Self-Coaching Blog

(Podcast) Frustrated with your life? It may be your attitude.

(Podcast) Frustrated with your life? It may be your attitude.

In this episode, I discuss why your attitude affects not only how you see the world, but also how the world sees you. Did you know that people with positive attitudes are seen as being physically more attractive than people with negative attitudes? It’s a fact! It’s also a fact that attitudes are learned and attitudes can be “unlearned.” Understand that neither the optimist nor the pessimist knows what tomorrow will bring, but the optimist, by embracing a positive attitude, lives in a passionate world of unending possibilities while the pessimist lives in a world of unending dread. Isn’t it time that you stop being passive to reflexive, knee-jerk attitudes that generate emotional friction and struggle? Isn’t it time that you reclaim the life you want—the life you deserve?
How to get out of a depressed mood

How to get out of a depressed mood

When caught in a depressed mood, it’s tempting to feel that life is too hard, that you can’t go on. It’s this type of thinking that winds up feeding and sustaining the mood. Consider trying this: do nothing! All too often we go to battle with our negative, spiraling thoughts. We beat ourselves up, which only adds fuel to the dark mood. Instead, next time you’re in a slump of negativity, don’t engage in debate, guilt, or self recrimination–in essence, don’t resist, simply yield. Just allow yourself to ride out the mood with the understanding and conviction that, ‘this too shall pass.’ The key is not to get caught up in a dance with your depressed thoughts. The more you ruminate, worry, or antagonize yourself, the more you feed the mood instead of starving it. By letting it go, turning away, distracting yourself and not engaging a mood with persistent doubts, fears, or negatives, the more you allow yourself to reduce psychological friction while ensuring that you don’t become a victim of your mood. #depression #anxiety #depressedmood  
It’s time to restart your life

It’s time to restart your life

Be honest, do you really want to turn your life around? If so, then do what you can today to stop indulging hesitations, doubts, fears, and negative thinking. Do this with whatever means are at your disposal, no matter where you are in life and no matter how challenging the task. In other words, today is a perfect day to restart your life. Anything else is just an excuse.   #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching    
Mindfulness Monday interview

Mindfulness Monday interview

A great INTERVIEW talking about Unlearning Anxiety & Depression with a mindfulness focus
You don’t need permission

You don’t need permission

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 don’t need permission! #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
Your potential for happiness

Your potential for happiness

As a child I believed that stars appeared every night and disappeared each day. Now I know that stars don’t disappear, they’re merely obscured each day by the light of day. Your potential for happiness and fulfillment, like the stars in the firmament, is an ever-present possibility, but sometimes obscured, not by daylight, but by misdirected goals, insecurity and self-doubt. Your potential for happiness, like the stars, is always there. Even when obscured, if you look hard enough you’ll see life’s twinkling stars.
Take a look at my astro-photo…your potential is just as vast– embrace it!
Feel like you’re plodding against life’s stream?

Feel like you’re plodding against life’s stream?

Life is like a stream with a swift current running through it. With pessimism we plod against the force of the current, feeling the endless resistance of the water pushing against us. With optimism, we flow with the current, feeling the endless energy and buoyancy of the water. In a stream, why would anyone choose to go against the current? In life, why would you choose to go against simply letting life unfold…without doubts, fears and negatives? Why indeed! #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching  
A simple Self-Coaching exercise that will change your emotional life

A simple Self-Coaching exercise that will change your emotional life

Regardless of your current belief or struggle, periodically during each day practice optimism, i.e., allow yourself to believe that everything you need to have a happy and successful life, you already possess. You don’t have to believe it. Just permit yourself to relax and accept this fundamental notion—even if it’s only for a few seconds at first. Don’t fight it! You can expect a struggle from your traditional doubts, fears, and hesitations, but for now, accept it “as-if” it’s true. The important thing in this drill is to begin feeling what it’s like to be empowered and not victimized by life. Your brain will register this feeling and as you progress, you might be surprised at the lasting changes in your mood and your life. #anxietyhelp #depressionhelp #selfcoaching
Want happiness? Stop thinking like a Caterpillar

Want happiness? Stop thinking like a Caterpillar

  Caterpillars are compelled to laboriously crawl through life, inch by inch. If caterpillars could feel, perhaps they would be quite depressed. How different the caterpillar’s life would be If they could know about the liberated, butterfly life that lies ahead. How different your life will be if you live with optimistic expectations that one day you too will fly. #depressionhelp #anxietyhelp #selfcoaching  
Do you really want to be happy?

Do you really want to be happy?

Whether or not you’re a perfectionist or simply too hard on yourself, no matter what you say or think, you can never give more than your best effort (How can you possibly do better than your best?). So, if you happen to be too focused on your goals, beware! The key to genuine happiness is learning NOT to embrace the best outcome, but to embrace your best effort. #happiness #anxiety #depression
No one can be happy all the time, right?

No one can be happy all the time, right?

As much as we’d like to stay forever happy, alas, happiness is…fleeting. Which is why you need to savor those precious moments where you are in synch with your world, where you are separate from your insecurities and anticipations. Although happiness can come and go, one thing is certain, the more you occupy yourself with living in the moment rather than in the abstract worrisome future or regrettable past, the more you can insist on being happy, if not all of the time, at least most of the time. #happy #happiness #depression  
Is self-doubt crippling your life?

Is self-doubt crippling your life?

“I’m not sure I can handle that.” “I don’t think I’m good enough.” Self-doubt is a form of control intended to protect you from…life! Self-doubt can easily become a psychological cancer that erodes both confidence and motivation. It’s living life with one foot on the gas, one foot on the brake—frozen with insecurities. The solution is simple: a willingness to risk believing in yourself. #selfdoubt #anxiety #depression
Tenacity, the key to your success

Tenacity, the key to your success

Talk about tenacity, Thomas Edison tried sixty thousand different filaments before he succeeded with the light bulb. Sixty thousand! What do you think would have happened if on trial 59,999 he said, “The hell with this get me a candle”? In the end, psychological resiliency and tenacity will always prevail.   #success #tenacity #depressionisreal  
Why you don’t have to know “why” you’re struggling.

Why you don’t have to know “why” you’re struggling.

