Archive: Featured

Therapy, How to Tell If It’s Needed

We all have stress and life issues to deal with. One of the biggest hesitations about therapy is usually the question of “if it is needed” before the time and expense is invested in the services. I tend to believe an outside perspective is always good to have. This said, I have come up with 3 scenarios where I would suggest personal therapy regardless of the circumstances.  If you experience any of the scenarios listed below, please reach out to myself or any other healthcare or mental health professional;

  1.  Stress is above the normal limits. Stress can lead to both a mental and physical breakdown. The anxiety can cause you to fail at work, disregard your family’s needs, and even return to an addiction (if not start a new one).  I would say any stress that starts to cause a lack of concentration or disrupts your physical health is reason enough to seek therapy.
  2. No one is listening anymore. If friends and family have tuned out or have started to avoid you because of your constant talking about stress, worry and/or life problems, you need a fresh and professional listener. This means the problem has gone on long enough that they can no longer help, outside of listening, and you need a therapist to provide you with some coping skills, maybe even an RX.
  3. Someone has said something to you. Friends or family who suggest therapy to you know you best. It may be a subtle intervention, but if someone else brings up therapy services to you, it may be for a reason. One session to explore if this option is truly a great match for you can’t be of any harm, so why not be open to it?

I offer a range of online and in-person therapy services. If you feel like you are in need of an outside perspective or an influx of coping tips, please reach out to myself or any other healthcare professional.

When You’re Stuck

There are some people who refuse to let others help them. They make suggestions, but the other party doesn’t listen. The other party makes excuses that “Everything is fine” or “people do respond to me” and then they get no where. Well, being stuck personally and professionally is never easy to address- especially when the subject is yourself or your tunnel vision. Know this, addressing yourself and what you can be doing better can help you feel better about where your life is going versus wondering why things aren’t changing for you or blaming other people for lack of change in your life.

The best sign to discovering if you’re stuck is to ask yourself right now what it is you want. “Happy self” or “wonderful career” are blanket answers. Be specific. Can you really define what it is you want right now? Recognize that you have desires, goals, and beliefs that are important to you. Your values matter and when they shift, it is because something inside of you has awakened and is ready to experience more.

Another question you want to ask yourself in discovering if you’re truly your own problem (and stuck) is because your joy is gone. You may have become too focused on what you think you “should” do instead of what you really, truly want to do. Example, I knew a lady in business who followed her competitor’s every move. The competitor had more business then she did , so naturally she thought she should be doing what the competitor was doing… only she had NO business. The problem was she wasn’t listening to what her customers wanted, she was too focused on what she thought she should be doing. She had no business and she was unhappy- not a way to live.  I also know many people who are stuck in unhappy marriages because they were brought up being told they “should” get married. They are not happy, they are only pleasing other people. Again, not a way to live and it leads to being stuck.

Turn things around with baby steps. Focus on asking yourself what it is that you want to do and be detailed about the answer. Then focus on if you are joyful and doing what you love or if you are miserable and doing what you should do. There is a difference between the two- as well as the outcome. Then focus on what you are going to do from this day forward by starting with the baby steps. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. If you want to grow, you have to allow yourself to be uncomfortable; all growth requires discomfort, but it is worth it. Yes, start small and then move on to the big stuff. The point is to address yourself and then focus on considering change and then making that change!

3 No-RX Ways to Fight Depression

There is no shame in needing a little prescription help when combating depression. This said, I have noticed more and more clients want to try the non-RX way to battle depression before they have to get a prescription. Below are the 3 ways I have found that help battle depression without having to have a doctor sign-off on a prescription. This said, if you feel like you are in need of RX help, please ask for it. There is no shame in asking and not all options work for all the people all of the time.

#1 alternative to RX-  Get moving. Exercise can relieve depression, possibly by altering the mood-regulating brain chemicals norepinephrine and serotonin. Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking on a treadmill, is best, but any degree of exercise is better than none.

