864-664-2710 | 301 Halton Rd, Suite J, Greenville, SC 29607
Is it Possible to be Perfect?

Is it Possible to be Perfect?

When considering this question, some would say no, but this question for someone who battles with perfectionism may be hard to answer. Perfectionism is the belief that you can do most all things close to perfect. It is usually paired with a fear of failure and unrealistic goals. Often times creating an internal inability to enjoy life, have fun, relax and be present. Do you struggle to want everything to be perfect? Do you feel like a failure if the outcome of a task is not what you planned? If this sounds familiar to you, I hope this blog can encourage you in taking steps to give yourself grace and kindness.

Is This Perfectionism?

An important step to change anything is recognizing a need for change. If you have lived the majority of your life as a perfectionist, you may not realize your desire for things to be perfect. It can be so second nature to some, they see it as who they have to be. Having internal expectations for everything to have a near perfect outcome can affect our lives and relationships. If you are relating to this as you read through, you may find the below characteristics common for you. Do you find yourself struggling with the these?

  • Tend to be an all or nothing person, winning being the only answer
  • Crave approval from others for your efforts
  • Results focused
  • Become defensive during feedback
  • Have a highly critical attitude toward others
  • Fear of failure
  • Procrastination
  • Feelings of guilt for not being good enough

If these resonate with you, know that you are not alone. Many factors such as upbringing or trauma can contribute to a tendency to want to be perfect. There is help.

What Does Perfectionism Affect?

When considering the effects of allowing yourself to believe that you are capable of achieving near perfect results in all you attempt, the outcome is mostly negative. While some are able to seemingly achieve many of their goals, it often times comes with a price. Expecting yourself to be able to accomplish what you set out to do perfectly, takes a toll on your body. There are physical, mental and emotional symptoms that can occur. Some of those are listed below.

  • Increased anxiety and depression
  • More susceptible to health problems
  • Inability to share deep thoughts or feelings
  • Strained relationships from projecting high expectations upon them
  • Difficulty being present and in the moment
  • Low self-esteem

Over time allowing yourself to have a constant expectation of things being perfect can lead to multiple issues that can disrupt your everyday life. Like many of our actions, they did not occur and develop overnight, and they will not be improved overnight. Below are suggestions to steps you can take to help yourself in having a more realistic expectation of yourself and others.

How do I Help Perfectionism?

If you see these traits in you and you are ready for change, I encourage you to celebrate recognizing that. The weight of expecting yourself to be good at everything you do is exhausting. We are human. Humans are not capable of achieving good results in every single thing we do. We are going to make mistakes. Some outcomes will be better than others. We learn from trying things that did not go as expected. Remember, we were not born with all the knowledge we need in life. We are constantly taking things in and learning new things. Allowing ourselves the space and freedom to get things wrong and try again not only decreases our stress but teaches us new things along the way. Below are other suggestions that could help you in your journey to becoming less expectant.

  • Celebrate your win, don’t concentrate on the one thing that went wrong
  • Remember that we learn from mistakes
  • Run your goal by someone else, is it reasonable
  • Tell yourself that perfection is not necessary or obtainable
  • Have a list of priorities, not all tasks may get done
  • Talk to someone you trust and voice a concern or fear to them
  • Share something you consider a weakness with someone

Breaking down the barriers of perfectionism can be hard. It can also be rewarding. If you relate to the need to be perfect and you are ready for a change, Upstate Restorative Counseling is here to help. We offer anxiety counseling to help you take steps toward your goal.

Do I Have High Functioning Anxiety?

Do I Have High Functioning Anxiety?

Are you someone who is able to get through your days organized and successful but inside you think you would fall apart if you’re not organized? Do you have a strong work ethic but inside you fear getting fired or disappointing your boss if you make a mistake? If you can relate to this, you could be struggling with anxiety. That is what we are talking about today. Recognizing the signs of, taking steps to change the stress of being high functioning with anxiety.

Outside vs Inside of High Functioning Anxiety.

It may be hard to recognize this type of anxiety within you if you had an upbringing that expected close to perfection with little grace. And while living with such internal turmoil is hard on us, there is hope for change. So, hang in there and see if any of the below resonates with you. We also offer steps for change. Below are a few more examples of how someone with high functioning anxiety appears on the outside vs. what it feels like on the inside.