There’s no question that understanding the historical reasons for your emotional struggles can offer some valuable perspective. But from a Self-Coaching perspective, understanding the “why” you suffer, as enlightening and helpful as it may be, isn’t as important as the “what” you’re going to do about it. If, for example, you’re trying to quit smoking cigarettes, do you think it matters why you took that first cigarette? Of course not. Same goes for challenging the “habits” of anxiety and depression, understanding alone won’t do a thing to help you break your habit. Learning to starve incessant doubt, fear, and negativity is what will. #anxietyhelp #depressionhelp #selfcoaching
What’s keeping you from your happiness goals?

What’s keeping you from your happiness goals?

It’s been said that the distance between success and failure can only be measured by one’s desire. And yet desire alone, if not coupled with action, will remain simply a yearning. Are you yearning for what you want? Or are you moving toward what you want?   #happiness #anxiety #depression
Seize the day, put no trust in tomorrow.

Seize the day, put no trust in tomorrow.

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? Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero   #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
Are you a procrastinator?

Are you a procrastinator?

“I’ll do it later,” “Not now, I’m busy,” why do you think we spend so much time procrastinating? One reason is because 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?   #procrastination #anxiety #depression
Ho-hum life? Try this

Ho-hum life? Try this

When you pursue something with passion you’re rewarded with an intense, compelling experience. If, on the other hand, you approach life with a one-foot-in-one-foot-out distracted outlook, expect a bland life. Instead, take the plunge, both feet in, totally involved and committed to what you do—this is passion. #passion #anxiety #depression
You’re a survival machine, so how about some self-trust?

You’re a survival machine, so how about some self-trust?

What exactly is self-trust? From a Self-Coaching perspective, it’s a willingness to risk believing that you can handle life’s challenges. That doesn’t sound so difficult or complicated, right? It may sound simple, but if I were to tell you to go ahead and stop worrying about your finances, ruminating about the fact that you’re getting older, or that your headache isn’t brain cancer, do you think you can simply stop? Probably not, but with a bit of self-trust you can begin to learn to live more “responsively,” allowing life to unfold without trying to anticipate or control it, with the conviction that you can and will handle what comes your way.
Hard to even imagine such an unburdened life, huh? That’s okay, starting today, simply begin taking that leap of faith and begin to believe that you can handle life as it unfolds. After all, you’re a survival machine who has handled countless problems and challenges to date—and you made it this far! What’s to say you won’t handle today’s challenges…spontaneously, in the moment, without the anticipatory anxiety of wringing your what-iffing hands of self-distrust?
#selftrust #anxiety #depression
Life doesn’t have to be complicated

Life doesn’t have to be complicated

From a Self-Coaching perspective, it’s important to recognize that it’s not life that’s 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. And while you’re at it, smell a few roses.   #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
Shhh! Here’s the secrete for a successful life

Shhh! Here’s the secrete for a successful life

A reader from China emailed me asking what was the secret of success. I responded: The secret to a successful life is that it’s not a secret. Risk believing in yourself, value yourself, be willing to endure discomfort in order to achieve, and never fall prey to negativity. Cultivate optimism, do not dwell in doubt, and manage your fears. Most importantly, trust that you will find you need.   #successfullife #anxiety #selfcoaching
Good intentions aren’t enough

Good intentions aren’t enough

When it comes to reaching goals in life, be warned by the adage: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Good intentions without “good” actions remain nothing more than cobble stones on that road to procrastination hell. It all boils down to willpower, which is the ability to transform intentions into actions. Stop thinking and start doing!   #anxietybook #depressionbook #selfcoaching
Why we torture ourselves

Why we torture ourselves

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!
#anxietyhelp #depressionhelp #selfcoaching
Question: what’s the difference between an optimist and a pessimist? Answer: happiness!

Question: what’s the difference between an optimist and a pessimist? Answer: happiness!

Neither one knows what tomorrow will bring, but the optimist, by embracing positive expectations, lives in a passionate world of unending possibilities while the pessimist lives in a world of unending anticipation of chaos. Yup, no one knows the future, but your perception of the future will change what you feel now, today! What world do you live in?   #anxiety #depression #optimism #selfcoaching
After COVID, will it be a new “abnormal?”

After COVID, will it be a new “abnormal?”

I’m a big fan of Darwin. You know, survival of the fittest? Essentially, according to Darwin (as I interpret him), as our environment changes, some species accidentally show genetic mutations that are better suited to survive these changes. Got that? Okay, now let’s apply it to our present, COVID environment. Clearly, our “environment” has been drastically changed; people who fled the cities in April were forced to figure out a new model for working remotely. Shopping malls along with neighborhood brick-and-mortar stores remain dark. Face coverings that seemed weird at first are now mainstream. We’ve adapted.
Yes, this is an evolutionary shift, but the question remains, when COVID is in our rearview mirror (my lips to god’s ears, huh?) and we return to what I call a new “abnormal,” how much of our previous lives will be restored? Will people move back into the cities to resume business, will we once again cherish our malls and shopping centers, will we become less dependent on YouTube, podcasts, and cable TV daring instead to venture out to a crowded theater? Or, are we now adapted—evolved— to a life defined by the word “remote?” I hate to throw shade on the prospects of a better tomorrow rooted in remote, Internet-dependent living, but perhaps we should consider that before we abandon our past way of life too quickly, it might be wise to keep in mind that the Internet isn’t immune to another type of pandemic—a virtual one. #postCOVID #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
Everyone gets depressed, right?

Everyone gets depressed, right?

If you tell someone that you’re feeling depressed, they’ll no doubt understand what you’re talking about. Feeling empty, sad, down-in-the-dumps, worthless, or just plain blah are often commonly experienced with depression. The dictionary generically defines depression as a “pressing down,” which is precisely what the emotions associated with depression feel like—a weight on your shoulders, an overwhelming feeling of dread and hopelessness that presses down on you, making life difficult if not impossible. The reason everyone understands what depression feels like is because we’ve all, from one time or another, felt depressed. Feeling depressed is often a normal, albeit difficult, part of being human in a world of struggles, setbacks, and loss. But the depression we feel when pressed down in response to challenging life circumstances is quite different from what is commonly referred to as a clinical or major depression.
A clinical/major depression refers to a severe, life altering depression. Although its symptoms might be identical to the grief experienced after the death of a loved one or a depression in response to dire circumstantial events (financial disaster, divorce, etc.), clinical depression is mostly differentiated by the persistent, self-generated nature of such suffering. #depression #anxiety #depressed
Why you don’t have to live with emotional struggle

Why you don’t have to live with emotional struggle

Anxiety and depression may not be addictions, but addiction-like, they are capable of becoming entrenched habits that mold and shape your emotions, your chemistry, and your actual brain anatomy. Fortunately, our “plastic” brain is quite capable of forming new neuronal pathways, replacing old destructive habits with more adaptive, healthy ones. It’s this plasticity that enables me to tell you that, with proper self-coached training (i.e., learning how to stop insecurity from habitually flooding our minds with ruminative doubt, fear, and negativity), you don’t have to go on living with emotional struggle. #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
Stop being a victim of anxiety and depression

Stop being a victim of anxiety and depression

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! #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
Stop whining and start getting your priorities straight!

