Best of Our Blogs Articles

Best of Our Blogs: September 16, 2014

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

My greatest heartbreak came after the end of a 11 year relationship. She came into my life at the cusp of my youth just as I was beginning to shed my sheltered teen years and discover my true self. There were moments of spoiled, rotted, rebelliousness during that decade, and unlovable, bad behavior. But that’s what made her death even more devastating.

Those who had or have a pet know.

Whether dog, cat, bird, or rabbit, our furry families sometimes are the sole beings in our lives who get us. They ask little, but give so much in return. Through their unconditional love and acceptance, they have the power to change our lives.

On every, “Dear Santa” letter, I asked for her. Seventeen years later, when that tiny black, white and brown menace finally came into our lives, I temporarily doubted my decision. But my inability to initially accept her after years of wishing for a dog wasn’t nearly as surprising as the huge impact she had on my mom. One evening while we were mourning her death she said, “Thank you for bringing her into our lives. She opened my heart again to love.”

Pet owners universally understand the profound impact pets have on our lives. But what we may not be aware of is their potential to teach us. Our top post shares what we can learn from them about mindfulness.

Not a pet lover? You’ll still reap benefit from our other posts. Scroll down to learn how to find more meaning in your life, cultivate a stronger relationship, and be happier.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: September 12, 2014

Friday, September 12th, 2014

You might have felt it-a slight stir in the weather, the change in decor at stores, the waft of pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg at the coffee shop. We’re on the verge of a season change. But before you get swallowed up by all of the holidays that come with it, I hope you’ll take time to pause, reflect and nourish yourself.

If you’re on the verge of changing with the seasons, whether it be a new exercise, challenging task, or a different outlook on life, breathe in these wise words from Oprah Winfrey.

“The best way I know for sure to stay in steady makeover mode is to take care of yourself. To feed yourself with love and loving thoughts. To eat food that’s delicious to you and to your body. To engage in loving practices, like giving yourself the gift of stillness at least five minutes a day. To surround yourself with people who bring you light, and to banish all forms of negative energy.

Moving forward, you will see that the value you give yourself is the value the world reflects back to you. When you care about yourself enough to embrace change, you’re on the path that will lead you home to happiness.”

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: September 9, 2014

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

This week is National Suicide Prevention Week.

It’s hard not to think about my grandfather who suffered severe depression or the countless clients I had from teens to older adults who came to see me, some so distraught they wanted to harm themselves. It’s reminder about my own bouts with depression. It’s made me appreciative of everyone experiencing the downward spiral of hopelessness who believe the only answer is suicide.

If that sounds like you or someone you know, I hope that you will stop reading this and get help. The one thing I wish I knew back when I was in the thick of it was that depression is like a tremendous wave. It’s scary, ominous and you’re certain you’ll drown in it. But if you lift your head high enough, you will overcome it. If you ride it out, the view on the other side is unbelievably amazing. In fact, my life is more meaningful because I was able to overcome it. You couldn’t tell me then. But through the support of loved ones, I got through it.

Several weeks ago, I shared a conversation with Before Happiness author Shawn Achor and Oprah on Super Soul Sunday. He also said, “I have my journal and the very first entry I wrote was, ‘I don’t remember being happy and I don’t think I’ll ever be again.’ It sounds so melodramatic now, but that’s how I felt. I wish I could go back to the boy who wrote that journal entry and anyone who’s experiencing depression. I wish I could show them a glimpse that that was not the end of the story.” Achor’s life changed dramatically for the better. And yours can too. Here are a few tips for dealing with depression, our depression screening test and there’s even a free new app that can help you identify whether you’re suffering from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and PTSD.

If you’re not in severe distress or feeling depressed, but just need a life-enhancing boost, our post on inspirational quotes is worth the read. This week, you’ll also be surprised by what we learned about video games, why some women seek affairs and the tortured artist. Lastly, please read our blogger’s heartbreaking tribute to her friend she recently loss to suicide.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: September 5, 2014

Friday, September 5th, 2014

“We have a spiritual longing for community and relatedness and for a cosmic vision, but we go after them with literal hardware instead of with sensitivity of the heart. We want to know all about peoples from far away places, but we don’t want to feel emotionally connected to them.

We are showered with information about living healthfully, but we have largely lost our sense of the body’s wisdom. We can tune in to news reports and know what is happening in every corner of the world, but we don’t seem to have much wisdom in dealing with these world problems. We have many demanding academic programs in professional psychology, and states often have rigid requirements for the practice of psychotherapy, and yet there is undoubtedly a severe dearth of wisdom about the mysteries of the soul.” – Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul

If you’ve ever wondered where all your time went,

if your days are impossibly full,

if you wish you had more than 24 hours in a day,

I beg you to consider whether you’re doing what’s necessary to nourish your soul.

