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!
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:
- 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.
- You Get What You Read more
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
“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
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!
- 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.
- 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
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
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
As we return from Summer Holidays and Vacations and transition back to School/Work mode, there are some simple things that we can do to Keep the Summertime Vibes Going:
- Reminders: Keep reminders around that trigger positive memories, whether a small token from one of your trips or pictures from a party. External triggers can help bring us back to a good space even when our energy begins to drop and we start to fall into the “back to school” funk. Read more
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
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: