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emotional health during holidays

How to Take Care of Your Emotional Health During the Holidays

For many people getting through the holiday season is no small feat. If it were possible to skip over this period of time, they would gladly do it. Even those who enjoy the festivities, and who adhere to the traditions and rituals that this time brings, can also find the holiday season challenging and at times stressful. The stress may come from a difficult financial situation, having to participate in activities that they do not enjoy, seeing people they rather not have contact with, or having to experience the holidays after a certain loss. It is not surprising therefore that for many the holiday season is not a joyous time and they struggle to care for their emotional health.

Individuals may feel so stressed out about the holidays that they may experience anxiety or depression. In many instances people are already experiencing mental health issues and adding the stress of the holiday season exacerbates these symptoms.

Many people suffer due to the belief that they have little choice in how they experience the holidays. The perspective that traditions and rituals are to be followed without deviating from what has been done or is expected by family, friends and even themselves, leaves them feeling guilty. It may also lead to feeling stuck in performing a role and running the risk of further hindering their well-being.

So what is one to do if there are situations and issues that are making it difficult to deal with the holidays?

There are several strategies that can be used to help to take care of your emotional health this holiday season.

  1. Be patient with yourself. It is time to self-evaluate your emotions in an honest manner. What do you think you are able to do for yourself and others, physically and emotionally?
  2. Rely on those who care about you. Do you rely on family, friends, or co-workers to help you deal with difficulties in your life? If thinking about who you can rely on brings up very few people or no one, it is time to start asking what is keeping you from making these connections to be able to grow your support system.
  3. Change expectations for yourself and others if the old expectations lead to dissatisfaction or negative feelings. If the expectations have always been difficult to meet, then working on becoming more flexible might give better results. It might be that new traditions and rituals are in order.
  4. Figuring out what it is that stresses you out the most might be a good place to start. Is the interaction with certain individuals, a particular event or date, or a particular situation bringing up negative feelings or reactions? Beaware of the triggers and make changes to avoid or change reactions.
  5. Helping others in need where you become someone else’s support system allows you to change the way you see situations or events.
  6. Ask for support when you feel overwhelmed. Ask your support system to help you consider your options and if you continue to think that reaching an emotionally healthy feeling around the holidays is difficult, contacting a professional to assist you in feeling better could provide the support you need.
  7. Take care of yourself by sleeping well, exercising , and sticking to your established plans when it comes to your physical and mental health needs.

Following a routine that leads to a positive and healthy physical and emotional well-being allows you to deal with situations that life presents to you.  Your emotional health is key to living a life you love.

For more information, questions or concerns, or you need assistance on the road to being emotionally healthy please call Maria Rodriguez-Fischer at 919-401-8261.


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tough love

Parenting Styles and Tough Love


As parents we are bombarded with advice almost daily on which of the parenting styles to adopt. One issue where others feel compelled to comment on is the issues of discipline, and what the correct type of discipline is.  Is it tough love?

Positive discipline in the early years consists many times of removing a child from the situation, redirecting their behavior and putting them in time out. As a child grows we begin to add such things as taking away privileges, having the child engage in certain activities to earn privileges, grounding, and time out with modifications, still following a positive discipline approach. Things get a little more complicated in adolescence due to an increasing sense of independence and other issues that influence decisions at this time in a child’s development. Parents may now find that the old methods of discipline may not be as effective as in the past. This search for a balanced discipline style may lead some parents to use more of a “tough love” approach. There are many individuals who are big proponents of the tough love approach.


Tough love may mean different things to different individuals. To some it may mean that they have to be inflexible or harsh in dealing with someone’s behavior so that the person changes or does better in the future. Others may think of tough love as being strict with someone so that they learn to correct their behavior. To some, tough love may even mean withdrawing their affection and replacing it with a disciplinarian approach where positive interactions are seen as unnecessary. To others tough love does include a more balanced view of providing affection while having a more strict discipline approach.
Some individuals might naturally lean towards a more tough love approach than others. This may have to do with a parent’s own culture, personality, family size, religion, education levels and socioeconomic status.


