Disorders

6 Ways to Start Practicing Self-Compassion — Even If You Believe You’re Undeserving

For many of us being kind to ourselves is hard. It’s hard even when we’re struggling -- and need compassion most. Instead, we get mad. We tell ourselves to buck up. We wonder why we’re so weak. We criticize and hurl insults. We withhold our favorite things -- telling ourselves that we don’t deserve to participate in enjoyable activities, because after all, we screwed up everything.

But the good news is that we can learn to cultivate self-compassion. Which is vital.
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General

How to Stay Motivated When You Get Turned Down for a Raise or Promotion

It’s time for your annual review, and you’re gunning for a raise. You enter the meeting with your boss armed with a list of reasons why you deserve a salary bump, including the extra responsibilities you’ve taken on since a more senior colleague left the company, the major project you spearheaded last month, and the consistent positive feedback you’ve received from your clients, peers, managers, and direct reports over the past year.

With the supporting points you’ve gathered, you’re confident that you’ve got this in the bag.

But after you deliver your points, you’re crushed to hear your supervisor say, “I’m sorry, but we’re not able to adjust your salary at this point in time. Check back in six months, and keep up the good work.”
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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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Anxiety and Panic

Social Anxiety: 5 Truths and How to Relieve the Suffering

"Perfectionism is a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us, when in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from being seen and taking flight.” -- Brené Brown
About fifteen million adults suffer from social anxiety according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Fifteen million. And we’re not just talking about what you’d call shyness. We’re talking about big fears of judgment and scrutinization from others.

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ADHD and ADD

How to Prioritize Your Life When You Have ADHD, Part 2

In an earlier piece, we explored how adults with ADHD can identify their priorities. Because often it can seem like everything is equally important and pressing. Your phone is ringing. Constantly. Your inbox is receiving new emails. Every few minutes. You have a meeting you need to prepare for. And there are 10 other things you need to do.

But sometimes this isn’t the issue at all.

Many of Casey Dixon’s clients tell her that they have a problem with “prioritizing,” but really they have a problem with following through. “They know what they need to do and why it’s important [but] they have a hard time doing it.”
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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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Disorders

Dialectical Behavior Therapy: How Action Conquers Emotion

“I don’t feel like it.”
When stress overwhelms me, I withdraw. Usually a talkative Ted, I glance at my phone and mumble, “Not today,” as the phone buzzes. Unhealthy? Sure. Ingrained? You betcha!

Insert DBT -- Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Or, as I call it, Don’t Be Timid. Stumbling across the emerging therapy, its simplicity registers. With DBT, opposite action is my guiding mantra.

Emotion fuels action, and when I am fearful or overwhelmed, I retreat into familiar creature comforts. Phone calls sit unreturned, dishes pile up, and bills mount. I stall, minimizing potential consequences.
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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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Mindfulness

3 Simple Ways to Relax Your Brain After a Funky Day


Shut. It. Off.

You've been in overdrive all day -- juggling logistics, people, deadlines, and endless to-dos -- or maybe putting out fires, squeezing in errands, finding lost toys, and making sure you've filled out all the forms for school tomorrow.

All day, you eagerly anticipate finding just 30 minutes to chill out, catch up with your significant other, and relax into sleep.

But the problem is...though your body is ready to plop down on the sofa and decompress, your brain is still going a mile a minute.

It's stuck in "go-go-go" mode. As a result, you're there with your loved ones, but you're not really present. You think, "What's wrong with me? Why can't I relax?"
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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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Anxiety and Panic

To Deal with Chronic Worry Don’t Try to Get Rid of It

If you’re a chronic worrier, you likely take your worries seriously. You likely believe them wholeheartedly. Maybe you think of them as flashing signs of imminent danger.

What if I lose my job turns into, Of course, I will lose my job. And, of course, I’m too old to get hired, which means I won’t be able to find work. What if my manager hates my marketing plan, becomes She’s going to not only hate it but she’ll regret hiring me in the first place. What if I freak out during my presentation, becomes I will screw up.

You might try to fight your worrisome thoughts or reason them away. You might try to quell your worries by disproving them -- going to Google to find the answer, seeking reassurance from others, trying to reassure yourself.
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