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What Do You Do After Your Partner Cheats?

 

In the last 24 hours, you’ve gone from crying your eyes out in the closet to throwing your shoes across the room to blasting music to blaming yourself. It’s devastating to learn your partner has cheated on you, and those first few days can feel like you’re living a real-life nightmare.

After the tears and the shoes and the music have passed, you have some tough decisions to make: Should you stay? Should you try couples counseling? Is the relationship worth saving? Can you ever trust them again?

What to Do After Partner Cheats

Decide: Do You Want to Stay?

Quick, what’s your gut reaction to that question? Do you want to fight for your love, or do you know — deep down, even if it’s difficult to admit — that it’s over? Opinions will run to extremes on this one, but don’t let anyone else make this decision for you. This is the time to do some soul-searching. Use these questions to gauge how you feel:

  • Is your love strong? Is your partner normally a loving and supportive ally who lifts you up?
  • Could this be a one-time mistake, an aberration? Or is this another link in the chain of disappointments you’ve been experiencing with your partner?
  • Do they, in general, treat you well and make you feel valued?
  • Are you constantly unhappy with their behavior, this episode of cheating aside?
  • Is fear of being alone the main thing keeping you in the relationship?
  • Is the quality of your life better with your partner in it?

If you choose to discuss this with friends or family, understand that they will be rightfully protective of you. It is possible to repair a relationship after a partner has cheated, but first, you need to decide if it’s worth repairing. Dealing with a cheating spouse or partner can be hard, but you and only you can decide if you should stay.

If Yes, Communicate & Identify

If you want to stay in the relationship and try to re-establish trust, you’ll need to do two things:

1. Communicate openly about the infidelity.

2. Identify why it happened.

Even if it doesn’t feel good (and it won’t), don’t attempt to ignore this important part of the healing process and just “move on.” Both of you need to be willing to talk this through.

It’s OK, at this stage, to tell your partner how hurt and angry you are (what’s not OK: lashing out violently, destroying property and trashing your partner on social media). They need to know how their behavior affected you.

You are (understandably) angry at first. When you can explore these kinds of things without blowing up, ask your partner some pointed questions to learn more about the infidelity. For example:

  • Why did they cheat?
  • Why did they decide to tell you (if they indeed did)?
  • If they got caught: Would they have continued to cheat, if they hadn’t been discovered?
  • Are they just sorry they got caught?
  • How will things be different?

Ultimately, the goal is to learn why they cheated. Once you get to the heart of the matter, you’ll both better understand how to fix what went wrong. You’ll both need to be patient with the other during the “fix it” stage — yes, there’s been betrayal and hurt feelings, but if they truly seem apologetic and intent on changing and getting through it, you’ll have to work on forgiving them, too.

Consider Couples Counseling

If the pain of the infidelity is too great or too messy to navigate just the two of you, consider going to couples counseling. A licensed therapist is trained to guide this type of discussion in healthy, productive ways and will teach you couples counseling exercises or couples therapy techniques. Oftentimes, an objective third party is exactly who you need to help you communicate and process your feelings. People do heal from infidelity, and it is possible to forgive, grow and deepen your bond.

If you decide to seek couples counseling, your therapist will likely start the process by facilitating an honest evaluation of the relationship. Together, you are trying to establish:

  • What are the relationship’s strengths? Weaknesses?
  • Are there any major issues, such as codependency or any kind of abuse?
  • Why does each of you think the relationship should continue?

Cheating is often a sign of deeper troubles in the relationship, so your therapist is trying to get to the heart of the matter. Now, in the course of couples counseling, it’s not uncommon for the therapist to unearth individual issues that you and your partner should work on outside of couples counseling. You, for example, may be struggling with long-standing codependency issues that are independent of your partner; your partner may have, for example, anger issues or feelings of inadequacy that predate you as well. In this case, your therapist will recommend separate and simultaneous individual therapy.

If after couples counseling, the relationship still doesn’t work out — at least you know you took this step. Many times a couple will enter couples therapy and, through the process, decide to end the relationship. A therapist can be helpful in this case, too. They can help you both cope with the heartache of the breakup.

