Life Hacks to Help You Thrive!
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As someone who does values-based therapy, I have seen how helping a client clarify their values, and then live each day according to those same values, can transform a life. I see my clients go from self-rejecting to self-affirming; from overwhelmed to joyful!
Then I read the news.
Are you stressed out about school starting up again? Tests! Research papers! Sleepless nights! Quirky roommates! Social anxiety! Pressure to succeed! Pressure to decide on a career!
Let’s keep it simple! Here are some tips to help you get through those last days before you return to campus:
Advice about self-care is ubiquitous in our “Being-Busy-Is-the-Way-to-Be-Important” world.
Most articles about self-care go something like this:
Set aside time for yourself on your calendar. Get up half an hour earlier to meditate. Get a massage. Take a bath after work with candles and soft music. Hmm.
I have a different idea.
What happens when someone you care about demands an apology for something you don’t regret saying? Someone has hurt feelings, and is blaming you, but you don’t think you are really responsible for how they feel. After all, everyone is responsible for their own feelings, right?
After attending a lecture by one of my favorite psychologists, Harriet Lerner, I decided that I’d better buy the book and learn some more about how to get people to apologize to me… um, cough, I mean how to give a good apology.
Here are some of the gems from Dr. Harriet Lerner’s book, Why Won’t You Aplogize?:
Why would I pay for therapy when I can just tell Siri about my bad day?
We now have mental health apps for our phones and tablets, as well as bots like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant, that can respond to our emotional statements and inquiries, and even help us regulate our emotions.
We Google “How to sleep in hot weather?”. We try fans, cold washcloths, soothing music, meditation. There are many suggestions on the internet about how to fall asleep more easily, but what are the things we are doing that are actually making it harder to get a good night’s sleep?
Read on to learn 5 things you might be doing that make it even harder to get that restful sleep you need:
The recent suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade have left us shocked and saddened. Many, many of us have either experienced thoughts of suicide, or have loved ones who have had thoughts, attempts, or suicide completions, and these recent deaths also remind us of the deep sadness we have felt in the past. It’s hard to know what we can do to help.
Read on to learn the inspiring story of how one man’s dream to increase suicide awareness led to a very special coffee shop where workers are trained in ways to support the mental health of their customers.
Is your To-Do list making you a nervous wreck?
The following ideas can help you attack your to-do list with renewed vigor, so that by the time the summer solstice rolls around you can relax on the porch with a glass of lemonade and a sense of accomplishment.
If twelve-step programs and traditional addiction therapy haven’t worked for your loved one, it may help you to hear about Dr. Gabor Maté’s theory of addiction–how and when addiction begins, and how we can best help people who are addicted to substances or behaviors.
One of the problems many couples have is that at the end of a long day of stressful work or childcare, they don’t have any physical or psychic energy left for each other. At worst, this leads to arguments and resentment. Much of the time it leads to distancing and loneliness.
When The New York Times ran an article in January about Yale Professor Laurie Santos’ class, "Psychology and the Good Life" it quickly went viral. Clearly the search for “The Good Life” struck a chord not just on a college campus, but in society at large.
What can we learn from three Yale professors who tell us how to "Live the Good Life"?
There has been a lot of media hype disparaging the Millennial generation. Recently this attitude has become a hot topic of conversation. Here’s why:
Do You Have the Valentine's Day Blues?
Valentine's Day often makes men in couples nervous and single women sad. Teenage girls have high expectations which are rarely met. Many people end up feeling let down one way or another.
So what can we do on Valentine’s Day to honor the spirit of the day and ignore the media blitz? Read on...
It’s not just me–I’ve noticed that in the last few days friends, family, and clients all seem to be in a funk. So much so, that it started me thinking, is there something about this time of year?
Here are some surprising ways you can think differently about what you're feeling, and hopefully lift the funk!
Aka–The Three Dots of Doom…
Why do we love our smartphones? Control.
