Stress Library


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

How to Stay Mentally Healthy During the Holidays

December 18th, 2014
Do the holidays stress you out? You’re not alone. It’s a hectic time of year for many people, maybe even most people. Nothing about our usual daily life goes away. The holidays add a layer of activities and responsibilities, both ...

Stonewalling in Couples: When You or Your Partner Shuts Down

Stonewalling in Couples: When You or Your Partner Shuts DownRelationship researcher John Gottman, Ph.D, was the first to apply the term “stonewalling” to couples, said Kathy Nickerson, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who specializes in relationships in Orange County, Calif. Gottman defines stonewalling as "when a listener withdraws from ...

The Season of the Have-To’s

bigstock Christmas sad womanSmall talk turned to intense talk when I spoke with the members of a local women’s group. When I asked about holiday planning, what came back was a flood of anxiety. “No sooner is Halloween over, and I have to start getting ready ...

Being Grateful Despite Challenges

recognizing-dealing-with-stressThere are times when we may feel like we cannot be grateful about anything in our lives. Losing a job or feeling burned out can contribute to one’s negative attitude. Experiencing financial losses or not being able to make ends meet can hurt deeply. Enduring physical ...

The Heat of the Moment in Treatment: Mindful Management of Difficult Clients

BOOK REVIEW.
"What about my pain?" Sandra asked, her brow furrowed. "It's my back. My primary care doctor says I need more meds." "You can ask the nurse for Tylenol or ibuprofen," I said, trying to maintain my composure seated across from Sandra on the inpatient psychiatric ward, "or I can add some naproxen, if you would like." "But ...

Therapists Spill: When Being a Therapist Was Especially Hard

Therapists Spill: When Being a Therapist Was Especially HardWhen we’re going through something difficult or stressful at home, it often spills into our workplace. This can get especially tricky when your work is being a therapist, an already-demanding job emotionally and mentally. In this month’s “Therapists Spill” ...

Clinicians on the Couch: 10 Questions with Psychologist Jonice Webb

jonice webb pic Every month we talk with a different clinician about the ins and outs of being a therapist. They reveal the trials, triumphs and surprises of conducting therapy. They also share what they wish their clients knew along with their advice for leading a meaningful life. ...

The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life

BOOK REVIEW.
Surrendering to a simpler life can be frightening or stressful — even inconceivable.  Consider an average day. Multitasking and over-performing are more a requisite than an ideal, as is maintaining competitive advantages just so you can pay your rent. Competition is everywhere we look, in fact, making it seem almost reckless, at least counter-intuitive, to stop ...

How to Tell if Your Decisions are from Your Evolved or Primitive Brain

How to Tell If Your Decisions are from Your Evolved or Primitive BrainDecisions can be motivated by thoughtful consideration from our higher mind (frontal lobe/ executive functions), or fear-based survival instincts (amygdala, impulses) from a more primitive mind. When decisions are informed ...

You Can Worry and Be Happy

anxious_worrySome time ago, there was a popular song by Bobby McFerrin that urged us “Don’t worry. Be happy.” The lyrics suggest that worrying and being happy are contradictory feelings. They’re not.

When

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Book Review: Emotional Life

BOOK REVIEW.
“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions, I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” That quote from Oscar Wilde is how psychologist Doreen Davy kicks off Emotional Life: Managing Your Feelings to Make the Most of Your Precious Time on Earth. Whether an experience is good or bad ...

Feeling Loved: Finding Happiness in an Overstressed World

BOOK REVIEW.
We have been writing about love for millennia. From the earliest surviving love poem dating from around 2030 BCE to the work of philosophers like Lao Tzu to the sonnets of Shakespeare, countless tomes have been written about seeking love, finding love, feeling love, and all the possible variations on the theme. In the modern ...

The Mindful Way Workbook: An 8-Week Program to Free Yourself from Depression and Emotional Distress

BOOK REVIEW.
Depression and anxiety are among the most common, if not the most common, issues that bring people into therapy. The struggle to get better can be a long and arduous one. One individual shared with me that she had visited numerous therapists over the years, but still struggled, and that she was told by one ...

15-Minute Vacations

  <small><a href="http://www.shutterstock.com">Cardiovascular system photo by shutterstock</a>.</small>For those of us who have a 9-to-5 indoor job, it can sometimes feel like summer is passing us by. If we already took a vacation, it can seem like a distant memory. If a vacation week is a month ...

10 Steps to Mastering Stress: A Lifestyle Approach

BOOK REVIEW.
Along with death and taxes, stress seems to be an unavoidable component of life. Right now, I am in the midst of orchestrating a cross-country move and purchasing my first home, and will soon be starting a new job. And I’m sure it takes very little reflection on your part to rattle off a long ...

Therapists Spill: The Books I Turn to on a Difficult Day

Therapists Spill: The Books I Turn to on a Difficult DaySometimes, just reading a few words of wisdom or support can help to soothe us and give us clarity. Reading certain books can move us into a kinder space. It can inspire and empower us. Or it ...

The Trauma of Everyday Life

BOOK REVIEW.
How many times have you heard someone say, That was the straw that broke the camel’s back? We can try to rally to face big obstacles, but sometimes the day-to-day “little things” add up until, finally, one of those small things overcomes us. Then, it turns out, they were not such “little things” after all. In ...

How to Manage a Critical Mom

How to Manage a Critical MomCasey’s mother is coming to visit next weekend. She doesn’t feel she can say no. After all, her mom and dad often have been very helpful. They paid for the two kids’ camps last summer. They are generous at birthdays. But ...

Phantom Pregnancy (Pseudocyesis): The Mind-Body Connection

Phantom Pregnancy (Pseudocyesis): The Mind-Body ConnectionPregnancy is an exciting time for expectant mothers. It’s a high point in women’s lives and one that will bring great changes. It brings many physical and emotional symptoms. A woman may feel complete and fulfilled when she knows that she ...

Postpartum Depression & Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Postpartum Depression & Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderPregnancy and childbirth bring feelings of joy, excitement and anticipation. They also can complicate existing mental health issues and can create new mental health problems during the pregnancy, at the time of the birth and afterward. Mother and baby both can ...

Understanding & Coping with the Christmas Blues

Understanding & Coping with the Christmas BluesThe stress of the holidays triggers sadness and depression for many people. This time of year is especially difficult because there’s an expectation of feeling merry and generous. People compare their emotions to what they assume others are experiencing or ...

Making Happy Changes in Your Holidays

Making Happy Changes in Your HolidaysThe holiday season has started and I’m often reminded of an elderly friend of mine. Whenever someone said “Have a happy holiday!” she always replied, “No, make it one.” She was right, of course. Happy holidays don’t just happen. Holidays are ...

OCD & the Holiday Season

OCD & the Holiday SeasonWith the holiday season fast approaching, many of us are firmly entrenched in the excitement, anticipation, and busyness of this time of year. Maybe we will visit friends or relatives. Perhaps a small army of loved ones will descend upon us in ...