#2 alternative to RX – More light. During the short, dark days of winter, some people are prone to a type of depression called seasonal affective disorder. One way to ease symptoms may be light therapy, in which you sit near a brightly lit box that mimics outdoor light. The therapy generally starts with daily sessions of about 15 minutes and increases to up to two hours daily. The timing depends upon the severity of symptoms. Basically, start going out in the daylight or ask your doctor about actual light therapy.

#3 alternative to RX – Your thoughts. If you know how often you are thinking negative, you can focus on thinking positive thoughts on a more regular basis. Start a diary simply to track your moods, thoughts and the words you use. Yes, therapy focused on teaching people about positive thinking has been shown to relieve depression,so start tracking the bad words, the negative thoughts and then you can focus more on using positive words and thoughts, which may help with the depression.

Depression is serious.  If you try these things and feel they don’t help, seek alternative treatment or an RX. You need support and clinical supervision is always an option depending on how severe the depression becomes.

Reclaim Your Joy of Living with Informative PDF Download!

Maryanne Nicholls of The Joy of Living proudly presents her latest free PDF download titled ‘Reclaim the Joy in Your Life’. The PDF download offers insight and steps to freeing one’s self from stress to gain the ability to live in a joyful mindset no matter what the circumstance. http://thejoyofliving.co

“The program is free and it is short. Really, it acts as an introduction to my Joy of Living program but without the financial commitment. This is a great way for those who are feeling bogged down by life to start to seek information on how to distress and reclaim their own personal happiness again,” said licensed therapist Maryanne Nicholls, creator of the program and founder of The Joy of Living.

A key point of this program is to help people learn how to understand the true you in order to reclaim a sense of purpose, destiny and control over your life. It is a self-guided PDF file that may be safely downloaded simply by inputting an email address for Maryanne’s email list.

“There is literally no commitment to have this free program. You can share your email address with me and then opt out of my weekly mailer at any time. You keep the PDF either as a printed document or on your computer forever. It is risk free and there is no test at the end of it. This truly is my gift to help others cope,” finished Maryanne Nicholls.

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist (RP), Certified Gestalt Therapist (Cert. GIT), and trained in Narrative Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Emotion Freedom Technique – Tapping (EFT), and Trauma & Attachment Psychotherapy.
Download the free program here: http://thejoyofliving.co

5 Habits of People with Depression

Depression isn’t always noticeable. In fact, many people with depression hide it well. They live in secrecy.  Would you be able to spot depression in someone else, maybe even in yourself?  I’m noting the top 5 habits of people with depression below. If you find two or more describe yourself or someone else, you need to seek out help.

  1. Those who live with depression have learned to alter their apparent moods, and may even be some of the most seemingly “happy” people that you know. Do you feel like you’re faking your joy?
  2. They are creatures of habit. Yes, people with depression often have lifestyle habits that they use to treat their everyday state-of-mind. This can be in the form of music, exercise, driving, walks, or basically anything they know can get themselves out of a sinking set of emotions.  While these habits can look healthy, and they are, they are often concealing something darker.
  3. Big insight on their own mortality that is shared, publicly, with out the usual fear or nervousness that most people have when speaking on the subject. Yes, depression often makes people have a complex thought process about life in general and death in general. Facing one’s mortality often comes at moments of desperation, but it doesn’t always lead to suicide. There are people who are depressed who think lovingly about death.
  4. They look for their purpose or reinvent their purpose. Is this you? Those who live with unseen depression are no stranger to always trying to compensate in their life for the frailties that they have inside.  Thus, they try on new jobs, places to live, and hobbies like they may change underwear, constantly searching for something that will make them happy.
  5. They are love seekers. Some people may write someone off as always having to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, but this may be a sign of depression. People who live with depression in a private and undisclosed way do so for protection. This is for the protection of their hearts. This is for the protection of the people around them.  But they are also quick to latch on to someone who they feel can help them feel happy, even if the relationship is unhealthy or they barely know the person. When the other person can’t “cure” their longing for happiness, not really a partner, they jump  ship and move on to the next person.

I can help you with depression. I can help you reclaim your joy. Please reach out to  me and let’s talk about solutions.

