Members of the LGBTQIA+ community face physical and mental health challenges just like everyone else, but often experience additional obstacles when it comes to accessing LGBT-affirming mental health treatment and practicing self-care.

What’s more, rates of anxiety and depression tend to be 1.5 to 2.5 times higher among LGBTQIA+ people compared with those who are heterosexual and/or cisgender. Thankfully, there are many things you can do to improve your life! Below are 6 habits to cut out of your life right now to make room for greater health and happiness!

Ignoring Your Problems

If you’re the type of person who prefers to ignore problems and difficult emotions, you might be worsening symptoms of anxiety and depression unintentionally. Take steps to face your problems, even if this means reaching out for help. There are many fantastic organizations out there, like Be BOLD Psychology and Consulting, that offer inclusive mental health services for members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Talking to a professional can help with everything from depression and anxiety, to gender identity exploration and finding gender-affirming medical providers for medical procedures, managing stress in personal and work relationships, and managing to chronic pain!

Working a Job You Hate

Because you spend so much of your life working, the type of work you do will have a significant impact on your health and happiness. Life is too short to work a job that’s weighing you down. This is your sign to seek a new position! I know it can be anxiety-provoking, but refining your resume is a great place to start! You can create an eye-catching, professional resume with the help of a resume builder. Just choose a pre-designed resume template and customize it with your own text, colors, and images.

Running From Discomfort

Running away from pain is perhaps one of the worst things you can do for your mental and physical well-being. Although discomfort can be paralyzing, Psychology Today explains that it is fundamentally unavoidable. Eventually, whatever you’re trying to escape will catch up with you and running from it will only reinforce feelings of stresssadness, or anxiety. Get in the habit of embracing discomfort and breathing through your feelings. You will come out on the other side! If individual therapy does not feel like a good fit at this time, you can consider a skills-based support group, such as our Mindful Awareness for ADHD group, beginning May 24, 2022. This group is for ADHD-support for North Carolina-based adults!

Judging Your Feelings

Speaking of feelings, try to stop judging them. It’s easy to react negatively to our fluctuating emotions, especially if you consider yourself a highly-sensitive person. But the only thing that makes negative emotions feel bad is your interpretation of them. If you take a hard look at your feelings, you’ll find that it’s not your emotions making you feel bad, but how you judge them. Tiny Buddha recommends allowing yourself to completely feel your emotions without labeling them as positive or negative.

Chasing Short-Term Rewards

Humans are inherently wired to chase instant gratification. While life is meant to be enjoyed, sometimes you have to face discomfort to get the reward that really matters to you. Ignoring instant gratification and keeping your sights set on long-term rewards can help you build a life that’s much more fulfilling. Fortunately, this is a habit that can be built through consistent practice. Try to be aware of urges that pop up throughout the day—whether to check social media or reach for a sugary snack—and make a conscious decision not to indulge.

Spend All Day Sitting

We all know by now that sitting is bad for our health. Unfortunately, most jobs require us to sit for long periods of time. How can you reverse the negative health effects of sitting? Many experts suggest getting up and walking around at least every hour. While you’re up, stretch out your stiff muscles for a minute and run through some range-of-motion exercises to keep your joints happy. A little movement goes a long way!

You don’t have to make massive lifestyle changes to improve your health and wellbeing. Often, it’s the small steps we take every day that leads us toward the life we really want. Start looking for negative habits to cut out of your day and you might be surprised by how much better you feel!

Are you looking for LGBT-affirming therapy in North Carolina? Be BOLD Psychology and Consulting offers inclusive therapy for LGBTQIA+ clients in North Carolina. Our clinicians also offer trauma-informed therapy in North Carolina and walk-and-talk therapy in Durham, walk-and-talk therapy in Raleigh, and walk-and-talk therapy in Cary. Call/text today to request an appointment! 919-525-1873

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Dr. Bate leads several therapy groups, which may be accepting clients. As a PSYPACT provider, Dr. Bate can service clients in over 30 states and jurisdictions. Authority to Practice Interjurisdictional Telepsychology (APIT) under the PSYPACT* Commission E. Passport issued 2/11/21 Mobility Number # 6459. Specialty areas: Queer and/or gender diverse folx, couples/relationships, and families. Trauma, PTSD, grief, bereavement, loss. Substance use/substance misuse, addictions. Relationship stressors and communication issues. Student-athlete stress. Court-ordered therapy and sex offender treatment. Mental health evaluations in the context of high-conflict divorce. Criminal and Civil Forensic Assessment. Email: [email protected] to schedule your free consult or request an appointment here. I help people who feel stuck, numb, or who are gripped by grief, loss, and unresolved trauma experience deeper, more fulfilling relationships and life outcomes. I assist people and families working through addiction find a path towards wellness. I work with individuals who may feel lost, scared, or alone to better understand their gender identity, sexual, relational, and romantic orientations. I also help intimate partners and families understand each other and communicate more effectively, including about matters of identity.

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