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Healing Stories: How to be Alone and Happy Over the Holidays

How to be Alone and Happy Over the Holidays

The holidays are right around the corner. The time of year when everyone is sharing joy, holiday stories, eggnog, fruitcake and more. And they’re doing it together. Except for you. And 20 million other people at the same time.

Depression increases dramatically over the holidays. But is it necessary?

For 28 years, number one best-selling author, counselor and life coach David Essel has been giving hope to people around the world who are in a current state of struggle. Depression. Anxiety. And being alone during the holidays for many is a fate worse than death.

But David has news for you. If you follow these tips, not only can you learn how to survive the holidays, but you just might be able to beat the depression, and enjoy yourself at the same time.

“Many people spend time alone on the holidays because they want to. They’re sick and tired of the chaos and drama from their family. Or their in-laws. Or maybe they’ve been single for such a long period of time that they’ve just become used to being on their own during the season of joy.

And then there’s you. And maybe another 19,900,000 people who feel quite the opposite. Many people feel like they’re losers. They’re unwanted. They are unlovable. And they’re not quite sure what to do.

The following four tips can actually help you learn how to make the most out of this season while you’re on your own.

Number One. Write down the emotions that you’re feeling. Are you lonely? Sad? Angry? Maybe depressed? Anxious? Next to each of these emotions write why you are feeling that way. The number one way to heal from these so-called “negative emotions”, they’re not really negative at all they’re simply emotions, is to try to figure out why we’re feeling that way. That could be the start of healing right then and there.

Number Two. Create a new ritual this year around the holidays for yourself. What would make you feel special? Happy? For most of us, this means getting out of our own isolation. Isolation by itself can create, for many people who are not naturally introverts, a feeling of hopelessness.

So let’s shatter isolation. If you haven’t put up decorations for your holiday of choice, get the hell out of the house, to your local drugstore at the very least, and load up on lights, bulbs, candles and more. Sometimes just changing the visual cues in your home can immediately release feel good emotions in the brain. Why not give it a shot?

Number Three. Let’s go back to when I mentioned in number two. Isolation. Isolation kills the spirit. So this year is going to be different. You’re going to go out and volunteer. At the rescue mission. At Goodwill. At Habitat for Humanity. At senior centers where you can talk to the director and see if you can go in and just sit and talk to the seniors. But don’t help them, ask them questions. Don’t give them advice, ask them questions.

You see, people feel so much better when they’re talking about themselves. And you, while in the past you stayed isolated, depressed, maybe you ate your way through the holidays, or drank your way through the holidays, or smoked your way through the holidays… This year is different. You’re going to get out of your negative self centered nature and be of service to the world. Now that is a great way to deal with the holiday blues.

Number Four. Forgive yourself in writing for not doing the above three steps before this year. Take out your pen and paper, get out of victimhood, and forgive yourself for being a sad sack. And I’m not saying that in a negative way. I’m just saying hey let’s be realistic. If every year up until now you’ve been the victim, everyone else has a great family, everyone else has great in-laws, everyone else has a great partner and you’ve been alone forever. We have to get out of our own way and shatter the victimhood in order to heal.

I know the above steps can help you immensely. But I can’t do it for you. Let’s make together a new resolution before the new year. Let’s create a different approach to the holidays which then will carry a positive mindset into 2018.”

If you need additional help in making this holiday season more enjoyable, contact David at this website www.davidessel.com

Healing Stories: Counseling – Did 2017 Exhaust You? Let’s get healthy for 2018 now

Healing Stories: Counseling – Did 2017 Exhaust You? Let’s get healthy for 2018 now.

The year 2017 will go down as one of the most stressful ones that many of us will ever remember.

Ethnic cleansing near Bangladesh. Massacre in Las Vegas. Hurricane destroys Puerto Rico and Saint Maarten. Hurricanes that severely damaged Houston and Florida.

And by now many people are both emotionally and physically exhausted.

