Self-Coaching Blog

Choosing not to suffer

Choosing not to suffer

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Have you ever talked yourself into a bad mood, incessant worry or even a panic attack? How exactly do we “talk” ourselves into such misery? Unfortunately, you’re no match for the incessant doubts, fears or negative chatter of insecurity that fills your head. No match, unless you recognize that the negative chatter in your mind can only hurt you if you allow yourself to listen! STOP LISTENING! You really do have a choice.

This is why I wrote Unlearning Anxiety & Depression. I wanted to provide a four-step, self-coached program–called Mind-Talk–that teaches you how to turn away from the toxic, crippling thoughts of insecurity. Do this and you release your full potential for the life you want and the life you deserve.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Why it doesn’t matter “why” the chicken crossed the road

Why it doesn’t matter “why” the chicken crossed the road

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It only matters that the road gets crossed! It doesn’t matter ‘why’ you’re anxious or depressed, it only matters that you break the habits of anxiety and depression. That’s right, I said, “habits” of anxiety and depression, not mental illness. Self-Coaching treats anxiety and depression as learned habits of insecurity. And like any habit, if you feed it and reinforce it, it will persist. But if you learn to starve it, it will die. I call this the “unlearning” process…all habits are learned and all habits, even anxiety and depression, can be unlearned.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

 

No day is unimportant

No day is unimportant

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No day is unimportant; each day is an opportunity to reinvent yourself. Think of each day as the dawning of a new universe. Yesterday’s universe is only a memory, tomorrow’s a concept. There’s only today’s universe, filled with limitless opportunity (if you know where to look). Start looking.

 

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

When breaking any habit, attitude matters.

When breaking any habit, attitude matters.

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An optimist is buoyed by the belief that they can and will succeed. From this belief, positive energy is released and transformed into psychological resilience, allowing you to make mindful, disciplined decisions while handling the transient discomfort involved in re-forming your habits. In contrast, the pessimist wastes valuable psychological energy swimming in an ocean of negativity. And when it comes to battling destructive, habituated tendencies, it matters how much energy you have to fight the good fight. A lot!

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

 

Time to find your “action” trigger

Time to find your “action” trigger

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Thinking and doing. Two words as far apart as lightning and a lightning bug. How many times have you “thought” about getting in shape or losing weight, only to go on incessantly thinking without doing? In order to transpose thoughts into actions, you have to find your “action-trigger.” An action-trigger is simply doing something—anything–that moves you from passively thinking about your intentions to actively doing something about them. The good people at Nike would never have had success with a slogan of, “Just think about doing it!

 

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

 

 

Feel like life is holding you back?

Feel like life is holding you back?

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No question that, circumstances like this pandemic seemingly conspire to hold us back from the life and goals we desire. So, what’s the Self-Coaching advice when you find yourself frustrated and feeling powerless? Simple: do something about it!

In life you’re either behind the wheel steering your life or you’re in the back seat being driven around by worrisome doubt, fear and negativity. Starting today, find those things that you can take control of or, at the very least, create a plan for reclaiming the life you want and the life you deserve.

Victims by definition are powerless, you are NOT powerless. Refuse to be a victim.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

What you need to know about self-coaching your way out of emotional struggle

What you need to know about self-coaching your way out of emotional struggle

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Check out this rather lively interview highlighting how my Unlearning Anxiety & Depression self-coaching approach, can free you from a life of struggle.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

 

There’s always a way

There’s always a way

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Never be turned away by frustration, fear, doubts or pessimism. If you can’t get in through the front door, find a side door, back door, or cellar door. Perseverance and determination will always provide the way if you’re tenacious enough not to stop looking.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

 

Are you wasting time?

Are you wasting time?

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Do you waste time thinking about what you should have done, might have done or are going to do? If so, you’re doing it again–wasting time!

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

 

Unhappy with the person you see in the mirror?

Unhappy with the person you see in the mirror?

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If you’ve gained weight, you may not like certain aspects of who or what you’ve become. You may regret past mistakes or miscalculations. But when it comes to determining your self-worth, understand that who you are in this moment is merely a snapshot, a frozen glimpse. It’s tempting to evaluate ourselves by staring at our “snapshot” and declaring, “Look at me. I’m so fat! I’m so out of control. I’m such a loser.” And as tempted as you may be to feel sorry for yourself, recognize that life isn’t a snapshot, it’s a streaming video. Who you are in this moment will inevitably change—for better or worse—in the next. And this change isn’t determined by fate, circumstances, or faulty misperceptions—it’s determined by you!

 

#anxiety #depression #selfimage

What color is your face mask?

What color is your face mask?

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Do you feel that face masks are beginning to become fashion wear? I do hope that Gucci, Givenchy, or Ralph Lauren do not get into branding face masks. Not sure why this offends me, but it does. Simple white for me. What about you?

 

#facemasks #anxiety #depression

Seems like everyone’s trying to lose weight these days

Seems like everyone’s trying to lose weight these days

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If you struggle, here’s a simple Self-Coaching suggestion. Simply divide food into two groups: Adult-food and child-food. Child-food is what children (and adults who eat like children) love. These are the highly processed soft drinks, candy, cookies, ice cream, fried food and so on, often referred to as “comfort” food. Hey, if the child-shoe fits….

Psychological light pollution

Psychological light pollution

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I live a stone’s throw from Manhattan. At best, if you look up at the night sky, you’re lucky to make out the brightest stars—that’s it. But now, light pollution filters allow us to see through light polluted skies. Insecurity is like light pollution, it obscures your true, inviolate personality lying behind it. Self-trust acts like a psychological, light pollution filter; it allows you to see who you really are.

This is a picture of the Eastern Vail Nebula that I took last night (1,470 light years away)

 

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Time to find your “bat”

Time to find your “bat”

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No one says it better than Dr. Seuss: “I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!” When it comes to success or happiness, steel your attitude, refuse to have your efforts derailed…find your bat!

 

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

 

 

The value of “letting go”

The value of “letting go”

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If you’ve followed my Self-Coaching blogs, you’ll often hear me quote the AA adage, “Let go, let god.” Whether spiritual or secular, letting go of congested, insecurity-driven thinking (doubts, fears, negatives) is the first step. Letting life unfold without obsessively trying to control outcomes is the second step. No one said it better than the late mythologist, Joseph Campbell, “We must be willing to relinquish the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Learning to ‘Unlearn’ anxiety and depression

Learning to ‘Unlearn’ anxiety and depression

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Listen to an interview I did last week with Rev. Winn Henderson, M.D. discussing the application of my unlearning anxiety and depression principles to everyday life

Don’t let COVID-19 Steal Your Day, or Your Mental Health

Don’t let COVID-19 Steal Your Day, or Your Mental Health

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Check out my article in New Spirit Journal

Why we give up

Why we give up

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Whether it’s losing weight, a fitness goal, or learning another language, ever wonder why some wind up quitting while others go on to succeed? Of course, there are many reasons why people don’t succeed, but none more impactful than a loss of confidence. Once you align yourself with pessimism, defeat isn’t far off.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Mind Talk Step One: separating facts from emotional fictions

Mind Talk Step One: separating facts from emotional fictions

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This is the first of three videos explaining my technique of Mind Talk. In this video you’ll learn the crucial value of separating facts from emotional fictions.

Am I being lazy or am I depressed?

Am I being lazy or am I depressed?

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With depression, people don’t want to feel lazy, it’s completely out of their control. With laziness on the other hand, you have a choice—you give into it or not, “I’ll clean the apartment tomorrow.” Simply put, depression leaves no choice. When we give into laziness, our psyche reverberates with regret, negativity, and anxiety. Why? Because we know better! Excuses only excuse you from action, not from self-recrimination. Want to start feeling good about yourself? Refuse laziness. It’s that simple.

#anxiety #depression #lazy #selfcoaching

Yes, it’s time!

Yes, it’s time!

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Had enough? It’s time to unlearn the habits of anxiety and depression. (View Book)

Your thoughts aren’t just mental and why this matters

Your thoughts aren’t just mental and why this matters

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If you struggle emotionally, here’s an important fact: learning changes the actual structure of your brain. Scientists call this neuroplasticity. Essentially, negative thinking changes your brain negatively, and positive thinking the reverse. What’s critical is for you to understand that what goes on in your mind—the thoughts that you allow (or resist)—aren’t just mental, they produce electrical chemical events in your brain that either contribute to your suffering or diminish it. By understanding and appreciating the fact that thoughts change chemistry, you’ll be more likely to take your Self-Coaching efforts more seriously. How? One thought at a time.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Why’s it so hard to break a habit?

Why’s it so hard to break a habit?

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I installed a broken light switch in my house a few years ago. Unfortunately, I installed it upside down so instead of flipping the switch up to turn on the light, which was customary, you had to flip it down. Rather than changing the switch I told myself that I would eventually remember that, for this one switch, down, in a sense, was up. That was three years ago and I still keep forgetting. The problem was that this light-switch habit just didn’t feel normal, it went against all the other “correct” switches in my house and therefore my brain was constantly being reinforced by the old, established loop: switch up, light on.

If you accept the Self-Coaching premise that anxiety and depression are habits that are reinforced by the chronic doubts, fears, and negativity of self-distrust (a.k.a., insecurity) then you can begin to understand why emotional struggle is so hard to neutralize. Habits are indeed stubborn things.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Change, why wait?

Change, why wait?

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I was talking with a friend this morning who told me that, “Once this virus is over, I’m going to lose some weight and get back in shape.” I responded, “Why wait?”

Why shouldn’t change begin now, today? A future commitment may make you feel better, thinking you’re going to change, but most likely this is a procrastination. And if you don’t start today, what makes you think tomorrow will be any different?

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching #change

Time to get “Unstuck”

Time to get “Unstuck”

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Now available at Amazon

The best way to adapt to our stressful times

The best way to adapt to our stressful times

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Telling yourself, “I’m going to do that,” may make you feel good, but not as good as you’re going to feel when you say, “I did it!” Today, make it a point to take charge of your life. In these stressful COVID19 days, focus on what you have control over and what you can change for the better (what you eat, how you spend your time, chores to attend to, etc.). Considering the current state of affairs, you probably need to re-define what it means to have a good day. Keep in mind that adapting to current circumstances is far better then resisting. Why? Because resistance promotes psychological friction, a.k.a., stress. The last thing any of us needs is more stress.

#anxiety #depression #stress #selfcoaching

Don’t let compulsive eating add to your stress

Don’t let compulsive eating add to your stress

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When you get caught up in a murky haze of a compulsive urge to eat destructively, no one has to tell you how easy it is to allow yourself to cave into impulsive desire. If you exercise, you know this feeling well—it’s how your mind tries to sabotage you from doing those extra five minutes on the treadmill or the last few ab crunches. If you’ve pushed through these moments of ambivalence, you know how important it is not to capitulate (listen) to the voice in you that wants to quit. For now, simply realize that no matter what you feel or think, until you take that first bite, you still have a chance to steel yourself and recognize one simple truth: It ain’t over until it’s over.’

#anxiety #depression #compulsiveeating

How you feel is a matter of perspective

How you feel is a matter of perspective

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When I look at the night sky I don’t see COVID19, worldly concerns, or day-to-day challenges, I only see the serenity of the heavens. Serenity is all around us, you just have to remember to look.
This photo of the North American nebula was taken from my back yard the other night…you don’t need a telescope to understand the value of perspective.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

The “mind,” what exactly is the mind?

The “mind,” what exactly is the mind?

