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Highly sensitive people: Remember these 10 things

when you feel anxious.

by Jenn Granneman posted on Upworthy

We’ve all felt anxious at some point in our lives. Anxiety is that jittery feeling you get before something big happens, like a first date, a job interview, or moving to a new house. Your palms sweat, your heart beats fast, and you feel like there’s a ball of lead in your gut.

But then, you might have a hard time falling asleep, relaxing, or concentrating because your thoughts are racing. Your stomach might be too upset to eat, or you might eat too much. You might cry more or have an overwhelming desire to seek reassurance from someone.

For highly sensitive people, we tend to be creative and have active minds. However, the downside is this means we’re more vulnerable to anxiety. Our minds can easily conjure up all kinds of negative fantasies that fuel our anxiety and make it worse.

Because of a biological difference in our nervous system, we absorb more stimulation from our environment — like noise, small details that others miss, and even other people’s emotions — which can lead us to feel overwhelmed.

Remember these 10 things when you feel anxious:

1. Your anxiety is just one part of the package.

Being highly sensitive is a package deal — you get the bad with the good. Don’t get down on yourself for being who you are. Think about all the good things that come with being sensitive: You may be more creative and considerate, have more empathy for others, notice things that others miss, and learn new things quickly.

2. Like the weather, feelings change.

The way you feel right now will not be the way you feel in five minutes, five hours, five days, or five years from now. Feelings are only temporary, and like today’s forecast, they change quickly. Like all things eventually do, those scared, anxious, lead-in-your-gut feelings will pass. "Nothing is permanent in this wicked world — not even our troubles," said actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin.


3. Talk to someone.

Anxiety can be a lonely feeling, and loneliness increases anxiety — what a terrible cycle! Talk to someone you trust about the feelings or situation you’re dealing with. Just getting the feelings out might make you feel better, plus having to explain your fears to someone else might help you examine if they’re realistic or not.


4. Set clearer boundaries in your relationships.

If your relationships are making you anxious, get rid of the source of your anxiety by setting firmer boundaries or even letting some relationships go. Do it, and don’t feel bad about it.


5. Don’t run away from what’s scaring you.

Avoiding the situation or person who's causing your anxiety will only make your anxiety worse in the long run. Gather your courage to face the problem head-on. Remind yourself it’s only fear, and you will get through it.


6. You can’t control what happens in life, but you can control (or learn tools to control) how you react.

Dr. Hans Selye, a physician who is considered the "father" of the field of stress research, writes, "It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it."

7. Your anxiety doesn’t actually accomplish anything.

It wastes time and doesn’t get you any closer to your life’s goals. "Anxiety’s like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you very far," writes author Jodi Picoult.


8. Try relaxation techniques.

Inhale deeply, hold your breath for a few seconds, then exhale. Brew a cup of chamomile tea. Exercise vigorously — anxiety floods your body with adrenaline, and aerobic exercise burns off adrenaline. Take a warm bath, listen to relaxing music, and schedule a massage for later. Distract yourself by reading, surfing the internet, or watching Netflix. 


9. Keep things in perspective.

Avoid the temptation to make the situation bigger in your mind than it really is. Dr. Steve Maraboli, author and behavioral science academic, writes, "I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety and fear."


10. It’s really going to be OK.

Author and motivational speaker Danielle LaPorte writes, "P.S. You’re not going to die. Here’s the white-hot truth: if you go bankrupt, you’ll still be OK. If you lose the gig, the lover, the house, you’ll still be OK. If you sing off-key, get beat by the competition, have your heart shattered, get fired…it’s not going to kill you. Ask anyone who’s been through it."

From Upworthy 

January 13, 2016:

By: Laura Willard

6 things not to say to someone with depression- and

7 things we should say and do


There are many, many things we'd never say to someone with a

serious physical illness like cancer. 

Things like:

  • "A lot of people are worse off than you."
  • "I'm getting tired of hearing about this."
  • "Snap out of it."
  • "You're kind of dragging me down."
  • "Why don't you just go outside and get some sunshine. You'll be fine."
  • "Can we stop with the pity party?"

And yet people dealing with depression hear these kinds of statements all too often.

Why is that? Well, it's probably partly because of the way we talk about depression.

"We use the word depression all the time in our ordinary language to talk about feeling down or upset about something that makes us feel low or bad," Dr. Harold Koenigsberg, a psychiatrist and a professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, shared with Upworthy.

Those feelings are normal, and we all experience them, but we're talking about a medical condition here — something that persists for a few weeks or longer and something that can even put a person at risk for suicide. Depression isn't a fleeting feeling or a temporary mood.