Stop whining and start getting your priorities straight!

Ever hear yourself saying, “I just don’t have time to relax (exercise, eat properly, etc.)? After all, it’s not your fault you don’t have enough time to take better care of yourself. Right? Wrong! Think again, lack of time isn’t the problem, it’s an excuse! Truth is, it’s rarely about never having time, it’s always about priorities! Change your priorities and watch the magic.   #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching  
Do you have a hard time falling asleep?

Do you have a hard time falling asleep?

Patients complain about ruminative, worry-thoughts that haunt them preventing restful sleep and causing anxiety. Chet Raymo writes: “The night is the beginning of terror, as every child knows. Who is not afraid of the dark? The gods are creatures of daylight. The gods work nine to five. At night we are on our own.” Perhaps this is the answer. At night, “we are on our own,” meaning that 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 unresolved doubts, fears, and negatives that percolate up at night.
These are the things that make us feel out of control. Relationship discord, a medical issue, or fear of losing a job, these are the demons of the night. Perhaps the best we can do, as the dawn arrives, is to recognize that these issues need to be addressed and not left buried for tomorrow night’s anxieties.
#anxiety #depression #sleepdifficulty
What happened to life’s wonder and magic?

What happened to life’s wonder and magic?

Remember when you were a child and everything seemed possible? Why do we grow up and become sober to life’s wonder and magic? If not cynical? The answer is rather straight forward: The child knows how to ‘be’ while the adult winds up ‘thinking’ about being. Is it possible to experience life’s wonder and magic again? Yes, once you realize the extraordinary power of simply being in the moment rather than mindlessly allowing yourself to become hijacked by excessive contemplation, rumination, or worry. Starting today, with awareness, begin to liberate yourself– especially from insecurity-driven thinking (i.e., doubt, fear, and negativity)—giving yourself a chance to once again experience a bit of life’s magic? Bottom line: think less, be more.   #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
End emotional suffering

End emotional suffering

  • It’s user friendly. Self-Coaching from its very inception was designed to minimize the dependency of a patient on his or her therapist.
  • The concepts make common sense. You don’t need a Ph.D. to understand what’s going on and what you need to do to progress.
  • By treating anxiety, depression, and emotional struggle as habits, you eliminate the need for endless interpretations. You learn what you’re doing that feeds these habits and what you can do to starve them.
  • By learning specific exercises that require active practice, you actually restructure your brain. Old brain-habits are neutralized (unlearned), and new positive habits are established.
  • And now, two words that will change your life—Insecurity and Control. Here’s the Cliff Note on Insecurity and control: once you understand that insecurity is the source of your suffering and that trying to compensate by (over) controlling life is your neurotic remedy, you will begin to see that anxiety, depression, worry, compulsion, phobias, and even addictions are all feeble attempts to ward off vulnerability in a world where self-trust, confidence, and hope have been compromised.
Are you serious about wanting a happier life?

Are you serious about wanting a happier life?

  1.  Always do the best you can. Nothing more, nothing less.
  2.  Never, ever, criticize your efforts.
  3. Learn to celebrate and appreciate your efforts rather than your successes.
  Do this and you’ll be guaranteeing ongoing, sustained motivation that will see you through whatever life throws at you. Motivation is happiness’s fuel. #anxiety #depression #happiness
Who are your real enemies?

Who are your real enemies?

Whatever your goals, whatever you want to achieve in life, recognize that anything that stands between you and your goal is your enemy. Whether it’s fear, doubt, negativity, laziness, or procrastination—these are the enemies to your intentions and well-being. Starting today, be willing to fight the good fight! Nothing more, nothing less. You deserve it. #anxiety #depression #goals
Struggling? Maybe you need to find your “action-trigger.”

Struggling? Maybe you need to find your “action-trigger.”

Thinking and doing. Two words as far apart as lightning and a lightning bug. How many times have you “thought” about getting in shape, losing weight, or reading that self-help book on your shelf, 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
If you take pride in being able to multi-task—DON’T!

If you take pride in being able to multi-task—DON’T!

Our hectic, high pressure world seems to reward multi-taskers. There is however, a down size to squeezing more and more into your day-to-day life. Multi-taskers are prone to inheriting a fractured, stressful, life. Today, rather than doing your usual juggling, try doing less. Just keep in mind that whatever you do, do it with full attention, complete awareness, and a focused heart. You, may not accomplish every task, but you will have lived a less stressful, more fulfilling day. When it comes to happiness, sometimes, less is more. #anxiety #depression #multitasking
What you need to know about guilt

What you need to know about guilt

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.
#guilt #anxiety #depression
Active Mind, Passive Mind

Active Mind, Passive Mind

Only by taking an active-mind stance, recognizing that insecurity-driven thinking will own you if you remain passive, will you be in a position to reclaim the life you want and the life you deserve. Begin by asking the question: Am I feeding the fictions of insecurity (“the what-ifs”) or am I starving them? It’s a matter of facts versus emotional fictions. Stick with the verifiable facts of your life, not the projections of insecurity. And while  you’re at it, remind yourself that feelings aren’t facts!
How to UN-complicate your life

How to UN-complicate your life

There’s an old saying that Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. From a Self-Coaching perspective, it’s important to recognize that it’s not necessarily life that’s 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. That’s it! Whatever you do, just do it–chop wood, carry water. In other words, keep it simple.
Our friends in Alcoholics Anonymous have a wonderful slogan called KISS: keep it simple stupid. Kinda says it all, huh? #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
Life got you down? Maybe you need an escape.

