Self-Help Articles

25 Questions for Cultivating Self-Compassion

Friday, October 24th, 2014

25 Questions for Cultivating Self-CompassionAs I wrote in this piece on journaling prompts for self-reflection and self-discovery, part of building a healthy relationship with ourselves is keeping an open and honest dialogue. It’s continually asking ourselves questions and welcoming the answers. It’s getting to know ourselves, at our core.

Another part of building a healthy relationship is cultivating self-compassion. But I know that for many of us this is hard. Really hard. Being kind feels foreign, and unnatural. Instead, after many years, our automatic reaction may be to bash, berate and bully ourselves.

Are You Guilty of Low Self-Esteem Workarounds?

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Sad Woman

Those of us who struggle with low self-esteem might not like ourselves very much. But, because we’re alive, we like other people and other stuff. As scathingly as we might view our reflections in mirrors or our performance at work, a few things out there in the world still bring us unadulterated joy.

No matter how harsh I’ve been to myself all day, no matter how much I’ve regretted a certain morning’s dialogues, let a crow land near me and I am rapt. Transported by its sleek black muscularity, its knowing eyes. Transformed. Make it a raven and I might treasure this moment all my life.

5 More Ways to Cultivate Your Child’s Creativity

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

5 More Ways to Cultivate Your Child’s CreativityLast month I interviewed Tom Sturges, a music executive and mentor, about his tips for cultivating creativity in kids. This month I wanted to share some great tips from Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way for Parents: Raising Creative Children.

If you’re unfamiliar with Cameron, she penned a bestselling book on the creative process called The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity. She’s also a novelist, playwright, songwriter and poet.

The Secret to Living with Treatment-Resistant Depression

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

sad_woman09dYou’d never suspect this by listening to pharmaceutical ads, but only one-third of people with major depression get better after trying an antidepressant. The others go on to try different drugs, or combinations of medicine and psychotherapy, and usually seven in 10 achieve remission.

The other third?

They are labeled with the three most dreaded words in the mental health profession: treatment-resistant depression.

The Benefits of Being Scared

Monday, October 20th, 2014

The Benefits of Being ScaredBeing scared isn’t always a negative. You can be scared in many different ways.

There is the “scary movie” kind of scared, where you don’t know what’s going to pop out on the screen. There’s the jumping out of a plane kind of scared, where you fear real death and your adrenaline is pumping loudly. Lastly, there is the taking a chance kind of scared, where you have to address someone or something that’s anxiety-producing and you don’t know if the outcome will be favorable.

Radical Self-Care for Moms

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Radical Self-Care for MomsAs a mom, when you hear that it’s important to take care of yourself, your eyes might glaze over and you may be thinking something like: “Another thing I need to add to my to-do list: ‘self-care.’ How am I supposed to do that?”

That’s the reaction Elizabeth Sullivan sometimes gets from her clients.

It Helps to Focus on the Positive Stuff

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

It Helps to Focus on the Positive StuffThings are OK as they are. That’s the one fact I’ve been struggling with recently.

I have this image in my mind as to how I want things to be. I want to make lots of money, I want a house in the mountains, I want to get married. All of this I worry about on a near-daily basis. These are also the things that drive me to work, to be better, and to achieve more things.

Stories that Sabotage Coping and Spike Stress

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

Stories that Sabotage Coping and Spike StressOur belief systems, or personal stories, dictate our behavior. The stories we spin about ourselves can shape everything from the decisions we make to how we interact with others to the goals we accomplish.

“Our thoughts have tremendous power and largely create our realities,” said Joyce Marter, LCPC, a psychotherapist who writes the Psych Central blog The Psychology of Success.

Reflect & Reframe

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Reflect and ReframeWe all know people who are well-educated but somehow aren’t very smart. We also know people without much formal education who are quite wise. So, it’s obvious that it’s not just what we learn in school that makes us smart. It’s more about how we use our mind and live our life.

To live life with a high degree of competence, it’s essential to frequently reflect and reframe.

7 Ways to Navigate Self-Doubt

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

7 Ways to Navigate Self-DoubtEveryone experiences self-doubt. It’s one of the most common concerns psychotherapist Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, encounters in her therapy and career counseling.

Self-doubt shows up in different ways. It might manifest as seeking advice or validation for decisions because we don’t trust ourselves, she said.

It may mean minimizing yourself, such as saying that a personal idea was something you read online “to avoid rejection in case others don’t like your idea.”

Falling into Autumn: How to Keep Moving With Your Endings and Beginnings

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Fall

During the time of the Fall Equinox, which fell this year on the same week as a new moon, the energy shift feels palpable. Many people can feel the change in light and weather, and treat September as its own sort of New Year.

The new moon represents new beginnings, a moment to plant seeds for what you would like to grow as the light of the moon waxes. It’s also important to acknowledge that often a new beginning implies an ending of some sort. In just the same way, endings always imply a new beginning.

Don’t Get Stressed Out Trying to Chill Out!

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

stress

Yoga and meditation will never help you de-stress until you understand this first.

Are you tired and fed up of being told that you need to de-stress your life? Are you confused over what you “should” do (versus what you “want” to do) because there are so many methods and “musts” about how de-stressing should be handled?

Try meditation. Now do yoga. Make time for that time management courses. And don’t forget tai-chi, regular massage, and regular running or swimming. Feeling stressed? Just hold your nose and let it go slowly to breath. Then, take a long walk while taping on your acupuncture points, uttering mantras … just don’t trip and fall while also doing your positive visualizations?

I could go on and on but you I’ll bet you get the picture.

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