In the 1960s psychologist Diana Baumrind conducted a study that identified parenting styles.  The study included parenting components such as; disciplinary strategies, warmth and nurturance, communication styles, and expectations of maturity and control. Baumrind identified four different parenting styles and went on to study which parenting style led children to be better adjusted in their lives.

The four parenting styles were: Authoritarian Parenting: Parents are not to be questioned and children follow strict rules, and when rules are disobeyed, children are punished. The characteristics of an authoritarian parent include high demands, a low level of responsiveness to their children, and placement of high value on the preservation of order. Authoritative Parenting: Authoritative parents establish rules and guidelines and their children are expected to follow.  Children’s conduct is evaluated based on individual situation and not using generalizations. Parents tend to be more nurturing and forgiving when a child fails to meet their expectations. They encourage dialogue and are assertive and limit how restrictive they are. When children disobey rules or fail to meet expectations, authoritative parents are more likely to employ supportive, nurturing and forgiving responses rather than punitive punishments. They share the reasoning behind their parenting policies.Permissive Parenting: Parents are more indulgent with their children. They tend to avoid confronting their children when they are disobedient.  They tend to accept their child’s impulses, desires and actions while rarely disciplining or making demands of their children. They are typically more responsive and manipulative than they are demanding. Uninvolved Parenting: Uninvolved or neglectful parents can exhibit one or both styles. Parents may reject or neglect the needs of their child, or simply have little communication and low responsiveness to their child. In all cases, the uninvolved parent issues few demands, does not fulfill a child’s basic needs and are altogether detached from their child’s life.

Based on the study by Baumrind, authoritative parenting styles are generally linked to more positive long-term characteristics, such as happiness, success and high self-esteem. This is often attributed to the idea that when a parent’s control appears fair and reasonable, not arbitrary and punitive, children are more likely to internalize the reasoning and comply with the rules. Nurturing, authoritative parents can be a model for their children’s behavior, exhibiting self-control, empathy and emotional regulation by striking the right balance between discipline and warmth.

It follows that adhering to a more authoritative style leads to more balanced and fair discipline,where being tough is replaced by being balanced in interactions with our children. In turn, discipline is individualized based on a child and their family’s needs and not based on a one-size-fits-all.

A more balanced and fair discipline means encouraging, teaching and guiding children towards understanding which behaviors are acceptable or not. Some steps in providing positive discipline in adolescence are:

  • Stay calm
  • Listen before jumping in and reacting. How you react to your teen may influence if they come to you the next time.
  • Allow time for your teen and yourself to both state your feelings
  • Discuss what can be done differently the next time
  • Negotiating when you can, to make your teen a part of the process
  • Make consequences that fit the rules that were broken. For example, if a teen breaks curfew, he will have to come home earlier the next time. It is important to give your teen a chance to try again after a mistake.
  • Establish Rules Together
  • Take an interest in your teen's activities and spend time together doing something they enjoy. Daily activities such as mealtimes, shopping, walks, and watching tv are opportunities to connect with your teen.
  • Create opportunities for your teen to demonstrate responsibility and for you to acknowledge their effort.
  • Listen and respect your teen.
  • Negotiate expectations and rules together to make your teen feel part of the process. Teens need independence and want to feel trusted but they still need you to teach and guide them.
  • If helpful, put the rules in writing; make a contract that lays out rules, expectations and consequences.

All parenting styles affect your children.  You help determine how.  As studies show, affection, empathy, caring, and support are all needed so that interactions with children lead to positive results. This includes discipline.