Life got you down? Maybe you need an escape.

Every day around lunch time I jog past my neighborhood’s little league field. And every day I notice five or six landscaping trucks congregated around the park. These landscapers are hardworking, mostly Hispanic men trying to etch out a living. And every day, during their lunch break they bring out two orange traffic cones to mark off the goal of a would-be soccer field. After finishing up their lunch, the game begins.
What I sense is that all their morning’s back-breaking work becomes non-existent—the only thing that matters is the game. As if someone threw a switch, these bedraggled men awaken as joyful children, living in a momentary escape. They are totally present, no past no future, just the game. Whatever your circumstances, recognize that, if you look hard enough, there may be a soccer game that you can join and experience something quite profound and liberating. #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
Why do we find change so hard?

Why do we find change so hard?

We live in a world where change is inevitable. We can’t prevent change, but we certainly can influence how we allow ourselves to be affected by it. Alas, as much as we might prefer it, very few things in life don’t change. Well, even that’s not true, in time ALL things eventually change (second law of thermodynamics) The psychological question is, why do we find change so hard? According to Self-Coaching, human beings like the security the comes from predictability. Change introduces a state of insecurity/uncertainty as we strive to adapt to that change. Until a new status quo is achieved, change can often produce profound anxiety until that change becomes the new normal. #anxiety #depression #change  
Why are some people jealous?

Why are some people jealous?

Jealousy is about control. On the surface, it’s an attempt to control one’s partner from falling prey to someone else’s advances. The underlying reason is insecurity. An insecure, low self-esteem person has an unconscious expectation that they are going to be rejected. It’s this fear that ignites jealousy and a need to control. Obviously, jealousy is a cancer to any relationship because there is a refusal (or inability) to trust on the part of the jealous partner—that just feels too risky (thus, the need to control). Because of low self-esteem and an expectation of abandonment, the jealous partner—no matter how compliant the non-jealous partner—can never be satisfied. He or she will ask, “Where are you going?” “Who did you talk to?” “Why did you smile at him/her?” and so on. Since the jealous partner is missing the point, (i.e., the need to develop more self-trust and a self-esteem), jealousy will often go untreated leading to the cause of many relationship catastrophes. #jealousy #anxiety #depression
Can’t lose weight? Who are you kidding!

Can’t lose weight? Who are you kidding!

Since there’s always a grain of truth to rationalizations (a.k.a., excuses), they can be quite deceptive. But when you hold these rationalizations 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, you can make time to shop, and you are just being lazy), but burying your head in the sands of denial, on the other hand, will only accomplish one thing: It will guarantee failure #weightloss #diet #selfcoaching
Why you don’t have to fear getting older

Why you don’t have to fear getting older

Depending on your age you might, as I did in my youth, see getting older as a curse. Whatever your age, you should know that age isn’t all about winding down, not really. Of course, the body reacts differently to gravity and physical challenges become more common, but that’s to be expected, the mind, however, well, that’s a totally different story! With age and experience, we become capable of soaring to new heights of understanding and connecting to our world. We understand more what it means to be human, to be vulnerable,and we understand that the differences we once felt for our enemies are not as black and white as we once thought. We become more humble and less driven by impulse—more by a deeper desire to connect rather than to disconnect.
But, of course there is a “but.” This only happens when you give up your adolescent perceptions of life and begin to embrace your real maturity—carpe vitae #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
What I learned at the cemetery

What I learned at the cemetery

I saw a tombstone the other day inscribed with the years, 1920 – 1999. It occurred to me that neither the birth date (1920) nor the death date (1999) mattered much. What mattered was the dash inscribed between these dates. You see, it’s the dash that represents the life that was once lived. When you were born or when you die aren’t nearly as important as what you’re doing with your dash-years!   #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
What exactly is successful living?

What exactly is successful living?

Without question success is a wonderful thing, but let’s not forget that success is a relative term. As anyone who has ever reached a desired goal in life knows—success is transient. You celebrate a victory today and tomorrow invariably presents new challenges. If you’re looking for something more enduring, realize that simply reaching your goals is only part of the picture. Appreciating your ongoing efforts and intentions, fighting the good fight, staying involved in your own evolution—now that’s successful living! Let’s redefine success, not only by reaching goals, but by learning to live in harmony with your intentions. Do this and every day becomes a blue-ribbon day! #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
Stop living in fear

Stop living in fear

Meteorites occasionally hit the earth, but you don’t go around wearing a hard hat. Live your life, stop anticipating chaos. If you must ask another, “What-if” question, try this on for size, “What-if” you could risk living more courageously rather than living in chronic anticipatory fear? What if, huh? #anxiety #depression #fear
Is self-doubt ruining your life?

Is self-doubt ruining your life?

“I’m not sure I can handle that.” “I don’t think I’m good enough.” Self-doubt is a form of control intended to protect you from…life! Self-doubt can easily become a psychological cancer that erodes both confidence and motivation. It’s living life with one foot on the gas, one foot on the brake—frozen with insecurities. The solution is simple: a willingness to risk believing in yourself. #anxiety #selfdoubt #depression  
“Responsive” living, your answer to a life of struggle

“Responsive” living, your answer to a life of struggle

Starting today, see if you can be more “responsive” to life. It can be simple things. For example, not rehearsing how you’ll tell your neighbor that his dog is using your yard as a toilet, or not worrying about what “might” happen if you lose your job. Instead, do nothing! Risk letting these and other situations come to you rather than mentally going to them. Let life present itself to you. You’ll find out that you won’t let yourself down. I know it will feel risky, which is why I suggest you start with simple things, low impact challenges that begin to demonstrate that, lo and behold, you really can handle life on the fly. Bottom line: self-trust and Responsive Living all comes down to a willingness to believe in yourself and your resourcefulness to handle life’s challenges. #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
Want to be happy? Try this Self-Coaching technique.

Want to be happy? Try this Self-Coaching technique.

