Staying in the NOW to Manage Emotions

“Learn from yesterday, Live for today, Hope for tomorrow.” -Albert Einstein Living in the present moment is one of the most difficult, yet, most necessary skills for living a contented life. So often we get caught up thinking about the past- either regretting choices we made, or even reminiscing about the “good old days” and wishing life could be simpler or easier as it once was. Truth is, we cannot go back in time. We cannot change our past actions, or the actions of others. We cannot relive the “good old days” or recreate them. Rather, we can learn from
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Mental Health Basics

Mental Health Basics Everyone can benefit from taking good care of themselves by eating right, sleeping enough, getting enough exercise, connecting with others, having structure and routine, and making time for reflection and relaxation. Maintaining or establishing these habits is especially important when recovering from acute mental health issues like grief, anxiety disorders, depression, or addiction, and when living with chronic mental health conditions like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and personality disorders. Of course, it is precisely in those circumstances it is the most difficult to engage in these stabilizing behaviors and takes extra effort. That effort is worth it, though,
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Mental Health and Well-Being Phone Apps

The wonders of technology and creative innovation has significantly improved most areas of life with mental health being no exception. Cell phones are now akin to house key – we have them on our person or closely available most of the time. Unlike house keys, cell phones have multi-functionality beyond making calls, sending texts and taking pictures.  Cell phone apps can be used to improve mental health or accompany psychotherapy. Some apps must be purchased.  There are many that are free paid for by advertisers who are anxious to market their products. Several free meditation/mindfulness phone apps will be presented.
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What’s your love language?

What’s your love language?   Have you ever taken the time to think about what love means to you? Gift giving, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch; who knew that there were so many ways that you can feel love? According to Gary Chapman, author of “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate”, each person falls into one of these five categories of ways in which they feel the expression of love. Understanding the ways we feel love and our partners feel love can be a vital part to developing healthy
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Are your needs being met?

Are your needs being met in your relationship? Often when I ask  my clients “what are your needs in this relationship?” they look at me with a blank face. Most times the response rendered is “I don’t know”.  Whether in a committed romantic relationship or in a marriage, being aware of one’s needs and knowing what they are and if they are  being met is important to the success of the relationship or marriage.  According to Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D clinical psychologist and author of His Needs, Her Needs, Building an Affair Proof Marriage,  there are 10 emotional needs that are important to marriage. These needs are as follows:
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Technology and Mental Health

While cell phones, tablets and laptops have undeniable benefits, there are trade-offs for the convenience of mobile technology: documented negative effects on health and happiness. Despite their advantages, research indicates that the use of technology, especially cell phone use, disturbs our sleep, stresses us out, and monopolizes our attention. Although long-term studies are difficult because of the rapid changes in technology, one finding recurs over and over: using cell phones at night disturbs sleep. For reasons that are not entirely clear, it appears that cell phone use disturbs sleep more  than laptops or tablets, although all emit the blue light that is thought
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Low Postassium linked to Anxiety and Sleep Disturbance

Potassium is a common mineral in our body that helps with just about every bodily function. Potassium is a mineral that is used by the body cells to create an electrical conduction system across the cell membrane. These cell membrane transmissions promote heart function, nerve impulse transmissions and muscle contractions. An imbalance of potassium can cause many different side effects including anxiety and new research suggests a potential for sleep disturbances. If you have low levels of potassium, you may experience an increase in your anxiety symptoms.  Anxiety is an abnormal feeling of worry, fear, apprehension or nervousness. Anxiety can occur
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Brain Health and Mental Health

Two years ago, I attended a seminar conducted by Dr. Daniel Amen a psychiatrist, brain image specialist and author, who focuses on brain health.  Because there is an increasing body of current research connecting nutrition to mental health, I have decided to reprint this blog with the addition of more information.  Here is some of the more relevant information and suggestions that Dr. Amen shared regarding brain health, which invariably affects our mental health and well-being. The brain is the control center of the body and is involved in everything we do.  The brain is too often neglected in both
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Mindfulness in a Teeny, Tiny Nutshell

Mindfulness. A word that is tossed around a lot these days. But what does it really mean? In a teeny, tiny nutshell, it means to be in contact with the present moment, to be present with only one thing at a time. But how do we do it? Practice. Mindfulness takes practice like anything else. Mindfulness practice should be intentional.  “I am intentionally going to practice mindfulness.” Mindfulness practice should be free from judgement; objective. Don’t judge yourself or your thoughts. Just be present, notice. And when you do notice your judgments, don’t judge yourself for judging. Just be present.
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Are You a Perfectionist?

Are you  a perfectionist?  This is a question that I often ask my clients.  As a therapist it is not uncommon to have a client present with perfectionistic tendencies. In fact, perfectionism can be a strong factor in anxiety and depression. Having perfectionistic habits can also be maladaptive and become quite debilitating. Here is a quick quiz taken from the book Escape Anxiety: 8 Steps to Freedom Through Meditative Therapies by Suzanne Jessee. Do you find yourself procrastinating because you get so worried about doing something perfectly that you have a hard time getting started? When you look at your
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