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What are Emotions, Feelings, and Facts?

 Feelings vs FactsWhen we experience strong, negative emotions and feelings, it is difficult, if not impossible to remain objective. Our mind can become overwhelmed with persistent, negative thoughts that distort our perception of what is real and what is not.

When this happens, our feelings become fact to us.

But feelings are not facts.

This is not to say that our emotions and feelings are not real, in and of themselves. They are quite normal and natural. But that doesn’t always mean they are serving us well.

The Difference Between Emotions and Feelings

Some of the problem in dealing with our emotions and feelings stems from the fact that we equate the two. This is because they are interrelated, so much so that it is often difficult to distinguish what we are experiencing: an emotional reaction, or a feeling.

It might be helpful to examine the two experiences as they are currently defined in the field of psychology.

What are Emotions?

Emotions are instinctual, physical sensations triggered by the amygdala (our reptilian brain) and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex VPC (the area linking our hippocampus and frontal cortex). 

Our amygdala is designed to scan our environment for potential threats, to protect us. It triggers base emotions in our body to prepare us to fight, flight, freeze, or fawn. We experience these physical sensations as fear, anger, sadness, or happiness.

These are largely physical, though there is of course an element of ‘mental’ activity, since these emotions are triggered by part of the brain, but we are rarely aware of the process.

Our emotions seem to pop up out of nowhere, unannounced. But they don’t actually come from nowhere; they are subconscious reactions to our environment, or our perceived environment. This means that our thoughts can trigger the amygdala to react, even if there is no actual threat. 

The amygdala cannot recognize the difference between an actual danger and a danger created by our feelings.

What Exactly are Feelings?

Feelings are interpretations of our emotions. We experience an emotion, then our ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VPC) interprets that emotion to give it meaning. 

The reason we know there’s a difference between emotions and feelings, is that people can respond to the same emotional sensation in very different ways. They interpret them differently.

Let’s imagine a common scenario.

Imagine two people in line to ride a rollercoaster. Person A has never ridden a rollercoaster before and has always had a fear of them. Their amygdala triggers an emotional response in the body (accelerated heart beat, lower blood flow to the extremities). 

Because of their underlying fear, their VPC interprets these physical experiences as fear. Fear is what they are feeling. It is their interpretation of their emotional reaction to the perceived threat of riding a rollercoaster.

Person B has ridden rollercoasters many times, or at least they have no preconceptions about the experience and generally like to take risks and try new things. 

Person B will experience the very same physical sensations as Person A, (accelerated heart beat, lower blood flow to the hands and feet). But Person B interprets these emotions or sensations in a very different way. Instead of feeling fear, they feel excitement. 

The physical sensations associated with fear and excitement are exactly the same. But the feelings of fear and excitement, interpretations of the emotions, are as different as night and day.

Person A might worry something catastrophic will happen on the rollercoaster. If their thoughts are not checked or interrupted, their unfounded fears will become a ‘fact’ in their mind. This false ‘fact’ may prevent them from the thrilling experience of riding a rollercoaster.

Person B sees the facts very differently. They are certain the ride will be exciting.

What are Facts?

Facts are measurements of objective reality. This means they can be corroborated with physical evidence. In the case of our little story, the rollercoaster is a fact. Person A and Person B are facts. They exist in the physical world. We can say that their emotions are fact. Both of them are experiencing, in this case, the same physical sensations. These physical reactions can be measured with scientific instruments. 

Feelings are real, in the sense that we all have them. They have a certain degree of reality, of factual basis. But the content of those feelings may be very far from factual, indeed.

Person A, whose feelings were unchecked, is now convinced something bad will happen. Even though nothing has yet happened, their feelings have become a kind of fact, in their mind. But it isn’t a fact. Their feeling of fear, projected into the future, cannot be measured. It is an interpretation of their emotional reaction to the situation.

If Person A gives into their feelings, they will miss out on an exciting experience. Not the end of the world, of course.

