By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

I love that I get to do a lot of relationship counseling and coaching as part of my practice. As you may have experienced, when we have conflict in our most important relationships, it can really be hard to focus on anything else until we resolve that conflict.

Years ago, I found a great resource for relationship conflict resolution on the website www.therapistaid.com. I have modified the info to make it easier to remember and to put into action.

This info is useful in premarital counseling to give couples a tool for success, and it is useful for couples who have been together for any length of time to guide them towards healing through conflict. Couples are supposed to be a team. And all winning teams play from the same playbook—so this info becomes part of a couple’s relationship playbook.

Whenever you find yourself in a relationship conflict situation, try using the acrostic FLIRT to start moving towards healing and resolution.

FLIRT

F—Focus—start by focusing on the problem, not the person!

Whenever a disagreement turns to personal insults, raised voices or rude and mocking tones, the discussion is no longer useful or productive. It is wise to stay focused on the actual problem without playing the blame game. And if the disagreement becomes personal, nothing will likely be resolved, so it is smart to hit the pause button and take a breather.

L—Listening—use reflective listening!

Have you ever noticed how during arguments we focus more on getting our own point across instead of listening to our partner? Sometimes we can spend the entire time that they are talking just thinking about our rebuttals and comebacks—not productive! What is much more productive is reflective listening. This is where, when the other person finishes speaking, you restate what they have said in your own words. You do this until they agree that you truly understand them. Next, you share your side and then it is their turn to reflect back what you said. Reflective listening helps both side feel listened to and understood.

I—Use “I” Statements!

This is a common practice in support groups and 12 step groups to keep the conversation healthy. Here’s how it works: when sharing a concern, begin your sentence with “I”. For example— “I feel angry when you are late for dinner”. This sentence format shows that we are taking responsibility for our emotions instead of blaming our partner. When we start with “you”, we can put our partner on the defensive which makes it harder to have healing and resolution.

R—Resolution

Remember that the goal is to work toward a resolution. Conflict and disagreements are a normal part of relationships. But if it seems clear that you and your partner will not agree, focus on a resolution instead. Try to find a compromise that benefits you both. Relationships aren’t just about what you get out of them—they are about giving. Ask yourself if this disagreement really matters to your relationship, and if not, then let yourself let go and move on.

T—Know When to Take a Time Out!

Just one mean or negative statement made to your partner can cause lasting damage. If you and your partner become argumentative, insulting or aggressive, then it’s a great idea to take a time-out. Have it be part of the culture of your relationship that you or your partner can call for a break when needed. Spend some time doing something alone that is relaxing. When both parties have calmed down, then you can return to solving the problem. And definitely be sure that you do return—it isn’t wise to leave important matters unresolved.

Next time you find yourself in conflict, try the FLIRT method to move towards healing. Better yet, share this info with your most significant relationships even before the next conflict arises so that everyone is playing from the same playbook!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic or answer any questions you may have.

Phone:        949-303-8264

Email:         randy@randymoraitis.com

Website:      www.randymoraitis.com

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/RandyMoraitisCoach/

Instagram:  @randymoraitis

About Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC


Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues through counseling, coaching and interventions. He is an award-winning Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelor’s degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been leading groups, individuals and families to mental, physical and spiritual health in Orange County for over 25 years. His office is located in Laguna Niguel, CA.

 

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

I love helping people have breakthroughs in whatever areas may be holding them back in life! Frequently, I get to work with clients affected by anxiety and depression–both of which are much more common than most people are aware. When someone is struggling with anxiety and/or depression (which are often like two sides of the same coin), every area of their life is impacted–relationships, career, health and wellness. I usually can’t coach them to success in these other areas until their anxiety and depression are either managed or conquered.
Did you know that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment. And people with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders. It’s not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression or vice versa.

Over the past 15 years I’ve had the opportunity to lead numerous anxiety and depression support groups with sometimes up to 100 brave and wonderful participants. In one of these early groups I learned a great lesson from a psychiatrist I recruited to help lead the group, and I want to share that lesson here with you!

The lesson is to use Kills, Fills, Skills and Pills as a tool for conquering or managing anxiety and/or depression.

KILLS–this is where you look at what are the toxins in your life that could contribute to anxiety or depression. What are the causes or stressors that you have in your life that you can kill or eliminate? Examples of things to kill (or at least reduce) include drug or alcohol abuse, poor nutrition, toxic relationships, too much caffeine. You get the idea.

Stop and ask yourself right now–what could you kill?

