How to Combine Exercise and Mental Health
When you look up ways to improve your mental health, exercise tends to be at the top of the list. Why is that? The benefits of exercise on mental health have been extensively researched and documented, making fitness one of the best ways to naturally manage mental illness.
When you think about how exercise can benefit your mental health, it’s a good idea to first examine what ways you would like it to improve your well-being. Just like you set goals for your physical fitness, it can help to have benchmarks for your mental health and exercise as well.
How Exercise Improves Your Mental Health
While some therapists incorporate exercise into treatment for their clients, it is still largely overlooked or forgotten by people. Because our mental health all happens internally, it’s understandable that you focus more on how you feel inside than what you’re doing physically.
However, the benefits of exercise in therapy can include:
- • More stable moods.
- • Less anxiety.
- • Better sleep.
- • Reduced depression symptoms.
- • A healthy emotional outlet for stress, anger and anxiety.
- • Build exposure to triggering physical sensations like a racing heart.
Ways to Incorporate Exercise into Your Mental Health Self-Care
The first thing to do is identify your goals and fitness level. If you are a beginner, then you likely won’t want to sign up for a HIIT class right away. Instead, low-impact exercises like yoga and light cardio could be a good way to ease into fitness.
It’s also beneficial to ask yourself what your body feels during exercise. For example, you may find swimming to be freeing and enjoyable while jogging makes you feel overworked and exhausted. Follow your body’s messages, and focus on doing what feels good rather than what “looks like” exercise.
You should also collaborate with a therapist to discuss ways physical activity could benefit your mental health. Working out for 30 minutes a day could also become part of your depression or anxiety treatment; you may keep a mood journal that charts how you feel before and after exercise, as well as the impact your fitness has on the severity of your symptoms.
Learn How to Combine Exercise and Mental Health With the Professionals
Caring Heart Counseling believes that good mental health is a full body experience. No matter what your fitness level or personal background may be, you can discover how to build a lifestyle that promotes good feelings as much as it reduces bad ones.
Contact us today to learn more about our therapy in Black Hawk, CO, and surrounding areas. You can also message us with any questions or book a virtual session with one of our counselors.
Counseling for the LGBTQ Community in Denver, Colorado
As 2022 begins, many people find themselves resolving to do something new. However, it can be equally valuable to think about what not to do in the new year. While there is never a wrong time to change your life, the new year offers an inspiring starting point for us to make bigger changes and commit to new goals.
These five bad habits can help you enjoy a more peaceful, connected and rewarding 2022. If you think that getting over them is difficult, don’t worry. At Caring Heart Counseling, we’re always here to help you make meaningful changes in your life.
1. Overworking Yourself
No more skipping breaks, doing unpaid work or pushing yourself too hard. Your job should work for you just as much as you work for it; overworking may be a sign of perfectionism, anxiety or even an avoidance strategy for depression. Working too much can also cause serious health effects you don’t have to suffer. Rather than avoiding problems through your work, think about how a better balance could lead to a fuller life overall.
2. Giving in to Self-Doubt
Whether it’s not meeting new people or shutting down an idea, 2022 is the year to let go of self-doubt. Everyone feels insecure from time to time, but chronic self-doubt can keep you trapped somewhere you don’t want to be for years at a stretch. What ways is self-doubt stopping you from living the way you truly want?
3. Skipping Exercise
Exercise is great for mental health, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day to start. Make it a priority to move your body, connect with your environment and give yourself a break from screens. Routine exercise improves energy levels, can lower anxiety, ease depression, reduces stress and improves sleep, just to name a few benefits.
5. Delaying Your Own Happiness
How many times can you forgive someone only to get hurt again? A lot of us mistake forgiveness for new chances, but in reality, forgiveness is something we do for ourselves. Healing from trauma means letting go of hurt while asserting new boundaries that protect our emotional and mental well-being. If you have a tendency to let old friends, family and ex-partners into your life, only to wind up hurt again, this is the year to learn the blessing of healthy boundaries.
4. Giving People Too Many Chances
I’ll be happy when I have a better job. I’ll be happy when I find someone to be with. I’ll be happy when I finally move. While our goals can motivate us, they can also cause us to delay happiness and miss out on living in the here and now. Rather than putting happiness on a pedestal, consider learning mindfulness, practicing gratitude and finding contentment in the little things.
