- Daydreaming or thinking of something else (even something as simple as your list of groceries) while another person is speaking
- Thinking of what to say next before your partner has finished
- Judging what the other person is saying
- Listening with a specific goal/outcome already in mind
- Nonverbal involvement (show them you are paying attention)
- Be aware of your body language, not just your own thoughts
- Not being judgmental
- Tolerating silence
- Being Mindful and Present with the other person.
If you have insomnia, healthy sleep habits help. These guidelines are recommended for everyone, but they are especially important for people who can’t fall asleep or stay asleep on a regular basis otherwise known as, insomnia.
- Create a sleep schedule. Stick to the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends. This helps to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm (otherwise known as your body’s internal clock). This can be hard if you’re tired and want to sleep in on the weekends, but for many people it helps to set an alarm and wake up at the same time every day. Eventually, you might even be able to wake up without your alarm!
- Avoid naps, especially in the afternoon. A power nap may help you get through the day, but if you find that you can’t fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating even short powernaps may help. If you must nap, no longer than 20 minutes or you may disrupt your sleep cycle making it difficult to fall asleep in the evening.
- Exercise, but not close to bedtime. Exercising can help regulate your body and make you sleep better, but working out too close to bedtime can energize you and make it harder to settle into sleep.
- Fix your bedroom. Make sure you have a clean, comfortable, quiet, and dark sleep space. Use a sound machine or a fan to block noise from inside or outside the house, and install darkening blinds for streetlights and morning light. Only use your bed for sleeping. This will help program your brain to associate your bed with feelings of sleepiness.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes, and heavy meals in the evening. Alcohol and cigarettes can disrupt sleep, and eating big or spicy meals can cause discomfort that can make it hard to sleep. Also, caffeine stays in your system for longer than you might think!
- Wind down. Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode, so spend the last hour before bed doing a calming activity such as reading or meditating. For some people, using an electronic device such as a laptop can make it hard to fall asleep, because the particular type of blue light emitted from the screens of these devices is causes alertness. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid electronics before bed. There is a night-time setting on some phones which switches the phone from blue to red light which is easier on the eyes and does not disrupt brain signals.
Following these tips is a good first step. If you have questions or if you adjust your sleep habits and still have insomnia, talk to a professional. In many cases, another form of treatment is necessary for someone with insomnia to get a full night sleep.
Sometimes people with insomnia might be experiencing a combination of other issues. Anxiety, depression, and stress are common causes of insomnia. If you think you might be struggling with any of these issues it is recommended you speak with a psychologist or therapist. Epic Wellness Clinic in Miami Beach, FL has licensed psychologists and therapists who are trained in these areas and happy to help.
While there are a lot of therapists offering psychotherapy, finding someone you like may require some effort, especially if it is your first time being in therapy. The most important and first issue you should consider is finding out if the therapist is licensed. Each state has their own licensure requirements for therapists, psychologists, psychotherapists, marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors, and social workers to protect patients/ clients. It is your right to ask your therapist about his/her qualifications and it is essential for you to know that you will be receiving a treatment from someone who is qualified to provide in your state.
Before you start therapy, review your reason for seeking therapy. Some people may not be able to identify this concretely and they may make general statements such as ”I want to be happy” or “I want to get rid of this anxiety/depression”.
Struggling to identify your specific needs and goals can make finding a therapist overwhelming or burdensome. You can always ask your therapist to help you identify the problem and determine your goals. The aim of the first session should be to set goals for both the therapist and the client. If you do not determine your goals, it becomes difficult to decide if the therapy is working or not.
For example, if your goal is to improve your social relationships, you may specify it as “Be involved in social gatherings more often, meet at least 1 friend during this week”. These small goals are the ones that create change and a good therapist only encourages his/her client to make small changes in the beginning.
Adherence to ethical rules is essential, but being ethical does not automatically make one a good psychologist, psychotherapist, marriage and family therapist, or a mental health counselor/professional. Also, not every good therapist is good for everyone.
As we always say at Epic Wellness Clinic, the best therapist in the world is the one you can connect to the most. the therapeutic relationship is the key to the best outcome. It is very important for you as the client to evaluate your therapy session and your psychotherapist according to your personal experience, goals, and needs.
At the end of your 1st session, here are some questions you can ask yourself in order to decide if you found the right therapist:
- Was my therapist supportive and attentive?
- Was she/he able to understand my problem and helped me define my goals?
- Was I comfortable and open with my therapist?
- Did I feel understood by my therapist?
- Was my session effective/useful?
