Anger

Don’t Let Defensiveness Stand in the Way of Personal Growth

I can remember watching the popular girls in my elementary school bully another student, I'll call her Megan, because they thought she was “weird.” They would say rude things to her all day, making fun of her hair, her drawings, the way she spoke. And Megan would just sit there silently through it all, not even looking at them. She'd keep doing her homework, drawing, playing. Sadly, the other kids and I didn’t make any effort to help her, lest the mean girls turned their sights on us.

Megan was turning the other cheek, but I just didn’t get -- not then. I figured they were teasing her because she didn’t fight back. I promised myself I’d always fight back. Of course that only got me into a whole new kind of trouble -- Defensiveness.
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Family

What’s Your Name?

What’s your name? My name is Thomas Winterman, and I used to be a fat guy. Whew! It feels good to say that. No really, it’s nice to be able to call a spade a spade. I used to speak in code with words like “husky” or “large,” but I never allowed myself to say what I was.

I used to be fat, and it was not a good look on me. I was 275 pounds at my heaviest, and I was at (or near) my heaviest for a very long time. I loathed exercise and loved Taco Bell, a double chin recipe if I’ve ever heard one. When people said my name, they thought “fat guy.”

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Anger

Transforming My Angry Tightness

Last year, my husband Jon wanted me to do something I didn’t want to do. Jon promised his father they would speak on the phone at a certain time. So I had to leave Connecticut earlier than I wanted (to find cell phone reception), cutting short my lovely Sunday afternoon in the country. I felt myself get “tight” in my body, angry at having to make the accommodation.

I am not proud of my selfish reaction. Nevertheless I was powerless to stop it. My body tightened and I pushed back, asking Jon in a complaining voice, “What’s the big deal if you talk to your dad later?” But Jon insisted, claiming he made a promise he wanted to keep. So we rushed out the door.

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Anxiety and Panic

How to Help Someone with Anxiety

As human beings, it’s in our nature to care for those we love. If something’s wrong, we want to find ways to make things better.

One of my best friends suffered with anxiety for years. When he first confided in me, I was shocked. Below are insights I've gathered for helping someone with anxiety.

Anxiety disorders often involve overgeneralization
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Books

4 Tips for Helping Your Kids Practice Mindfulness

Our kids get just as stressed out as we do. While they don’t have bills, a demanding boss or a continuously-increasing workload, they do have homework, classmates, teachers, bullies and big emotions. So it helps to have a variety of tools they can use to manage their stressors and regulate their emotions -- tools they can take into adolescence and adulthood. Because stress and emotions are part of everyone’s daily life. And because everyone benefits from having healthy coping strategies.

That’s exactly what author and clinical social worker Carla Naumburg, Ph.D, provides in her newest book Ready, Set, Breathe: Practicing Mindfulness with Your Children for Fewer Meltdowns and a More Peaceful Family. In this wise and down-to-earth book, Naumburg features practical and creative strategies for practicing mindfulness at home. She defines mindfulness as “the practice of choosing to pay attention to whatever is happening right here and right now, without judging it or wishing it were different.”
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ADHD and ADD

How to Prioritize Your Life When You Have ADHD, Part 1

Prioritizing may seem simple enough. You figure out what you need to do, when you need to do it, and then you do it. But there are actually many steps and processes involved in prioritizing your life. These include everything from paying and shifting attention to planning to getting organized to making decisions to taking action -- all of which also involve multiple steps within each piece. And all these parts and pieces are challenging for people with ADHD because of impairments in executive functioning.

That means that it’s important to have good strategies in place that take those obstacles into account. First, it’s important to identify what’s really troubling you about prioritizing. As ADHD coach Casey Dixon, PCC, BCC, said, are you struggling with knowing your priorities or following through on your priorities? Because these will require very different strategies.
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Children and Teens

Men and Intimacy: How Do Our Families Shape Us?

“The need for love and intimacy is a fundamental human need, as primal as the need for food, water, and air.”  - Dean Ornish, MD, physician and founder of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California
Seth’s natural impulse was to shy away from showing his feelings to his girlfriend. That made perfect sense to me, since he grew up with a father who rarely showed affection to anyone in the family.

How would a little boy learn that it was all right to express intimacy and affection if his own father chose reserve emotional expression? Answer: A little boy would not.
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Family

Parenting Tips: Understanding Momentary Balance


This is crucial information!

Let me ask you something -- Are you tired of hearing everyone talk about "work/life balance" and how important it is to treat yourself with "radical self-care?" Parents get hit with this all the time. It's the new standard for "successful" families (and couples). Right?

Meanwhile, parents everywhere are thinking: Balance? Me time? Sex time? Fun time?...What’s that? Because, even in the moments when having kids seems worth it and you really smile and enjoy precious time together, being a parent is demanding. In fact, with all the stress, worry, housework, errands, activities, and such, living the married life with children feels like a constant juggling act.
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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: March 19, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

I hope you've had a fantastic week -- better than mine, anyway. We're having a new roof installed and, well, when you work from home, let's just say it's a bit difficult to concentrate with all the banging, hammering, and stomping. (However, the contractors at least chose some of my favorite classic rock hits to blast, so, there's that!).

Despite all the distractions, I managed to scour the Internet for some fascinating information on new research and reports regarding the happiest countries on the planet, the lesser-known postpartum bipolar disorder, the five different personality types, and more.

Enjoy!

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Anger

Daddy Dearest: When the Father-Son Bond Just Isn’t There

Golfing buddies, hiking pals, math tutor, and your hero-in-chief. Or not.

I grew up with an emotionally distant father. His parenting style: disinterested with a minor in disdain. There was an aloofness, even coldness.

I vowed to be different than Dad. And I am. But then, innocuously enough, I mutter one of his pithy sayings. Those thoughts, sensations, feelings overflow. I stew, ruminating on the frayed relationship.

Entering adulthood, my father’s detachment gnaws. The demeaning comments rankle; the coolness stings. When Mom (RIP) was alive, her warmth compensated for Dad’s standoffishness.
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Disorders

Is Your Diagnosis a Deal-breaker? How to Survive an Adoption Home Study

Adopting our son, Tommy, from Guatemala in 2005 was one of the most difficult, time-consuming, detail-oriented things I’ve ever done. The powers-that-be purposely make adoption hard for couples so that people won’t abuse the system and/or the children in the system.

Adoption is a multi-part process. When a couple wants to adopt a child, they must complete a mountain of paperwork, get recommendations, submit to background checks and participate in what’s known as...
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Family

The #1 Way You Antagonize Your Partner

When you’re in a relationship, you’re always trying to neutralize conflict. You’re always working to calm emotional flare-ups and meet eye-to-eye. You likely have the best of intentions -- you just want to quell fights before they do real damage to the relationship. Unfortunately, one of the ways in which you’re attempting to reduce conflict is likely backfiring.

What’s the one way you try to pacify your partner that’s actually making him or her angrier? It’s telling them to “get over it” and “move on.” 
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