How You Appear on the Outside What It Feels Like on the Inside
Calm, stoic and holding things together Pep talks of “I can do this” after breakdowns
Always helping others If I don’t help them, they may be upset
A planner who is prepared Fears the outcome and has prepared for plans a, b, & c
Always punctual Stomach issues if you are even a minute late
Confident with self-assurance Self talk of you’ve got this, don’t mess up, you can do this
Organized I have to be organized so I don’t mess things up
In Control Something will go wrong if I don’t do it myself
Constantly Busy Feelings that rest is laziness
Work hard to please people Sacrificing your own needs

Are you recognizing yourself in these examples? Have you been successful at things you try and had others make these complements of you? Do you feel differently about yourself or have a high fear of failure? See if the below suggestions are something you could take a step toward.

Affects of Living with Anxiety?

Just because you are successful and able to accomplish the things you set your mind to, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek change. Carrying the stress and anxiety on the inside that comes with high functioning anxiety can affect more than is visible on the outside. If you have lived with anxiety, please consider the affects below and take steps toward help.

  • Racing heartrate
  • Excessive sweating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Stomach discomfort or issues
  • Muscle pain or tension
  • Feeling off-balance
  • Strained relationships from unbalanced priorities and focus
  • Frequent headaches

These are only a few examples of how anxiety can affect our physical body. Anxiety can break down our internal systems over time creating a potential for major health risks. Below are a few steps you can try to reduce anxiety in your life.

How Can I Help Anxiety?

Living with anxiety your whole life cannot be changed overnight. However, with persistence and consistency, you can make a difference in your life. Remember, becoming a high functioning anxious person didn’t happen overnight and you will not be able to manage it immediately. If you have tried taking steps for yourself and need further help, Upstate Restorative Counseling offers counseling for anxiety. You are not alone. Below are steps you can try to decrease the amount of anxiety within you.

  • Accept yourself as human, who will make mistakes
  • Be yourself, without comparing to others
  • Talk to someone you trust about the pressure you feel inside
  • Make time in your day to relax and just breathe
  • Do something fun and enjoyable
  • Follow your value system, not everyone else’s
  • Criticism happens, learn to hear it without defending
  • Learn to say no

Dropping the high standards we keep for ourselves can be hard. There are many life circumstances that create the belief within us that we can be perfect without failing, but those are false beliefs. Each one of us will make mistakes. We all have gifts and talents that are not the same. No one else is just like you and you are not like anyone else. Life has to be balanced to be healthy. If you struggle to know where a healthy balance is, we are here to help. Reach out today.

 

How Do I Stop These Negative Thoughts?

How Do I Stop These Negative Thoughts?

Are you always jumping to the negative outcomes in situations? Do you expect the worse to happen? Have you anticipated failure before you are even in a bad situation? You could struggle with negative thought patterns. Today, we are going to talk about that and how to stop negative thought patterns. Have you considered your thoughts lately? How many are negative compared to positive?

How Do Negative Thoughts Affect Me?

Negative thought patterns are more than just a thought. While it is normal for everyone to have negative thoughts, it is not healthy for us to have primarily negative thoughts or thoughts that remain in a negative cycle. This affects more than just the thought. It can affect your physical health as well as emotional and mental health. Below are a few ways having primarily negative thoughts can affect our us and our lives. Do you see these in your own life?

  • Upset stomach or digestion issues
  • Social withdraw or isolation
  • Frequent headaches
  • Chest pain
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Issues sleeping
  • Addiction
  • Negative impact coping mechanisms
  • Strained relationships

Do you recognize these traits in your life? Are you ready for change but not sure how to stop negative thoughts? Keep reading for suggestions that could help.

What are Examples of Negative Thoughts?

If you have struggled with negative thoughts throughout your life there may reasons that contributed to it. Trauma, neglect or an unstable childhood are just a few factors that could contribute. Our thoughts become so normal to us that we often don’t realize how our own patterns or the severity of how often we come to a negative conclusion. Below are some examples of negative thought patterns. Do you recognize these for yourself?