Missing out on riding a rollercoaster might not affect their life in any major way, but if they always give into their feelings of fear, it can adversely affect their life in profound ways. 

They may miss out on loving relationships, career goals, and life-enriching experiences. Their ‘facts,’ which are really only feelings, may stop them from truly living the life they could have. 

How Can We Distinguish Feelings from Facts from Emotions?

In order to interrupt this process of emotion to feeling to false fact, which can then trigger the process all over again, we must first realize that this is what is happening in our mind and body.

Practice Awareness

If you’re reading this, then you are already on the right path. You have gained a degree of awareness of what is happening. That’s good!

The more you become aware of the process, as it happens, the more you can interrupt it when it does. It is like inoculating yourself against false facts in your mind. If you know your feelings aren’t facts, then when you feel them, you can stop yourself, and say, 

“Self, I’m feeling fear. Why is that? What emotion or physical sensations am I actually experiencing?”

Then notice the physical sensations in your body: where they are, what’s happening? Is your heart-rate up? Are your hands and feet colder? Are you experiencing the urge to run, fight back, freeze in place?

Then ask yourself, 

“Is there really a threat here? Is the threat a fact?” 

Flipping Feelings on Their Head

Maybe you’re afraid of flying and you had to get on a plane to go somewhere for work, or to see a family member? You experience the same reaction, and feel it as fear. 

But what if you caught yourself feeling fear, and then flipped it?

Here’s how to do that

Once you’re aware of what’s happening in your body, ask yourself,

“Why am I here?”

“I’m flying to see my mom.”

Then simply tell yourself, 

“I’m excited to go see my mom!” 

You’ve just replaced ‘fear’ with ‘excitement,’ because you gave your amygdala a reason for the physical sensations it generated in your body. 

Try this!

It isn’t easy in the beginning, because you have to consciously focus attention on things that are largely unconscious. It takes practice and time, but it’s well worth the effort. 

Reach Out to a Professional

Of course, some feelings are difficult to overcome on your own. Deep-seated fears and anxieties are hard to overcome. Our professional counselors at RDU Counseling for Change, have the experience and expertise to help you through this process. 

We offer individual, couple, and family therapy. If you live in the Wake County/RDU area, give us a call to set up an appointment. We also have Telehealth options!

Contact us today, and let us help you on the road to better mental health!

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Emotions Aren’t Facts — In Depth

Emotions Aren't FactsEmotions are potent and vital. Together with the ability to think clearly and rationally, the ability to experience and express emotions is part of what makes you human. Identifying your emotions and allowing yourself to feel them can be quite therapeutic. 

Generally, your emotions are triggers that convey important information about events or situations in your life. Fear is reasonable if a man brandishing a gun approaches you. It alerts you that you are in danger and must take appropriate action. What people forget from time to time, however, is that their emotions do not always tell them the truth. 

Yes, our minds often deceive us. At its most fundamental level, the function of emotions is to keep us safe from danger — either by flight or fight. However, not all of the information our brain gives us is valuable or even true. It is a difficult concept to grasp, yet it is true. Not all of the emotions we feel are accurate or even helpful. The more you can acknowledge this, the better you will be at recognizing when you are not being true to yourself.

You may believe that because you feel something, it must be true. However, your emotions might occasionally be out of touch with reality. Consider this — have you ever taken a test and thought you blew it, just to find out afterward that you actually did pretty good?

When your emotions are especially intense, they might lead you to believe things not founded on facts. When you get swept up in a surge of emotions, your thinking becomes warped, and you struggle to stay anchored in the reality of the situation. This is why it is critical to organize your emotions.

How to organize your feelings?

Our emotions rarely hang neatly on beautiful, carefully spaced hangers. Instead, we tend to keep a mishmash of new and old emotions in our closets. But you can ‘Marie Kondo’ your emotions and deal with or eliminate those not serving you right. Comb through your emotions daily, and you will more effectively deal with situations where you end up being anxious, depressed, lonely, or sad. 