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Excerpt from UNLEARNING ANXIETY & DEPRESSION

Most would probably consider it to be an independent, standalone kind of ethereal… “thing.” What say you? Perhaps trying to pin down a static definition of the mind should be left to the philosophers, but that doesn’t mean we can’t throw our psychological two cents into the debate. Think of a stream with tributaries flowing into it creating a larger stream. From a Self-Coaching perspective, I like to think of the mind as consisting three main “tributaries” all merging into one stream that we can collectively refer to as the mind. And like a stream, the mind isn’t a static entity; it’s an ever flowing, ever changing, dynamic, unfolding process consisting of:

●Consciousness: that which we are aware of or can become aware of
● Unconsciousness: that which we can access only indirectly through dreams, reveries, and other spontaneous influences
● Reflexive habit-loops, which are stimulus-response driven thoughts and perceptions that can occur without any conscious or unconscious deliberation.

Depending on your life circumstances, each of these aspects of the mind can influence your behavior and emotions. Typically, when it comes to anxiety or depression, it’s the reflexive habit-loops in conjunction with unconscious, past associations that will dominate the picture while consciousness may impotently try to resist—I call this ‘passive-mind.’

#anxiety #depression #unlearninganxietydepression

COVID19-Does this sound like you?

COVID19-Does this sound like you?

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“Today’s not a good day”? “I can’t go to work.” I don’t know how I’m going to pay my bills.” Before you resign yourself to just “getting through” another day, recognize what you’re doing. For starters, you’re conceding that today—because of your stressors—won’t be an opportunity for anything worthwhile. We call this a self-fulfilling prophecy, i.e., what you tell yourself and what you believe, is what you and your life become.

Stop prejudicing yourself with a short-sighted, pessimistic attitude. Instead, open yourself up to the awareness that every day–in spite of your whining and the restrictions imposed by this virus–is an opportunity, an adventure, and the truth is, you don’t know what may be around the next corner. As the saying goes, when the pupil is ready, the teacher appears.”

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Challenges

Challenges

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Every challenge, no matter how small, is an opportunity to grow in self respect, confidence, and self-trust. Every setback, no matter how significant, is an opportunity to grow in self-respect, confidence and self-trust. In the grand scheme life, there should be no regrets, only appreciation for the opportunities to grow toward your full potential.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

COVID19–The problem with “over-thinking”

COVID19–The problem with “over-thinking”

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A big reason why you get anxious is simply because you’re trying too hard to “figure out” how to handle the endless doubts, fears, and negative anticipations brought about by this virus. This is called “over-thinking.” Over-thinking is a manifestation of insecurity and only fuels the problem, making you more and more anxious. The key isn’t trying harder; it’s learning not to try!

Try this experiment. Begin by “de-focusing” your thoughts and re-focusing on your unfolding moment–whatever you’re doing–listen, feel, see, breath, but DON’T think or judge, simply participate with full attention.

Pretend that you’re a video camera, simply recording every external nuance and detail in your environment. This simple exercise will help you begin to detach from (and break the cycle of) ruminative anxiety (a.k.a., over-thinking). Do this and you’ll be teaching yourself something very important, i.e., you don’t have to be a victim of your thoughts.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Stop complicating your life

Stop complicating your life

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According to Confucius, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” It’s important to recognize that life is never complicated—it’s our perception of life that complicates things.

Starting today, keep it simple: think less, do more.

Still confused? Then embrace my favorite Zen adage: chop wood, carry water. Whatever you do, just do it. In other words, keep it simple. And while you’re at it, if you’re willing to take a leap of self-trust, stay present…tomorrow will take care of itself.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

COVID19: Stressful times don’t have to lead to weight gain

COVID19: Stressful times don’t have to lead to weight gain

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We eat because our bodies want to be fed, and, more often than not, we eat because our minds want to be fed. Especially during these stressful time of COVID19.

Lifelong weight mastery begins by taking your life back from destructive eating habits, but simply interrupting old, destructive habits isn’t a prescription for successful weight loss. Only when you replace destructive habits with more appropriate, healthy habits can you switch your efforts from vigilance to autopilot.

It’s okay to become a skeptic of your own thoughts when you hear yourself lamenting, “I just want to have one more cookie, I’ll be good tomorrow.” You are going to need to stay vigilant, skeptical of self-sabotaging rationalizations and other deceptions until habit re-formation is part of your new life. Please keep in mind, the discomfort (longing, etc.) is temporary…it will pass. Accept and handle these transient discomforts and you will be ensuring a life of weight loss mastery.

#weightgain #anxiety #depression

COVID19: Life, you’re not excused!

COVID19: Life, you’re not excused!

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Granted, things aren’t normal right now. That’s a fact. Nevertheless, in spite of COVID’s restrictions, what will you accomplish today? Come on, there’s plenty to do and get done. NO excuses.

It’s been said that excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure. What exactly is an excuse? It’s nothing more than a reason—good or bad—why you abandon your goals. From a Self-Coaching perspective, reasons don’t matter, getting back to trying does. Be creative today find something to accomplish and then try! When tonight comes, you’ll be feeling a whole lot better about yourself and life.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Why do we torture ourselves?

Why do we torture ourselves?

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There’s an inner struggle we all experience, it’s when you know it’s a bad thing to worry, stress, or ruminate about things going wrong, but we do it anyway! Again, and again. Why do we go on torturing ourselves with endless doubt, fear, and negativity?

From a Self-Coaching perspective, insecurity sets us up to worry in a misguided attempt to find a way to feel more in control. Ironically, the opposite is true, worry only leads to further loss of control. Once you begin to slide down insecurity’s slippery slope, you become stuck in a habit that seems to have a life of its own. Once you realize that thoughts can NOT exist without your cooperation (be it active or passive cooperation), you’re in a position of taking your life back, one thought at a time.

Bottom line: just because you’ve become part of a habit of insecurity-driven thinking doesn’t mean you have to sit back and “become” your insecurity! Fight back! Stop being corrupted by emotional fictions of powerlessness or hopelessness. You’re not Powerless and there is ALWAYS hope! And that’s a fact!

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Are you willing to believe?

Are you willing to believe?

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Self-Coaching is a psychological approach to life designed to teach you to overcome emotional struggle by developing your self-trust muscle. And what is self-trust? It’s the willingness to risk believing in yourself. And does it work? Just ask Dr. Seuss: “Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed!”

#anxiety #depression #selftrust

NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

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UNLEARNING ANXIETY & DEPRESSION
the 4-step Self-Coaching program to reclaim your life

Ending Emotional Struggle. Yes, you can!

Find out how to:
• Stop worrying, anticipating, and controlling life
• Start living more spontaneously from a place of self-trust
• Separate facts from insecurity-driven emotional fictions
• Develop critical awareness of your inner neurotic dialogue
• Rewire your brain to give you the life you want—the life you deserve

COVID19—How to handle destructive moods

COVID19—How to handle destructive moods

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Ever feel that trying to handle all the stress of this pandemic is just is too hard? That you can’t go on? When crippled by a destructive mood, although it may seem counterintuitive, consider doing…nothing!

All too often we go to battle with our negative, spiraling thoughts, which only adds fuel to the dark mood. Instead, if you find yourself in a slump of negativity don’t participate in insecurity’s dance. Stop the ruminative runaway train of worry-thoughts and don’t resist–simply yield. Just allow yourself to ride out the mood with the understanding and conviction that, ‘this too shall pass.’ Do this and you’ll be reducing psychological friction while ensuring that you’re not a victim of your mood. Bottom line: sometimes doing nothing, is doing something.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

COVID19: What can you accomplish today?

COVID19: What can you accomplish today?

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Few will argue that because of this pandemic, day-to-day life has become quite a challenge. That doesn’t mean your productivity has to cease. Look around you, what can you accomplish today? How can you make today better than yesterday? But first, you’ll have to turn off the TV, get off the couch, and set a goal, i.e., get some exercise, organize that closet, or do some spring cleaning.

Take purposeful action today, you won’t regret it. And NO procrastination!

There’s a saying that you cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind. All the one-day-I’m-going-to-(fill in the blank) promises have no effect in the real world. Procrastination may take you off the hook for the moment, but you’ll end up with a field overrun with weeds and a mind overrun with regrets.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

COVID19– looking for positives. You got this!

COVID19– looking for positives. You got this!

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These are indeed challenging times. If your habit is to ruminate about the plethora of negatives inherent in this pandemic, you will find it hard to escape anxiety and depressiveness. If instead, you practice and train yourself to focus on what’s positive in your life, you will be cultivating a sense of optimism and serenity.

If you find it difficult to recognize anything positive right now, look harder.

Even the act of looking for positives is positive! Surely, negatives still exist, but they can’t affect you when they’re no longer taking up residence in your mind.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

COVID19–Strength of mind

COVID19–Strength of mind

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During these unusual times of isolation, we realize the need to try to get some exercise. Whether it’s going outside for a jog, doing some crunches, or simply walking the dog, most of us understand the need to stay physically active during these stressful times.

Like your body, your mind requires proper exercise. From a Self-Coaching perspective, every time you fight off a doubt, fear or negative thought and replace it with hope, optimism or trust, you’re developing mind-muscle! And make no mistake, strength of mind precedes all happiness and well-being.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

COVID19–Feeling more lazy, listless?

COVID19–Feeling more lazy, listless?

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During these times of quarantine we have more time to be productive, and yet for many there seems to be a tendency to become lazier. With the extra time to attend to things, like organizing that closet or garage, reaching out remotely to family and friends, reading that book that’s collecting dust on the shelf, why in the world do we find ourselves procrastinating and putting off these tasks?

No doubt that stress and anxiety about our COVID circumstances could account for this lethargy, but regardless of the reason, living effectively in the present requires responsible, here-and-now action. It’s a lot easier–and effortless–to imagine taking responsible action tomorrow. Truth is, there will never be a better “now” for purposeful action. In fact, there will never be anything other than “now.” When the future does come, it will only be your new “now.” Therefore, if not “now,” when?

Laziness is nothing more than an indulgence. Be productive, you’ll feel much better.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

COVID19: Open up? Close up? What say you?

COVID19: Open up? Close up? What say you?

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Which side of the debate are you on?
Check out my latest article in The New Rationalist

COVID19 The difference between fear and anxiety

COVID19 The difference between fear and anxiety

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Fear is an instinctual response to danger (real or imagined). When the danger is real like with COVID19, fear mobilizes our resources to protect us from harm. And this is a good thing. We wash our hands, wear masks and create a social distance between us and others. When fear is associated with insecurity, however, then we wind up protecting ourselves, not necessarily from actual danger, but from fear itself (the “what-ifs”). When this happens, fear morphs into anxiety.

How do you tell the difference? Fear that has been cannibalized by insecurity is primarily a projection of the what-ifs. “What if I get sick,” “What if I lose my job.” Although seemingly reasonable, “what-if” fear deals with an uncertain future. Since the future doesn’t exist, these fears should be thought of as projections of our insecurity.

So, what’s the answer.

The answer is staying present, dealing with today’s challenges, and taking a risk to live more courageously. Becoming more courageous doesn’t mean you have to become fearless–the courageous person doesn’t eliminate fear, he/she manages it.

#anxiety #depression #fear

Little known fact: I am the father of emojis (honest)

Little known fact: I am the father of emojis (honest)

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I invented the first emojis over forty years ago, check out my article here

 

COVID19–Stop restricting your mind

COVID19–Stop restricting your mind

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“I’m going crazy staying in the house, today’s not a good day” Before you resign yourself to just “getting through” another day of sheltering-in-place, recognize what you’re doing. For starters, you’re conceding that today won’t be an opportunity for anything worthwhile. We call this a self-fulfilling prophecy, i.e., what you tell yourself and what you believe, is what you and your life become.

Open yourself up to the awareness that every day–in spite of current restrictions—can be an opportunity, an adventure. A patient of mine, for example, started taking online language lessons, my neighbor who doesn’t have to commute to work, has had time to do some long-needed yard work. As the saying goes, when the pupil is ready, the teacher appears. Are you ready?

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

COVID19—Are you ready for an optimistic leap of faith?

COVID19—Are you ready for an optimistic leap of faith?

