As a therapist or a mental health professional, the success of your work output depends on your patient's progress. Even if sometimes the progress is out of your control, this might be a metric you use to gauge whether you're making a difference in someone's life or not. It is difficult dealing with patients that have a tough time accepting treatment. Sometimes, even advanced and heavily researched techniques such as plain Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) may not be enough. Luckily for yo...
As God’s very Word, the Bible should be our number one source of comfort, peace, encouragement, and hope. But I’ll be honest, as a Christian who struggles with anxiety, there are some verses that have become almost cliché to me. I’m not saying these verses aren’t important or don’t have their place, I know that is not true because I believe God’s Word is inspired and inerrant. However, when I am in the trenches of the despairing moments that anxiety brings, hearing scripture misquoted or of...
As a doctor or a mental health professional, you probably receive many messages every day on your phone from people who are worried about their health. The past one and a half years have got us all very stressed, with each cough wondering whether we are slowly developing symptoms for the deadly disease. Enter COVID-19, exit all sanity. It's not uncommon for many people to judge for themselves the state of their current health, WebMD at their disposal. We are all human, and we're built with ...
Fifty million people in the United States are currently addicted to nicotine. That’s fifty million packs of cigarettes or tobacco products a day that these people are consuming, setting aside their regards for their health. We know all the bad stuff that comes with smoking. For example, the chances of getting a heart or lung disease increase with smoking and passive smoking. We’ve seen the horror show clips of people suffering from some form of mouth or face cancer in hospitals regretting e...
Alcohol, like all drugs, is no doubt addictive despite being a socially acceptable option. There are far more people that have tried alcohol than there are that have been attempting drugs. You can gift it as a housewarming present, use it to celebrate that big promotion, and even use it for cooking. Why is all that possible? Well, it's legal, normal, and in many social settings, it is expected from you. Alcohol is a feel-good substance; hence you will probably take it when you need a little...
The human mind is a brilliant and complex organ capable of amazing things. However, once traumatized, a person's brain becomes susceptible to several biological changes in critical locations. Through the feats of modern-day science, the process of neuroimaging has allowed us to see what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can do to the chemical processes that occur in our brain. These neurochemical changes can be found in the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortex. The amygd...
With the constant clamor and bustle of one's daily life, it's only bound to happen that we may forget to take care of our health. In the interest of staying one step ahead, we want to move faster to keep up if the world moves fast. Especially when we're young and have a lot of energy currency with us, we expend it on our struggles and ambitions. It is no wonder that today's working generation is as stressed as ever. I'm sure if we were to have the option of a magic pill that could relieve u...
Whether it's from a 2000's movie about a millionaire or on the Instagram of a famous rapper, you've undoubtedly seen the glamour and glorification of one of the most common drugs mentioned in pop culture, Xanax. What started as casually "popping a Xany" has ended up as one of the most severe drug dependency issues in the modern world. Alprazolam (sold under the name Xanax) is found in the class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which are known for their tranquilizing effects on the brain. It...
Below you will find 99 daily journal prompts that can be used as part of a Bible study group. You can choose to participate in a JournalOwl community group with a secure video or use this in a live setting with your own church or small group. Each week you will complete a set number of journal prompts, then you will meet with your group weekly to discuss the assigned prompts.
We begin with a simple scenario. Imagine yourself alone in a room. You might be working on your laptop, or reading a book, or even just relaxing. Suddenly you hear a buzz or a ring from your phone. You perk up and immediately reach for it. It might be the email you were expecting from your boss or a text from someone you like. It arouses your curiosity, and your heart starts beating faster. It doesn't matter what ends showing up on your screen; the only thing that matters is now, you are in...
Public speaking is difficult for many reasons. The speaking anxiety a person feels before a performance can be overwhelming. Doubt, fear, and discomfort about people watching and criticizing the speech creep in and all of those fears can seem impossible. Thankfully, there are ways to address these feelings.
Suicide rates in men have been on a rising trend for the last 30 years. Due to the pandemic, these numbers can still not be chalked up to the last one and a half years. This is a severe ever-present issue in our society today and has been rearing its ugly head for decades. Recent studies have shown an increase in suicide rates in men in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and many other countries. There is a growing concern among researchers to bring down these numbers, and there is the urgency to ...