As Moore says in the quote above, we often inundate ourselves with information about the world. We seek answers through pills. We seek connection through technology. We distract ourselves from our own problems with the problems of the world.

Temporarily, it fills us. Long-term we grow further and more distant from our inner wisdom. Eventually, we don’t even recognize our own selves.

Instead of escaping your problems by immediate remedies and the promise of instantaneous relief, I hope this week’s post will inspire you to listen to your body’s wisdom and take your precious time to reveal what you need most right now to soothe what hurts, repair old wounds and to take care of yourself.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: September 2, 2014

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

It’s not enough that we’re here, we’re alive, we’re together reading this.

We need to be conscious parents so we can create responsible, compassionate, confident, yet humble, emotionally intelligent and bright human beings.

We should be mindful of our actions, successful at work, dependable, creative, and unique yet socially adept.

We need to be flexible enough to lean into everything.

We need to prioritize our relationships, work hard so we can retire early and be available for our kids and our jobs 24/7.

If we had enough time to catch our breath, we’d realize this list is laughable because it’s brimming with unreachable expectations. In a word, impossible. But since we’re too busy trying to keep up with everyone else, we keep at it. We dismiss the importance of resting and enjoying life. Instead we exhaust ourselves to achieve, people-please, and do everything perfectly.

As you read this week’s list of posts on how to have a more positive attitude, why kids need time to play, on the detriments of a lack of sleep and the pros and cons of psychotropic meds, I hope you’ll remember that the key isn’t to do all things perfectly. What’s most important is to educate yourself and then make choices that are right for you and your family.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: August 29, 2014

Friday, August 29th, 2014

We’re gearing up for a long weekend. For those who have the day off on Labor Day, how will you spend your time?

I’ve noticed recently that doing no-thing does not feel restful, healing, nor meditative. It feels uncomfortable and anxiety provoking.

Forced to lay still in my yoga class, I realized that all that busy-ness made doing, achieving, and checking things off my to-do list feel normal. But nothing wasn’t empty. Nothing wasn’t void of meaning. Nothing was rich of possibility, potential and faith that if I were to surrender to the moment, all of my questions would eventually be answered and that everything I ever thought I needed or wanted already existed inside of me.

It’s the answer that continues to save me whether I’m having trouble coping with or taking responsibility for my emotions. Silence can soothe the difficulties that external resources can’t resolve.

This holiday, I hope you’ll devote at least a few minutes to doing nothing. Turn off your television. Shut off your laptop. Silence your smartphone. Let those answers sit unresolved. Let your body rest in inactivity. And just be.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: August 26, 2014

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

“Most people are manipulated by the approval of others, the paycheck that supports them, and the lifestyle that has handcuffed them to the brass ring of perceived success. On this path we eventually live like slaves to a man-made system. We chase the goals of others instead of pursuing our own dreams. We anesthetize our despair with the next purchase, pill, or plunder.” – T. D. Jakes from Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive

What do you want more than anything?

I could guess that the thing you truly desire has little to do with material things. If you dig in deep, it probably has everything to do with love. Love for yourself. Love for a creative endeavor. Love for those you care about.

Oftentimes those dreams are so hidden, buried beneath years of repression of expression from feeling unworthy, untalented, or afraid, that we’re not even conscious that they exist.

What you’ll see instead are symptoms that manifest from neglected instincts, desires and passions-a difficult child, addiction to drama and conflict, a meaningless life, and overall life dissatisfaction. If that sounds like you, this week’s post will push you towards the life of your dreams.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: August 22, 2014

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Why You Struggle With Relationships

If you’re constantly stumbling over relationships with relatives, co-workers, friends and romantic partners, you’re probably fed up. Maybe you want to give up. But before you throw in the towel, check out this Sounds True podcast with clinical psychologist Dr. Welwood. Here is a snippet that explains the root of our own relationship wounds.

“You know, I have a friend who had a baby recently and I’ve been hanging out with the baby a lot, and it’s so clear that this little baby is a bundle of love, sailed in from the universe, and we start out that way. The thing is that people are already so wounded—our parents, and the people around us are already so wounded—they are cut off from the heart, cut off from their true nature, cut off from the capacity to really be in full conscious relationship with other beings.

