Tag Archives: mental health counsleing

I am More Than Your Labels

This guest poster, who wishes to remain anonymous, enlightens us on how we use labels to define others. Labels can feel judgmental and can dehumanize. Labels create “us and them.” Labels isolate. What labels have been used on you?

My alarm goes off, time to start another day

As I exit my bed, I grab my binder from the nightstand along with a baggy sweatshirt and loose pants

I head to the bathroom where I avoid the mirror and shower at all costs.

These parts are not mine

This is not fair

As I head to school I wonder how many times I might be stung by the verbal bee today

A substitute in math and inevitably role call

My dead name

This name is not mine

This is not fair

It’s time for therapy and upon arrival my dead name is said aloud for the waiting room to hear

A clipboard with assessments where I am asked to put my name and gender 

The gender binary is everywhere in here

This gender is not mine

This is not fair

At the stroke of 3 o’clock, the therapist enters the waiting room

We walk down these winding halls…

To my surprise a safe space sticker and an ALLY button accompanies this stranger

Can this name be mine?

These pronouns feel right

“What name do you like to be called”

This stranger identifies their pronouns and preferred name

“Tell me about what makes you, you”

This name is mine

These pronouns feel right

This stranger does not realize that for the first time today

I am more than transgender

I am an artist, an avid reader, hopeless romantic, and enjoy color coordinating my shoes.

This name is mine

These pronouns feel right

I am me and that is perfectly okay

Please share your comments on this thoughtful and enlightening post. Please click here for more information on mental health counseling.

Emotional Health Tip # 1: Pay Attention

Pay Attention!

I had a new friend ask me if I was analyzing them. What I was doing was enjoying the day and their company in the present moment. Although I may figure out sooner or later what their neurosis is, their worrying about whether I am “analyzing” them, says more about them than me. If you are worried about being analyzed, start by asking yourself these questions: what am I afraid to reveal? What is it that I definitely do not want others to know about me?

The essential tip I will give you to improve your mental health is to pay attention to yourself. Pay attention to your thoughts, to what your emotions are, and to your behaviors (as a result of your thoughts and emotions). Mostly, pay attention to what is happening to your body – are you having any muscle tension, does your heart race, do you feel tightening in your chest? What does your stomach feel like during stressful times?

Believe it or not, most people are not able to well articulate their thoughts and feelings. There are multiple reasons for why we lack this type of intrapersonal insight. The main reason is that we avoid our thoughts and feelings, hoping they will no longer exist. 

However, avoidance does not work. Thoughts will always haunt us when we are not occupying ourselves with something else like work, homework, socializing, television, gaming, and social media. Unwanted thoughts can most often occur when we are lying in bed, trying to go to sleep. Feelings can get subconsciously triggered and come out in unwanted behaviors and physical reactions, such as fighting with loved ones, aggressiveness, moodiness, anxiety, depression, and OCD, and physical pain. 

If avoiding thoughts and feeling does not work, what can you do? You can pay attention to those thoughts and feelings. Begin by developing a childlike, nonjudgmental curiosity to yourself, and all of your parts. In other words, “analyze” yourself in a compassionate and curious manner. When you pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and physical body, you begin the healing process, which essentially eliminates the coping and hoping behaviors where nothing completely changes.

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