Some days, you say “thank you” a dozen or more times. Someone brings you coffee, so you say, “thank you.” Someone else grabs lunch, so you say “thanks” once again. These small acts of kindness continue throughout the day, so you say “thank you” repeatedly.
Porn addiction is a heavily debated topic in psychology. From early research on sexual deviancy by Dr. Sigmund Freud to new world technology consisting of real-life robots you can be intimate with – notes on sex and the brain are unceasing. The world revolves around sex. At least, for some people, it does. It is an excellent time to let you know that porn addiction and sex addiction are not the same things. Although both are categorized as needing to indulge in compulsive sexual behavior to...
You see them; your worst enemy. There is one thing about disliking someone, but you absolutely loathe this person. They make you struggle to get out of bed because you know you have to face them. It feels like they wipe away all the energy you have to give. You can’t focus because they seem to be everywhere. They are even staring right back at you in your mirror.
It's normal to feel stressed about taking a test, moving to a new place, or starting a new job. Although this type of anxiety is offensive, it may settle with time and does not interfere with your everyday life. Ordinary anxiety may help motivate you to work harder and to do a better job.
You are in one of the most important business meetings of your career. Your bosses are questioning your work ethic. For some reason, you can not focus to save your life even though you truly want to. You may look out the window because you saw a bird pass by or daydream that you wish you were flying versus being in an uncomfortable meeting. When you look back to your manager, you realize your boss asked you a question, they look upset, and now you don't know what to do.
You wake up startled, dripping with sweat. You touch your neck, and your heart is beating wildly. It feels like your body is vibrating from the strength of your heartbeats. You change quickly into clothes and fumble, trying to find your car keys to get to the hospital.
If you are a new Christian or new to Christian journaling, you may have some questions about the religion and what it means to be a Christian. This guide will address 31 of the most frequently asked questions by Christian journalers. When we have questions about God, the best place to look for answers is in His Word, thus this guide will rely on scripture to answer each question below. My prayer for you as you read this article is that you would seek the truth about God and that you would r...
After the global pandemic, everyone has felt a level of Zoom fatigue. Classes, meetings, and social gatherings were all on Zoom for hours at a time. It would almost feel like Groundhog day because each morning while staying in pajamas or at least the bottoms, people would open up their computers to see themselves with faint remembrance and then “connect” with others. While initially fun and exciting as the new video-chat service, it soon became the bane of everyone’s existence.
When you are trapped in another day of excruciating pain, you feel stuck within your own body with no escape. Most people don’t understand the impact that chronic pain has on your day-to-day life. It makes everything more challenging from getting ready in the morning, to relationships, to working, to sleeping. Chronic pain impacts almost every facet of life in one way or another, and it’s been linked to greater rates of anxiety, depression, disability, and lower overall quality of life. For...
You have the exact same day planned. You have your luke-warm at best office coffee stirring within in the communal office space. As you reach for the refrigerator door, with a small glimmer of hope to enjoy your yogurt, it is shot as you discover someone from your group practice has eaten it.
Becoming a parent is one of the most pivotal life transitions. In the matter of a year, the decision to journey into parenthood leaves your life forever changed. After the birth of a new child, so much happens so quickly. Aside from the sleepless nights, frequent waking, recovery from pregnancy, and constant questioning if you’re doing everything right, there’s plenty of small moments in-between that are easy to miss. And at the same time, you don’t want to miss any of them.
As a therapist, many parents often ask me about if they should read their daughter’s diary. Diaries are often a private record of a teen’s day to day life, or they may be more expressive and less frequent in their entries like a journal. Because of the private nature of diaries, this can lead some parents to want to question or read their daughter’s diary to know what is truly going on in their lives.
Starting your own Christian counseling practice may seem daunting. There are so many things to consider like what type of credentials you need, what services you want to provide, where you will practice, and not to mention all the logistics of starting your own business. However, starting your own Christian counseling practice can be a rewarding and exciting endeavor. This guide will help walk you through some of the decisions you will need to make as well as some of the practical steps nee...