FILLS–these are healthy things that we can add to our lives. Examples of fills include exercise, proper nutrition (good food=good mood!), nurturing friendships, prayer, support groups, and counseling.

Stop and ask yourself right now–what is a healthy fill that you can start doing?

SKILLS–this is where you make the effort to learn some new skills to learn how to cope with stress in healthy ways. Healthy skills to learn include mindful breathing exercises, setting and maintaining boundaries, processing anger, and processing grief.

Stop and ask yourself right now–what is one skill that you could learn to be healthier?

PILLS–this is where we ask whether supplements or medication may be needed as part of the treatment. While it is best to get your nutrition from a balanced diet, often times people who are experiencing anxiety and depression don’t feel like cooking so they may not have the best diet. Some supplements that may be helpful include fish oil, Vitamin D, 5 HTP, and CALM. And sometimes prescription medication may be necessary–there should be no shame or stigma if this is the case.

Stop and ask yourself right now–could supplements or medication help me? If you answer yes, please make an appointment to see your physician to discuss!

If you are ever affected by anxiety or depression, give Kills, Fills, Skills and Pills a try as a tool to help you manage, or even conquer, your anxiety or depression.

If you are having severe symptoms I urge you to contact your physician immediately and to get counseling to learn more tools for healing. Please feel free to contact me if you need a referral to a psychiatrist or if you’d like to learn more about counseling and coaching for anxiety and depression.

Phone:      949-303-8264

Email:       randy@randymoraitis.com
Website:    www.randymoraitis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RandyMoraitisCoach/
Twitter:     @rmoraitis

About Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC


Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues through counseling, coaching and interventions. He is an award winning Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelor’s degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been leading groups, individuals and families to mental, physical and spiritual health in Orange County for over 25 years.

greif

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

I recently lost a very dear friend to an unexpected and sudden death and have naturally been grieving her passing. I also currently happen to have several clients that I am counseling and coaching through seasons of grief. So this seems like an appropriate time to share about the 5 stages of grief.

We can experience grief with any type of serious loss. In addiction to the death of a loved one, we may experience grief from divorce, a hard break-up, even from getting fired from a job we liked.

We all deal with grief in different ways. Some may cry for days on end and completely neglect their own self care. Others may even laugh because they cope with pain using humor. While still others may just feel totally numb–perhaps even judging themselves for not crying or laughing like other people.

There is no right way to grieve. Grieving styles vary from person to person and culture to culture.

The most well known model of grief is from Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and is well known as The 5 Stages of Grief. Here are the stages in order, but remember, someone who is grieving may go through these stages in any order, and may even return to previous stages.

1. DENIAL–This is where a person may say, “This can’t be happening.” They can refuse to accept the hard fact that a loss has occurred. They may minimize or outright deny the situation. It is suggested that loved ones and professionals be forward and honest about losses to not prolong the denial stage.

2. ANGER“Why is this happening to me?” When an individual realizes that a loss has occurred, they may become angry at themselves or others. They may argue that the situation is unfair and try to place blame. They may be angry at God, at another person, or even at themselves.

3. BARGAINING“I will do anything to change this.” In bargaining, the person may try to change or delay their loss. For example, they may try to convince a partner to return after a breakup, or search for unlikely cures in the case of a terminal illness. They may even try to bargain with God.

4. DEPRESSION“What’s the point of going on after this loss?” At the stage of depression the individual has come to recognize that a loss has occurred or will occur. The individual may isolate themselves and spend time crying and grieving. They may have trouble sleeping, lose focus at work or school, or lose bodyweight. The good news about this stage is that depression is a precursor to acceptance because the individual has come to recognize their loss.

5. ACCEPTANCE “It’s going to be okay.” Finally, the individual will come to accept their loss. They understand the situation logically, and they have come to terms emotionally with the situation. At this point the person is more able to move on with their life.

If you are currently experience grief of any sort, I strongly encourage you to seek support. Even though you may feel like isolating, processing through your grief with wise and healthy support is highly recommended and may actually reduce the length of your grieving process.

Many hospitals and churches offer free grief support groups. There are also many wise counselors and therapists who can help you process your grief in a healthy way. Be sure to ask if they have experience with grief recovery. There is also an organization called GriefShare that can help you find local grief support groups. You can also sign up for a daily encouraging email on their website: https://www.griefshare.org/.