Number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel says there’s a lot we can do starting right now if we want to 2018 to be a powerful year for us all.

David’s 2 keys to letting go of the past and preparing for the future:

Number one. ” I think the most important place to begin,n as we round out 2017 and go into 2018, is to try our very best and feel the emotions surrounding all the tragedies in order to let them go. This might sound like a strange step number one but without feeling the depth of our sadness, grief, anger and maybe even rage… it will get stuck in our bodies somewhere.

Several of my clients in the last several months have come in complaining deeply about the atrocities in the world. They’re angry. But unfortunately, prior to doing work together, they vented the rage and anger on social media. At their family. Even their pets, without taking responsibility to process these emotions inside. The most effective way to begin to process emotions so that we can let them go is in the form of writing.

If we write about the sadness, rage, anger, that has occurred at any of the above mentioned tragedies, we begin to release its grip on us.

After this step, we can go into another form of therapy which is being of service in our community. It does very little to continue to complain about the unfairness in life, without actually trying to do something positive about it.

Number two. Look deeply at your self-care, or lack of it. It’s very normal with the way we are bombarded by the media, social media, radio, television, the internet like blogs etc. to forget about the need to take care of ourselves.

What are you doing for yourself physically? Mentally? Spiritually? Relationship wise? Are you involved in an exercise program? Yoga? Meditation? As I mentioned above service in your community?

Several of my clients in the last 60 days of our work together have noticed that they’re drinking much more on a regular basis. Others have noticed they’ve gained 25 pounds as they continue to shovel sugar down their throats as a way to mask the emotions that they’re feeling.

In other words, both of these are poor emotional coping skills. Self-care is the exact opposite.”

For more information of how David can help you one on one to deal with the tragedies of life, visit his website at www.davidessel.com

Healing Stories: Sexual Harassment and Abuse. When Will It End?

Healing Stories: Sexual Harassment and Abuse.  When Will It End?

The news is filled with recent stories, as well as age old stories, about sexual harassment in the workplace. At home. College campuses. What will it take for it to end?

From accusations against Donald Trump, Bill O’Reilly and Harvey Weinstein… The list goes on and on and on. And let’s not forget Bill Cosby.

Women, with the #metoo symbol, are starting to stand strong in unification together. Is this the first time this has ever happened in the history of United States?

We wonder, why did it take so long? How come people in positions of power, both men and women, haven’t become more actively engaged to stomp out sexual harassment and sexual abuse before now?

Number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel has been helping women in particular heal from sexual harassment and sexual abuse for the past 28 years, and yet even he has not seen the attention given to it right now.

“It seems like we finally have reached a tipping point. The point in life and society where individuals are saying enough is enough. I applaud everywoman, every man, who has decided to take a stance against sexual harassment and sexual abuse.

But is it enough? When the president of United States, and leading power figures in the world of movies and television shows, as well as political talk show hosts are finally called out… Will this be what it takes in order to heal and move forward in life, to create a society where women feel safer?

In family counseling, just like in the world of business, we say everything is top down. And by that we mean that whenever there are problems in society especially when it comes to sexual harassment and sexual abuse, it starts from the top and trickles down. What does that mean? Well let’s look at the presidency. Bill Clinton went through it. Donald Trump bragged about his escapades with women before becoming president. That’s as high in society as we can get.

And the family is no different. The core family. Which is where my work has been for the past 28 years. Whenever I work with someone who has sexual challenges, either they are overly engaged in sexual activities, or they completely have shut down sexually, we always look back to the patriarch or the matriarch of the family for clues as to why their child, a son or daughter, is facing sexual dysfunction.

I’ve worked with countless women in their 40s, 50s and 60s who have suffered their whole life from sexual dysfunction, only to find out that it started with their father. Or their brother. Or their cousin, a male cousin who took advantage of them during something as innocent and simple seemingly as hide and go seek.

