HealthyOpenMind
  • 10 Gifts to gift to someone who is feeling depressed from a Licensed Mental Health Expert!

    10 Gifts to gift to someone who is feeling depressed from a Licensed Mental Health Expert!

    Have you ever had a friend or a loved one that was going through the motions? Maybe a bad breakup? A grief journey? Loss of a job? Big Move to a new city? Or just overall down out and feeling depressed? Here is a brief list of gifts to get for your loved one who might be depressed. Gifts are not the key to solving depression but they can definitely help to comfort someone when they are feeling down.

    1. Gratitude candle

    2. Encouragement bracelet

    3. Semi colon makeup and pencil pouch

    4. 15 lb weighted blanket

    5. Incase you forget I remember book of poetry and encouragement

    6. Lovepop Butterfly Paper Flower Bouquet pop Up Card

    7. Worry less stones

    8. Holistic Tiered Column Tabletop Fountain with 3 Candles Mini Waterfall for Indoor

    9. Rescue Essential Oil Rollerball Set Ease Congestion and Stress Relief

    10. Success and Inspiration Quotations in a Jar

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  • TN mental health professionals predict youth suicide rates will spike in the state

    Tennessee mental health officials predict national youth suicide trends are an early indication of what’s happening in the state.

    TN mental health professionals predict youth suicide rates will spike in the state
  • Feelings Warm-Up (PDF Worksheet Included)

    Often times it is difficult to get people to open up. Extroverts tend to be better at talking about their feelings and emotions, Introverts on the …

    Feelings Warm-Up (PDF Worksheet Included)
  • 5 Simple ways to increase Self-Love

    “You are a person worthy of love, you are capable and able!” This is a phrase I have adopted saying to myself whenever I am having self doubt or low confidence. Self-love is putting yourself first, giving yourself grace, and knowing that you are worthy of good things in life. Here are five simple things you can do to increase your self-love and feel more confident in who you are!

    1. Positive Self Affirmations: Positive self talk aids in helping a person to have positive self image. Speaking positively about yourself, your life, and your future can have you love and appreciating yourself more. An example of positive self affirmation is “I am a good person and I am capable of doing good deeds!” Put these positive self affirmations on sticky notes. Put them around the house in places where you can see them to remind yourself to recite a positive self affirmation regularly!

    2. Practice Self Care: What is something you love to do? Something you enjoy doing and find so much pleasure when doing? It may be knitting, doing your hair, dancing, cooking, singing, drawing, or doing makeup! Whatever it is, find a way to do it regularly! Self care is taking care of yourself and indulging in behaviors and activities that are safe, pleasurable and fulfilling! You are your biggest fan and your first best friend is yourself. Take yourself out on a date. Care for yourself the way you would like a spouse or a friend to care for you.

    3. Stop comparing yourself: One of my favorite quotes is from the Bible. It says in Galatians 6:4-5 “Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others. Assume your own responsibility.” Theodore Roosevelt once said “comparison is the thief of joy!” These are things I have found to be true. When you compare yourself to anyone you take energy from yourself and put that energy into another person! You are literally giving that a person a little bit of power over how you perceive yourself! No one can tell you who you are or what you are worth EXCEPT YOU! Assert your power by avoiding comparison. When doubt tries to creep in your mind or a negative thought tries to creep in, uplift yourself and remind yourself that your only competition is yourself!

    4. Exercise Boldness in public: Be confident and speak your mind when the opportunity presents itself. Sometimes you have to force yourself at your comfort zone in order to boost your confidence. If you are a naturally timid or shy person this will be very difficult but it is still very possible. Say what you’re thinking and do not be complacent! Learn how to express yourself respectfully and boldly.

    5. Make Strict Boundaries: Boundaries setting is so important. Do not sacrifice your comfort for anybody. If someone is bringing negativity and lowering your energy it may be time to let that person go. A lot of times you may allow people to have a space in your life even though their time has expired. Making strict boundaries looks different for everyone. Boundaries may include: Learning how to say no; Learning how to walk away from the situation; and learning when enough is enough.

