3362 Big Pine Trail, Suite A, Champaign, Illinois 61822

The pain that comes with a loss can be incredibly devastating. You may feel all sorts of challenging emotions-from confusion to anger, or disbelief, and intense sadness. Nobody could know exactly what you're going through, and you may not be sure what to do with these intense emotions.

While grief is a universal and inevitable part of the human experience, it's not easy. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while coping with grief:

Seek social support.
Talking to loved ones doesn't always mean talking about your grief, but it's a good place to start. Feeling connected is important. If you're not up for talking about your feelings all of the time, don't put pressure on yourself. Your grief process is your own, so how and when you choose to talk about it is up to you. 

Don't put time limits on your grief.
Although grief does decrease with time, knowing exactly when is hard to predict. Putting an artificial deadline on your grief can do more harm than good. Be patient with yourself and release any expectations.

Get outside.
Being outdoors is a relief. There are no questions, and nothing asked of you. Don't forget that nature plays a supportive role in nurturing our overall well-being and health; a key factor in easing the pain of grief.

Tend something.
Water your plants or brush your pets. Bake your favorite pastry or send a care package to someone you care about. Giving love and thinking of others allows you to get out of yourself for a while.

Sit with your pain.
Take the day away from your plans and relax in a comfortable space. Give yourself permission to cry and feel what you need to feel. Allow yourself to feel anger and name it for what it is. It's a healthy part of the grieving process and a normal response to feeling out of control or helpless about your loss. Remember, nobody is good at this.

Care for yourself.
Taking a shower, remembering to eat, and staying hydrated are all important to remember. These small tasks can feel like too much at times, but you'll feel a bit better.  Sometimes it's better to aim for getting through the next few minutes rather than an entire day.

Get creative.
Painting, writing, or playing music can be a powerful mood regulator. Whether it’s a journal entry or a blank canvas and a paintbrush, expressing emotion in an artistic form when you are hurting can be therapeutic.

 

Getting Help

Everyone grieves differently, and not every suggestion will resonate with you. Take it day by day, and remember, tomorrow is never far away.

 If you're grappling with grief for a lengthy period, working with a therapist can help you better understand your emotions. They can teach you coping skills and assist you in dealing with grief and finding relief.

 

Insight Therapy offers grief therapy and grief counseling. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Is your mind filled with a million overwhelming thoughts that you aren’t sure what to do with? Sometimes, our thoughts get the best of us. When we find ourselves feeling stuck with anxiety and frustration, mindfulness skills can help bring us into the present moment.

Mindfulness is the concept of learning how to be present, and aware of your thoughts and feelings without distress or judgment. It's a lighthearted way of stepping back from those unpleasant or overwhelming thoughts.

Here are 7 simple and effective mindful strategies to declutter your mind:

Declutter your physical space. It's stressful to go about your day feeling like there's too much going in your head. Removing the physical clutter from your environment also carries over into your state of mind.

Observe without judgment. If you imagine yourself lying down in a grassy field and watching the clouds roll by, you probably won't try to stop the clouds from moving. The same goes for this strategy. If the clouds are your thoughts, practice observing them and allowing them to pass, no matter how distressing they may be.

Noting. We don't need to examine every single thought we have. When we realize that a particular thought creates tension in the mind, we can note the thought for what it is. A thought. By doing so, we create a space between ourselves and our thoughts, making them less distressing and easier to let go of.

 Breathe. So many of us forget how effective the breath can be. Take a deep breath, focus on the air coming in and out of your body. By pausing for just a few moments, you reset the mind while it releases a calming effect.

 Body scan. Whether you choose to do this on your own or listen to a guided meditation, a body scan is a short, simple, and effective way of decluttering. This exercise asks you to picture a steady stream of warm sunshine flowing down through your head into the body, ultimately dissolving away any discomfort, leaving you feeling a little more relaxed and at ease.

 Ground yourself. Instead of holding in any frustration or discomfort, whether thoughts or feelings, take a few minutes to ground yourself. Pay attention to your breathing, or notice how your body feels sitting in your chair. When we become more present in the body, we can release these intense emotions. As a result, both the body and the mind feel calmer and clearer.

 Notice the wandering mind. We often try and shift our focus to whatever we’re doing, but how often do we sit and notice all of the thoughts coming in? Recognize the natural judgments placed on any thoughts that arise. Do any of them change the way you feel? Some may bring joy, while others cause pain by reminding us of the things we try to forget. This exercise allows us to notice the way our thoughts impact the way we feel.

Consider mindfulness as a mental muscle. Every situation you approach mindfully strengthens that muscle and promotes a different, more helpful perspective. As your skills improve, your mind will feel calmer, and less cluttered.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is relatively common yet frequently misunderstood. Kids that have it are often labeled as emotionally reactive, interruptive, and impatient. Adults may be seen as forgetful or unmotivated. These labels are harmful and can make work, school, daily tasks, and relationships more challenging than they need to be. 

Knowing that you or your child may have ADHD can help you receive proper treatment and live a better life quality.

What is ADHD?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by core symptoms of inattentiveness, distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These symptoms impact the brain's area responsible for regulating emotion, impulse control, and executive functioning, including decision-making and judgment.

Symptoms present differently depending on each person and may not always as noticeable as you'd imagine. Although they may change and shift with age, symptoms rarely disappear.