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“What will happen if there’s a second wave of this virus?” “What if I lose my job?” Sometimes you have to worry, right? Wrong! Worrying about what’s going to happen tomorrow, next week, or next month will always accomplish one thing, it will rob you of today’s serenity. Worry deals with fictions, things that may or may not happen in the future. You’re much better served by sticking with here-and-now facts. As Mark Twain once quipped, “I’ve worried about many things in my life, most of which never happened.” Starting today, take an optimistic leap of faith and don’t allow tomorrow’s fictions to ruin today’s reality. carpe diem.

#covidworry #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

COVID19–yielding vs.resisting

COVID19–yielding vs.resisting

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When it comes to dealing with this pandemic, emotionally yielding is better than resisting. Why? Yielding is accepting the devastating reality of this pandemic, resisting is insisting, “this shouldn’t be happening!” Yielding reduces mental friction, resisting increases it.

Remember the serenity prayer, …God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

#covidanxiety #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

SOVID19–Caught in the murky middle

SOVID19–Caught in the murky middle

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Whether you’re on the err-on-the-side-of-caution or on the optimistic (some may say reckless optimism) side of the debate, either way, stress, uncertainty, and trepidation will no doubt fuel our nation’s division in the days and weeks ahead.

I find myself, somewhere in the murky middle. I suspect there are many like myself who would love to see the new case total bottom out, to hear the wonderful news that no one died today (!), would love to be able to heave a sigh of relief, and perhaps even get a haircut or pedicure. Whichever side of (or middle) you find yourself; the goals are the same, it’s the “how,” that’s currently in play.

As for me, moderation suits me just fine. Hopefully, as a nation we can proceed with due caution, intelligence, and a grounded optimism. Hopefully, we can all meet in the middle and solve this horrible problem once and for all.

#coviddebate #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

COVID19–Thank you Internet

COVID19–Thank you Internet

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Can you imagine if we didn’t have the Internet? I can’t. Many fortunate people (me included) are able to work remotely, families are able to Zoom and Skype, shopping is only a click away. No, I can’t imagine not having the Internet.

Aside from the human tragedy of this virus, there is plenty of emotional fallout to go around, but how scary would all this be if you booted up your computer and there was no Internet? Today, find solace in the wonder of a thing called the Internet.

#COVID19internet #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

COVID19: Our country seems to be divided–again!

COVID19: Our country seems to be divided–again!

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On one side we have the “err-on-the-side-of-caution” people who are afraid to open up our states too soon, and on the other side we have the optimists (some might say, “reckless” optimists) who want no restrictions. I find myself in the murky middle. How about you?

#anxiety #fear #depression #selfcoaching

Feeling trapped by COVID19?

Feeling trapped by COVID19?

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During these surreal times you can waste a lot of time feeling trapped, victimized and held back from the life you want. The question should never be about who or what is going to allow you to have the life you want; the answer should always be the same—you’re only trapped if you tell yourself so. As the poem goes, “Stone walls do not a prison make, Nor iron bars a cage”

#covid19trapped #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

A better way to shelter-in-place

A better way to shelter-in-place

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I felt a need to re-post this article from ThriveGlobal

For some of us, sheltering at home can be hard. Whether we are working remotely, feeling restricted, living alone, or teaching children home from school, we are asking ourselves to adapt and change our lifestyle. And for some people, change is synonymous with stress. We have a natural tendency to recoil when we’re told to “shelter-in-place”—either in a studio apartment or a house in suburbia. Perhaps it feels strange to be confined, to lose our freedom to roam. Perhaps it makes us feel a loss of control and trapped. It doesn’t matter why sheltering-in-place is stressful, what matters is how we think and react to our curtailed lives. Understanding this is critical if we are to remain mentally healthy during the course of this COVID-19 virus.

Think of this. During World War II, men who served on submarines were asked to endure a type of confinement that most would say is impossible. Up to 80 men were cramped into a space where bunks had to be shared, where temperatures and humidity could soar above 100 degrees, where the constant fear of depth charges would be an ever present strain on the whole crew, and where on a 75-day patrol, some of the men didn’t see daylight for weeks on end. The question is, how did they do it? How could they possibly have done it, patrol after patrol?

To me the answer is straightforward: following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, there was a fighting esprit de corps. We were attacked and we were at war. The horrible living conditions aboard a submarine were tolerable because there was a cause. A mission. The sailors demonstrated that extreme personal sacrifice can willfully be endured if the cause is embraced.

Back to shelter-in-place

Think about it for a minute. You are like one of those submarine sailors. You’re fighting an enemy virus and your “duty” is to serve the greater good. You too have a mission! Your mission, by agreeing to give up some of your liberty, is not to become an agent of transmitting this virus.

The best way to tolerate the “inconvenience” of being cooped up—of not getting haircuts or nails done, of skipping a vacation, of missing a life event—is to recognize that you matter! Your isolation matters! Your efforts matter! And if you’re inclined to whine, keep in mind that submarines didn’t have Internet, hot running water, TV, and a deck or patio to catch a breath of fresh air.

Rather than seeing all this as a burden, rather than feeling victimized, recognize and remind yourself that you and your sacrifice have meaning. You’re doing this for you, your family, your friends, and your country. Do this and you give meaning to why your life has been turned on its ear.

We humans do better when we are enlisted in a common cause, but up to now, most people haven’t understood that their personal role is an integral part of the fight. Sure, we may acknowledge this, but we don’t seem to be recognizing just how important our compliance is in order to take our lives back from this insidious threat. Clearly, this is a time for all of us to courageously fight-the-good-fight. Anything less would be cowardly.

So, batten down the hatches, brace for the weeks and months ahead, but do so with a sense of commitment, if not a sense of honor. You’re playing your part, so why not do it with perspective and why not endure some of the inconveniences imposed by sheltering-in-place with a broader shoulder?

The best way to cope is to reframe the “why” we’re told to restrict our lives. The why is clear, we are all enlisted in a common and shared battle. By giving meaning to your efforts, you’ll feel less victimized by the circumstances created by this virus.

Here are a few coping strategies to consider:

• Try to maintain a regular sleep/wake cycle that mimics your old routine. Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep.

• Limit exposure to news broadcasts. The unknown is frightening, you don’t need to fuel your imagination with constant “alerts.”

• Try to get more exercise, preferably outdoors. Exercise reduces stress, releases feel-good endorphins and helps to regulate your mood.

• Rather than focusing on what feels out of control, focus on what you can control, i.e., reaching out to others, reading, cooking, hobbies, etc.

• Take some mental breaks, actively calm yourself and your thoughts, try some deep “belly” breathing, progressive relaxation. Go to YouTube and type in “relaxation techniques.”

• If you’re a worrier and you’re unable to relax, check out my YouTube video: Self-Coaching’s ABC Technique to eliminate worry and anxiety.

— Published on April 2, 2020

#1 bestseller: Unlearning Anxiety & Depression

#1 bestseller: Unlearning Anxiety & Depression

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Book Available as a pre-order (will be released May 12th)

Available NOW on Kindle

How are you handling the COVID19 challenge?

How are you handling the COVID19 challenge?

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Neitzsche almost got it right when he wrote, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” For some, difficult life challenges only open the door to further chaos and resignation. And yet for others, difficult challenges have transformative power. Whether you are empowered or diminished depends on whether you choose to accept challenges as opportunities to grow or opportunities to sulk.

#anxiety #depression #covidchallenge

Take the challenge–be happy

Take the challenge–be happy

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Looking back regretfully over what was or looking into the future worrying about what might be, is so wasteful. The reality is that there’s no past, no future–only this present moment. You’ll never have anything other than the unfolding moment. If your mind is absorbed in time-traveling past or future, then you’ve inadvertently abandoned the only real chance you have to understand happiness. And if you can accomplish this today during our current crisis, just imagine how fortified you’ll be when this is over.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Don’t Let COVID-19 Steal Your Day — or Your Mental Health

Don’t Let COVID-19 Steal Your Day — or Your Mental Health

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Check out my new article in PsychCentral

Don’t Let COVID-19 Steal Your Day — or Your Mental Health

Make this a good day

Make this a good day

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Regardless of the chaotic world we currently find ourselves in, periodically, practice allowing yourself to imagine that everything you need to have an optimistic, creative, good day, you already possess. Just permit yourself to relax and accept this fundamental notion “AS-IF” it’s true.

No doubt you’ll struggle with reflexive doubts, fears, and hesitations, but for now, remember to accept this concept as-if it’s true.

The important thing in this drill is that you’ll begin to get a taste of what it’s like to be empowered rather then victimized by life circumstances. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the lasting changes in your mood and your life.

Remember, COVID19 can’t infect your mind. Not unless you allow it to!

Am I too compulsive?

Am I too compulsive?

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From a Self-Coaching perspective, it’s important to differentiate between normal and neurotic compulsive behavior. You do this by asking what’s driving your behavior. When your bedtime ritual, shower, jog, or brushing your teeth are driven by positive desire and a sense of well-being, that’s healthy, and that’s normal. But when compulsivity is driven by insecurity, then the driving force isn’t positive—it’s destructive. Insecurity, which leaves us feeling vulnerable and helpless, looks to gain control by ritualistically repeating any behavior that quells the gnawing discomfort within. (excerpt from Unlearning Anxiety & Depression)

#anxiety #compulsive #depression

Amazon #1 Best Seller

Amazon #1 Best Seller

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Just released in Kindle

ENDING EMOTIONAL STRUGGLE. YES, YOU CAN!

If you’re considering taking medication for anxiety or depression

If you’re considering taking medication for anxiety or depression

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It’s important to understand that certain antidepressants work better for some people and not others. It’s also not uncommon to try different medications during treatment. Some people may also require more than one medication to achieve optimal results. Working with your doctor, you can discuss the risks as well as benefits of antidepressant medication in order to optimize your treatment. It’s important to keep in mind that taking medication isn’t an exact science where one-size-fits-all. Although the prescribing of these medications is far from being haphazard, it is essentially a trial-and-error process to assess your unique requirements.

With moderate to severe intransigent depression, medication is often an essential adjunct to therapy, which is why I call medication a therapy facilitator. Studies have shown that with moderate to severe depression, therapy or medication alone are not as effective as the combining the two

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

COVID-19: trouble falling asleep?

COVID-19: trouble falling asleep?

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Patients complain about swirling, ruminative, worry-thoughts that haunt them preventing them from falling asleep. Chet Raymo, writes: The gods are creatures of daylight. The gods work nine to five. At night we are on our own.”

At night we are without our daytime world of distractions. When everything quiets down in the external world and we are left with what’s underneath—that which is unsettled and frightening. These are the insecurity-driven fears associated with this pandemic.

Under the circumstances, much of our emotional struggle may be unavoidable. Perhaps the best we can do is recognizing that we have a choice—to pay less attention to what insecurity has to say. Don’t be passive, day or night, take charge of your thoughts! How? One thought at a time!

Recognize, If you’re passive about allowing insecurity-thoughts to go unchecked, they will own you! Stop it! Drop it!

#anxiety #covid19coping #selfcoaching

Unlearning Anxiety & Depression

Unlearning Anxiety & Depression

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Now available on Amazon.com Kindle

ENDING EMOTIONAL STRUGGLE. YES, YOU CAN!

What if everything thought you knew about anxiety and depression was wrong? What if, instead of mental illnesses or emotional disorders, anxiety and depression are simply habits? You already know about habits—habits are learned and habits can be broken or—“unlearned.” This idea may surprise you, but the truth about anxiety and depression isn’t complicated. This book will teach you to unlearn your habits of anxiety and depression—and then coach yourself to do it!

Dr. Joseph Luciani presents his proven Self-Coaching approach that has worked wonders for his patients as well as thousands of readers worldwide. Using a powerful, four-step, Mind-Talk strategy, Unlearning Anxiety & Depression combines the science of neuroplasticity with cognitive behavioral psychology and motivational coaching so you can self-coach yourself back to health.

