Posts Tagged ‘Steve Brand’
5 Signs That You Have a Technology Addiction
1) At the dinner table, you can’t eat without looking at a screen
2) The first thing you do in the morning before even talking to someone is picking up your device.
3) People have complained to you, more than once, that you aren’t listening to them because you are “device distracted”
4) Family members have said, “can you look at me while I am talking?”.
5) Your children or yourself have a meltdown if they can’t have access to their device.
A couple sits in a high-end restaurant, relaxing for the first time in weeks since becoming new parents. Their child safely with a sitter, they stare down at the table, faces stone, not saying a word to each other. In any other era, anyone would have said they had just been in an argument, but in recent years it simply means they are both on their phones.
When we think of addiction, we typically think of things like cigarettes or alcohol. Technology is so indoctrinated into our lives that it is hard to think of it as an addiction, yet psychologists and other health professionals are beginning to recognize it as a real problem.
What is a technology addiction?
We all need some amount of technology to lead a normal life. Using computers at work is often unavoidable, and we use our phones to help coordinate schedules with work, family, and friends. These are all normal and healthy behaviors, and to a certain extent so playing games and checking social media.
When checking your phone or playing games begins to take over your daily life, however, using technology tips over into addiction. If you choose to stay home and play video games instead of going to a party, or you are constantly scanning your social media at a party instead of being in the moment, you may be addicted.
Did you know in extreme cases, people have even died from their addictions? Two gamers have already passed away this year in Taiwan from excessive gaming, and some parents have even let their infants starve to death because they were too focused on their screens. What a world!
Of course, most of us don’t go to these extremes with our technology, but we also can’t seem to put our phones down, even giving up on experiences rather than simply having them. How many of us have gone to an event with our kids, only to see every moment through the eye of a camera, or clicking away on our phones? At concerts today you can’t even see the stage through the sea of extended arms holding phones.
Combating technology addiction
Despite overwhelming evidence that technology addiction can and does, there is no formal diagnosis of technology addiction. The closest is internet gaming disorder, which has been marked for study, but not yet been researched. This doesn’t mean that technology addiction doesn’t exist, simply that no research has been done on the topic yet.
If you’re concerned about screen addiction for yourself or your loved ones, there are several options that can help you make a healthier approach to technology. These include giving yourself specific guidelines to go by
- Avoid using your cell phone while eating. Chick Fila even had at one time, time out boxes for cell phones on the tables in the restaurant.
- For an hour before bed, and any time during the night.
- For children, pediatricians recommend no more than 2 hours of screen time per day, and none except for video chatting with children under the age of 18 months.
We don’t need to get rid of technology in order to live a fulfilled and happy life, but we do need to remember to look up from our screens and live the life that is going on right in front of us..
Parents, couples, and children will all benefit if we take this electronic intrusion seriously in the coming years.
Contact Steven Brand LCSW if you would like to set up an appointment for psychotherapy counseling in Roswell.
Spring is here and with it brings a desire to get outside and participate in the sunshine! So take advantage of those spring fever activities and enjoy a better perspective on life. Don’t squash that inward cue to get out there and breathe it in. Listen to it and find something to do. If you need a little motivation here are some facts about how mental health is improved by some physical exertion. The good news is that you don’t have to be fanatical to see improvement. Some studies show a 10-minute walk is as good as a 45-minute workout!
Ready to Meet a Roswell Therapist Empathetic to Your Needs?
Exercise may improve mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress. Those who participate in vigorous exercise were 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder over the next five years in one study.
4 Spring Fever Activities to Improve Your Mental Health
1) Dancing, jogging or walking a few times a week for 30 minutes. Put on some Motown or grab some headphones and take a walk around the block.
2) Join a class. Group classes can spur you into sticking with it. Wanting to see your classmates regularly can be encouragement enough to not to skip a class. Group classes like Zumba or Martial Arts are a great way to meet new friends.
3) Listen to an audiobook. Sometimes wanting to finish an exciting book or hilarious podcast is enough motivation to get your feet on the street.
4) Finally be patient with yourself. If you miss a class or evening walk, don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes giving yourself grace and inwardly saying, “next time”.
Advice from Steven D. Brand
“One of the reasons I encourage exercise for mental health is because it’s a very low risk and the side effects are very minimal compared to other strategies. Exercise works because it releases endorphins, which in turn make you feel better, improve concentration and makes your brain sharper on tasks. Technically, people who exercise are actually happier because they experience higher levels of optimism. Exercise also works because it causes cells to regenerate. Improved brain function has been noted in studies and also leads to increased creativity. It’s a win-win for physical and mental health. Finally exercise improves sleep quality. And better sleep means a happier you!”