    Takeaway: Increasing self-love is a process! It’s a process that should be practice every day. When you love yourself you can love others. These 5 tips will assist you towards increased self love!

  • 4 Signs you May be dealing with Childhood Trauma

    A lot of people have been through their own versions of traumatic events. What we deem as traumatic varies from person to person. Sometimes trauma you face as a child follows you into your adulthood. A MAJOR step in your journey towards wellness is identifying how your behavior may be indicative of a trauma response. Here are four signs that you may be dealing with childhood trauma!

    1. You have constant nightmares and dreams of the same event and this disturbs your sleep.

    Dreams are often a manifestation of thoughts in our conscious mind and our subconscious mind. Dreams also often are an accumulation of our emotions and intrusive thoughts. When you constantly have nightmares or insomnia that takes away from your sleep regimen, your mind and body could be exhibiting a trauma response. Therapist believe that when these sleep disturbances become a regular part of your sleep routines, you may become more fatigued during the day which can lead to other physical and emotional symptoms.

    2. Your emotions manifest as physical symptoms

    You can’t eat much because your stomach hurts. Your head aches very often and you often feel like vomiting. This may seem like symptoms of a regular stomach bug, but often times it can be our body reacting to its emotions. Mental imbalances not only affect your brain, they affect your entire body. Sometimes some people feel panic attacks. Panic attacks are described as a pounding heart beat, sweating, trembling, and difficulty breathing. The physical symptoms of trauma can be very alarming just like physical injuries and illnesses.

    3. You have heightened sensitivity and tend to hyper focus.

    Many people Who have been through trauma have a heightened sensitivity to everything around them. People who have been through trauma often feel intense feelings of fear and paranoia. You find it very hard to relax and a lot of places do not feel safe. Focusing is also very difficult because you are always on edge. But when you DO focus; you become very obsessive and exhibit obsessive tendencies .

    4. You have extreme emotional instability and constant mood swings.

    having extremely negative emotions is a sure sign of trauma. This includes emotional mood swings that individuals cannot control. These extreme emotional mood swings lead to depressed moods, feelings of guilt and shame, and general hopelessness.

    How do you fix this? acknowledgment of childhood trauma is the first step in the right direction! Now that you know that you may have trauma. Contact your insurance company to get connected to a licensed counselor to start your journey towards healing. You can also contact your doctor to help point you in the right direction for mental health support

  • 40 Positive Self-Affirmations (PDF worksheet included)

    Positive self-affirmations is a great way to practice self care. They are great confidence boosters and can be used to help pick you up when you are having a bad day.

    Positive self-affirmations help:

    • Increase your happiness
    • Motivate you to act
    • Strengthen your self worth
    • Change your negative thought patterns
    • Concentrate and focus on your goals
    • Instills ambition

    Take a look a these 40 positive self-affirmations you can adopt to your daily life:

    • I like myself today
    • I am optimistic because today is a new day
    • I am a good person deserving of good things
    • I am special and unique
    • I attract positivity and prosperity
    • My body is beautiful
    • I am capable and will not fail
    • I am a champion
    • I am not a failure
    • Success is my birthright
    • My future is bright
    • I am worthy of love and respect
    • I am fearless
    • I attract good energy
    • I glow like a star
    • I am in control of my life
    • I am still learning so it is okay to make mistakes
    • I am and always will be good enough
    • I embrace challenges and persevere through them
    • I deserve and receive massive amounts of love everyday
    • Good things are happening
    • Being positive will come easy to me
    • I attract opportunities
    • I am growing and going at my own pace
    • I am peaceful and whole
    • I breathe in healing, I exhale painful things that burden my heart
    • I do not rush through my life, I rest in stillness
    • I embrace change seamlessly
    • I invite abundance and a generous heart
    • I strive for joy not perfection
    • My life is not a race or a competition
    • When I feel fear, I feed trust
    • I am allowed to feel good
    • I am complete as I am, others simply support me
    • I am more than my circumstances dictate
    • I am valued and helpful
    • I am understood and my perspective is helpful
    • I breathe in trust, I exhale doubt
    • I do all things in love
    • I deserve to be respected

    Download the free PDF to share these positive self-affirmations with someone who needs it!