If you have questions concerning parenting or other family matters, please call Maria Rodriguez-Fischer at New Pathways Counseling and Coaching.  919-401-8261

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family therapy

happy marriage

Keys to a Successful Marriage

keys to a successful marriageWhat are the keys to a successful marriage or relationship?  Many articles and books have been written on this subject. Advice regarding how to have a good relationship or marriage can be found almost as far back as when humans started keeping written records. There is some good advice out there and some that is not very helpful. There are the conservative comments about just sticking it out no matter what and some less traditional.  For example, some might suggest “looking outside of your relationship for that which is missing.” The advice is given with the intent of keeping the partners together no matter what.

In the last few decades there has been more actual research carried out to give some scientific basis to the question of “what leads to a successful and satisfying relationship?” One of the experts in the field of couple and marriage relationships is John Gottman. He has been studying couples for decades and has found certain practices leave a relationship in a more vulnerable position making it more likely that the relationship will end.  But, some practices strengthen a relationship.

Interaction patterns he has found to affect relationships in a negative manner include:

  • showing contempt
  • defensiveness
  • criticism
  • shutting the other person out (i.e. Silent treatment)

These are all interactions that prevent open communication which could lead to problem solving.  Gottman proposes that there are several steps that partners may take in moving away from problematic or conflicting interactions.

divorceHe has stated that one step involves paying more positive attention to your partner. Couples who are experiencing conflict tend to focus on the negatives in each other and in their relationship. That is, they look at the partner through a negative lens failing to see positive attributes or actions. When one becomes aware of this practice, it is important to consciously focus on the positive attributes or actions of the other person. This is at times difficult if the relationship has deteriorated and is in a crisis mode. If that is the case, couple’s counseling may be helpful in assisting the couple to move out of the crisis mode.

Other steps that may help partners have a better relationship include showing interest in the partner’s life. It is important to listen to your partner as they talk about their day, hopes, and activities engaging in conversation to show interest in their lives. Showing verbal and physical affection also shows our partners that they are important. It could be as simple as smiling, holding hands, giving a hug or saying “I love you” or “take care.”

Other steps include being appreciative and showing concern for their well-being.

Gottman also found that to build a loving and successful relationship the positive interactions must outweigh the negative ones. He has found in his research that there is a ratio that seems to provide the right balance. He has stated that for every negative interaction there must be five positive ones to keep the relationship in a good place.

Relationships are challenging at times but there is an upside to having a successful and loving relationship. Successful relationships lead us to feel more satisfied with our lives and also contribute to a healthier and less stressful lifestyle. On the other hand, relationships that experience conflict often lead us to feel less satisfied with our lives and to feel stress.

These steps have been proven to work and applying them to our relationships brings about the positive outcome we want to experience as we move through life with our partner.  Use these keys to a successful marriage or relationship and begin experiencing the joy you both deserve.   If you need guidance, call a qualified couple’s counselor like Maria Rodrigquez-Fischer.  Maria can be reached at 919-401-8261.

bipolar disorder

Bipolar Disorder

Many times people use the term “bipolar” to refer to someone who may be exhibiting certain behaviors that may be considered atypical or out of the ordinary in certain situations. The behaviors or symptoms that some people are referring to might, in fact, have nothing to do with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is a disorder of the brain that leads to unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and often leads to difficulties performing day-to-day tasks. The symptoms may be experienced in a moderate to severe manner. The symptoms of bipolar disorder affect individuals in their ability to relate to those around them in every social situation. Yet, bipolar disorder is a treatable illness that when managed effectively, allows individuals to lead a full and productive life.

Researchers believe that there is no single cause that leads to bipolar disorder. Factors that they have identified as being connected to this disorder include genetics, brain structure and function, and other environmental factors.            

Bipolar disorder, as the name states, encompasses two intense emotional states that occur in distinct periods called "mood episodes." There is a state where persons experience manic episodes and then there is the state of depressive episodes. At times both emotional states may be experienced almost simultaneously. During a manic episode, a person may feel overly joyful or excited, irritable, or distracted.  During a manic episode, a person may also go from one thing to another quickly, have an unrealistic view of one’s own abilities, or engage in risky behavior. Those are just a few symptoms or behaviors that may be exhibited during a manic episode.  In a depressive episode a person may experience sadness, hopelessness, lack of interest in typical activities, lack of motivation, suicidal ideation, and problems concentrating or remembering things.

