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Anxiety, Thoughts, Boats, and Automobiles

10.5.18

View original article published in Psych Central– Under Title: Thought Watching Exercises to Increase Awareness & Reduce Anxiety We often go about our lives without noticing what our mind is telling us because we are too busy attending to our hectic lives. Blithely unaware, we comply with the advice our mind dictates to us all day long. Some of you may say, “What’s wrong with that?” Well, there is nothing wrong if the advice is helpful, and it moves us closer to our values and goals by following it. But when we are unaware of what our mind is saying, we can end up making unwise choices. For example, if you experience social anxiety, your mind may provide advice that to stay home from a social event is the best option. You believe your

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

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

Is Your Amazing Mind Limiting Your Hopes and Dreams?

5.22.17

“Limits, like fears are often just an illusion.” –Michael Jordan We have an amazing, active mind that helps us survive in our daily living. We could not do what we do if it weren’t for our wonderful and powerful mind. It is truly a marvelous gift! However, sometimes it gets carried away with producing thoughts that may limit us. The word illusion in the electronic Cambridge Dictionary is defined as “an idea or belief that is not true, or something that is not what it seems to be.” Sometimes we get caught up in our negative thoughts, memories, and judgments. We may become fearful, anxious or intimidated by our own thoughts. Even though we may have hopes and dreams, our mind can produce thoughts such as: “No, that’ll never happen. I’m not goo

Mindfulness: The Anchor in the Storm

4.5.17

View original article published in Psych Central – Ships in the harbor need to be anchored as they are brought back from a day at sea. If ships and boats were not secured, they would drift away if a storm were to occur at night. This is an ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) metaphor to help explain Mindfulness. Quite often mindfulness is misunderstood. Let’s clarify some essential points: Definition of Mindfulness: Jon Kabat-Zinn defines it as: “Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” This means that we can learn to purposely notice what is happening in the here-and-now. As we do, we become observers without making evaluations or judgments about events, ourselves, and/or others. T

Two Ways to Put the Brakes on Your Anxiety

9.23.16

View original article published in Psych Central– Our human instinct is to react and push back when we feel pain and discomfort. When we struggle with anxiety, those feelings are magnified. Our inherent response is to try and get rid of unpleasant feelings and sensations immediately, but does it really work? This is an important question, and ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) teaches that fighting the discomfort can actually make the situation worse. Mental health providers practicing ACT often use the quicksand metaphor, and the reaction we naturally would have if we were ever caught in it. Even though we know it makes matters worse when we panic and try to get out quickly, our survival mechanisms tell us differently. Trying to

Mindfulness and OCD

5.22.16

View original article published in Psych Central here] Vincent was a young man experiencing intrusive thoughts. All he wanted in life was to get rid of those tormenting images and thoughts once and for all. One day, after coming back from a camping trip he told his therapist, “I was so busy and focused on what I was doing that I didn’t have time to analyze my thoughts and obsess. I was mainly focused in the present moment. If only I could go on camping adventures every day!” Vincent’s OCD symptoms had begun when he was 12 years old. He had created thinking patterns that weren’t helpful. In the past, he had tried different “distracting strategies” but their effectiveness was short-lived. He also had discovered that fighting his internal expe

Mindfulness and OCD

10.14.15

A while ago, I met a young man who experienced intrusive thoughts. All he wanted in life was to get rid of those tormenting thoughts once and for all. One day, after coming back from an adventure camping trip he said, “I was so busy the whole time. It was fun mainly because I didn’t have time to analyze my thoughts. I was able to be in the present moment. If I could only do that every day!” He had noticed the difference it made when he was focused on the present moment without constantly evaluating his thoughts. His thoughts had still been there, but he didn’t engage them that weekend. Before this experience, he had neglected practicing mindfulness. He realized that by practicing every day he could learn to be in the present moment without

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

Meditation Science

9.21.14

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

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