Spread too Thin? Dealing with Stress

We are expected to simply be mobile all of the time these days.  We can reply to questions all the time, emails all the time, everything is needed now and everyone wants your attention.  Add this to your daily responsibilities and it is no wonder we are more stressed out than ever and we are more spread thin than ever.

When social commitments start to sound and feel like a chore, you’re spread too thin. Letting go and having fun should be about unwinding, not about an obligation. So, if this is you, you need to take action to reclaim your peace, find your center, and discover how to move forward.

Don’t get caught in the last minute game. Instead,  carve time out for social engagements on your calendar. Yes, you need to plan for them,block out a good amount of time for them, and don’t reschedule them to continue work time. Down time is a good and needed thing. Schedule it.

Is getting dinner prepared a hugely stressful chore? If it is, think about this. Why would dinner be a stressful task? It usually is only stressful because you’re filled with a million other things to do and you can’t manage adding one more task to your day without completely overriding another task. If dinner is going to override another task, you need to start cutting responsibilities and delegating them to someone else.

And if you feel like your memory is failing you, you are spread to thin. Yes, if you’re to the point where you have so many tasks to complete that important tasks have been forgotten, things will go wrong and these things will add more stress to your life.  You need to start writing everything down. Follow this up by scheduling them out with enough time to handle it all. Be realistic about how long it takes you to do something or you will be setting yourself up for failure. When an idea, new appointment, or thought pops in your head that you need to remember for later, write it down. Then revisit your current day, and the notes, along with tomorrow’s scheduled day as your evening ends.

We can avoid stress (in some cases) when it comes to our schedule and spreading ourselves too thin.  We just have to make the time to admit we need to create some adjustments in our lives.

 

Confident. The secret to looking secure.

All of us have some flaw- some insecurity- so why do so many people appear to be confident? They work on it. Yes, there is an effort required but the benefits are amazing. I want to share with you a few tips to appear more confident in social or professional situations. As you practice these, you will discover that you will start to actually feel more confident.

#1. Don’t slouch. Your posture says everything to those who do and do not know you.To fix your posture, stand up as TALL as you can and pull your shoulder blades down and back as far as possible. This will help you appear more confident and more positive about life.

#2.  Stare at people. Yes, stare. This provokes a feeling of confidence. Starting right now, be the person that doesn’t look away. Think of each interaction as a mini-battle – your eyes against theirs. As long as you’re smiling and blinking, you won’t come across as mean so keep at it. Yes, this one takes practice.

#3. Always tell people who you are. Yes, this works! If you introduce yourself immediately to strangers and get the awkward out of the way immediately- people will feel comfortable around you and you’ll come across as cool and collected.

The week is almost over. Start practicing these small steps to looking secure today. And, if you need help with your self-esteem, know that I take virtual appointments.

When Choice Is Wrong…

I wrote a bit about why not to rely only on an expert in my last post. I did receive an interesting question about relying upon a love coach. Again, is this for validation and why? Are you forcing yourself to love someone you don’t? Maybe lower expectations because social or age pressures? Maybe you want a coach to excuse abusive behaviors? Experts are not answers. They are people with opinions who may or may not be right.

Here’s what you need to know about choice, relationships and expert advice…

we often repeatedly choose similar partners and end up in the same unsatisfying or unsuccessful unions. How are we supposed to know when our attractions should be warning signs? What qualities should we steer away from when we don’t even know a person yet? How do we break the cycle without having to rely upon a love coach or an expert? Well, think about this. When you consciously choose to break a pattern, you can establish a better relationship with a better outcome. If you give an out-of-the-ordinary person a chance, you can become accustomed to this out-of-the-ordinary relationship. Yours could be one of those stories of friends who fall in love or unlikely seeming couples who live happily together.

If you are in a relationship, and you recognize that it is heading toward the same negative outcome as past relationships, you can stop the momentum and avoid another tragic ending. You and your partner are most likely collaborating in creating the negative dynamics in your relationship. Not only is he/she the same kind of person you always end up with, it is most likely that you are the same kind of person he/she ends up with, too.  There is nothing an expert or love coach can do to help you with this. You have to stop making the choice to repeat the pattern. There is no fixing him or her, only a change in direction – a choice made by you.

