Practicing Gratitude

Happiness is something that everyone strives to achieve, even if its definition is vague or person-dependent.  The paths to achieving happiness are equally varied.  For some people, happiness is being surrounded by loving friends and family.  To others, it’s financial independence, experiencing a big belly laugh, or eating a delicious piece of cake.  While the…

Microbreaks Improve Happiness and Productivity

Many of us know that it is important to take breaks during the workday. Taking breaks helps improve focus, reduce fatigue, and decrease the risk of work-related physical problems, such as carpel tunnel. While we often think of breaks as requiring large chunks of time (such as a lunch break), recent research has focused on…

Preparing for Winter Break

As winter break quickly approaches, many children and their families are eager for a chance to relax, unwind, and enjoy some much-needed time away from the demands of school. However, for many children, this time of year can also be a source of significant stress. In particular, children with developmental delays, AD/HD, anxiety disorders, and…

Helping Teens Get Better Sleep

Sleep, nutrition, and exercise are the three lifestyle factors that are most associated with mental health. Teens need between eight and ten hours of sleep per night, with most teens needing about nine hours of sleep. Unfortunately, studies have shown that most teens are not getting the sleep they need. In fact, the average teen…

Live a Healthier Life: Cultivate Compassion and Kindness

Living in our fast-paced often self-involved society, one might think the adage “it’s a dog-eat-dog world” holds true. Such a belief, however, would not be confirmed by research. Charles Darwin taught us that survival belongs to the fittest, and social psychologist, Dacher Keltner, in his book, Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful…

What Makes You Feel Free?

I recently returned home from a trip to the eclectic city of New Orleans. While warming in the sun watching talented street performers, listening to a mixture of musical styles, and smelling the scent of freshly-made pralines, I began to think about the lives of those around me. I wondered what it would be like…

Linking Difference to Achieve Societal Health

We live in a diverse country at a time when difference is often denounced rather than celebrated. Many of us take issue with the dishonoring of diversity, and I would like to make a somewhat scientific case for celebrating diversity rather than censuring it. This case begins with studies in neurobiology that have found that…

Validate, Validate, Validate

When someone we care about is in need, it is common to want to help or even try to “fix” the problem for our loved one. Though our hearts and heads may be in the right place, unsolicited advice or attempts to “fix” a perceived problem may actually lead to more distress for our loved…

Spring Cleaning for the Psyche

Spring is a great time to take stock of your overall health and make some efforts to shift away from unhealthy habits. Here are 3 tips aimed at ditching routines and mental hang-ups that are likely to undermine your mental health, and replacing them with more adaptive habits. 1. Notice the Positive. The old saying…

When You Judge Another, You Do Not Define Them, You Define Yourself

Recently, I was asked about what it means to remain nonjudgmental within the therapy room and whether it is truly possible not to judge others. The idea of maintaining a nonjudgmental attitude is most often associated with Carl Rogers who focused on each client as an individual and the idea that for people to truly…