And when they finally open up to me in our sessions, which can often take 2 to 3 months of counseling sessions before they feel safe enough to open up about their childhood tragedies to a male, there’s a trail of distraction they left behind them. And the number one person destroyed? Themselves.

I worked with one young lady who was sexually abused by her father from the age of 11 until 21. That’s right age 21. She felt incredible shame, guilt, in saying no to her fathers advances even when she was in college. He had convinced her that she was dirty. She accepted it. And after 12 months of working together she finally rose up and shared her horrific story with her mother, Who dismissed it. Seriously, once again, damaging her daughters self-esteem.

But she didn’t give up. As we worked together she became stronger and stronger and stronger until she finally approached both her mother and father together and blew the door wide open.

Her strength was enormous. She shattered the family secret. And in doing so, protected generations down the road from having to go through the same abuse from another family member. She decided not to visit her parents in their house any longer, but rather stayed in hotels when she went home. The message was given. And on his deathbed, her father apologized profusely with tears running down his face as his life ended.

She is a born-again woman. Filled with strength and fortitude, and has use this to help others in life as well. She has encouraged me to share her story, over and over again, with some of my clients that are as young as 12 years of age who have been sexually molested. Her story has given them strength as well.

How about my interviews with Olympic judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison, who was sexually abused by her judo coach from the ages of 12 to 16? In my interviews with her she said it was one of the hardest things to do at that young of an age, was to point her coach out for what he had done. But she is at peace, and has become an incredible role model for young women in athletics everywhere.

Recently, I started working with a woman in her 40s, that openly shared her extreme sexual dysfunction that was manifested through promiscuity her entire adult life. When we looked at the core issue, her brother had sexually molested her for four years as a little girl, and had threatened her with harm if she said anything to anyone.

After our work together that lasted almost 12 months, she healed, and for the first time in her life became involved with someone who is healthy. A man who could listen to her past story, without judging her, accepting her as she is today… A powerful, confident, healed woman. Her shame and guilt gone, her desire to be free and do the work necessary has allowed her to become a role model in her community as well.

There are thousands of women who have come forward, and walked into the light of healing. It takes incredible strength. I hope that through all of the media attention that is now being given to the most prominent of names, that individuals from all walks of life will seek help, assurance, and assistance in healing any type of sexual harassment and or abuse that they have experienced .

When a woman is sexually harassed or abused one of the following can easily manifest if she does not do the deep inner work to remove the shame, guilt, anger and resentments:

Weight gain: which is a form of protection, being less attractive to men to protect yourself from any future harassment or abuse

Alcoholism: as a way to numb, and submerge the experiences

Drug addiction: the same is alcoholism, a way to mute the severe emotional damage

Anorexia/bulimia: form of control. Most women who experience on going anorexia and or bulimia do it because it’s the one thing they can control in life. Women who have been sexually harassed or abuse will also do the same. Here’s one way they can control their body after others have misused their body.

Depression: in our practice we see that most depression is caused by repressed anger and or resentments which makes sense in all forms of sexual harassment and or abuse

Anxiety: often created due to feeling out of control, and afraid to face the ramifications if they were to out the abuser.

If you or someone you know has been sexually harassed and or abused, reach out to David Essel who has been helping women in these situations for the past 28 years. David offers a free 20 minute phone consultation in which his desires are to help all women begin the process of becoming free from their past.

Number one. Ask for help. Whether you go to a woman’s shelter, a spiritual center or church, or to professional counselors, the time is now. Please don’t wait any longer.

Number two. Read about women like the clients I’ve mentioned above who have broken through incredible amounts of shame and guilt to become free. As women read more about others who have healed it will give them incentive to walk down the same path of healing as well.

I don’t believe that we can totally eradicate the dysfunction of sexual harassment and abuse from our society, but I do believe maybe for the first time in my 28 years as a professional, that we are on the brink of something big. A tipping point. Let us all hold hands, men included, to expose the dysfunction in our country in order to heal it for good.”

Contact David now or visit his website to learn more…

 

Healing Stories: The Las Vegas Massacre…My heart deeply aches.

coping with tragedy in Las Vegas

Healing Stories: The Las Vegas Massacre…My heart deeply aches.

Coping with tragedy…

Disbelief. Rage. Anger. Hopelessness. Sadness. Grief.

As the word of the Las Vegas massacre reached the world the above emotions ran through almost every human being on earth.

Where do we begin? How do we process? Where do we direct our emotions to?

These are some of the questions that have flowed in daily to number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel. The answers for something so tragic are never easy.

Below David tries to offer some hope. Maybe some explanation into what we need to do now after another tragedy has hit our soil.

“My heart, aches deeply. Now. Still. I woke up in the morning to the worst news that I could ever imagine. After the hurricanes. After the earthquake in Mexico City. After the ethnic cleansing that has forced 400,000+ people into the country of Bangladesh who from all accounts is not equipped to deal with the Muslim population that is being persecuted beyond control by of all things a Buddhist nation. Reading about a mass killing in Las Vegas put me over-the-top.

I almost couldn’t catch my breath. Tears flowed. I honestly couldn’t stop crying for 15 minutes. I couldn’t shut it down. How? Why? What’s going on in this world?

I reached out to one of my best friends, James “Smitty” Smith. A Las Vegas resident who is one of the top radio and television boxing analysts in the world. I wanted to know if he was ok. Smitty and I have been friends for over 35 years and I could not imagine if something happened to him at this concert.

He got right back to me but his words I’ll never forget. These are words coming from a former boxer. A macho kind of a guy who also combines that tough guy image with a heart of gold. He told me he was shattered. He didn’t go into work. He couldn’t. The grief was way too heavy. I sat on the phone listening to him and tears were still streaming.

Then I thought of my friends DeBorah and Floyd Little. Melissa Roof. And so many others that live in Las Vegas. I reached out to all of them, holding my breath, praying and hoping that they are all ok. Thank God they were.

And then on my Facebook feed, something that still brings tears to me right now, I started reading about friends of mine that had lost a good friend to the sniper in Las Vegas. Another friend of mine whose daughter was there and got shot in the leg. I was overcome with grief.

I had no time for anger. Yet.

Overwhelmed. Numbness. Every client I worked with on that day was in the same mental and emotional state. Deflated. Absolutely numb .

Even those clients I work with over Skype from all over the world had the same emotional response. None of us were ready to be angry yet. There was so much work to be done in the world of emotions, Grief and sadness were at the top of the list.

So what do we do about this massacre? This tragedy? Regardless if we know someone who was personally affected by it or not?

As a counselor and life coach for the past 27 years I have helped people deal with all kinds of loss, grief, anger, rage, sadness. And we need to try to process the emotions beginning now.

Here are some thoughts, and I truly with my open, hurting heart, hope they may help you in the processing of tragedy .

Number One: Start to limit yourself from reading, listening to, and watching more and more information on this massacre . We need to take a break. Everyone. If you continue to follow every person’s comment, every congressman’s comment, every media personalities,…there is no healing to be done. This is pure fact. I work in the media, but I’m telling you people need to take a break from the onslaught of information.

Number Two: Quit posting on social media your opinion of what happened, why it happened, and how we need to change this world. I see so much anger, people directing anger at each other, the Democrats attacking the Republicans, the Republicans attacking Democrats, the atheist attacking the believers. Enough of the nonsense. Get the hell off social media if you’re going to make comments that you truly don’t know anything about. And as of right now we don’t have enough information for people to be getting angry at each other about such a tragic event. There is no benefit to this whatsoever. Stop it.

Number Three: Take the time to write about your emotions. If you’re grieving, write about your grief, what is the cause. If you’re angry, write about what you’re angry about. If you feel hopelessness, write about your hopelessness. Whatever you’re feeling get it out of your head, out of your heart, on to the paper. This is the first step to heal.