If you want to kickstart 2022 on a high note with a bit of help, Caring Heart Counseling is here for you. From making big changes to healing from the past, our skilled, compassionate counselors are eager to meet you. Please contact us today to schedule your next virtual therapy session.
Counseling / Virtual Counseling
Virtual Addiction Counseling for Black Hawk, Colorado
Living with an addiction can feel like a prison. But you are not limited to rehabs and therapy sessions forever. Sometimes, the most powerful way to get treatment is to get counseling exactly where you are. This is where virtual counseling comes into play.
While virtual counseling does not replace a detox center or drug or alcohol rehab program, it can be a valuable tool on your path to recovery. Drinking and gambling are common struggles among residents in Black Hawk, CO, but they do not have to control your life forever.
Signs of a Gambling Addiction
Gambling can be fun, but it is designed to be addictive. The same logic that goes into manufacturing casinos is applied in video games. The goal for the business is to earn as much money as possible, which means they need a system built to keep people paying and playing.
While visiting the casino may not be a problem alone, it can quickly lead to a gambling addiction for many people. Even if you never had an addiction in your life, gambling causes a dopamine feedback loop that anyone can fall victim to.
If you’re worried that you gamble too much, here are some signs of compulsive gambling to watch out for:
- • Hiding your gambling from your spouse, friends or family.
- • Struggling to control your gambling.
- • Overspending or going into debt to gamble.
- • Loved ones bring up your gambling.
- • Drinking, smoking or taking drugs while gambling or to cope with the stress of playing.
Signs of a Drinking Problem
How much alcohol is too much? People build up a physical tolerance for alcohol the more they drink, but your body’s limit isn’t the only way to judge your consumption. Drinking too often can be just as harmful as drinking heavily. When your options for going out are limited to bars, casinos or restaurants that serve alcohol, you may find yourself naturally drifting to alcohol as a way to ease boredom.
Alcohol addictions can be so severe that a person winds up losing their job and family to support their habit, but that is not always the case. Anyone can suffer from an alcohol addiction, and it may be something they keep secret from others.
Warning signs of an alcohol use disorder include:
- • Struggling to control how much you drink.
- • Drinking more during the day or alone.
- • Spending a lot of money on alcohol.
- • Drinking despite physical, mental and social consequences.
- • Having symptoms of withdrawal when you stop drinking for a short period.
Benefits of Virtual Addiction Counseling
Counseling can help you begin to manage your cravings, work toward sobriety and embrace a healthier lifestyle. With one of our addiction-informed therapists, you’ll learn how to work with your addiction rather than against it. Our goal is to help you become the healthiest version of yourself. This means developing strategies and skills that make it easier for you to live with an addiction and eventually overcome it.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment for virtual counseling in Black Hawk, CO, please contact Caring Heart Counseling today.
Counseling / Virtual Counseling
Individual Counseling in Black Hawk, Colorado
Are you looking for a therapist near you? Caring Heart Counseling offers individual counseling and virtual counseling to residents in Denver and its surrounding areas, including Black Hawk, Colorado. Going to therapy can be scary. Maybe people have told you that you need counseling for years, but you have always rejected the idea.
In some cases, going to therapy may feel like admitting or confirming there’s something wrong with you. But therapy is not a place for judgement or condemnation. There is nothing wrong with who you are, but you may have struggles and challenges that counseling can help you overcome.
What Does Individual Counseling Mean in Psychology?
There are many types of therapy that counselors can use to help their clients. When therapy is given on a one-on-one basis, it is known as individual counseling. Individual counseling is the framework for all other types of therapy to be delivered. Whether it’s cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) or acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), individual counseling allows you to speak openly about your feelings without feeling judged or ashamed.
In therapy, counselors are there only to hear what you’re going through. You don’t have to make excuses, rationalize your thoughts or convince yourself that it’s not that big of a deal. Whether you are wrestling with a mental illness, like a gambling addiction, or need help learning to cope with stress and anxiety, we’re here for you.
