View original article published in Psych Central– Samantha felt overwhelmed by her school assignments, her relationships, and her job. She often felt like she was walking a tightrope while holding a pole that contained all of her “should” and “must” type of thoughts. “It’s not a matter of if, but when I’ll fall and crash!” she’d repeat. She would imagine placing her thoughts and feelings in a bottle and shutting the lid tightly. “I place them there so I can cope,” she would declare. She recognized her panic attack cycle: stress, anxiety, tension build up, and suppress until it shatters. Then starting all over again. She hated her panic attacks, but said she always felt better after experiencing one. Do Samantha’s struggles sound familiar?
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
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
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