Here’s how to separate emotions from facts and start winning in life: 

Step one: Identify how you are feeling.

The first step in organizing your emotions is to make a list of your worries or fears. That may sound like a bad idea, but writing your feelings down can often provide greater clarity. It can be effective to understand the underlying thought or belief, assess its value and truth, and then change it if it does not serve you well.

How can you discover the underlying feeling that is troubling you?

List your problems and assign them an emotion. If you are not sure what those emotions are, try a “so what does that mean?” exercise. Ask yourself “so what does that mean” until it reveals something about you, uncover what you believe, and ask, “is it true?”

Here’s an example: 

Problem: Everyone expects me to change my schedule to accommodate theirs.

Emotions: Frustration, resentment, and hurt

What is going on?: ...so does that mean that I will be on my own and they will inevitably forget about me? I am scared I will be forgotten or that nobody will care about me.

The message we uncover through the process can feel harsh and unfair. But here is where cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or organizing your emotions, comes into effect.

Look for outliers. Ask yourself, “Is it true?” or “Can I find evidence to refute that belief?” In the example given, the individual may recall occasions when people went out of their way to hang out with them or expressed how much fun they had with them. They will soon realize that the conclusion they reached is not a fact. 

Step two: Identify whether or not this is a recurring theme.

Sometimes you have to evaluate if an emotion is real or whether it is just your brain working a game controller. It is worth remembering that our emotions dictate our actions. Therefore, you stay on top of your emotions since they can easily become exaggerated. Exaggerated or irrational emotions eventually create hurdles to achieving your objectives and connecting with people. 

Are you feeling stuck in negative emotions? You might be dealing with a cognitive distortion — your brain lying to you based on past thought patterns. 

If you are anxious about a date you are on, for example, you could overindulge. But your anxieties may be a byproduct of a date gone wrong in the past. This might trigger a cascade of anxiety-filled dates, leading you to believe that you need to be a little drunk to be a good date or that you are not interesting when sober.

You can change your patterns when you are aware of the reasons for your behaviors and have a good handle on your emotions. You can keep anxiety, fear, or anger from dominating and leading you to behave in ways you do not want.

Related Blog: Are you ready for change?

Step three: Watch out for cognitive distortions.

These cognitive distortions (or thinking errors) can have a detrimental impact on how you approach situations: 

  • All-or-nothing thinking
  • Overgeneralization
  • Mental filter
  • Discounting the facts
  • Jumping to conclusions
  • Magnification and minimization 
  • Emotional reasoning
  • Should statements 
  • Labeling
  • Blame

The first step is to recognize cognitive distortions or a behavior pattern proving to be problematic in your life. Once you have recognized the thought or behavior, you can start to change it. It may be more difficult than throwing out an old hoodie, but being able to challenge these thoughts may be the most positive change in your life so far.

Consider therapy.

Your emotions have a big role in how you process events and situations in your daily life. However, it is also critical to evaluate everything using a filter that can distinguish between facts and reality. Separating your emotions from facts can help you eliminate undue stressors while also improving your relationships with others.

It is worth mentioning that many seemingly straightforward issues can turn out to be extraordinarily challenging and perplexing. So, if things are still not working out for you, you should seek mental health counseling. Our expert counselors at RDU Counseling for Change can help you find ways to be more mindful of why you are feeling certain emotions and alert you to any potential hurdles you may encounter in the way.

Call us today at (919) 713-0260 or email at to speak with our expert RDU Counseling for Change counselors or book your individual, couples, or family therapy. We now provide telehealth or online therapy sessions to make mental health counseling more accessible to those who are pressed for time, stay home, or live in remote areas.

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Why We Experience Flashbacks

 Flashbacks According to a 2018 study conducted by the University of Zurich, 0.5 percent of the population suffers from serious psychological trauma, such as an emotional flashback. 

