Tag Archives: Cleveland emotional health

WHY WE SUFFER FROM PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS

If you are trying to figure out why you are anxious, depressed, have relationship issues, or are worried about what others think about you, this video can give you some clarification. Don’t forget to leave a comment and share your thoughts. You never know how you can help someone else!

Asking for Help

If you need help, reach out and ask. We cannot change our attachment but we can change our authenticity! Please click the link to learn more https://clevelandemotionalhealth.com or call me directly (585) 432-0313

Please click below-right to subscribe to this blog. Thank you!

The Difference Between Pain & Suffering

Pain

Pain is a physical or psychological event that happens to you. According to Meerwijk, Ford, and Weiss (2013), neural networks for psychological pain overlaps to some extent with brain regions involved in physical pain. For example, if you break your leg or a loved one dies these are events that happen to you and can be very painful to experience. Expereincing pain is a part of being human.

Pain is Inevitable

Suffering

On the other hand, suffering is how we react to the pain. Suffering is the interpretation or story that you tell yourself about the pain. For example, if someone is treating you poorly and causing you emotional distress, you have a choice of how you react to their behavior. Your reactions to physical or psychological pain, through your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, are what is or is not causing suffering.

Suffering is Optional

Click on the video for further explanation:

Reference
  • Meerwijk, E. L., Ford, J. M., & Weiss, S. J. (2013). Brain regions associated with psychological pain: implications for a neural network and its relationship to physical pain. Brain imaging and behavior7(1), 1-14.

Please share this post. You never know how you may be helping some in need! To contact me, Catherine Cleveland, about mental health counseling services please call me at (585) 432-0313

I Now Respect Myself

The author of this post, Dawn M. Stone, has given me written permission to publish it and use her name. Thank you, Dawn. Your words will effect change in someone’s life!

Mom

So here we are after major surgery number 2. She is in Eastside nursing home and rehab center. I was feeling very upset that she is basically in a nursing home. Then I worked through my feelings about it. Anger towards her and her boyfriend for not taking the time she needed to heal in the first place. And that always presents guilt…that I didn’t do enough to help her.

I Remember, I am enough

But then I remember that I am enough. I do my best every day to be a good person, a good daughter, mother, sister, etc. And I am forgiving my mom as she was doing her best too. I bought her a card and she loves it and has shown it to the rest of the family. The card says that when tough times are happening we do our best to get through them. I hope that when this is over, you can see yourself as I do, a strong, brave, and amazing person. And I will be here doing everything I can to support you and care for you, and hope for the best for you. She loves it so much. And I was able to Express to her how I really see her, as my strong, independent, and brave mom who takes problems head on.

I Thank You

I thank you, Catherine, for helping me to see past guilt and shame, and become the person I am today. I know I did a lot of the work, but you have given me a lot of tools to use. I am almost constantly mindful of how I am feeling and how I am handing what ever is going on.

I Look Forward to Every Day

I look forward to every day and I think this whole situation could have really had me an emotional and physical mess, but instead i know when i am overwhelmed or when the negative feelings try to take over my mind and I deal with it in a healthy way. And I even joke, boy it would be a good day to get drunk, but I know that is not how I chose to deal with life and all it throws at me anymore.

I am Strong

And, I love that my daughter believes I am strong and amazing like I do my mom. Because i believe i am too. More and more people respect me and i know that is because i now respect myself. I know I am not perfect. Far from it. But i am ok with that today. Everyone is a work in progress, and I love that i can walk this journey with confidence and joy now. Have a wonderful day, my friend.

Thank you, Dawn. You words are deeply touching and I appreciate how hard you work especially in the face of difficulty. Respectfully, Catherine

Women in Agriculture​​ Group​ Session

Please share this blog post on social media or directly with someone you think will benefit. You never know, you could be the catalyst to improve (or save) someone’s life!

Is your voice being heard? Are you getting the help and support you deserve? Women in Agriculture Group is a safe, supportive, collaborative, and confidential space for you to get the emotional help you deserve.

Women in Agriculture Group Session Details

  • Dates: every other week beginning Tuesday, October 29, 2019
  • Time: 6:00pm – 7:30pm
  • Location: Cleveland Emotional Health, 61 Main Street, Suite 4, Geneseo, NY 14454
  • Group Size: 6-8 members (additional groups will be made available to accommodate interest)
  • Cost: $20/group (less than your co-pay!

Register Today

Contact us with questions. We are here to help! (585) 432-0313 clevelandemotionalhealth@gmail.com

Staying motivated

I was recently asked the question: “How can I stay better motivated?”

Often you will start by setting the goal that you want to achieve. Say for example, your goal is to lose 20 pounds.

The goal is your starting point

The problem is, a lot of things can happen between now and your goal. These problems can easily derail a perfectly good goal along with your motivation to achieve it.

So, what can you do?