Self-Coaching is all about insight and action. You’ll learn to:
● Stop worrying, anticipating and controlling life.
● Start living more spontaneously from a place of self-trust
● Separate facts from insecurity-driven emotional fictions.
● Develop critical awareness of your inner neurotic dialogue.

Joseph J. Luciani, Ph.D., is the author of the internationally bestselling Self-Coaching series now translated into ten languages. As a frequent lecturer, TV and radio guest, he has brought his message of hope to millions over the years. Dr. Luciani, a clinical psychologist, has been in general private practice for over forty years.

My article: COVID-19 Is a Fact, But Fear Isn’t a Fact

My article: COVID-19 Is a Fact, But Fear Isn’t a Fact

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I know this sounds like emotional sleight of hand, but fear is nothing more than speculation. Not a neutral form of speculation, like anticipating when things will improve, but more of a worrisome anticipation of chaos, like “This virus can’t be stopped!” Of course, in these challenging times, some fear may be unavoidable— this is normal and understandable. But when fear becomes chronic and unreasonable, then it’s time for some personal “mitigation.” We must ask, is it possible to minimize fear during this pandemic?

Without any doubt, the answer is yes!

Think of fear as occurring on a continuum: Minimal Fear/Concern is on the far right. Moderate Fear/Worry is in the center. Intense Fear/Panic is on the far left. The right side of the continuum represents someone experiencing little or no fear. As you progress along the continuum, fear morphs from moderate to extreme fear (panic) on the opposite end. Where someone falls on that continuum is unique to each individual.

For example, take this imaginary exchange between Fred and Wilma, who have just turned off the evening pandemic update on their TV. Fred: “This is terrible, I’m going to get sick and then it will kill me!” Wilma: “That’s silly, we’re doing everything we’re supposed to do. We’re going to be fine.” Same virus, two different fear reactions.

How come? For fearful Fred, we can assume that his legitimate concerns have become coupled with his own state of insecurity. When this happens, he invariably begins to move to the left on the fear-continuum. Without an insecurity component, Fred might have had a more proportionate level of fear—maybe only an understandable degree of concern, like Wilma’s.

Is Wilma lying? Is she denying her real fear? Perhaps, but it’s also quite possible that she has a different baseline of insecurity, meaning she doesn’t contaminate her objective understanding of what’s happening with an overlay of insecure “what-iffing.”

So, what is this “overlay” called insecurity? Essentially, insecurity is a feeling of vulnerability. To some extent everyone has insecurity. Why? Because no one has perfect parents, grows up in a perfect world, escapes illness, separation, or loss. But Fred has a significant habit of insecurity. And yes, insecurity is a habit. We learn to be insecure, like with any of our habits.

Habits, like cigarette smoking, or being a chocoholic, only become routine if reinforced. Your insecurity, from a very young age, had to be reinforced.

Take Fred. Perhaps because his parents divorced when he was six, he never felt safe. He became a habitual worrier, always trying to anticipate how to feel less vulnerable. Through the years, Fred may have reinforced his insecurity by trying to anticipate and over-control life. Thus, Fred finds himself in full panic mode with this virus. His fear would place him on the far left side of our continuum.

What can you do if you’re more like Fred than Wilma? For starters, you can begin to recognize that your fear isn’t a fact. It quite literally is an emotional fiction, a speculation. It’s a speculation fueled and reinforced by insecurity.

From a Self-Coaching perspective, the good news is that, since insecurity is a habit, then like any other habit, it can be broken (or at least minimized).

Are you in? Great. Let’s begin the process of “unlearning” insecurity. In order to begin to disentangle yourself from needless and excessive fear, you need to stop feeding your insecurity. Remember, insecurity is the fuel that reinforces the feelings of vulnerability.

Okay, so what feeds insecurity? Three words: doubt, fear, and negativity. Every time you feel that wave of panicky, gut-wrenching emotion, you can do what I call a “mind-check.” Step back and see whether your thoughts can be classified as doubt, fear, or negativity. If so, you’ve taken the first step toward emotional liberation. You can choose to be passively manipulated by insecurity or you can resist. You actually have a choice!

Simply knowing you have a choice will make you feel less victimized. Victims are helpless.
You are not helpless!

You might say, “But knowing that I have a choice doesn’t change the fact that this pandemic has created world-wide chaos. Isn’t that a fact and not a speculation?”

Yes, of course, these are indeed surreal and dangerous times. However, you still have a choice. Rather than being in a chronic state of fear, you could instead choose to be “concerned.” Concern deals objectively with here and now facts — not the what-if future. Concern allows you to take prudent and proportionate precaution, like washing your hands, wearing a face-mask, staying home, or maintaining safe distances from others. Concern is reasonable and healthy, whereas fear, especially chronic, worrisome fear, is unreasonable and unhealthy.

Use these three Self-Coaching steps to minimize fear:

Employ “Mind Checking.”When feeling stressed and anxious, pause for a moment and check out what thoughts are going through your mind. Is it doubt, fear, or negativity? This is the first step in actively becoming a participant in your thinking rather than a passive victim of your reflexive fears and emotions.
Separate insecurity thinking from here-and-now facts.The next step is to ask yourself what are the facts—not how you feel-about the facts. For example, it’s a fact that COVID-19 is killing people, but it’s an emotional fiction that you feel you’re going to get infected. Define today’s facts (remember, feelings are not necessarily facts) as they objectively pertain to you, such as dealing with sheltering in place, figuring out how to get groceries, and so on. Understand that insecurity is a habit, and like any habit, you’re either feeding it or starving it.
Stop speculating.Remind yourself that speculating about dire future events is a fear-trap. Stay present and don’tpermit yourself to predict what tomorrow or beyond will bring. Focus on today, what you’re doing right now. Actively resist the temptation to allow insecurity to own your thinking with endless “what-iffing.” Taking charge of your emotions will require a firm act of will. Yes, you can!

Covid19 is a fact, fear of Covid 19 is not a fact.

Covid19 is a fact, fear of Covid 19 is not a fact.

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Fear is an instinctual response to danger (real or imagined). When the danger is real, fear mobilizes our resources to protect us from harm. And this is a good thing. When fear is associated with insecurity, then we wind up protecting ourselves, not from actual danger, but from fear itself (the “what-ifs”). When this happens, fear morphs into anxiety. Becoming more courageous doesn’t mean you have to become fearless–the courageous person doesn’t eliminate fear, he/she manages it

#covid19fear #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Hope: are you ready to take a leap of faith?

Hope: are you ready to take a leap of faith?

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“I can’t keep doing this, it’s too hard.” “I’m driving myself crazy, how much can I take?” Thus speaks the voice of insecurity…the voice of despair and defeat.

When everything in you is telling you to give up, you have only one ally–hope. Hope is an expectation of relief and resolution. When you’re feeling hopeless, it seems impossible to reverse the tide of pessimism, but just because it seems impossible, doesn’t mean it is.

Hope is nothing more than a leap of faith. Regardless of the current circumstances, if you take the leap, your struggles will no longer own you.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching #covid19hope

Prescription for courage

Prescription for courage

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It is never life that defeats us, it is always our reaction to it that does. When overwhelmed by life challenges, a courageous person is willing to fight-the-good-fight. Nothing more nothing less. Do this and you will never feel powerless or victimized.

#courage #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

How many pounds will you put on while sheltering? OR not!

How many pounds will you put on while sheltering? OR not!

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When it comes to mindless destructive eating, you can only be a victim if you allow yourself to be victimized by your compulsions, cravings, or indulgences. To be empowered you must choose not to surrender to impulse. Regardless of how you feel, you always—always—have the ability to say “no!” Stay mindful, stay strong.

#weightgain #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Want to minimize or eliminate regrets in your life?

Want to minimize or eliminate regrets in your life?

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If you’re serious about eliminating regrets then it’s time to develop a bit of critical awareness to see how you become compromised by “mind games,” which are so typical of destructive, reflexive thinking. The best way to illustrate a mind game would be for you to sit down at a checker board and begin to play against yourself. If, for whatever reason, you want red to win, you’ll have to arrange for black to lose. You (red) will win, but have you really won or have you simply deluded yourself?

Whether you’re wrestling directly with self-sabotaging should-I, shouldn’t-I thoughts or subtler, less obvious ploys like telling yourself, “I’ll just put that off until tomorrow” or, “She will never know I took that.” It’s important for you to become aware of how you delude yourself. You do this with excuses, rationalizations, and self-deception, all of which can become repetitive patterns. So, what’s the best way to insulate yourself from these patterns? Every time you wind up with regrets, guilts, or misgivings, look back to how you managed to “delude” yourself. Consciousness is critical if you want to truly live your intentions.

#regrets #anxiety #depression

Covd19: Yes you can!

Covd19: Yes you can!

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Lately have you been saying, “I can’t stay inside another day?” “I just can’t handle this.” Or, “I simply can’t stop worrying.” Buying into the “can’t-ploy” gets you off the hook by excusing you from taking responsibility for your emotions. If you can convince yourself that you can’t, then you feel somewhat blameless. According to Self-Coaching, lose the word can’t. Those who can’t are those who won’t! The only time you can use the word can’t is in this sentence: “I can’t say can’t.”

#covid19support #anxiety #depression

Covid19: Stop living in fear

Covid19: Stop living in fear

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As the days and weeks drag on and our lives become more and more restricted, unfortunately, our fears show no sign of abating. It’s important that we try to get a bit of perspective.

Meteorites occasionally hit the earth, but you don’t go around wearing a hard hat. I realize that Covid19 is much more ubiquitous, however the same principle holds: live your life while staying smart and safe, and STOP anticipating chaos. If you must ask another, “What-if” question, try this, “What-if” you could risk living more courageously rather than living in chronic anticipatory fear? What if, huh?

#covid19fear #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Covid19: Who says you can’t be optimistic?

Covid19: Who says you can’t be optimistic?

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Clearly these are uncertain times as we anxiously wait for good news that the “curve is beginning to flatten.” No one can predict the future. This is true, but you can predict how you’re going to feel today. Let me explain.

If you courageously live each day according to an optimistic adherence that, “everything is going to work out,” you are doing something vitally important right now—you are freeing yourself not to be shackled by pessimistic projections of doom-and-gloom. Keep in mind that optimism releases energy and enthusiasm while pessimism suppresses energy and enthusiasm.

During these challenging times, having energy and enthusiasm for living is critical. Optimism opens the door for, being creative, exploring all the gems available on YouTube, planning a hobby for when things revert back to normal, getting in shape or adhering to a dietary goal. Optimism frees you to open up to life. Why in the world would you choose to be pessimistic? Starting today RISK optimism! You won’t regret it.

#covidanxiety #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Covid19 doesn’t own your mind. Here’s how to meditate

Covid19 doesn’t own your mind. Here’s how to meditate

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Dealing with Covid19 is highly stressful. There’s no question that meditation can help to reduce the chronic level of stress you may be struggling with. I realize that not everyone is inclined to practice meditation, but why not let me give you a brief overview as to how you might begin to practice this very valuable skill.

I would describe meditation as nothing more—and nothing less—than the practice of learning to be still. Here is a simple, no-frills way to incorporate meditation into your daily life. With a bit of familiarity, you’ll become adept enough at being still, allowing yourself to experience the solace of liberation from conflict. The good news is that a few minutes a day is all that’s needed to get the point about how easy it is to let go of doubts, fears, and negative thinking.

First rule: don’t overdo it!
If you try too hard, you’ll become frustrated and wind up abandoning your practice. So start out slowly. If you begin to feel too frustrated or uncomfortable, stop. From the beginning, your experience needs to be positive and restorative, certainly not stressful. To experience the concept of letting go, just a minute or two at first will suffice. In time, if you want to explore the boundless benefits of meditation, you can build up to fifteen minutes, a half hour, or longer. But I must warn you: if you approach meditation with a typically Western attitude of “no pain, no gain,” you will be defeating the purpose and potential benefit.