Think of your diary like a best friend that you can tell your secrets but never worry about back-stabbing or one of your secrets going out into the world. Your diary is a safe haven where you can be exactly who you want to be and get to know yourself more through the process of writing each day.
Most of us wouldn’t hesitate to say we love our family. We may list reasons why we love each member of our family, reflect on shared experiences, or talk about the connection and bond we have with our family members. However, if we expand our definition of family to include our extended family, while we still may say we love them, most of us would identify at least one family member that we just struggle to enjoy – the crazy aunt, the grumpy grandpa, the annoying in-law, the trouble-maker c...
In weeks since the outbreak of COVID19 over 30 million Americans have filed initial unemployment claims. While the numbers of weekly filings have been continuously decreasing since their peak at the end of March, the weekly filing rates are still in the millions.
Using journaling regularly has many benefits, but it can be challenging to start this practice when you have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a mental health disorder characterized by difficulties in organization, planning, self-regulation, and attention. For people with ADHD, it is often challenging to start tasks that require time to sit down, and it can be hard to finish them as well. Because of this, journaling can be hard for someone with ADHD. First you have to...
We like to think we know our best friends and lovers, but how well do we actually know them? Typically, there is not a topic of discussion that begins with questions like "If you could choose one of my personality traits to be universal among everyone, what trait would that be?" You talk about the mundane and sometimes surface-level conversation reserving the "how well do you know me" questions for courting or beginning a friendship.
COVID-19 has taken the form of a global pandemic, and as we know, in these debilitating times, where we are exposed to a gazillion negative news and a never-ending state of fear, it becomes quite easy to get a catastrophizing mindset.
Technically speaking, Stockholm Syndrome refers to a particular emotional, physical, and psychological experience that people go through in hostage situations. In popular culture, we refer to anyone who seems overly compliant and sympathetic with an abuser as a person with Stockholm Syndrome. In the era of #MeToo, examples of powerful women being abused by even more powerful men has opened our eyes to the reality that Stockholm Syndrome as we popularly refer to it can happen to anyone, not ...
There is no wonder that therapy is considered a social science, as it is the art of relating to someone and how we delve through our problems. Initially, when asked to think about therapy, we might envision a Rorschach painting where you determine your psychosis through ink blobs or something akin to a power imbalance between you and your therapist. Carl Rogers flipped this idea of therapy on its head when he created Client-Centered Therapy.
Coping mechanisms are crucial to help people deal with stressful situations and negative emotions that come from them. However, not all coping mechanisms are created equal, and sometimes, what we think of as coping mechanisms actually do more harm than good. That’s why it’s important to learn about coping mechanisms, and have them in mind for when life throws stressful situations our way.
If you are reading this article, you likely are dealing with someone who uses deflection. If you aren’t sure that someone you know uses deflection, you are likely reading this article because you have a suspicion or hint that someone may be using deflection. In most cases, it can be really challenging to know if someone is using deflection or not, and if they are, what you should do about it. In this article, I’ll walk you through understanding what deflection is, the signs of it, and how t...
When you think of narcissism, an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend typically comes to mind. They knew how to charm and delight you, but then things changed at a moment's notice. They became harsher, critical, and abusive to make you feel smaller and worthless. The term "narcissist" is a term that has become popularized through the use of social media and other forms to gain more attention. Narcissism has become an informal term to describe someone so horrible that there HAS to be something wrong w...
Imagine the remorseless serial killer from our collective nightmares. He hurts and takes from people without a second thought, seeing them as objects rather than as fellow human beings that deserve the same respect he has for himself. He can be a charming liar—easily evading investigation and throwing suspicion on other people when it suits him, not caring if it means that more innocent people get hurt. He won’t stop rampaging through society until he gets caught or killed, and by the time ...
All the lights are off in the house except the soft glow of an internet browser, highlighting the user's face. It is a comforting glow to some as they watch pornographic content to escape the hardships of life. This enticing light and content create a deeper wound than one would expect if you have an addiction.
You’ve probably seen the term gaslighting before. It was even named one of the most popular words by Oxford Dictionaries in 2018. Gaslighting refers to actions of undermining another person’s reality by denying their truth, the environment, or their feelings. It can be a subtle manipulation technique, or it can be more recognizable. In this article, you’ll learn about what gaslighting is, how to recognize it, and how to heal from it.