Get More Great Advice
If you’re ready to get your mental health on track and are looking for counseling, give Steven D Brand a call today! Working with clients, Steve has amassed over 25,000 clinical hours. In person and phone counseling is available.
Steven D Brand is also an Executive Coach, accompanying clients on a life changing vacations in the great outdoors.
For more spring fever activities and advice, call Steve Brand today (770) 641-8726.
Roswell Therapist Steven D Brand LSW, MSW recently took a trip to Africa this past March 2016. Steve’s mission was to share with the people in several churches of Africa, various tools that could strengthen their relationships and individual mental health.
1) Why did you take the trip? What were you hoping to accomplish?
To teach, preach and counsel with members of the Accra, Ghana churches. My goal was to give to the extent that when we got back on the plane to Atlanta, we would be exhausted. We succeeded.
2. Did you meet your goals? How?
Yes, we did a lot of marriage counseling, taught staff and regional leaders. On one combined midweek service, we presented a couples workshop. I also taught a personal mental health seminar. Finally, I preached at a Sunday service. The ministers gave us their most challenging marriage scenarios to counsel. My wife and I gave and gave until we were spent.
3. What was the most surprising thing about the trip that you didn’t expect to happen?
There was a palpable hunger and thirst for our unique perspective. The response of the people was overwhelmingly positive and grateful. We were meeting massive unmet needs with skills that other typical out of town guests just didn’t have to offer.
4. What mindset should people have when visiting Africa? What mindset should people not have when visiting?
Go to give, serve & work. Don’t judge Africa by Western standards.
5. Summarize people’s responses to your visit.
Gratitude. Move here. Come back as soon as possible.
6. Will you return? And if so what will you do differently?
We will go back, maybe to live; but at the very least 2-3x per year.
Certainly next time we will have multiple appointments with folks, for maximum impact and change.
If you supervise a difficult or toxic person, you know it holds a particular set of challenges. You are probably trying to walk the line between firmness and friendliness in your management and a challenging personality can easily knock your style off-kilter. Last month, we discussed suggestions for how to deal with a grumpy or negative coworker, this month, here are my suggestions for effective management styles for the dreaded office grouch.
- Pay Attention – Many times a person may act out because they feel helpless, bored or unheard. Listen to clues into how the person thinks, what problems he or she faces, and whether or not there is anything you can do about it. You may be able to adjust their responsibilities to keep them engaged and interested. Or they may just need someone to care enough to hear what they have to say.
- Be Firm – This means giving specific, constructive feedback when you see a performance or interpersonal problem that is affecting your company. Do not avoid conflict! Check out my blog from last year about how to effectively handle a confrontation.
- Set Consequences– Be clear about ramifications for destructive behavior and follow through. Avoid arbitrary punishments and inconsistent enforcement. Frame these conversations in a positive light, encouraging the employee to live up to the potential you see in them or they may miss out on certain privileges.
- Avoid Gossip – Talking to a fellow employee or subordinate about the difficult person will only create more strife in your office environment. Just. Don’t.
- Take Notes – Keep track of incidents and behaviors in your documentation. This will help you to be specific when you confront an employee. The notes will also be invaluable if you ever have the unfortunate task of letting a toxic employee go.
Every workplace has them. When I say “difficult coworker,” I bet a person immediately comes to mind. (If not… that difficult person may be you!) In this two part blog series, I will discuss different strategies for both employees and managers to handle toxic, negative, and irritable people. Next month, I’ll focus on managing a difficult people, but what if you are on the same level? Here are some strategies for dealing with an unpleasant co-worker:
- Manage your reaction. More than likely, you are not going to be able to change this person’s behavior, but you can control your own. A calm response, a pleasant disposition, an awareness of your thoughts and a peaceful attitude will neutralize an emotional, negative or mean actions by a coworker. You can easily take away their power by counteracting it with kindness.
- Establish boundaries. Negative thinkers, complainers and reactive people are usually determined to drag you down too. Be proactive, find healthy ways to keep your distance, like changing your lunch hour to avoid long interactions. Or set boundaries of what you will and will not discuss with that person, and clearly and kindly letting them know if the topic comes up.
- Be empathetic. Even if you disagree with the behavior of a co-worker, you are less likely to lose your cool if you try to imagine where they are coming from. They may have a difficult family situation, a traumatic past, or a current health problem that is producing stress. Understanding will help you be kind when kindness does not seem merited.