Number Four: Some of my clients are asking right now if there is a God, where was he? Where was she? How come she didn’t intervene and stop the killer? How could he let such a senseless tragedy occur? As an all faith minister these questions come to me even outside of tragedy. Find a professional, a minister, Rabbi, priest and work with them. Ask them these questions. Try to find some answers. They may, or may not, come right away but it’s our responsibility to look.

Number Five: If you come from a spiritual or religious background pray. Pray for those directly affected by this tragedy. Pray for yourself as you feel the depth of emotion of sadness, anger, rage and grief. Prayers do help bring people together, even people that may not know you’re praying for them. They work if you believe they do and if you don’t just skip this step.

Number Six: Donate. Time. Blood. Money. There are ways that you can actively become involved in this tragedy by going to your local blood bank. Or by becoming part of the solution. By following the above tips. By stopping your comments on social media and cutting back on how much time you spend watching, reading or listening to the news. Look in your community. Can you help any organization by volunteering? Think.

Number Seven: Ask for help. Reach out to a counselor, life coach, therapist if you’re still truly deeply struggling and ask for help. Don’t go this alone. This is the time to get guidance and ask someone to guide you through your grieving process.

I believe it’s too early to try to be looking for the “silver lining” in this massacre. I’ve read on social media people saying that “everything happens for a reason” and I think this is terrible advice right now. It’s premature. It’s way too early. I would never advise any of my clients, family or friends to start looking for the good in a massacre so close to the event having just happened. Don’t be foolish and wasting your time on this principle.

There will come a time down the road that you might want to explore the reason for this, the positive side of this equation, but I as a professional do not believe that we are anywhere near that time right now.

If you need help, reach out to me at www.davidessel.com, I want you to know you’re not alone. You are never alone.”

David is offering a one-on-one 20 minute counseling session over the phone at no charge to offer support at this time. Simply e-mail Davidʼs office at david@davidessel.com and one of his staff members will set up your time.
“I am reaching out to all affected and hurting from this tragedy and I hope to be part of the solution and will look forward to helping as many people as I can,” says Essel.
For more information on how David can help you  click here

 

Healing Stories: Counselor Faces Huge Anxiety in the Face of Hurricane Irma

Healing Stories: Counselor Faces Huge Anxiety in the Face of Hurricane Irma

It’s not often that we hear the gut wrenching truth from a mental health professional about facing their own anxiety in one of the biggest storms in life.

But that’s what is one of many things that separates David Essel, A number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host from so many other individuals in this world… Is that he’s willing to share his vulnerable moments as well as his powerful ones.

David is still suffering from the effects of hurricane Irma as this article is being written. He finally found a hotel to stay in after four nights of sleeping in a home without electricity and temperatures reaching 100° every evening. David shares what he believes to be the most important keys in dealing with anxiety in life.

“I’ve been through several hurricanes as I’ve lived in Florida for the last 40 years and everyone of them brings a different type of anxiety. Fear. Unsettledness. But the most recent one, hurricane Irma, affected me in a way I had never experienced it before.

The massive size of the hurricane was one thing that we had to all contend with, and as the news reports leading up to the striking of this hurricane became more prevalent, it was obvious this could be the worst ever. Some people were saying it was four or five times the size of hurricane Andrew that absolutely destroyed many communities around Miami Florida.

I live on the West Coast of Florida, Fort Myers Florida, and we weren’t sure if we are going to get a direct hit or not. In the beginning of the forecast it looked like it was going to go up the East Coast of Florida… But that was to change quickly.

My home is in a flood zone so I had arranged a hotel not far from where I live to take myself and my dog because they have generators. I figured what better place to be than 3 to 4 stories above the ground in a hotel with generators. But on the day we were supposed to move in, Saturday, they closed the hotel. Now what the hell do I do?

I started calling around to realtor friends to see if anyone had a home that I could rent for even a week or two or a month in case the damage from the hurricane was that bad. But no one could find anything for me to jump into at the last minute.

