Live Longer by Improving Your Outlook

If you sift through the noise and fury that dominates our daily news cycles, you may have noticed a recently published study that suggests optimists live longer than pessimists. A paper published in last month’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America examined data from long-term studies of data…

Stress

Managing the Stress of a New School Year

As we move from the lazy, hazy days of summer to the hectic, jam-packed days of a new school year, I thought it might be helpful to review some ways to manage the inevitable stress that comes with this transition. Stress is a normal physical response to events that make us feel threatened or upset…

Student Athlete

The “Perfect” Athlete (Part 2 of 2 on Perfectionism)

Seeming to parallel educational settings, many sports teams and athletic organizations encourage high achievement, rigid standards, and ambitious goals from their participants.  This phenomenon can begin early with coaches and parents telling children that ‘practice makes perfect.’ Furthermore, as an athlete continues to develop and grow competitively in their sport, they are often given the…

Preventing Suicide in Teens

Reports of suicide among famous people, in our communities, and in our schools have become all too common.  Suicide rates have increased by close to 25% over the last 15 years, and suicide was the 2nd leading cause of death for individuals between the ages of 10 and 24 in 2015.  What can we do…

Summer

Easing into Summer

Summer is finally here, and kids (and parents) are more than ready for a chance to relax, unwind, and enjoy a much-needed respite from the demands of school. However, for many families, this also means contending with the potential for increased boredom and stress due to being out of the usual routine and navigating significantly…

The “Perfect” Student (Part 1 of 2 on Perfectionism)

The pursuit of excellence can be encouraged in various ways throughout society.  High ambitions are not only validated, but are used to promote individual achievement and societal progress.  In educational settings, academic achievement is commonly viewed as a main indicator of success.  With the increased challenge of college acceptance and the fast-paced, competitive nature of…

Are You an Echoist?

Last week, three long-time friends and I were trying to pick a restaurant for dinner.  The conversation went something like this: Friend 1: Where should we go to dinner?   Friend 2: Anywhere! Me: Yes, anywhere.  What sounds good to people? Friend 1: Well, there’s the Mexican place, or this other Mexican place, or this…

Helping Your Anxious Teen

If you have a teen who experiences excessive worry or anxiety, you are not alone. Nearly one-third of teens experience a diagnosable anxiety disorder between the ages of 13 and 18, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It is natural for teens to worry occasionally and to experience stress at certain times, such…

The Season of New Beginnings

Spring is traditionally thought of as the season of new beginnings. The winter barrenness is replaced with leaf and flower buds, animals come out of winter hibernation to enjoy the longer, warmer days, and we humans begin our ‘spring cleaning’ in our homes. The idea of a ‘new beginning’ is inspiring and freeing and tends…

Talking with Your Teenager about Sex

Parenting is hard, and parenting is teenager is often incredibly hard.  Many issues present themselves during this phase of life that are uncomfortable to talk about, and also where there aren’t always clear-cut answers. Parents often struggle to communicate well with their teenagers in general, much less about difficult topics such as sexual behavior.  Further,…