Not long ago, I decided to adopt a puppy and excitedly told my sister about it. She said, “Annabella, you are not a dog person. You are too busy. You really shouldn’t.” I responded, “Says who? Your mind? I can choose to be a dog person if I want to.” Her obvious disapproval most likely was related to her concerns about my future pup. I shared with my sister, my reason –the higher value that motivated me to become a dog mom. She understood, but continued to discourage me to do so. I said, “I am not going to let that label get in the way of how I choose to live my life.” She then agreed to coach me through the training months as I began to fall in love with my puppy. Are you stuck with a label? As you grew up and experienced mul
If you are a parent, the love you have for your children is immeasurable. The long sleepless nights rocking your baby or soothing your frightened or sick child are all worth it because you care and love. There are times when you may not be willing to pay the price that love brings. One young man once told me he didn’t want to date or worse yet, get married, because he didn’t want to experience the pain of a breakup. “I’d rather be alone than experience the pain,” he said. That’s understandable. No one wants to experience pain; yet in any relationship, the chances are pretty high that there will be emotional pain at some point. If he keeps that view of life, he will miss out on the joy that comes with struggles. What this y
Annabella’s new book, Let Go of Anxiety: Climb Life’s Mountains with Peace, Purpose, and Resilience, can help you! Below is a sample chapter from the book: https://mindsetadminportal.wpcomstaging.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/let-go-of-anxiety.png 28 Going Upstream—Is It Worth It? The o’opu, a freshwater fish native to Hawaii, hatches in fresh water and literally goes with the flow, swimming downstream to reproduce. Its eggs are swept into the ocean, where they develop into young fish. Like salmon, these young fish instinctively return home. They measure less than three inches in size, but their determination to reach their birthplace and start another generation is huge. These fish don’t just swim upstream to get back ho
Stress is not new. It has been around since life began. It’s part of our survival mechanism to help us stay alive when we are in danger. However, we live in a time of high pressure and demands, and most recently our stress may have heightened due to COVID-19 and uncertainties in the world. Stress can be different for everyone. There are individuals who may experience chronic stress and anxiety. As soon as they wake up, they start feeling the unpleasant sensations of stress and anxiety in their bodies. When we are stressed, our bodies start feeling tension. We may have difficulty falling asleep, or staying asleep. Some people may experience headaches, digestion problems, high blood pressure and generalized unhappiness. The question is, are
View original article published in Psych Central– While snorkeling in the ocean, I had the opportunity to remember an invaluable lesson regarding willingness — to take what is offered in the moment. Willingness is an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) principle that, when applied correctly, can help us live more meaningfully, despite unpleasant external and internal events. My snorkeling story illustrates how easily we forget that we should not try to fight the unfightable. We can learn to accept what is offered to us in the here and now, so we can focus on whom and what matters most in our lives. While swimming towards the area of a lagoon that had a reef by the open sea, my sister and I found some fish to look at but not as many as
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– 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