Ready. Set. Breathe. Blog

Info, Tips and Tricks from Dr. Bodden to Help You Live the Life You Want!

Sometimes You Have to Jump.

Jumping is great. But terrifying.  When you jump a horse, there are many things that have to take place in order to properly prepare and then overcome a jump in the arena.  Horse and rider must have a certain level of trust between them to leave the ground together, pass over an obstacle and land on the other side.  In a similar way, sometimes in life we have to set ourselves up as best as we can then trust that we have what we need to make it through.

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The Language(s) of Love

We all want to be wanted.  It feels good.  But any time you have two humans together, there is room for confusion, miscommunication and stress.  Gary Chapman has developed a system called the “5 Love Languages” that outline the different ways that people show and receive Love.  This has been my favourite way of understanding the emotional interactions in relationships because it is simple, tangible, and has clear ways of improving the quality of our relationship.  The 5 Love Languages include: Words of Affirmation (We want to hear them say they care for us), Acts of Service (We like it when they do things to help us out), Physical Touch (We crave physical contact and intimacy), Quality Time (We like to spend time just being with each other) and Receiving Gifts (Big or small, we like gifts).  Mr. Chapman has resources available on his website (5LoveLanguages.com) that you and your partner can use to find out what your love language is and many books and resources on how these work and how to use them for your relationship but for our purposes, it is this idea that we show and receive love in different ways that is key. Read more

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Assertiveness – The Art of Effective Communication

This post builds from my previous one on Fair Fighting but now we look more explicitly at our role in conflicts and social situations in general.  As social creatures, humans tend to spend a lot of time interacting with other persons so making sure that we get our point across well is important.  By “Well” I mean that we express what we would like in a way that is clear and concise, does not compromise our values or self-respect and is done in a way that builds the relationship by allowing the other person to respond in the most helpful way.  If we get more of what we want from a relationship, whatever that may be, eg: love, attention, connections, assistance, then we are more likely to hang around.  Likewise, if the other person gets more of what he/she wants then they are more likely to stay around too.  This Win-Win situation is established through a communication style known as “Assertiveness.” Read more

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Radical Acceptance: How to Not Cry Over Spilt Milk

“Don’t cry over spilt milk” is a common phrase we hear when we get upset over something that we cannot control… but this is definitely easier said than done.  Radical Acceptance is an idea advanced by Marsha Linehan in her Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).  She posits that all persons experience pain but when we try to fight it we create suffering – and suffering is not necessary.  Radical Acceptance is the process of accepting reality – “Life on Life’s Terms,” if you will.  To be clear, accepting is not agreeing with the situation, but rather accepting what the situation is so that we can address it in a helpful way.  Acceptance becomes “Radical” when we are able to accept the situation completely, body, mind and soul. Read more

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Fair Fighting to Build Relationships

Relationships are funny things.  They are made up of two humans who choose to spend time together, over and over again.  Unfortunately, when two humans come together, anything can happen – fireworks or explosions – so arguments or differences of opinions are a natural occurrence in all relationships.  Although uncomfortable, which makes many of us dread them and avoid them at all costs, fights can actually be good for a relationship.  When there is a fight, it means that there is something that one of you is not happy about and so “fighting” can be a chance to learn more about yourself and your partner and to build the relationship – if done well.  Here are some ideas to help you make the most of the inevitable fights we must face. Read more

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Think Happy. Be Happy.

Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? “Just think happy thoughts” and everything will be better, right? The essence of Cognitive Therapy is changing your thoughts (cognitions) to help you feel more happy, or at least not as (sad/worried/angry/other difficult emotion).  When we become emotional, our thoughts become skewed to emphasize whatever we are focusing on, thus exacerbating the emotions.  The process of recognizing these biases and adjusting them for a more balanced perspective is called “Cognitive Restructuring.” By taking a more balanced approach we will respond to situations more effectively and have a greater chance of enjoying whatever comes.  So how exactly do we do that? Read more

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The Gifts of Gratitude: Give Thanks. Get Happy.

What are you grateful for today?

Being increasingly connected these days, the bar of how much we expect (and are expected) to get done is an ever moving target.  With so much to be working on all of the time, many of us get caught up focusing on what we didn’t get done or what we still have to do later.  While it is important to be aware of what needs to be done, and often helpful to have a plan, it is also important for us to stop and reflect on what went well, what we were able to accomplish and how far we have come.

The practice of Gratitude is one that has been around for many years, likely because of the peace, contentment, confidence and hope that it brings.  Stop right now and consider what 3 things are you most grateful for right now? Today? This week? This year? Hopefully the things that you thought about brought a smile to your face.  This is something that many of us don’t take the time to do, or maybe feel that we don’t have time to do, but it is a simple strategy that helps us to build our resources for confidence and resilience by acknowledging successes, simple pleasures, good fortune and the kind deeds of others. Read more

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Ready. Set. Breathe.

