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Am I Drinking Too Much? – Learn 4 Early Signs of Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a term that gets thrown around quite frequently when we think people drink too much. But, there’s more to it than that. Genetics, family of origin and many other factors play a role. It can get confusing pretty quickly. So, what are the early signs of alcoholism?

When someone’s drinking gets to the level of what we call alcoholic, the “habit” of drinking turns into a disorder that harms their everyday lives.

There are also different stages of alcoholism, including the early stage, chronic alcoholism, and end-stage. Alcoholism also often comes with various symptoms at each of these stages. During the early stage, signs might be harder to see or more comfortable to brush off as something else.

But, the earlier you catch the signs of problem drinking, the better your chances are for recovery.

Let’s take a look at 4 of the early signs of alcoholism.

Drinking Alone

One of the early signs of alcoholism is drinking in private. Alcoholics are often social drinkers. However, if you find yourself drinking privately or trying to keep your drinking habits a secret, it could be a sign of an even bigger problem.

Isolating yourself from others so you can drink in secret indicates that you have some understanding that your drinking has become excessive.

Many people who have a drinking problem tend to keep drinking throughout the day (alone). Mainly because when they’re not drinking, they feel hungover or sick in some other way.

Making Excuses

Do you find yourself making excuses for your drinking habits? Maybe you tell someone you’ve had a long day, or that you just want to relax. Perhaps you even make excuses to yourself to justify drinking.

When you feel you have to make excuses for how often or how much you drink, it’s typically a red flag pointing to a bigger problem.

Another sign is if someone questions you on your habits. Do you become irritated quickly, or “snap” at them with your justifications? Alcoholics often isolate themselves from family members and close friends because they don’t want to face the reality of a potential problem.

Losing Interest in Other Hobbies

People who struggle with alcohol often lose interest in things that once brought them joy or things they were actively involved in. Drinking becomes your priority over almost everything else.

Have you started to make excuses not to do the things you once loved? Do you find yourself choosing to drink instead of going out and having fun?

Losing interest in your hobbies can be dangerous because you can eventually start to lose interest in any self-care. This approach makes it easier to fall down the spiral of alcoholism quickly.

Feelings of Guilt

One of the most notable early signs of alcoholism is guilt. When you have the wherewithal to know you’re drinking too much, pay attention to the way you feel. Do you feel ashamed of your habits? Do you ever think you should cut back on how much you drink?

Guilt is often a big reason why alcoholics drink alone or in secret. As you can see, most of these early signs connect in some way.

These early signs of alcoholism often go away as the disease takes over, and drinking becomes even more problematic. That’s why it’s so important to notice them early on, so it’s easier to recover and not let alcohol consume you.

It’s All Relative (well, maybe not all)

If there are heavy drinkers or others with addiction in your family tree, then you are at much higher risk yourself. That’s not to say that there are not other factors that weight in; of course there are. But genetic predisposition is high in family trees where others have struggled with addiction too.

If you’ve seen any of these early signs of alcoholism in yourself, or you’re worried about someone you love, don’t hesitate to get help immediately. Visit my alcohol addiction counseling page for details. This approach can help you to deal with the effects of alcoholism, even in the earliest stages.

You don’t have to wait until the problem completely takes over your life. Feel free to contact me for more information or to start getting help today.

 

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How to Ensure a Safe YouTube Experience for Your Child

In recent years, YouTube has become a popular entertainment platform for children. In fact, there are currently thousands of YouTube channels specifically designed for kids—some of them with millions of subscribers! But how do you make sure that your kids have a healthy and safe YouTube learning experience?

These channels include everything from cartoons and stories to songs and educational segments. And, admittedly, YouTube can be a great entertainment choice for children.

Unfortunately, without the proper precautions in place, YouTube can also be a dangerous place for kids. There are many adult channels on the platform that children can easily access unless you have some safety measures set up.

Thankfully, it’s easy to make sure your kids have a safe YouTube experience with just a few extra steps.

Download YouTube Kids

Several years ago, YouTube launched a specific app directed towards children, called YouTube Kids. You can initially set up particular features on the app to keep your children from viewing specific content. You can also filter content for children eight years of age and younger, as well as older children.

YouTube Kids is meant to keep children from exploring “regular” YouTube, but it’s still important to monitor what your kids watch. You can link your child’s account to your own Gmail account, which will give you a history of what they’re regularly viewing.