Special thanks to GriefShare and TherapistsAid for info used in this post.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.
Call me at 949-303-8264
Email:       randy@randymoraitis.com
Websites:  www.carepossible.comwww.randymoraitis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RandyMoraitisCoach/
Twitter:     @rmoraitis

About Randy Moraitis, MA, BCPC, CIP

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues through counseling, coaching and interventions. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been leading groups, individuals and families to mental, physical and spiritual healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

intervention

If you have a loved one or employee struggling with substance use disorder or other dysfunctional behavior, then the information in this blog post could literally save their life.

You have probably heard that someone with a substance use disorder needs to hit a rock bottom before they will be open to help. There is truth to that. But the part you may not be aware of is that we do not have to helplessly wait around for our loved one to hit that bottom.

In fact, doing so could lead to their suffering a fatal overdose. Harvard University, in conjunction with the Boston Police Department, did a study where they sent undercover officers to multiple locations in the Boston area to purchase illegal drugs on the street. The drugs were then taken back to a lab for analysis.

The findings were very scary–most of the drugs purchased by the undercover officers tested positive for substances other than what the dealers claimed they were. For example, what was sold as heroin was often a synthetic opioid or some other combination of substances which often included the very deadly drug fentanyl.

These findings show that loved ones with a substance use disorder may just be one use away from a fatal overdose. And with 160 fatal overdoses daily in our country, simply waiting around for our loved ones to hit rock bottom may prove to be a fatal decision. All too frequently these days, rock bottom can be death.

Ken Seeley, interventionist on the long running, multi Emmy Award winning TV show A&E’s INTERVENTION has developed the HELPS model to guide interventionists and families to work together in raising the bottom, or creating a rock bottom, to help save a loved one’s life and move them into recovery. The HELPS model looks at five areas where the consequences of addiction take their toll.

HELPS Model

Health–Addiction is a physical disease affecting the user’s body from the inside out. Consequences range from liver disease, skin abscesses, premature aging, psychiatric disorders, memory loss, central nervous system damage, and eventually death. Sometimes it is a health issue that motivates the loved one to move towards recovery.

Environmental–It has been proven that environmental factors strongly influences or arrests the development and subsequent behaviors of someone with substance use disorder. Are you supporting the recovery of the loved one, or enabling their addictive behavior?

Legal–Addiction frequently involves legal consequences such as DUI’s, arrests, marital separation, divorce, loss of child custody, and exclusion from wills. Often times the loved one will engage in illegal activities in order to support or maintain their habit.

Personal finances–Addiction creates financial crisis including job termination, eviction, foreclosure, and even bankruptcy. Supporting a loved one by giving them money, paying their bills or employing them can enable their addiction.

Spiritual–Has your loved one lost faith, hope and peace in their life? Addiction is also a spiritual affliction that robs the loved one of their spirituality leaving them to feel hopeless and alone.

By identifying which of the five areas above are affecting your loved one, then determining how to leverage that area and set healthy boundaries and consequences in a respectful and family-unified manner, HELPS manually raises the rock bottom instead of playing the deadly game of waiting for the loved one to hit rock bottom on their own–which could mean a fatal overdose.

The disease of addiction is taking too many lives and we have to find smarter, more effective ways to save our loved one’s lives. Using the HELPS model is a smart way to go.

If you think you or a loved one may have an addiction, please feel free to call or email me for a free consultation. Addiction is serious, but intervention and treatment can save lives.

Call me at 949-303-8264 or email me at randy@randymoraitis.com
Websites:  www.carepossible.comwww.randymoraitis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RandyMoraitisCoach/
Twitter:     @rmoraitis

About Randy Moraitis, MA, BCPC, CIP

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues through counseling, coaching and interventions. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been leading groups, individuals and families to mental, physical and spiritual healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

Addiction Infographic

This is a great info-graphic on the basic science of addiction.  I believe it is important for communities and families to get educated about addiction.

What are your thoughts? Does it raise any questions for you? Is there anything you would add?

I would love to hear your comments!

Call me at 949-303-8264 or email me at randy@randymoraitis.com
Websites:  www.carepossible.comwww.randymoraitis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RandyMoraitisCoach/
Twitter:     @rmoraitis

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!) Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

Adverse childhood experiences, also known as ACEs, are adverse or traumatic childhood experiences that damage a child’s developing brain in such a way that the effects can show up years later. ACES can cause chronic disease, mental illness and other serious issues.

“ACEs” comes from the CDC-Kaiser Adverse Childhood Experiences Study which showed that childhood trauma leads to the onset of adult of chronic diseases, depression and other mental illness, violence and being the victim of violence.

The ACE study has published 70 research papers and hundreds more research papers have been published based on the ACE study.