Know When to Say When

Sometimes, the damage is just too great, or a relationship has too many other problems to survive. Don’t live for months or years angry and victimized — and don’t make your partner pay for their mistake that long, either. If you can’t forgive and move on, it is best to end the relationship and part ways. Again, a licensed counselor can help you work through the pain of a breakup and onto a healthy and happy life.

After a partner cheats, it may seem like nothing will ever be OK again. It is possible to heal and forgive, but it takes work. If you’ve decided to stay in the relationship, commit to discovering why it happened and how to move forward.

Reach out to a professional counselor for help. ThriveTalk provides teletherapy services for busy people who need help getting through tough times, such as when a partner cheats. Couples counseling may be what you need to survive this period and emerge even stronger.

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As You Seek Grief Counseling, Recognize the 6 Needs of All Mourners

 

There’s no rule book for grieving. When someone you love passes, you may feel a wide range of emotions anger, sadness, shock, guilt even if the death was expected. Everybody mourns in their own way and go through the 7 stages of grief or the 5 stages of grief.

There are, however, certain things we all need to mourn in a healthy fashion. As you undergo grief counseling to cope with the loss of a loved one, keep in mind these six basic needs of all mourners, according to the Center for Loss & Life Transition:

Grief Counseling: Six Basic Needs of Mourners

1. Acknowledge the Reality of the Death

This means you understand that your loved one will never physically walk this earth again.

You don’t have to swallow this one whole, though. It’s OK to take it piecemeal; grieving is a process, not an event. The best way to meet this need is to talk about the pain of the death when it hits you, as often as you need to. This can be with a bereavement counselor or a friend, family member or partner. Journaling about your feelings also helps you acknowledge the reality of the death.

2. Embrace the Pain of Loss

Few people welcome pain and suffering with open arms, and you don’t have to. Simply open your head and your heart to the idea that grief is painful, and understand that it will hurt. Some days will be worse than others, but you embrace the idea that you must feel painful feelings as part of the process.

3. Remember the Person Who Died

Yes, you should tell stories about your loved one. Yes, you should keep pictures up. Death doesn’t wipe away your relationship with the person who passed, and these precious memories will be how you honor that relationship. Well-meaning people might tell you that you need to “move on” and not talk about your loss, but that’s not true. Keep their memory alive.

4. Develop a New Self-identity

People understand themselves in relation to the world around them — and the people who inhabit that world along with them. When a loved one passes, things (and roles) inside that world must be rearranged to account for the change that has taken place. Perhaps you were a wife, and now you are a widow, or maybe you were a daughter whose parent has now passed. Be patient with yourself as you reconstruct your self-identity. It will take time to get comfortable with your new role in life, but it will happen.

5. Search for Meaning and Purpose

Most people question the meaning and purpose of life after someone close to them dies. This is normal. You may find yourself asking any of the following questions:

  • How could a benevolent God let this happen?
  • Is there an afterlife? Is my loved one there?
  • What’s the point of going on?

Confronting your spirituality and doubting your belief system is a normal part of grief. As you go through this process, bring up these thoughts and feelings to your grief counselor, spiritual adviser or a trusted friend.

6. Receive Ongoing Support from Others

Not only is it OK to lean on others during this time, you should. Humans weren’t meant to live in a vacuum. We need the love and support of others to make it through trying times. Don’t be afraid to let others know what you need and how they can support you. People want to help. Recognize that this need for support will last longer than a couple weeks. You can start by searching for local grief support groups online.

Life is never the same after a loved one dies, and as sad as that fact is, that is how it should be. You will adjust to your new normal, but it will take time. Be patient and loving with yourself. As you navigate your grief, reach out to a certified grief counselor at Thrive Talk. Online therapy can help you in dealing with grief and loss.

If you feel that grief or depression is negatively impacting your life, please reach out for help today. Contact NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) to help get you connected with the right support services in your area by calling 1-800-950-6264. If you or someone you know is in crisis, whether you are considering suicide or not, please call the toll-free Lifeline at 800-273-8255 to speak with a trained crisis counselor 24/7.

