Archive for the ‘Psychology Advise’ Category

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Twenty Five Tips for Personal Improvement in NYC

We’ve all heard the cliché – life is what you make of it – however, how can you ensure you are making the most out of your life? Most of us, at some point or another, will feel down on ourselves and our achievements. We may feel like we are not fulfilling our life goals and that time is simply passing us by with nothing to show for it. If you are caught in this emotional low, then you need to take a step back and focus on personal improvement.

Personal improvement is the best way to lift your spirits, re-evaluate your life direction and increase your chance of success in everything you do. Personal improvement involves improving your self worth from within- by doing this you are taking the first step to a happier you. The best thing about personal improvement is that it does not take much to improve your self worth. In fact, personal improvement can come simply from getting up a few minutes early, joining a class or enjoying the beautiful New York City views from a new angle. Outlined below are some simple yet effective personal improvement tips that will ensure you are living your life in Manhattan to its full potential each and every day:

Family and Relationships Personal Improvement

  1. Be single and mingle. If you are on the hunt for Mr or Mrs Right, then you need to put yourself out there. Join classes, see sports games, visit galleries and do what you love to do. Eventually you will find someone else who shares these similar passions.
  2. Respect yourself and members of the opposite sex will do the same. I love the phrase: We teach others how we should be treated. What message are you sending on how you should be treated?
  3. Plan trips together, as a couple. For those in a relationship, invest in a yearly vacation for just the two of you. This can be a two week Caribbean adventure or simply a weekend away to the country. Take this time to re-connect as a unit.
  4. Choose family activities you all can enjoy rather than spending the weekends doing separate activities
  5. Always make time for a family meal per day which will allow you to communicate and connect with your loved ones.
  6. Share the responsibilities instead of assuming that someone else will do it. Have both parents cook dinners, do the laundry and be on diaper duty.

Career and Financial Personal Improvement

  1. Assess your skills and thrills and work towards these goals in your career.
  2. Constantly ask questions, which can build communication in the work force and promote a sense of control in your job.
  3. Step away from distractions, including certain co-workers, social networking sites and text messages.
  4. Find your peak work time and take advantage of this. When do you do your best work? For many of us, it is during the morning while others are most productive right before the end of the day. Schedule your harder tasks around these energy boosts.
  5. Track your finances by using a monthly budgeting spreadsheet or compute program. Track what is coming in and what is going out to make sure you stay out of the red.
  6. Be aware of unsecured debt such as your credit card bill. The interest rates on most credit cards are enough to put anyone in dire financial stress. Save the credit card for emergencies or pay it off as best as you can each month.
  7. Research for deals. With the internet, it is easier than ever to do a quick comparison of the different mortgage, car insurance, electricity, phone plans and other rates to make sure you are not paying more than necessary.

Health and Fitness Personal Improvement Tips

  1. Eat breakfast; after all, it’s not called the ‘most important meal of the day’ for nothing.
  2. Take some time to relax each morning. Get up twenty minutes earlier and enjoy a cup of coffee on your balcony. Watch the sun rise over Mid-Town and appreciate the day ahead.
  3. Try to exercise for 30 minutes a day. Even something as small as a 30 minute stroll around your West Village neighbourhood will improve your health
  4. Take up stretching, yoga or Pilates to relax muscles and relieve stress.

Body, Mind and Soul Personal Improvement Tips

  1. If you have the time, volunteer. Giving something back to your NYC community can improve your sense of self worth
  2. Accept mistakes as they happen by developing tolerance and patience. With this comes inner peace.
  3. Keep a journal of your thoughts, fears, worries and problems. Writing your thoughts down can help melt away the stress.
  4. Expect the unexpected. Instead of trying to always control everything around you, understand that there are some things you cannot control. Traffic jams in Manhattan will happen. Just take a deep breath and let nature take its course.
  5. Activate your brain. After they have finished high school and college many people will stop reading and writing on a regular basis. Grab a crossword puzzle or Sudoku to re-activate your mind
  6. Find 20 for you – every day, try to find 20 minutes of ‘me’ time where you can reflect on your day.
  7. Forgive and forget the past. If there is something in the past, such as a poor relationship, holding you back, try to let it go. With time those uncomfortable feelings such as anger, sadness, resentment and rage will fade away as well.
  8. Consider counseling – if there are certain aspects of your life that you simply cannot gain control of, then you might want to speak to someone trained in the area. Many people will turn to a professional NYC psychologist or therapist to help them find the inner strength to reach these personal improvement goals. If you are having trouble finding your self worth and overcoming the obstacles dragging you down, then perhaps a trained counselor can help you find your inner strength to move forward.
Monday, November 9th, 2009

