Helping People Recover From a Crisis By Using Psychological First Aid

In the wake of the recent tropical storms and hurricanes that have ravaged the Panhandle, many of us have friends and family members who have been adversely affected by a disaster. We often move quickly to meet their needs for water, health care, and shelter but fall short when it comes to focusing on their psychological needs. Let’s face it: experiencing a disaster first … [Read more...]

The Key To A Happy Life Is All In The Equations – Three To Be Exact

It may seem a bit out of place to be discussing keys to a happy life in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, social unrest, and economic upheaval. However, this may just be the perfect time to ponder pathways to happiness, especially since we may have a bit more personal time on our hands with working from home and social distancing. Arthur C. Brooks, professor of the Practice … [Read more...]

Diminishing the Risks of Developing Dementia or Diabetes: A Simple Solution

Believe it or not, dementia and diabetes have something in common. The risk of contracting one or the other (or both) increases significantly when we fail to do this consistently enough: sleep. Let’s face it - most of us do not get enough sleep. In fact, the American Sleep Association reports that 50-70 million US adults have some type of sleep disorder. Studies have shown … [Read more...]

Threat or Challenge? It Depends on How You Frame It

Everywhere you turn these days, the word “threat” practically slaps you in the face. Slowly emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, many in the media and in our communities are still yelling threat, threat, threat and we become even more anxious and more stressed. Worries continue to arise when you step out of your front door: will this be the day you are exposed to the … [Read more...]

Strategies for Coping in Anxiety-Ridden Times

It is a frightening time: worldwide pandemic, entire cities under lock-down, soaring unemployment, and the threat to one’s safety and health are pushing up our anxiety levels. If you are a naturally calm person, you may have noticed an increased unrest or ill-at-ease feeling within you. If you already struggle with high anxiety, the added uncertainty brought about by this … [Read more...]

Losing Loneliness: It’s Time to Give It the Boot

Photo by Andy Li on Unsplash During this time of lock-down and isolation, it is easy to fall into a feeling of loneliness. Don’t. Don’t do it. Here’s why: loneliness can have negative consequences for your mind and body. Research has shown that loneliness and a lack of social ties have been linked to inflammation, gene expression, and even higher mortality … [Read more...]

Loss of Control: Five Steps to Countering Uncertainty Through Careful Choices

Many of us feel an unprecedented amount of uncertainty, ambiguity, and loss of control as we are forced out of our jobs, forced to stay home, and forced to confront an invisible enemy, one that may or may not make us deathly ill, but will certainly change our lives forever. We are impacted by restrictions placed upon our freedoms and every day brings new stresses and challenges … [Read more...]

Getting the Most Out of Teletherapy – Guidelines and Tips to Make Your Sessions Great

Teletherapy is a great alternative to traditional in-office therapy visits, even more so during times of pandemic and stay-at-home recommendations. Concerned about privacy or commute times to your therapist's office? Teletherapy offer great benefits by limiting your exposure to being recognized at the practice by friends or acquaintances and saves you time from commuting to … [Read more...]

Five Ways to Rightly Respond to Rejection

Sally met Harry back in the early ‘90s and, after a tumultuous courtship, went on to marry him. Now, almost 30 years and three children later, she finds out that Harry has a lover on the side and he wants a divorce. Devastated and feeling the full weight of rejection, Sally retreats into herself and begins to ruminate over her relationship with Harry, telling herself that she … [Read more...]

Preserving Your Peace During a Potential Pandemic

What do you feel when you hear or read the words “coronavirus” or “pandemic”? Does your heart quicken, your pulse race, and your anxiety rise? You are not alone. Most of us become unsettled at the thought of a viral invader potentially accosting our communities and loved ones, not to mention our own need for self-preservation being triggered. You hear that (at the … [Read more...]

Want to Lose Weight? Focus on the Why, not the How

Many of us have a few unwanted pounds on our bodies that we would love to shed. If you are one of those people looking to start a diet or are even in the midst of losing weight, you most likely know the HOW. Our email, TV programs, Facebook feeds, and the Internet sites we visit are all inundated with ads for the latest diet programs. After all, the dieting industry is a … [Read more...]

Advice From an Ancient Roman Emperor on Facing the Day Ahead of You

One of the most critical times we face in a day happens just as we are waking up. The thoughts we listen to and the mindset we take on just after opening our eyes will captain the ship of our life throughout the course of the day. Wake up thinking positive thoughts and your day will run more smoothly; wake up thinking negative thoughts and your performance and enjoyment during … [Read more...]