If you have ever experienced a flashback, you know how disorienting and scary it can be. Flashbacks are commonly a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in which the person can see and hear a horrific incident from the past as if it were happening right now. However, there is another type of flashback that may not involve visual or auditory elements but is more of a ‘feeling’ — as though the person is forced back into a traumatic event from childhood.

Emotional flashbacks are frequently related to a diagnosis of complex post-traumatic stress disorder or c-PTSD. Complex trauma can result from traumatic childhood experiences — such as neglect, abuse, or abandonment — particularly if the perpetrator was close to the child (i.e., a parent or other relative). Complex trauma symptoms might also emerge if the child’s parents are emotionally unavailable. When children do not receive the love and affection they want and need, it can lead to attachment issues that manifest in adulthood.

When a child is abused or neglected, they have few options — they are too small to put up a fight or tell the perpetrator to stop, so the response is usually to freeze, succumb, or disassociate as a means of coping with something traumatic. People with c-PTSD may be triggered and hurled back to the thoughts of being entrapped, afraid, and with no options for escape as they reach adulthood. An emotional flashback is the re-experiencing of those original emotions in the present moment.

How Do Emotional Flashbacks Feel?

An emotional flashback can be triggered by a traumatic setting, situation, or incident that reminds you of something that happened to you. It feels as though you are being transported back to those feelings of helplessness and misery, with no one safe to comfort you.

According to Pete Walker, a psychotherapist who has done extensive research on emotional flashbacks and c-PTSD, “Emotional flashbacks are sudden and often prolonged regressions (‘amygdala hijackings’) to the frightening circumstances of childhood. They are typically experienced as intense and confusing episodes of fear and/or despair — or as sorrowful and/or enraged reactions to this fear and despair.” Moreover, people who experience an emotional flashback may feel lonely, guilty, and shame for having such feelings, reinforcing an innate sense that something is wrong with them.

You may feel as helpless and frightened as you were when the original events took place. For example, a woman suffering from c-PTSD or insecure attachment may be looking forward to hearing from a new partner about the next date, but the text or phone call never comes. This may trigger extreme feelings of rejection and abandonment, which may resurface feelings she had when a parent was supposed to pick her up but failed to do so. In the present, she is experiencing those same childhood feelings — which may be exaggerated in relation to the situation at hand. She may express her feelings by repeatedly calling the new partner until they answer the phone or by texting them and ending the relationship. She may be taking back control, but she could also be reenacting the underlying trauma. As a result, she feels horrible about herself, which only reinforces her [false] perception that she is unlovable.

How to Manage Emotional Flashbacks

Coping with your emotional flashbacks is not an easy feat — but it is not impossible. Here are a few tips that can help you regain control of your mind and become a happier person. 

Identify your triggers

When you can recognize the things that trigger you — people, settings, relationship dynamics, or something else — you put yourself in a better position to do what is necessary to reassure yourself when you get triggered. Awareness is key!

Talk yourself down

Tell yourself that you are only having a flashback, that there is no threat here, and that you are safe whenever you feel like you are reliving a traumatic memory. To reassure your frightened inner child that everything is okay, act like the wise, protective parent you needed.

Related Blog: When to Do the Opposite of Your Feelings 

Take deep breaths

Taking deep breaths from below the naval into your abdomen for a few minutes will bring you back into your body and the present moment. You can maximize the effect of your breathing by making the out-breath a beat longer than the in-breath.

Related Blog: 5 Steps to Diaphragmatic Breathing - RDU Counseling for Change 

Calm your senses

Sensory perceptions from your surroundings — what you see, hear, taste, smell, or touch — may be triggering the frightened part of your brain and inducing the flashback response. Calm your senses with something comforting to look at, peaceful to listen to. Eat your favorite dessert or use that fragrance that brings you to a safe place.

Don’t beat yourself up

You are not a bad person for experiencing an emotional flashback or having an extreme reaction to a current stressor or trigger. You merely experienced a flashback that sent you back in time, and that does not make you a bad person.

