As a therapist I strive to provide the best support I can for my clients. What ever journey they are taking I feel blessed to be there with them. I sit with them as they experience all the emotions one can imagine - joy, anger, hurt, acceptance, excitement, rage, love, happiness, . . . it’s almost never ending. But of all of those emotions I wondered what would be the best one to experience. I thought about several positive ones such as joy, glee, happiness, and love. But I wasn’t convinced that it was one of those.
I searched for one that would make the most impact. I wondered if there was an emotion that we can’t live without? As I thought of my various clients, I searched for a common emotion that helped them progress through their goals.
Then I thought of it. It’s the emotion we all strive for. The one that we need to move forward. The one that tells us not to give up. The one that keeps my clients moving along a path, sometimes slowly, sometimes backwards, but they keep moving. It’s hope.
Hope lets us know that for every rainbow we see there is a pot of gold if we just keep trying. That pot of gold can look different for each of us. Maybe it’s a healthy family, stable marriage, being employed, being pain free, not feeling depressed, scared or angry. Hope gives us the strength and drives us to move ahead. Hope is the optimism that things will get better. Hope gives us that snippet of who we can become.
Next time you are with someone who may be struggling, feeling down, or needing guidance, help them find hope. Some ways you can do that is to remind them to dream big, look for the positive, strive for the future, accept help, join with others that are hopeful and to not give up.
Liz Birch is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist who provides home-based and online psychotherapy. Her areas of expertise are in communications, relationships, stress reduction, depression, trauma and provides support to the military population and their families. She can be reached via LizBirchTherapist.com and email at LizBirchMFT@gmail.com
People are meant to be social beings. When we have someone else to care about we live better, healthier and longer lives. However, many of us don’t realize the importance of connecting with others. Connections can help our businesses grow and enhance our personal life. Connections can alleviate that sense of loneliness.
Olds and Schwartz (Associate Clinical Professors of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School) argue in The Lonely American that loneliness is often mistaken for depression. Instead of connecting with others, we consume a pill. Being lonely is outside of our individualistic world view so we don’t even see it as a problem.
So if I load myself up with tons of connections will I be happier and live longer? Not necessarily. It’s not the number of connections one has but the quality of connections. If you want to enhance your business look to connect with individuals who are career minded and successful. If you want to enhance your personal life you might want to look for individuals who are supportive, caring and willing to listen during tough times. And you may want to include others who are a combination of the two.
In order to find those connections you need to, at first, work in numbers. Don’t just talk to one person and then decide that person isn’t right for you because you will then end up back to having no connections. So work at making lots of connections, initially, then you can choose who is right for you.
So how do we connect with others?
As you go through your day, pay attention to others around you. You’ll be amazed at how many connections are out there for you to make.
Liz Birch is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who provides home-based and online psychotherapy in Orange County and throughout California. Her areas of expertise are in communications, relationships, stress reduction, depression, trauma and she provides support for the military population and their families. She can be reached at LizBirchTherapist.com, LizBirchMFT@gmail.com and 714-614-0612.
I'm a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Psychotherapist, who works with individuals, couples and families. I'm also a thinker, doer, caregiver and idealist. I hope I inspire you to take risks and step out of your comfort zone. You might be surprised what you discover.