  • 10 Emotional support animals other than Dogs

    Emotional support animals or ESA’s are animals that provide relief and support for individuals with psychiatric disabilities or mental health diagnosis. These animals provide companionship and hold a therapeutic role in the lives of many individuals living with behavioral health diagnosis. Often times when we think of ESA’s we think of dogs, but dogs are not the only animals that people use as ESAs. Here are ten different ESA’s other than dogs:

    1. Rabbits: Domesticated rabbits are playful, and adorable! They are easy to bond with too! Rabbits make excellent support animals for people with depression and anxiety!
    2. Cats: Cats can be calming, playful, and fun animals. Their calm demeanor can be an essential in helping to reduce someone’s anxiety.
    3. Sheep/Goats: Believe it or not domestic goats and sheep can Bring so much joy! Surprisingly they are very intelligent animals. They are generally social animals so having them around will bring excitement and joy to anyones day.
    4. Parrots: This beautiful colorful creature has the great ability to mimic the words anyone says. This makes a parrot a good emotional support animal for anxiety as well as learning disabilities. They come in all types of extravagant colors which makes them a joy to have in the home
    5. Chickens: when chickens are trained and socialize from an early age they are great emotional support animals. They are generally calm and friendly and are very low maintenance as long as you have room for them to roam.
    6. Pigs: Pigs crave attention and are quite social creaturesThey relate quite well with humans in our very intelligent animals. They relate quite well with humans in our very intelligent animals
    7. Miniature Horses/Ponies: Ponies are a little girls best friend every little girl wanted a pony! They’re also very calm animals with a demeanor suited for people with anxiety and depression.
    8. Ducks: Ducks are soft and cuddly creatures. They are very empathetic and can be very helpful for people who have anxiety. When trained from Young they can be very low maintenance animals to care for
    9. Guinea Pigs: These super cute cuddly animals make great emotional support petsThey are small and size fluffy and fun to play with. They are small and size fluffy and fun to play with! They’re small size make them very portable and very low maintenance when well taken care of.
    10. Lizards: awesome people find them to be quite scary reptiles can be emotional support animals as well. They can help to provide comfort. Caring for the animal also helps people to find meaning to their day-to-day life.
  • 5 EASY Mindfulness Journaling prompts (Worksheet Included)

    So you are thinking about starting mindfulness journaling and you do not know where to start? You are in the right place!

    Try using these FIVE different Journal prompts to help you feel more present, grounded and mindful

    Mindful Journaling is a helpful and powerful tool to utilize to express yourself. You can feel a sense of relief once you put words to paper and let out the emotions and expressions harboring in your heart and spirit. Use these five journal prompts to get started journaling today.

    Prompt #1: Rough Day ..”Today I am aware of my emotions. I feel ___________. Three things that attributed to these feelings are: 1. ___________________________ 2.________________________ 3.________________________. In order to feel better three things I will do is: 1._______________________ 2.__________________________ 3.__________________________”

    Allow yourself to feel your emotions. Identify the triggers that cause you to feel that way. Then identify things you can do to aid in making you feel better or more elevated.

    Prompt #2: Gratitude .. “Today I am grateful for________________ because__________________”

    We often get carried away with stressors of life and forget to appreciate the pockets of happiness we feel from time to time. Reflecting on things you are grateful for can aid in increasing your overall happiness.

    Prompt #3: Positive Self-Affirmations.. “I am a worthy person because_________________. I feel good when I __________________________. My favorite thing about myself is ____________________________ because ________________________.

    Give yourself GRACE! You are only human and deserve grace regardless of anything. Everyone is flawed and its okay. The enriching thing about humans is that there is something beautiful in everyone of us!

    Prompt #4: Core Values.. “I strongly believe that ____________________” I also believe in ______________________. My core values are ____________________, By the end of the week I will express these values by_________________________ .

    Core Values guide your everyday beliefs. It is valuable to reflect on what really matters to you at your core. Align your core values with your actions. Incorporating goal setting allows you to be more mindful of your future and focus on how todays actions can help you tomorrow!