Reasons to See a Therapist
There are many life events that can cause you to feel like you are in over your head. Maybe you have faced the same unhealthy patterns for years, and you’re tired of asking, “Why me?” You could also find yourself in a new situation that makes you stressed, overwhelmed or even depressed. The reasons to talk to a therapist are infinite, but there are some specific reasons why you might decide to reach out.
- • Gain self-awareness
- • Build confidence
- • Heal from trauma or learn to let go of the past
- • Focus on yourself
- • Discover real ways to grow and change as a person
Everyone’s goals are unique, and part of a therapist’s job is helping you identify and set objectives for your sessions. Together, you can work toward achieving the results you need to start living a more fulfilling life.
Virtual Counseling in Black Hawk, CO
Caring Heart Counseling offers virtual counseling services to residents throughout Black Hawk. Using a confidential counseling platform, you can connect with a therapist through video chat. Together, we can set goals that align with your values to help you feel better and overcome any challenges you’re facing.
There are many reasons why you may opt for a virtual counseling session; sometimes, transportation isn’t readily available, and there may be struggles you want to remain private from family and friends. Addictions, such as gambling, drinking and drug use, may cause someone to feel too ashamed or embarrassed to seek help in person.
Whatever you are going through, we’re here to listen. Contact us today to learn more about our services and schedule an appointment.
Counseling / Virtual Counseling
The Best of Denver Individual Counseling in Conifer, Colorado
Conifer might be a mountain town, but that doesn’t have to limit your options when it comes to therapy. Our virtual counseling services are accessible to anyone with a stable internet connection. For 17 years, Caring Heart Counseling has offered therapy to individuals, couples and families in and around Denver.
Individual counseling can help you become more mindful, self-aware and overall happier as a person. It is not our job or place to tell you how to live life better. You’ve already made it this far, which is evidence enough that you can take care of yourself. But what if you could find ways to overcome challenges more easily? This means reducing stress, working through loss or grief and finding relief from any mental illnesses or symptoms that might be affecting your quality of life.
What Individual Counseling Can Do for You
Whether you want to become more productive, treat depression or simply talk to someone about your feelings, we are here for you. Everyone has their own reasons for going to therapy, and we believe that every reason to reach out is the right one.
Counseling can help you with clinical mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and addiction. It can also be a way to work on personal struggles such as low self-esteem, chronic stress, insomnia and procrastination.
Talking to loved ones can be helpful, but you might not get the response you need to make positive changes to your life. Your counselor, on the other hand, is an unbiased third-party who is solely interested in helping you. They can apply an outsider’s perspective to help you recognize unhelpful thoughts and behaviors friends and family are prone to overlook.
You may have some idea that therapy is a place where you’ll be judged, but that isn’t so. When we explore a topic more in-depth, it’s always done together and only with your consent. Above all else, therapy at CHC is deeply compassionate, understanding and supportive.
Virtual Counseling in Conifer
We offer virtual counseling to anyone who wants to connect with a therapist from the comfort of home. Commuting to the office may not be practical or possible for you, but that’s okay. In some cases, virtual counseling is less intimidating than an in-person visit. You may decide to test the waters and give virtual counseling a shot before transitioning to sessions at the office.
One of the reasons virtual counseling is so valuable is that it meets you wherever you are. Using a secure, HIPAA-compliant platform, our counselors schedule a video conference at a time that works for you. Just like we do in the office, our sessions are structured around goals and helping you address specific topics or struggles you’re concerned with.
Virtual counseling can be just as effective as in-person therapy. What matters most is your willingness to try and the trust you have with your therapist. Our services are accessible to people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, cultural backgrounds and income levels. No matter where you are, where you’re from or what you may be dealing with, Caring Heart Counseling is here to support you.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact us at 720.314.7378, or click here to send us a message.
Tricks to Becoming More Confident
When it comes to confidence, the old adage, “Fake it till you make it,” may actually work. Confidence is not feeling 100-percent right or certain all the time. In fact, some of the most confident people are those who are willing to try new things, make mistakes and persevere in the wake of failure. They don’t see setbacks as signs of their worthlessness. Instead, they tackle challenges head-on and are eager to learn from their shortcomings.
If you want to become more confident, there are a few tricks you can try to begin feeling more empowered today. If confidence has been a struggle throughout your life, you may consider reaching out to one of our Denver, CO therapists. Together, we can address where your lack of confidence comes from and start developing strategies to build greater self-esteem.