Coping with Job Loss in a Tough New York City Market

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the current unemployment rate across the United States is 9.8%. New York currently has an unemployment rate of 8.9% which means nearly 1 in 10 New Yorkers are looking for work. Job loss can lead to several problems in your life including financial strain, emotional strain and mental strain. You may have trouble providing for your family, paying the mortgage and keeping food on the table. You may be suffering from pending foreclosure, looming credit card debt and credit report complications. You may have some reserves about accepting welfare and feel guilty about the situation. You may lack self esteem and confidence to get back out in the job market, especially with the competition for work so incredibly fierce. Whatever is going through your mind, coping with job loss is not an easy thing. You need to re-arrange your life and re-adjust your mental mind frame to start again, which can be especially hard in today’s current economic situation.

Coping with job loss has been ranked as one of the most stressful situations in one’s life, up there with divorce, moving, and dealing with a death in the family. There are a number of terms for job loss including being laid off, downsized, getting dismissed, receiving your pink slip – but the implications and the emotional reactions are the same – complete disappointment. Regardless of the reason you have been laid off, you are most likely going to feel like you have done something wrong and that you were not good enough; this can lead to serious self esteem issues. As we all know, searching for a new job can be a challenge to say the least and one of the most important things when on the hunt for a new career is to remain confident and positive.

Tips to Coping with Job Loss

Below are four tips for coping in New York City. Keep in mind that everyone has a different way of handling job loss – these suggestions may be able to help but it is up to you to make the first move forward.

  • Take time for yourself – this is probably the last thing you want to do, especially if you are currently feeling like a failure for losing your job. However, it’s important that you let go of damaging thoughts and focus on regaining the positives in your life. Think back to another time when you have had to deal with a problem – what did you do then to get out of the slump? Perhaps a walk around Central Park would clear your mind? Or maybe a long bath would help ease your fears of the future?
  • Turn to friends, family and professional help for support – you may feel like the only thing you want to do right now is curl up on the couch and sleep but now, more than ever, you need to open your door and let your support group in. Meet up in Manhattan for a cup of coffee and to vent your anger and frustration. Take in a lunch date in the Upper East Side with your parents and ask them for some advice. Or, consider speaking to a professional NYC career counselor about the situation. He can help you come to terms with what happened and focus on moving forward. He can also help you assess your strengths, weaknesses and career goals to make sure you are on the right path. Regardless of whether you belong in an office on Wall Street or in an excavator on the streets of the Upper East Side, a New York City counselor can help you see your job loss in the best of light.
  • Focus on your Finances – when coping with job loss, it’s important to assess your finances before going any further. You will need to make a spreadsheet and most likely cut down on some of those luxuries in life. You also might need to speak to your lending company about changing your payment rates. Job loss is a common problem not only in New York City, but around the United States. Most lending companies are willing to work with you while you get your career back on track. You just need to be honest about the situation.
  • Get Down to Work – once you are feeling emotionally ready to tackle the next chapter of your life, it is time to start the job search. You should consider looking for a job a full-time career. Devote 40 hours a week to perfecting your resume, searching for work, making follow up calls and scheduling appointments. If you treat the hunt for a job like full time work, then it will be easier to remain motivated at the task at hand. If you are having trouble staying focused during the day, consider using a day planner to split up the different tasks you need to do. Writing down your day will keep you busy and less likely to sleep in, watch daytime television and mope around the house.

When coping with NYC job loss, it can be tempting to simply shut out the loud noises and crawl into your own bubble. But this is not going to put food on the table and it is also not going to help you achieve your career goals. Just because your job has come simply means that another chapter in your career has opened up. Consider this positive fact when on the hunt for that next perfect position.

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Psychology NYC Self Help Tips for a Better Tomorrow and a Brighter Fall Season

Have you been down in the dumps lately? Perhaps work has been stressing you out or perhaps you have recently gone through a separation or divorce. Perhaps the start of the cold weather has not only dropped the temperature but also your spirits. Whatever is going through your head, it’s time to get back into the swing of things. With the festive season just around the corner, now’s the perfect time to dig deep and discover a new lease on life.

It’s the Little Things That Count

If you are struggling with keeping your head up and battling against the early stages of depression, then it can be helpful to start small and work up. At the start of each day this week, write down three things that you are looking forward to. These can be abstract ideas or even small little positives that can help you with the day. For example, perhaps you are looking forward to taking your work boots off at the end of the day or feeling the hot water once you jump in the shower tonight. Or, perhaps you are looking forward to a drink with a friend after work or a special treat for lunch. These may seem like minor, insignificant little pluses but, when you add these up, it can make any day seem a lot better (even the ones that are filled with tedious board meetings). Keep in mind that if your depression or low points are getting to be too hard to handle, then there is another option for improvement. A trained psychologist in NYC will be able to offer you the professional advice and service that can make the difference.