Consider therapy

Working with an experienced therapist on an open-ended basis will allow you to develop coping mechanisms for your day-to-day issues and engage with the traumatized inner child and help it process what happened in the past.

Flashbacks

Reach Out to RDU Counseling for Change

If you have started to experience emotional flashbacks or feel anxious, depressed, lonely, and sad far too often, you may want to reach out to expert counselors for a Raleigh therapy or counseling session. At RDU Counseling for Change, our counselors can provide you with mental health counseling in Wake County to effect the transformations you seek to improve your life. We provide a supportive, compassionate environment paired with evidence-based interventions to reduce emotional pain and foster interpersonal empowerment. We also offer individual, couples, and family therapy sessions. 

To book your online therapy in Raleigh, NC, or speak to an RDU counselor, call 919-713-0260.

 

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Are You Judgmental?

Woman holding her head. Do you often find yourself trying to fix or improve things? Do you think you always speak the facts and truth? Well, if your “truths” are always negative and your criticism destructive, chances are you are a judgemental person.

It is a human tendency to judge others and quickly form an opinion about them. However, if you are overly critical about situations and people without even realizing it, you are not just voicing your own viewpoints but strongly passing out verdicts and creating prejudiced perceptions in your mind. You may even turn that judgment inward toward yourself, never feeling satisfied with yourself. This attitude will take a toll on your mental health and self-esteem and make you feel sad and depressed.

The following are nine signs of a judgemental person to help you answer the question, “Am I judgemental?”

1. You have a negative mindset.

A judgemental person always perceives things and people negatively. Regardless of people’s strengths, they will always fixate on their flaws. They only see the problems in everything and are always ready to criticize. Their pessimism never allows them to see the true beauty of anything.

Are you one of those?

If you actively focus on other people’s shortcomings while disregarding their positive qualities, you are most likely a judgmental person.

2. You are Insecure.

Your cynical nature reflects your insecurities. Because you are self-conscious about your appearance, you pass judgment on others. Judging and criticizing others allows you to elevate yourself and feel superior. You feel happy and good about yourself when you speak negatively about them.
In a way, judgmentalism serves as a defensive mechanism for you.

Related Read: The Cycle of Emotion and Understanding Your Coping Mechanism

3. You are a perfectionist.

Do you chase perfection? Your perfectionism might be an indicator of your judgmentalism, and it may even leave you vulnerable to depression. While we are not asserting that every perfectionist is a judgemental person, we surely believe that most judgemental people have maladaptive, unhealthy, or neurotic perfectionism.

Your perfectionist attitude would make you set unrealistic expectations about others. And when people fail to meet those expectations, you outright pronounce judgment on them and criticize them.

4. You quickly make moral evaluations.

If you are judgemental, you will often find yourself labeling things and people as “good” or “bad.” You would have black or white thinking and find it hard to accept things as they are. You will always be ready to categorize people and talk to them as per your personal, concocted opinions. You will have negative things to say about people who you think are “bad” and would love hanging out with those that are “good.”

This habit of making rapid judgments will never let you see the reality, and you will not check the facts before jumping to a conclusion.

5. You have strong opinions.

Judgemental people are overly opinionated.

It might seem that being vocal and having a clear mindset about things is an excellent quality to have. But this is not the case when it comes to judgemental people because they do not only keep their point of view before others but pretty much impose their strong opinions on them too.
Without even knowing the facts, they think their opinions are always correct. They often judge people who disagree with what they are saying.

6. You feel the need to show that you are powerful.

If you always feel the urge to portray that you are in a power position, you are a judgemental person.

The habit of showing that you are powerful makes you knock down others and belittle them. You feel powerful only when you demean others, criticize them, and always point out their faults.

Therefore, you have a false sense of power; you are not really a powerful person.

7. You define people by their actions.

If you tend to define people and decide that you do not like them by their single action, you are judgemental.

For instance, if a person did not wave back at you, you will end up criticizing them without thinking that they might not have seen you wave at them in the first place.