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Understanding Your Grief During the Healing Process

 

Grief is like the ocean; it comes in waves, ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn how to swim. Vicki Harrison

Moving like the ocean is one way to describe grief, which is such a small word for such indescribable, overpowering emotions. Experiencing grief isn’t as simple as feeling sorrow or sadness. It’s a rollercoaster of a journey. Grief can be caused by a death or loss of something or someone. Recognizing the five stages of grief can help you navigate this journey, from shock and blame to despair and hopefulness.

Understanding Grief: 5 Stages of Grief

The five stages of grief (also known as the Kübler-Ross model) were developed by Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and introduced in her book “On Death and Dying” in 1969. This model identifies grief as a series of emotions. This series, or the five stages below, serve as tools to help you comprehend your feelings, says David Kessler who co-authored two books with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, including “On Grief and Grieving.” Understanding yourself in these stages helps you gain knowledge about your grieving process and start to heal, learning how to cope with loss and death.

Denial

One way to respond to the initial shock of devastating news is to fall into denial. The numbness and disbelief become survival and defense mechanisms. This stage is protective, giving time for you to take in information at your pace while starting to make sense of it.

  • Internal dialogue: “This can’t be happening.” “He’s going to be fine.” “This isn’t real.”

Anger

Anger arises once the news sinks in; it’s a natural response in the grieving process and can be directed at a loved one, God, the world and yourself, says Dr. Christina Hibbert, a clinical psychologist and bestselling author. Beneath anger is pain, even guilt. But it’s an emotion that can provide strength, structure and can feel better than nothing at all.

  • Internal dialogue: “How could this happen to me?” “This isn’t fair!” “There is no God.”

Bargaining

You may move into thinking that you’ll do anything to change a death or the fate of the loved one. This stage is full of “If only…” “what if…” responses, shares Kessler. You may fantasize about going back in time to create a different outcome or wonder what you could have done differently. It’s a process of trying to negotiate the elimination of pain.

  • Internal dialogue: “I’ll do anything to make her better.” “I promise to be a better person to make her come back.”

Depression

Now intense sadness hits—or even an emptiness of feelings—as grief reaches a deeper level. Everything seems worthless and daily tasks can feel like huge burdens. Friends and family can’t help and life seems meaningless. You’re opening yourself up to mourning, a critical step in the healing process.

  • Internal dialogue: “What’s the point?” “Why should I bother with anything?” “Nothing matters.”

Acceptance

This stage is where you start to accept that the loss or forthcoming death is a reality. Here is a new norm that requires readjustment. It’s an evolution into a new life. You can see the light to move forward and embrace the forever change. William Worden’s “tasks of mourning” adds that overcoming or coping with grief follows an active decision to adapt to a new environment (not only accept).

  • Internal dialogue: “I’m ready to reconnect with friends and family and create new relationships.” “It’s time to move on.” “I’m going to be OK.”

Find the Support You Need

Although this model is widely accepted, grief symptoms aren’t linear or uniform. Health Guidance, wellness publication, explains that there is great variation with grief — individuals may experience stages repeatedly or skip ones. For some individuals may regress or even become lifelong grievers who can never come to terms with their loss. Our hope is that by sharing this model, you may engage in a process of introspection and eventually reach a hopeful place of moving on.

If you need help in your recovery or how to deal with grief, schedule a teletherapy appointment with ThriveTalk. Certified therapists will provide support and strategies to help you manage your grieving process. For more information call +1 (833) 348-6684. We’ll connect you with a counseling professional via video conferencing, so you can conveniently receive treatment in your own home, where you feel most comfortable or to fit within your busy schedule.

 

If you feel that the stages of grief are negatively impacting your life, please reach out for help today. Contact NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) to help get you connected with the right support services in your area by calling 1-800-950-6264. If you or someone you know is in crisis, whether you are considering suicide or not, please call the toll-free Lifeline at 800-273-8255 to speak with a trained crisis counselor 24/7.