The main signs of each category are:

Inattention:

  • Lack of attention to detail
  • Difficulty focusing on one thing
  • Is easily distracted or frequently switch from one activity to the other
  • Trouble completing tasks or quickly bored by them
  • Loses things often 
  • Difficulty listening when spoken to
  • Daydreaming

Hyperactivity:

  • Find it difficult to relax
  • Feelings of restlessness
  • Appears to be "run by a motor"
  • Talks excessively
  • Irritable, or frequent changes in mood

Impulsivity:

  • Can be very impatient
  • Interrupts frequently
  • Act without regard for consequences
  • May be overreactive or have emotional outbursts

In children, these symptoms can present issues in school. A teacher is often one of the first people to recognize these symptoms in children.

In adults, symptoms can result in other issues- such as marriage difficulties, addictions, reckless driving, and financial trouble. 

Experiencing these symptoms can be difficult for anyone. Despite the challenges that come with ADHD, the condition can be managed, and treatment is available.

Getting Help

A range of approaches can help you manage ADHD. By seeking treatment, you can learn effective coping strategies, improve the quality of your relationships, and feel more in control of your life. Treatment options may include:

Medication. Medication is the most common treatment for ADHD. Contact your local healthcare provider to learn more. 

Psychotherapy. Working with a trained counselor or therapist can help address issues that result from living with ADHD.

Support Groups. Support groups offer education, emotional support, and encouragement to parents and adults living with ADHD. Being with people who understand your struggles can provide great comfort and a sense of belonging.

Accommodations. Both children and adults can receive special accommodations at school and the workplace. 

 

To learn more about your symptoms and receive the treatment you deserve, contact us today. Living with ADHD can be challenging, but with the right support and treatment, you can create a life that allows you to reach your greatest potential.

Success, whether personal or professional, is influenced by your emotional intelligence. 

Some experts say that emotional intelligence can be equally, if not more important than IQ. From your relationships to your goals, emotional intelligence ultimately plays a role in every aspect of your life. 

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence, or EI, was developed by John Salavoy and John Mayer, two social psychologists. They described it as the ability to recognize, interpret, express, and regulate your own emotions, recognize those of others, and understand how your emotions affect those around you. Their work is responsible for the increased interest in emotional intelligence, from the workplace to the school curriculum.

 

Unlike IQ, you can learn emotional intelligence at any time. Here are 7 tips for raising your emotional intelligence:

  1. Acknowledge and name your emotions. Emotions aren't black or white, positive or negative. They are a source of information that supports you in becoming self-aware.  When we pay attention to them, we learn to trust our emotions and become more skilled at handling them. 

  2. Get curious. Whenever you have an emotional reaction, you receive information about it. Get curious about what the purpose of each emotion is, whether it’s to warn you of something threatening or inform you of a pleasant experience. Your reaction may come from the current situation or serve as a reminder of a painful experience from the past. 

  3. It's not what you say; it's how you say it. Body language, the tone you use, and eye contact are all informants of how you feel internally.  It's impossible to avoid sending these messages. The number of muscles around your eyes, nose, mouth, and forehead helps you communicate your emotions and read those of other people. The emotional part of your brain, otherwise known as the limbic system, is always on. Even if you ignore its messages—you can't ignore how these messages present to others around you. Recognizing them can play a huge part in improving your relationships.
  1. Respond, don’t react. There's a subtle but important difference between the two. Reacting is an unconscious process. When we experience an uncomfortable emotional trigger, we immediately respond to eliminate the discomfort it causes. Responding, on the other hand, is a conscious, mindful process. It involves acknowledging and observing how you feel, then deciding how you want to proceed. If you raise your voice when you're angry or withdraw from others when feeling insecure, observe those emotions next time. Recognize how they're connected with your actions. 

  2. Be assertive. Assertive communication is about communicating your needs while acknowledging and respecting the needs of others. Rather than being passive or aggressive, assertiveness asks you to use your words clearly and directly. As you become more aware of your emotions, you'll be able to assert yourself in a way that strengthens and deepens your relationships.

  3. Practice empathy. Be open-minded and try to understand why other people feel the way they do.   Remember that there are various ways of looking at any situation. When someone doesn't react the same way, consider why, and try to see it from their perspective.

  4. Take responsibility. You're the only one that's responsible for your feelings, actions, and responses. Once you start holding yourself accountable and stop blaming others for the way you feel, you'll notice a positive impact on all areas of your life.

Working on improving your emotional intelligence isn’t always easy. It’s a skill that takes time to develop. But by practicing and implementing some of the tools mentioned, you’ll start to notice positive changes in the way you understand yourself and those around you.

 

About Insight Therapy

Insight Therapy is a professional mental health private practice located in Champaign - Urbana. Insight Therapy offers individual therapy, couples counseling, family counseling, and professional mediation services to clients of all ages and issues.

Contact Information

Insight Therapy, LLC
3362 Big Pine Trail
Suite A
Champaign, Illinois 61822

Phone: (217) 383-0151
Fax: (217) 633-4555

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Practice Areas

Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Addiction, Couples Counseling, Eating Disorders, Sexual Abuse Survivor, School Anxiety, Women's Issues, Relationship Issues, BiPolar Disorder, Personality Disorders, Family Issues, Couples Counseling, Mediation, and more!