Next, find a comfortable sitting position on the floor (a straight back chair will do if sitting on the floor is difficult); inserting a cushion under your tailbone can help. A crossed leg is best, but it may take some practice to sustain this position. If you do sit in a chair, make sure your back is well supported, and whether on the floor or in a chair, keep your head balanced over your torso to prevent your head from drooping. As you find a comfortable position, you can either close your eyes or find a point of focus—for example, a candle or specific reference point. If you choose a candle, I find it helps to almost completely shut your eyes, leaving a slit for the candle rays to be noticed.

Now bring your awareness to your breathing. For thousands of years the practice of meditation has centered on the breath. Breathing acts as a hook for you to maintain a steady focus while trying to step apart from distracting thoughts. Breathe normally through your nose. It helps to experiment a bit until you can hear a kind of faint “ocean” or “hissing” sound in your nasal passages as you breathe in and out through the nostrils.

Many people incorporate a mantra to assist in maintaining focus. A mantra is any word or phrase that you repeat over and over with each breath. It could have personal or religious significance or, for that matter, it could be any word or words that appeal to you. If you are feeling anxious, for example, you might want to employ a mantra like Stop & Drop; as you inhale, you think the word stop (stop the runaway train of anxious thinking) and as you exhale, you think the word drop (let these thoughts go). Recapping using this example: breathe in through the nose, aware of a slight hissing…silently saying the word “stop” to yourself. At the end of this inhalation, notice an ever so slight pause just prior to exhaling. As you exhale, silently say the word, “drop.” Keep repeating this sequence along with your own personal mantra…inhale…exhale.

#covid19stress #covid19meditation #anxiety #selfcoaching

Don’t use sheltering-in-place as an excuse to neglect your diet

Don’t use sheltering-in-place as an excuse to neglect your diet

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Although the fictions that cause us to “slip” on our diet are often emotional (i.e,. you “feel” such-and-such is true), we also create fictions based on another form of excuse: rationalizations (i.e., “Once this pandemic is over I’ll be able to get more exercise, this one piece of cake won’t really matter.” Or, “I’m too stressed, I need comfort food.”)

Since there’s always a grain of truth to rationalizations, they can be quite deceptive. But when you hold fictions up to a fact check, the lack of underlying truth becomes clear.

Seeing and admitting the factual truth may be a bit intimidating (i.e., that one piece of cake DOES matter, and comfort food and gaining weight is only going to make you feel more stressed.), Burying your head in the sands of denial will accomplish one thing: It will guarantee that your dietary goals will be trashed.

No doubt your normal routine has been interrupted, but rather than leaning on food to get you through these difficult times, establish a new routine! Go for walks and get some exercises. Exercising will deliver endorphins—mood stabilizers. Eat regular meals at regular times, establish a bed time ritual and try to get at least eight hours sleep. In other words, ADAPT, INVENT, and BE CREATIVE. Don’t become a victim of your cravings.

At least when all this is over you won’t have another battle on your hands—the battle of the bulge!

#anxiety #depression #dieting

How to feel more empowered and less victimized by COVID19

How to feel more empowered and less victimized by COVID19

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Regardless of your current struggles over the COVID virus, periodically during the day practice allowing yourself to believe that everything is going to be okay. This may feel somewhat artificial at first, but just permit yourself to relax and accept this, “as-if” it’s going to happen—even if it’s only for a few seconds at first.

Don’t allow yourself to fight it. You can expect a struggle from your traditional doubts, fears, and hesitations, but for now, remember to accept this notion “as-if” it’s true. The important thing in this drill is to begin feeling what it’s like not to be victimized by life. As you progress with this exercise (it will take practice), you might be surprised at the lasting changes in your mood as well as your “sheltering-in-place” ability to cope.

#anxiety #depression #covid19coping #selfcoaching.net

Are you allowing COVID19 to define your day?

Are you allowing COVID19 to define your day?

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There’s no doubt that as our hair grows longer and the polish on our finger nails fades, our once normal lives have become hijacked by COVID19. We Humans are creatures of habit, it’s what makes us feel secure. When everything that was normal becomes turned on its ear, we invariably become unsettled…anxious. But, before resigning yourself to just “getting through” another day of living with the uncertainty and fear, recognize what you’re doing—you’re conceding that today won’t be an opportunity for anything worthwhile.

Stop feeling like a victim. Victims are helpless—you are NOT helpless. Rather than being passive about all this, actively insist on opening yourself up to the awareness that every day–in spite of any external limitation–is an opportunity, an adventure. Don’t allow COVID19 to define you!

If you hear yourself saying, “I can’t,” ask, “Who’s saying I can’t. Is it me, my healthy voice, or is it my insecurity?” Just asking this question puts you in a position to have a choice. And since you have a choice, why in the world would you choose the voice of insecurity? Instead, dig your heels in and choose your healthy, courageous voice. You won’t regret it.

#anxiety #depression #COVID19worry #selfcoaching

Protecting yourself emotionally from COVID19

Protecting yourself emotionally from COVID19

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Considering the reality of COVID19, feeling insecure may well be an inevitable, inescapable part of our current lives. Insecurity, however,—the fear of vulnerability—acts as mental friction creating hesitations, fears, and doubts. From a Self-Coaching perspective, it’s insecurity that feeds all emotional struggle.

Why is this important?

Because you need to know (and remind yourself throughout the day) that COVID19 can NOT make you get depressed or anxious, you have to allow it to. In spite of the gravity of what’s going on globally, you do NOT have to succumb to debilitating emotional struggle.

Clearly, some stress and anxiety may be unavoidable, and this would be an understandable and proportionate reaction. However, extreme, compulsive, disproportionate stress and anxiety is caused by insecurity. It’s insecurity’s projections of doom-and-gloom that magnifies mild stress and anxiety and turns it into sheer emotional chaos.

Try this:

Rather than being a passive victim of insecurity, try being more courageous. Continue taking every conceivable “rational” precaution, but then take a leap of faith and challenge any insecurity-driven attitude and perception.

Optimism may be too much to ask, especially if you’re prone to worrying, but at the very least you don’t have to hand yourself over to pessimism. You can at least be neutral. As the Alcoholics Anonymous adage goes: Let go, let God.

Neutral or optimistic, if you’re courageous enough to actively embrace this shift in perception, your day-to-day handling of this crisis will be ensured.

#anxiety #covid19coping #depression #selfcoaching

Why COVID19 can’t get you anxious or depressed

Why COVID19 can’t get you anxious or depressed

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Although one negative thought isn’t going to make a difference, ruminative, negative thinking does have a cumulative, mind-body effect, which eventually contributes to what we typically refer to as a down or depressed “mood.” If, however, negativity is coupled with fears and panic related to the COVID virus, the effect becomes amplified paving the way for depression and anxiety.

You need to know that there’s an emotional and physical price to pay for needless (reflexive) shabby thinking. Starting today, take responsibility–one thought at a time—STOP indulging your tendency towards negativity and/or fear and start recognizing how much better you feel.

And yes, shabby thinking is an indulgence.

Remember, COVID19 can’t make you feel anxious or depressed, you have to allow it to.

#covid19depression #anxious #depression #Selfcoaching

Want to feel more hopeful during these challenging times?

Want to feel more hopeful during these challenging times?

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.From a Self-Coaching perspective, hope is the expectation of relief and/or resolution. Granted, if you’re feeling hopeless these days, it may seem impossible to reverse the tide of worry, pessimism, and apprehension, but just because it seems impossible, doesn’t mean it is. Hope is nothing more than a leap of faith.

If you happen to be a bit more enthusiastic, why not incorporate optimism into that “leap?” Regardless of today’s circumstances, if you take the leap, at the very least your struggles will no longer own you. Hope and optimism, that’s the ticket! Take the leap, it’s empowering!

#covid19hope #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Real difficulties can be overcome; it’s the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.

Real difficulties can be overcome; it’s the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.

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Starting today, lose the word can’t, “I can’t live like this,” “I can’t take all this uncertainty,” Truth is you CAN handle these difficult times. You CAN stay strong.

Starting today, fight the good fight and do something about your challenges. And if there isn’t much you can do about your circumstances, then for pity sake, do something about corralling your imagination—no more whining, no more pessimism, choose facts rather than emotional fictions.

And stop hoarding toilet paper, it only makes you feel more desperate.

#anxiety #depression #covid19fear

How are you “choosing” to feel today?

How are you “choosing” to feel today?

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Did it ever occur to you that what you’re feeling right now is a choice? Okay, perhaps not completely your choice, I realize we don’t choose to feel stressed or anxious. But we do control to what extent we allow ourselves to remain stressed and panicked. If you don’t know this, then you’re probably feeling victimized.

Recognize that in order for fears and anxiety to take root, you have to indulge the thoughts associated with these perceptions. Next time you’re feeling victimized or helpless, recognize a few simple truths: you can choose patience, you can choose perseverance, but most importantly, you can choose not to be powerless to your thoughts. When it comes to ruminative thoughts of doom-and-gloom, try my Self-Coaching mantra: Stop it! Drop it! And be sure to say it like you mean it because a wimpy conviction will lead to wimpy results.

#covid19anxiety #anxiety #selfcoaching

Change can be difficult

Change can be difficult

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Some of you may remember the 2004 book, All I really needed to know I learned in kindergarten. Read this email from my daughter, Lauren Elizabeth, to her students and see if it doesn’t apply to you as well. Some messages are timeless and ageless, this is one of them.

”Change: it can be risky, it can be difficult. It can also be beautiful and it will always show you more of yourself.”

A lot of emotions come up when we experience change. Sometimes it feels new and exciting and other times change can feel scary and unknown. It is okay to feel any and all emotions, in fact it is important to allow yourself to feel whatever comes up. Once you have allowed yourself to feel, gently guide your thoughts towards all the beautiful gifts that the new situation gives you. Practice gratitude for the safe home you live and learn in, for the teachers who continue to find ways to keep learning fun and interesting even when we are not physically together, and for the quality time you have been given to spend with your family. Yes, change can be difficult but it can also be beautiful.

#covid19stress #anxiety #selfcoaching

Covid19 virus: how much worrying is too much worrying?

Covid19 virus: how much worrying is too much worrying?

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It’s important to differentiate normal worry from neurotic worry and anxiety. Let’s face it, unless you’re living in a cave, you’re going to feel some stress, anxiety, and worry over the spread of this virus. Normal (perhaps a better word would be “understandable”) worry/anxiety can be defined as a proportionate reaction to this pandemic. A proportionate reaction is grounded in the present, NOT the future ‘what-iffing.’ It’s a realization that some of our emotions are, in fact, unavoidable. And perhaps a major difference is that a proportionate reaction deals with being “concerned” rather than being worried. Let me explain.

Concern deals with factual and smart reactions to what’s going on in your life today. It’s being prudent, washing your hands and avoiding crowds; it’s fact based. Worrying, since it deals with future outcomes of chaos, cannot be a fact-based (since no one knows the future). Therefore, worry must be an emotional fiction. And therein lies the key; you want to be limiting yourself to facts, NOT emotional fictions.

#covid19worry #anxiety #covid19anxiety #selfcoaching

Another lesson from my daughter

Another lesson from my daughter

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My daughter, Lauren Elizabeth is our school district wellness coach. During these distressing times, her daily words sent remotely to her students are a tonic to our fears.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things on the news, my mother would say to me, “look for the helpers, you will always find people who are helping.” -Mr. Rogers

Although sometimes things can feel scary and unknown, it is important to put our attention on all of the positive things that shine light in the darkness. Did you know that right now there are thousands of people coming together to help one another? People are showing extra kindness, compassion, and love in this time of change….if you look for it, you will always find the helpers, the heroes. In fact, you may be one yourself!