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Keep Your Job When You’re Struggling with Severe Depression

 

If you suffer from clinical depression when you’re on the job, you know how tough it can be to keep things together on the outside when you feel like you’re falling apart on the inside.

Feeling depressed can also contribute to negative feelings about work, leading to excessive complaining, lack of cooperation, morale problems and absenteeism. Left unchecked, this can threaten your job and livelihood, making you more depressed and promoting a vicious downward spiral.

Fortunately, there are solutions or effective ways to deal with depression. Many people suffer from the same struggle you’re experiencing, with 1 in 20 workers experiencing depression, affecting at least 10 million people, often between the ages of 25 and 44, according to ValueOptions. The good news is that 80 percent of people struggling at work with depression can be treated quickly and effectively — but only if you recognize the problem and take appropriate steps. Here are a few strategies you can use to manage severe depression so that you stay productive and don’t lose your job.

Visit an EAP Counselor

Employers know that your mood can affect your productivity, so many companies have an employee assistance program (EAP) in place where you can schedule a visit with an EAP counselor. You can proactively seek EAP counseling by consulting information from your employee handbook or talking to your supervisor or human resources department. Your supervisor may also reach out to you and suggest an EAP counseling appointment if they notice changes in your mood or behavior that make them concerned, although your supervisor can’t diagnose whether you’re clinically depressed.

Schedule a Meeting with a Teletherapist

What if you’re too busy to visit a counselor? One alternative is to schedule an online therapy session at a time that’s convenient for you. Teletherapy allows you to talk to a counselor from a location of your choosing at a time that fits your schedule, which is a viable option for those who simply do not have time or means to make it to a therapist’s physical office. ThriveTalk is a teletherapy service that connects busy people with competent, certified therapists who can provide online therapy via video conference.

Take Mental Health Breaks

Taking a break can be a way to help manage depression, says U.S. News & World Report patient advice reporter Lisa Esposito. Depending on your condition, simply getting up from your desk periodically to walk to the bathroom may be sufficient, or if you have a major depressive disorder, you may need to take some recuperative time off to avoid a breakdown, get your bearings back or pursue therapy.

Check your employer’s policy to see how much sick time you may be entitled to. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, certain workers are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year, with a requirement that their group health benefits be maintained during their absence. See the Department of Labor’s website for more details.

Know Your Triggers

Knowing what triggers your depression can help you avoid and respond to situations that are likely to stress you out or that indicate you’re struggling with depression. For instance, you may find yourself engaging in negative self-talk when you’re in a depressed mood. Or you may find yourself spending time crying in the bathroom as a coping mechanism. Keeping track of your triggers can help you stay alert so you can avoid trigger situations or seek help when you find yourself getting overwhelmed. Seek a professional to help you on how to deal with depression at work.

Get Appropriate Treatment

Sometimes you can’t deal with depression on your own, especially if you have a major depressive disorder. In some cases, therapy alone may be enough to help you. In other cases, you may need medication. Don’t be afraid of trying therapy or medication due to stigmas associated with it. If it helps you restore your peace of mind and keep your job, it’s worth it.

Use these proactive strategies to keep your mood manageable so that you can stay productive while battling depression. Visit ThriveTalk.com or call (619) 630 7045 to get the help you need today.

If you feel that depression is negatively impacting your life, please reach out for help today. Contact NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) to help get you connected with the right support services in your area by calling 1-800-950-6264. If you or someone you know is in crisis, whether you are considering suicide or not, please call the toll-free Lifeline at 800-273-8255 to speak with a trained crisis counselor 24/7.
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Anxiety Disorders & You: How They Affect Your Life & How to Get Help

 

It may begin with a sense of dread that you just can’t shake.

You might be irritable, anxious and fearful. All you do is worry. You cancel plans with your girlfriends. You can’t sleep.

And it’s not going away.

If this sounds like you, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. This article examines what an anxiety disorder is, how it can affect the sufferer’s life and where to get help.