You fail to understand that a single action cannot define anyone, and it definitely does not give you the power to label or categorize them. It is only after their repeated actions that you know how a person is. You cannot judge based on some isolated events.

8. You lack self-worth.

If you lack self-esteem and confidence, there are high chances that you are judgemental.

People often judge and criticize others only because they do not feel good about themselves. It is only after judging others and focusing on their negative aspects and weaknesses that you feel satisfied with yourself.

Thus, if you do not value yourself and constantly engage in self-criticism, you are a judgemental person.

9. You are losing your friends.

Have you been feeling lonely, anxious, or depressed lately because you are losing your friends? It may be that your friends do not like hanging with you anymore because of your judgemental attitude. Since they want to stay away from the negative vibe surrounding you, they may have stopped calling or texting you. After all, no one is a huge fan of constant nitpicking, bickering, and criticism.

Your friends might not even like sharing their problems with you because they know you will end up emphasizing their faults rather than listening with a positive mindset.

You see how harmful being judgemental can be for your mental well-being. In fact, your judgemental attitude can make you feel depressed, sad, and anxious because you constantly judge yourself too!

Fortunately, you can let go of this attitude by practicing mindfulness and the skill of nonjudgement.

  1. Don’t evaluate someone or something as good or bad.
  2. Acknowledge the difference between the helpful and the harmful, the safe and the dangerous, but don’t judge them.
  3. Acknowledge your values, your wishes, your emotional reactions, but don’t judge them.
  4. Describe the facts of the event or situation—only what is observed with your senses.
  5. Describe the consequences of the event. Keep to the facts.
  6. Describe your own feelings in response to the facts (remember, emotions are not judgments).
  7. When you find yourself judging, don’t judge your judging

You can consult our expert counselors at RDU Counseling for Change for mental health counseling in Wake County. Our counseling and Raleigh therapy sessions by our RDU counselors will help you be more tolerant and accept people as they are rather than judging them.

We also offer family therapy and mental health counseling for couples and individuals suffering from various disorders and concerns. Learn more about our counseling specializations by clicking here.

To learn more about our online therapy in Raleigh, NC, please contact us by email at or by phone at (919) 713-0260.

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When to Do the Opposite of Your Feelings

When to Do the Opposite of Your FeelingsPeople and poets have all told us to let our emotions run wild and to do whatever we want. When we let go of our dormant emotions, we also feel a sense of relief. This mantra of doing whatever our hearts desire, however, might not be appropriate in all situations. This is attributable to the fact that all emotions trigger some kind of action, which may or may not be acceptable in every case. For example, when we are filled with rage and frustration, we want to fight. It goes without saying that hitting someone is never the right thing to do. In such situations, we should try a different approach: do the opposite of what we feel.

What is Opposite Action?

Simply put, the opposite action is choosing not to do what your feelings are encouraging you to do. The opposite action strategy can be beneficial because we are often heavily influenced by our emotions. This behavioral strategy prevents our emotions from getting the best of us. The fundamental premise behind the concept of opposite action is that all of our impulses drive us to do certain actions. In some situations, these actions can endanger others, if not simply be inappropriate and impractical. This is where the opposite action strategy comes to the rescue. It allows you to be a rebel and go against your emotions, while avoiding any destructive behavior.

Related Read: Emotions Aren’t Facts: How to Separate the Two

When you are anxious or depressed, your emotions may lead you to hurt yourself or even contemplate suicide. If you are lonely and sad, you may want to isolate yourself in your room, avoid social gatherings, and cry yourself to sleep every night. In these situations, if you use the opposite action strategy, you will slowly learn to overcome the thoughts and feelings that reinforce the unhelpful behaviors.

However, opposite action should not be equated with suppressing feelings. It does not mean dismissing the validity of your emotional experience. In fact, your “action tendencies” might be right in some cases. For example, if there is a ferocious lion in front of you, your fear would prevent you from approaching the predator. Or if you are happy, you would want to celebrate. When the action is appropriate for the situation at hand, there is no harm in expressing oneself.

