations? Not sure what to say when people approach you?  

If you have answered “YES”, contact Anita TODAY!

           

This group helps participants:

  • Feel more comfortable and confident in feared social situations.
  • Increase the ability to express themselves.
  • Learn to be more comfortable with other’s perception of them.
  • Reflect on interpersonal skills.
  • Identify patterns in life, and find more constructive ways to cope.
  • And MORE…

 

FREE half hour consultation with Anita prior to entering the group!

$225/ month

 

Contact Anita Avedian at (818) 426-2495 for further information.

You may also visit her website at www.AnitaAvedian.com.