Anxiety Disorder Definition

Everyone feels anxious from time to time; that is a normal part of life. An anxiety order is different. People with an anxiety disorder suffer fear or anxiety that is disproportionate to the situation, interfering with their ability to function in everyday life. People with an anxiety disorder find that it affects their work, relationships and socializing.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million Americans age 18 and older, according to the  Anxiety and Depression Association of America. The good news is there are numerous effective treatment for anxiety disorders available — if you ask for help.

There is a broad range of types of anxiety disorders, but the two of the most common ones are generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Generalized anxiety disorder. People with generalized anxiety disorder face feelings of fear, anxiety and worry for months. Symptoms include an inability to control their worry and fear, becoming easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating, irritability and sleep disruption. Symptoms may get worse over time.
  • Social anxiety disorder. People with social anxiety disorder have a significant and debilitating fear of social or performance situations. They feel incredibly anxious at the idea of being around other people, are overly concerned about feeling embarrassed or rejected by them, and may feel nauseous around other people. They go to great lengths to avoid such situations.

Anxiety Disorders Affect Every Area of Your Life

Relationships, personal success, professional success — having a generalized anxiety disorder or social anxiety disorder touches every area of life. You may find:

  • Dating is difficult. The fear of being judged and rejected is so big; it makes it seem not worth it — not to mention the physical shaking, stammering and sweating of the first date.
  • Romantic relationships are difficult. Is he cheating on you? Is he mad at you? Is he going to leave you? You sense your fears are unreasonable, but you can’t control them… and he’s growing frustrated with you.
  • Family and friendships are difficult. It’s difficult to make friends, or you worry that the friendships you do have are on the brink of disintegration. The fear of judgment and rejection is so nerve-wracking, you find yourself declining social invitations.
  • Work is difficult. You’re struggling to deal with everyday work issues, such as setting and meeting deadlines, managing staff, contributing to meetings and public speaking. You may even be losing out on promotions and other career opportunities. 

Treatment Options

According to the Mayo Clinic, therapy and medication are the two main treatment options. A combination of the two can significantly control symptoms and help you get back to leading a full and joyful life but be patient while you find the right combination. It may take a bit of trial and error. Don’t give up. Millions of people have successfully treated generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder; you can, too!

Taking Action

If you recognize yourself in any of the above, please don’t suffer alone any longer. Reach out to a professional counselor. Thrivetalk provides online therapy that helps you learn new coping mechanisms, manage your anxiety and get through this difficult time.

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Understanding a Connection Between Mental Illness & Family History

 

Many with a mental illness may feel like they need to silence their suffering. The stigma attached to conditions like major depression or bipolar disorder can suppress people into hiding their pain or continuing to live a debilitating life in secret. But organizations like The Mighty, To Write Love On Her Arms and Mental Kilter are bringing a sense of normalcy to mental disorders, supporting people facing mental health challenges.

Connecting with these types of organizations, along with seeking medication, therapy or a deeper understanding of a mental disorder, can help you (or help you support a loved one). The following sheds light on the topic of mental illness and family history. By learning more about mental illness and factors beyond your control that may have cultivated it, you can start working toward managing your disorder step-by-step and stigma-free. Connection, information, and knowledge are empowering in the context of your mental health.

Multifactorial Disordersman covering his face with his hands who has a mental illness which is depression

Mental disorders are known as multifactorial inheritance disorders. This means a combination of multiple genes, acting alongside environmental factors, can cause a genetic disorder, including behavioral, according to the National Human Genome Research Institute. Genetics Home Reference also explains that although disorders do cluster in families, there is no definitive pattern of inheritance. In other words, a person with a strong family history of mental illness may be at high risk for developing one, but it’s not concrete. Uncertain specific factors and varying genetic contributions make it difficult to clearly identify if a person inherits a disorder. You could have a high functioning depression, for example, whereas a sibling has a mild case or no symptoms of depression at all.

Environmental Effects

As a multifactorial disorder, mental illness arises due to environmental circumstances (in addition to genetics). Factors like trauma, emotional harm, substance abuse and even experiencing stress in the womb can make a person susceptible to a mental disorder. A paper published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information identifies research that a woman’s psychological distress while pregnant can affect fetal behavior and child development. Studies show that maternal anxiety and depression, for example, can cause an increased risk for neuro-developmental and mental disorders in children. Moreover, science journalist Annie Murphy Paul, during an interview with Scientific American, refers to a theory speculating that the effects of the stress hormone cortisol can increase the likelihood that anxiety and depression in a woman cause the baby’s development of mental illness.