You don’t need an expert to help you make the choice to find love, stay in a relationship, or leave a relationship. What you need to do is see where you have been, know where you want to go, and then decide for yourself how your choices will lead you there or put you on the wrong path.

Until next time,

Maryanne Nicholls

Why You Should Ignore Experts

We rely upon advice to make decisions. The problem is , we live with the consequences of these decisions- not those who are giving us advice. So, why is it that we feel the need to buy into what the “experts” have to say about our lives when it comes to everything from fashion to professional expansion? Why can’t we rely upon our life’s lessons and our gut instinct?

We hire experts because we don’t trust our instincts, which is a mistake. And because we want to be reassured that what we think is okay or that we made the right choice. We lack confidence in our decisions and need someone to say it is ok. And because we want to be reassured we are normal and we know that we don’t know everything. Getting other opinions before making a choice is healthy, but not trusting ourselves and our instinct isn’t. We have to define the line for ourselves and we have to be ourselves.

Fashion is one area where we suffer and rely upon experts. Why are we still allowing others to tell us not only what to wear but how much money to spend on it? We are trusting “experts” and I can see why. Since when we were little, our parents helped us dress. We trusted, well were built to, authority to help us make good decisions. And while relying upon advice or other people’s feedback is healthy, it shouldn’t be the only reason we do or buy into something. We need to be able to make a decision, understand input and move forward on our own two feet.

Experts are not always experts. Think about this fact, ’nearly 70% of studies presented in the world’s top medical journals are debunked within a few years of being published, or that up to 90% of what your family doctor learned in medical school is now known to be incorrect. These are trained professionals who you literally entrust your life to. Now, ask yourself what other choices and decisions (personal, business and/or fashion) are being trusted to “experts”.

You need to find you. Your voice is important. You can hear and learn from advice, but you should be navigating all of your life choices – from business to relationships and even down to what shoes you should wear.  Have questions? Let’s talk!

How to deal with a crush.

Sadness and mixed emotions often come from harboring a crush on people. I am writing about this now as New Year’s Eve weekend is upon us. If you’re single, this can be a depressing time for you- although it doesn’t have to be. If you are single with a crush on a special person, this time can be even more trivial. Think about it, you’re trying to enjoy your life- remain happy and confident, even think about the possibilities of things working out with your crush when- WHAM, you notice your crush has a new fling or discover that he or she isn’t interested in being in a relationship…. now what!

 

The biggest piece of advice I can offer you right now is to keep things in perspective. This is hard to do when you’re crushing on someone, but in order to tame your emotions and remain realistic about the pressures of New Year’s Eve, you have to admit to yourself that you think someone is special but that someone special may not have the same feelings about you. This doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you or that you are not good enough for the other person, it simply means the DNA and emotional feelings they have are not on the same level as yours  – and this is ok, too!

 

To gage if you have a crush or if there is a real attraction, try talking to the other person. Don’t oodle and find common ground about light subject matter. Sometimes we also discover who we made our crush into via our mind isn’t always who that person truly is and our values, etc. may be all-together different. Therefore, try to strike up a conversation. If you do, and nothing works out, don[‘t beat yourself up. Know that you tried and the effort failed but then move on. Feelings are subjective and having a healthy attitude about this will help you go into the 2017 year with a better perspective if you keep thing information in mind.

 

If you do have to deal with rejection, it is important to keep yourself busy.  Find different public New Year’s Eve parties online or ask a friend if you can come over and watch the Ball drop on TV with him or her. BE honest and explain why.  Find healthy ways to keep yourself both positive and busy. Working out, cooking, planning your own NYE party are all great ways to deal with having a crush who is unaware or not for you this New Year’s Eve.

 

Having a healthy perspective on things, such as a crush, will help you live a more joyful life in 2017. Take the good with the bad but focus on the positives and find ways to cope  with the negatives. Fitness and friends are always great ways to distract yourself from the bad and cope in a happy, positive way!