The Simple Power of Gratitude

“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude” – Brené Brown “Gratitude is a potent vaccine that inoculates us against negativity” – Donald Altman In the 1990s, the field of positive psychology ushered in a new awareness of how…

Overcoming Loneliness

More Americans than ever before are feeling lonely. In 2010, approximately 40 percent of Americans reported regularly feeling lonely, whereas only 20 percent of Americans in the 1980’s regularly felt lonely. The feeling of loneliness is all about perception. We become lonely if we do not feel meaningfully connecting with our friends or if we…

Surviving Terror and Grief

My two daughters are graduates of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida – Class of 2008 and Class of 2012. As a result, the news surrounding the terrible shooting there a few weeks ago has had a resonance for me even beyond the shock, sadness, fear, and anger experienced by all of us…

Building Resilience in Our Children: Parent First Know Thyself

Resilience, or the capacity to recover or adjust from difficulties, is a vital characteristic to nurture for coping in our complex, ever-changing world.  Children can experience stressors at school with teachers, academics, and peers, with extra-curricular activities such as sports, and within the family with parents and siblings. The newest research on resilience indicates that…

Understanding Executive Functioning: An Overview and Helpful Resources

The term “executive functioning skills” is a stand-in for a range of thinking and problem-solving skills that help us to manage our day-to-day lives.  They are mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully. Executive functioning skills can be broken down into 3 inter-related cognitive processes: 1.…

Harnessing the Power of Your Thoughts

You are not your thoughts.  Thoughts are just electrical impulses that are rapidly transmitted between neurons in the brain.  It is our actions, not our thoughts, that define us.  That being said, the way we think has an enormous impact on how we feel; this can have both positive and negative implications. Before our brains…

Helping Anxious Kids Launch Back to School After Winter Break

Hopefully this holiday season was filled with fun, laughter, downtime, and served as a mini break from the daily routine of running and stress. With the winter holiday coming to an end, many parents and their children have mixed emotions about school starting again. While getting back to a routine is healthy, having enjoyed a…

20 Tips for Getting Through the Holidays After a Loss

Holiday season is just about here. While most of us look forward to this festive and sparkly time of year, many of us experience complicated feelings during the winter holidays. It’s a time we reflect back on the year…and the years. For some folks, this inevitably means reflecting on loss of loved ones. With that…

Use Your Senses for a Mindful Moment Experience

Research continues to indicate the multiple benefits of mindfulness and meditation practices for reducing stress, increasing resilience, improving emotional regulation, strengthen the immune system, fostering a greater sense of connection, and other health benefits. Mindfulness refers to an intentional and effortful awareness and focus on the present moment without judgment. Adding brief mindful moments to…

The Functions of the Adolescent Brain

*Note: This blog is based on the ideas and research of Daniel Siegel, M.D. and his book Brainstorm. The teenage years often get a bad reputation. Adolescents are typically described as hormonal, argumentative, reckless, selfish, and a host of other unpleasant labels. Parents of adolescents are often left feeling frustrated by their teen’s emotional outbursts…