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How to Have the Best Holiday Season Yet—The Practical Side

We all know deep down inside that the only constant is change, though most of us don’t like to admit it. Change is hard. We don’t like uncertainty and even if we are not planners or “type-A” personalities, most of us want to know what is coming next so we can at least prepare mentally for what is on the horizon.

I love fall (and Halloween) because it is a stunning reminder—especially if you are able to visit states where the weather and leaves change—that change is coming. As Halloween approaches we all know that just after that comes Thanksgiving and after that the mad rush between Turkey Day and Christmas Day commences known as the “holiday season”…or in my house, “Crazyember” (instead of December). Continue reading

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Healthy Dependence in Relationships

Introduction
What comes to mind when you hear the word “dependence”? Is it a clingy ex lover? Perhaps a family member? Dependence is a word attached to many concepts, but it is rarely associated with positivity. In our society where independence is highly valued, being seen as dependent on someone or something may be viewed in a negative light. However, from a therapeutic perspective dependence is something most every functioning individual experiences, and is actually key to forming healthy relationships. Continue reading

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What is your “normal”?

Do you ever find yourself comparing your life to others? With the constant barrage of social media, TV and movies we are often left believing we aren’t doing enough or doing the right things. There are countless sites and blogs telling us how we should handle nearly every aspect of our lives. We often get hit with comments or articles telling us we’re not raising our children correctly, we’re eating the wrong things or even telling us how we should feel about certain topics. There seems to be little room for discovering ourselves and living our lives in ways that work for us. Continue reading

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What Anxiety Really Steals—The Personal Side

Anxiety steals your present and your future in different ways. It steals your present in that it affects your mind and body in the moment. If you are feeling anxious or thinking anxious thoughts, you are not fully engaged in the life that is unfolding around you. And you really cannot be, because you are focused on your thoughts, worries or the physical symptoms anxiety causes which can be almost debilitating in their intensity—things like heart palpitations, racing thoughts and cold sweats. Continue reading

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What Anxiety Really Steals—The Practical Side

An undercurrent of anxiety exists in America nowadays and is perhaps more invasive than ever before. We worry more, work more, take more anxiety meds, sleep less and are constantly glued to screens of all sizes. Speaking of screens, we have basically become one with our phones, these tiny devices glued to our hands we click and swipe constantly, fearing we will miss out on what is happening in the world and available to us instantaneously. We even have anxiety about missing out on social activities and life experiences—some of which we fear we won’t have the opportunity to experience ever again. We call this fear–FOMO (fear of missing out). Continue reading

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What is Mental Health?

Imagine you have two broken legs. The pain is excruciating and you can barely think because of it. You try desperately to stand up and walk, but find it isn’t possible. You constantly berate yourself for not being able to walk and are filled with shame because you need others to help you. After a couple of weeks, your friends and family start telling you that if you only tried harder you could walk if you wanted to. Continue reading

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Change

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.

Alan Watt

Life changes constantly. There are positive changes such as the birth of a baby, marriage, or the achievement of a goal. There are negative changes such as a loved one passing away, the end of a job, or the end of a relationship. Reality is that change is constant and sometimes change is so small that it is easy to not even recognize it. In order to adjust to this, you have to learn how to handle each change that comes your way. Continue reading

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Minding Your Mind—The Personal Side

Later in this piece I will share a little bit of my story of discovering and practicing mindfulness. However, I wanted to share some practical ways to begin practicing mindfulness in your own life today. Here are a couple:

1)      Yoga:  yoga focuses on physical components — such as body postures, breathing techniques, and relaxation techniques — to achieve a strong body and calm, balanced mind. Yoga includes the regulation of breathing patterns, moving calmly through the practices with a focused mind, and deep relaxation in the final resting pose. Continue reading

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Minding Your Mind—The Practical Side

Mindfulness has been a buzz word in the therapeutic community for as long as I can remember. There are books, classes and trainings on it and many therapists choose to focus on mindfulness not only with clients, but also in their personal lives—myself included.

According to Psychology Today, mindfulness is “a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you carefully observe your thoughts and feelings without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to your current experience, rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future.” Continue reading

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The Importance of Friendships

Human beings are social creatures. Attachment to others is hard wired into our development. Our first relationships with our parents or caregivers, then our siblings and eventually school age friendships form the building blocks of how we relate to others as adults. Continue reading

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