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...]

Understanding Types of Trauma to Start the Healing Process

It is a rare soul in this world who does not experience some type of trauma during childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. Trauma can shape our outlook on life and our behaviors, both emotionally and psychologically. Trauma’s impact can be quite profound, hindering our growth and development. It’s negative effects can last years, even decades. The bad news is that trauma … [Read more...]

Taking That Hike: Why Walking is Good for You

Have you ever noticed that sitting around all day, staring at a computer screen or watching TV, tends to make you feel heavy and perhaps even a bit morose? Take heart! There is a cure for this malaise. Take a hike. Literally. New research shows that when your foot hits the ground, it sends a pressure wave through your body, which increases blood flow to your brain and … [Read more...]

How to Navigate Life as a Highly Sensitive Person

If you are a highly sensitive person in this hustle and bustle world of ours, you will find yourself reacting negatively to loud noises like sirens and crowded bars, shy away from violent movies, or do your best to withdraw quickly from overly busy environments. Your behavior might seem odd to yourself and others, many of whom might have told you to “don’t take things so … [Read more...]

Understanding and Preventing Workplace Sexual Harassment

With all the stories of high-profile perpetrators and victims of workplace harassment in the news lately, the problem of harassment, especially sexual harassment, is coming onto everyone’s radar. And since April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, it is a good time to become aware of the inappropriate conduct of harassment to help prevent victimization. As with most things in … [Read more...]

Keeping It Relative: 5 Ways To Deal With Difficult Relatives

There’s one in every family. That one person, be it a toxic mother-in-law, a cantankerous grandparent, or an overbearing uncle, upsetting the mood at every family event. You know which one, that difficult relative who knows exactly how to push your buttons and make you crazy. You cannot rid yourself of them completely - they are family, after all. However, you can keep … [Read more...]

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A Primer on the True Meaning of OCD

Modern day language throws around the term OCD to refer to anyone who obsesses on something or has perfectionist tendencies. This use of the term sadly diminishes the true nature of obsessive compulsive disorder. Imagine you feel worried that you left the stove on or the front door unlocked, that there is a certain sense of danger. You go and check the stove, find that it is … [Read more...]

The Fascinating World of Dreams

The world of dreams has been the fascination of humans since the ancient of days. Emperors, kings, and the common man all sought knowledge of the meaning of dreams, making those who could interpret dreams in high demand. Modern science may not have all the answers to the meaning of dreams, but recent studies in the field of neuroscience and sleep have taken us much closer to … [Read more...]

Want to Live a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous Life? Give.

"The heart that gives, gathers.” - Tao Te Ching “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” - Ghandi “The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.” - Albert Einstein “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” - William Shakespeare “Generosity is the … [Read more...]

The Best Way to Achieve New Years’ Resolutions

Millions of people around the world celebrate New Years’ Eve with hope and expectation of a fresh beginning; a blank page to write a new and brighter chapter in their book of life. After the confetti has settled and the sun rises on January 1st, the inspired get to work building the framework of their fresh new year, i.e. resolutions. Resolutions are a magnificent, … [Read more...]

Holiday Stress: 4 Ways to Find Meaning in the Holiday Madness

’Tis the season. A time for enchanting, twinkling lights, deep evergreens, family recipes and time spent with loved ones with hearts all aglow. It is also the overwhelming season of demands, from long lists of gift expectations, dizzying social and entertaining schedules, sleepless campaigns for perfect holiday appearances, the list goes on. How can one ever meet the … [Read more...]

I Have the Winter Blues (SAD). Now What?

The days are shorter, the sky is darker, the air is colder, and… Have you noticed a significant decline in your mental health? Do you lack energy and feel “heavy”? Have you noticed an increase in your appetite and weight? Maybe an increase in craving sweets or starches? Are you oversleeping and possibly more irritable and emotionally sensitive? It’s not a coincidence. You may … [Read more...]

Seven Spiritual Strategies to Succeed in Life

Many of us find ourselves at a point in life where we wander mindlessly through day-to-day living, reacting to events as they present themselves to us, but never really taking charge of our direction and purpose. Karl Albrecht, PhD (physicist, military intelligence officer, management consultant and author of 20+ books) suggests that there are seven key principles, or … [Read more...]

Mood and Decor – How Neuroarchitecture Can Lift Your Spirits

Have you ever walked into a room and feel like you belong there? The paint color on the wall, the patterns on the furniture, and the accents on the tables just seem to speak to you and make you feel at home? The design, decor and even the light and noise levels all evoke a response in a person and set a mood. The study of these responses is a fairly recent science called … [Read more...]

Want More Success In Your Life? Have Hope.

Some unknown author once penned, “When the world says ‘Give Up’, Hope whispers, ‘Try One More Time’.” No truer words were put to paper. Research over the past 30 years has shown that hope, not skill mastery or optimism or grit, is the most important determinant of success. Ability and skill mastery are important, but the psychological vehicles are what actually get you to where … [Read more...]

Can a Game Train Your Brain?

As our population ages, memory issues and diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s become a growing concern. No one wants to grow old only to face a brain in decline and an inability to remember or partake in day-to-day functioning. Enter in a fairly recent phenomena called “brain training” apps. Brain training apps are programs, similar to video games, which focus on … [Read more...]

Omar Mateen and the Truth About Bipolar Disorder

During the aftermath of the Orlando shooting tragedy, the news media reported that Omar Mateen, the shooter, had been labeled as bipolar by his ex-wife, Sitora Yusify. She told reporters, “A few months after we were married, I saw his instability and I saw that he was bipolar and he would get mad out of nowhere. He was mentally unstable and mentally ill.” But was the … [Read more...]

Overcoming the Fear: How to Find Peace Amidst Chaos in the World

Everyday we are confronted with more violence in the world: terrorism, shootings, war, bombings and a seemingly inexhaustible list of other fear-inducing affronts to society and our own local neighborhoods. We watch it on T.V. We read about it in our Facebook feed. We hear about it on the radio when our music is interrupted by a news alert. Someone, somewhere has committed … [Read more...]

Broken Heart Syndrome: Stress and the Breakdown of the Heart

Over the course of a lifetime, most people will know of someone who has “died of a broken heart.” We use this expression to describe the painful loss of love or a traumatic separation in someone’s life which leads to the decline of a person’s health to the point where they no longer have the will to go on living. For many people who end up in the E.R. thinking they are … [Read more...]

Five Aromatic Herbs That Influence Mood and Memory

Aromatic herbs have been used for therapeutic purposes for nearly 6,000 years and are known to affect mood, memory, and healing. Ancient Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, Indians and Chinese used aromatic herbs in drugs, cosmetics and perfumes to promote well-being and hygiene. Today, using aromatic herbs in modern society has seen a resurgence through aromatherapy, or the use of … [Read more...]

8 Signs for Spotting a Narcissist

Stories abound of unsuspecting souls, both men and women, who enter into relationships with Mr. or Miss Right, only to find that the luster wears off after a short time and a game of emotional cat and mouse ensues. That polished Mr. or Miss Right, once exuding extreme levels of confidence, accommodation, and praise quickly turns to a tarnished Mr. or Miss Wrong laying blame, … [Read more...]