When you take care of others who have problems with your health, your first impulse may be to confront them or offer them advice to help them get back on track, but it is likely that in response you will only hear excuses, frustration, and reasons to avoid the changes you suggest. When you take care of others who have problems with your health, your first impulse may be to confront them or offer them advice to help them get back on track, but it is likely that in response you will only hear excuses, frustration, and reasons to avoid the changes you suggest.
Trying a different method – with motivational interview strategies – can help. This therapeutic method serves to encourage people to make changes that stick to what they value most. It has been shown that this therapy helps to treat chronic conditions and to improve habits in diet and exercise.
Consider these motivational interview strategies:
- Think about what is important to your loved one. Children, relationships, spirituality, and security are common examples.
- Express empathy. Ask open-ended questions to know the importance your loved one gives you to make a change. (How important do you think it is to stop smoking?) Listen carefully and recapitulate about the feelings of your loved one. (Smoking is something you enjoy, but you worry that you can develop serious illness.)
- Align actions with values. Ask what it is that matters most to your loved one. Core values can motivate healthy choices. (You really care about your children’s health. Preparing healthy meals for yourself is also good for them.)
- Give in to the resistance. If your loved one does not want to change, accept those feelings and avoid arguments.
- Supports self-confidence. It provides reminders of past accomplishments as a way to motivate small steps to success.
If your loved one expresses the desire, need or commitment to change, stir the fire! Encourage him to continue with his steps in the positive direction. Your motivation can make the difference.
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Detect the depression of a loved one:
When one perceives the signs of depression in a loved one, it is normal to be worried.
You may notice that loved one:
- Have been depressed, sad or showing hopelessness for at least two weeks.
- Has lost interest or does not enjoy daily activities
- Has been irritable or restless
- Has lost or gained a notorious amount of weight
- He had insomnia or sleep too much
- He seems fatigued or has had less energy than usual
- You have mentioned feelings of insignificance, impotence or guilt
- Has difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- It is socially isolated
- Think or try suicide
Fortunately, all levels of depression are treatable. Help your loved one find a treatment with these tips:
- Recommend professional help. Consider family doctors, community mental health centers, or employee assistance programs. Keep in mind that some insurance plans require primary care physicians to be the “first contact” for mental health treatment.
- Take the reins. If necessary, help your loved one establish that first date – and accompany him when the time comes.
- It offers emotional support. Understand patient and loving. If your loved one wishes to surrender, encourage him to continue the treatment.
- Start the activity. Invite your loved one to take a bike ride in the afternoon, go to the movies or take one of your favorite walks.
Never ignore the comments about suicide. If your loved one talks about taking their own lives, seek professional help right away.