Anger

4 Ways To Stop Overthinking Your Mistakes

You know how when you trip walking down the street, it feels like the entire cityscape of people is staring at you in amusement? Or when you’ve worn the same pair of pants three times in one week, you’re completely paranoid your colleagues are judging you for your lack of fashion sense (or cleanliness)? What about when you fumble over your words in a presentation, and then can’t stop thinking about how every person in the room now thinks you’re a terrible speaker?

As human beings with egos and an innate self-awareness of our own feelings, actions and thoughts, we tend to notice and greatly exaggerate our flaws while assuming everyone around us has a microscope focused on our faults, mistakes and slip-ups. In truth, other people don’t notice them nearly as much as we assume. Why? Because they’re too busy noticing and greatly exaggerating their own flaws!
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Brain and Behavior

Your Life: Are You Winning or Losing?

Many of us have given up on ourselves. We've given up on our ability to manage who we want to be and how we want to live. Modern life comes with a plethora of distractions. Abandoning the potential of our own lives has become the new normal.

I'd like to offer another way: viewing life as a poker game, with mindfulness as your poker face. One of the goals of mindfulness is to redirect us into the game of our own lives. Mindfulness can also help us be a little more playful when we've been dealt what we perceive to be a bad hand.

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Anxiety and Panic

Two Ways to Put the Brakes on Your Anxiety

Our human instinct is to react and push back when we feel pain and discomfort. When we struggle with anxiety, those feelings are magnified. Our inherent response is to try and get rid of unpleasant feelings and sensations immediately. But does it really work?

This is an important question, and ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) teaches that fighting the discomfort can actually make the situation worse. Mental health providers practicing ACT often use the quicksand metaphor, and the reaction we naturally would have if we were ever caught in it. Even though we know it makes matters worse when we panic and try to get out quickly, our survival mechanisms tell us differently.
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Anxiety and Panic

4 Hidden Ways Shame Operates

Shame is the painful sense of being flawed or defective. It is so painful to experience this toxic shame that we may find ways to avoid feeling it. Shame is more destructive when it operates secretly.

Here are some common ways that I’ve observed shame operating in many of my psychotherapy clients. Being mindful of the shame that lives inside us is the first step toward healing it and affirming ourselves more deeply.
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General

9 Ways to Increase Your Inner Happiness Reserve

According to a recent study published earlier this year in the journal of Happiness Studies, people who rate themselves as the happiest are more likely to share a certain gene. Despite the findings of this study, can it be as simple as that? One’s emotional state or temperament cannot just be boiled down strictly to one’s DNA. That being said, since one might not be able to control their genetic blueprint, there are a myriad of important factors in one’s own life, like their environment, and personal life choices/outlook that can increase or decrease one's satisfaction in life.

A few are mentioned below. Work to cultivate these traits on a daily basis. Doing so can trump any potential deficiencies in your happiness trait(s) that you might be born with.
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Anger

How to Stop Hurting When You Have a Narcissistic Parent

“If I accept that I can never have a real relationship with my father, it feels like I don’t have a father. If I accept that, am I still a son?”

Jack’s Story:

Jack is a 45-year-old architect, recently married for the first time. He came to therapy to deal with long-standing feelings of depression. His wife, ten years younger than Jack, wanted to start a family. Jack had spent years keeping a cool and cordial distance from his critical father. Now, as his wife pressed him to become a father himself, he felt flooded by sadness and insecurity. Could he be a good father? What if he messed it up?
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Addiction

7 Recovery Mantras for Your Sobriety Journey


Nothing changes if nothing changes. Sometimes I’m still baffled by the fact that this didn’t resonate with me the first time I heard it.

When I stumbled my way into the world of recovery, I was met with many words of wisdom from people with good intentions. At the time it frustrated me, as these sayings about sobriety did not seem to ring true for me. They sounded too grateful and enthusiastic, and I was not in a place to be grateful or enthusiastic. I was angry at the world and resistant to recovery. I was early in my sobriety and had yet to realize what it had to offer.

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Habits

Taking the Judge Out of Judgment: Overcoming Your Critical Voice

My computer screen and I have been embroiled in a staring contest for the past 15 minutes. Strike that -- 30 minutes.

I have writer’s block.

Let’s evaluate my typical response. I belittle my mind, slink around the apartment, and ransack the empty refrigerator. My cheerful disposition devolves into a caustic impersonator.

Returning to the scene of the crime, the words trickle out like a leaky faucet. I have an overwhelming desire to hurl my MacBook Pro into the Puget Sound.
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General

Equine Assisted Therapy: An Interview with Anna Mott

Equine assisted psychotherapy (EAP) is an experiential treatment modality used to help a person's psychological health through directed interactions with a horse. While the idea may seem a little silly on first blush, it actually has a growing research base to suggest its potentially beneficial effects for those who engage in it. You can learn more about equine assisted psychotherapy here.

In this interview with Anna Mott -- owner of Alo Horses, an Equine Gestalt Coach, and a Karuna Reiki Master -- we learn more about a form of equine assisted therapy called the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method.

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Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: September 10, 2016


On September 11, 2001, four airplanes were hijacked by al-Qaeda and flown into both World Trade Center towers in New York City and the Pentagon just outside of Washington, D.C., killing more than 3,000 people, including police officers and firefighters.

Tomorrow is the 15th anniversary of what we now refer to as 9/11, and people will pause and reflect and grieve just as they have for the past decade and a half.

They will take a moment or two or more to remember those who were senselessly killed during these attacks -- as well as their family members and other loved ones.

I know I, for one, will, too.

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Mindful Listening and Body Language

"The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Interviewing Stanford University Cultivating Compassion Training facilitators Margaret Cullen and Erika Rosenberg about their experience of motherhood for my mindfulness4mothers program was a restorative process in itself.

Even after two full days of leading us in a discovery of the power of compassion and kindness toward ourselves and others, they were able to listen with gentle care and interest.

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