If you are struggling to overcome a big change in your life that has hurt you emotionally, then it can be helpful to dig down to the surface of the problem. Sure, this can be a challenging experience, but it can be rewarding to see the positives that have come out of the situation. The start of every end is a new beginning. You just need to see through this darkness.

If you are having trouble with self confidence or self esteem issues, you need to do something that you love to do and that makes you feel proud. Poor self esteem can lead to stress issues, health issues, guilt issues and social issues. It can be easy to tell yourself that you are beautiful, but it can be hard to force your mind to believe it. So, instead, express it through art. This weekend pick up a large frame from a craft shop and get to work building a collage of all the things in your life that make you happy and proud. Includes photographs with friends, awards from your past, nice emails from co-workers, famous inspirational quotes, silly trinkets and family vacation reminders. If you have children, make sure you include their smiling faces in your collage. Going through your past and pulling out some of those funny, silly and proud moments can help build your confidence. Once your project is finished, display it somewhere in your house where you will see it on a daily basis. You won’t be able to help but smile every day you walk past the collage and are reminded of just how great your life really is, and how much you have achieved.

The Big Things Keep Piling Up… when to Opt for NYC Psychology

It’s important to understand that these little tips may help lift your spirits but if you are suffering and struggling to cope with the many stresses of life here in NYC, your best options may be to see a psychologist or therapist. It is one of the best ways to overcome your obstacles and move forward in life. There are a variety of different treatment options and methods available, many of which are covered through your medical insurance. A psychologist in New York City will help clear your head of those Manhattan stresses so you can rejuvenate your mind, body and soul for the fall season.

Sure, the sun is gone, the leaves are changing color and the cold air is making itself known but this does not mean you need to match your mood to the weather. Work to stay positive all year around and always remember that if you need a hand, a New York City psychologist is only a phone call away.

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Finding the Best Psychologist in New York City for Your Needs

We all want the best. For most of us, the idea of ‘the best’ is something that has been ingrained deep into our heads from a very early age. We strive to be ‘the best’ in school, in sports, at home and at work. So, why should we demand anything different when it comes to a New York City psychologist? We all deserve the best in the business. So, how can you determine whether you are getting the best psychologist in New York City? The question of the best all comes down to the individual. When getting advice from friends about therapy, your mate may suggest you see Dr. Smith because “he’s the best.” But is he the best for you? And how can you really know for sure? In order to determine this, you need to look at the following three factors:

First and foremost, what type of therapy are you looking for? While some therapists will prefer the standard analysis and lay you down on their couch, others will choose to speak to you in a more casual environment. Think about the talks you have had with your friends and family- what makes you feel best? Do you prefer to vent on the telephone while someone occasionally says “uh uh”? Do you prefer to express yourself through letters or email? Or perhaps your best talks have occurred during cocktail hour, coffee breaks or long walks on the beach with loved ones. It’s important to look into your individual relaxation style. Many people avoid therapy sessions because they think it will be too Freudian; however, there are methods of therapy that step outside the box and off the couch. Perhaps these would be more suited towards your lifestyle and your goals.

Second of all, ask yourself what type of person you feel comfortable talking to. Are you looking for a friend or a father figure to help you with your problems? Do you want someone who uses a passive or active approach? Do you want someone who is direct and confronting or someone who allows you to do all the talking (and discovering)? The best therapist for you is one that you feel comfortable with. Sensitive types often prefer a more passive approach to therapy while go-getters often want someone who can push them to their limit.

And finally, take an in depth look at what’s bringing you to therapy in the first place. Do you feel like your life is lacking something but are not sure what it is? Or do you have a specific problem and need to talk to an expert on the matter? Many people will choose therapy as a way to tackle certain problems related to a mental illness such as anxiety or depression. Others are looking for help with their weight loss journey or overcoming grief from a death or divorce. Others still are battling addiction or self-esteem issues. Whatever the case, the best New York City psychologist is one who knows your problem inside out and has proven methods of overcoming these issues. When choosing the best Manhattan psychologist for you, ask about their previous experience working with your condition. If you are unsure about what’s really upsetting you, then look for someone with experience in all aspects of therapy.

In addition to finding the best therapist in Manhattan, you need to do your daily homework. Here are a few simple starters to self improvement. Start with these three tips this week and see the difference the little changes in life can make:

Get up twenty minutes early: start your day off right and find some time in the morning to actually enjoy the day. Enjoy a cup of coffee and watch the sun rise. Take a few extra minutes in the shower or take a fifteen minute walk around the block. Most people start their day off on the wrong foot- either late or in a rush. By getting up a little earlier, you are eliminating that morning stress and enjoying a little ‘me’ time before tackling another day.

