Addressing the all-important and often perplexing topics and issues related to enhancing your personal growth and professional development
Nearly every day I talk with men and women who are suffering from worry, discouragement and despair. Their emotional pain can be triggered by many different sources, but one thing they often share in common is the absence of genuine joy in their lives.
This mindset is increasingly fueled by the flood of negative news and opinion stories and programs offered by media outlets. If you believe everything you hear, you may feel like giving up! But your circumstances and the news don’t have to diminish the gratitude and joy that comes from appreciating the good things in life.
Whether you are struggling with fears about the Covid-19 pandemic, political frustrations, financial problems, relationship conflict, career uncertainty or physical illness you don’t have to live in a state of gloom.
Life will always include circumstances we don’t like, so in order to help my clients manage emotional pain I encourage them to consciously make the effort to drain the joy from their...
As we approach Father’s Day, I would like to take a moment to recognize the powerful role fathers play in the lives of their children. I believe the role of a father is too often undervalued in our society. The truth of the matter is that fathers have a significant impact in the their children's social, emotional, academic, spiritual and relational development.
As I reflect on my life growing up, I can’t help but feel truly blessed to have had such an amazing father in my life. He was a constant provider for our family and an extremely hard worker. Though my mother was more present in our day to day lives, I have fond memories of the role my father played. He taught me the power of a strong work ethic, how to be true to myself, the power of consistency and action, and how to ride a bike. My dad took me on vacations, called me while he was on trips for work, and either showed up to my sports games to cheer me on or asked me how they went afterwards. I never knew how...
If you woke up in the middle of the night and found someone trying to break into your home, would you ignore it and go back to sleep? Of course not! However, every day, couples allow enemies into their home that rival the destructive nature of an intruder.
Tackling the normal challenges of marriage is difficult enough without having to also contend with the enemies we allow to undermine our relationships every day. As we live day to day during this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, many problems seem to be magnified, so addressing them is even more important than ever. If you want to have a vital and satisfying marriage it is critically important that you and your spouse take the time to identify and name the specific activities, behaviors, attitudes and people that can compromise your intimacy and trust.
In my practice I find couples who are very frustrated and unhappy in their relationships, yet they passively sit back and allow habits, activities, attitudes and even people to...
If this “unprecedented” time has you feeling depressed, sluggish and unmotivated, my friend Paula Starker, RN, has some great suggestions to lift your spirits and regain your health.
“You’re deconditioned.” my friend’s doctor told her after she collapsed off the treadmill, unable to finish her cardiac stress test—despite the fact that her heart was okay. “You’re out of shape!” he explained. Exhausted, embarrassed and riddled with guilt, my friend wondered why she had ever given up working out at the gym in the first place. The truth is, the biggest problem with most exercise programs is that, like my friend, most people sooner or later quit. You figure it’s just not worth the effort to get in shape, even though you know it’s good for you. Guilt settles in. Hopelessness overwhelms you and you sink back into the rut of inactivity.
The Mind-Body Connection
It is a well-known fact that regular exercise produces...
It never ceases to amaze me how important our attitudes are when it comes to rising above life’s circumstances. Every week I meet with people from all walks of life that are dealing with heartache and pain and all they can see in front of them is the bad.
When my children were young we would go fishing every summer. I recall one particular fishing trip that I will never forget. Thirty minutes after arriving at the lake, my son, Scott, wanted to leave. He complained that it was too windy and the fish were never going to bite. I tried to encourage him by telling him to try and enjoy the beautiful scenery, the cool breeze and watching the guy next to us catch one fish after another. His response was, “Dad, I hate it when you always see the good in the bad.” Although he was frustrated, I took Scott’s comment as a compliment.
Most of us have been impacted by the Covid-19 virus in some way – from minor nuisance to life-changing tragedy. Even if the illness...
Mother’s Day might be very different this year. It is usually the busiest day of the year at restaurants, but this year most of us will have to find another way to celebrate the moms in our lives.
This year, you may not be out shopping for cards and gifts, so what can you do to make Mom feel special and appreciated?
Moms who are at home, still raising their families, will appreciate the gift of thoughtfulness. This could be a little “time off” when the family brings her breakfast in bed or gives her time to take an uninterrupted nap. It could be hand-drawn cards that express what each child loves and appreciates about their mom. How about a paper crown, elaborately decorated with available craft supplies to make her feel like a queen? You can have fun brainstorming ideas, and Mom is going to love that you took the time to think about her!
If your mom is living alone, either independently or in a senior community, you may not be able to physically...
For weeks now, life has looked different for families across the country. More time is being spent at home, routines are changing, and children have made the transition to learning from home with distance learning.
I have been working with parents and students who have shared their thoughts, frustrations, and fears with all of the changes taking place. They want to know how to manage this new way of living.
The new structure at home can feel overwhelming and challenging as you try to create new routines and take on new roles. As you navigate this time, here are 5 tips to help you and your kids feel successful and make the most out of this unusual time.
Kids thrive when provided structure and routine. If you are having a difficult time getting your child to sit down and get to work, know that you are not alone! Making this transition to learning from home can be...
I recently had the opportunity to do a Facebook Live event with Dr. Randy Carlson for the Intentional Living radio program. We were discussing some of the issues families, in particular, are dealing with as they are staying at home due to the Covid-19 protocols. Here are some of the tips and insights that might help you and your family as you navigate your own situation.
One of the disturbing factors of the virus and the measures being mandated to prevent its spread is the uncertainty that accompanies loss of control in our own lives. One of the strategies we can employ is to reasonably control what we can. I have talked to many people who are anxiously watching news reports for developments and finding it only adds to their stress. My suggestion is to drastically reduce the amount of news they consume. In reality, from hour to hour, there will not be any drastic changes, so a brief, daily check-in is probably enough to keep you informed but not overwhelmed.
It can also be...
The world has recently become a scarier place than it was before Covid-19. The incidence of anxiety is increasing in the US, thanks in part to the speed with which we can hear or read a barrage of bad news all day, every day.
Some people are worried constantly about the state of the nation and are convinced that they can never regain their personal or economic losses. Some are panicking over every minor ache or pain because it could be the frightening new disease. If you’re looking for a reason to be anxious, just click into social media or turn on the news.
With our human tendency to worry, our imaginations can easily concoct fears that are irrational, exaggerated and unlikely to ever actually happen. Of course, it’s important to be informed about national events so we can make wise choices, and it is always wise to live a healthy lifestyle and check out persistent symptoms with your health care provider (not just Google). But living in constant fear of everything that...
We are currently living in an unprecedented and unusually stressful time, with the Covid-19 virus affecting nearly all of us in one way or another. It is highly likely that within the last few hours you have given in to the urge to worry about some aspect of how it may impact your life or the life of someone you love, both short term and long term.
So, let’s take a look at what worry really is in order to help us manage our feelings and behaviors more effectively.
Even under normal circumstances worry comes naturally to most of us, so it is important to consider the importance of learning how to minimize the destructive nature of worry while still effectively navigating the unavoidable, and sometimes very scary, challenges and uncertainties of life.
As a psychologist, I have worked with hundreds of people who struggle with acute and chronic worry, and it can be very emotionally, psychologically, and physically debilitating.
Generally speaking, worry is more often...