Do you have healthy emotional boundaries?
One of my daily, never-ending lifelong goals is to eat well and drink plenty of water. Some days I excel at eating healthy food, drinking plenty of water and even managing to squeeze in time to exercise too. Other days, I do not. Eating well and taking care of my physical body is a goal I will never retire—one I work at day in and day out. Continue reading
How are you handling your anger?
Anger is tricky. It’s another one of those emotions that are “uncomfortable” and we’re often taught not to feel it:
“Don’t be mad-it was an accident”
“I already said I was sorry-why are you still angry about that?”
“That incident was years ago-you can’t still be mad at me for that!” Continue reading
“You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
As I was speaking with my mother over the weekend, she was telling me how difficult it was to take care of my grandmother. I love my grandmother, but I can completely understand where she was coming from. My grandmother, at 76 years old, only recently stopped driving due to being in three minor auto accidents in the last year. She is struggling with balancing her new lack of independence with her desire to continue feeling needed. Continue reading
Are you experiencing trauma?
As a therapist certified in EMDR (eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy, I have found this approach to be very effective in helping many clients for a variety of issues. The current treatment guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association designate EMDR therapy as an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress. EMDR therapy is also used to treat panic attacks, grief, disturbing memories, phobias, stress, addictions anxiety as well as other mental health disorders. Continue reading
What are you experiencing?
Years ago, I spent countless hours delving into the topic of trauma. I worked intensively with some trauma survivors, talked to specialists in the field and read many, many books. Back then two things really stood out to me about trauma. Continue reading
Are your fears holding you back?
Fear is a basic, yet powerful emotion. It shows itself to us in many forms; a racing heart, surge of energy, “butterflies” in the stomach. These physical cues usually result from our most primal form of fear that sets off the fight, flight or freeze response. A near miss on the highway, physical confrontation or any number of reasons for our brains to believe we are in danger, cause us to be flooded with adrenaline and other hormones to stimulate us into action-to save our lives. Continue reading
Are you ready to talk about it?
This past weekend I was watching Disney’s Chicken Little with my son and I thought it was a great movie. I couldn’t believe I had never watched it before. It’s geared towards a younger audience, but it has many important life lessons to teach us. One of these, is the power to accept what has happened and the ability to transition to something new: closure. Continue reading
How well are you handling your emotions?
In the last blog on this topic I talked about how families differ in their handling of emotions. Parents are the primary role-models for how emotions are to be dealt with in family units. Children learn how to process their emotions by watching what their parents do (or do not do) with their own feelings.
In the same vein, there is a continuum for how emotions are expressed in family units. The continuum starts with families who talk little about emotions and ends with families who express most of their feelings but not always in healthy or helpful manners. An emotionally healthy family lies somewhere in the middle of this continuum. Continue reading
Do you know how to share your feelings in a healthy way?
This week I was listening to a lecture on anxiety and the speaker talked about “optimal anxiety.” Now, when I first hear the word “anxiety” I do not feel warm and fuzzy. However, the speaker stated there is a healthy form of anxiety that motivates people to successfully accomplish difficult tasks and this is “optimal anxiety.” This “healthy anxiety” can help you succeed at things like completing a big project, planning a large event, starting a new job or embracing a dramatic life change well (for example, marriage/partnership or parenthood). This is the opposite of anxiety that inhibits you from doing things—think fear of flying or fear of bridges. Continue reading
Are you too critical of yourself?
“I can’t believe I slept so late, I’m so lazy.”
“I will never get all of this done in time, I’m so stupid for offering to help.”
“I’m such an idiot! I can’t believe I forgot my book again!”
“There is no way I could pull this outfit off, I’m way too fat.” Continue reading