How to Find Your Flow

Creativity should be an essential requirement for everyone’s life. We all need a few hours here and there where it’s possible to lose track of time because we are so engrossed in the activity we’re doing.

I think it’s safe to say that everyone has experienced flow at some point in their lives. Whether it’s baking, writing, painting, playing music or drawing there seems to be at least some form of flow for nearly everyone. Some people even lose themselves in busywork. Regardless, we all know what it’s like to (thankfully) lose our train of thought and become so engrossed in something that you could spend hours doing it simply for the joy of it.
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3 New Year’s Resolutions You’re Going to Break — and How to Plan for Success Instead

The first days of the new year are always the same. You start off strong, a long list of resolutions planned, ready to conquer your career goals. And you do -- for a week, maybe two, or even a few months if you’re on a roll.

Then, something throws you off track. The culprit may be a seemingly insignificant workplace annoyance, but it has the power to affect your motivation in a big way.

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Starting Off the New Year as the Best Partner You Can Be

Most of us want to be the best partner we can be. But often we get caught up in work and attending to day-to-day responsibilities. We get caught up in the continuous buzzing of our own worries and what-ifs.

“We go, go, go until something requires us to stop,” said Robyn D’Angelo, a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Laguna Hills, Calif. You might stop because of a fight with your partner, colleague or family member. You might stop because of your own illness or someone else’s. Or you might stop because of a major loss -- everything from your job to a loved one.
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7 Self-Compassionate Practices and Habits for the New Year

Inevitably every holiday season, there are lots of articles about adopting punitive habits as resolutions -- everything from "work out every single day" (whether you like it or not) to "cut out all that dessert you consumed at Christmas."

This leads many of us to think that rigid rules, strict regimens and even self-criticism are the way to go.

But self-compassion is a lot more powerful. Self-criticism keeps us stagnant. Self-compassion helps us to learn and grow. It helps us to better understand ourselves. And it helps us to lead healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives.

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A Little Confrontation Is Good for You

In order to “graduate” from the outpatient psychiatric program of Laurel Hospital in Maryland, we had to demonstrate a certain level of competence at assertion skills or confrontation. It’s no wonder it took me three times longer to be discharged than the other patients.

One day an older woman sat in the middle of the circle. She looked very tired and drained. Her daughter had been dumping her kids off at her door in the morning and leaving them with her until late in the evening. Since the woman was battling different medical conditions, this was very hard on her 
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Daily Rituals to Reduce Anxiety

Who among us has not experienced their fair share of anxiety? Whether it be from finances, school assignments, career troubles or relationship issues, we all - at least occasionally - get caught in the rainstorm that is anxiety. Some prefer to outrun this brewing downpour. I say, save your energy, and just bring an umbrella.

An anxiety umbrella can take many forms: medicine, therapy, self-reflection or alterations in one’s daily tasks that reduce the burden of anxiety and allow you to focus on more important matters. Here are a few examples that you can use when that cloud of stress turns threatens to turn into a perfect storm:

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I Am a Special-Needs Parent Raising a Special-Needs Child

My 11-year-old son Sam has anxiety disorder, for which he takes a daily dose of Zoloft. He’s also being treated with Adderall for ADHD. And he was recently diagnosed with autism.

I’m 52 years old and bipolar. I ingest a nightly cocktail of four psychotropic meds.

Because both son and mother have notable disabilities, the going, as they say, can get rough. Thank goodness, Sam's father and my husband, Pete, has both feet planted firmly on the ground and is without mental illness.
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How to Manage Your Anger

Anger is a much-misunderstood emotion. While powerful and often intense, anger also can manifest itself in subtle ways. It can motivate you to take action or compel you to take inappropriate action. It’s also somewhat unpredictable, in that you may not always know when you’ll get angry, not understanding the triggers. Pent-up anger can lead to physical complications such as cardiovascular disease.

Learning how to manage your anger is important, especially if you’ve noticed you’re experiencing this emotion more frequently or intensely. Below are some tips for doing that:

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Brain and Behavior

Workplace Environment Affects Mental Health

The workplace environment you spend 40 or 50 hours in per week has a very real and substantial impact on your mental health, according to multiple studies and expert opinions from psychologists all around the world.

According to a 2011 research study on how workplace design contributes to mental health and well-being, the average person spends 33 percent of their waking time in their workplace on a weekly basis. As such, the physical workplace environment has a major impact on everything from happiness and mood to productivity and focus. The study concludes that “good working conditions enable employees to work effectively” and that “investments in the physical workplace that create those conditions pay back quickly.”

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Anxiety and Panic

Overprotecting Your Anxious Child Backfires — Try These 5 Tips Instead

Parents want to protect their kids. This is natural, healthy and adaptive. As psychologist Elizabeth Penela, Ph.D, noted, “In many ways, parents are physiologically wired to protect their children from harm.”

You also likely want to prevent your child from getting upset or stressed. And if your child is already upset and stressed, you want to make it better. This is especially true if your child is struggling with anxiety; if their anxiety, worries and fears — about everything from an upcoming test to an upcoming birthday party — are so intense that they interfere with their everyday life.

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5 Ways to Stay Connected to Your Spouse after Baby

If you’re a new or expectant parent, you’re probably relishing all of the joy, excitement and memories your new baby will bring. You’re also probably fretting over the changes and challenges that will occur, too.

No one prepares us for the relationship struggles that happen after a baby arrives. We don’t realize how taxing sleep deprivation, uncertain parenting roles, money worries and everyday stressors can be on our marriage. You soon realize that your precious arrival has set off a bigger cascade of problems between you and your spouse than you ever knew possible.

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7 Signs You Need a Little ‘Me Time’

With all the things on your daily to-do list, it’s easy to get lost in the whirl of activity and forget one essential activity: taking time for yourself. It isn’t selfish, but it is definitely important. While you might think you have everything under control, here are seven signs you need some me time.

Everything gets under your skin
The sound of the kids playing loudly in the other room, the wind messing up your hair, the grease-clogged sink you have to clean, that red sock that found its way into the laundry and colored the sheets pink, the last-minute assignment your boss handed you just as you were ready to leave for the day -- when you get overly upset by everything, this is a clear sign you need some time for yourself.
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