I decided not to evacuate because I knew I had a safe place in the hotel but I had no idea that safe place would be taken from underneath me.

I started to call friends of mine and found one, John Biffar, who was out of town and said I could stay in his condominium which might be a little safer than my house. So I moved in with my dog and sat down to battle what could be the storm of the century.

For the past seven days I had been planning for this. Plenty of food. Water. Flashlights. Everything I could possibly need if it was going to be an extended stay outside of my house.

But then things started to change on the news. It looked like Irma was taking a direction towards Fort Myers and away from Miami. At about 3 o’clock in the afternoon I lost it. Tears started streaming down my face. I was on the ground floor condominium, not far from a major river, and if we did get a direct hit I was Surely going to be flooded out of here as well.

As tears streamed down my face, I looked down and there was my dog Saint looking up at me, I told him that I was human, I was afraid, and we would make it through somehow.

I know, as a counselor, that the most important thing to do with emotions when we’re feeling them is to actually feel them! So I started writing. Journaling. And then I posted on Facebook, something I never do about my personal life, because I knew it was time to do so. There are millions of other people I’m sure that felt the same way I did, but probably were not going to share it in a public setting.

So I posted a very short note on Facebook that this huge wave of anxiety had just passed through me, tears are streaming down my face, I was feeling the effects of a potential direct hit from the hurricane Irma, and it’s OK. This is what we’re supposed to do. When we feel deep anxiety, depression, rage, resentments, we need to feel them, write about them to help process these emotions out of our body

This is not something that men are taught how to do. Many women refuse to express deep emotions as well. But I knew that by posting this on Facebook not only would I be human, because the fear was real, but I might actually help other people to realize it’s OK for them to go deep into their feelings as well.

The outpouring on Facebook was immediate. Many people posted underneath my post that they “were feeling the same thing and thank you for giving them a voice. Thank you for allowing your emotions to touch ours. We are all in this together.”

And this is what I have based my work on for 27 years now. When people come in and they’re going through a life trauma, one of life’s many big storms, addiction, divorce, bankruptcy, extreme weight gain, I help individuals to process their emotions over and over again instead of hiding them, stuffing them, or pretending they’re not there.

The results is instantaneous but you need to keep processing these emotions with the different tools we use on a daily basis in order for them not to get stuck in our bodies, minds and spirits.

My anxiety was well-founded. We did get a direct hit and by the time Irma hit us thank God she was down to a category 2. But as I write this, nine days later, I have moved to a hotel room with air-conditioning awaiting the power to come back on in my life. Every day I write about what I’m actually feeling, being displaced, I’m uncertain of when I can go home. I will survive, thrive and more, and one of the reasons why is because I’m allowing myself to be human, to feel, to process, to heal.”

***When tragedy hits… Americans come together. It’s what we’ve done since the beginning of time. And today, with the combined tragedy of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, is no different. David Essel is a counselor, life coach, best-selling author, radio host and an all faith a minister who has personal experience in the tragedy of hurricanes.

“Unfortunately, I know the devastation of hurricanes on a very personal level. I am now offering, to all of the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, 20 minute phone sessions to help alleviate stress, calm nerves, and anything else I can do.” Says David.

Some of the areas David can help are as followed:

1. Anxiety
2. Frustration
3. Depression
4. Anger
5. Sadness
6. Grief
7. Prayer.

As an all faith minister, David can work with people of all spiritual and or religious backgrounds. Nonreligious people: David will help you with your challenges that have nothing to do with prayer, religion, or spirituality.

“Reach out to your friends and family. Ask professionals in your area for help. The only way to get through these difficult times is to have faith, work as a community and to look for solutions to take care of your immediate needs. I hope I can be part of that solution, and will look forward to helping as many people as I can,” says Essel.

Please e-mail Davidʼs office at david@davidessel.com and one of his staff members will set up your time for a one-on-one 20 minute session over the phone at no charge.  See here for more info

For more for Information on David, visit his website www.davidessel.com