Spirituality & Health Articles

How Anxiety and Guilt Affect Your To-Do List

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

to do list

Do you keep a running to-do list that never seems to end? Do self-directed commands such as “send emails” or “write resume” or “buy salad ingredients” always end up on tomorrow’s list because of a lack of time today? You may even find yourself saying, “There just aren’t enough hours in the day!”

A new study, published in the Journal of Marketing Research, brings encouraging news for those of us who feel we can never get it all done: It may not be more hours that we need, say the researchers, just an emotional readjustment of sorts. In other words, if you were to break down each item on your to-do list into minutes or hours, you would probably find that, yes, timewise, you could squeeze everything in this week.

How to Start Over — Starting With You

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

authentic_self

Often when a couple with a long history together comes to me in an attempt to save their relationship, I find myself recommending that they ritualistically end the old relationship — even if they want to stay together.

It is a bit akin to having the right ingredients for a meal, but the wrong recipe. It is okay to say goodbye to that recipe, but that doesn’t mean that you need to throw out the ingredients.

A Lesson in Trained Self-Loathing

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

TrauerOne night many years ago, when I was 29, I sat beside my father in a car. He was criticizing a young friend of ours for having planned a very costly wedding.

In the process of planning my own wedding at that time, I eagerly told Dad how I’d organized a nice location, gourmet food, cute decorations, handmade invitations, mix-tapes, live cacti instead of flowers, vintage outfits for my fiancé and me — for one-tenth what our friend’s wedding would cost.

Nodding as traffic lights flashed past, he said: “Mom and I taught you well.”

4 Stress-Busting Steps for a More Restful Night

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

good-sleep-improve-cognition

Do you tend to ruminate on the negative events of your past or the fears of tomorrow? Many of us do. When we allow this pattern to continue, however, daily stresses and traumas have a way of building themselves up in our psyches, and even in our bodies, causing chronic mental and physical tension. This can make getting to sleep at night a very real challenge.

More than three in 10 adults in the U.S. suffer from brief symptoms of insomnia, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. One in 10 has a chronic insomnia disorder in which the sufferer has trouble sleeping at least three times a week for at least three months. Symptoms of anxiety and depression are often the driving forces of these sleepless nights which can eventually turn into a continual cycle of depression, no sleep, more depression, and so forth.

But why is it so hard to relax at night?

Is Your Spirit Steering Your Relationships or Is It Your Ego?

Monday, March 9th, 2015

hands couple goog

I like to describe the ego’s job as the protector. This “guy” is the part of us that stands on the bow of our relationship and frantically yells, “Iceberg!” when it sees trouble ahead. This is useful information, for sure.

However, when the Iceberg Guy is scared, he becomes erratic and impulsive and wants to grab the wheel. But he is not trained in navigation and not the guy you want haphazardly steering the ship.

Practicing Non-Attachment: How to Live in the Now

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

woman budding flowers bigst“Live in the now!” Garth exhorts Wayne as he fawns over a beautiful guitar he can’t afford in the film Wayne’s World. This is a message that we get over and over again in many Eastern philosophies: live in the present moment, not for the past or the future. Further, we learn to practice non-attachment: avoiding clinging to things in a world whose nature is constant change.

It all makes an intuitive kind of sense. When I’m sitting in meditation or flowing through my yoga practice, I get it. Go with the flow. Feel what’s in front of you. Release the past and the future.

But then I leave my yoga mat and the theory sort of breaks down: what about in relationships?

VIDEO: Open Your Heart to Love With This Yoga Flow

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

We all want more love, right? But it’s impossible to fully give or receive love unless you have an open …

Self-Starvation: Who’s in Control of Your Prison Sentence?

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

prison_bars

Dusk fell over the Greek island with a soft strumming sound: the salty, minty sea breeze sighing over sand and stone and shattered shrines. Down village lanes gone bruise-blue with the dying day, the breeze collected kitchen smells: frying fish, fresh oregano, fluffy white bread, sweet-sour meatballs served in olive-studded sauce, ten thousand sticky pastries shaped like books and birds’ nests — and, everywhere, the soft attar of olive oil.

For the thousandth time that day, my hand raced to my pocket, tracing the contours of the peanuts and raisins I kept there in a small paper sack, replaced every few days when I’d eaten them, but never varying. They and sporadic bowls of rice were all I ate that summer.

I was living the dream: writing a book for a major publisher about goddesses in whom I believed. Yet I was fixated on food: on striding past some of the most delicious food on earth while eating as little as possible.

Practice these Steps to Make More Heart-Centered Choices

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Heart Shape

Often in my work I encourage people to create a target of all the things they want in their lives and we post them on one side of the room. These usually include words like: love, happiness, peace, health, adventure, abundance, spirituality, joy, family, travel, etc. I then invite them to create an equal target of all the things they don’t want and post those far less desirable experiences on the other side of the room. This list generally includes hatred, prejudice, jail, divorce, anger, fighting, disease, unplanned pregnancy, and addiction, to name a few.

I then ask my participants to self-observe and notice which way they spend most of their time “walking” with their words, thoughts and actions.

Funny as it may sound, it is shocking to discover that most of us unconsciously do things, say things, and think things that lead us the opposite way from where we want to go. We tend to create drama in our relationships when what we really want is peace, love and harmony.

Research Suggests Light Therapy Offers More Than Just Mental Relief

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Happy celebrating winning success woman at sunset or sunrise sta

Bright light therapy has long been an effective treatment for people suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Now new research shows that this alternative treatment may offer significant relief for physical pain as well — specifically back pain.

In a new study, published in the journal Pain Medicine, the back pain of 125 participants was significantly reduced after only three sessions of bright light therapy with 5000 lux. (Office lighting is about 500 lux, and direct sunlight is about 30,000 to 100,000 lux.) The participants’ depression, mainly due to the pain, was also significantly lowered.

A Recipe to Mend a Broken Heart

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

From The Heart

“What is the cure for a broken heart?” someone asked.

“You want a cure for a broken heart?” I replied. “And you think I can come up with it?”

Well, I guess I should know it, shouldn’t I? I mean, it’s been 4 1/2 years since the Great Loss, and I have survived thus far, and not just survived, but at times also thrived. So I guess I can come from somewhere other than intellectual curiosity.

But do I know what has “cured” me? Not exactly, so let’s explore it a bit.

Do You Squirm in the Presence of Unconditional Love?

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

true-love

Once I was in India visiting a holy man who my family had known since I was a child and hadn’t seen in nearly 30 years. As I sat across his desk from him, he looked at me as if he were watching a movie about my life. With no words said, I felt like he could see everything I had ever done, every unwise choice, every lie, every romantic encounter, every achievement, every good thing, and every thought.

I just somehow knew, without any proof, that he knew everything about me. All I felt from him was absolute unconditional love. You would think that that would be a beautiful experience.

The problem was that I was extremely uncomfortable.

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