In today’s fast-paced world people are more connected to each other, work and activities than ever before. While good for business and efficiency, many people experience higher levels of stress than in the past due to this need to be accountable at all times (to work, friends and family).

Sometimes we need time to ourselves, downtime to allow us to recharge before we go again.  This allows us to feel more at peace, more stable and will actually help us be more productive in the long-run.  One of the most simple ways to slow down and begin to relax your mind and body is through deep breathing. Here are a few ideas that can help you make the most of deep breathing practice:

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How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep.

In today’s fast-paced world, sleep has become more of a luxury than a necessity.  Our bodies need sleep to process what has happened today and to recharge energy resources to fuel us tomorrow.  Here are some steps you can take to increase your chances of getting a good night’s sleep:

  • Set the Mood – Your bedroom should be dark, cool and quiet. This is optimal for your body to relax and stay asleep.  Turn off electronics such as computer, phone and television.  Electronics can be distracting and the blue lights on them can make it more difficult to go to sleep and stay asleep – and we all know what happens when the phone pings ;).  A spray of Lavender on the pillow can be soothing and a noise machine to mask other noises may be helpful. Read more
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Tea for You!

In today’s fast-paced world, it often feels as though we don’t have any time for ourselves.  Mindfulness is a great way of slowing down our mind and bringing ourselves and our attention back to the present moment.  Even if only brief, a short meditation can have a big impact on the rest of the day.  One way of integrating this into our daily routine is through enjoying a cup of Tea for You!

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Find the Leader In You!

Leadership is something that we often talk about but what exactly makes someone a leader? And a Good Leader? For those of us who are more shy we may not think about ourselves as a leader, but odds are that there is a Leader in you. 🙂

A Leader is an interesting concept as for someone to be a leader, it will not only involve your personal and/or professional characteristics or your job title or responsibilities, but must also involve the buy-in of others that allows us to influence and guide them towards a common goal.  According to Forbes (2013): “Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.”

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Benefits of Giving Back

We all know that it is good to help others but, aside from the social pressures to assist those in need, there are also surprising benefits to us and the persons around us as we grow from these good deeds.  Some of the benefits to look forward to with volunteering and giving back to your community include:

  1. It Feels Good: when we are feeling sad, down or helpless, helping others helps us to feel more confident that we are able to assist and support others.  Volunteering can combat stress and increase happiness through meaningful interactions with others.
  2. You Get What You  Read more
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Setting Yourself Up for Success

New Year, New You! At the beginning of the year we often feel like it’s important to make changes, once and for all. If you find yourself setting the same goals year after year, you may need to implement new tactics to get where you want to be.

Goals give us a sense of purpose in life and to accomplish things that need to be done or that we want to do. A goal that is unclear or unimportant can be difficult to achieve. Any of these situations will interfere with not only your success but also your motivation to even begin a project.  Here are some suggestions that can help stick to your goals this time.

  1. Look at the Big Picture. What are your long term goals? What is most important to you? When you are successful, how will your life be different? These questions can help you define what success means to you. Are you dreaming of owning your own business, getting a significant promotion, or running a marathon? These ideas will guide the goals you set and reflect the values and hopes that you have for your future life.  Being able to envision a goal can make it feel real. Read more
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Holiday Season Survival 101

Don’t let stress get you down this holiday season.  With all of the people, parties, cleaning, prepping and high expectations, it’s no wonder that this time of year can be overwhelming. But with some planning and small changes, you can minimize stress and set yourself up for the best holiday season possible!

  1. Acknowledge your feelings.If you have lost someone or can’t be with loved ones, realize it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s okay to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.
  2. Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events, such as listening to carollers or looking at Christmas lights. Persons there can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is also a good way to lift your spirits, broaden your friendships and help give someone else a Happy Holiday! Read more
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UCCI Social Work Degree and Applied Psychology Concentration Open House

Announcing OPEN HO– USE this week at UCCI to Launch the New Applied Psychology Concentration and Bachelor’s of Social Work Degree! 

Are you interested in working with vulnerable individuals in communities?

Do you want to explore the complexity of everyday changing societies and respond effectively to the needs of individuals, families, and groups?

Do you have a passion for enacting social change and believe you currently have skills that can be honed?
Do you want to guide individuals to be empowered so they can enhance their well-being?

Need to learn more? Join us for an Open House this Thursday!

WHEN: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2015 at 5:15PM
WHERE: PDC ROOM 1 (Above the Library) on the UCCI Campus

Phone: 1-345- 623-0539
1-345-325-6462
E-mail: LSmith@ucci.edu.ky

SOCIAL WORK FLYER

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Sometimes You Have to Jump.

Jumping is great. But terrifying.  When you jump a horse, there are many things that have to take place in order to …

Tea for You!

In today’s fast-paced world, it often feels as though we don’t have any time for ourselves.  Mindfulness …

The Language(s) of Love

We all want to be wanted.  It feels good.  But any time you have two humans together, there is room for confusion, …