    Prompt #5: Visualization: “I would describe how I feel with the animal ______ because ______________. I would describe how I want to feel with the animal__________ because___________.

    Sometimes visualizing images can be very helpful in helping to understanding your own emotions. Animals are also creatures we as humans can identify with. For example, if I say “I would describe how I feel with the animal LION,” you would probably assume I feel courageous, fierce, brave and triumphant. Be creative. Visualize what you feel like and what you aspire to feel like.

  • Feelings Warm-Up (PDF Worksheet Included)

    Often times it is difficult to get people to open up. Extroverts tend to be better at talking about their feelings and emotions, Introverts on the other hand find it very difficult to express themselves. Either way, getting people to open up is definitely a task. As a therapist, it takes a whole lot of rapport building to get the average client to even want to be honest with you. As a teacher it takes a lot of time before students can feel comfortable enough to express themselves to you. This FREE worksheet helps to get the conversation started! It extremely simple and can be used for people of all ages. The worksheet combines simple general statements and asks the individual to correspond how they feel with emoticons. This worksheet is a great conversation starter that also doubles as a great ice breaker tactic! Talking about feelings is not always easy but simple tactics can help to make it easier!

  • 18 Effective Ways to Relieve Anxiety Fast!

    Anxiety is a common reaction to stress and unsettling situations. Sometimes anxiety can feel so overwhelming and even scary. Here are 18 things you can do to help relieve and reduce your anxiety.

    1. Go for a walk: Get up and go outside. Getting some Vitamin D from the sun and some fresh air can help calm your nerves and reduce your feelings of anxiousness
    2. Take a shower with cool water: The cool water helps to quiet your thoughts and helps to also lower your blood pressure. It relaxes you deeper than a hot shower and can also lead to good rest afterwards.
    3. Stretch your muscles: Stretching can help to reduce muscle tension. Stretching also has been shown to increase serotonin levels.
    4. Take Some Deep Breaths: Taking in deep breaths allow you to slow down your heart rate and balances your hormones.
    5. Drink some Chamomile Tea: Chamomile is noted to increase serotonin and thereby have positive effects on mood and anxiety.
    6. Get Some exercise: Working out and many forms of physical activity can help to ease your anxiety symptoms.
    7. Listen to music: Music like classical, soft pop, instrumental, and nature sounds can help to support relaxation
    8. Drink More Water: Not drinking enough water contributes to feelings of anxiety and fatigue, whereas drinking more water can make you feel happier
    9. Get some rest: Go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday. Even on weekends. Practicing good sleep by genie can help to improve anxiety levels during the day.
    10. Start Mindfulness Journaling: Journaling about your feelings is linked to decreased mental distress. Let those emotions out on paper
    11. Take a Social Media Break: sometimes social media can be information overload. Unplug and decrease screen time on social media. Sometimes not being present on social media is the best option
    12. Visualize a place you feel safe: This is a stress reduction technique that can soothe you by imagining a peaceful safe place where you can relax
    13. Engage in self-care: sometimes you need to treat yourself to put your mind at ease. Engage in your favorite self care activity and allow yourself to enjoy It!
    14. Call a friend: Sometimes it may feel lonely when having anxiety. Call up a friend you trust to discuss how you feel or to just have them present so you don’t feel alone.
    15. Do some self-affirmations: write down positive affirmations about yourself. I.e. “I am fearless and courageous” “I am the epitome of greatness.” Repeat these self affirmations over and over again.
    16. Speak with a counselor or a therapist: Mental health professionals can allows assist you in exploring your emotions and desires and helping you achieve wellness. Call your insurance company to try and get connected to a mental health professional.
    17. Eat a well-balanced diet: eating processed food, fried food, high fat dairy products and refined cereals at excessive rates is linked to anxiety and depression. Increase fiber in your diet alongside rich grains, fruit, vegetables and fish.
    18. Avoid drugs and alcohol: Illicit Drugs and alcohol are depressants. They will trick you into feeling euphoria for a brief moment until the euphoria comes crashing down and you feel worse than you did before.