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How Do We Get Out of Our Head?

By on Feb 24, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

In today’s world we are overloaded with information. Thanks to our world of technology, we literally have 24 hour access to news, work, friends, and family. But how do we turn off all this information? I work with clients more and more who struggle with ruminating thoughts and difficulty in turning off, or even slowing down, the rumination. We often allow ourselves to become overcommitted and then struggle to figure out how to manage time and problem-solve – leading to stress and anxiety. In the last few years, there has been more attention to the practice of “mindfulness” and using meditation as a way to help stop the constant barrage of anxiety provoking thoughts. However, clients often tell me that even thought they think mindfulness is a good idea, they never get around to practicing it in their daily lives. In fact, they often feel like it’s just one more thing to stress about. I read an article (March/April 2016 edition of Psychology Today) that I believe can help many of us to get out of our head and practice mindfulness in a fairly easy and natural way. The answer is to experience AWE. In the article, it summarizes that one of the best ways to get out of our ruminating thoughts is to experience being in awe and that nature is one of the ways we can do this. In the recent month, I have frequently recommended that clients go out and just “be” in nature and take the time to look around and be in wonder at what they see. The research shows that nature allows us to feel awestruck and to then realize that we are part of something bigger. I have had overwhelming response from my clients that after spending time in nature, they feel better. In our busy and hectic worlds, we may not feel we have the time to get out and experience nature. However, I challenge clients to make the time and to incorporate it as best they can in their every day. This can be as simple as enjoying the trees or parks in your neighborhood. As I write this blog post, I am looking out at the California coastline from...

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Career Changes for Your Well Being

By on Feb 24, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Career change doesn’t mean that you need to find a new job but it does mean that something that isn’t working in your job should change. A toxic or negative work environment can lead to daily anxiety and/or depression which then can impact other areas of your life. A therapist is a great way to help discover what to change and how to make the change. Often clients feel stuck in their job and they tend to stay stuck because they feel overwhelmed or lost in how to make the change. The Golden Handcuffs: the benefits package is so good we don’t want to give it up so we stay put. Lack of Passion: we stay stuck in our job because we don’t feel a passion to do something else; we sit waiting to find this passion before we make a move. Fear of Change: we catastrophize all the different scenarios that could go wrong if we make a change and then tell ourselves it’s not so bad to stay where we are. Confidence Deficit: we don’t believe we have the capability to learn or do something new so we decide to stay where it’s safe and comfortable rather than go into a discomfort zone. Regardless of the reasons, it is important to find satisfaction in your job since most of us spend a good portion of our time at our jobs. A therapist can help you identify the issues that are creating anxiety and depression and then identify factors to bring satisfaction to your job and help you to create a plan.  Sometimes, it can just take some focused and specific steps in your current job to make the change; other times it may take more time and action to make significant changes. A healthy work/life balance is important in the overall management of our life and how much balance we put into the work portion is individual to each person. However, no matter the balance ratio, if the work portion is a negative then there is risk it will negatively impact the life portion. All of us should have the opportunity to have a positive work...

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The Importance of GRIT

By on Feb 24, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Definition of GRIT – courage and resolve; strength of character. Recently, I heard an interview with author Angela Duckworth about her new book “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” and she put forth two ideas: one, that that grit, a person’s perseverance and passion, is among one of the most important predictors of success and that we all have the power to increase our inner grit. Her interview definitely struck a chord with me in that I frequently work with my clients about overcoming fear and anxiety by tapping into courage (grit) and that we all have the capacity to change. I also just recently re-watched the movie “The Martian” and there was a scene that also spoke about grit. In the film, there is a scene where the main character talks about how he had to persevere and problem-solve in order to keep going. Here is the excerpt of that scene: “…everything is going to go south on you and you are going to say this is it; this is how I end. Now you can either except that or you can get to work. That’s all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem. Then you solve the next one. And then the next. And if you solve enough problems, you get to come home.” Between these two media reminders of the importance of grit, I wanted to write a short blog about how we can all tap into our own inner grit and work hard to meet our goals. Clients often come to me because they are experiencing a lack of grit in some area of their life and want to learn some tools and skills. With online therapy, I am able to help clients find and nurture that inner grit. We all feel discouraged at times and maybe just want to sit down and give up. It can be tempting, and sometimes we do need to sit down to rest, but we must remember to get back up and keep trying. I often use the analogy of a tunnel when talking about fear and courage. If we are stuck in the middle of a tunnel and it’s pitch black...

