Anxiety and Panic

Slow Down for Quick Stress Relief

“For fast-acting relief try slowing down.” – Lily Tomlin
It sounds much too simple and easy, but slowing down really does work like a magic pill to help reduce stress. Think about it. When you’re in a hurry, you’re much more likely to be anxious, trying to cut corners, looking for the quickest way to get the job done, and worried that you might not get everything finished that you have left on your list to do. This ratchets up the pressure you feel to perform, increases blood pressure and elevates heart rate -- and produces added
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General

Do Your Best

“Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse and regret.” – Don Miguel Ruiz
The recommendation to do your best comes up a lot in general conversation, especially from well-meaning friends and family members, but also from bosses and co-workers. There are countless posts on the topic, each purporting to have a better approach -- or holding out the hope of a brilliant solution.
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Mindfulness

6 Ways to Mindfully Manage Tough Emotions


Open yourself up to your emotions instead of fighting them.

Let’s get real here. For most of us, life is fast-paced and chock full of family, relationship, and work stressors. This reality, along with the ever-increasing pressures of technology and society at large, can really take a toll on your marriage.

As a result, difficult emotions like anger, confusion, fear, loneliness, and sadness, just to name a few, can arise. Emotions like these are often the most present and powerful forces in your life.

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Creativity

How to Live Life to the Fullest

In 2007 travel writer Leigh Ann Henion was on a mountaintop in Mexico watching a million monarchs soar above her. The butterflies had left their homes in Canada and the U.S. to wait out the winter -- flying up to 3,000 miles to get there. “Their wings against the air sounded like a light rainstorm falling on a verdant forest,” Henion writes in her beautiful book Phenomenal: A Hesitant Adventurer’s Search for Wonder in the Natural World.
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Grief and Loss

A Practical Tip for Developing a Stress-Resilient Life

“Your dad’s had a heart attack.”  

My own heart shot into my throat, hearing my mother’s garbled words a thousand miles away.

“He’s going to be okay, but maybe you could fly out?”

It’s been almost two years since my father’s heart attack and he’s made important changes that have improved his life quality considerably. Both my grandfather and grandmother died of heart disease. They experienced immense socio-economic challenges and faced more stressful life situations than I could possibly imagine.

However, this part of my own family history has inspired me to explore ways to reduce stress in my own life and the lives of my clients. Today, I would like to share with you one idea I find incredibly useful in building a stress-resilient life.   
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General

How to Metabolize a Compliment

When you receive a compliment, do you get squirmy, suspicious, or uncomfortable? Or do words of appreciation bring a gentle smile to your face and a warm feeling in your belly?

When someone thanks you for helping them, or expresses gratitude for your kind words or actions, or praises you for some accomplishment or quality of your being, do you let yourself be affected by their thoughtful words? Or do their compliments fall flat, perhaps because you’ve learned to deflect good things that come your way?
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Mindfulness

The Active Practice of Unconditional Love

“Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It's not 'I love you' for this or that reason, not 'I love you if you love me.' It's love for no reason, love without an object.” - Ram Dass
This quote by treasured spiritual teacher Ram Dass (a.k.a. Richard Alpert. Ph.D.), who was a Harvard professor in the 1960’s, echoes with the ideal that people hold when speaking of this concept.

We learn from an early age, that approval and affirmation come with a price tag. We are told to be good, follow the rules, be seen and not heard, do for others, and refrain from selfishness and all will be well in each area of our lives. As we mature, we find that it may not always be so.
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Bipolar

Shopping ‘Therapy’ Only Gets You So Far

For many people, when things get tough and they feel down, if they can afford it, they go shopping. I know I do. And because I have a mood disorder (bipolar illness), I’m especially prone to feeling bad quite often. I don’t spend an exorbitant amount of money at a time. Maybe $30.00 or $40.00. But I do spend. The last time I shopped when I was depressed I bought a nightshirt that said “Don’t Wake Me I’m Dreaming,” a coffee cup that said “Call Your Mother,” some socks and an artificial purple orchid.  All to the tune of about $45.00.  TJ Maxx to the rescue.

But I’m learning that shopping “therapy” only gets you so far.
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Grief and Loss

How to Find Joy… Even When Life Is Feeling Awful

When we are experiencing loss and sadness in our life, everyday can feel like a struggle.

Whether it is recovering from loss of a loved one, divorce, a lay-off, or anything else, we forget to care for ourselves and to find joy at the time when we need it most.

Learning how to reinvent ourselves, establish our independence again, and figure out what we want during this next chapter of our lives is a bit overwhelming. Oftentimes, we may forget to see all the wonderful things that await us. 
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Anxiety and Panic

3 Simple Steps for Breaking Free from Worry Loops

Have you ever wondered how to break free of a worry loop? You know the experience. You’re in the shower, at the computer, or out to dinner with the family and there is a worrisome thought running through your mind over and over -- a looming deadline, an awkward social interaction, the finances, etc. It doesn’t matter if the worry is irrational -- or recognized as unhelpful -- you still can’t shake it. No matter what you try, your mind keeps returning to the troubling thought.

Sound familiar?
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Bipolar

How to Let Go of the Thoughts that Cause Depression

Depression is different from other illnesses in that, in addition to the physiological symptoms (loss of appetite, nervousness, sleeplessness, fatigue), there are the accompanying thoughts that can be so incredibly painful. For example, when my Raynaud’s flares up, the numbness in my fingers can be uncomfortable, but it doesn’t tell me that I am worthless, pathetic, and that things will never ever get better. During severe depressive episodes, however, these thoughts can be
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General

6 Strategies for Achieving Any Aspiration

Maybe you’d like to move up in your company. Maybe you’d like to become more assertive. Maybe you’d like to become a better writer or runner. Maybe you’d like to start a photography business. Maybe you’d like to set stronger boundaries. Maybe you’re feeling stuck and would like to make a change. But you’re not sure about the specifics.

Whatever your aspiration or aspirations, the below strategies can help. These valuable tips come from
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