Set a Passcode

After you set up the YouTube Kids app, you can tap the “lock” icon on the screen. The app will prompt you to solve a math problem. Once you do that, you can change the lock code to a four-digit number. Try to choose something that your kids won’t easily be able to type in.

Once you have a passcode in place, you can also go into the settings of the app and create a timer that will limit the amount of time your child can spend on the app.

Blocking Certain Content

Because you’ll able to access the history of what videos your child has been watching, you can decide what’s acceptable and what’s not.

So, if you see a video your child has watched that you find inappropriate, you can block it, as well as the channel. This strategy will prevent your child from viewing anything that channel produces.

Turn On Safety Mode

You don’t necessarily have to download the YouTube Kids app to keep your child safe on the platform. If they access YouTube through a desktop or laptop computer, you can limit the types of content they’re viewing by turning on “safety mode.”

To do this, scroll to the bottom of YouTube and click “on” where safety mode is prompted. You’ll have to turn it back to the regular mode when you’re ready to watch YouTube again yourself, though.

Safety mode works by filtering out adult content. It also filters out content that other YouTube users have reported. It’s not always perfect, but it’s a quick way to make sure your child doesn’t have access to adult content on YouTube. It’s also an easy option for switching back and forth if you’re a family that shares a YouTube account.

The most important thing you can do to keep your kids safe on YouTube is to monitor as much as possible. The YouTube Kids app is a great choice. But it doesn’t take long for most kids to figure it out and find different ways to work around some of the safeguards.

With that being said, there is no fool-proof option to keep your children safe. So, make sure you’re always looking at the content they’re viewing.

If you’re not sure how to talk to your kids about what they’re viewing on YouTube or you would like more advice on how to protect them from the content on this platform, feel free to contact me for information. Or, visit my children counseling page for details on how to talk to children about significant topics.

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The Skinny on Meth Addiction: A Brain Function Beat Down

Meth is one of the most highly-addictive drugs in the world. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most dangerous. Meth addiction continues to plague the country. They are even often glamorized thanks to shows like Breaking Bad.

But, there’s nothing glamorous about the effects of crystal meth or what it can do to your mind, body, and life.

Getting high on meth impacts your body physically, but it also impacts the brain and neurological system. Meth addiction is actually categorized as a disease of the brain.

The earlier you can recognize the signs of addiction, the sooner you can seek out treatment and help for yourself or someone you love.

The Innocent Beginnings of Meth

Meth was originally developed in the early 1900s as a way to help people who struggled with breathing issues. Healthcare professionals still use it today for cases of ADHD, and even narcolepsy. But, its reputation has far surpassed its medical uses. Today, it is commonly referred to as a street drug.

What does meth actually do when you take it? It helps to boost your energy and can make you feel like you need to be more active and talkative. It gives off euphoric properties, especially when users inject it. Meth releases dopamine into the brain, which contributes to the high, euphoric feelings.

Unfortunately, that high doesn’t last long. That’s why it becomes so easy for an addiction to form. The user keeps wanting (and eventually needing) more for the high to linger.

What Are the Signs of Addiction?

Any type of stimulant addiction is dangerous. But when it comes to meth, the effects are downright scary. Some of the most common signs of an addiction include insomnia, poor hygiene, and even psychotic behavior.

Long-term use can make the effects of the drug worse. People who have dealt with addiction for a long time can develop severe psychotic problems, including delusions and paranoia that can last for several hours at a time.

An overdose of meth can create chest pains, difficulty breathing, and can even render someone unconscious and unresponsive.

How to Treat a Meth Addiction

The earlier you treat meth addiction, the better. The longer it goes untreated, the higher the risk becomes for severe psychological and physical issues.

Unfortunately, early withdrawal symptoms often make it difficult for people to stay in treatment. Withdrawal can put users in a severe state of depression. However, the process does get better for people who genuinely want to kick the habit and stop using.

There is no magic pill or drug that can fight back against meth addiction. Therapy is typically the best way to help someone quit the drug and take control of their lives once again. Many times, therapy will start at a medical or addiction treatment facility, especially if the addiction has been going on for a long time.

If you recognize the signs of addiction early enough, though, seeking help from a therapist on your own terms can help you to break the chains before you get in too deeply.

