General

On the Destructive Belief That No One Can Make Us Feel Anything

When I studied psychology back in the day, Fritz Perls was very popular. I felt a new sense of empowerment reading his compelling writing about “owning” the self and developing radical self-reliance -- moving from environment support to self-support.

Perls’ views may have been what the doctor ordered when social values encouraged being agreeable and placating others rather than honoring our experience (our feelings and wants) and staying connected to ourselves. Perls cajoled, jolted, and perhaps even shamed people into becoming self-reliant and self-sufficient. One popular view was “No one has or ever will make you feel anything.”

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Habits

7 Tips on How to Kick the Habit of Indecisiveness

People usually struggle to make choices because they don’t believe in their ability to think for themselves; they believe other people are more capable of making the “right” choice for them. When this is the case, they pawn off small and major decisions to others so they can feel more confident in their decisions. The problem with this is that it gives other people control.
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Anxiety and Panic

7 Practical Tips for Relieving Holiday Depression

For highly-sensitive folks and people predisposed to sadness, the holidays create a perfect storm for depression. There's the added stress of holiday shopping, decorating, and parties -- not to mention dealing with strained family relations; snowball and gingerbread cookies seem to stalk you; and a sense of forced merriment has a way of making you feel like a total loser if you change the radio station when "Jingle Bells" comes on.

According to research posted by the
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Anxiety and Panic

When Worrying Takes Over

There are many worriers out there: The man who constantly worries about whether he has or will get cancer or another terrible disease. The woman who lies awake at night, fearing that she will never meet the right one. The grandmother who can’t let go of the idea that the plane with her grandchildren on board might crash. The employee who can’t concentrate because he fears he may have made a mistake that will cost him his job.

They are all different, but worriers also have a lot in common: Unconsciously, they see worrying as a useful strategy to get prepared and gain control.
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Family

The Gift of Contentment During this Holiday Season

“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu
In a recent session, my client, Beth, explained, “The holidays are here again. I know I’m supposed to be excited, but it’s really just a reminder of how far away my family and friends are.” Beth had recently moved far away from her family for a job and really didn’t have anyone special to be with over the holidays. She was planning on spending them alone with a bottle of wine and a box of chocolate.
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Anger

How Meditation Helps Our Relationships

We may think of meditation as a way to gain inner peace and tranquility. But have you considered how a meditation practice can create a climate that deepens intimacy and improves communication?

John Gottman’s research into what makes marriages succeed rveals that when partnerships are marred by a high degree of criticism, contempt, stonewalling, and defensiveness, they often end up in divorce. How can we reduce these intimacy-busting behaviors and create a climate that supports the love we want?

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Habits

How to Live Life with No Limits

“I don’t have any limitations on what I think I could do or be.” – Oprah Winfrey
If there’s one thing that puts a damper on achieving goals, it’s the tendency to place arbitrary limits on ourselves. This is like attempting to go out on the roof while locking the access door before climbing out. No wonder it’s so difficult to finish the task. Call it subconscious sabotage or inattention to detail or something else, but the result isn’t what was intended.
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Caregivers

How to Stop Apologizing for Everything You Do

Do either of these situations sound familiar?

You start an email to your boss with, “I’m sorry to bother you, but…”


A colleague plops his papers down on the conference table, knocking your coffee over. “Sorry! Let me get this stuff out of your way,” you say as you begin cleaning up.

Maybe you’ve fallen into this over-apologizing trap or have found yourself saying “I’m sorry” for things that don’t merit an apology in the first place.
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Ethics & Morality

Expressing Gratitude Throughout the Year

Now that Thanksgiving is over, and everyone has expressed lots of gratitude to their family, friends, co-workers, over Facebook, and through other social media outlets, does this mean we are done with expressing gratitude? It shouldn’t mean that, but often it does.

Gratitude is a practice that should be expressed on a daily basis. Studies have shown that expressing gratitude can increase your level of happiness. Our brain often has a negativity bias, meaning...
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