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Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

The Chemistry Connection

In Therapy, Uncategorized on March 10, 2010 at 10:21 am

How do you meet people is a question that is often asked, but really, what we are asking is how do we meet people we like, connect with, enjoy, and feel good around. It is that old-fashioned phrase “have chemistry”.  We talk to many people throughout our day, whether it is at our morning coffee shop, on a school playground, at the office, but who would you like to spend your free time with?  Who makes you laugh or brings out your funny-side?  Who do you have chemistry with?

Literally, chemistry is the study of how matter interacts.  When we talk about chemistry with another person, we commonly refer to the love/attraction type of chemistry, but really just interacting positively is a general type of chemistry that we all strive to reach with others.  This type of interaction is so powerful, that it not only puts you in a good mood, but some research has shown that by releasing a certain chemical, phenylethylamine (PEA), this type of chemistry with another person may even make you happy and possibly resist depressive feelings.

Adolescents often say the now-cool word “aaaawkward” when describing certain encounters, but in truth, so many encounters are!  A hint of sarcasm that was taken seriously; a lag in conversation where you say something you regret just to fill the silence; or you’ve exposed too much and experience the “TMI brush-off” (too much information).

But when it’s good, it’s good.  Time flies, you don’t remember why but you know you laughed… hard.  And you are comfortable.  You are validated.  You are valued and never judged.  Similar to finding the right therapist.  This relationship too requires chemistry.  And when it’s good, it’s good.

Empty Your Head

In Uncategorized on March 3, 2010 at 12:09 pm

At least once a week, someone will say to me something about being overwhelmed.  They are not sleeping or they are sleeping restlessly.  They have less patience.  They are frustrated, maybe even acting more aggressive than usual.  I hear this from all walks of life:  Friends, family, child and adolescent clients, adult clients.  We are all living a world of to-do lists and not-enough-time.

I’ve found myself using the words “empty your head” when strategizing how to feel better.  Sometimes we do that simply by making a list… and crossing things off of it.  Other times we may talk to each other, our significant others, our friends.  And other times we just hold onto it until our next therapy session where we release it and leave it behind.

Even middle schoolers will say they feel worried; not yet used to the “anxiety” jargon.  Full of “what ifs” that they just can’t seem to quiet, especially at night.  I’ve jokingly explained to my clients that there are two types of people in the world:  Those that can sit and watch a television show and do nothing else but watch, and those that appear to be watching but are at the same time thinking about something other than the show, possibly something trivial, but still not fully focused.

Has this become more common in our fast-paced world where multi-tasking is expected?  Or are we just now able to put it more clearly into words?  My guess is a combination of both.  So think about how you empty your head.  What works?  For how long?  Does a quick run outside help, or perhaps making time for a cup of coffee with a friend?  However you do it, congratulations.