Typically, meth addicts need additional services after therapy. These help to keep users from relapsing. Most meth addicts have specific triggers, and having a support system in place during the recovery period will make it easier to manage triggers or avoid them entirely.

If you or someone you know is struggling with methamphetamine addiction, it’s never too late to seek out treatment. The lasting effects of meth addiction can be severe and life-threatening.

Don’t go one more day without making sure you, or someone you care about, gets the necessary treatment. Feel free to contact me for more information, or visit my stimulant addiction page to learn more.

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3 Reasons Why Synthetic Marijuana Is So Dangerous

Synthetic marijuana and designer drugs have become increasingly popular in recent years—especially among teens and young adults. While many people believe these synthetic drugs are safer and less harmful, they could cause more damage than the “real thing.”

One example of this is synthetic marijuana.

Synthetic marijuana contains over 30 different chemical compounds. These chemicals can quickly wreak havoc within the body. They can cause vomiting, nausea, breathing issues, and even loss of consciousness.

So, what makes synthetic marijuana so dangerous?

1. The Doses Are Inconsistent

Synthetic marijuana typically ships in from other countries. The synthetic cannabinoids mix with dried vegetation to create a finished product. But, it’s an imprecise practice.

There isn’t just one place where this happens—it’s happening in different warehouses and plants across the country. So, there isn’t any consistency from one “company” to the next, and you truly never know what dosage you’re going to get.

The process doesn’t allow for the opportunity to measure out precise amounts of certain chemicals. As a result, each “dose” is different. You may have a weak dose one time and an incredibly strong one the next.

What’s the problem with that? Not only could you start to use it more because you think you need a stronger dose, but you could end up a getting a batch that’s so strong it causes severe physical side effects.

 

2. You Don’t Know Exactly What You’re Getting

Because of the way synthetic cannabinoids are processed and packaged, you’ll never know which specific cannabinoids you’re getting in any individual dose.

Remember, there are different types of cannabinoids, to begin with. On top of that, it’s not uncommon for producers to mix them with other synthetic materials, including other harmful drugs.

Additionally, because there isn’t any regulation, they could be laced with almost anything; even household chemicals and solvents. The uncertainty of these additions is the scary part. Even one dose could cause serious health problems. It may even be fatal. There have been some reports of rat poison mixing in with synthetic marijuana.

3. They Can Cause Mental Health Issues

Some of the chemicals in synthetic marijuana have been linked to mental health problems as well as physical symptoms. While synthetic marijuana may be able to give you a high, it can also cause feelings of agitation, anxiety, and paranoia.

In some cases, these symptoms can become quite extreme. It’s an interesting bit of irony since people often associate traditional marijuana with relaxation.

Understand the Impact

Synthetic marijuana didn’t start as a bad thing or some type of underground drug. It was initially a research tool. Scientists created it to help find out how cannabinoid receptors within the brain work.  Then, researchers could learn how to better treat different physical and/or mental health issues. If it was only made for its original purpose today, synthetic marijuana could have been very helpful in the health and wellness industry.

Unfortunately, now that it’s on the market, people use and abuse it in ways that make it dangerous. The risks are even greater for the younger audience that seems to have the most interest in trying it.

Synthetic marijuana can have a big impact on your life if you’re using it. If you know someone who is using, it’s important to talk to them about the dangers and risks as soon as possible.

If you want to know more about these risks or you aren’t sure how to approach someone about it, feel free to contact me. Or, visit here to learn more about how I can help.

We can work on different useful strategies for talking to someone about any kind of drug use—especially one they may not think is causing any harm.

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Cardiac Surgery and Depression: How to Understand the Link

Experiencing any kind of cardiac surgery can feel overwhelming and scary. Understanding that you have a heart condition is nothing to take lightly. But, even after surgery without complications, you may be at risk for depression.

Understanding the link between cardiac surgery and depression can make it easier for you to manage your symptoms.

The recovery process is about more than just physical healing. It’s about managing your mood and healing emotionally, too.

With that in mind, let’s look at how cardiac surgery and depression are connected, and what you can do about it.

Dealing With Depression Before Surgery

Heart disease and depression often go hand-in-hand for a variety of reasons. If you’ve been told you have a heart condition, it’s normal for your mind to start wandering. You might start questioning your own mortality, who will take care of your family, how much longer you might have to live, etc.