Although bipolar disorder cannot be cured, it can be treated effectively over the long-term. It is important to seek medical and mental health support to manage this disorder. The first step to alleviating difficulties is to find out the proper diagnosis. To have an effective treatment plan one should include a combination of medication and psychotherapy.

Getting Help:

  • Connect with a doctor about treatment.
  • Seek a mental health specialist like Maria Rodriguez-Fischer, 919-401-8261.
  • Eat nutritious meals on a regular basis.
  • Sleep is very important.
  • Stay on your medication.
  • Learn about signs signaling a shift into depression or mania.
  • Expect your symptoms to improve gradually, not immediately.

Bipolar Disorders

For more information or assistance, call Maria Rodriguez-Fischer at 919-401-8261.

developing social skills

Developing Social Skills

Developing social skills is very important to our well-being. A sense of belonging, friendships, intimacy, affection and love are all basic needs that are experienced by individuals during their life time. To be able to fulfill these needs we need to have the ability to interact with others in a satisfying and positive manner. That is why having good social skills is of great importance.

Social skills are defined as the ability to communicate and interact with each other, both verbally and non-verbally, through gestures, body language and our personal appearance. Human beings use many forms of communication to share messages, thoughts and feelings with others. To be able to fall within the acceptable norm of communication or have the skills that are necessary socially, most of us have to follow familial and societal rules that let us know what the acceptable social behavior is in our environment. Originally, the societal rules allowed people to survive as they organized into groups to provide protection and support to each other. Developing social skills was essential to remaining part of the group.  Now, good social skills are needed for success in most types of relationships and is expressed well in Effective Communication Improving Your Social Skills.

Developing Good Social Skills is Even More Important Today

Today the importance of having good social skills has increased. We live in a society where being included as part of the group necessitates being able to communicate effectively and social skills are part of the process of communication. With today’s technology some might say that communication is easier to carry out even with poor social skills; however as humans, we still experience the basic need to belong and have human contact. Good social skills facilitate a smooth transition into different social situations where one is more easily allowed into different groups, from work groups to friendships to networking to family relationships. People are more likely to allow others into their groups if they are able to pick up on social cues and are perceptive as they make use of their social skills.

When comparing social skills to other skills, including academic abilities, it has been found that social skills help us in adapting to our social environment leading to a more successful life.
Interestingly, it is our development of social skills and abilities that allow us to be more independent as we are able to rely on our own interactions to produce good results in fulfilling our basic needs.

Some suggestions in improving and developing social skills are:

  • start small
  • talk with individuals you know
  • practice over and over talking to others even if it is just saying hello or thank you

Observing others and emulating those with positive social skills is a good way of learning good social skills. Other suggestions include:

If you think you may need guidance developing social skills, please reach out to me. I am Maria Rodriguez-Fischer and my phone number is 919-401-8261.

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visualize your goal

How To Visualize Success

Want to know how to visualize success?

As more information is presented to us through scientific studies about the importance of the mind-body connection, we realize the influence that each side has on the other. Just as we find through research, and our own experience, that being physically active and exercising affects the chemical balance in our brain, which often leads to a better mental health status, we have also seen that our mind can have an influence on our physical health.

Most of us have experienced incidents where negative, anxious or depressive thoughts have led us to feel physically ill. At times, all we have to do is remember those incidents to have a negative reaction from our body. On the other hand, we only have to think of a pleasant memory or experience and some of those positive feelings are brought into our awareness.

Having this information helps us in shaping the life we want for ourselves. Everyone has their own ideas of what leads to happiness and success. So how does knowing about the mind-body connection lead us to the life we want? There are many paths to success and they tend to include hard work, common sense, intelligence, persistence and drive to name a few.

