How to Cope With Dental Anxiety

I talked about this on social media, but I wanted to talk about it a little more.Let’s talk about one of the hidden symptoms of anxiety and depression… it makes you lose your teeth. Not directly, but it’s often a symptom. For me, I was pretty depressed through out my teens and early 20s so oral hygiene wasn’t at the top of my list. And anxiety. Anxiety meant that to make a dentist’s appointment, I had to talk on the phone (horrifying) to a stranger (even more horrifying) and make an appointment that would give me anxiety every day up to the appointment. Then I had to go to that appointment and have a stranger digging in my mouth and judging me. The dentist was somewhere I went when I was in so much pain I thought I was going to die. By then, the damage was usually done and…

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Intrusive Thoughts and Obsessive Thought Loops

What’s an intrusive thought? An intrusive thought is an unwelcome involuntary thought, image, or unpleasant idea that may become an obsession, is upsetting or distressing, and can feel difficult to manage or eliminate.* We all have intrusive thoughts, although it’s something we don’t talk about because of embarrassment, shame, and well, guilt. They range from things like wanting to break everything when you’re walking by the dishes in Target, thinking you have a deadly disease because your stomach hurts, or replaying an event in your head over and over again. There are darker intrusive thoughts too. Thoughts like hurting the people you care about, even your kids, or going over a bridge and wanting to drive your car off of it – can you believe that those thoughts are normal and lots of people have them? Seriously! Brains are weird. Most people have those fleeting thoughts, and that’s all they are – fleeting.…

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Distress Tolerance: Self-Soothing

I first heard of self-soothing as it relates to small children but a few years ago as I started practicing DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) I also learned that it’s a skill we need to cultivate as an adult. Making ourselves feel better is a pretty underrated talent. DBT focuses on four main things, mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance. Distress tolerance is how we learn to bring ourselves down from super strong emotions. I used to have such strong spikes of emotion. My moods would go from 0 to 100 almost instantly. Anger, sadness, depression, overwhelm – one minute I’m fine and then something (usually) little happens and suddenly I’m feeling all of the feels. Distress tolerance is about bringing those feelings back down to a manageable level so that you’re able to deal with them without being destructive or lashing out. It’s essential to know how to self-soothe.…

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Yoga For Mental Health: My Top 5 Favorite Videos

I don’t do yoga to lose weight and I don’t do yoga to become more flexible. I do yoga because each time my feet hit the mat I am forced to confront myself. To focus on what’s going on in my head and how I’m feeling in that moment. I have to pay attention to how I’m breathing and I have to pay attention to how I’m holding and carrying my body and where the tension is. I have to pay attention. Yoga confronts me with truth. There are all kinds of yoga. All kinds. There are headstands and handstands and yoga that you do in heated rooms that have sweat pouring off of you. There’s yoga done on beaches and mountaintops and sunny places. That’s not how I yoga. I’m a messy hair, pajama-wearing, sometimes-still-in-bed yoga practitioner. Check out Yin yoga and Restorative yoga, that’s where it’s at. Yoga is…

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