Before surgery, that stress doesn’t necessarily go away. You could worry about getting back to work, or wonder how you’ll feel after the surgery.

All of these anxious thoughts can create a springboard for how you might feel once your surgery is done.

Even after successful surgery, not everyone experiences a positive outlook. Plus, when you’re so focused on physical healing, it’s easy to neglect your emotions and mental health. Because of this, up to 25% of people who undergo cardiac surgery experience depression.

Boosting Your Mental Health During Recovery

To help combat the possible risks of cardiac surgery and depression, it’s important to have a plan in place ahead of time. Talk to your doctor about your concerns. In some cases, they may prescribe you medication to help with the state of your mental health as you recover.

There are things you can do to help yourself along the way, too. Maintaining positivity throughout your recovery is a great way to battle feelings of depression. Set goals for yourself, and celebrate when you’ve achieved them. Be happy with the small milestones of recovery, and give yourself realistic expectations.

It’s important to create as many healthy habits as possible as you recover. Set a specific time to wake up and go to bed. Exercise lightly (as approved by your doctor), and eat a healthy, nutritious diet.

A daily routine can make these healthy habits easier to stick to since it allows you to time to take care of your mental health each day.

Getting the Help You Need

If you’re feeling depressed after cardiac surgery, you’re not alone. You don’t need to feel ashamed or defeated when it comes to asking for help. Chances are, you still have a dozen concerns and thoughts whirling around your head. You don’t have to keep them all inside. Doing so can make things worse.

Friends or family members can offer a lot of support when it comes to cardiac surgery and depression. Having someone to talk to about the way you’re feeling often makes a big difference.

Yet, if you still find yourself struggling, you may benefit from professional help.

The depression you’re experiencing after cardiac surgery doesn’t have to completely take over your life. Just as you’ll heal physically, you can heal mentally and emotionally as well. But, it may take some help and some time.

If you recently had cardiac surgery and now you’re struggling with feelings of depression, please contact me. Or, visit here to learn more.

Your emotional health is more important than ever. Feeling good mentally will make it easier to focus on getting your body back to feeling good. When you’re able to do that, you can move on with your life faster, and in better overall health.

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Dopamine and the Early Recovery “Blahs” – Here’s What You Should Know

Dopamine and the early recovery process go hand in hand. When you’re recovering from opiate addiction, your brain is going to experience a lot of changes.

Unfortunately, many of these changes can lead to the recovery “blahs.” That can leave you feeling unmotivated, uninspired, and even depressed.

The more you understand about dopamine and the early recovery process, the easier it will be to take active steps to make your recovery go as smoothly as possible.

First, let’s look at why dopamine affects the brain so much when you have an addiction. Then, we’ll talk about how you can beat the early recovery “blahs.”

Dopamine, Drugs, and Your Brain

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter within the brain. It affects everything from sleep to concentration. What it’s most widely known for, though, is mood regulation. When you experience something good, dopamine is released into the brain. This might be something like getting a raise at work to something as simple as having your favorite dessert.

Certain drugs, like opiates, also typically cause a spike in dopamine. It creates a fast sense of satisfaction and gives your brain the message that you should feel rewarded for what you’re doing.

Because certain drugs make people feel so good, it’s not difficult to become addicted. The more you like something and the better it makes you feel, the more likely you are to do it again and again.

Unfortunately, over time, the brain becomes used to the drug and the surges of dopamine decrease. As a result, you might find yourself needing to take more of the drug or doing it more often.

Why You Experience the “Blahs”

Finding yourself in a rut during recovery is normal. It typically comes after a few weeks of abstaining from a substance. For others, though, it can happen a few months into your recovery period.

The problem with the recovery “blahs” is that they can sometimes lead to a relapse. Your brain isn’t getting the same release of dopamine that it once was, and it’s very easy to miss that feeling of pleasure, even if you’ve been off the drug for a while.

When your brain is recovering from that consistent increase in dopamine, it can be harder to feel it naturally from positive events or occurrences in your life. Additionally, you might start to feel the rush of success wearing off.

When you first start on your recovery journey and you’re committed to making a change, it’s easy to get a “high” from that. After several weeks, though, you might not get the same rush from it that you once did—even if that feeling of accomplishment is still there. Life might not feel as exciting to you as it did when you were using.