The researchers measured these 10 ACEs:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Physical neglect
  • Emotional neglect
  • A family member who is depressed or diagnosed with other mental illness
  • A family member who is addicted to drugs or alcohol
  • A family member in prison
  • Witnessing a mother being abused
  • Losing a parent to separation, divorce or other reason

The ACEs study is extremely significant because ACEs cause chronic disease such as cancer and heart disease, as well as mental illness and violence.

Nadine Burke Harris, MD, MPH did an amazing TedTalk on this issue which I highly recommend. Here is a link: TedTalk on ACEs.

As a counselor, coach and interventionist I find this research extremely interesting and helpful in understanding my clients. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. My email is randy@randymoraitis.com and my phone is 949-303-8264.

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy he will gladly show you pictures!)Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

stress

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

Job stress is both a real and a growing problem. Current research shows that 30% of U.S. workers are often or always under a lot of stress at work.

People who have a high level of occupational stress have up to three times the rate of back pain–usually lower back pain. Research also shows that high job stress doubles the risk of death from heart disease and was associated with increased cholesterol and body mass index. So it’s a big problem affecting millions of people and needs a solution.

One way to help combat job stress and prevent burnout is to do some perspective shifting, so let’s give it a try.

Start by making a decision about whether you have a gas tank or you have solar panels.

Gas Tank Mindset  

Imagine a person goes to work tomorrow and has a very busy day. They start the day dealing with their first task, it’s challenging but they succeed. This burns a little fuel from their gas tank. As the day progresses they deal with multiple issues, problems and tasks, each draining more fuel from their tank.

By the end of the long, hard work day they’ve completed all of their tasks and duties, but now their gas tank is empty and they’re exhausted. So they go home to their family exhausted.

Solar Panel Mindset 

 
The second option is to imagine a person going to the same workplace. They also start the day dealing with challenging tasks and duties. And they continue to have challenging tasks throughout the day. But they have the perspective that they are blessed to have a job, and privileged to have skills and talents, that can contribute to helping others and making a difference in someone else’s life.

In that moment where they focus on the privilege of connecting with others and making a difference, the thought radiates on their solar panels and they feel charged. They carry this perspective throughout the day and by the end of the work day they may be physically tired but their soul feels charged. And that’s what they take home to their family.

So you decide. Do you have a gas tank or solar panels?

I would love to hear your thoughts or experiences with job stress. Email me at randy@randymoraitis.com. Websites: www.randymoraitis.com and www.carepossible.org.

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

Everyone experiences stress to some level on a daily basis. Stress is when the outside world gets inside of us. Not all stress is bad, in fact some stress may actually be good. A little bit of stress—just the right amount—can actually help improve our performance.

Stress is the biological, psychological, emotional, behavioral, and social responses to a stressor, which is the real or imagined event that sets things off. To thrive in life we need effective strategies to cope with stress.

We all have different ways of coping with stress. One way to measure coping is to use the Ways of Coping Questionnaire, developed by psychological researchers Folkman and Lazarus. This 66 item questionnaire divides coping into eight different categories or strategies.

Here are the 8 strategies, further divided into active and passive methods of coping:

4 Active Coping Strategies

  • Confrontive coping: You take action and confront the problem.
  • Seeking social support: You seek informational and emotional support. An extremely effective strategy.
  • Planful problem-solving: You make a deliberate and analytical plan to solve the problem. Also an extremely effective strategy.
  • Positive reappraisal: You try to create a positive meaning and focus on personal growth.

4 Passive Coping Strategies

  • Distancing: You expect that the problem solves itself (involves detachment). This is the second to least effective strategy.
  • Self-controlling: You make efforts to regulate feelings and actions.
  • Accepting responsibility: You accept your own role in the problem.
  • Escape-avoidance: You try to avoid the problem by wishful thinking and behavioral efforts. This is the least effective strategy.

Big Question

Which is your go-to strategy for coping with stress?

Big Takeaway

The best strategies for coping with stress are seeking social support and planful problem-solving. So the next time you feel stressed-out, reach out to healthy community for support and/or sit down and think through an analytical plan to tackle the problem.

In addition to social support and planful problem-solving, I am a big fan of prayer, meditation and exercise for stress management. If you aren’t already incorporating these tools into your life, perhaps now is the time to start!

I would love to hear your favorite strategy for coping with stress. Email me at randy@randymoraitis.com or visit my websites www.randymoraitis.com or www.carepossible.org.

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.


By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

If you or a loved one are affected by any mental health, addiction or eating disorder issue then I encourage you to use HALT as an easy-to-remember tool for staying healthy.
HALT is an acronym that stands for:

It’s wise to avoid getting too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired because when we do, any underlying issues (such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, addiction, eating disorder, etc.) can be negatively impacted.

HUNGRY–have you seen those Snickers commercials where Marcia of The Brady Bunch turns into Machete because she’s too hungry (hangry)? It is both funny and true!

While I’m not recommending a candy bar, I do recommend that you keep healthy snacks with you throughout the day such as almonds, protein bars, or fruit. When your blood sugar drops your brain stops working at an optimal level and that means a bad decision or bad mood could easily happen. Keep your mind and body fueled for peak performance!

ANGRY–I love this quote from Thomas Jefferson: “When angry count to ten before you speak, if very angry count to one hundred.” Great advice here! Give it a try when you get angry.

Four Square Breathing is another great tool to use when you feel angry. It can help you calm down and regain focus so you do not make any bad choices. Here is a link to easily learn how to do four square breathing.

LONELY–Human beings need healthy community, healthy companionship. There is a great body of research proving that isolation has numerous negative side effects even causing cancer.

There is a very wise quote which says, “Two are better than one…” (Ecc 4:9). This is so true!

If you find yourself isolating–reach out to a friend, family member, or neighbor. Or join a club, group or activity that connects you to others.

If you know of someone that is isolating, reach out to they. They may need you more than you know.

TIRED–Being tired is bad for our health and can lead us to make bad decisions. Have you ever said anything that you didn’t really mean because you were too tired? Or have you ever failed to have a peak performance because you were too tired?

Research clearly shows that we need 7-8 hours of sleep per night to be at our best. I encourage you to have some discipline with this–turn off the TV and put down the phone or iPad early enough for you to get a good night’s rest. Don’t sleep with your phone right by your head–the light interferes with your sleep.

If you have trouble falling asleep, try the following:

  • Be sure to limit caffeine during the day–especially later in the day.
  • Try relaxation and visualization exercises to help induce sleep.
  • Use a sound machine or app to create a calm, soothing environment.

So give HALT a try. If you apply the concept on a daily basis you just might find yourself having a much healthier and happier life.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.
You can email me at randy@randymoraitis.com.
Websites: www.randymoraitis.com and www.carepossible.org

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy he will gladly show you pictures!)Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

We use our phones and hand held devices for so many things! So why not mental health and wellness? Here are 5 great apps that offer help for a variety of afflictions and issues. Check them out, give them a try, and please share so we can all spread good mental health together!

1. Stop, Breathe & Think–This is a great, free app that has a 5 star rating and is a Webby Award Winner. I love this app and use it myself for relaxation and meditation. I also have many of my counseling and coaching clients use this app with great success.

The app is a simple tool to guide one through a variety of basic mindfulness meditations. Users can also check in with how they’re feeling and even notify their counselor or friend once a meditation has been completed.

 

2. Balanced–This is another free, 5 star rated app. Balanced helps users stay focused and motivated on their priorities. This app allows users to set a variety of goals each week, and helps one feel rewarded, in control, and focused on what to do next for success.

I personally use this app to remind me of weekly goals such as watching a TED Talk, meditating, and being thankful.

 

3. Mindshift–This app is specifically designed for those struggling with anxiety. Although not as highly rated as the above apps, my experience is that counselors love what this app does for their clients as a tool for managing and working through anxiety. The app includes a section on situations that trigger anxiety and how to have healing, as well as some great “chill out” tools and Twitter-worthy inspirational quotes.

 

4. PTSD Coach–This is a great app that was developed by the Department of Veteran Affairs National Center for PTSD. Although originally intended for use by vets with PTSD, a quick read through the reviews shows that many civilians have been helped by this app as well.

I am passionate about serving our military, treating PTSD, and preventing military suicide, so naturally I am a big fan of this app and hope readers of this blog will share so all our military families learn about PTSD Coach.

 

5. Optimism–This is a 4 star rated app that helps users with self-tracking as a tool for coping with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and PTSD. The app allows users to create a custom wellness plan and is particularly useful when the user is working with a mental health professional.

Give these apps a try if you could use some support and coaching right at your fingertips. And if you know of a great app that you recommend, please share in the comments section.

And please help spread good mental health by sharing this blog post. Thank you!

Feel free to email me at randy@randymoraitis.com or call me at 949-303-8264 for more info about this topic or my counseling, coaching or intervention services. Find me on the web at www.randymoraitis.com and www.carepossible.org.

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy he will gladly show you pictures!)
Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.