Almost one-half of the population is introverted meaning that most people are trying to survive in an extroverted world. If you are reading this article, you may be an introvert, or you may be wondering if you are an introvert. There is no denying that the world we live in was built for those who thrive in large social gatherings. Because of this, some people can feel shame or embarrassment over being an introvert. That’s in part because there are many incorrect assumptions about what it me...
Empathy is a double-edged sword. The ability to understand another person’s thoughts and feel their feelings makes for an extraordinarily loving friend, family member, coworker, boss, or partner. One of the most basic human desires is the wish to be understood by others. So when we come across true empaths, we rejoice! Finally—someone who sees who we are, what we’re going through, and feels it on a deep level. We feel seen and loved.
So, you think that you might be stuck with a bad therapist or have started questioning some of the things your therapist has done. Or maybe you have recently started looking for a therapist. counselor, or psychologist, and want to know what bad qualities you should watch out for.
Many people seek out wisdom and guidance from the Bible when they are struggling with a particular emotion or difficult circumstance. It is full of verses about comfort for the brokenhearted, encouragement for the disheartened, and peace for the anxious.
Have you been struggling with anxiety, depression, life transitions, and are looking for the next step to help you with your mental health issue? Are you thinking that it is time to make some changes in your life to feel better and happier? If so, that is a sign that you may be ready for professional help from a therapist. counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist.
Depression is like wearing a weighted coat while you try to swim in rough seas. You continue to try your best to keep afloat; you feel consumed by exhaustion, despair, and loneliness as you get battered by the waves that make you think that it might be easier to give up.
Grief holds a unique place in the human experience. It’s intensely personal and universal. Everyone who cares about someone or something will go through it, since nothing and no one is eternal. At its core, grief is what we go through when we experience loss—suddenly or slowly, expected or surprising, big or small, it doesn’t matter.
A growing body of research indicates that our society is becoming more addicted to the internet, and more specifically, to social media. Are you hopelessly addicted? If it's impacting your non-digital life; maybe it's time to take action. This guide will help.
There are many damaging effects of long-term anxiety. Those who experience high levels of constant stress often deal with a decline in mental and physical health. It's essential to understand how much anxiety can affect one's health. While anxiety is the body's healthy response to danger--it can be cognitively damaging if one has an anxiety disorder.
The numbers show that depression in America and around the world significantly increased due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, people need to look after their mental health as this problem continues to rise. Thankfully, there are many ways people can learn to reduce this coronavirus stress.
Stressful situations are bound to happen at work. The problem is, constant stress in the workplace develops long-term health problems. You spend a lot of time at work, and you want to do well at your job. You need to take of yourself and reduce workplace stress.
People are beginning to have a better understanding of the benefits of therapy. Mental health is becoming a much larger conversation with today's challenges. People face all kinds of issues, and many need help but don't know where to get it. There are many reasons you might look for a therapist, but sometimes you need help in an emergency, or you might feel anxiety having an in-person therapist.
Humans are moving faster than ever. With the rise of technology, our ability to get things done has significantly improved. While humans can get more done, people nowadays are also much more tired, stressed out, and burnt out. Humans need to be more mindful.
Resentment is a bitterness that not many people can forget. You can feel the bitterness in smaller and larger scale acts against you such as from Susie in the 5th grade not giving you back your favorite dinosaur pencil to much more severe cases like gut-wrenching betrayal, abuse, and pain that has its nails in your heart.
Celebrities are humans too. Part of the challenge of being famous is that people have less sympathy and empathy for celebrities when facing hardships. They think since popular actors, singers, and athletes are wealthy, they don't face the same problems everyone else does.
The pandemic continues to be a daily struggle for everyone's mental health today. The world has adjusted to the new normal, but the trouble is no one knows when the normal we once knew will come back. The anxiety of the situation can cause many mental health struggles that people should strategically and adequately address.
As we enter the year 2021, many people are struggling with maintaining their mental health. One option that a large number of people are turning to is online therapy. Therapy has been shown to help individuals build trust, talk through issues, and take control of their life.