The folks behind the nonprofit Hope for Depression Research

Foundation created a powerful one-minute PSA to make an excellent


If you can't imagine yourself saying any of these damaging things to a person battling cancer, you shouldn't ever consider saying them to someone battling depression, another life-threatening illness.

If you have a minute, watch, then scroll down for some expert advice on what we should say.


Video Here

Depression is serious, and it affects many people.

"Depression is a very common disorder," Koenigsberg said. He explained that about 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will suffer from major depression at some point in their life.

Those statistics mean it's pretty likely we all know someone who has dealt with depression at one point or another.

So we know what not to say. But what should we say and do?

1. Listen.

Koenigsberg, who's also on the board of the Hope for Depression Research Foundation, said the first thing we should do if someone we care about is experiencing depression is to listen. "Be a good listener," he said. "Be interested in what they’re going through and what they’re feeling."

He recommends remaining nonjudgmental "to give the message that you care about them and you’re accessible to them."

2. Encourage the person to seek professional help.

If they're stuck in the depression — if it's not going away for days and days; if it's affecting their sleep, appetite, and physical function; if they're not able to work; if they feel hopeless, suicidal, etc. — "you want to encourage them to get help," Koenigsberg said.

3. Remember that it may not be obvious to the person that they need help.

"It's worth thinking about how to encourage someone who's depressed to get help," Koenigsberg said. First, many people feel like they should be able to manage it themselves. And second, he pointed out that many people experiencing depression feel hopeless. "They can feel like nothing is going to help them, so why bother?"

4. Point out the benefits of seeking outside help.

"It can be useful to tell people that depression is in fact very responsive to treatment and often, talking with an neutral person can make a big difference," Koenigsberg explained. "[Talking to] a person who isn’t involved in their life … can give them more leverage with the issues that they’re struggling with."

When it comes to medication, he said that some people feel resistant because they're focused on a particular situation or issue that's contributed to the depression. That makes it harder to understand how medication could help. 

"It’s often helpful to explain that when you’re under a lot of emotional stress or a situation that is taxing on you — a big burden or strain — if that goes on for a while, it can set off a chain reaction of chemistry in the brain," he said. "It can set off disregulations in different brain chemicals, and medication can reset that. ... By getting the chemistry back to normal, that will give them more resources to help the issue they’re struggling with."

5. Make it easier for the person to get help.

Remember that when someone is facing depression, even simple, everyday tasks can feel daunting and overwhelming. As such, the additional step of finding someone to talk to might be too much. "It's hard to get over the hurdle," Koenigsberg said. "Make it easier by giving them a phone number."

You could help them research their insurance coverage and find a doctor on their plan, or you could assist in locating a clinic that will help folks who don't have insurance if that's a barrier to seeking help. 

6. Physical exercise is helpful.

While you should never tell someone to get out and get some sunshine as though that'll cure their depression, Koenigsberg points out that physical exercise can be helpful to someone experiencing depression. Drop by and ask the person if they'd like to go for a walk with you.

7. Check in.

Showing up is important — and it doesn't have to be in the physical sense if that's not possible. Call the person and ask how they're doing. When you're done talking, tell them you're going to check back in soon so they know you're there for them.

Depression isn't just a temporary mood. It's a serious medical condition that needs treatment. And by keeping these tips in mind, not only can we avoid saying the wrong things, but we can be there to say and do the right things.

From Upworthy Dec. 22, 2015:

10 things worth trying during times of stress,

trauma, or crisis.

Curator: Franchesca Ramsey

Regardless of what you're going through, self-care is important.

I once read something that said, "It's not the hard times that define you, it's how you respond." One important tool when it comes to dealing with personal challenges is self-care.

What is self-care? The University of Kentucky's Student Affairs Center describes self-care as "[A]ny intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental, and emotional health."

In times of stress, trauma, or crisis, practicing self-care can help manage your health.

While self-care isn't the be-all and end-all to dealing with stress, it can be a valuable recovery tool. Here are a few self-care suggestions from Crisis Clinic.

1. Exercise — even a little bit.

Don't worry, we're not talking about running a marathon here. Your form of exercise can be as light or as intense as you want it to be. Don't have access to a gym? No problem! Take a walk around the block, try a yoga routine on YouTube, climb the bleachers at your local high school track, go window-shopping at the mall, or give your home a speedy power clean. There are tons of ways to get your endorphins pumping, and any number of them can have a positive impact on your mood.

2. Give yourself permission to focus on someone outside yourself.

Making someone else feel good is a great way to lift your own spirits. Try volunteering or call up an old friend or family member you haven't talked to in a while and brighten their day.