When that happens, the child goes into shock, essentially, because that child doesn’t know what’s going on or how to understand that—or know what to do with it, even. The child doesn’t have the capacity to know what to do with it. The child’s nervous system is completely undeveloped and can’t process anything like that, or begin to understand it.

So what we all do, very understandably, is we shut down, and that shutdown cuts us off from our essential nature—as love, as openness, as awareness. That is the basic wound. And then we wind up feeling disconnected and feeling sort of bad about ourselves, and that actually goes further—in our culture…We wind up feeling there’s something wrong with us—that we’re not actually lovable in and of ourselves or who we are.”

Feeling inadequate and unlovable are understandable given the pain that persists from childhood. But what do you do now to improve your relationship with others and yourself? Keep reading. Our posts this week provide tips on when to communicate, how to find your life purpose and how to make your partner appreciate you.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: August 19, 2014

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

For the past few years I’ve been battling an autoimmune disease. On bad days, it wreaks havoc on my physical and emotional health. The hardest part of dealing with the illness, however, is not fighting it, but myself.

When things are going well, it’s almost a non-issue. As a result, I might let things slide a bit forgetting the importance of self-care. I’ll start to eat foods that don’t serve me, sleep a little too late, or work a little too much. And then when I’m sick again, I feel defeated. The greatest challenge is to be kind to myself when I mess up. Because I will.

The same can be said whether you’re battling an illness, making life-enhancing decisions, coping with your inner critic or teaching your children how to have a healthy relationship with their emotions. We all have days when we make mistakes. The only way to have the stamina to persevere is to meet each disappointment with kindness, acceptance and the belief that while we screwed up today, we can always try again tomorrow.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: August 15, 2014

Friday, August 15th, 2014

“Depression is different for everyone, but for me it was like I wandered into a swamp and couldn’t remember how I got there, but more importantly I couldn’t remember why I wanted to get back out of it.” – Before Happiness author Shawn Achor, Super Soul Sunday

It’s difficult to grieve over Robin Williams’s death without asking, “Why?” He was successful, talented, and famous. But mental illness affects all of us.

Before Happiness author Shawn Achor talked to Oprah on Super Soul Sunday about how his depression caused him to lose 20 pounds and walk in front of a moving bus. He says depression was difficult to evade, but he no longer fears it. “Depression is not something we need to fear cause it’s not the end of the story.”

As a young adult, I also suffered from depression. Bouts of dismay and hopelessness felt permanent and unrelenting. But Achor was right. It was definitely one of the hardest things I had to go through, but with the support of loved ones it became the beginning, not the end of my story.

Williams’s tragic end is a reminder that none of us are immune to depression. But there are things we can do to get through it. Achor says, “Altruism is one of the greatest buffers against depression.” Giving to others takes the spotlight off our own problems and returns purpose and meaning into our own lives.

If you’re at a point where doing anything seems like a great feat, don’t try to cope with it on your own. There’s no shame in seeking help and support. We’re all susceptible to pain and challenges. Sometimes we need a helping hand to help us through it. Don’t wait for things to get better. Don’t wait until the end of this post. Seek help now!

If your depression isn’t severe or you’re just looking for support, resources and information following Robin William’s death, you’ll find a lot of relevant posts this week. Read on about depression, suicide, and childhood neglect to get a new perspective on the way you see yourself and what’s possible for your life.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: August 12, 2014

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Every time I hear someone say that what goes on outside shouldn’t affect your internal state of mind, I believe them. I do. We should be still like the ocean’s bottom, unchanging despite the surface waves. This way we won’t rock one way when life is good and crumble the other way when things aren’t going well.

But what do you do if you can’t stop outside situations from corrupting how you feel on the inside?

There are simple things you can do shake the uglies away by using external circumstances to improve your mood right now. Scroll down to feel happier by using what’s going on around you to make you feel better about yourself and your life.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: August 8, 2014

Friday, August 8th, 2014

In every person’s life there is pause. There is the calm before the storm. There are hills and valleys. There is chaos and time for rest.

How you interpret moments of perceive stillness can speak volumes of how you live your every day.

Do you fill silence with the murmur of the television?

Do you escape non-busyness with mindless games and mindlessly surfing the internet?

Do you satisfy your craving for drama with reality TV, picking fights with loved ones, or worrying and overthinking?

Do you regard calm as unease?

Do you try to erase uncomfortable quiet with food, online shopping or gambling?

If you said, “Yes” to any of these, scroll through our list of top posts this week. Instead of filling your mind with harmful and self-sabotaging activities, soak up the words of our bloggers who will guide you through everything from growing into your best self to attracting and cultivating your best relationship.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Recent Comments
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