As in, it gives us control over our communication. We can take the time to craft a perfect response, or to change our plans at the last minute.
Why do we hate our smartphones? Control.
That is, lack of. As in, you are sitting and watching the three dots of doom (officially known as “the typing awareness indicator”) as they bounce around, promising a long and soulful response, and then…nothing.
You may have heard about “The Secret”, the 2006 book that has sold over 28 million copies and has been on the New York Times Bestseller List for over 200 weeks.
The “secret” that is described in the book and movie is “The Law of Attraction”, which tells us that if we want something to manifest in our lives, we need to imagine it regularly–to “know” that it will come to us.
But what does science actually show us is the best way to achieve what we want in life?
More Lessons From The Blue Zones of Happiness
As 2017 winds down and we all look back on what has or hasn’t been working in our lives this past year, it’s good to have some guidance from the experts about how to be happier.
The recent article in the New Yorker, Cat Person, by Kristen Roupenian, went viral almost as soon as it was published. Why is everyone talking about this? What does this story tell us about how we end up dating the wrong people, and why we are so devastated when we break up?
Last month’s release of The Blue Zones of Happiness, by Dan Buettner, and this month’s cover article in National Geographic, “These Are The World’s Happiest Places”, by the same author, have sparked an international conversation about the effect of location on happiness.
Could moving somewhere else be enough to make me happy?
Is the secret to happiness actually location, location, location?
Why Gratitude Is Better Than Prozac!
As Thanksgiving approaches, many of us begin to contemplate the things for which we are grateful. Many families have traditions of sharing their thoughts at the table, and none of us wants to be caught short. But what are the benefits of having “An Attitude of Gratitude” all year long?
The weather is getting cooler, holiday music is playing everywhere, and Christmas decorations are up in all the stores. Most people are beginning to worry about (umm, cough, prepare for) all the celebrating and family togetherness that comes along this time of year.
One thing you can do to make sure the next two months go as smoothly as possible is to get enough sleep.
More than ever, our teenagers are feeling anxious and overwhelmed. As a result, some kids develop physical symptoms like stomach aches or migraines. Some teenagers are moody or irritable. And some teenagers struggle to even get out of bed in the morning to face another stressful day.
When your teenager hears the ping of an incoming message, they are metaphorically “salivating” for the social connection that is their deepest desire.
Given that our teenagers are undoubtedly going to use social media, what can we do to teach them about the healthiest ways to use Instagram and other media and apps on their phones?
Getting a teenager to talk to you can be tough! “What did you do today, Honey?” “Nothing”. “How did your day go?” “Fine”. Sometimes teen conversation can just sound like a series of grunts! And yet…they talk and text to their friends practically all night long…
Making sure your teenager gets enough sleep is one of the most important things you can do to help them succeed.
Teenagers typically get far too little sleep during the school year. If your teenager is like most, they only get about 7 hours of sleep a night. This is typical, but not healthy!
One of the best things you can do when your teenager is going back to school is to help them get organized. Lack of organization can quickly lead to being overwhelmed, and feeling frozen and unable to cope.
One way to reflect on ways we have grown, especially when we are getting down on ourselves for what feels like no progress at all in the personal growth department, is to write a letter to our younger self.
Once again, a Netflix release sparks intense discussion about its depiction of a mental health issue. The feature film To The Bone, released July 14, is the story of Ellen, a 20-year-old girl who suffers from an eating disorder (ED) called Anorexia Nervosa.
This film, though far from perfect, does give some good information and also offers a message of hope for recovery. If you, your teenager, or someone you or your teenager knows struggles with issues around eating or excessive exercise, you might be interested in watching this movie.
Have you been bemoaning the fact that you have so many things to do that you don’t want to do, but have to do? Do you also have a lot of fun things that you want to do, but believe you don’t have time for? Are you having trouble figuring out the disconnect? Do you feel like the proverbial hamster on the exercise wheel?
The trick is not to get off of the wheel, but to make running on the wheel something you love to do!