So, if you are going through a difficult time, do not give in to your emotions by not going to see your friends. Instead, do the opposite action—get out of bed, get dressed, and visit those who care for you. This may lift your spirits and make you feel better. You will be happy you did not concede to your natural emotional reaction in the end.

In this way, the opposite action strategy can assist you in reversing your negative emotions and uplift you. So, if you are outraged, do something nice for yourself; if you are ashamed, share your feelings with a trusted friend rather than burying them. By doing the opposite of what your emotions tell you to do, you are taking a stand against anxiety and depression. Over time, it will become easier and you will feel better too.

Turning the Tables Using Opposite Action

When you think about it, the concept of opposite action is quite radical. We have been conditioned to believe that the best time to do something is “when we feel right.” If we have to tell someone the truth, for example, we will wait until the time is right (i.e., until we “feel” we can tell them). However, if we know this is the right thing to do, why should we delay? Why not just go ahead and do it? This also will prevent us from being slaves to our emotions and acting on the spur of the moment. It will make us more conscious of our actions. This article by Healthline explains more on how you can take charge of your emotions: How to Control Your Emotions: 11 Strategies to Try.

When Can You Use the Opposite Action Technique?

When using opposite action, keep one simple rule in mind: use it when emotions and facts do not correspond. Emotions can be illogical and irrational at times. When they are, you should be prepared with your opposite action weapon. Here are some examples of when you should be using opposite action:


When you are socially withdrawn: You may avoid all forms of human interaction; however, your isolation will only make matters worse. This is where your emotions can be counterproductive because being with those who care for you is the only way you can feel better.

When you are lethargic: It is OK to take a short break and relax, but you should be cautious because you do not want your lethargy to become a habit. In such a situation, resist the temptation to crawl into bed. Instead, wake up, make a to-do list, and be ready to cross something off your list.

When you feel like you have failed: Sometimes, you may avoid doing certain things because you believe you are incompetent. However, this feeling is misguided because you cannot predict the outcome simply by sitting on your couch. Even if you screw up, you should remember that perfection was never your objective in the first place. You should be proud of yourself for making the effort.

Reach Out to RDU Counseling for Change

Going against your feelings is easier said than done. But our RDU counselors are here to help you. At RDU Counseling for Change, you can learn the art of opposite action through our mental health counseling and online therapy in Raleigh, NC. Our Wake County counseling sessions include individual, couples, and family therapy. If you want to become the master of your emotions, you can contact us at (919) 713 0260.

 

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How You Can Use Nature for a Brilliant Self-Care Routine

Man walking dog in natureThere are countless times during an average day where you just want to head out into nature to have time to care for yourself. You shouldn’t feel guilty for indulging in a little bit of self-care. After all, that is the least you can do for yourself. 

With the busy routines that we have, our minds and our bodies can easily fall prey to exhaustion and become susceptible to numerous ailments. Keeping this in mind, you should follow a self-care program or routine that helps you ease the pressures on your mind and get closer to nature.

Below are some of the ways through which you can use the power of nature to initiate a self-care routine. 

Head Out for a Mid-day Walk 

As humans we have become caught up in our work, suffering at the hands of the downsides that come with remaining indoors, seated at a desk, and living a sedentary lifestyle. But this busyness of routine and work, even during the supposedly lazy afternoons of summer, can bog us down. Remaining indoors without stepping out into nature can have a debilitating impact on our mind and worsen symptoms of depression and  anxiety. 

When your mind is spinning or overwhelmed, head outside for a walk. Even a short jaunt can have innumerable benefits. Your brain needs a break, and walking outside in nature is the best way to give it the rest it requires. But try to disengage and be present while walking. Use your five senses and watch the movement of tree branches in the breeze or hear the birds calling to each other. As you observe these things, you may be surprised to feel a sense of calm come upon you in which you are more refreshed and focused. Whether returning to work or engaging with family, notice how this simple task can change your mood. 