#anxiety #covid19anxiety #selfcoaching

A lesson from my daughter

A lesson from my daughter

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My daughter, Lauren Elizabeth, is our school district wellness coach. During these distressing times where students are uprooted from their usual routine and are required to work remotely with their teachers, there are people like my daughter (I’m clearly a fan) who shine a light in the darkness.

Here’s one of her daily e-lessons (one that we should all embrace).

Change is the natural way of things.

When things feel different or difficult, remember that we are being given the chance to grow stronger. When the wind hits the trees it forces the tree’s roots to stretch and grow just as, when our students are asked to learn in a whole new way from home, it makes them stretch and grow. Be proud of how much you are accomplishing in this situation that nobody ever before you has experienced. Take a moment today to be grateful for yourself and for your resilience and perseverance.

#covid19help #anxiety #selfcoaching

Two ways you hurt yourself psychologically

Two ways you hurt yourself psychologically

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You hurt yourself psychologically either by omission or by commission. With omission you are a passive victim of insecurity-driven, neurotic thoughts (doubts, fears, negatives) that influence and contaminate your life. By commission you become an active victim by allowing yourself to do what you know will wind up hurting you.

Do keep in mind that victims—active or passive—are by definition, powerless. You are not powerless!

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Self-Coaching basics

Self-Coaching basics

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1. Everyone has a legacy of insecurity which is the fuel for all emotional struggle. Insecurity is a habit, and any habit can be broken. Remove the “fuel” of insecurity (i.e., doubt, fear, and negative thinking) and struggles begin to fade.

2. Thoughts precede feelings, anxieties and depressions; it’s all about learning to separate facts from destructive, emotional “fictions.” Healthy thinking is a choice.

3. When life begins to overwhelm you, anxiety and depression are misguided attempts to take control: anxiety by worrisome, anticipatory thinking and depression by emotional withdrawal and shutting down. Trying to control life is an illusion, not an answer.

4. A good coach is a good motivator. Having hope and learning to believe that you are capable of freeing yourself from emotional struggle is the optimistic fuel of liberation.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

3 step to managing stress, anxiety, and panic

3 step to managing stress, anxiety, and panic

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Take a moment. Ask yourself, “where are my thoughts right now?” If you’re beginning to feel a constant knot in your stomach from watching too much news; if you’re beginning to succumb to a wave of hysteria accompanying this pandemic, then it might be time for a psychological reboot.

1.) Turn OFF (!) or limit your TV viewing. This is very important. You can’t expect to neutralize your emotions if you’re constantly fueling your fears with news “alerts.”

2.) Take a deep breath (or two). Every once in a while, find that deep breath…slowly inhale, slowly exhale. Focus on your breathing—not your thoughts! Begin to shift from your mind’s stress response (sympathetic nervous system), which is fueled by fear, to your body’s relaxation response (parasympathetic nervous system), which is fueled by both the slowing down of your thoughts and calm, focused breathing.

3.) Look around you, pay attention to your environment. What do you see? Your sofa, a few plants, sunlight coming through the window…. hysteria and panic aren’t like your plants or sofa, they don’t exist! Not unless we allow them to exist in our mind. Stressful times don’t mean you have to allow your imagination implode with insecurity-driven “what-ifs.” The covid19 virus doesn’t make us anxious, we allow it to. Stop being passive with your thoughts, insist on being more present rather than projecting insecurity into some uncertain future.

If you’d like to give yourself (and your psyche) a break today, try embracing one of my favorite Zen adages: chop wood, carry water. Pay attention to all the small details in your life, stay focused, keep it simple. Doesn’t matter if you’re washing a dish or doing your bills, be present, be focused. Keep engaging your parasympathetic nervous system. No matter what, chop wood, carry water. Nothing else.

#anxiety #covid19coping #covid19anxiety

Worry begets worry

Worry begets worry

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Maybe even before the covid19 epidemic you were prone to worrying. Maybe you even called yourself a worrywart. If so, maybe preparing for the worst doesn’t sound so terrible to you. You may think it’s prudent, if not smart. And I wouldn’t disagree if it weren’t for the compulsive, unrelenting loop of worry that gets generated.

If there’s one thing certain about worrying (IMPORTANT: I’m not talking about being concerned. Concern deals with facts, and that’s smart. Worry deals with projections of future chaos and vulnerability), it’s the fact that worry begets worry. So, as you can see, worrying isn’t innocently involved with wanting to batten down the hatches and prepare for potential threats, it’s more of a primitive, child-like need to escape life’s challenges altogether.

When, because of insecurity and lack of self-trust, you feel you can’t handle some aspect of life, then worry becomes an attempt to figure out how dodge the bullet and rehearse for the worst. Worry is often an attempt to somehow—if not magically—find a way to figure out how to feel less vulnerable. In a sense, you’re trying to worry away the fears.

What’s the opposite of worry? Courage! Courage and a willingness to let life unfold dealing with each day as it presents itself. Yes you can!

#anxiety #covid19worry #depression

Beware of labeling yourself

Beware of labeling yourself

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People mercilessly label themselves as “failure,” “loser,” “weakling,” and so on. When we identify with one of these negative labels it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Whenever, for example, you label yourself a “failure” or “loser,” you tend to embrace this as if it’s a life sentence. It’s not!

Your current “self-snapshot” doesn’t determine your future—unless, of course, you’re determined to allow insecurity to call the shots. Begin by taking an active responsibility for how you think about yourself. And for pity sake, lose the negative labels! It really is a choice.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

A better way to cope with covid 19

A better way to cope with covid 19

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Yeah, I know it’s hard to stay level-headed with all the hype and hysteria going around. Managing your imagination is an important component in handling this epidemic. As I counsel my anxious patients, I explain that I choose to embrace an “as-if” optimism. I go on ‘as-if’ everything is going to be okay. And no, I’m not burying my head in the sand of denial; I wash my hands, do the elbow bump, and cough into my elbow—I’m concerned.

Concern, however, is not the same as worry. Buckling your seat belt, for example, is a prudent “concern,” whereas worrying about getting into an accident isn’t. I defy anyone to challenge me as to why fearing doom-and-gloom is more advantageous than my ‘as-if’ optimism. As far I’m concerned, I do believe everything is going to be okay. Based on all my life experiences I’m willing to risk trusting that, ‘this too shall pass.’ So rather than “what-if,” try adapting an “as-if” optimism.

#covid19 #anxiety #selfcoaching

How not to derail your self-improvement efforts

How not to derail your self-improvement efforts

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What’s the quickest way to derail your efforts toward self-improvement? Answer: constantly compare yourself to others. The quickest way to maximize your efforts is to listen to the sage advice given by St. Francis De Sales: “Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly.” Or, if you prefer, how about Dr. Seuss, ““Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” And that is a Self-Coaching Fact.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Don’t let wishful thinking rob your happiness

Don’t let wishful thinking rob your happiness

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There’s a saying that goes, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” The longer you do nothing about what you want out of life, the longer you will want and the less you will have. Wishful thinking can never replace purpose-driven action. Happiness doesn’t come looking for you; it must be sought, pursued, and embraced.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Stuck? Frustrated? How about trying a new “gear?”

Stuck? Frustrated? How about trying a new “gear?”

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Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts, once quipped, “Life is like a ten-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.” Sometimes when circumstances challenge us to respond in extraordinary ways, we look back and marvel, “I didn’t know I had it in me!” Surprise yourself; try out some new psychological gears today.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Are you a whiner or a winner?

Are you a whiner or a winner?

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“It’s too hard.” “I hate work.” Complainers usually do what they have to do, but they do it with a great deal of grumbling. Why? Because they’re not fully committed. Complaining informs the world, “I’m miserable, feel sorry for me” (complaining doesn’t occur in a vacuum).

Complainers live a “one-foot-in-one-foot-out life, which always generates emotional friction. If you’re going to do something, stop feeling sorry for yourself and do it with all your heart—or do nothing. Just stop whining!

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

How to eliminate guilt from your life

How to eliminate guilt from your life

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Patients are always telling me how “guilty” they feel about letting someone down, not returning a phone call, or simply not getting to the gym. What is this thing we call guilt?
From a Self-Coaching perspective, I define guilt as a feeling that you’ve done something wrong. Not getting to the gym, for example, is clearly not doing something wrong, but may leave you feeling guilty and distressed the whole day. So, why do we feel guilty?

Next time you feel guilty, ask yourself an important question: “did I do anything wrong?” Be careful with your answer, because, for example, not calling your mother for a day may “feel” wrong, but that isn’t necessarily the objective truth. It’s up to you to separate yourself from your neurotic “shoulds” and “have tos” and insist on being more objective. Not calling your mother may be a result of being too busy, distracted, or preoccupied, but it is not wrong!

All too often guilt is a cheap shot perpetrated by insecurity. It’s a good thing to be responsible, but it’s a neurotic thing not to have a choice.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Coronavirus: STOP IT! DROP IT!

Coronavirus: STOP IT! DROP IT!

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The coronavirus, unfortunately, is a fact of life and the media isn’t helping by fueling our fears with images of grocery store shelves depleted of everything from Clorox wipes to toilet paper, people wearing surgical masks and hazmat suits. Truth is that some insecurity is inevitable. Insecurity-—the fear of vulnerability—is the motor behind hesitations, doubts and a growing groundswell of hysteria.

One thing you need to know is that succumbing to insecurity is a choice. Perhaps not a conscious choice; oftentimes it’s more of a passive acceptance leaving us feeling nervous, apprehensive, or anxious.

Rather than passively allowing yourself to buy into all the fears associated with this virus, choose to have an “Active Mind.” Start by implementing a mantra of, “Stop it! Drop it! Every time you find yourself drifting toward panic, tell yourself—Stop it! Drop it! What you’re doing is “actively” and courageously interrupting your emotional passivity. It will take a bit of practice, but the simple act of trying to live more courageously will begin to give you a sense of empowerment. Choose to be empowered.

#coronavirus #coronavirusanxiety #anxiety

Releasing your natural capacity for happiness

Releasing your natural capacity for happiness

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Joseph Campbell once said that we must be willing to relinquish the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. So often we get caught up in defensive living and striving that we lose sight of the simplicity and joy of living more spontaneously. From a Self-Coaching perspective, if you remove the clutter of congested, insecurity-driven thinking, your natural capacity for happiness can find expression (FYI: You don’t find happiness, you release it.). See if you can resist the temptation of over-thinking (doubt, fear, and negativity) your life today and instead, simply let the day unfold. Be reactive and responsive rather than proactive. You might be surprised how effortless life can be.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Why do human beings worry?

Why do human beings worry?

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Everybody worries, but why? The answer is straight forward, we worry because we’re trying to prepare ourselves for things going wrong (we don’t worry about things going right). Want to live a worry-free life? Then risk believing you’ll handle the challenges ahead. Or you can continue to doubt…and worry.

#anxiety #worry #depression

What’s that you say? You don’t have enough time?

What’s that you say? You don’t have enough time?

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No time to get to the gym, prepare a healthy meal or go for a walk? Here’s the solution: try this experiment for one day: somehow, get yourself to the gym, get to the grocery store and prepare a healthy meal, and go for a walk. JUST DO IT! If you this, at the end of the day you’ll look back and realize that somehow, like magic, you’ve expanded time! What you originally thought was a lack of time was just one more excuse.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

How not to let your mind be infected by the Coronavirus

How not to let your mind be infected by the Coronavirus

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Read the headlines, talk to your neighbors, or notice the growing number of faces covered with surgical masks. Frightening, huh? No doubt there’s a potential pandemic looming on the horizon, but does this mean that anxiety and worse, panic, are now inescapable parts of life? The answer is a resounding NO!

When we’re anxious we worry, we anticipate chaos—things getting worse. And when we anticipate chaos, we become stressed, which affects us emotionally as well as chemically. If you couple stress with insecurity, it becomes anxiety.

Don’t misunderstand, the courageous person isn’t averse to taking precautions—it’s the same reason we buckle our seat belts and take vitamins. The less courageous person, however, is susceptible to the projections of insecurity. Insecurity is the culprit that promotes a disproportionate, agitated reaction, the dreaded “what-ifs.”

Starting today, you can learn to choose a more courageous path that doesn’t permit your what-iffing mind to be eclipsed with hysterical fantasies. How? Look around you, take a deep breath (or two) and recognize that your fantasies are not your reality. Anxiety lives in some arbitrary, insecurity defined future; you live in the here-and-now present. Stay present!

If you really want to minimize or eliminate anxiety about this epidemic, you’re going to have to risk believing that this too shall pass, that you’ll be okay. For some this form of optimism will feel reckless, but remember, being concerned isn’t being panicked. The essential difference is that concern deals with prudent here-and-now precautionary facts, being worried deals with unrestrained fantasies of doom-and-gloom.

If nothing else, starting today, practice staying present and not allowing your insecurity-driven fears to go unchecked. No doubt, this may take practice, but if you work at this, you will be ensuring something important: you will not be allowing this virus to infect your mind.

#coronavirus #coronavirusanxiety #coronaviruspanic

Life…if not now, when?

Life…if not now, when?

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Why do you think we spend so much time procrastinating? One reason is because living effectively in the present requires responsible along with here-and-now action. It’s a lot easier–and effortless–to imagine taking responsible action tomorrow. Truth is, there will never be a better “now” for purposeful action. In fact, there will never be anything other than “now.” When the future does come, it will only be your new “now.” Therefore, if not “now,” when?

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

What you tell yourself matters. Big time!

What you tell yourself matters. Big time!

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Have you ever talked yourself into a bad mood, incessant worry or even a panic attack? But how exactly do we “talk” ourselves into such misery?

Unfortunately, you’re no match for the flood of incessant doubts, fears or negative chatter that fills your head. No match, unless you recognize that the negative chatter in your mind can only hurt you if you allow yourself to listen! STOP LISTENING! You really do have a choice.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

There are three simple Self-Coaching secrets to success:

There are three simple Self-Coaching secrets to success:

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1.) lose the word “can’t.” The truth is you “can!” The problem is you “won’t!”
2.) Everytime you say “Yes, but..,” drop the “but”–no more excuses!
3.) Everytime you say “I should,” change it to “I will”–stop procrastinating.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Frustrated? Not getting what you want out of life?

Frustrated? Not getting what you want out of life?

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The longer you ponder, scrutinize, and over-think your goals, the more likely you are to find excuses and feel hesitant. Hesitation itself is just an excuse. When it comes to happy life, you’re NOT excused!

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

A life lesson from a tombstone

A life lesson from a tombstone

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I saw a tombstone the other day. On the stone was inscribed the years: 1920 – 1999. It got me thinking that neither the birth (1920) nor the death (1999) mattered that much. What did matter was the dash inscribed between these dates. You see, it’s the dash that represents the life that was once lived. It’s not important when you were born or when you die—only what you’re doing with your dash-years! And if you’re reading this, embrace the fact that you’re in your dash years.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Are you bored with your life?

Are you bored with your life?

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Being bored is being detached. If you’re detached from life, not inspired by what you do, not present and not involved, then boredom will become your unwelcome companion. And make no mistake, boredom isn’t innocuous, it generates stress and fuels anxieties.

What’s the answer? Attach rather than detach! Whatever you do, do it with your full attention and presence. It may take some practice, but if you do this you will be ensuring a meaningful life.

#anxiety #depression #boredom

Facing life’s challenges

Facing life’s challenges

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Facing life’s challenges

When life challenges us with illness, injury, or setbacks, do you allow yourself to get setback? Defeated? If so, you must recognize that the seeds of courage are never sown on windless, sunny days; courage demands stormy weather to take root. Adversity is your opportunity–use it, grow from it. Find your mettle!

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

What’s your destiny?

What’s your destiny?

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It’s been said that destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. According to Self-Coaching, if you embrace the fact that your destiny is in your hands, you’ll never be a victim. A victim, by definition, is someone without power. What’s power? It’s the ability to choose your destiny.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Can’t get you life in gear? You may be a “wheelbarrow.”

Can’t get you life in gear? You may be a “wheelbarrow.”

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I’ve heard it said that some of us are like wheelbarrows, only useful when pushed and easily upset. If you’re waiting to be pushed by someone else, by outside circumstances, or when you luck turns—you’re a wheelbarrow!

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Do you understand the importance of happiness?

Do you understand the importance of happiness?

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I GUARANTEE that you will love John Lennon’s poignant quote on happiness, “When I was five year old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I wrote down “happy.” They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” How about you, do you understand how important happiness is? Are you willing to address any and all impediments that stand in your way? If so, than you do understand.

#anxiety #depression #happiness

Beware the devil you know

Beware the devil you know

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Beware of the idiom: “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” All too often we cling to the short-sighted safety of familiarity. Familiarity may seem “better,” especially if you fear change, but if you truly want to live a more passionate, enjoyable life, then it’s time to realize that there’s only one devil–stagnation!

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

A Self-Coaching prescription for losing weight

A Self-Coaching prescription for losing weight

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We eat because our bodies want to be fed, and, more often than not, we eat because our minds want to be fed. Lifelong weight mastery begins by taking your life back from destructive eating habits, but simply interrupting old, destructive habits isn’t a prescription for successful weight loss. Only when you replace destructive habits with more appropriate, healthy habits can you switch your efforts from vigilance to autopilot.

It’s okay to become a skeptic of your own thoughts when you hear yourself lamenting, “I just want to have one more cookie, I’ll be good tomorrow.” You are going to need to stay vigilant, skeptical of self-sabotaging rationalizations and other deceptions until habit re-formation is part of your new life. Please keep in mind, the discomfort (longing, etc.) is temporary…it will pass. Accept and handle these transient discomforts and you will be ensuring a life of weight loss master

#weightloss #anxiety #depression

Seize the day, put no trust in tomorrow.

Seize the day, put no trust in tomorrow.

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Why, you may ask, should you put no trust in tomorrow? Because tomorrow is and will always be a concept, there is only today…only now. Will you seize it?\

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Empowering yourself

Empowering yourself

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In order to be a victim, you must accept the faulty proposition that you are powerless. It’s true that you may not have the power to prevent adverse circumstances from happening, but you do have the power to decide how these circumstances will impact your life. The first step in empowering yourself is to reject the myth that you are powerless.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

LIfe passing you by? Take a lesson from an ant

LIfe passing you by? Take a lesson from an ant

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The lowly ant is capable of carrying crumbs many times its own weight for great distances. Ants don’t think about handling this load, they just do it. Okay, you’re not an ant, but can you imagine how much more you would accomplish if you didn’t think…just did?

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Anxious? Depressed? You may be a storm chaser?

Anxious? Depressed? You may be a storm chaser?

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Morris West got it right when he said, “If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never see the sunshine.” How many “sunshine” days have you sacrificed worrying about tomorrow’s “what-ifs?” If you’re a “storm” chaser, recognize that you do have a choice—simply open your eyes and see the light that’s in front of you.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Afraid of failure?

Afraid of failure?

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If you weren’t afraid of failure, can you imagine what you would attempt? The key to success is believing that you can. And the key to believing is a willingness to risk it.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Change ain’t easy

Change ain’t easy

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From a Self-Coaching perspective, change and discomfort are often inseparable. To fly, a bird must leave the comfort of its nest, the butterfly must writhe until it sheds its cocoon. To progress to life’s next step, whether it’s liberating yourself from neurotic thinking, becoming more productive, or learning self-trust, you too must evolve, change, and yes, you too must be willing to endure some discomfort along the way. Starting today, whatever it takes, begin your personal evolution. Make your mantra, “whatever it takes!” For those who insist on avoiding the responsibility and tenacity necessary to change…they will never fly.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Are you a time-traveler?

Are you a time-traveler?

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Today, this moment, is all that exists. Everything else is merely a mental abstraction. Connecting to life and living in the moment requires a total commitment. And it takes practice! If you’re a time-traveler, worrying about the future or lamenting the past, you’re missing a tremendous opportunity to savor that which is right in front of you—life!

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

“Mirror, mirror on the wall…” What do you see?

“Mirror, mirror on the wall…” What do you see?

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For many, looking at yourself in a mirror can be a challenging experience. But mirrors are misleading. They only show a snapshot, static image of who and what you are in a frozen moment of time. Instead of a snapshot, see yourself as an ongoing, changing, evolving motion picture. Question is, in which direction are you evolving?

#depression #selfesteem #selfcoaching

Stop feeling cheated by life

Stop feeling cheated by life

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We all have 46 chromosomes, no more no less. And yet we act like there are luckier, smarter people who have 47 chromosomes.

Put those 46 chromosomes to good use today, embrace your potential. And for goodness sake, stop feeling cheated by life. Only you can cheat you. Respect.

#selfrespect #depression #selfcoaching

Poor self-Concept? Always putting yourself down?

Poor self-Concept? Always putting yourself down?

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You can begin right now to restore and replenish a healthy self-esteem. It all begins with a simple truth: there’s nothing wrong with you! Never was! You may reflexively balk at this statement especially if insecurity has been calling the shots, but it happens to be irrefutable.

When you put yourself down, diminish your self-worth or adhere to pessimism, you violate you! Stop doing it! Granted, at this point you may not be able to flip from black to white and gush with self-love (although that would be nice), but at the very least, you can start to neutralize your negativity.

#depression #selfcoaching #anxiety

How to actively challenge anxiety and depression

How to actively challenge anxiety and depression

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In the physical world in order to achieve desired results, you must take action. Same is true for your emotions, you may feel victimized by anxiety or depression, but unless you actively challenge the emotional fictions of insecurity that spin in your mind, your desired serenity will never occur. What are emotional fictions? Typically, they’re the doubts, fears, and negatives that we allow to go unchallenged. Start challenging!

4 Self-Coaching tips that will guarantee weight loss success.

4 Self-Coaching tips that will guarantee weight loss success.

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1. Think small.
Begin with small successes. Take a look at the habits that are holding you back in life. Find one that’s simple, like, “When I finish this meal, I’m going to wash my dish.” Make a contract with yourself that that dish must be washed. No ifs, ands or buts! Throughout the day, find simple challenges that you make happen.
2. Build self-trust.
Once you get used to making small things happen, begin to recognize and embrace the truth: What I say to myself is what I do. Remember, to cultivate a capacity for self-trust, you must succeed. In order to guarantee success, don’t challenge yourself with a pledge that you’re not sure you can handle. If, for example, you’re not sure you’ll stick with going to the gym five times a week, then don’t promise yourself. Better to do the best you can than to fall short and wind up jeopardizing your growing capacity for believing in yourself. When it comes to building trust, it’s better to lose the battle than the war.
3. Invent challenges.
Invent various challenges throughout the day to strengthen your ability to believe and to do. Don’t allow yourself to procrastinate; make yourself finish your paperwork before turning on the TV; decide not to spend too much at the mall. These are all trust-muscle builders, and you should view them as you would an actual muscle. Just as you would do repetitions at the gym to develop a muscle, so too must you get your reps in each day. Like a muscle, the more you workout, the more your capacity for personal success will grow.
4. Cultivate optimism.
No one’s life is without negatives. The key is to train yourself to focus on the positives. Don’t let insecurity suggest there are no positives. Positives may be eclipsed by a habit of pessimistic negativity, but keep looking: They’re there. If you’re a whiner or a complainer, make a determination to stop whining and complaining (to yourself and others). Pessimists are so used to being negative that they don’t realize it’s a habit. And they don’t realize it’s a choice.

This article was published in U.S. News & World report

#losingweight #dieting #fitness

Do you live to eat? Perhaps it’s time to for a psychological reboot.