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4 Challenges with Adult ADD/ADHD

By on Feb 24, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

I have found more and more clients seeking therapy services for issues around Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (“ADD”). Many clients find that they are struggling with difficulties in their career, school, and/or relationships due to underlying issues from ADD and seek out a therapist to help them find strategies. It is important to note that strategies for people with ADD do not always look the same as those who don’t have ADD.  This is most apparent in time management. Many clients with ADD try time management techniques for the general public and then feel frustrated and self critical when the techniques don’t work. However, this is usually not their fault but rather that the appropriate technique was not given. At times, clients may not even realize how their ADD can be attributing to anxiety, depression, communication difficulties, or disappointment from unrealistic expectations. Once a therapist, who is skilled in working with ADD, can explain why certain issues occur and then how best to address those issues, clients often feel relief and hope. It is important to recognize that ADD is a result of how the brain processes information with the executive functioning. It’s not about intelligence or effort but rather how the executive functioning is different in the processing. The comparison I often to give is with dyslexia. People with dyslexia see letters and words differently but it doesn’t reflect their IQ or motivation. It is the same with ADD. Below are four challenges with ADD and how life coaching can help. Time Blindness. This is a term used to help explain how people with ADD often perceive time differently than those without ADD. ADD clients can feel that they have more time to complete tasks or misjudge how long a task will take. This often results in running behind schedule and appearing as if they didn’t plan properly, which can then cause frustration in relationships and work environments.  I provide specific interventions to work with time blindness and help clients mange their time to get tasks completed successfully and on time. Multiple Step Instructions. Often when giving instructions, a person can list off two to three steps to complete the task. These steps can...

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Laugh Loud, Laugh Proud

By on Feb 24, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

I recently watch the recent YouTube video sensation of “Laughing Chewbacca Mask Lady” and I loved it!  It was great to watch someone having so much fun and, in turn, I was able to have as much fun for myself. These days there is so much media and information that can create anxiety, stress, and fear that it can trigger us to feel hopeless and helpless at times.  As a therapist, it’s not uncommon for me to experience clients who feel stressed out with their day to day life and little relief. Laughing can be one of the best ways to relieve stress and anxiety. Just think about any time when you’ve laughed and laughed until it hurts; you probably felt relief, joy and a sense of being a little lighter in the world. Laughter is medicine for the soul! 3 Things You Can Do Today to Laugh 1.Watch the Laughing Chewbacca Mask Lady video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3yRv5Jg5TI). Then find something at home or at the store that you can use to be silly and just have fun. Go for it! 2.Watch that funny movie again – yes, the one that made you cry from laughing so hard. It’ll be worth every penny! 3.Dance to any song that makes you smile. Put the music on and then just let your dance moves take over and smile until the song ends – then repeat! Note: all fun activities can be enjoyed solo or with others. Now go out there and laugh loud, laugh...

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The Love Languages in Relationships

By on Feb 24, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

In working with clients around relationship issues with their love one, I find that one of the most common problem is how each person is interpreting, or misinterpreting, love. When we misinterpret our partner’s language of love it is like mistranslating a phrase in another language and it can take on a whole different meaning. What do I mean by languages of love? Author Gary Chapman developed the five languages of love and has a book and website that discusses these languages much more in depth. However, for the sake of this blog post, I want to briefly introduce the concept and show how it can a big difference in communication with your loved one. The five languages of love are as follows: Words of Affirmation Acts of Service Receiving Gifts Quality Time Physical Touch If you take the test on the website, you can discover which language of love resonates most with you. It’s then important to find out which language resonates most with your partner. No one love language is better or worse than the other, they are just different. What I do notice, is that for each person their love language seems so clear as to be the way to give and receive love. Examples can sound something like: “If they loved me they would tell me more how much they love me” – Words of Affirmation “If they loved me they would help me out more” – Acts of Service “If they loved me they would surprise me more with little gifts” – Receiving Gifts “If they loved me they would want to spend more time with me” – Quality of Time “If they loved me they would be more affectionate with me” – Physical Touch When a couple has different love languages, and doesn’t know it, they can easily miss when the other person is actually communicating love.  Imagine a couple where one person’s love language is physical touch and the other person’s love language is acts of service.  Struggle in the relationship can sound something like this: (husband/wife) Wife: “It’s nice that my husband is affectionate. He holds my hand, gives lots of kisses, and is attentive which is nice. However, he never...

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