5 Psychiatric Disorders Sharing Common Genetic Factors

The National Institutes of Health points to the idea that psychiatric disorders can indeed run in families, as well as share genes and similarities biologically. These five illnesses include autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia.

Types of Mental Illness That Share Common Genetic Factors

  • Autism – Autism is a mental condition that usually develops during early childhood. It is considered as a highly heritable psychiatric disorder in which 1 out of 166 people has this neurodevelopmental disorder. Studies show that there is an 80 percent chance where the other twin will have this mental illness when one identical twin has it.
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – This mental disorder is commonly diagnosed in children that affects teens as well in which progresses into adulthood. The symptoms may differ from person to person but the most common are inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. This condition likely runs in the family where the genes acquired from the parents are one of the major determinants of having this condition.
  • Bipolar Disorder – Individuals with this type of brain disorder, have a condition wherein their serotonin and dopamine do not function properly which causes mood swings and unusual changes in energy and activity levels. This condition may be hard to diagnose but there are signs and symptoms that will help identify the disorder. Researchers believe that genetic predisposition is present in this condition where abnormalities are found on specific genes.
  • Major Depression – Major depression is also known as the major depressive disorder (MDD). A person with major depression has a constant feeling of sadness and find it difficult to carry out daily activities such as eating and sleeping. Studies show that at least 10 percent of individuals in the US are diagnosed with depression of which around 50 percent of the cause is due to genetic predisposition. In this case, if a person has a history of depression in their family, that person will more likely have a high risk of developing major depression in comparison with an average person.
  • Schizophrenia – Schizophrenia generally develops in early adulthood or late adolescence and have symptoms like delusions and hallucinations. It is more likely that one of the causes of this mental disorder and a primary determining factor is genetics or heredity. Individuals who have blood relatives with schizophrenia tend to acquire this chronic brain disorder themselves.

If your family has a history with one of these five illnesses, then you may be pre-dispositioned to developing one as well. Mental Health America provides a list warning signs that can indicate a mental illness, along with coping strategies, that you can refer to if you’re concerned you have symptoms. Lifestyle habits like healthy eating, regular exercise, adequate sleep, stress management and emotional support services can also help reduce symptoms of mental disorder and your risk of developing a mental illness.

Seeking Counseling & Exploring Mental Illness Furtherwoman in a psychologist's office who is dealing with a mental illness

Mental illness is complex, resulting from interacting genetic and environmental components; determining high or low risk isn’t clear-cut. But speaking with a certified therapist can help you with any mental illness-related concerns such as:

  • Managing an already diagnosed mental illness
  • Any concerning emotional or mental problems
  • Fear you may develop one because of your family history
  • Fear you may pass on a disorder because of your family history
  • Living with someone with mental health problems, helping a loved one in need

If you need to connect with a professional to share worries or ask questions, schedule an appointment with ThriveTalk. ThriveTalk specializes in tele-therapy services provided by certified therapists who can conveniently and remotely treat and counsel via video conference.

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Internet Addiction. Unplug Once a Week. It’s Good for You.

 

Internet addiction is epidemic in today’s society, and it’s bad for your physical and mental health. The average American adult now spends more than 10 hours a day staring at a screen whether mobile devices, gaming, working or watching TV — based on Nielsen audience report about internet addiction statistics.

All this time online can take a toll on your mind and body. Here are seven reasons why unplugging from the Internet at least once a week is good for your mental and physical health.

Benefits of Unplugging from the Internet

It Builds Self-Control

When you’re constantly going online for socializing, videos or gaming, it can become a compulsive behavior pattern. You can tell your technology is starting to control you when you start to feel anxious whenever you’re away from your smartphone, you feel a need to drop everything to answer a text alert, or you spend all your free time gaming, which are signs of technology addiction. Disrupting this compulsive behavior can help you develop self-control, says Entrepreneur.