Beating the Recovery “Blahs”

So, what can you do to counteract dopamine and the early recovery problems you might face?

One of the best things is to find ways to boost dopamine in healthy ways. Create excitement for yourself if you’re feeling low or if it seems like your life is “boring” compared to what it used to be.

You don’t have to make huge changes or plan anything extravagant. Try some of the following things to get a boost of excitement:

  • Start a new hobby.
  • Go for coffee with an old friend.
  • Play a sport.
  • Try a new dish at your favorite restaurant.
  • Go to the spa.

There are endless possibilities for finding healthy ways to increase the pleasure sensors within your brain. When you’re dealing with the recovery “blahs,” these simple things can make a big difference.

If you’re still struggling with recovery and you feel like it’s not getting easier, please contact me.

Opiate addiction is serious, and it takes time and support to get through it. Together, we can work on different ways to make the recovery process easier for you.

Visit here to learn more about how I can help.

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Effective Public Speaking: How to Be Impacting as an Executive

When you’re in an executive position, effective public speaking is a necessity.

Moreover, effective public speaking will help you to appear more authoritative, gain you more respect, and allow you to achieve your career goals on a larger plane.

To be an effective public speaker, you need to understand that it’s not just what you say, but how you say it. Being clear and concise is important, but so is making sure you’re getting your organic message across.

Furthermore, how you look and sound informs your audience of your message as well. You can come across as inspirational, which is likely your goal. Or, you might come across as instigating, or interrogational—likely things you don’t want.

So, how can you be more effective with your public speaking?

Serve Your Audience

Again, inspiration is often the goal. If you’re trying to move your audience to think a certain way or perform a certain action, your words need to be able to motivate them.

You can do this by considering your purpose. Remember, you’re not writing a speech or giving a presentation for yourself. Stop thinking about what youreally want, and think about how your audience might respond to what you’re saying. What can you say to inspire them?

One way to achieve an inspirational tone is to make your presentation as personal as possible. If you can’t connect with your audience on a personal level, they might tune you out.

Don’t be afraid to share your own experiences—the good and the bad. If the people you’re speaking to can relate to you or what you’ve been through, they’re more likely to pay attention and believe what you have to say.

Practice Every Day

Effective public speaking takes a great deal of time and a lot of practice. Even if you have natural charisma, a good speaking voice, and you can organize your thoughts well, successfully speaking in front of a group of people can be difficult.

To practice, opt to speak in front of groups as often as possible to get better at it. Practice in front of a mirror at home, too. While you don’t want to come across as too “rehearsed,” you do want to make sure you’re confident in the way you’re delivering your message.

If you do make a mistake, don’t sweat it. There’s a good chance no one will even notice but you. Keep going, don’t apologize, and don’t stop to rewind your point. That can easily trip you up and set a negative tone for the rest of your presentation. If you can get through a mistake smoothly, there’s a good chance that no one will remember it even happened.

Pay Attention to Body Language

Public speaking is about more than just projecting your voice. It’s about visualization as well. If you appear closed off, rigid, or uncomfortable while you’re speaking, you won’t appear to be as believable or motivational.

While big gestures, posture, and the way you move your hands are important, it’s equally important to pay attention to the details. Micro-expressions—a term further developed by Paul Eckman—are simple little gestures that you may not even notice about yourself. A sudden twitch of the eye, rapid blinking, a small-but-quick grin, etc., are all examples of micro-expressions. These nuances can say a lot to someone without you actually having to say a word.

In summary, body language is extremely important in effective public speaking, so be aware of how you’re presenting yourself.

If public speaking causes you a lot of stress, or you’re unsure of how to be more impacting, you might benefit from individual counseling.

Feel free to get ahold of me if you’re feeling a lot of pressure or stress due to your speaking responsibilities. Or visit here to learn more about how I can help.

Together, we can work on different ways to not only alleviate that stress but to be a more effective public speaker than ever before.

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Voir Dire Selection: Here’s Why It’s Important to Bring the Right Behavioral Expert

Voir dire is the process by which our legal system chooses jurors for a criminal case. The basis of this selection rests in its actual meaning. In Latin, voir dire means “to speak the truth.”

Simplified, the process works by having judges and lawyers ask questions to potential jurors. Essentially, they’re trying to determine who is capable and competent enough to sit on the jury in a particular case.