3. Give and get physical touch: A hug can do wonders.


4. Give yourself permission to feel bad: Schedule it in your day.

Remind yourself that your reactions are normal.

Sometimes the worst thing you can do when you're feeling down is to beat yourself up for feeling down. Remember you're human and everyone has good days and bad days.

5. Give yourself permission to feel good.

Everyone's feel-good solution is different. Just be careful and make sure not to partake in activities that could cause harm to yourself or anyone else. Get some ice cream, watch your favorite movie, or laugh at a fart joke! Sometimes when we're going through something difficult, we keep ourselves from experiencing joy because we don't think it's appropriate or we think we don't deserve it. Remember that it's OK to laugh and feel good during times of sadness, even if it's only for a moment.

6. Structure your time and develop a routine.

Finding time for friends, family, work, play, and everything in between can be difficult, even on your best days. Too often when we're extremely busy or stressed, we forget to make time for even simple things like lunch or quiet time. To make things easier on yourself, try setting alarms on your phone or online calendar for everything from meetings and appointments to taking your vitamins. There are also tons ofproductivity apps you can use to set for daily, weekly, and even hourly goals if needed. Not a fan of digital scheduling? Try a paper planner or giant laminated calendar to help organize and structure your days.

7. Engage in practices that are meaningful to you, such as prayer,

walking in the woods, sitting quietly, reading inspirational material,

taking a bath, or writing in a journal.


8. Take breaks from periods of isolation.

Everyone needs alone time now and then, but try setting a timer for yourself so you can get some fresh air and connect with others.

9. Talk it out — even with a professional.

Don't have health insurance or access to a health care professional? There are tons of free resources that can connect you with someone online or by phone. Check out for videos, articles, and local resources for people struggling with depression. Also, the Crisis Clinic (the wonderful organization behind this self-care list) has a 24-hour hotline.

10. Get plenty of rest so that you feel refreshed and relaxed.

Don't underestimate the power of a good night's sleep! If you have trouble sleeping at night, try turning off the TV and electronic devices like your cell phone and computer at least one hour before you want to go to bed. A cup of hot (decaf) tea before bed can be helpful. Also, things like regular exercise, stretching, and calming music can help your body successfully power down before bedtime.

Self-care shouldn't just be for the tough times. Make it a habit worth keeping.

The tricky thing about self-care is that when you're feeling down, exercising or going to see a doctor is usually the last thing on your mind. That's why it's important to make self-care a part of your daily life. Self-care can be an important tool for times of crisis, but it's much easier to implement if you're taking care of yourself during the good times, too.

 The Culture of the Recovering


By Charles Yarnell M-RAS, FAC
SRC SUD DAY TX Coordinator/SUD Liaison 

Culture; Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “culture” as (1) the beliefs, customs, arts etc. of a particular society, group, place, or time (2) a particular society that has its own beliefs, way of life, art , etc. (3) a way of thinking, behaving or working that exists in a place or organization. This led me to the idea for the December newsletter of discussing the “Culture” of recovery. Having spent the last 19 years of my life working with individuals suffering from Substance Use Disorders (SUD) and having my own journey down the path of recovery, there are things that I hear, say, read on a daily basis that I do not even give a second thought to nowadays. 

At Stanislaus Recovery Center the staff works diligently towards the goal of helping others heal. One component of this healing process is what is referred to in the treatment field as the “changing of people, places, and things”. This is referring to the fact that most often those suffering from a substance use disorder stand the best chance of long term recovery if they quit associating with people they used to associate with, if they quit frequenting places associated with their using, and lastly if they attempt to eliminate those “triggers” that inevitably lead to the thought, craving, use cycle. 

Most often individuals are encouraged by staff to seek peer support through one of a variety of peer led recovery fellowships, be it Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA), Celebrate Recovery, etc. Most often, individuals will get exposed to a fellowship through H&I (Hospitals and Institutions). This is a sub-committee of the AA. NA fellowships are tasked with taking meetings into places where individuals may not be able to get out to meetings. At other times, staff is able to take clients out to meetings in the community. It is at these meeting that the “newcomer” (person in their first 30 days of recovery) may first begin to hear the “recoveryese” (made that one up) that can be so confusing. 

So exactly what does “one day at a time” “let go let god” “just for today” mean, and what is the difference between a “Basic text” and a “Big Book”? What is a “flat book”? Where does one get these “chips” others are talking about? What exactly is a “sponsor” and how much will they cost? What is, a Higher Power of your choosing? 

