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When It Comes to Your Anxiety, Are You a Thermometer or a Thermostat?

9.25.18

You probably haven’t thought much about the difference between a thermostat and a thermometer. Let’s review their differences. A thermometer measures your temperature. If you have a fever, it reacts to your temperature. A thermostat is something we place on the wall of our homes and purposely set the temperature where we want our environment to be. Let’s say, in wintertime we may want the temperature to be 72 degrees and the number doesn’t change at all. When the thermostat detects it’s getting colder than 72 degrees, the signal is sent to the heater and yes, the heater clicks on. However, the thermostat does not react and the temperature remains steady unless you change it. Thus, the thermostat responds to the temperature, where as the th

Getting Stuck in the Emotional Funnel - Nancy Larsen, LCSW

8.26.18

View original article published in Psych Central– Have you ever found yourself caught in a downward spiral of negative thoughts? It’s as if your mind is like a funnel with thoughts racing towards the bottom only to get stuck in the neck. The more you try to think your way out of the funnel the more distressed you become because there appears to be no way out. Negative thoughts can be overwhelming, and if we are not careful, they create pathways in our mind from which we draw. Unfortunately, thoughts rarely occur without emotions. When we add emotions to our negative thoughts, we try to think our way towards a solution yet as we spiral downward, a solution seems out of reach. So much so, that we start to panic. It may look something like th

Mindset Family Therapy Staff to Present at the 25th Annual OCD Conference 2018

7.17.18

  Once again we feel honored to be presenting at the International OCD Conference. We will be leading various groups and presenting workshops as shown below. If you or a loved one struggle with anxiety, OCD or an OC related disorder, reach out to us and we can help you! Are you stuck in the OCD Web? Get Untangled by ACTing! First-Timers OCD Conference Support Group Mindfulness: The Window to Self-Compassion Pedophilia OCD Support Group Relationship OCD Support Group Yoga and Mindfulness for Adults Yoga and Mindfulness for Teens Yoga and Mindfulness for Middle Schoolers Yoga and Story Activity for Children Learn More!  ocd2018.org    

Feelings: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

7.16.18

View original article published in Psych Central– This was a title of a popular Western movie in the 60s, and indeed in life we will encounter situations we may consider good, bad, or ugly. It’s just the way our mind works. Our mind is an expert evaluator of feelings. When individuals are asked what feelings they would consider good, bad or ugly, they can readily create a list for each category. Feelings are neither good nor bad. They are simply emotions that arise depending on situations we encounter. They can run their course if we allow them to do so. Society and our upbringing influence the way we look at our feelings. As we get older our mind becomes our own judge and tells us whether a feeling is good, bad, or ugly. “You should not be

Anxiety and Your “What If Calculator”

5.21.18

View original article published in Psych Central– Some universities provide a “what if calculator” to help students project possible grades. It provides the percentage they need on each test to get their desired grade at the end of the course. Based on what they would like their final grade to be, they can decide how much work and effort to put into studying for their final exam. If we all had a what if calculator to forecast our future, life would be so much easier! We could say we all are in a possession of a what if calculator. For many of us, that amazing thought-making machine works overtime. The problem is that though our mind means well, its calculations are not entirely accurate most of the time. Quite often, the predictions are wo

Learning to Live in the Moment

4.10.18

A six-year-old girl was at the park with her siblings. She had fun at the playground and then explored the park with her family. She noticed an old tree trunk by a pond and sat on it. When her siblings went back to the playground, she chose to stay there to enjoy her surroundings. She commented on the snow-capped mountains, the pine trees, the grass, the seemingly dead bushes, the ducks quacking sounds, and the tadpoles swimming in the pond. After about 10 minutes, she was invited to join the rest of her family. She asked if she could stay a little longer. She sat at the same spot for 30 minutes noticing the world around her and literally soaking it all in. She instinctively connected with what was happening right then without any cares abo

Is the Anxious Mind Spreading FUD in Your Life?

3.9.18

View original article published in Psych Central– In the cryptocurrency world, fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) is something investors don’t want to experience. When FUD spreads, the value of the coin will drop, and those who invested will be unsure of what to do and wonder when the pain will stop. FUD is also something that people with anxiety don’t like to endure. They avoid and seek reassurance in order to be sure that FUD (fear, uncertainty, or doubt) is not part of their lives. Yet, they forget that FUD is part of the human condition. When we perceive danger, our survival built-in mechanism warns us, and fear sets in so we can escape or fight the danger. This is a good thing. Otherwise, our ancestors would not have made it, and we w

Why Won’t Anxiety Go Away?

2.21.18

View original article published in Psych Central– If you were walking through the woods and noticed a bear walking towards you, you would probably either run for your life or be so scared that you freeze. On the other hand, if your friends told you to watch out for a person dressed as a bear scaring people in the woods, you might initially get startled but would otherwise remember it was just a person. This heads up would make all the difference in your reaction. Life is like a walk through the woods. We know that anxiety is going to manifest itself because it is a part of life. At one time or another, all of us will experience mild or severe anxiety. But what happens when anxiety shows up? Many individuals report that they hate it. They wi

How to Cope When the Anxious Child Has a Meltdown

1.22.18

View original article published in Psych Central– When our children exhibit disruptive behavior and appear to be out of control, we can feel helpless and sometimes hopeless. When we realize that their actions are no longer isolated events but have become part of a distressing routine, our mind may come up with myriad of solutions. When our children have anxiety and we know that this a contributing factor, our amazing problem-solving machine — the mind, might also say to us, “You are a terrible parent. It’s your fault.” This is a thought that our mind is providing to help us make sense of the situation. It is only trying to find a solution to match our distress and our child’s behavior. Those thoughts may match the situation, but it is not h

5 Amazing Benefits of Mindfulness Practice

11.3.17

“It is what makes us human, what distinguishes us from other animals. We can be aware of being aware.” –Jon Kabat-Zinn Are you stuck in the past or in the future? Quite often we are focused on what should have happened yesterday, what we should’ve done, what we didn’t do, or what others should’ve done. When we are not focused on the past, maybe our focal point is what may happen, or what we wish could happen in the future. Perhaps we have ‘what if” worry habits that lead us to heightened stress and anxiety. We may feel angry about the past, or maybe feel hopeless about the future. When our tendency is to dwell on things of the past or the future we get stuck, and life becomes more difficult. Dogs, among other mammals have the capability o

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