Strike a Power Pose
Did you know that body posture plays a major role in how you feel as well as how others perceive you? Psychologist Amy Cuddy revealed in a TedTalk that standing in an empowering pose can boost your feelings of confidence. You may feel awkward or a little silly at first, but the pay-off is worth it. You’ll find yourself feeling more confident each time you try this exercise.
- • Stand in front of a mirror and position your feet roughly shoulders-width apart.
- • Put your hands on your hips, and raise your head.
- • Lower your shoulders to release any tension, and hold your gaze.
- • Hold for 2 minutes.
Identify Your Struggles
Remember Personal Achievements
Our emotions aren’t limited to the present. Recalling previous moments we stood up for ourselves or felt empowered can make us feel more confident here and now. You may think about a time you gave a great presentation at work or overcame your fear of heights by getting on a roller coaster. Whatever the situation, reflect on your strengths and know that you still have that within you.
Make Eye Contact
Holding eye contact in conversation can make a person appear much more confident. Women who struggle with confidence issues may find themselves assuming a closed-off posture, avoiding eye contact and limiting their self-expression. If you find yourself doing this, open up by uncrossing your arms, straightening your back and looking people in the eyes when you’re talking to them. Just make sure you don’t get so focused on holding eye contact that it becomes awkward.
Do some grooming to make yourself feel better. When you think you look good, you naturally feel more confident engaging with others. Whether you decide to get your eyebrows waxed or paint your nails, small gestures of self-care can give you a much-needed confidence boost. The secret is to focus on qualities you find desirable about yourself. It’s not about appealing to others but rather looking good in your eyes on your own terms.
Swap Comparisons With Compliments
People you want to emulate do not have to make you feel bad about yourself. Instead of seeing a picture of someone and thinking, “She looks so good, I wish I could be like that,” or “She speaks her mind so freely, I could never do that,” flip the script. Identify elements of others that you admire, and then encourage yourself to follow suit. Complimenting others makes us feel better about ourselves. You don’t have to dole out insincere sentiments, just take a note of when you’re feeling jealous or comparing and mentally praise someone instead.
You can also practice this tip on yourself. Rather than looking in the mirror and wishing you had a better body, compliment your features. Your appearance is what you make of it, and perception is the largest factor that influences our self-confidence.
How Confidence Issues Hold Women Back
Aggressive. Overbearing. Bossy. Controlling. All these terms have been used to bring down confident women and make them feel inferior to their male peers. In the workplace, women have been afraid to speak up for fear of stepping out of line. This often comes at the expense of receiving credit for their ideas, earning promotions they deserve and being fully recognized for their talent and skills.
In their personal life, women who struggle with confidence may routinely settle for partners who treat them poorly or even lower their expectations to avoid being rejected. Self-confidence affects everyone differently, but the unique struggle that women face can have a major impact on their life and happiness.
Why Do Women Have Low Self-Esteem?
Self-esteem affects everyone regardless of their sex or gender identity. But women have been historically plagued by greater struggles with their self-image and confidence than their male counterparts. Part of this may stem from a cultural fixation on the female body and role. Rather than being encouraged to express themselves freely and live however they want, women have been told what is “proper” or “ladylike” and encouraged to follow a linear path. In many cultures, the idea that being desirable is more important than being self-realized and happy still persists.
There is also a stigma that all women have low self-esteem, which may perpetuate a problem that doesn’t even exist. Even this belief can cause women to feel like they are less confident than they really are.
What Does Your Confidence Look Like?
Rather than grouping all women together, individual counseling approaches the person for who they are. While being a woman influences your experiences, your confidence is entirely based on what you think and feel about yourself. Factors such as your relationships, family life, upbringing and current belief systems all play a role in how confident you feel you can be.
Some women latch onto the idea of having low self-esteem and keep themselves small. This can be a useful defense mechanism for someone who has anxiety or does not know how to assert themselves. Rather than feeling the constant stress and struggle, they can shrink into the background and avoid tension.
Of course, this never leads to long-term happiness. The good news is that even a lifetime of confidence issues can be helped through therapy.
Are you tired of being told how you should feel, or what confidence is supposed to look like? You do not have to live life by anyone’s standards but your own. If that sounds too good to be true, therapy could help you realize your full potential.
Through personal counseling, you can begin to unravel your self-confidence struggles and replace them with more affirming thoughts. Building genuine confidence, but anyone can do it if they are willing to believe in themselves. Learning how to persevere through your own self-doubt is one of the greatest achievements you can discover through therapy.
Find a Denver therapist near you by contacting us at Caring Heart Counseling. We are always here to listen and help you work toward becoming the greatest version of yourself
5 Tips for Finding the Right Counselor for You
Do you know the most important element of success in therapy? Your relationship with your therapist. Individual counseling cannot work if you don’t trust who you’re talking to or if a counselor makes you feel judged, embarrassed or even ashamed of your struggles.
How you feel about your therapist determines how much you’re willing to share and discuss. If you don’t feel like you can trust them or feel judged, you’re more likely to withhold your deepest thoughts, lie about your feelings or just go silent during your sessions. You deserve someone you can build a therapeutic alliance with. That is a bond that you rely on to help you reach your shared goals and work together to achieve positive outcomes.
We believe that everyone deserves to find the perfect match when it comes to counseling, so we have designed this list of five tips to help you find a therapist.
Think About Their Core Characteristics
You may have an idea in your head of what a good therapist is like. Ask yourself what qualities they have that would make you feel most comfortable. This may include:
- • Gender – Are you more at ease with a man or a woman?
- • Age – Do you want to work with someone closer to your age or more experienced?
- • Religious background – Do you want a therapist who shares your religion and may be able to integrate that into therapy?
- • Specializations – Do you want a therapist who has expertise in a certain type of therapy or treating a particular condition?
Identify Your Struggles
Why do you want to go to therapy? If you are suffering from symptoms of depression, struggle with substance abuse or need support as an LGBTQ person, there are different forms of therapy appropriate for your problems. Of course, you don’t need a clinical problem to see a counselor. Individual counseling helps people with all sorts of issues, including breakups, death and grief, insecurity, loneliness and more. What is most important is knowing exactly why you want to see a counselor; this helps you express yourself more clearly and find someone who can help you reach your goal.
Research Every Therapist
You may come across a therapist in an online directory whose biography seems promising. But before you book a session, you should Google their name and read their website and/or social media profiles to see if they are someone you would be comfortable working with.
Ask About a Consultation
A good therapist will be happy to answer questions before booking a session. Send an email or schedule a phone call to talk to a therapist or mental health clinic that interests you. Let them know what you are looking for, what you need and ask if they would be willing to answer. You should ask about their background, their therapeutic philosophy and their experience helping people with your struggles.
Don’t Settle for Less Than You Deserve
You are never forced to stay with a therapist who you are uncomfortable with. You also don’t have to remain in therapy with a counselor who you don’t feel understands you or truly helps you. While you should always bring up any challenges or issues with a therapist first, it is also okay to end the relationship and look for someone who you feel better with. Remember, therapy is for you, so be open about your needs and don’t be afraid to voice your needs.
Learn More About Therapy Today
Contact us at Caring Heart Counseling to get help finding a therapist in Denver, Colorado. We are happy to answer your questions about therapy, insurance and more. Just let us know why you’re looking for counseling, and we’ll help you take the next steps in booking a session and working with one of our therapists.
The Benefits of Talk Therapy
When entering therapy for the first time, it’s not strange to wonder what you’ll get out of it. For someone who doesn’t know what therapy is truly about, they may feel like they’re simply going to pay someone to listen to their problems or be told how to resolve them. But talk therapy, also known as individual counseling, is much more than that. It is a place for you to feel safe, understood and heard by a professional, compassionate counselor who wants to help you thrive.
Overcoming any problem, whether it’s mental illness or general life hardships, requires resilience, patience and a belief that things can get better. Metal health problems, like trauma and depression, can warp your perception and cause you to rely on self-destructive or self-defeating behaviors that keep you stuck exactly where you don’t want to be.
By going to therapy, you can experience some major benefits that will gradually help you achieve your goals and live a life that you are proud of. Below are some of the benefits of talk therapy you could experience.