People who faced childhood emotional neglect or CEN continue to struggle with many challenges even after becoming adults. CEN struggles cause complications for people because it’s difficult to identify the source of emotional wounds, unlike physical injuries.
Are you focused on your mental health in 2021? If so, JournalOwl's top 101 mental health blogs of 2021 can help. These blogs cover various mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and OCD. Bookmark these blogs so you can use them as resources throughout the year. Of course, we're biased with JournalOwl leading the pack!
Anxiety and panic attacks are awful. Your quality of life suffers, your physical health can be impacted, and relationships tend to suffer. If you are someone who suffers from anxiety or panic attacks, there is hope. It will not last forever. You can overcome it.
The Word of God is the Bible. As a Christian, understanding scripture and how to apply it to your life is a lifelong pursuit. Connecting with God and developing a deep relationship with him is accomplished through prayer and studying the Word of God. Christians are encouraged to analyze the Word and relate it’s often aged meaning to their modern lifestyle. It can be challenging to interpret the Bible as it relates to modern times.
Parenting is never easy, especially for new parents. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that revives your whole life. Blessed with a baby recently? Is he/she freaking you out? Well, it's normal! Kids come down from heaven on a special mission and that is to turn their parents’ life upside down. And now that you have brought them to the world, you need to handle them kindly and wisely.
If you go to a bookstore, you’ll see book after book that contains someone’s life story. These life stories were written by well-known people, including Barack and Michelle Obama, Maya Angelou, Anthony Bourdain, Stephen King, and others. It’s easy to understand why people want to read their life stories, but what about your account? Does your life story have value?
Your business plan should serve as your company’s foundation (U.S. Small Business Administration, n.d.). It should include information about all stages of your business, from the startup phase to the exit strategy. Because the document is so important, you need to prepare before you start writing.
Experts recommend that adults get at least seven hours of sleep each night (CDC, n.d.). If you get less than that, you will increase your risk of severe health problems, including heart attacks, strokes, chronic kidney disease, and cancer. Your mental health can also suffer, causing you to feel depressed, anxious, and irritable.
It’s not unusual to be concerned about your health when you are sick. You want to live a long and healthy life, so if you become ill, you can’t help but worry. You probably undergo medical treatment to get better and then might make some changes to safeguard your health. For instance, if you come down with the flu, your handwashing behaviors might improve. If you suffer a heart attack, you’d likely change your diet and start exercising.
Seventy-eight percent of workers live paycheck to paycheck, and almost 75 percent are in debt (Friedman, 2019). You don’t want to find yourself in the same situation, so you need a strategy to put money in the bank and earn your first million before turning 40.
Does it seem like life is busier than ever before? You are always putting out fires or handling obligations, and it all becomes a blur. When you’re always hustling, it can be challenging to find the joy in life. That, in turn, makes it hard to be grateful. Fortunately, you don’t have to make a significant life change to bring gratitude into your life. You can accomplish it by starting a gratitude journal. Committing as little as five minutes a day to writing in a gratitude journal can chan...
Everything seems normal, and then, you notice your heart throbbing, pounding, fluttering, or skipping a beat. You can’t help but feel anxious and might even worry you’re about to have a heart attack. You end up going to the doctor for a checkup, and the provider mentions your heart palpitations could be an electrolyte imbalance. Part of you is relieved. After all, an electrolyte imbalance sure sounds better than a heart attack. You’re also confused, though. What is an electrolyte imbalance,...
People have been interested in pornography since the beginning of time. If you were to explore the La Magdelaine caves, you’d find sketches of naked women that date back to 15,000 BC. (Kushner, 2019). The cave art was replaced with clay tablets, which early porn enthusiasts used to write sonnets about female anatomy. Then, books became the medium of choice, and Pietro Aretino emerged as the first pornographer, filling pages with sex positions so tawdry that the pope issued a ban. Generation...
For countless Americans, reaching and maintaining an ideal weight is a struggle. In 2015–16, 71.6 percent of American adults aged 20 and over were obese or overweight, according to the CDC. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016).
Your struggles with PTSD can bring daily challenges and frequent reminders of how much this disorder has impacted your life. Whether you’ve been recently diagnosed or you’re already very familiar with the ups and downs of symptoms, you know that having supportive people around you and keeping a positive and optimistic mindset are critical to your progress, your recovery, and your overall wellbeing.