At our Miami Beach clinic, all therapists are licensed by the department of health in the state of Florida. If you are unsure of your goals or needs or if you do not know what you want to change, therapists at Epic Wellness Clinic are here to help.Taking the first step and starting therapy is not only the bravest thing but also one of the healthiest choices you can ever make to deal with your emotional problems. As Epic team we wish you the best of luck finding “the therapist” for yourself.
There is nothing more difficult than being separated from the one you love. If a child has been separated from someone they love by divorce, it is natural for them to miss that person, to question why they’ve been separated, or to feel hurt and angry. How do you, as a parent, navigate this emotional terrain, not only for yourself, but for your child?
Some helpful tips:
- Children need to know what is happening and how they will be affected by your separation. This includes specific details about how much time they will be spending with each person they love.
- Children should never be asked who they want to live with, or to take sides in one parent’s anger toward the other. This presents a loyalty dilemma that will only confuse and upset them.
- Children need to hear age-appropriate reasons for your divorce. They do not need to hear about your anger or your blame.
- Children will be hurt and angry after a divorce, so be patient with them. Dealing with separation is usually a much newer idea for them than it is for you.
- Children will question. Be prepared for various forms of questioning. Sometimes simply acknowledging your child’s sadness, anger, frustration, and other emotions may go a long way toward helping them accept the many changes in their lives. Acknowledging their feelings without passing judgement or making light of it (“I see you are upset,” instead of “Don’t be upset, silly.”) or (“I know this is hard for you,” instead of “You’ll get over it.”) will help a child accept change.
- Children need to be able to love and admire both parents. When one parent is constantly put down by the other, regardless of how valid the criticism may be, the child—who is part of the criticized parent—feels put down as well.
- Children need to feel empowered to make some decisions. After all, they believe that they did not have an input in this decision, but their lives are affected the most by your divorce.
Navigating the emotional terrain of divorce is difficult, but not impossible. There is help out there for you and for your children.
Epic Wellness Clinic in Miami Beach has licensed psychotherapists and counselors with extensive experience working with families. Remember both of you are, and always will be, their parents, so this journey will still have to be taken together.
Mindful eating is a technique that helps you gain control over your eating habits. It has been shown to help with weight loss, reduce binge eating and help you feel better.
Mindful eating consists of being aware of your mind and body while eating. Eating slowly is one of the best ways to start mindful eating. Many people tend eat quickly and serve themselves more because they still feel hungry.
Eating slowly gives your brain ample time to process that you are full. Research shows it takes 20 minutes for your brain to process fullness. Additionally, eating slowly allows you to be more satisfied when you finish eating because you acknowledged and enjoyed each bite.
Tips on how to slow down:
- Change something in your eating environment: Changing aspects of your eating environment (such as using a cloth napkin instead of a paper one) will serve as a reminder to eat slowly. Every time you remember the reasons why you have a cloth napkin rather than a paper one, it will remind you to eat slowly.
- Set a timer to beep every one to three minutes: The beep will remind you to put down your utensils and wait 10 to 30 seconds before picking them up again.
- Pay attention to your body: When you eat, be mindful of how you feel when you’re beginning to feel full and be conscious of that feeling when eating so you know when to stop, even if there is still food left. Distractions are big obstacles when tackling mindful eating because it is very easy to get distracted while eating, especially when eating alone. Eating with distractions can greatly diminish your satisfaction after you finish your food.
- Eat in a relaxed atmosphere: The lower your stress, easier it is to pay attention to the food you’re eating. Every person is different but what works for most people is eating in a quiet and calm environment.
- Focus intently on your food: Truly appreciate and relish in the food you’re eating. Be mindful of the textures and flavors of the food you’re eating.
- Train yourself to eat without distractions: Avoid putting yourself in situations that can serve as a distraction. For example, refrain from reading, watching TV, or being on your phone when eating so you can be mindful of the food only.
If slowing down your eating is a challenge for you, try reminding yourself to put down your utensils several times during the meal as well as waiting 10 to 30 seconds before continuing.
Take it step by step and if you feel that you’re eating too quickly or mindlessly, try and catch yourself so you can get better for the next meal!
Working with a therapist and formulating a plan for change can be extremely helpful in succeeding with mindfulness practices.
If you think that you or someone you love is suffering from an eating disorder (including binge eating, anorexia, bulimia, etc), don’t hesitate to get help. Eating disorders can lead to serious issues. It is always advised to seek the advice of a professional for potential medical and mental health disorders.
For more information, advice, and resources on mindful eating, binge eating, anorexia, bulimia contact, and compulsive eating, contact Epic Wellness Clinic to be connected with a licensed therapist who is ready to help. Epic Wellness Clinic is located in Miami Beach however they also provide online and phone counseling. A good therapist can help you become stronger and more self-aware. So call today!