One thing I’ve learned from my studies in neuroplasticity (i.e., how learning changes the anatomy of the brain) is that in order to change a brain-habit you must practice a new behavior (being happy, for example). And if you don’t know how to be happy, simply act “as-if” you’re happy. Do this for 15 minutes a day, more if you like. Give it a shot, you’ve got nothing to lose, except your unhappiness. #happiness #anxiety #depression
When it’s okay to be selfish

When it’s okay to be selfish

When it comes to putting our needs ahead of others, we often wind up feeling that we’re being selfish. If doing something restorative, like going for a walk, taking a yoga class or simply taking a time out, leaves you with a case of the “guilts,” then it’s time to realize that there needs to be a new word to describe healthy, restorative care of ourselves. The word selfish is typically used to describe egocentric, narcissistic striving, but what’s a word for healthy selfishness? The best word I can come up with is self-respect. #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
What’s really important

What’s really important

You may have heard it said that if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it. This notion needs to be challenged. BIG TIME! From a Self-Coaching perspective, the key to success and happiness isn’t striving for the best “outcome,” it’s recognizing the need to embrace your best “effort.” Truth is, you can never give more than your best effort. It would be like a runner who says, I did my best and ran that race as fast as could, but I should have run faster! This poor bloke is destined to feel like a failure. The key to genuine happiness is learning to embrace your best effort. #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
The secret to a successful life

The secret to a successful life

  The secret to a successful life is that it’s not a secret. Risk believing in yourself, value yourself, be willing to endure discomfort in order to achieve, and never fall prey to negativity. Cultivate optimism, do not dwell in doubt, and manage your fears. Most importantly, trust that you will find you need.   #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
Anxiety is like a festering wound

Anxiety is like a festering wound

Why you should be more optimistic

Why you should be more optimistic

Neither the optimist nor the pessimist knows the future, but I’m sure you’ll agree, the optimist lives a much happier life in the moment than the pessimist. Go ahead, take a leap of faith, be optimistic! You’ve got everything to gain. Think of life as a stream with a swift current running through it. With pessimism we plod against the force of the current, feeling the endless resistance of the water pushing against us. With optimism, we flow with the current, feeling the endless energy and buoyancy of the water. Why would anyone choose to go against the current? Why indeed! #optimism #anxiety #depression
JUST RELEASED: MIND TALK STEP TWO Stopping Needless Worrying

JUST RELEASED: MIND TALK STEP TWO Stopping Needless Worrying

I just finished rendering Step 2. You can now watch MIND TALK’S step one and two on Youtube. Step 3 will be following shortly….stay tuned.
It’s time to restart your life

It’s time to restart your life

Be honest, do you really want to turn your life around? If so, then, starting today, do whatever you can to stop indulging your doubts, fears, and negative thinking. Do this with whatever means are at your disposal, no matter where you are in life and no matter how challenging the task. In other words, today is a perfect day to restart your life!   #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
Why Self-Coaching to eliminate emotional struggle

Why Self-Coaching to eliminate emotional struggle

1.) It’s user friendly. Self-Coaching from its very inception was designed to minimize the dependency of a patient on his or her therapist. 2.) The concepts make common sense. You don’t need a Ph.D. to understand what’s going on and what you need to do to progress. 3.) By treating anxiety, depression, and emotional struggle as habits, you eliminate the need for endless interpretations. You learn what you’re doing that feeds these habits and what you can do to starve them. 4.) By learning specific exercises that require active practice, you actually restructure your brain. Old brain-habits are neutralized (unlearned), and new positive habits are established. 5.) And now, two words that will change your life—Insecurity and Control.
Here’s the Cliff Note on Insecurity and control: once you understand that insecurity is the source of your suffering and that trying to compensate by (over) controlling life is your neurotic remedy, you will begin to see that anxiety, depression, worry, compulsion, phobias, and even addictions are all feeble attempts to ward off vulnerability in a world where self-trust, confidence, and hope have been compromised.
#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
Taking action: Stop being a victim of emotional struggle

Taking action: Stop being a victim of emotional struggle

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!   #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
Why I usually don’t eat fish on Fridays

Why I usually don’t eat fish on Fridays

When I was a kid growing up Catholic we weren’t allowed to eat fish on Friday’s. It was a sin.To this day, fish just don’t seem to taste as good on Fridays. I realize that habits are learned and habits can be broken, but habits that operate just under the radar can affect you as they follow you through life. In your case, watch out for those subtle, reflexive habits that may have been neurotically imprinted. For example, a faulty, historical perception that you’re not okay or you’ll never be happy. Challenge emotional fictions with here-and-now facts. And if you happen to be eating fish this Friday, enjoy! #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
Is the Desire for Control, Controlling Your Life?

Is the Desire for Control, Controlling Your Life?

Imagine growing up in a protected courtyard enclosed on all sides by twenty-foot-high stone walls. Let us also imagine that from birth, you never ventured beyond your four walls. Your only perceptions would be your walls; the sky above; the rhythmic transits of the sun, moon, and stars; occasionally some rain or snow; visitations from a few curious local birds; and an occasional leaf carried by the wind. If I asked you what you thought about life, you might shrug your shoulders and insist that the world is an altogether dull place without much opportunity. You might go on to report that you feel quite safe and secure, but lament the lack of passion or interest in your life. You wouldn’t forget to tell me of your interminable boredom, which at times seems almost unbearable. But mostly, I would suspect, you’d be anguishing over the loneliness and lack of intimacy in your life.
In a stone-walled courtyard, none of your above reporting would be false; it would be a reality dictated by the circumstances of your enclosure. It wouldn’t be fair to say that your reality is distorted. It’s just limited. This limited, courtyard view is exactly what insecurity does to your life. It narrows your field of view and leaves you convinced that the world is a place with few choices, a place where you’re a prisoner–confined and helpless. There’s a whole world of choice just beyond your courtyard of reflexive, insecure thinking. I’m certain of one thing: once you leave your prison of controlled, insecure living (worrying, ruminating, perfectionism, doubting, distrusting, etc.), you’ll never return.
#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
A simple key to a Successful life

A simple key to a Successful life

Are you “addicted” to anxiety or depression?

Are you “addicted” to anxiety or depression?

Anxiety and depression may not be addictions, but addiction-like, they are capable of becoming entrenched habits that mold and shape your emotions, your chemistry, and your actual brain structure. Fortunately, our “plastic” brain is quite capable of forming new neuronal pathways, replacing old destructive habits with more adaptive, healthy ones. It’s this plasticity that enables me to tell you that, with proper self-coached training (i.e., learning how to stop insecurity from habitually flooding our minds with ruminative doubt, fear, and negativity), you don’t have to go on living with emotional struggle.   #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
Are my compulsions normal or neurotic?

