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MINDFULNESS

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

4 Essentials To Help You Enjoy the Holidays

11.28.16

View original article published in Psych Central– The holidays give us great opportunities to continue existing traditions or establish new ones. We reconnect with friends and family. It is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. However, for some it can become a stressful and overwhelming season, and for others, one of the loneliest times. Whether you have big plans or no plans, consider these four critical points to help you enjoy your holidays:   1. Make sure to take care of yourself first! That is selfish some may exclaim, but is it really? A great metaphor for self-care is the specific instructions we receive from flight attendants when we travel by plane. They inform us that if the airplane were to lose cabin pressure

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

Every man dies. Not every man lives.

10.16.15

What are your values? What are your dreams? What is something you wish you could be doing instead of focusing on your OCD? OCD is still there, and you don’t have to put your life on hold until it’s “gone.” You can instead look at your values, what you stand for, and what your passions are or could be. You can start today. Make what matters the most the center of your life. We will all die at one point or another, but while we live, let’s make our lives more meaningful!

Relationship OCD and the Doors of Uncertainty

10.11.15

[View original article published in Psych Central here] When Adam was about 9 years old, he began to experience contamination obsessive-compulsive disorder. At 14, his fears about possibly getting sick subsided, but he began questioning his religious and moral values. His OCD had morphed. Throughout his high school years, he experienced scrupulosity OCD. His first year in college, he dated on and off, and his OCD continued to target his religion. Then, he met someone special and got married, but he did not live happily ever after. One year into his marriage, he began to question his relationship. He often wondered, “Did I make the right choice? Do I really love my wife? What would my life be like if I had I married my previous girlfriend?”

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!  

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

Mindfulness: Teaching Children to Love Their Bodies Through Yoga

1.6.14

 By Laura Harper, CSW If you have ever watched a four-month old reach for her toes or stretch on her belly, or a three-year old running across the grass and falling in ecstatic giggling, or a seven-year old jumping on the trampoline for an hour trying to land a back flip, you know that it is the natural state of childhood to be in tune with our bodies and to enjoy free and joyful physical expression.  As the years pass and we enter the self-conscious adolescent years, the developing child can become more inhibited, often self-critical, disconnecting from their physical self.  Traumatic experiences as well as social conditioning can also contribute to the experiencing of a separation between mind and body.  We start to live in our heads, ig

Mindset Family Therapy

Anxiety: Why Humans Experience Anxiety

11.15.13

Below is a funny little video I found about Mindfulness.  When I show it to my clients, they just smile because they know the “science guy” is talking about them.  Some of us think and worry too much about the future.  Some of us indeed can start a “fight-or-flight” response just sitting in our living room.  It is a good idea to plan and prepare for the future; however, it’s not a good idea to worry about things we cannot control. Check it out:

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A guide to help you find relief and happiness in spite of religious or moral OCD (scrupulosity OCD). Learn more about Annabella Hagen's book.
Imperfectly Good - Book by Annabella Hagen

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