Let’s say a college student is delivering a speech in her college for a debating competition. Everything is going fine, and she has done all the important research work she needed to do for the speech. However, as she is delivering it, she forgets an important point, and she takes a long pause for 10 seconds to collect her thoughts and come back.
Cognitive distortions include different patterns that restrict our capacity towards achieving our optimum potential to reach our life goals. These often arise from a fixed mindset filtering out the positives and only emphasizing the negative. With this type of mindset, you can quickly sabotage your best efforts.
Let’s suppose you’re going to a concert with your friends and all your friends are expecting their favorite band to sing and perform for them. They have dressed up and are in their best mood for the evening. Whereas you are thinking about the dress that doesn’t fit you the way you were expecting it to fit.
Lifestyle modifications are one of the critical ways to overcoming anxiety and depression, and diet plays a major role in a person's lifestyle. Most people wonder whether or not excess sugar consumption is the cause of anxiety, and if cutting it out has the potential to treat anxiety or ease its troublesome symptoms. In this article, we will be exploring the relationship between sugar intake and anxiety and ways to make sure that your plate is not contributing to anxiety attacks.
Exercise is defined as any physical movement that requires your body to burn calories and makes your muscles work. Experts divide physical activities into different types, including walking, running, jogging, swimming, dancing, and cycling to name a few.
If you are thinking about kicking your smoking habit, you are not alone. Nearly 6 of 10 chain smokers say they want to quit. Quitting all forms of smoking is the best gift you can give to yourself as it harms nearly every organ and tissues in your body, from the heart to kidneys, and blood vessels to the brain.
It's your first day at work, and you're excited to meet all your colleagues and be at the job you've always dreamed of, but as soon you greet a tired fellow with a smiley "Good Morning!", he hits you back with a cold "Mornin'" while sipping his hot coffee and not even bothering to note the new sound at the office. Then you suddenly fall prey to a cascade of negative emotions in which you are mostly bombarding your mind with assumptions of all kinds.
All-or-nothing thinking means perceiving and analyzing different conditions with an extreme approach. Either the interpretation is too positive or too negative for an event. For example, we might call ourselves an erred human for failing at something and think we would only be loved if we achieve a certain goal. This is an all-or-nothing thinking approach.
At an early age, I was particularly in tune with how I felt about a given situation or person. I could “feel” things (or so I thought) that other people could not. My emotions would lead me in many directions at once – sometimes in a productive manner, but most of the time in a trivial direction.
Whether you are suffering from an acute disease like a common cold or a chronic disorder like diabetes, consulting a doctor is necessary to receive appropriate advice for relieving the symptoms. However, most often, patients ignore the need to visit a physician just because of the lack of time.
A food diary can reveal a lot about your own personality, especially your eating habits. At my medical practice, I continually encounter people who have benefited greatly from keeping a food diary to overcome obesity while better managing chronic diseases like depression and hypertension.
Have you thought of keeping a journal during pregnancy? For most women, it may seem like just another task at the time they already feel weighed down by stress and challenges. The physical changes occurring in the body during pregnancy, symptoms like morning sickness, and much more…
Abstaining from a bad habit is not easy. Chemicals like nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and sugar are very addictive to human beings. With sheer will power, an individual can often abstain from addictive substances for a short period of time, but inevitably a stressful event (or trigger) occurs in life.
At your last doctor’s office visit, the nurse unwraps the cuff from your arm and writes down the reading in your chart. You find it odd that she does not say “great blood pressure” like she has so many times in the past, but you shrug it off.
It seems like life as you know it has changed overnight. One day, you were going to work, restaurants, movies, and more. Now, you are sheltering in place, wondering if you or your loved one will develop COVID-19 symptoms. Your anxiety likely spikes when you do venture out to the grocery store, where you’re greeted with empty shelves and people wearing masks trying to stay the mandated six feet apart.
JournalOwl is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, medication, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding any mental health symptoms or conditions. JournalOwl is not authorized to make recommendations about medication or serve as a substitute for professional advice. You should never disregard professional psychological or medical advice, or delay in seeking treatment, based on anything you read on JournalOwl’s website or platform.