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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Family

There Is Such a Thing as Being Too Supportive

We cripple people who are capable of walking because we choose to carry them. -- Christie Williams
Years ago, I had a dear friend who needed a lot of support for various reasons. She was working hard to find her way out of a dark period. She had suffered traumas and tragedies -- things I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

Her life really did resemble a roller coaster ride. It was heartbreaking to watch her struggle, exciting when things would be on the upswing and upsetting again when things would spiral downhill.
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Grief and Loss

The Top 7 Ways You Can Make Your Pain Work for You

Grief can be the garden of compassion. -- Rumi
Have you ever had lower back pain? I once wrenched my back and walked at snail’s pace for weeks, crippled by pain. Lower back pain troubled me for years, until I found an exercise that reliably switches off the pain.

Have you ever lost a loved one? The anguish can seem unbearable.

Abolishing pain might seem a good idea, but please pause to consider this story.

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Happiness

5 Precious Gifts to Give Yourself (That Just Happen to Be Priceless)

"The greatest gift you can give yourself is a little bit of your own attention." -- Anthony J. D’Angelo

The other day, when I was out celebrating a friend’s birthday, someone asked about the best gift I’d ever received.

What came to mind was getting my parents’ hand-me-down Corolla when I was sixteen. It was my first taste of being all ‘grown-up.’ I felt like my parents trusted me enough to give me the keys to go out on my own. It gave me a sense of pride and freedom.

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Brain and Behavior

How to Stop Creating Problems for Yourself

"If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family." -- Ram Dass
I just returned from a four-day trip with my family. It was my own family of four (my husband and two kids), plus my mom, my two sisters, and my brother-in-law. It was great. We get along well and have fun together. And, it was four days with family.

It’s a funny thing… although you grow up with your siblings, listening to and being influenced by your parents, you all end up so unique -- different from each other and different from the adults who raised you.
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Depression

The Surefire Way I Stopped Feeling Sorry for Myself

“We can always choose to perceive things differently. We can focus on what’s wrong in our life, or we can focus on what’s right.” -- Marianne Williamson
I was down in the dumps the other day and was feeling sorry for myself.

For some reason everything was just off. You know when you have one of those days when nothing seems to go right? And you get easily irritated and extra sensitive with everything?

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Depression

The #1 Key: How to Help a Person Dealing with Depression

"Don’t look for someone who will solve all your problems. Look for someone who won’t let you face them alone." -- Unknown
Depression for me is like constantly walking up a hill.

Most of the time the hill has only a one percent gradient. You can hardly even tell it’s a hill. I walk, run, jump, skip along, doing cartwheels and stopping to smell pretty flowers and listen to bird-calls; it’s sunny and warm, with clear blue skies.

Even though I have to put in a little bit of effort to walk up, times are good.

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Happiness

How to Awaken Your Soul After a Broken Heart

"For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction." -- Cynthia Occelli
There are no two ways about it. Heartbreak squeezes you as though you were an orange, crushes you as though it were a tractor, and cuts sharply as a razor blade.
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Happiness

4 Ways to Rediscover Yourself After an Unhealthy Relationship

“I am leaving you for me. Whether I am incomplete or you are incomplete is irrelevant. Relationships can only be built with two wholes. I am leaving you to continue to explore myself: the steep, winding paths in my soul, the red, pulsing chambers of my heart. I hope you will do the same. Thank you for all the light and laughter that we have shared. I wish you a profound encounter with yourself.” -- Peter Schaller
A few months back I was someone you could easily walk all over. I was afraid to let go of friendships because I feared having no one in my life.
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