Are my compulsions normal or neurotic?

Whether it’s your bedtime ritual each night, your shower in the morning, or brushing your teeth, we all have repetitive habits that we might loosely call “compulsive.” These habits simply make our world feel more in sync—in control. Just try to skip taking that shower or not brushing your teeth and see if you find yourself fidgeting a bit. We are, after all, creatures of habit. Unfortunately, our inherent nature to form habits is indiscriminate, habits can be positive contributors to our lives or they can be the fuel for anxiety or depression.
For our purpose of Self-Coaching, what’s important is to differentiate normal from 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, that which leaves us feeling vulnerable and helpless, looks to gain control by ritualistically repeating any behavior that quells the gnawing discomfort within. Many addictions and destructive habits fall into this category, however, there is a lot of gray. At the very least, try to differentiate the “have-tos” in your life from the “want-tos.” [Excerpted from, Unlearning Anxiety & Depression] #compulsive #anxiety #depression
MIND TALK STEP ONE (video)

MIND TALK STEP ONE (video)

This is the first of three VIDEOS explaining my powerful technique called Mind Talk that will teach you to “unlearn” anxiety and depression. Mind Talk is part of the overall Self-Coaching program found in my book, “Unlearning Anxiety & Depression: the 4-Step Self-Coaching program to reclaim your life.”    
With hope you will find your way

With hope you will find your way

“I can’t do this, it’s too hard.” Thus, speaks the voice of insecurity, which is the voice of despair and defeat. When everything in you is telling you to give up and quit, you have only one ally—hope. From a Self-Coaching perspective, hope is the expectation of relief and/or resolution. Granted, 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 your circumstances, if you take the leap, at the very least your struggles will no longer own you.   #hope #anxiety #depression
Be in charge of your happiness

Be in charge of your happiness

True happiness is an incorruptible attitude that exists independent of life’s circumstances. Living a fulfilled, happy life isn’t something you wish for–it’s something you choose! Starting today, regardless of what goes on around you, recognize that you and you alone make the decision as to what kind of day it will be. You’re in charge, BE in charge! #happiness #anxiety #depression
Why you need to treat anxiety and depression as addictions

Why you need to treat anxiety and depression as addictions

Insecurity, which is the core of all anxiety of depression, needs to be treated like an addiction. Take, for example, a cigarette smoker addicted to nicotine. If they allow “one “or “two” cigarettes a day, their habit will persist (if not grow stronger). Habits, all habits, are either reinforced or starved. If you struggle with anxiety or depression, you have a substantial habit of insecurity (addiction to worrisome fears, doubts, or negatives). You feed it constantly by your neurotic doubts, fears, and negativity. It’s important to recognize that insecurity is, in fact, like an addiction…and you must begin to separate yourself from this rather knee-jerk capitulation. It’s all about insecurity (a.k.a., habituated feelings of vulnerability). Unfortunately, most insecurities are long standing habits and will be resistant to change. But take heart in the notion that all habits are learned and all habits can be broken—even habits of anxiety and depression. It will feel unnatural at first to resist your fears, but do keep in mind that you are not your insecurity. Insecurity is an overlay to your inviolate personality.   #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
Neurotic thoughts

Neurotic thoughts

Unlearning Anxiety & Depression #1 Amazon bestseller
Why it’s important to exercise your brain

Why it’s important to exercise your brain

Like your body, your mind requires proper exercise. Just like doing reps at a gym, every time you fight off a doubt, fear or negative thought and replace it with hope, courage or self-trust, you’re developing muscle–mind muscle! And make no mistake; strength of mind precedes all happiness, success and well-being. #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
What’s holding you back?

What’s holding you back?

Bumble bees are not supposed to fly. Their body weighs too much and their wingspan is too short. Thank goodness the bumble bee doesn’t know these facts. What are the supposed “facts” that are holding you back? #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
Love vs. infatuation, what’s the difference?

Love vs. infatuation, what’s the difference?

As you can imagine, it’s not uncommon for someone to seek therapy when they begin an extramarital affair.  Sometimes long-term marriages and relationships are seen as nothing more than an impediment to this wonderful romantic opportunity, “Doc, I’m in love! For the first time in years I feel alive. She (he) is perfect…everything I’ve been looking for all my life.” As the marital reality wilts, the infatuated romance blossoms. There’s a recklessness to infatuations, an impulsivity demanding an all-or-nothing solution like running off into the sunset and never looking back–family, friends, children, be damned. Can an infatuation be considered love? I wrote this ARTICLE in an attempt to clarify the difference.
Life got you down? Here are 3 ways to overcome feeling powerless

Life got you down? Here are 3 ways to overcome feeling powerless

Seems like this ARTICLE that I wrote for the New York Daily News is applicable to our current struggle with COVID19
3 Steps to staying motivated

3 Steps to staying motivated

When struggling with a life challenge there’s a simple three-step, Self-Coaching strategy that will help: 1.) do the best you can (FYI: You can’t do better than your best!)
2.) never, ever, criticize your efforts 3.) learn to celebrate your efforts rather than your successes Do this and you’ll be guaranteeing ongoing, sustained motivation that will see you through whatever life throws at you. Motivation is happiness’s fuel
Do you suffer from “tunnel vision?”

Do you suffer from “tunnel vision?”

A happy life starts with perspective–a wide angle perspective! When you become victimized by anxious thoughts or depressed moods, your perspective narrows. We call this loss of perspective tunnel vision–the inability to see the bigger picture. Next time you find yourself in a tunnel vision world, recognize that there’s always an expansive, optimistic view at the end of the tunnel. Whatever it takes, you need to drive toward the light. Just because you don’t see it (yet) doesn’t mean the wide-angle perspective isn’t there.
#anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
Choosing not to suffer

Choosing not to suffer

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

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

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.

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

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?

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

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

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?

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?

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?

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

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

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”

  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”

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

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
Why we give up

Why we give up

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

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?

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!

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

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?

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?

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
The best way to adapt to our stressful times

The best way to adapt to our stressful times

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

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

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?

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?

“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

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”

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

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

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!

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?

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?

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

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

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?

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!

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

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?

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?