If you ever had to change schools, you know what the first days, weeks can be like. For that matter, think back to your first days with BHRS or your current employer or, perhaps, the first days in a new place after a transfer. I mean, let’s face it our acronyms have acronyms BHRS, QMT, QIC, SLT, CCESJC, ERGO, CANS, PIP, ASI…you get my point. The confusion you may have experienced in navigating this acronymic maze (5 pts for word use J ) is often the exact thing the individual new to the recovering community or a new SUD staff without a personal background in recovery may experience. 

One of the foundational concepts of providing culturally competent services is the ability to provide services in a language the seeker of services can understand. This is not any different when working with those seeking relief from a Substance Use Disorder. At Stanislaus Recovery Center and in my own experience as a treatment provider, I have seen firsthand the benefit of doing groups on ‘the culture/language of recovery”. 

It is fairly common in the treatment industry to utilize the terms addict/alcoholic or alcoholic/addict. Unfortunately this sets our clients up for chastisement as this “identifier” is in direct opposition to the traditions of both Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous and is written directly into the “readings” of both of these programs. Simple groups on the “culture” of the recovering communities can go a long way to easing the anxiety of our clients seeking to integrate themselves into a recovering community. 

In my 22 years of experience with SUD services and the various 12 step communities, one thing I have noticed is the “equal opportunity” aspect of substance dependence and subsequent recovery from a SUD. Addiction pays no mind to your income, race, occupation, gender, sexuality or religious preference. Its impact crosses all lines. Similarly recovery from a SUD is open to all. This brings me to page 17 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous chapter, “There Is a Solution”. “We are people who normally would not mix. But there exists among us a fellowship, friendliness, and an understanding which is indescribably wonderful. We are like the passengers of a great liner the moment after rescue from shipwreck when camaraderie, joyousness and democracy pervade.” And it is this, the freedom from active addiction, that the staff at Stanislaus Recovery Center make possible on a daily basis for those seeking our services. 

If you would like to learn more about the services provided at Stanislaus Recovery Ctr. Please contact them at: Stanislaus Recovery Center, 1904 Richland Ave., Ceres, CA 95307 . The phone number is 541-2121. Services are provided on a first come, first serve basis “unless connected to a “team”. Medi-Cal and private insurance accepted for co-occurring services. There are no fees for outpatient services for those with Medi-Cal or low income populations. There is a $200.00 dollar admit fee for detox/stabilization. 

"A Walk in our Shoes"

Students from the Riverbank Language Academy and Cardozo Middle School’s After School Program were in for a treat on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014 when they received a performance called “Walk In Our Shoes” which taught the youngsters about mental health and wellness.

Keenon Krick tells us this show is outstanding and perfect for 4th-8th grade students. The performance conveys heavy issues in a fun and positive theatrical performance. The performers then conduct a 15 minute Q&A and debrief with the students to help them better understand the topics they covered during the performance. This gives students a better opportunity to understand what’s happening. They also require a mental health professional to be at any performance to answers any questions students may have that the performers are not qualified to answer.

This great event was highlighted in the Riverbank News are well as CalMHSA newsletter! BHRS is currently looking into bringing this wonderful performance to the Gallo Center for the Arts next year so more students can enjoy and learn from it. 

Below we have a few pictures from this great performance.

Empowerment Center

Turning Point Community Programs provide integrated, cost-effective mental health services, employment and housing for adults, children and families that promote recovery, independence and self-sufficiency. 

The Empowerment Center in Modesto provides:

  • A diverse cultural environment
  • Peer support and encouragement from peers in recovery
  • Reduced isolation
  • Increased independence
  • Links to services related to treatment of serious mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse problems
  • Housing, volunteer and employment opportunities
  • Pay and benefit options

If you'd like to know more about this great drop-in center, call or stop by:

Empowerment Center

800 Scenic Dr., Bldg 4

Modesto, CA 95350


Some great pictures from this great program!

Tools for Change 2014

This past March 7, 2014 the Promotoras of Stanislaus County attended the Tools for Change Conference (TFC) in San Francisco. "This conference brings a social change framework, innovative recovery strategies and tools into focus with culturally responsive programs and the power of stigma change for prevention of suicide." This conference was about creating change that will potentially shape how we see and talk about mental health as well as challenge the stigma and prejudice associated with mental illness.


Our very own promotora group attended and participated in an impromptu march downtown in order to promote mental health awareness. Their voices could be heard throughout, "Mente Sana, Sana Mente" (Healthy mind). For more information on this wonderful conference, visit the Center for Dignity, Recovery & Empowerment