  • You see one single negative event as a continuum of bad events
  • Seeing a circumstance as the worst ever, or blowing out of proportion
  • You gauge your life based on how you currently feel
  • You focus on what you should have done
  • Assuming something in the future is going to be bad
  • Believing something is either absolutely perfect or a failure
  • Measuring your worth or value from your successes or failures
  • Blaming others for how you feel
  • Not seeing positive outcomes and only focusing on the negatives

Breaking free from these thought patterns can be hard but there is hope. With determination and honesty with yourself, you can, over time, improve the way you think. Ready to know more about how to do that?

How Can I Stop Negative Thought Patterns?

Most people who have thought patterns that are primarily negative desire a change. They often can recognize the condition of their mental health but just don’t know how to stop the negative thoughts. Remember that change takes time. If you have struggled the majority of your life with an issue, change is not going to come overnight. With time and effort, we can take small steps of change to improve ourselves. Below are few suggestions that could help you make that step.

  • Write something you are grateful for and add to it each day
  • Spend 15 a day writing out how you feel to identify your thoughts
  • Replace negative surroundings such as TV, music, websites, social media or people
  • Get more exercise
  • Confide in someone your trust about your thoughts and efforts to improve
  • Seek professional help and talk it through

If you are someone who comes from a family of past abuse, neglect or trauma, it can be hard to make changes on your own. You are not alone. Upstate Restorative Counseling understands and has a passion to help people just like you with taking steps toward freedom to live their lives.

Spring Cleaning for Ourselves?

Spring Cleaning for Ourselves?

Spring is often a time when we go through our houses and do deep cleaning. We clean things that only get cleaned a couple of times a year. Isn’t it crazy how dirty those places can get without regular attention? Did you know the same things can happen to us when we ignore our own needs and habitually procrastinate implementing a needed change? That is what we are going to talk about today. Spring cleaning for ourself is necessary. Ready to dive in and decide what area of your life could use a good scrub?

Why Do I Need to Care for Myself?

Caring for ourselves is necessary. Just like most all things, if we don’t partake in maintenance for ourselves, we can slow down, develop problems in working correctly or even break. We all have complex needs to support our whole self emotionally, mentally and physically. When we ignore one or more areas of need, it will only be a matter of time before we see symptoms of neglect. Are you familiar with what those symptoms look like? We will take a look below at some things can occur as a symptom of not caring for yourself as often as needed.

  • Emotional symptoms. You may feel confused about how you feel or unable to put to words what you are feeling. You can feel numb to your emotions or push them down refusing to “feel” them. You lack compassion for yourself and are often critical. You are self-dependent and feel like you can’t ask for help. You shut down or walk away from conflict instead of resolving it. You remain in unhealthy relationships where boundaries are practically non-existent. Your emotions are close to the surface, you may tear up at mention of change or challenge.
  • Mental health symptoms. You suffer with anxious thoughts or worry. You mostly feel unhappy or depressed. You may have issues sleeping deeply. You have become withdrawn and prefer not to join social activities. You have lost interest in performing well. You have thoughts of guilt or worthlessness about yourself.
  • Physical symptoms. Your body has less ability to perform physical activity. Your strength and stamina has changed. You tire more easily. You have muscle pain and stiffness with even little activities. You find you are stationary with less movement. You may find breathing more strained during activity.

These are some of the symptoms that you could experience if you have put yourself on the back burner. But that doesn’t have to remain the picture you see. Today we are going talk about ways to spring clean yourself and add something new to your day that can help.

How Can I Spring Clean Myself Emotionally?

Self-awareness is key in helping yourself build emotional resilience. We are all complex and have a multitude of emotions, and that is ok. We simply are not made to be capable to plowing through each day without being moved or bothered by anything. That isn’t possible. Below are suggestions to spring clean your thoughts and beliefs in believing you can.

  • Allow yourself to feel the emotions you are experiencing.
  • Try to understand why you feel the way you do.
  • What triggered the feeling you are having?
  • Cultivate or practice positive thoughts such as “This is not what I expected, but in time, I will come up with a solution that can work.”.
  • Talk to someone you trust about your feelings.
  • Practice deep breathing in your nose and out of your mouth to give space and time in between your thoughts and words.

Mental Spring Cleaning, How?

