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Anxiety is one of the most common struggles, but it can look different for everyone. Some of the common signs are: restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge, being easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating or mind going blank, fixation on problems large and small, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless, unsatisfying sleep).
Depression is also a daily struggle many of us face. Depression signs include: feeling discouraged, sad, hopeless, unmotivated, or disinterested in life in general. When these feelings last for more than two weeks and when the feelings interfere with daily activities such as taking care of family, spending time with friends, or going to work or school, it can be depression instead of just "the blues".
Angry feelings are a normal part of life. However, when anger becomes so prevalent in our lives that it is harming our relationships or our jobs, we may need help. Anger doesn't always look like exploding feelings. Many of us are "stuffers" and our anger is internal but just as damaging. Understanding the underlying causes/triggers of anger is an essential first step.
Social anxiety is more than just shy. You may have an intense fear of talking to a salesperson or giving a speech, but may be comfortable in other similar settings. Or, you may become anxious during routine activities such as starting a conversation with a stranger or a person in authority, participating in meetings or classes, or dating and attending parties.
We often think of perfectionism as a good thing. However, perfectionism can quickly hijack our lives and create major stress in our relationships. We can lose focus on what is important and focus on the minor problems in life. Learning the between perfection and striving for excellence is a huge challenge.
Guilt can be a constant companion for many parents. We battle with the disconnect between how we want to be as a parent and the reality of day-to-day parenting. We hear the "shoulds" of our culture, seek the advice of "the experts," and endlessly compare ourselves to others. Our list of "Good Parent" qualities grow while our energy drains away. We can end up feeling like terrible parents.
All the books in the world could not have prepared us for these wonderful and very difficult challenges of parenting. Each of us bring a unique set of strengths and weaknesses to our parenting style. And each child is unique with their very own set of strengths and weaknesses. Finding help navigating these areas and identifying the parenting tools that work with YOUR KID is essential to building these precious, life-long relationships.
Life is filled with conflict, yet very few of us handle conflict well. We may avoid it at all costs only to end up with more complicated issues down the road. Or, we may face conflict head-on, but in a way that creates fractures in our relationships. Learning skills in both communication and conflict resolution is a crucial and fundamental for our overall relationship and life success.
Loss is an unavoidable result of living. We cannot love without loss eventually touching us. Few things can turn our worlds upside down like loss. It can bring so many mixed feelings that are overwhelming . We can feel stuck and alone in the pain and unsure how to find our way out. We are not meant to grieve alone, but few people are well equipped to walk with us through that pain.
Have you been told, "You're too sensitive!" or "You're so shy!"? Or perhaps you find yourself saying those things to a spouse, child or friend. Sensitivity can feel like a huge liability in life. However, it can be a gift if we understand how to utilize it while protecting ourselves in a world that can feel overwhelming. Want to learn more? Check out hsperson.com and the Sensitive documentary https://www.amazon.com/Sensitive-Untold-Story-Alanis-Morissette/dp/B01M701U34/
All marriages create stress. All of them. There are very few relationships that bring out the best and worst in us like marriage. Navigating our marriage also means working on the "stuff" we bring to the relationship. Finding a path forward often requires an objective third party to help us deal with some of our most painful experiences and how they influence our relationship with our partners.
Transitions are hard. Whether you are a new graduate or retiree, a new parent or empty-nester, a new kid in the neighborhood or the last one to move, change involves loss. Transitions can fill us with fear of the future and sadness of losing parts of our past. Having help navigating all these feelings can ease these transitions and set us up for success in our new world.
Having an accurate self image is challenging in the best of circumstances. We are all trying to gauge our worth and where we belong. When our self image is incorrect, we may not realize the amazing plan God has for us and how He wants us to use the gifts He gave us. So many things can distort our understanding of ourselves. It is essential we get this correct in order to have the life God has planned for us.
Whether we already have a strong faith or no faith at all (or somewhere in between), a crisis can make us ask questions. We ask, "Where was God?", "Why would He let this happen?" We need room to wrestle with these doubts and questions. The answers can be foundational to our healing. Without the opportunity to process these thoughts/feelings, we can become stuck in our pain.
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