Take a Day Out for the Park 

You should always leave time in your schedule to take a day out for a trip to the park or a botanical garden. Such a trip can help you relax your brain and focus on all that is happening around you. The exotic smell of the floral setting will go well with the greenery of nature to give your mind the peace that it so desperately craves. 

Dine Under the Sky 

This is something that you can surely take some time out for. Whenever you are dine outside with friends, or alone, make it a habit to go for outdoor spaces over indoor spaces. Dining outdoors can have multiple benefits, including the view of the sky and the wonderful sense of fresh breeze kissing your skin. 

Outdoor Yoga 

For those who enjoy yoga, it can create wonders if done within nature. Head to a park with a yoga group, and pull out your yoga mat to get the best exercise. Practicing yoga when you are close to nature can have a positive impact on your health and mind. It brings peace to your mind and focus where it is required. 

RDU Counseling for Change aims to help individuals looking to better their mental health in any part of their journey. Get in touch with us today by visiting our website or call us at 919-713-0260 to schedule an appointment. 

 

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Emotions Aren’t Facts: How to Separate the Two

Woman wiping away her tears

What defines truth? Is it a subjective concept that is affected by your emotional intelligence or is it an objective assertion that holds true for everyone, regardless of what you feel about it? Well, the way we have been made to feel about it, truth is a matter of perspective. But perspectives vary. Don’t they?

Let’s put this in perspective through an example. It’s a typical Monday morning, and you don’t feel like heading to work because you were embarrassed the week before and felt like a failure. But if you don’t go to work, you’re committing the deadly mistake of confusing feelings for facts. Just because you were embarrassed and felt like a failure, it doesn’t make you one. Your emotions are just trying to convince you of that, and emotional impulses are strong. So how can you stop confusing feelings for facts? While this is a gradual process that will take practice and time, you can start by following some of the tips mentioned below. 

Walk the Line 

In a bid to help people, let’s implement a personal technique known as walking the line. Walking the line requires you to mentally accept the fact that what you feel is biased, and that the truth could have a whole different perspective--a perspective that appears out of reach. Recognize that what you imagine to be truth may not actually be what others see and think. For example, just because you felt embarrassed, it doesn’t mean that others are sitting around judging you or talking about you behind your back. Our interpretation of someone’s gesture, expression, or behavior can be completely different than what is actually going on. 

Whenever you feel a particular way about something happening in your life, try to look at it from a different perspective. Make sure that you have an educated perspective on things and that you are not jumping to conclusions.

Think of Emotional Consequences  

Whenever you feel like jumping to a conclusion based on your perspective, it is best to stop and consider the repercussions that this may carry. You may miss out on meaningful activities or interactions with others because you feel anxious or fear judgment. When giving into anxiety and emotional reasoning, you may end up feeling a slew of other emotions, such as disappointment, guilt, shame, fear, and loneliness. The path forward is not easy but by recognizing when you give into your emotions, you can challenge your response and do the opposite. The more frequently you stop giving in to your emotional mind, the closer you will be to a life worth living and not one driven by emotions. 

Be Patient 

The fascinating thing about the truth is that it cannot be kept hidden for long. The truth has a habit of coming out. It is only a matter of how long you are willing to wait for it. 

If you’re struggling with separating your feelings from the truth, we understand how you feel, and are here to help. RDU Counseling for Change aims to help individuals looking to better their mental health in any part of their journey. Get in touch with us today by visiting our website or call us at 919-713-0260 to schedule an appointment. 

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Our Team of Professionals

  • Kelly Harrison

    Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC)
  • Kelley Baughman

    Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate (LCMHCA)
  • Whitney Chambers

    Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate (LCMHCA)
  • Christy Douglas

    MA, LCMHC
    Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor
  • Hugo Izzo

    LCMHC
    Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor
  • Bryon Lawrence

    LCMHC
    Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor
  • Breanna Linn

    LCMHCA
    Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate
  • Sallie Ratcliffe

    LCMHCA
    Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate