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THOUGHTS

Developing Mental Flexibility

1.1.22

When things don’t go as expected, we can learn to respond in a flexible way. There are some days though, when we simply get stuck with our thoughts and feelings and react rigidly. That is just how it goes, even when we “know better.” For example, a few weeks ago, I had scheduled an appointment to have a standard medical exam that didn’t take place because “it got cancelled.” When the receptionist told me it was cancelled, I said, “I didn’t cancel it. If I had, I wouldn’t be here!” She didn’t seem empathetic. I asked her to check who may have cancelled it, and to see if I could still have the test. She called the lab and they said I could come back in two hours. After looking in the computer, she discovered their “system” had auto

Finding HOPE Every Day

9.20.21

We are all traveling on the same train of humanity and are very familiar with pain. However, it may be our dream to someday be free of a particular challenge. “Someday I’ll be free of this thing,” we may say. Yes, we can all hope this will be the case. However, when we begin to hyper-focus on getting rid of something that afflicts us and that we can’t control, have you noticed what happens? What does it feel like when you’ve done everything you possible can do and yet, the pain persists? It is frustrating and suffering is magnified because we may be insistent that this challenge has to go so we can move on with our lives. The solution? Do not give up and lose hope. It has been said that when hardships come our way, grit, purpose

The Labels from Your Mind

6.30.21

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

You Hurt Where You Care

2.13.21

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

Are you struggling with Anxiety?

1.12.21

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

Stressed Out? Take A Breather!

8.17.20

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

What to Do with Intrusive Thoughts?

8.13.20

View original article published in Psych Central– If you had a devastating illness and were given one year to live, what would you do? No question there would be grief and plenty of important decisions to make. If it didn’t debilitate you completely, what would you do with your time? Where would you focus your attention and energy? Would you be willing to spend more time with your loved ones despite the pain that shows up? Would you be doing activities that you’ve enjoyed in life or would you stay home lamenting what life would’ve been if you didn’t have this affliction? As mortal beings, we are guaranteed physical, mental and emotional pain. The prospect of getting away from pain is a fantasy, and we all know it. Yet, when we are in the

Accepting Your Feelings and Bodily Sensations Now

8.23.19

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

Tug-of-War with the OCD Monster

5.1.19

When you struggle with OCD, it may feel like you are constantly fighting a monster that just won’t go away. Day in and day out you keep fighting it, and you feel exhausted. ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) researchers and clinicians use the Tug-of War with a Monster metaphor to help people realize that there are better options than fighting their thoughts and feelings each day of their lives. Let’s pretend that your fears and doubts are like a big, hideous, and strong monster. You hate it, and you want to destroy it. The monster is holding one end of the rope and you are at the other end. In between the two of you there is a huge cliff with hot lava. You don’t want to fall over it. You want to control the monster, and so you keep pu

A Panic Attack, the Wrestle Within

3.16.19

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?

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Hartford Building at Jamestown Square
Provo, UT 84604

hope@mindsetfamilytherapy.com

(801) 427-1054

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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