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

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)

I invented the first emojis over forty years ago, check out my article here  
COVID19–Stop restricting your mind

COVID19–Stop restricting your mind

“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?

“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

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

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

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!

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?

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

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

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?

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

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
Make this a good day

Make this a good day

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?

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

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

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?

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

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

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.

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?

“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

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!

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?

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!

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

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?

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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?

.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.

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?

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?”

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?

“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

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!

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

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?

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?

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

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?

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!

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:

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?

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

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?

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

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?

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.”

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?

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

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

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.

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

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

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?

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?

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

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?

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?

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

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?

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

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.

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.

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.

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’

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

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

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

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?

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!

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

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

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

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?

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.”

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

It’s been said that the difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength or knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.” From a Self-Coaching perspective no one actually lacks “will,” it’s a matter of whether you apply it or abandon it. #anxiety #depression #willpower
Worrying: turning molehills into mountains

Worrying: turning molehills into mountains

Ever notice how silly someone else’s worry seems to you? How many times have you told someone to stop making mountains out of molehills? Unfortunately, if worry has become your knee-jerk reflexive response to life challenges, then mountain-making is what you do best. And when you’re making mountains out of molehills, the strangest things can seem very real. Insecurity, aside from making fictions seem like facts is opportunistic. Give it an opening and it will take you for a ride. Starting today, remind yourself of the countless problems and worries that have come and gone in your life. How many problems have you solved to date? One thousand? Fifty thousand? Somehow, you’ve managed to survive, to figure out, solve, get around, under or over every obstacle, right? Every crisis eventually becomes history and you move on. What makes you think that today’s worries will be any different? Next time you come across a molehill, insist on a bit of Self-Coaching and stop calling it a mountain! #anxiety #depression #worrying
How to dismiss discomfort in your life

How to dismiss discomfort in your life

The thermometer read nineteen degrees this morning, which got me reminiscing. I was recalling how playing in the snow with snowball-soaked gloves, numb fingers, and frozen toes were no obstacle to building snow forts and igloos. How was it that the cold of winter never interfered with those unforgettable times? Simple answer: it all has to do with focus. If you are passionately focused on what you’re doing, any discomfort becomes…well, irrelevant. Sure, the discomfort is there, but if you’re not paying attention to it, the discomfort becomes neutralized. Whether it’s anxiety or depression, begin to recognize that focusing on your “discomfort” does one thing, it accentuates your suffering as you get caught in an endless loop of self-flagellation. Starting today, give yourself a Self-Coaching break. Rather than clinging to ruminative doubts, fears, and negative thoughts, practice ignoring them. Once you begin to break the neurotic loop, then, like my numb fingers and toes, nothing’s going to stop you from getting out there and throwing a few snowballs. #anxiety #depression
Stop whining about not having enough time?

Stop whining about not having enough time?

Ever hear yourself saying, “I just don’t have time to relax (exercise, eat properly, etc.)? After all, it’s not your fault you don’t have enough time to take better care of yourself. Right? Wrong! Think again, lack of time isn’t the problem, it’s an excuse! The Self-coaching truth is, it’s rarely about never having time, it’s always about priorities! Change your priorities and watch the magic. #anxiety #depression
Here’s a Prescription for Having a Great Day

Here’s a Prescription for Having a Great Day

See if you can resist the temptation of over-thinking your life today and instead, allow the day unfold, naturally and spontaneously. Be reactive rather than proactive. You might be surprised how effortless life can become. The late mythologist 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. Lose the self-doubt, be courageous to let go of your chronic fears, and by all means recognize that negativity is a habit that you don’t have to indulge…do this and you’ll find the life that’s waiting for you. #anxiety #depression
Are your life goals misguided?

Are your life goals misguided?

Life goals can become problems rather than solutions when driven by insecurity. Insecurity-driven goals are misguided goals that give meaning to the saying: be careful what you wish for, because it might come true. Simply put, any goal that is driven by insecurity is all about trying to control or compensate some aspect of your life. And controlling life will never give you the ultimate fulfillment you seek. Although there can be an extensive array of misguided goals, I’ve come to recognize three major culprits: 1. Money–the accumulation of money, which is equated with security and happiness 2. Power–the quest for power and potency, which is equated with invulnerability 3. Status–the compulsion for status, which is equated with intimacy, being loved, admired and respected The quests for money, power, and status can all be expressed directly through your behavior. When, for example, insecurity drives your desire to own a Rolls-Royce, this behavior (owning a Rolls) can be an expression of what money can buy, a feeling of power, a status symbol, or a combination of all three. Starting today, ask yourself, what are my goals. Then take it a step further and ask, Why?
What is insecurity and why should you care?

What is insecurity and why should you care?

Insecurity attempts to prepare you for anticipated chaos. This is what we commonly refer to as worrying. After all, you don’t worry about things going right! As Mark Twain said, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life. Most of them never happened.” A friend of mine told me about his mother’s even more poignant, but opposite, spin on this notion, “Don’t tell me worrying doesn’t work, most of the things I worry about never happen.” A person with adequate self-trust lives in the here-and-now moment with the confidence to believe that they can handle life as it unfolds. An insecure, untrusting person is either mired in past regrets or in anticipation of future chaos. #insecurity #anxiety #depression
Want a more fulfilling life? Try living more responsively.

Want a more fulfilling life? Try living more responsively.

Starting today, apply a bit of Self-coaching and see if you can be more “responsive.” It can be simple things. For example, not rehearsing how you’ll tell your neighbor that his dog is using your yard as a toilet, or not worrying what “might” happen if you were to get a notice from the IRS. Instead, do nothing! Risk letting these and other situations come to you rather than you abstractly going to them mentally. Let life present itself to you and begin to find out that you won’t let yourself down. I know it will feel risky, which is why I suggest you start with simple things, low impact challenges that begin to demonstrate that, lo and behold, you really can handle life on the fly. Bottom line: responsive living is a willingness to believe in yourself and your resourcefulness to handle life’s challenges, not in anticipation of them, but as they occur. #anxiety #depression #happiness
Happiness: go for it!

Happiness: go for it!