Creative Visualization

One more factor that is becoming more widespread as individuals seek assistance in working towards their goals is Visualization. Visualization is a technique used where a person invokes a positive mental image to focus on in preparation for a particular action or performance. Visualization is a tool that can assists on the path to success in many areas of a person’s life. There are many examples given by individuals from all walks of life where they implemented visualization as a way of reaching their goals.

Several well-known people, from famous chess players and athletes to not so well-known individuals, have used visualization and went on to improve their performance. They mentioned that after visualizing their actions, they felt as if they had actually practiced before going through the motions.  This idea is expressed well in Remez Sasson’s article Creative Visualization.

Visualization has gone from being a tool for areas such as sports and games to expanding to our personal and professional lives bringing with it the possibility of mental practice before the actions. We can now have mental images or representations to perfect the outcome leading us to move through the actions with more confidence and self-assurance. Yet, visualization can be used for much more. It can help us see the life and goals we want to reach and show us how to get there. It is important to focus on the goals and see ourselves being successful to create a clearer picture of where we want to go. It is a very powerful tool that when added to the more traditional tools in reaching success will create a better outcome for us.

If you want help learning to visualize your goals, give Maria Rodriguez-Fischer a call at 919-401-8261.

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executive function disorder in children

Executive Function Disorder

Does your child's difficulties in school lead to any of these?

  • stress and anxiety
  • trouble developing strategies
  • difficulty caring out plans
  • misplaced items
  • disorganization

If so, they may be suffering from executive function disorder.  If your child is having any of these difficulties, please call me today at 919-401-8261.  I am an expert at developing therapies for this issue.  Don't delay your child's progress.

It is time once again for children and parents to consider their hopes and concerns for the new school year. As parents and students prepare for this school year they may also be thinking about the student’s performance during the last year and wonder how this year can be as or more productive.  For those who do well in school, the coming year may lead to some concerns but overall they may feel positive about school. On the other hand, there are those students who think of school and only feel an overwhelming sensation of stress and anxiety.

There are several reasons a student may feel stress and anxiety in relation to school. There are pressures coming from themselves and others to do well. But what happens if you feel as much as you would like to do well, it just seems extremely difficult to accomplish.

Most individuals have heard of learning difficulties, ADD/ADHD, and other special needs that many children experience which make succeeding in school very difficult. As a professional working with children and their families I have learned over time that children do not go to school with the intention of failing. There is usually some struggle or another that a child faces which leads to difficulties at school.

Searching for answers regarding the challenges some children face at school led me to learn about something that is a very important factor in facilitating learning. That factor is called executive function.  Executive function is a set of mental skills that help you get things done.  It acts to manage various parts of the brain. Executive function allows us to analyze a situation, plan how to address the situation, organize the steps needed to carry out an activity, develop timelines for completing the activity, adjust the steps, if needed, to complete the activity, and complete the activity in a timely way. Having difficulties with executive function, executive function disorder,  has to do more with the rate at which this part of the brain is maturing and not with a person’s intelligence. In working with children and adults, I have found that learning about executive function in the brain allows a greater understanding for parents, teachers and other professionals of an individual’s development.

Children and adults with executive function disorder may have problems organizing materials and setting schedules. They often misplace items, reports, and other school materials. They might have problems keeping their personal items and bedroom organized. Individuals with executive function disorder may also have difficulties in planning ahead, initiating tasks, problems with short term memory and managing their emotions.

You are able to help your child at home by working with them and assisting them in making checklists and setting time limits for tasks, including using timers.  You can help them by getting them into the habit of using planners and calendars.   Communicate concerns and expectations with your child and listen to their concerns. It is also important to find out more about the areas of difficulty you are noticing or your child has noticed in him/herself. Seek professional help from a professional who is knowledgeable about this area of development. Contact the school and work with the school to have a support plan for your child.

Studies have shown that executive functioning skills continue to develop through the teen years normally reaching maturity around the age of 25. Helping with executive function difficulties at a young age allows that child to learn strategies to decrease negative effects and help them reach their full potential. In addition, receiving support to manage difficulties with executive function at any age may lead to a more positive outcome in an individual’s life.