Mental health is important and can be tough to maintain and improve, but it can be done, and it is worth the work. Having a constant level of impacted mental health can be harmful for you and impact your relationships. Below are some suggestions that could help you spring clean your metal health.

  • I know we have all heard the importance of exercise. Exercise is literally like scrubbing the inside of your body from the stresses of the day.
  • Unplug from social media. It is full of peoples highlights and comparisons. This can wear on us especially when our family is going through something hard.
  • Journal your thoughts. Get them out. Holding stuff in just stores all the negative energy inside your body. Over time this can affect our health.
  • Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep. While we sleep our bodies recover, restore and replenish. Without sleep we begin the next day with yesterday’s stresses still present.
  • Stay connected with people who are fun. Meet with people you trust and talk.

Help, I Need Physical Spring Cleaning.

Each day our bodies need to respond to our needs and activities we have. Keeping up with our demands can be hard if we are not regularly working our bodies physically to strengthen ourselves. The key to physical activity is finding what you love and doing it. We don’t all like the same things, and that is ok.

  • Move. It benefits more than just your physical health.
  • Choose food and snacks that are fuel to your body. Enjoy sweats and treats with moderation.
  • Drink plenty of water and less soda and sugar drinks.
  • Drink a cup of hot herbal tea each day. It’s a relaxing drink that can also have positive health benefits.
  • Get out in the sun. Natural vitamin D is so good for us and helps maintain our body systems.
  • Park in distant parking places to get more steps in.

Whether you are in need in one of these areas or all, choosing the first thing you want to change is the first step. Remember, we don’t change our habits overnight. With consistent persistent effort in adding one of these to our day, we will see change over time. Before you know it, next year’s self-spring clean may not be as long.

Remember that change takes time. We can’t continue the way we are and expect change to come. Be gentle on yourself. You are worth the work. Upstate Restorative Counseling is here if you need help with the next step. You are not alone. If you have tried self-help and still struggle with anxiety or depression, reach out, we are here to help.

 

 

Let’s Talk Anxiety!

Let’s Talk Anxiety!

With over a third of the population reporting experiencing anxiety, we need to talk about it. Talking about anxiety can help each of us know that it is normal to experience. We don’t have to keep the things we feel inside. In fact, trusting someone with this information, can help. We simply are not meant to keep all of our feelings inside. So, let’s talk anxiety! Below are a few methods that can help during anxiety. Have you tried any of these? Keep in mind, just because something didn’t work before doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try again. It may work this time.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is being aware or conscience of something. It is when we choose to focus on one thing. Mindfulness helps to stop our thoughts from spiraling and keeps us present with what is happening right now. It can help when we start to feel overwhelmed and our thoughts begin to race. Have you tried mindfulness before? Below are some steps that could help anxiety.

  • Sit down on something comfortable
  • Take notice of one part of your body, what is it doing
  • Keep a straight posture
  • Keep your eye focus lowered but not on anything specific
  • Remain in this moment, pay attention to breaths
  • Your mind may begin to ponder a positive or neutral thought
  • Notice body. Notice posture. Breathe. Thought flow

Relaxation

Is it hard for you to regularly fit in relaxation? It is important to incorporate relaxation into your life. We simply can’t operate at a constant pace and remain healthy. It helps with digestion, heart health, mood, sleep and so much more. The key is finding what method your body responds to. It’s not about what is trending or popular. When you find a relaxation method that works for your body, you will feel it in your body. Below are a few steps to try for relaxing.

  • Breathing deeply, in your nose and out your mouth
  • Get a massage
  • Listen to enjoyable music, taking control of your thoughts
  • Use an aroma in the room that you like
  • Journaling, coloring, art or doodling

Breathing

Breathing is something we all may take for granted. Afterall, we breathe around 20,000 breaths a day. Can you imagine if we had to remember to do that? How we breathe is important. If we have shallow short breaths, it can deplete our bodies of needed oxygen which triggers different symptoms. There are different techniques that we can try to calm our breathing and help with anxiety.