Do you live to eat? Perhaps it’s time to for a psychological reboot.

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It was Socrates who said, “Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat.” Do you find yourself existing meal to meal, snack to snack? Are you consumed with consumption? “I need a pick-me-up. There must be something lying around to snack on.” “I’ve found the best bakery in town. Their cannoli are to die for!” Food, food, food! If this sounds like you and you’re willing to admit that food has simply become a bit too important, then it’s time to take an important leap—reframing the knee-jerk way you think about food. Starting right now, rather than allowing food to be the most important part of your day, how about redefining it as the fuel of your day?

Thin From Within: The Powerful Self-Coaching Program for Permanent Weight Loss

#depression #anxiety #weightloss

Time, and what we do with our time, is always a choice.

Time, and what we do with our time, is always a choice.

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If you feel you have no choice—think again! Starting today, choose to live each day as if it were the first day you ever knew, the last day you will ever have, as if there were no tomorrow.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Disappointed by friends? Adjust your ‘Relationship Orbits’

Disappointed by friends? Adjust your ‘Relationship Orbits’

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Check out this article I wrote for the NY Daily News

By DR. JOE LUCIANI
DAILY NEWS CONTRIBUTOR |

If you ever find yourself repeatedly let down by your so-called friends, your expectations may be the problem.

“I can’t believe she lied to me-again!”

“Why do I keep putting up with his sarcasm?”

“Where is she? I’ve been waiting for 45 minutes already.”

Do you ever find yourself repeatedly let down by your so-called friends? The problem may not be with your friends—not exactly—but with your expectations instead.

If you find yourself disappointed or confused by your relationships, perhaps it’s time to learn about what I call Relationship Orbits.

Think of our solar system. The sun is at the center, with the planet Mercury holding the innermost orbit, followed by Venus, Earth, Mars, and so on.

If we use our solar system as a relationship metaphor, with you as the sun-center, then Mercury’s orbit represents your most intimate, loyal, loving relationships. These are relationships that you consider to be inviolate — people you know will be there no matter what. These are your “soulmates.” Moving out to the Venus orbit, we have your close, if not best, friends. These are people you know you can rely on in a pinch, who almost always have your back. You love being with Venus people. They’re fun, restorative, and consistent in their affections toward you. As dependable as this orbit may be, these people may occasionally let you down or just not always seem to be in tune with your feelings.

Next, we move out to Earth orbit. These people are your good friends. These are more casual, less intimate relationships, but solid, caring relationships nonetheless.
This orbit may contain associates from work, clubs or other activities, with whom you hang out occasionally. Clearly you get along with these people, even though your chemistry isn’t always in synch.

These innermost orbits represent your positive world of relating. This is not the case as we move to the outer orbits — Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and so on.
With the outer orbits, we have those who not only disappoint us, but, especially in the outermost orbits of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, may intentionally hurt, disrespect, or even abuse us. In these outermost orbits, you have zero expectations for any positive outcomes.

Do recognize that someone’s placement in a particular orbit is tentative. For example, a good friend at work — with whom you occasionally play golf, invite to your house for dinner, or even contemplate vacationing with — for no apparent reason tells your boss that you’ve been leaving work early for the last month. This person’s Earth-Orbit needs to be renegotiated. Since such a betrayal is not only inexplicable but potentially damaging, you have no choice but to move this person out an orbit or two (Mars or Saturn).

Note: Orbital placement is fluid. Based on real life experience, someone can sustain their current orbit, move to a closer orbit, or be placed in an outer orbit.

So, what can an understanding of Relationship Orbits do for you? For starters, you don’t ever have to be surprised, disappointed, or blindsided in a relationship again.
If you’ve placed someone in a Mars orbit, for example, you shouldn’t be shocked when they insult your accomplishments. This is what Mars people do! They occasionally need to bring you down. You can’t expect a Mars person to act like a Venus person (and vice versa).

A big problem for many people is recognizing that someone who has historically been in a close, inner orbit, doesn’t deserve to stay there anymore. For example, you repeatedly think, “she just keeps putting me down. I don’t understand it—she’s driving me crazy!”

In any relationship, if someone is chronically driving you crazy, it’s because they are in the wrong orbit, in which case you have expectations for them to be acting differently, right? So, if you expect a Venus person to be an ongoing positive, restorative influence in your life, and they continually drive you crazy, then something is wrong. They need an orbit adjustment.
Bottom line: Make a list of the people in your life. Decide which orbit each person fits into. Then, keep your expectations in line with each person’s orbit.

And by all means, if someone shows that they don’t deserve an inner orbit, move them outward. Once your relationships are assigned to their proper orbits, you’ll never have to be disappointed or confused again.

Dr. Joe Luciani has been a practicing clinical psychologist for more than 40 years. He’s the internationally bestselling author of the Self-Coaching series of books, now published in ten languages, which deal with anxiety, depression, and relationships. His latest book us, Unlearning Anxiety & Depression. He appears frequently on national TV, radio, and the Internet, and has also been featured in numerous national magazines and newspapers. Visit www.selfcoaching.net for more information.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

For me, winter is simply too quiet

For me, winter is simply too quiet

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It’s not the frigid weather or the darkness that bothers me about winter; it’s the silence, as if someone hit a mute button on life’s remote. Winter is too quiet, too lifeless, if only I could have one Mockingbird–just one–sitting outside my window singing its endless repertoire of different bird songs, I do believe that would make winter more manageable for me. What about you?

#anxiety #depression

A SELF-COACHING LAW

A SELF-COACHING LAW

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She made so angry!” “He got me upset!” No one can make you mad, upset, or angry…you have to allow them.

#anxiety #depression

Emotional struggle: it’s all about feeling out of control

Emotional struggle: it’s all about feeling out of control

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From a Self-Coaching perspective, emotional struggle—especially anxiety and depression—are the end result of a significant and chronic loss of control caused by one or more of the following:

● Adverse shaping influences (especially during your developmental years) that have molded your personality
● Excessive stress generated by trying to chronically over-control life
● Life challenges that overwhelm your controlling strategies
● Your general state of psychological and physiological resiliency

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Is Polarized Thinking sabotaging your weight loss?

Is Polarized Thinking sabotaging your weight loss?

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All-or-nothing, black-and-white thinking is a particularly dangerous fiction to employ. Essentially, it’s designed to protect you from the stress of dieting. When you use polarizing words like “always,” “never,” “can’t,” “too hard,” “no way,” and so forth, you’re actually giving yourself an out. Once you declare, “This diet is too hard. I can’t do it!”) and your thinking becomes polarized, you’re actually giving yourself permission to quit trying. If you stop trying, you will end your ambivalent struggle, but the sad fact remains: You will begin your regrets.

#diet #weightloss #permanentweightloss

Why do we torture ourselves? Time to Fight Back!

Why do we torture ourselves? Time to Fight Back!

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There’s an inner struggle we all experience, it’s when you know it’s a bad thing to worry, stress, or ruminate about things going wrong, but we do it anyway! Again, and again. Why do we go on torturing ourselves with endless doubt, fear, and negativity?

From a Self-Coaching perspective, insecurity sets us up to worry in a misguided attempt to find a way to feel more in control. Ironically, the opposite is true, worry only leads to further loss of control. Once you begin to slide down insecurity’s slippery slope, you become stuck in a habit that seems to have a life of its own. Once you realize that thoughts can NOT exist without your cooperation (be it active or passive cooperation), you’re in a position of taking your life back, one thought at a time.

Bottom line: just because you’ve become part of a habit of insecurity-driven thinking doesn’t mean you have to sit back and “become” your insecurity! Fight back! Stop being corrupted by emotional fictions of powerlessness or hopelessness. You’re not Powerless and there is ALWAYS hope! And that’s a fact!

#anxiety #depression

How to stop procrastinating

How to stop procrastinating

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Here’s a way to practice building your self-discipline muscle while eliminating your tendency to procrastinate. Starting today, look for examples where you may be procrastinating, postponing, or avoiding a task. For example, “I’ll do it later” (i.e., pay the bills, make that call, wash the dishes, floss, start a diet, and so on) For the sake of self-discipline muscle building, see these as opportunities.

The only way for you to learn that you are not powerless is to prove it. For this experiment, you will not accept any excuses. You must make it happen. Repeat, MUST! Keep in mind that procrastination is merely an indulgence that requires you to surrender. By injecting conscious intention you empower yourself.

Start off with easy physical challenges such as routine chores. As you gain confidence, use the same technique to make yourself choose to stop the more stubborn, knee-jerk, avoidant habits. Once you begin to recognize that you, not your habits of avoidance and procrastination are calling the shots, you’ll be in a position to understand a bigger truth–in all matters there is always a choice. You just have to get used to choosing to exert and assert your will. And while you’re at it, keep in mind, procrastination is an acquired habit. Start un-acquiring!

#anxiety #depression #procrastination

Understanding Social Anxiety Disorder

Understanding Social Anxiety Disorder

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Most people experience social fears and anxieties from time to time. And for most people these fears are mild and short-lived. But for someone suffering from a Social Anxiety Disorder, the fears and anxiety are anything but mild or transient. Simple things like eating or drinking in public, making eye contact while talking, or using a public bathroom can all become insurmountable challenges.

From a Self-Coaching perspective, a habit-loop of insecurity has created a profound state of self-distrust and loss of confidence. This distrust is so pervasive that one is forced to constantly monitor every action, always trying to access the social dangers of the moment. Everyday life can become a living hell as someone with social anxieties tries to navigate in a world where they feel constantly in the spotlight, where every act is scrutinized and judged by others.

Typical symptoms associated with Social Anxiety Disorder are:

● Anxiety about being exposed to possible scrutiny or judgment by others
● Anxiety that you will act in a way that will be humiliating or embarrassing
● Anxiety in most social situations
● Attempting to avoid social situations, but if endured, creating intense stress and anxiety
● Persistence of social fears, avoidance, and anxiety

#socialanxietydisorder #socialanxiety #anxiety

Every challenge is an opportunity

Every challenge is an opportunity

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Every challenge, no matter how small, is an opportunity to grow in self respect, confidence, and self-trust. Every setback, no matter how significant, is an opportunity to grow in self-respect, confidence and self-trust. In the grand scheme life, there should be no regrets, only appreciation for the opportunities to grow toward your full potential.

#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching

Why do we dream at night?

Why do we dream at night?

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Did you know that everyone dreams, every night? This is a biological fact. We know from dream research that during the course of the night there are periods of rapid eye movement (REM sleep) that occur when the sleeper is vividly dreaming. The only reason someone will tell you they don’t dream is because they don’t recall their dreams. Although there is much controversy as to the effects of dreaming on our waking lives, there does seem to be ample evidence that dreaming is involved in psychological “maintenance,” and emotional stability.

#dreams #anxiety #depression

Struggling with emotions? Try “de-focusing.”

Struggling with emotions? Try “de-focusing.”

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The reason why an anxious person gets caught up negative, ruminative, worrisome thinking is simply because they’re trying too hard to “figure out” how to handle the endless doubts, fears, and negative anticipations. I call this “over-thinking.” Over-thinking is a manifestation of insecurity and only fuels the problem, making you more and more anxious. The key isn’t trying harder; it’s learning not to try!

Try this experiment. Begin by “de-focusing” your thoughts and re-focusing on your unfolding moment–whatever you’re doing–listen, feel, see, breath, but DON’T think or judge, simply participate with full attention.

Pretend that you’re a video camera, simply recording every external nuance and detail in your environment. This simple exercise will help you begin to detach from (and break the cycle of) ruminative anxiety (a.k.a., over-thinking). Do this and you’ll be teaching yourself something very important, i.e., anxiety -over-thinking is worrying about future events, liberation and solace is learning to be “present.”

#anxiety #depression #overthinking

Applying your will power

Applying your will power

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