You do not have to suffer or let your child suffer from executive function disorder.  Begin on the path to a better future for you or your child by calling me today at 919-401-8261.


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executive functioning disorder

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what motivates people to change

What Motivates People to Change?

When considering the question of what motivates people to change, one may say that there are many factors that one could come up with to answer this age old inquiry. Many people might say that motivators such as money, material goods, fame, etc. lead to change. These are all valid motivators, which are generally considered extrinsic (coming from the outside). However, I would like to focus on even stronger motivators, intrinsic motivators, which are coming from within. They are coming from a place that has to do more with feelings and drives. These motivators normally lead individuals to feel a sense of urgency when it comes to wanting personal change.

Emotional Discomfort Can Be What Motivates People To Change

emotional discomfort can motivate changeWhen you consider the psychological aspect of change, it is generally believed that change is born out of feelings of emotional discomfort or pain. We generally tend to want to remain in a state of complacency or at rest, unless there is another strong force affecting our state of complacency. Once we are receiving messages that lead us to feel discomfort or pain, we seek to get rid of these feelings. For example, we may experience problems in our personal lives and they may escalate to the point where we realize we need to change our thinking or our behavior to experience more stability in our lives. These feelings of discomfort or pain may affect various aspects of our lives resulting in physical or mental illness, job problems, and/or relationship difficulties. At that point, it is our intrinsic motivators that are guides in seeking a sense of well-being and happiness. It becomes what motivates people to change. Some of these intrinsic motivators include having a sense of purpose or finding meaning in our lives, feeling trust in ourselves and others, feeling secure, growing in knowledge and skills, feeling satisfied with our performance and capabilities and also feeling appreciated. Intrinsic motivators lead individuals to feel satisfaction in all aspects of their lives, spiritual, physical, emotional and intellectual. In addition, they helps us feel engaged in the process of change.

Plan For Change

talk with a therapistOnce you find yourself feeling discomfort or pain and you realize that things need to change, it is time to make a plan. At that time it is important to carry out a personal evaluation of what you believe needs to change. It is also a good idea to take an honest, and more objective look at what others who care about you have suggested in regards to change. If a self-evaluation is not providing enough information about the physical or mental state that is being experienced or changes that need to take place, then professional assistance by a medical doctor or therapist may help access intrinsic motivation to bring relief and well-being. In other words, you may need help accessing what motivates people to change.

If you need this sort of assistance call me, Maria Rodriguez-Fischer at 919-401-8261.

think positive

Positive Thinking

Experiencing Life in a more Positive Way

Positive Thinking

therapist for positive thinkingHow positive thinking affect our everyday lives?  People tend to experience life in a subjective manner interpreting events and incidents according to our own physical, psychological and emotional filter. We interpret events using our experiences, psychological and biological make-up as we make them fit into our own view of the world. Many of us have a more positive outlook in life while others have a more negative one. That is, we tend to have more thoughts that are positive or negative about the world around us. Being a negative or positive thinker leads individuals to participate in their lives in a different manner leading to certain ramifications in their personal and work life and affecting their interactions with others.

People who have more of a negative thinking pattern may feel that they are being more realistic and seeing life as it really is and that looking at things in a more positive way will lead to unrealistic expectations and disappointment. It may be that seeing things in a more negative manner does provide some way of protecting a person from harmful situations and could prove useful at times. However, a continued negative thinking pattern may do more harm than good if it becomes a chronic way of looking at things. Negative thinking may lead to mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and self-esteem issues to name a few. In addition, there are also medical problems related to negative thinking, from immune system problems to severe medical conditions. Therefore, it appears that it would be beneficial for people to learn how to switch negative thinking around and indulge in positive thinking to improve their overall health.