Better Understanding of Emotions and Their Causes
One of the major roles of a therapist is to help their clients gain a deeper understanding of themselves. You learn how to accept your emotions, even ones you are ashamed of or pained by, and how to cope with them. Getting to the root of their cause, as well as actions they’re provoking, can help you free yourself from unhealthy patterns.
For people who are dealing with loneliness from working from home, talk therapy is a wonderful opportunity to work through the anxiety, stress and isolation in a private, supportive environment.
Greater Feeling of Self-Control
When you know how to listen to and respect yourself, you are less likely to act impulsively or do things you regret. Therapy helps you develop coping strategies and skills that make you more confident in your ability to respond healthily to your problems.
Improved Confidence and Self-Esteem
As you work through your emotions and start to see your strengths, you begin to feel more confident. Even if you have spent your entire life with low self-esteem, you are filled with amazing qualities and potential that talk therapy can help you realize. Many people who are fighting with loneliness feel as though they aren’t worth loving or being friends with; therapy helps you see the good in yourself and recognize your value.
Improved Conflict Resolution Skills
People who struggle to make and keep friends or have issues in their relationships can benefit from talk therapy. You will learn how to become less reactive, less defensive and more empathetic through active listening. You’ll also learn how to communicate your own thoughts, feelings and needs in a way that doesn’t make you feel bad about yourself.
Better Boundaries and More Rewarding Social Interactions
Boundaries help you navigate your way through the world and cultivate the right relationships for you. Many people who come to therapy have no boundaries and don’t know how to develop or assert them. Talk therapy can teach you how to make healthy boundaries and use them to form and maintain more meaningful connections.
Learn More About Talk Therapy Today
Caring Heart Counseling offers individual counseling for children, teens and adults in Denver, Colorado. Our talk therapy services can help you overcome a variety of challenges. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help. If you feel like we would be a good match, we can help you book an appointment and pair you with the best fit from our team of supportive counselors.
How to Maintain Your New Year’s Resolution
Resolutions are a fun New Year’s tradition, but they can also cause a lot of pressure and disappointment. The top resolutions each year are focused on wellness, including exercising more, losing weight and eating a healthier diet. In 2019, a survey found that only 7 percent of people stuck to their original resolutions while 19 percent managed to fulfill some but not all of their plans.
To give yourself the best headstart to 2021, here are a few therapist-approved tips to making and sticking to good New Year’s resolutions.
Tell Your Therapist
Your therapist helps you stay accountable and make meaningful changes in your life. As you prepare to embark on a new year, voicing your desires and plans to your therapist can help shape the course of your time together. They can help you recognize reasons these resolutions are important to you which serve as motivation when times are though. They can also help you come up with action plans to stay on track and make short-term, fulfilling goals that gradually become good habits.
Choose One Meaningful Change
Rather than burdening yourself with a long list of resolutions, pick one that you are truly passionate about and most likely to achieve. When you start to reshape one aspect of your life, others tend to follow suit. If your resolution is to work out more, for example, then you will find that it can also help you be more social and self-disciplined.
If you aren’t sure which resolution to choose, use a journal to write down the pros and cons of each. What is your main reason for pursuing each one, and what are some steps you could immediately take to start fulfilling them?
Avoid Being Ambiguous
Saying you want to “lose weight” or “eat better” sounds wonderful but can be hard to put into practice. If your overall resolution is too broad, find a way to break it into more concrete goals. Someone who wants to use social media less, for example, might decide to not use the internet an hour before bed rather than avoiding it entirely.
Waiting until the last minute to declare your resolution can make it harder to follow through with it on January 1st. Avoid putting pressure on yourself to transform right away; instead, develop a plan that lasts the whole year and gives you plenty of room to grow and learn from any setbacks.
Smaller steps lead to the most lasting changes; a successful resolution strategy has a clear end-goal supported by smaller, actionable steps. By getting a headstart on planning, you also have time to come up with potential solutions to any obstacles that you might face.
Have you tried to carry out New Year’s resolutions in the past but struggled to stay consistent? A therapist can help you set goals that work for you and bring you a sense of achievement and inspiration instead of stress and anxiety. Contact Caring Heart Counseling to learn more about our services or request an appointment.