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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

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

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

Give Your Kids the Best Christmas Ever—No Gifts Required by Siobhan Colgan – SPARTAN LIFE

12.24.17

Published at SPARTAN LIFE–  Blame Santa. Christmas is a time for giving, but you’d never know it listening in on one of Kringle’s conversations. For this reason, many kids see December 25 as a day to top up their toy box. And parents encourage it. Holiday sales account for 20 percent of all annual retail spending, with Americans generally shelling out over $600 billion on the festive season. That’s a problem, says Annabella Hagen, a psychotherapist and clinical director at Mindset Family Therapy in Provo, Utah—but not an insurmountable one. “In this era, it can be nearly impossible to create a family culture that does not include giving gifts to our children,” she says. “However, how it’s done makes all the difference.” Here’s your four-st

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

One Sure Way To Help Your Child Become Fearless

10.18.17

A dad takes his six-year-old daughter to play at a playground. The monkey bars have been a challenge for her. She had tried many times in the past, and on the second or third bar, she typically fell. This time, she tries to hang on, but her hands get slippery and on the 4th bar, she falls. She gets discouraged and decides to quit. At that very moment, her dad remembers an experience from a few weeks before. Tina was trying something that was difficult. She wasn’t able to do it, but she persisted with hard work and her dad praised her effort. They both decided to come up with an animal nickname for her that would represent physical and emotional strength –being fearless, so as to help her see herself in a different way. She became Tiger Tina

What To Do When You Feel Broken Inside?

10.17.17

In life, there are circumstances in which we simply have no control over; for example, our birthplace, genetic predispositions, cultural background, traumatic events, or illnesses. These among other situations influence the way we see ourselves as well as others. Our natural instinct is to survive and even when there is no physical danger, our mind still does a good job at helping us feel and stay safe. Our amazing problem-solving machine (the mind) gives us advice when it perceives something is not comfortable and pleasant. Though part of our mortal experience includes adversity and challenges, our mind does its best to keep us away from discomfort and pain. We are all broken. There is no single mortal being who does not have an external

Comparison: The Perfectionist’s Incessant Urge

9.26.17

View original article published in Psych Central– Alice had experienced many successes in her youth. She was gifted with athletic skills, intelligence, and an outgoing personality. She qualified for a scholarship in college and graduated with honors from a prestigious program. Alice enjoyed the praise of others, and felt she should be happy but was not. She had developed the habit of comparing herself with others. When she could not keep up with what she believed were others’ expectations, she felt anxious and depressed. She would say, “If I make a mistake, others will judge me, and I will be nothing!” Perfectionism is a topic of interest to many because of the impact it can have in individuals’ lives. There is nothing wrong with having a d

Pedophilia OCD: When OCD Targets the Children in Your Life

9.11.17

View original article published in Psych Central– Rhonda was a kind and religious woman. Most importantly, she adored her kids. However, one day, a fleeting thought showed up in her mind, “Did I touch Ronnie inappropriately,” as she was buckling her son in his car seat. Rhonda became anxious and couldn’t stop worrying about it. “Did I really touch him? What if I did? Am I a pervert? No, I’m not! I would never do such thing! But then, why do I feel anxious? Does that mean I did something wrong? Otherwise, I would not feel anxious.” These and many similar thoughts began to occupy Rhonda’s mind. The more she tried to “get rid” of the thoughts or figure out why she was having them, the more they stuck. Gary was single with many nephews and niec

What Can Help Children Reach Their Potential? –Answers from Researchers

8.25.17

The article published by Inc. is titled: “According to Science, This 1 Thing Predicts a Student’s Success More Than Any Other” If you didn’t read the article, the answer is “Grit.” What does it mean? Angela Lee Duckworth, psychologist and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania defines grit as: “passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”  Duckworth’s research shows that grit is more important than anything else, including talent. Her studies indicate that we all can do a

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