These are just a few of the ways you can make your work with a difficult person more manageable. In my role as an Executive Success Coach, I can train you and your employees to foster a great environment in your workplace. Email me to get started, email@example.com
“Mindfulness” seems to be a buzzword in the media lately. It is given credit for everything from weight loss to stress reduction. It is the subject of numerous studies, including one released this month that indicates mindfulness has a positive effect on physical health. So, what is it?
It is simply the idea of observing the present, including your inner thoughts and your outer surroundings. As a spiritual and psychological concept – mindfulness is nothing new! People often plow through the day reacting to external stimuli or a mental hamster wheel. Awareness of this can be a tremendous help in personal growth, relationships, and stress reduction.
Here are a few ways to train your brain to be more mindful:
1. Develop a quiet discipline. Begin your day with a few minutes of silent meditation, journaling, or prayer. Go for a run, walk in the park, or just sit in your car on a lunch break. During these breaks, begin observing your thought patterns and triggers and mentally prepare for stressful stimuli.
2. Focus. Observe colors, flavors, sounds and surfaces. Try it tonight at the dinner table. Don’t just shovel in your food, take notice of every aspect of that steak and sweet potato I hope you are having for dinner– the juices, the aromas, the textures, the sweetness, the temperature. (Sorry… am I making you hungry?) Take notice how they influence your thoughts.
3. Count to Five. An important aspect of mindfulness is to be a conscious observer, instead of a participant, in your feelings. For example, if something makes you angry, instead of succumbing to the anger, take a moment to observe it. Notice your heart rate, your thoughts, or your clenched fist. I admit, this may not come easily at first, but if you begin this practice in simple situations, eventually you will advance.
While mindfulness is effective, it will not resolve major mental health problems or complicated family issues. If you would like to begin a deeper counseling or coaching journey, contact me for an appointment at (770) 641-8726.
Thanks for reading,
Steven D Brand
Psychotherapist and Life Coach
How to Thrive through the Holiday Season
‘Tis the season of holiday cheer… but for some people it can also be a difficult season. If you suffer from the winter blues between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, a few tweaks to your routine can help you thrive, not just survive this year.
- Stay Active and Outdoors. Sometimes the cold winter months can lead to bouts of depression. It is believed that this is caused by fewer daylight hours in the winter. This can be a mild annoyance or a diagnosable problem, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). To combat these symptoms, get moving outside. Take a winter hike in the mountains, a bike ride or a jog around the block. (For more serious symptoms, please seek professional help.)
- Be Thankful. With Black Friday on the horizon… enter the enticing trap of consumerism, comparison and all-out competition. These are toxic for your mental health. Instead of comparing your gifts, attire and activities with others, try to foster gratitude in your conversation and your mental discipline. A thankful journal is good, but telling a friend or family member about your gratitude is an even more powerful practice.
- Remain Flexible. You may have visions of a perfect turkey, uninterrupted football marathons and the new iPhone. But let’s face it. When Great Aunt Mable, Brother Bubba and all the kids get together, there is nothing predictable. Someone might burn the stuffing. It will probably be noisy. You could even get an Android. (Kidding.) Family-time is beautiful in its chaos, so let’s all agree that the holidays will not be perfect and enjoy the messiness of it all.
- Observe the Sacred. It is easy to breeze through the holidays without realizing the magnitude of what we are celebrating. I encourage you to take time to recognize what is sacred. Perhaps that means memorializing a lost loved one, attending a midnight service, or saying a prayer with your family.
I would like to wish you all a joyful kick-off to the Holiday Season. I believe this could be your best yet!
Please contact me if you would like to set up an appointment in my office, located in Historic Roswell.
Steven D Brand
12 Norcross St. #215
Roswell, GA 30075
Still want to read more, read my previous post about mentally rebooting for Fall.
Autumn is approaching. With that there is one guarantee: Change.
Your first child could be starting Kindergarten or your last one could be going off to college.
You may be beginning a new job, going through a tough phase of life or just preparing for the rhythm of shorter days.
When we are not prepared for it, even positive change can blindside us. Here are five intentional adjustments that can help you thrive during life’s transitions:
- Reinforce your Support System. Surrounding yourself with joyful, resourceful or helpful friends and family can be one of the most important decisions you make. Have lunch with a friend, a long phone conversation with a family member, or find a mentor who has already been through the same type of change you are experiencing.
- Exercise, Eat Healthy and Rest. This may go without saying, but change can be distracting and neglecting healthy choices can exacerbate the problem. Staying healthy will help keep your body and mind in check.