Unfortunately, the voir dire process isn’t flawless. People are able to lie or appear a certain way on the surface that doesn’t accurately reflect their personality or opinions.

That’s why it’s so important to bring a behavioral expert into the voir dire process.

Common Voir Dire Questions

When a judge interviews potential jurors, they’re usually more interested in logistical questions. Lawyers on both sides of a case, however, will tend to ask more personal questions that could sway a trial one way or another.

While lawyers can’t get too personal, they can ask a person about their background and biases they might have. They also might ask if they know anything about the particular case at hand.

Things like actual and implied bias are common challenges when a lawyer thinks a certain person wouldn’t be a good fit for a jury. Either that person openly admitted thier own bias for or against a certain culture, religion, etc., or they have character traits that would cause someone to think that way.

Why Is a Behavioral Expert Important?

While behavioral experts are most commonly found in clinical environments, there are some that specialize in reading body language and other subtle nuances that can be extremely beneficial to the voir dire selection process, too. Not every clinician or behavioral expert is trained or experienced in these situations; it is essentially a sub-class specialty of the greater field. Within the legal system they are commonly referred to as Jury Consultants or Voir Dire Consultants.

These behavioral experts are more aware of the mechanics of human behaviors and motivations and trained in how to detect them. They know what to look for to see what people are really thinking or feeling. They have superior communication and listening skills, which can really help when it comes to selecting the right jurors for a particular trial. Detailed focus on language, delivery, posturing, pitch, mannerisms, eye movement and minute facial responses called micro-expressions that we’ll look at a bit more later in this article.

Specialists in this arena can help increase attention to things that an attorney or judge might not typically notice. That’s because their focus is typically on the how the respondent answers the question and not only the questions themselves, among other things.

They’ll also be able to pay attention to the other potential jurors when one is being questioned in the voir dire selection process. If someone feels like they’re not being observed closely, they’re more likely to let their natural reactions come through. A behavioral specialist can pick up on these reactions easily and report them back.

To sum up, a behavioral expert can fill in many gaps. They will let an attorney know what an individual might have really been saying or thinking when answering a particular question. And they can help to shape some of the questions before the selection process as well as indicate during the voir dire process when someone is responding to a question in a way of concern or interest.

Micro-Expressions and Jury Selection

Paul Eckman made the term “micro-expressions” popular, but it stands the test of time because it works. The most subtle movements or changes in facial expressions can end up meaning a lot. If an attorney, judge, or someone else in the legal system isn’t able to pick up on them, it could greatly impact the ultimate verdict.

Voir dire selection is a great way to choose the best possible jurors for a case. But, having the right behavioral expert on board will fine tune the process and make it even better.

Please contact me for more information about the voir dire selection. Or, visit here to learn more about the ways I can help.

 

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How to Manage Critical Incident Stress in the Workplace

Critical incident stress in the workplace is typically some type of traumatic event. This could include a death, serious accident, violence, or a crime committed where you work.

If you’ve experienced an event like this at work, processing it and getting through it the right way is the best thing you can do for your mental and emotional health. Remember, you don’t have to be directly involved in the event for it to negatively impact you.

Critical incident stress can be especially traumatic because most people don’t expect it.

Your workplace might have critical incident stress management solutions in place. We’ll cover a few of those in this article. But, if you’re still struggling, you might want to consider seeking out professional help to get through the trauma you’ve experienced.

Critical Incident Stress Prevention and Preparation

No one wants to think about any serious accidents or deaths in the workplace. Yet, it happens, and it’s important to be as prepared as possible. If your place of business doesn’t already have a critical stress incident management plan in place, talk to them about how it might help in case something tragic ever does happen.

With this type of preparation, employees can learn the normal range of emotions and feelings that often occur after such an event. They can also learn certain stress management skills and pick up on resources that can help them to get through it in a healthy and effective way.

There are different agencies specifically designed to help employees prepare for critical incident stress in the workplace. Connecting your business with one of them can help to ensure all employees understand how to handle such an event should it ever happen. It’s a great way to be proactive about the mental health and wellbeing of each employee.

Processing and Grieving After Exposure

One of the most important things you should do after experiencing critical incident stress where you work is to try to process what happened. This is sometimes called a “debriefing” or even a “diffusing.”