Keep (and follow) a schedule: having a set plan can help you accomplish more. Whether you have a jammed packed day ahead of you, or are simply looking for ways to pass the time, knowing what you need to do (and when) is the best way to keep control of your tasks and make the day run smoother. Take every chore, whether it is around the house or at the office, one step at a time.

Do something completely new: today is the day that you finally take that step and do something you’ve always wanted to do. Sign up for cooking class, schedule an appointment to go sky diving or buy a book to learn a new language. It may seem a little silly at first, but learning something new will keep your mind active and improve your sense of self worth.

Keep in mind that the best psychologist in New York City is not necessarily the most educated, the most experienced and the most talked about on television; the best psychologist in New York City is the one that helps you assess your problems and then works towards breaking through these barriers. When looking for the ‘best’, always look within yourself before you look to the Yellow Pages.

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

What to Look for in a Psychologist in Manhattan

When it comes to your mental health, not any psychologist in Manhattan will do. You want to ensure that you are choosing a psychologist that will connect with you emotionally. Therapy can be one of the most successful ways to ease your mind, body and spirit of negativity surrounding all aspects of your life. From divorce complications to career confusion, from emotional instability to confidence issues, it’s important to understand that a psychologist can help you break through those self barriers and reveal a new you.

However, when it comes to choosing a psychologist, it is not usually as simple as flipping though the yellow pages and going with the boldest, brightest ad. It’s important to do a little research before starting out in therapy. This is because, although the journey to self improvement starts with you, the right psychologist can ensure you are on the correct path. They can provide comfort along the way and offer advice when you come to a fork in the road. Inevitably, the road to self-satisfaction is an individual journey but having a mentor can make all the difference in the world. Below we have listed five tips when hunting for a Manhattan psychologist.

  • A Question of Technique: When it comes to choosing the best psychologist for your needs, make sure you weigh your options carefully. Look for a psychologist who values the same ideas as you. There are several different ways to treat patients. Check out their website, testimonials and intentions to discover some of these techniques and values. While some patients prefer to work one on one in a standard office, others would prefer a more unconventional setting, such as outdoors. While some patients prefer to use the traditional methods of analysis, others like the step outside the boundaries. It’s completely up to how you react to certain situations and what you feel comfortable with.
  • Credentials: The question of education in psychology is somewhat debatable. Although we all know that knowledge is power, this does not mean you need to seek out someone with a Doctorate in Psychology. Most professionals will charge based on their credentials. There are two important factors to consider when it comes to ensuring your psychologist has the proper credentials. One is whether they have had any formal training. It’s important that all psychologists and social workers obtain an education from a respected (and accredited) college or university. The second critical factor is if they are licensed or not. Psychologists and social workers should be licensed by the state they are practicing in. Always ask for a licensing number before you start your session. Those with a Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate degree will be licensed in order to become a ‘psychologist’. Clinical social workers will have an L.C.S.W number in front of their degree. Make sure you always ask about their licensing level as well as any additional associations or organizations that they are a part of.
  • Experience: Although many clients find success with a psychologist who is straight out of school, most would prefer to choose a psychologist in New York who has at least ten years experience in the profession. Your chosen psychologist should feel comfortable and confident providing you with guidance; often this degree of comfort is only attained through experience. Many patients will ask their psychologist about previous experience working with their specific condition as a way to see if they are a good fit.
  • The Financial Aspect: As mentioned above, many Manhattan psychologists will charge based on their credentials. Although money should be no object when it comes to your mental health, it often is: after all, how can you work towards a stress free life when the overdue bills continue to pile up? Most health insurance companies will offer a limited number of therapy sessions to their members. Check with your current insurance company to see the fine print. It is standard to offer 8-12 sessions with constant monitoring from the insurance company. Then, once your progress has been assessed, the insurance company will either authorize continued treatment or not. Of course, there are many cons that come with using health insurance to pay for your therapy sessions. For one, you are losing that confidentiality as your insurance company now has the right to audit your sessions. If you are worried about the finances involved in therapy, it is best to choose a therapist in Manhattan that accepts all insurance carriers. Out-of-Network providers allow you to claim your sessions back at the end of each month and offer a little more freedom and security when it comes to your mental health.
  • The Level of Comfort: Keep in mind that, when it comes to your mental health, it’s important that you are moving forward, not backwards. Everyone is different and it’s important to find the right fit. If you feel uncomfortable with your current psychologist, don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to take a different approach and step away. Feeling comfortable with your psychologist is the first stepping stone towards a more confident you.
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