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Be Present: Enjoy the Silence

The world is full of noise and escaping that noise in important. Whether that is getting out running, hiking, walking, or enjoying any of your favorite activities. What is important in taking in the silences is that we are present. Taking the time to enjoy the silence is an act of mindfulness. Mindfulness has been shown to benefit us by:

·         Physical benefits including lowered blood pressure and improved sleep. 

·         Gaining more control of our thoughts.

·         Reduction of stress.

Remember yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called present. – Mastery Oogway Kung Fu Panda 

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The Science of Happiness

The Science of Happiness

Does this title seem cheesy?  Well, it is legit!  Over the last 15 years the science of happiness is a serious area of study with validated research supporting it.  Among the findings are:

1-The brain can be changed. The scientific term for this is “neuroplasticity” meaning you can teach the old brain new tricks.

2-We can train our brain like a muscle, by adopting new thought patterns that can rewire negative thoughts.

3-All of us are hard wired for negativity (blame evolution!) so we all need to learn new ways to react and deal with everyday stresses.

4-Re wiring the brain does not take a lot of effort!
A few simple things will go a long way to change sadness into happiness.

As a therapist, I am always looking for new tools that support my 5 main treatment goals for clients:

1) Conquer negative thoughts, 2) Gain confidence, 3) Boost optimism, 4)Reduce Stress and last: Improve Relationships.  Don’t these 5 ares cover most everything?
One tool I have discovered to be very helpful is the website happify.com.  This website is amazing and has helped many of my clientele gain daily tools to manage stress as they sign up for daily happify, a video, quote, story or exercises that sets the mood for your entire day. What I love about this website is it is run by Positive Psychologists, Mindfulness coaches and other PHD level professionals that use research to instruct online users HOW to achieve overall balance and happiness. In addition, they offer ways to track your happiness but implementing a test every 2 weeks that measures your happiness. As a therapist, I endorse this fantastic website and find  it to be a great supplement to weekly therapy.  Most of the methods are based on DBT, (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) which is a evidence based therapy with practical methods that work fairly quickly. Check out happify.com today and understand how “Happiness is Winnable”. Best part is it is free!

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Crank Up the Volume! Enjoy the Health Benefits of Music

Crank Up the Volume! Enjoy the Health Benefits of Music

I love to crank up music in my car and sing along.  I recently realized after pumping the music that my mood improved and I felt less stress. With my children, I noticed how singing and dancing enhanced their mood and helped them release energy.  I wanted to research the effect of music on mental health and found out it is even more powerful than I thought.

Author Scott Christ of USAToday College revealed there are significant health benefits of music on both one’s physical and mental states.  Here are a just a few ways that jamming out or turning on quiet background music can enhance your mental health:

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Anger Management Series – Part 1

Many of us struggle with anger and the first thing everyone wants to do when they’re angry is to get rid of it. In all actuality anger is a completely acceptable feeling and not something that we need to run away from or even be ashamed about. Anger has a place and a purpose. When you’re feeling anger – don’t discount it! When you’re feeling angry then listen to it and explore it. Anger is meant to tell us that something is wrong and there is something that we need to take care of. (c) Can Stock Photo” src=”http://www.wasatchfamilytherapy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/angrycouple2-150×150.jpg” alt=”” width=”150″ height=”150″ />

When you’re angry talk it through your mind and ask yourself what is really happening in that exact moment. Explore the root of your anger. What’s happening? What are your immediate thoughts? Are there some boundaries you should be aware of and possibly set? Also pay attention to the vulnerable and untouched emotions underneath. Anger hides our feelings of hurt, fear, worry, or sadness. When you are feeling angry – work though it and don’t shut it down. Explore it. Below are some extra do’s and don’ts of anger.

What not to do:

  1. Have you ever noticed when you get angry but don’t handle it makes you sick? Don’t hold anger in because internalizing can lead to sickness and even depression. Be able to diffuse your anger, not hold it in.
  2. Don’t blame when you’re angry. Blaming leads to defensive behavior, which can get out of hand.

What to do:

  1. Control your tone of voice. This is where many misconceptions of reality happen and things get out of control when they aren’t meant to.
  2. Learn to make compromises between yourself and angry parties. This may diffuse anger pretty quickly.
  3. Develop a sense of humor. Don’t make mountains out of molehills and pick your battles. Some things just aren’t worth fighting for.
  4. Reduce the amount of stress in your life. If you’re stressed out, a lot of your molehills may turn into mountains.

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