It helps to do this shortly after the event happened. It’s easier to express your thoughts and feelings right away, so you can return to a normal routine as soon as possible. And you want to do this as soon as possible, before problematic symptoms can set in.

People who experience traumatic events sometimes have a hard time fully accepting or processing them. The longer you hold onto the event without talking about it, the more you can start to experience harmful symptoms. Some of these include flashbacks, nightmares, appetite changes, increased alcohol consumption, fear, or anxiety.

Give yourself time to grieve over what happened. Usually, a traumatic event in the workplace is some kind of loss. Many companies will offer their employees some type of immediate counseling or at least some time off to go through the grieving process at their own pace.

Seeking Out Trauma Counseling for Critical Incident Stress

Trauma counseling is often beneficial for people who experience a tragic event at work. Sometimes, something as quick as a debriefing simply isn’t enough.

People experience and respond to trauma differently. Some of your co-workers might have an easier time getting back to work and moving on with their lives. Others will have a difficult time, and they won’t be able to move past what happened.

If you’re struggling with how to manage the stress caused by a traumatic event at work, you’re not alone. It’s important to seek out help before the symptoms and effects of the trauma become worse.

When you don’t take action, the symptoms of a traumatic event can start to take over your life, impacting your personal personal and professional endeavors

Feel free to contact me today if you’ve been through something like this, and we can work through it together. Or, visit here to learn more about how I can help.

 

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3 Ways Public Speaking and Body Language Work Together

3 Ways Public Speaking and Body Language Work Together

Public speaking is about more than standing up in front of an audience and reading from note cards. To be an effective public speaker, you have to also be aware of your body language.

Body language is a huge part of the way we communicate and how we’re perceived in conversation. Public speaking is no different.

As a speaker, the way you look will have a great impact on whether your audience actually receives your words or not.

So how do public speaking and body language work together? How can you make sure you’re using body language effectively when you’re talking to a crowd? Let’s look at 3 ways public speaking and body language work together.

1. Micro-Expressions; Body Language

When you first think about public speaking and body language, you might be picturing how to use your hands or how to stand a particular way. While these are important, it’s equally (if not more) important to focus on your micro expressions.

Micro-expressions are split-second facial expressions that you make as you communicate. In fact, they occur within about half of a second. While they might not seem important, they are noticeable to your audience. And, they can have a huge impact on how people perceive you.

When you reveal a micro-expression, it’s considered a “leaking” of your true emotions. So, if you’re not genuine in the things you’re saying, your micro expressions will reveal your true colors. They occur with everyone as they simply happen naturally.

When you focus on your micro-expressions and train yourself, you can increase your overall emotional awareness, and use that to your advantage while you’re speaking.

Check out the research of Dr. Paul Ekman, the man who put micro-expressions “on the map” and changed the way we look at the human face.

2. Neutral Gestures; Body Language

The way you gesture and move throughout your speech will tell the audience a lot about you. It’s important to start in a neutral position with your hands at your sides. You might feel awkward standing this way at first (so it’s good to practice!).

Gesture sparingly. When you do, use defined, clear hand movements to make your point. That will allow your audience to know you feel strongly about certain points, and they’ll be more likely to take those points seriously.

Try to avoid letting your hands “flow” when you’re talking. Large, swooping gestures can be distracting and can take authority away from the points you’re trying to make.

3. Commanding Your Space

Public speaking and body language also go hand-in-hand in the way you control a room. If you’re holding a business meeting or presentation, don’t be afraid to move around to get your point across.

If you’re speaking in front of a large audience on a stage, use a large portion of the stage to your advantage rather than standing in one spot.

It’s easy to let stress impact your delivery, especially in the law enforcement field. If you’re in law enforcement and you’re trying to speak to your unit, to news anchors about a legal matter, or to an audience in the judicial system, respectfully command your space. Standing perfectly still can make you look nervous, and people might assume you aren’t confident in what you’re saying.

Public speaking is often hard enough on its own. Some people get nervous more than others, and it’s hard not to let that shine through.

That’s why taking note of how public speaking and body language work together is so important. Even if you’re nervous to speak in front of people, paying attention to your body language can make you feel more comfortable and confident. You’ll also be able to give nonverbal cues to your audience that accentuate what you’re saying, giving them a positive impression.

If you’d like to learn more about public speaking and body language, feel free to contact me. Or, visit here to learn more about my services.