How to Say a Proper No to Temptation and Reach Your Goals

When it comes to good mental health practices, saying a proper or healthy “no” to unnecessary commitments and frequent temptations can free you to focus on what is important to you and help you reach your goals. Often, though, we try to refuse a temptation offered to us by using language that robs us of our empowerment. For instance, using the word “can’t” takes away your … [Read more...]

Making a Decision – First Step Towards Success

A common issue in reaching goals, whether attaining financial, physical, spiritual, or mental well-being, is taking that all-important first step: making a decision. For some, decision making comes easy and with seemingly little effort; for others, decision making can present a huge burden, crippling one in a mire of complacency and robbing them of positive life changes. Being … [Read more...]

How To Avoid Taking Everything Personally

Do you see yourself as the cause of things you are not responsible for? Or feel responsible for other people’s happiness? If you answer yes to either of these questions, you are most likely engaged in personalization, one of 15 common errors in thinking called cognitive distortions. A cognitive distortion is where the brain, in essence, lies to you. Personalization is such a … [Read more...]

Seeking Solitude To Restore The Mind – And No, It’s Not Loneliness

In today’s uber-connected digital world, we tend to keep our minds so busy that we hardly have time to get to know ourselves, let alone plan out our day or find to time ponder the meaning of life. Constant distraction from digital devices, multimedia experiences, and people vying for our attention can keep us from relaxing and make us feel overloaded. One of the best ways to … [Read more...]

Elevate Your Happiness Using Positive Reappraisal

Many of us, often daily, find ourselves in situations that generate negative emotions within us. Chronic negative emotions, over time, can lead to mental and physical health issues like depression, anxiety, cancer, fibromyalgia, and even psoriasis. Studies have shown that reframing your outlook on stressful situations can lead to greater happiness and improved health. But how … [Read more...]

Memory Maintenance: How to Remember Names

What do you have trouble remembering the most? Where you left your keys? Where did you last place your cell phone? We would wager that one of the hardest things for you (and millions just like you) is remembering names. Remembering names is difficult for individuals of any age. As a general rule, it becomes harder as we grow older, especially since your brain’s search … [Read more...]

Suicide Prevention: Helping Others in Crisis

In the wake of recent celebrity suicides, many are asking themselves how people who have so much can end up so hopeless and take their own lives. The overwhelming loss felt by fans and fellow celebrities have opened the way to delve deeper into the need for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Each year, some 44,965 Americans are lost to suicide. It is the 10th … [Read more...]

Maintaining Boundaries: Good For You and Good For Others

What is a boundary? If you search for the word’s meaning, you will find a definition similar to “a line that marks the limit of an area…a dividing line”. Personal boundaries are exactly that: a dividing line - a limit for what type of behavior you will or will not accept. Having boundaries gives you the space you need to be true to yourself, to have the freedom to act, feel … [Read more...]

5 Building Blocks for Communicating with Difficult Family Members

Difficult people are everywhere and, when we come upon them, challenge us to find a way to deal with them for a certain period of time without losing our peace and integrity. Difficult family members, though, can really get under your skin and it is not so easy to just remove oneself from the situation. Opportunities for issues or conflicts to arise grow considerably when … [Read more...]

Using Expressive Writing May Ease Stress and Trauma

Stress is a part of everyday life. Often, stress can overwhelm an individual and, if internalized, make them lose sleep, become short-tempered, and even develop pervasive psychological and physical illnesses. (Here’s a great post on knowing your stress.) Trauma is a major stress event in life that causes psychological or physical wounds, altering the way one behaves and … [Read more...]

Understanding the Diderot Effect: How to Avoid Reactive Purchasing

Have you ever purchased something like a piece of furniture or a rug, only to notice that your existing furnishings now look out-of-place? So, you go out and buy more new furniture or accessories, upgrading your perfectly usable existing furniture and spending beyond your budget. It can happen, too, with other items, like purchasing a car and having to customize it, or … [Read more...]

Memory and Aging: What’s True and What’s Not

When it comes to our memory as we age, many of us may feel undue anxiety that our memory will fail us and we shall be relegated to the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease, not knowing who, when or where we are at any given moment. Relax. While it is true that our memory faculties change as we age, it does not mean that we lose our memory altogether. Yes, dementia and … [Read more...]

Creativity: A Pathway to Emotional Well-Being

Many of us rush around in our everyday lives, trying to accomplish a long list of tasks, never really allowing ourselves the time for a creative outlet. Jobs, family, household chores, and other commitments can sap our energy and leave us emotionally bankrupt. New studies show that making time to engage in creative endeavors is exactly what you should be doing to maintain a … [Read more...]