It Lets Your Brain Relax

teens using smartphones who are addicted to the internet are forming a circle

Constantly staring at a screen bombards your brain with visual and auditory stimulation. This keeps your nervous system from relaxing, which is unnatural and builds stress. Thirty-eight percent of millennials feel stressed from technology overload, a Cornerstone OnDemand study found. Spending less time on the computer will help you calm your mind.

It Improves Your Mental Health

The stress of constant online stimulation can strain your mind as well as your nerves. You can start to feel fatigued, anxious, irritable or even aggressive. If you’re online constantly because of work, you may start to resent your employer. Recognizing this, French workers have successfully lobbied for a right to have hours on evenings and weekends when staff is not allowed to send or respond to emails.

It Allows You to Be More Present

Constantly interrupting what you’re doing to answer texts or catch up on games keeps you in a state of distraction. This can hurt your ability to concentrate on important tasks, as well as your ability to relax, enjoy life and socialize with others. Unplugging periodically can help you learn to be more present to yourself and to others around you.

It Frees You to Pursue Your Life Goals

women giving high five to each other learned how to stop being addicted to internet

Being preoccupied with the Internet can distract you from important priorities such as long-term life and career goals. Disconnecting can give you time to reconnect with your top priorities. Or take on a new hobby. Get rid of habits that make you unhappy, and focus on achieving your goals.

It Promotes Family Bonding Time

Being online constantly robs you of precious moments you could spend bonding with your family. Scheduling periodic downtime on evenings and weekends give you an opportunity to spend quality time with your family. You can use this time to focus on each other and on offline activities you can enjoy together.

It Deters Obesity

Spending too much time online can hurt your physical health by promoting obesity. Harvard research has already established a correlation between too much TV viewing and obesity, and research suggests a similar correlation between obesity and computer, video game and internet use. Unplugging can give you a chance to get in some exercise and improve your health.

The negative physical and mental consequences of too much internet and gaming time are numerous, and the benefits of taking a break from online activity are compelling. Unplugging from the internet can be a struggle at first, but it will help you develop self-regulation and meet your goals.

If you feel you are at risk of having excessive internet use and starts to question yourself, “Am I addicted to the internet?”, then this is the right time to find ways on how to prevent internet addiction. Below are some tips on how to restrain yourself from spending too much time on the internet and save yourself from the addiction.

How to Avoid Internet Addiction

1. Acknowledge that you may be addicted to the internet.
You need to admit first to yourself that you are at risk of being addicted online. Once you acknowledge your internet dependency, it will be easy for you to get help. Start by finding support groups that will help you in dealing with problems associated with the use of the internet.

2. Set a specific time when using the internet.
When you use your computer, make sure that you set a definite time on how many hours you should spend in surfing the net. In this way, you can regulate your computer use and do the things that are more important.

3. Distract yourself from the computer.
Call your friends and spend more time with them. Going out with your friends for at least 3 hours a day will help you divert your attention from using the internet. Also, you can gain better mental health by socializing. Research shows that interacting with other people improves your mood and weakens the feelings of depression.

4. Find a hobby that doesn’t involve using the internet.
There are a lot of things you can do without the internet. You can take a yoga or cooking class, get involved with local events in your community, or go for a run with friends. By doing these activities, it will help you take a break from the internet.

5. Create a to-do list and stick to it.
Internet activities distract you from doing your obligations which results in procrastination. You should put your obligations first and do the things that need to be done. Only allow yourself to do fun-focused internet activities after you are done accomplishing your obligations.

The internet allows you to have endless social interaction and keeps you entertained in ways that reality doesn’t seem to be interesting. If you want to steer away from the hooks of internet addiction, incorporate the tips mentioned in your day-to-day life to help you avoid compulsive internet use.

If you’re concerned you may have an internet addiction or your child is showing signs of gaming addiction, consider scheduling an online therapy session with a qualified counselor who can help you manage your problem. You can schedule an online therapy appointment with ThriveTalk.