- Take time to Reflect. Recognizing possible stressors or giving time to observe your thoughts about your situation can be therapeutic. This may include keeping a journal, taking a quiet walk in the park, saying a prayer or just pausing to observe your inner thoughts.
- Be an Active Thinker. It is important to make the choice to focus on the positive aspects of life change. This involves active decision making and staying alert to rewire your negative thought patterns.
- Connect to Something Larger than Yourself. A great way to move out of a difficult time is to help someone else. Make time to volunteer somewhere, make a meal for a sick friend, or become a mentor for someone else who is also facing change.
Sometimes the stress of transition is more than we can handle in 5 simple steps. Steven Brand would love to help you with more in-depth processing and setting goals to achieve your personal best. To schedule an appointment, call him at (770) 641-8726.
Marriage Resources from Steven Brand
If you have been married for very long, chances are you have faced a marital crisis of some sort. Sometimes they are big events, sometimes silent misunderstandings or missed expectations. Even if you have not experienced crisis, you probably still see opportunities for improvement. A good marriage is a process that takes work and dedication. Here are some resources I have gathered for married couples – I think you will find them useful, no matter where your marriage stands today!
- Smart Marriages – This website maintains that healthy and lasting marriages take skill, they are not something that happens by accident. You can explore this website for tips about improving your marriage. If you are considering a divorce – you will want to check out this website first!
- The Gottman Institute – If you are interested in a scientific perspective of marriage – this website offers seminars, CDs and other resources. The methods are based on research of thousands of couples. In addition to basic marriage tips, the website also offers some iPhone apps that you can use to interact with your spouse.
- TwoofUS.org – The National Healthy Marriage Resource Center offers great relationship education resources for couples, including articles, videos and quizzes that will help you make good choices that will lead to a healthy marriage.
- My Wedding Wisdom Videos – These are short videos that include quick, easy to swallow marriage advice from me! I filmed these as part of a local wedding show, but I think you will find them helpful to your own life.
If your marriage is past the point of small snippets of advice and you feel you need an intervention to make it work, please do not hesitate to contact me, Steven Brand, at 770-641-8726. I offer an intensive three day, 20-hour intervention to save, restore and refresh marital trust.
In past blogs, I have talked briefly about my being The Wilderness Coach. I want to tell you more about what that means and how it could help you, your family and your career.
Have you ever taken a trip to a cabin in the mountains or a hike in the woods and afterwards felt rejuvenated, recharged and ready to go again? I sure have! Out of this rejuvenation I would feel after hikes in the mountains, the idea of Life Strategy Expeditions was born and I soon became the “The Wilderness Coach.”
There’s something peaceful, powerful and serene about scenery like this alpine lake. This is a picture from one of the Adventure Travel Coaching treks I took clients on and it was an amazing, life-changing experience for everyone involved. A Life Strategy Expedition combines outdoor adventure and executive coaching on an invigorating experiential journey where you unplug from the stress produced by being too connected with all the information and gadgetry of modern life .
To simplify in three words we go in/out/up……INWARD by doing some courageous self-exploration using a personal, yet scientific online assessment, OUTWARD into the Great Outdoors where vigorous exercise, fresh air and epic scenery crystallize our passions and dreams, and UPWARD to a new level in personal achievement, quality of your relationships and a rewarding new career trajectory.
On our expedition, we will take in breathtaking scenery, experience solitude that we can’t get in our every day life, rigorous exercise and through it all, I will be there to lead and guide you to help you to utilize the creative and rejuvenating power of nature to connect with your truest self. We will work together to help you realize your personal “highest and best use.”
The goals of the Life Strategy Expedition are wrapped up in what I call the 5 E’s:
breath-taking scenery, vigorous exercise, clean air, excellent cuisine and the exhilarating power of the outdoors.
your lifestyle and reorganize your priorities by living in an intentional manner, according to your cherished values.
life-changing decisions that will alter the course of your future from a one-dimensional focus to a multi-dimensional, balanced success.
your significant relationships and enhance your life with a new career trajectory.
a redefined routine prepared to overcome the obstacles that erode your priorities.
If you are feeling the need to regroup, reevaluate and/or reexamine your life, wilderness coaching with Steven would be a great opportunity for you. By combining the natural outdoor beauty, the endorphins of vigorous exercise and the seasoned counsel of The Wilderness Coach™ you will be able to listen to your inner voice, capture creative thoughts and plan a more intentional, balanced future.
Call Steven at 770-641-8726 if you want to learn more about wilderness coaching. Put your Adventure Travel Coaching expedition on the calendar today. Get all the details at http://www.thewildernesscoach.com/index.php.