Ready. Set. Breathe. Blog

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

Why We All Wear Masks

Halloween is a time when many of us dress up to go out and it is often a highly anticipated holiday.  What is it about a mask that is so liberating that many people look forward to Halloween all year?  There are many theories as to where this tradition comes from but what I think is more interesting is the masks that we all wear the rest of the year.  We all do it, but why? And is it a bad thing?

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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


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


Keep the Summertime Vibes Going.

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:

  1. 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

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


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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New Group Programmes Starting this Fall for Adults and Teens!

I am excited to announce that we will be offering 2 new groups beginning in September! (Next week!) If you are interested, let us know. You can start at any time within the period that they are offered. All you have to do is give us a call and let us know you’re interested. See you there! 🙂

Teen Talk Support Group

Confidential support group for young people from 15-18 years old. Group therapy provides an effective way to tackle life’s problems with the support of a peer group. Teen Talk Group focuses on issues specific to adolescents: independence, healthy relationships, school, peer pressure, self-esteem, identity, difficulties with mood and anxiety. Join us in a safe space to talk with other teens to learn to understand yourself and others better and develop healthy coping skills. Sessions facilitated by Dr. Alexandra Bodden, Clinical Psychologist.

Cost: $200.00 for 4 sessions

When: Monday Evenings 4:30-5:30 PM

Dates: September 7th-October 26th 2015

Where: BHAC, Hospital Road Plaza, George Town Drop-in Cost per session: $55.00

Stress Less Group

Gain skills and tools to manage stress and increase happiness. If you are an adult, feeling overwhelmed, anxious and stressed, this group is for you. Topics will include understanding your own unique stress, the importance of values and beliefs in stress, learning hands-on techniques to reduce stress and developing a personalized action plan for managing stress. Learn how to put yourself at the top of your own priority list. Sessions co-facilitated by Dr. Alexandra Bodden, Clinical Psychologist, and Heather Lockhart, Professional Life Coach.

Cost: $200.00 for 4 sessions

When: Thursdays 12:00 Noon-1:00PM

Dates: September 3th-October 29th 2015

Where: BHAC, Hospital Road Plaza, George Town

Drop-in Cost per session: $55.0o


Steps to Success: Life After Graduation

Contributed to Youth Services Unit by Dr. Alexandra Bodden

Graduation is an exciting and terrifying time as you step foot into the “real world” and many of us for the first time have some very big decisions to make. But where do you start? Below are some ideas to help you make the most of your first “real world” experience and to help you get to where you want to be:

  1. Aim High – “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars” is a favourite quote at graduations.  The essence of this idea is to set the bar high, this way even if we don’t quite make it, we are likely to get further than we would have if we had set lower expectations.  The difficulty is to find the confidence to set our sights high.  We want to aim high but also give ourselves the greatest likelihood of success so take into consideration your strengths, personal goals and past experiences (good and bad) to develop measurable, achievable goals that inspire you and encourage you to continue to grow personally and professionally.  And it is okay to be scared, this is a sign that we are growing, use that energy to take your performance to the next level!

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Want to Improve Your Memory?

It has been believed for centuries that as we grow older, our brain functions continue to deteriorate, which also impacts and weakens our memory. However, recent medical research and experiments have proved that our brain has the ability to grow new neurons, even as we age, a process known scientifically as neuroplasticity. The mental health of a person depends vastly on how active the person is – physically and mentally. If you keep forgetting things too quickly, or have noticed a sharp decline in your mental health in terms of memory recently, it is time to make some really important changes in your lifestyle to help sharpen and improve your memory.

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Ways to help your children develop self-esteem and confidence

Self-esteem and confidence are major traits in individuals that affect their success. While these are lifelong processes, the foundation of it can be established in early childhood. Building self-esteem will allow your child to deal with difficult situations that they will encounter during their lifetime. Since parents have the greatest influence on a child’s belief, it is important for you to let your child know where they belong, how well they are doing and contribute towards developing healthy confidence and self-esteem.

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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, …