Rather than paying attention to the goal, focus on the process. The process is paying attention to the steps involved:

  1. Plan: Start with a plan
  2. Do: follow through with the plan 
  3. Evaluate: evaluate what happened. What changes can be made?
  4. Reward: reward yourself. tell yourself you did a good job following through
  5. Repeat: start back at number 1.

Say for example the first step you want to do is find out what nutritional changes would work the best for you (Plan). Then you would implement the plan. For example, ask around for what has worked for others and/or do a web search for more information (Do)

Next you would evaluate the plan. You found a good nutrition plan you want to implement. Always reward yourself for following through, “I did it!” Now repeat the process.

Or,

“I didn’t follow through with my plan today.” Now you get to choose: 

are you going to take a strengths-based approach (evaluation of the process)? Or, are you going to take a deficits-based approach to reaching your goal?

This next step in the process is what can make or break your motivation. 

There is an important difference between evaluating (what can be done differently) the process to stay motivated (strengths-based approach) or looking at your attempt as a failure (deficits-based approach).

For example:

A motivation response is (strengths-based approach): “I didn’t follow through with my plan. What happened? Do I need to change my plan?”

Or,

The motivation killer is (deficits-based approach): “I don’t have time to find a nutritional plan. I am never going to lose the weight. I have been this way my whole life, it’s not going to change now, I am always going to look like this.”

While evaluating your plan, are you going to pick the motivation response or the motivation killer?

Remember, to stay motivated, focus on the process rather than the goal.

Plan out each step, follow through with each plan, and make any changes as needed. 

And, finally, make sure you reward yourself, every time, for paying attention to your process with your ongoing strengths-based positive attitude.

Authors note:

I wrote this article ad a script to a video. I am still working on making the video will post soon. Please remember to subscribe to this blog, leave a comment, and contact me, Catherine Cleveland for your mental health needs (585) 432-0313

Tip #3: Watch out for the “but”

Here is an excellent thought experiment:

Paying attention to every time you hear someone say the word “but.” But, typically negates (cancels out) everything that is said before it.

“I don’t mean to be cruel, but… 

You guessed it, the next thing that is said is going to be, at the least, insulting.

“I am not normally sarcastic, but…”

The real meaning:  Oh, yes, they are!

“I really don’t drink much, but I like to have a drink now and then.”

The real meaning:  Hmmm, it would be interesting to see how much they really drink…

“I love you, but I need my alone time.”

The real meaning:  I don’t love you or love you enough

“I would really like to see you but…”

The real meaning: I don’t want to see you

Of course, there are times when but does not negate. It depends if there is a follow-up question or statement:

“I would really like to see you, but I can’t this week. Can I schedule for next week?”

If you find that you are a “but” user, there are a few things you can do:

1)   Do not make the judgment statement in the first place. Judgments are likely a reflection on you and your self-worth. If you notice that you are a “but” user when making a statement to someone else, what you are doing is deflecting (an emotion defense mechanism) your attention from your internal struggles. 

“I really want to see a counselor, but…”

The real meaning: I am afraid and really don’t want to see myself for who I really am.

2)   If “but” is not a negation, sometimes replacing “but” with “and” can sound better to the receiver:

“I think you did a great job, but there is room for improvement.”

“I think you did a great job and there is room for improvement.”

“I agree with a lot of what you are saying, but I would like to discuss it more.”

“I agree with a lot of what you are saying, and I would like to discuss it more.”

I hope you enjoy this thought experiment. Remember, it is essential to practice any mindfulness exercise with compassion toward yourself and others, and without judgment.

Take that next step today! Contact me, Catherine Cleveland, for you in office or online mental health counseling appointment! (585) 432-0313 clevelandemotionalhealth@gmail.com or, make set up your appointment on line

Tip # 2: Road Rage and Other Frustrations

It is always important to pay attention to what is going on around us in the world. For example, we need to pay attention to where we are walking, what is going on around us while we are driving, and be attentive listeners when people are speaking. We need to pay attention to our children to protect them and encourage them. We need to be aware of our environment so we can enjoy the beauty of our world while also be mindful of danger and threats. These types of mindful external focuses can bring us into the present moment, which is the only moment that ever exists.

So, how can external focus be harmful? External focus can be harmful when it prevents us from paying attention to our own pain and emotions. If you get frustrated (anxious or angered) easily, it is because you cannot control who or what is going on around you. Do you ever get frustrated with other drivers? For example, do you become frustrated when you are late for an appointment or work? Do you get frustrated with your mate or child because they are not behaving the way you think that they should? Do you have a difficult time getting along with some of your colleagues, peers or boss?

When we get frustrated, it is because our world views and perspectives are clashing with reality. For instance, I get frustrated with my husband when he is in a bad mood. “I am happy. Why are you raining on my parade?” I also have choices. I can get upset at him, yell at him, and blame him for my frustration. It is his fault after all, right? He is the one with the problem (rationalization), not me. I was fine until he… Does this sound familiar?

When we complain about others, blame others, lash out, and try to control other people’s behaviors, this type of external focus can very be harmful. Projecting our control issues onto other people prevent us from paying attention to our own behaviors and reactions. Why do we use projection? Because it can be too painful and too scary to really see what is going on inside us. This type of emotional fear is the number one reason why people resist mental health counseling. Do you know a friend, family member, or a colleague that is continuously blaming, gossiping, or complaining about other people or external factors? This is a perfect example of projecting individual fears onto others to avoid internal pain, suffering, and low self-worth.

What can you do rather than trying to control your external environment? Begin by being mindful of your externalizing behaviors. The only one we can change and control is ourselves through our thoughts and behaviors. Instead, you need to paying attention to your emotions and anxieties, as they are happening, rather than avoiding them through projection and rationalization.

Changing and healing are difficult to do on our own. Especially as we have strengthened these harmful habits over the years. It is possible for us to develop new habits to heal our emotional pain and distress. And the people around us will notice and begin to like us better, especially our children and loved ones.

Please reach out to me, Catherine Cleveland, for more information and to discuss your personal concerns. (585) 432-0313, clevelandemotionalhealth@gmail.com.

How to Mindfully Change Your Suffering

Is it true that we cause most of our own suffering?

Take a moment to stop and pay attention to what is happening in this moment. Take your time and patiently observe and describe your surroundings. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you taste? What do you feel? Doing this sensory exercise brings you into the present moment.

When you think about it, the present moment is the only thing that exists. The past does not exist, nor does the future. In principle, the way to eliminate self-suffering is to always live in the present moment. Even if the present moment is disagreeable, the present moment never lasts. Realistically, our minds seem to have a mind of their own, and we cannot always control our unwanted intrusive and iterative thoughts. 

Self-suffering primarily comes from living either in the past or the present where neither exist. Intrusive thoughts situated in the past are called rumination. Ruminating is when you replay the negative events from the past. Sometimes they come as thoughts, and sometimes as visions also called flashbacks. When ruminating gets out of control, it can have severe consequences in our daily functioning and in our interpersonal relations. 

If our intrusive thoughts are in the future, we are worrying excessively. Worrying is also known as anxiety. And, unfortunately, anxiety and rumination go hand-in-hand. One of the most common types of anxiety that is not well addressed in our culture is social anxiety. Social anxiety is when we are worried about what others are thinking of us. For example, you may have experienced social anxiety going to school, at a job interview, calling, or meeting with your mental health counselor for the first time, even going to the grocery store. For instance, one of my anxieties is when a driver is behind me too close. I am always worried about what they are thinking about my driving. Am I going to fast, to slow, not paying attention? And of course, there are numerous types of generalized anxieties such a relational, finances, health concerns, and not feeling like we belong. 

But what can we do with this human suffering state of rumination and anxiety? First, we have to pay attention (nonjudgmentally and compassionately) to when our thoughts are in the past or the present. Next, we have to label it, “hmmm, I notice that I am ruminating.” Then we can make a conscious choice to do one of two things. We either become mindful of the present moment, as discussed earlier or, we can change the story. For example, think of what you are ruminating about as a scene from a movie. Now, use your imagination to recreate the scene to make it whatever you want. If you were the villain in the original scene, you can change the story to where you are the savior or the hero. If you are the victim, you can change the scene to where you are the villain or the hero. These are just examples. It does not matter how you change the scene; you can even change it to where you are on a sunny beach vacation. Whatever you want! Just change the story in your rumination.

The same thing goes with anxiety. How can you reframe your worry? First, pay attention to your anxiety, then you label it (nonjudgmentally and compassionately). For instance, “oh, this is anxiety. I can feel it in my stomach.” Next, be kind to yourself by saying something like, “yeah, you’re [anxiety] here, but I can get through this, just keep going. It won’t last forever, I promise.” You can also rewrite the scenes of your anxiety-based movie.

Remember, not all past and present experiences have to be harmful. At times we can find comfort in reminiscing and planning. Reminiscing is when you are thinking about happy and funny memories of events, friends, and family. Planning is a way to be future-minded and can reduce anxiety. Reminiscing and planning can be fun and productive. However, if we spend too much time reminiscing, it prevents us from making new memories. And, planning must be followed by doing or implementing. If we do not follow through with our plans, we can stagnate, causing regret and rumination. 

No matter how we decide to pay attention to our past, present, and future thoughts and behaviors, paying attention is a mindful exercise. Mindfulness always takes practice, just like exercise. You cannot go to the gym and lift one weight and expect results. Mindfulness works the same way. If you want to change your suffering, you must make a conscious daily effort.

Click here for more information about Catherine Cleveland. To make an appointment, click here. To contact me call/text (585) 432-0313.

Thank you for reading!