Upcoming Webinars

Next week there are two webinars scheduled. The webinars are FREE and OPEN TO ANYONE interested.

Get a Grip on Worry, Stress, and Anxiety Tuesday, July 7th 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

  • You probably experience worry, stress or anxiety at least once on any given day.
  • But in one of these moments, if asked which you were experiencing — worry, stress or anxiety — would you know the difference?
  • Learn the difference between worry, stress, and anxiety and how to manage each.

Click HERE to register for the Get a Grip on Worry, Stress, and Anxiety webinar.

The Power of Music Tuesday, July 9th from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

  • Have you ever been listening to the radio and heard a song that took you back in time? Music is able to bring back powerful memories and can even help you deal with stress
  • Learn how music can be used to assist you and older family members
  • Have whatever device you have your music on available and discover your musical chronology or the soundtrack of your life

Click HERE to register for the Power of Music webinar.

Check out the interview on KOTA in Rapid City, SD about The Power of Music webinar.

The interview took place on Thursday, June 25th and can be viewed by CLICKING HERE to visit the KOTATV.com website.

Relationship Minute: Investigating anger

With elevated stress and anxiety levels, on a collective scale, things are a little raw right now. Emotions are on the surface, or maybe the water level around your “anger iceberg” has lowered.

What do you do with anger? How do you respond to it?

For some, anger is scary. It’s scary to be on the receiving end of someone else’s anger, and/or it is frightening to feel your own anger.

For others, anger is motivating. For those, anger may create action, excitement, and aliveness. Or maybe anger is a guardian, protecting you from other emotions that are harder or more intimidating like shame.

However you feel about anger, its presence is your system sending up a flare. It’s your emotional command center telling you to pay attention.

So next time you notice your own anger, take some time to investigate it. What else is going on? How do you feel about anger? What is your anger telling you to pay attention to? What is a healthy way to express it?

Related blog posts

The Relationship Minute from The Gottman Institute, dated 16 April 2020. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Getting a Grip on Worry, Stress, and Anxiety

Surprisingly worry, stress, and anxiety are not the same, but you can sure find a lot of it in the world today. In fact, a 2017 study found that 3 out of 4 Americans reported feeling stressed in the last month.

This piece is from a great article that appeared in the New York Times on February 26, 2020 by Emma Pattee.

Below is a synopsis of the full article, but I encourage you to visit the link above to read the original piece.

Too worried, stressed or anxious to read the whole article?

Here’s the bottom line: Worry happens in the mind, stress happens in your body, and anxiety happens in your mind and your body. In small doses, worry, stress, and anxiety can be positive forces in our lives. Easy first steps to help regulate the symptoms are: Get enough sleep; eat regular, nutritious meals; and move your body.

What is worry?

Worry is when your mind dwells on negative thoughts, uncertain situations, or things that could go wrong in a repetitive, obsessive manner. Worry can be good if it leads to changes, but if you worry about something in a repetitive, obsessive manner, that is not constructive. Worry happens in your mind and stimulates our brain to problem-solve or take action. It is only when you get stuck thinking about a problem that worry stops being constructive.

What to do if you worry:

  • Give yourself a time limit to worry. When time is up, consciously redirect your thoughts
  • When you notice you are worried about something, push yourself to take the next step or to take action
  • Write down your worries. Eight to 10 minutes of writing can help calm obsessive thoughts

What is stress?

Stress is a natural (aka normal) physiological response connected to an external event. Stress needs an external stressor to activate the fight or flight response in us to deal with the threat until it is resolved. Chronic stress is when your body stays in the fight or flight mode due to an unresolved issue and can lead to health concerns.

What to do to help your stress:

  • Get exercise
  • Get clear on what you can and can’t control. Then focus on what you can control in the situation
  • Don’t compare your stress to anyone else’s stress

What is anxiety?

Anxiety has a cognitive element (worry) and a physiological response (stress). Remember how stress is the natural response to a threat? Anxiety is the same thing…except there is no threat. Imagine you show up to work and somebody gives you an off look. You start to have the physiology of a stress response because you’re telling yourself that your boss is upset with you, or that your job might be at risk. Your body is in the fight or flight mode, but there is nothing to fight or run from.

What to do to help your anxiety:

  • Limit your sugar, alcohol and caffeine intake
  • Check in with your toes. How do they feel? Wiggle them. This kind of refocusing can calm you and break the anxiety loop.
  • When you’re in the middle of an anxiety episode, talking or thinking about it won’t help. Distract yourself with your senses. Listen to music, jump rope for five minutes, or rub a piece of Velcro or velvet

Grounding Exercise

If you are feeling nervous or anxious, doing the following grounding exercise can help when you feel like you’ve gone too far into your thoughts and feel like you’ve lost control of your surroundings.

  • Breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth
  • Slowly look around you and find…
    • 5 things you can see
    • 4 things you can touch
    • 3 things you can hear
    • 2 things you can smell (or 2 smells you like)
    • 1 emotion you feel

Seek Assistance

Bottom line is that if your worry, stress, or anxiety is affecting your work life, personal life, or relationships, find a professional to talk to. As military members and their families, we have a lot of free resources available for this kind of help. Seek them out. Visit our Common Questions About Counseling Page for more information.