  • Count while you breathe – draw slow breathes in and out and count to four each way
  • Inhale through nose four counts, hold it for seven counts, exhale through your mouth for eight counts
  • Breathe deeply and pay close watch to your abdomen rising and falling

Exercise

Exercise is so important for so many of our body systems. It keeps us going and healthy at a cellular level. Again, finding what form of exercise you enjoy will be key to keeping up with it. Talk about sweating out some anxiety, exercise can! What do you like to do for exercise? Below are common ways to get some exercise. Are you ready to try something new?

  • Ride a bike
  • Walk your dog, or for an elderly in your neighborhood
  • Play a sport
  • Join the gym
  • Swimming
  • Dance
  • Hike
  • Hula Hoop
  • Exercise games

Regardless which of these you implement for your anxiety, the key is to talk about your anxiety. Choose to take a step. Change will not come without steps to achieve it. If you have tried to decrease your anxiety and it just is not working, you are not alone. Counseling can help. URC is here for you, reach out today.

Do Negative Thoughts Affect our Body?

Do Negative Thoughts Affect our Body?

Did you know that our minds and bodies are connected, and this connection can actually impact your anxiety? Today we are going talk about how negative thoughts affect our body and can cause anxiety. Can you relate to your thoughts affecting how your body feels? Could you use some help for ways to decrease anxiety? These points could help.

How are Our Thoughts & Bodies Connected?

The mind-body connection is a communication that occurs between our thoughts and how we feel. Our feelings don’t just reside in our mind. Our feelings can also alter how we feel physically. Each feeling that we have is actually linked to a physical sensation within our bodies. Have you ever been scared and begin to sweat? If so, this is one example of how a feeling, being scared, will physically affect our body, perspiration. The brain is connected to the rest of our bodies via nerve passageways. So, when our thoughts become overwhelmed with an emotion, so does our body. But what happens when we maintain a pretty constant flow of negative thoughts? Is the body also under constant negative impact? Let’s find out.

Do Thoughts Affect Our Body?

There is scientific evidence that proves our thoughts affect not only our mood but also our health. So, if we have a tendency to lean toward negative thoughts or negative outcomes, our chances of health issues increase with chronic anxiety. If we largely expect a bad outcome, we can prematurely create anxiety within ourselves anticipating those outcomes. This cycle is not only hard to break, overtime, it takes a toll on our bodies and our health. Oftentimes people with anxiety will voice something similar to “If I could stop the anxious thoughts, I would, but I can’t.”. Can you relate to having negative thoughts and those thoughts affecting your physical body or level of anxiety? You are not alone. Below are just a few ways that unmanaged thoughts can affect our health.

  • Prolonged feelings of helplessness or hopelessness affect our hormone balance
  • Our brain can be depleted of chemicals needed to feel happy
  • Our immune system can be damaged from constant “fight or flight”
  • Chronic stress can decrease our life expectancy
  • Future plans and goals can be hard to obtain under negative self-scrutiny
  • Continuing to allow mostly negative thoughts and outcomes alters our outlook

Overcoming the habit and patterns of negative thinking can be hard but it can be accomplished. Be patient with yourself. It’s possible that many unresolved events in your life have created this pattern. It may take time to heal it, and that is ok. You can keep your eyes on the hope of something different.

How to Change Negative Thoughts?

When considering our thoughts and how they impact our bodies, the first step in change is deciding that change is needed. Once you have made the decision that change is necessary, you are more likely to follow through with the steps to accomplish it. Are your thoughts mostly negative? Do you desire help with changing that? Below are suggestions that could help.

  • Recognize and identify that you are having negative thoughts
  • Do not beat yourself up over having them
  • Replace that thought with a more balanced realistic one
  • Practice taking 3-4 deep breaths, in your nose and out your mouth, to reset your brain
  • Reframe your expected outcome with a more positive one
  • Keep a record of your negative thoughts to help identify false beliefs you may have
  • Remain committed to helping yourself heal
  • Seek Anxiety Therapy

Next Steps

Negative self-talk and anxiety are normal for each of us but when those thoughts take over and anxiety is a large portion of our lives, we need to seek help. When anxiety is left untreated it can affect our ability to function and live life. Upstate Restorative Counseling can help you identify unhealthy thought patterns, recommend tools to take steps to heal and help you develop a plan to grow into a future you desire. Past trauma or mental illness within your environment can impact more than you realize, even your life today. If this sounds familiar to you and you are needing help to sort through it, contact URC today.