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…

Daily Dose of Self-Compassion Goes a Long Way

Too often our inner critical voice takes over and adds to our daily stress and over time contributes to anxiety. Are you hard on yourself or often find yourself saying things like “I wasn’t good enough” or “I wasn’t smart enough,” etc…? These internal messages act like a bully that minimizes our self-esteem and self-confidence.…

Easing Back into the School Year

Although it may feel hard to believe, summer has drawn to a close and the new school year is officially in full swing. This transition can be a difficult time for all families, especially as the excitement of the new school year begins to wear off and kids shift into the daily “grind” of 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…

Lessons for Today from Mister Rogers

(This entry is adapted from an article by Shea Tuttle published by the Greater Good Science Center) I remember Mister Rogers vividly from my childhood – eating lunch on TV trays sitting on the floor of our living room with a friend, seeing the puppets and listening to the songs. At the time, of course,…

Wordly Wise

Word choice can make a huge difference in how we communicate with one another.  I recently attended an excellent seminar presented by Terry M. Levy, Ph.D., D.A.P.A, the director of the Evergreen Psychotherapy Center and the Attachment Treatment and Training Institute in Evergreen, Colorado.  During his presentation, he discussed one of the styles of communication…

A Parable of Presence

Once there was an 8-year-old boy named Timmy. He was a good boy who always did what his mother asked him to do. She trusted Timmy and gave him age appropriate freedom. One day Timmy said to his mother, ‘Bye, Mom, I am going bike riding with Johnny”. His mother replied, “OK, Timmy. Just be…

Self-Harm: Understanding What it Is (and Isn’t) and Knowing How to Respond

A quick tour of online resources for parents of teenagers reveals that the subject of self-harm is frequently raised, usually in the form of parental concerns over cutting behavior. Parents asking for advice or support when they discover that their son or daughter is self-harming are understandably alarmed and upset. They also tend to run…

The 5 Love Languages

In our most intimate relationships, partners ask each other all kinds of questions to deepen their bond and get to know the other’s true self. Coffee or tea? Beach or mountains? Dogs or cats? What are your hopes for the future? Strangely enough, one important question is rarely asked: what makes you feel loved? Without…