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Being Grateful Despite Challenges

11.26.14

[View original article published in Psych Central here] There are times when we may feel like we cannot be grateful about anything in our lives. Losing a job or feeling burned out can contribute to one’s negative attitude. Experiencing financial losses or not being able to make ends meet can hurt deeply. Enduring physical or mental health challenges can drive us to feel hopeless. Missing a loved one, seeing one’s child suffer, and relationship difficulties could be additional reasons to feel apathetic. The list can go on, but research shows that it’s possible to change our perspective despite life’s hardships. We can change our brain chemistry toward feeling more at peace with ourselves and become more grateful. Consider the following poin

Teaching Kids To Be Grateful Every Day

11.19.14

[View original article published in Parenting.answers.com  here] Why is it important that children learn to be grateful? How can you help them? Here are 3 ideas that will work. Children and Gratitude Research has shown that those who are grateful have better long-term health. They are happier and more pleasant to be around. Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor and author of The How of Happiness says, “People who are consistently grateful are happier, more energetic, more hopeful, and experience more frequent positive emotions. They also tend to be more helpful and empathetic, more spiritual and religious, more forgiving, and less materialistic than others who are less grateful.” When children feel gratitude, they will be happy with

3 Steps To Take When Life Gets Foggy

10.20.14

 [View original article published in Answers.com here] What is your first thought when you wake up in the morning? “I’m ready to take on the day!” But maybe you had a restless night and couldn’t stop thinking about current problems. Perhaps you wish your day never began. All of us experience difficulties at one point or another, and it has been said that what really matters is how we react to adversity. The advice is that we need to confront our difficult experiences with a positive attitude. When we do, things go smoother. But it is easier said than done! Take Lori for example. She was the oldest child of four, and when she was twelve years old, her mom passed away. She missed her mother, and she and her siblin

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” - Jon Kabat-Zinn

10.16.14

Those challenged by OCD most likely have tried to stop the “waves” to no avail.  It’s easier to “surf” them rather than fight them. You can learn to accept and tolerate uncertainty and doubt. Love the quote!  

Starve the OCD Beast and START Making Changes

10.15.14

Once upon a time a young man was walking through the mountains near his home.  A cute little kitten appeared.  It looked hungry and lost.  He decided to take it home.  He took good care of the kitten, but every time he fed it, it seemed hungrier.  One day he noticed it was eating a mouse.  He realized his kitten was ready for big cat’s food. But the problem continued. The more he fed it, the more the kitten wanted.  One day, a friend came to visit him.  The friend was shocked and said,  “What in the world are you doing with a tiger?”  The young man had gotten so used to living with his pet and its demands that he had not even noticed that it had become a tiger! You may have heard similar stories to illustrate how individuals who comply with

Is there an OCD Nightmare In Your Closet?

10.14.14

Those who don’t have the disorder misconstrue and continue to promote misconceptions about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  Those suffering may hide and shield themselves from possibly being hurt and shunned.  They may feel ashamed or embarrassed.  The fact is that there are still many people in society who have no idea that OCD can be paralyzing, and it should not be trivialized.  Only those suffering can change things by letting the OCD Nightmare in their closet get out. The classic children’s book “There Is a Nightmare in My Closet” written  by Mercer Mayer comes to mind.  Here are some parallels: Prepare for the OCD nightmare to come out.  The young boy decides he will defy the nightmare.  He gets his weapons lined up and is ready to fac

Helping Kids Overcome Their OCD Fears – Some DOs and DON’Ts

10.13.14

Any parent who witnesses their children’s excruciating fear will instinctively react to protect, help, and comfort them.  That is the expected and the right thing to do.  However, when children experience fear due to OCD and anxiety, parents can learn the right skills. They can intervene in a positive way to help their children overcome their challenges and avoid overprotecting them. Grug Crood from the film The Croods comes to mind.  Grug was an overprotective father and his favorite words were: “Never not be afraid!”  His number one goal was to keep his family free from danger.  Of course that advice proved to be ineffective.  His belief was that other families had been destroyed because they had not been afraid enough!  It turned out tha

Meditation Science

9.21.14

There are numerous articles regarding mindfulness and meditation. Here is an infographic.  What do you think?

Parenting “Supplies” That Last Forever!

8.14.14

[View original article published in Parenting.answers.com  here] Whether excited or unsure as to how the year will turn out, parents also need back-to-school “supplies.” This list will help every parent stay on the right track. Every year as summer winds down, most parents and children are ready for the new school year to start. Some parents may also be apprehensive if there were struggles and challenges with their children the year before. Whether excited or unsure as to how the year will turn out, parents also need back-to-school “supplies.” This list will help every parent stay on the right track. 1. MIRROR – Reflective listening and Validation. When children are happy, parents acknowledge their childre

You can Defy OCD!

8.11.14

The statement by Van Gogh can be true for anyone that learns how to defy OCD.  It can be done! It’s not easy but it’s possible! Anxiety, guilt, and doubt are the prevalent feelings experienced by OCD sufferers.  They have difficulty tolerating these emotions.  When individuals are triggered and begin to obsess, they become overwhelmed by their feelings and will do whatever it takes to avoid feeling that way. For instance, James had fears of emotional contamination.  He’d rather avoid certain friends than take the chance of experiencing a panic attack.  Linda had fears of losing her faith and would stay away from triggers that produced anxiety, guilt, and uncertainty.  Roy was worried about being near anyone that may carry an infectious dise

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