Positive Thinking Benefits

positive thinkingAs more research is done in the area of positive thinking more and more reasons to espouse this way of thinking become apparent. Some of the benefits include:

* Better mental health
*Experiencing joy more consistently
* Stronger immune system
* A sense of well-being and improved health
* Reduced risk of heart problems
* Higher self-esteem
* Better coping skills in facing stressful situations


To be able to change negative to positive thinking one must first recognize that he or she is engaging in a negative thinking pattern consistently. If one’s thoughts are mostly critical to self and others, this is a red flag that a change in thinking could be helpful.

Steps that are helpful in changing negative to positive thinking may include:

  • Putting a positive spin on internal and external conversation. Be nice to yourself and others in your thoughts and when talking to others.
  • List at least three things each day that make you feel grateful.
  • Surround yourself with supportive and positive people and avoid harmful relationships.
  • Take responsibility for things you do and say.
  • Take time to do things that are relaxing and fun to you.
  • Practice forgiveness of yourself and others.

If you feel that there are psychological roadblocks on the path to becoming a more positive thinker, contact a therapist to help you in clearing obstacles to a more positive lifestyle.  Positive thinking can lead to a happier life.

managing stress at work

Managing Stress


manage stressIn this article you will find ways of managing stress. It is considered that stress occurs as a result of an imbalance between the demands of the environment and the internal and external resources available to a person. In many instances stress leads to a process of adaptation in the individual.

A moderate stress level is normal and inherent to life itself. People have adapted and changed their lifestyles throughout history due to stressful situations and many of these changes that were stressful at the time led us to produce positive results that have benefited us.

However, stress does have a negative impact on us often. Some stressful events we encounter in our personal lives may include: divorce; disease; death of a loved one; economic problems, discrimination, problems with our partner, problems with our children. These are only a few experiences leading to stress in one’s personal life. When a person experiences chronic stress they are more likely to have problems with their immune system, with increased risk of heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, ulcers, colitis and cancer. In addition, stress is often associated with psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression. Managing stress is key to both your physical and psychological health.

work life balanceAt times individuals may also experience stress at work. Stressful situations that are work related may include: fatigue, excessive number of working hours, changes in the workplace, lack of participation in decision-making, lack of support from management, lack of job security; conflicting demands and lack of clarity of the duties of the position; poor management of organizational changes; ineffective communication, psychological and sexual harassment, and violence by third parties to name a few. Managing stress is important to prevent negative effects of stress at work. Left untreated, stress may result in poor overall performance, increased absenteeism, and higher rates of accidents and injuries. It can also contribute to increased rates of early retirement.

Important Steps For Managing Stress

managing stress strategies

There are many ways to manage stress. Try some to find out which ones work best for you.

  • Accept that you may not be able to change certain things, such as rush hour traffic.
  • Avoid stressful situations. Whenever you possibly can, move away from the source of stress.
  • Physical activity every day is the best and easiest way to deal with stress.
  • Change your perspective. Work on replacing negative thoughts with more positive thoughts.
  • Do something you enjoy. It can be as simple as reading a good book, listen to music, watch your favorite movie or out to dinner with a friend.
  • Learn new ways to relax. Practicing relaxation techniques.
  • Connect with your loved ones.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Eat a healthy diet.

To help you manage work-related stress.

  • Take breaks during the day. A few minutes to practice a relaxation exercise may be very helpful.
    • Set reasonable expectations for yourself and others.
    • Talk to your supervisor about your job description. Your responsibilities and performance criteria may not accurately reflect what you are doing.

Finally, working with a qualified therapist can help you determine the specific causes of your stress, and develop appropriate strategies for managing stress.

emotional health during holidays

How to Take Care of Your Emotional Health During the Holidays

For many people getting through the holiday season is no small feat. If it were possible to skip over this period of time, …

tough love

Parenting Styles and Tough Love

  As parents we are bombarded with advice almost daily on which of the parenting styles to adopt. One issue where others …

happy marriage

Keys to a Successful Marriage

What are the keys to a successful marriage or relationship?  Many articles and books have been written on this subject. …