Powerful Words to Reduce Anxiety

Anxiety tortures millions. Gratefully, there are tools to combat it.  When anxiety attacks, there’s a simple antidote you can try:  The Power of Words.

The remedy is simple.  Pick a word.  Set a timer for fifteen minutes.  During that time, focus on that specific word. When your mind wanders, shift your attention back on that word. This process trains your brain to relax.  It’s simple, but not always easy to do!

You may ask: What’s the best word to contemplate?  Save yourself the grief.  There isn’t a best word!  However, these are some of the most powerful words in the English language when it comes to reducing anxiety.  They are a soothing balm to an anxious mind. Choose the ones that are most meaningful to you. Continue reading “Powerful Words to Reduce Anxiety”

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How to Get Out of a Rut

When I was a kid, the fire swamp scene in The Princess Bride scared me half-to-death–especially when Princess Buttercup falls into the Quicksand. It was an invisible death trap. Not to mention the R-O-U-S’s!

With quicksand, the harder you struggle, the more impossible it is to escape. As an adult, the experience of “being stuck” emotionally is just as frightening. Emotional quicksand is a reality for all-too-many people. Continue reading “How to Get Out of a Rut”

Do You Feel Unworthy?

Have you experienced that emotional wash of flu-like discomfort throughout your body, leading you to believe you are dirty, or unclean?  Do you have painful thoughts of regret in the middle of the night?

What are these awful emotions?  Simply, they are a feeling of unworthiness. Brené Brown, shame researcher and storyteller, has helped bring to light these intensely dark emotions (see list and links below). Through meta-analysis, she found the four ickiest emotions—my word, not hers—are: Embarrassment, Humiliation, Guilt, and Shame.  Even though these emotions can feel similar, knowing the differences between them makes all the differenceContinue reading “Do You Feel Unworthy?”

Gossip Leading to Happiness?

Soren Kierkegaard, one of the modern world’s first existential philosophers, discovered four unconventional steps to happiness.  Some of them seem outlandish, but the path to contentment is not always a simple one! These steps, he explained, are essential. Continue reading “Gossip Leading to Happiness?”

Holding On to Resentment? Let it Go!

Why has Disney’s movie Frozen been so successful?  Although the music (Idina Menzel!), animation, and humor are excellent (and watching nieces and nephews sing along is priceless), the core message of the film is what has resonated with so many people:  Let it Go!  The most common problem in “relationship issues,” is harbored resentment.  People cling on to past hurts for fear of what harm may await them in the future.  Whether it’s a past hurt, or a current fear, there are immense benefits from letting go. Continue reading “Holding On to Resentment? Let it Go!”

Couples Say The Darndest Things

Couple’s counseling is very different than individual therapy—particularly regarding volatility and defensiveness.  The emotions (and expletives) can fly!  Couple’s sessions can get escalated.  However, they are also full of clever wit, unexpected humor, and tender expressions of love and understanding.

Couples say the darndest things–not just kids.  Here are a few of my favorite expressions uttered in couples therapy over the past almost decade of working with and studying couples in therapy: Continue reading “Couples Say The Darndest Things”

The Masters: Creating Traditions Unlike Any Other

I have an extra ticket to The Masters.  Would you like to go?

Even though we’ve been the best-of-friends for a long time, I’m not sure how to respond. Continue reading “The Masters: Creating Traditions Unlike Any Other”

“Man, You Think Too Much”: Psychology from The Sandlot

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The Sandlot is a comedy classic.  It also has extremely valuable psychology!  Smalls thinks too much.  He’s constantly worrying.  He can’t get out of his head and just play ball with his friends.  His lame hat and plastic mitt aren’t doing him any favors either! The lesson from Benny The Jet Rodriguez to “stop thinking and just have fun” is apt for anyone who has over-thinking tendencies—like Smalls.  Continue reading ““Man, You Think Too Much”: Psychology from The Sandlot”

Why Are We so Attached to our Toys?

“It’s Mine…” “No…it’s mine!”  Parents are quick to scold when there’s a squabble over toys.  However, kids aren’t the only ones anxiously attached to their stuff.  Grown-ups have a hard time letting go as well!  Over-consumption and excessive accumulation lead to physical and emotional baggage (not to mention the binding side-effect of consumer debt).  Here’s a short, four-minute explanation of why adults continue to act like children when it comes to their belongings: Continue reading “Why Are We so Attached to our Toys?”

10 Quotes From Marie Kondo That Will ‘Spark Joy’

Marie Kondo’s books, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy, were as helpful as any other book I read last year.  If you’re having a hard time letting go of excess stuff in your life (and finding joy), start tidying your physical world.  Emotional benefits will accompany the process.

Here are ten of my favorite quotes (in bold and underlined) from Marie Kondo.  I added a few of my thoughts as a commentary.  I hope you enjoy them: Continue reading “10 Quotes From Marie Kondo That Will ‘Spark Joy’”