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 live with empty dreams. Wishful thinking can never replace purpose-driven action. A successful life doesn’t come looking for you; it must be sought, pursued and embraced. Starting today, aim at something, then pull the trigger of action. #happiness #anxiety #depression
The danger of multi-tasking

The danger of multi-tasking

Our hectic high-pressure world seems to reward multi-taskers. There is, however, a down side to squeezing more and more into your day-to-day life. Multi-taskers are prone to inheriting a fractured, stressful, life. Today, rather than doing your usual juggling, try doing less. Just keep in mind that whatever you do, do it with full attention, complete awareness, and a focused heart. You, may not accomplish every task, but you will have lived a less stressful, more fulfilling day. Sometimes, when it comes to happiness, less is more. #anxiety #depression #multitasking
Regarding your goals, why wait?

Regarding your goals, why wait?

A patient told me she didn’t want to waste six months trying to lose weight. Since that session six months have passed. Arguably, she may or may not have wasted her six months, but one thing she did achieve was to gain ten additional pounds! What about you? Whatever your challenge, six months from now you may wish you started today. Procrastination is only an excuse and when it comes to a more happy, successful, fulfilling life, you’re not excused! Starting today, put some carpe in your diem. #Permanentweightloss #depression #anxiety
Winter’s optimism and hope

Winter’s optimism and hope

As we progress though the cold dark days of winter, I noticed something different this morning as I looked out over the crystal-glazed, frigid lawn, everything was…well, different. Different in that everything was brighter, less blue-tinted with more color and vibrancy. Was it my imagination and anticipation of warmer weather to come? Then it dawned on me, the sun was now perched about ten degrees higher in the sky then it was a month ago. This new angle was indeed painting everything in a different light…a more hospitable light of all things warm to come. If you struggle emotionally, it may be time to elevate, not the sun, but your level of optimism and hope. Optimism and hope will change your entire perception and outlook on life. Even a few “degrees” of elevation can make all the difference between hopeless, blue-tinted depression, and the warmer tones of personal empowerment and encouragement. Like my backyard, the yard itself isn’t changed by the different illumination, just as your circumstances may not change with an elevation of optimism, however, the difference in your outlook can be staggering. FYI: optimism and hope are choices, go for it! #anxiety #depression #hope #optimism
Trying to lose weight? Beware of False Hunger

Trying to lose weight? Beware of False Hunger

Normal, healthy eating is instigated primarily by your experience of stomach contractions and the release of hunger hormones signaling to your brain that you’re hungry. Most importantly, these feelings are independent of any compelling emotional influences (stress, boredom, depression, etc.) or mindless behavioral habits. In order to stop sabotaging weight loss, you need to neutralize the faulty hunger perceptions caused by these influences. To accomplish this, you must learn to differentiate between hunger that is driven out of true, physiological need versus hunger that is driven by your enemies (circumstances, emotions, or habits). More than likely, you already know the difference, but you haven’t been paying much attention to these cues. That’s why it’s important for you to ask the question before any meal or snack, “Who am I feeding right now? My body or my mind? This simple distinction may not stop a compulsive urge, but at least you wouldn’t be deluding yourself into thinking that destructive eating is hunger-driven. In time mindful awareness will become your foundation for the self-discipline that will follow. #weightloss #anxiety #depression
How to get out of a depressed mood

How to get out of a depressed mood

When caught in a depressed mood, it’s tempting to feel that life is too hard, that you can’t go on. It’s this type of thinking that winds up feeding and sustaining the mood. Consider a seemingly paradoxical Self-coaching technique: do nothing! All too often we go to battle with our negative, spiraling thoughts. We beat ourselves up, which only adds fuel to the dark mood. Instead, next time you’re in a slump of negativity, don’t engage in debate, guilt, or self recrimination–in essence, don’t resist, simply yield. Just allow yourself to ride out the mood with the understanding and conviction that, ‘this too shall pass.’ The key is not to get caught up in a dance with your depressed thoughts. The more you ruminate, worry, or antagonize yourself, the more you feed the mood instead of starving it. By letting it go, turning away, distracting yourself and not engaging a mood with persistent doubts, fears, or negatives, the more you allow yourself to reduce psychological friction while ensuring that you don’t become a victim of your mood. #anxiety #depression #depressedmood
Taking action to eliminate anxiety and depression

Taking action to eliminate anxiety and depression

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 passively allow to go unchallenged. Start challenging! #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
Are you over-steering your life?

Are you over-steering your life?

Mythologist, Joseph Campbell wrote: “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” All too often we tend to “over-steer” our lives, worrying, anticipating, micro-managing, trying desperately to control what’s ahead. If you really want to find solace, happiness, and psychological well-being, try loosening your grip on life’s steering wheel and let things unfold, naturally, spontaneously. As the AA adage goes, “Let go, let god.” Pretty good Self Coaching advice.
Want to lose weight? Stop eating like a child.

Want to lose weight? Stop eating like a child.

Be honest with yourself. When you “cheat,” overindulge, or binge, aren’t you making the same kind of choices a six-year-old would make? Aren’t you allowing impulse to rule you, sabotaging weight loss? After all, when you were a kid, you were all about sweets, snacks, and treats. There was no nagging conscience, no hesitations—only an opportunistic desire to indulge. And why not? You knew that at some point your parent would intervene: You’ve had enough. Save the rest for tomorrow’s snack. You didn’t have to monitor yourself at six years old; you just ate. And today, when you eat like a six-year-old, you, once again, aren’t taking any responsibility to monitor yourself. And what’s worse, there’s no one around—except you—who can say you’ve had enough. This is one reason why we tend to feel shame after bingeing; we know we’ve been acting (and eating) like a child. #anxiety #depression #weightloss
What stops you from achieving your goals?

What stops you from achieving your goals?

What exactly is the resistance that keeps us from taking charge of our lives and realizing our intentions? As complex and multifaceted as the answer to this query may be, one way or another it all boils down to self-discipline. And from a Self-Coaching perspective, what’s self-discipline? It’s the ability to willfully endure the transient discomfort of changing who and what you are. You’re not born with self-discipline, it’s acquired. Like a muscle, you need to develop your self-discipline muscle, one challenge at a time. #selfdiscipline #depression #anxiety
Poor self-concept? Always putting yourself down?

Poor self-concept? Always putting yourself down?

You can begin some Self-coaching 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. Beyond current dissatisfactions and superficial perceptions, there is a you who happens to be inviolate. The word inviolate, from the Latin, inviolatus, describes something so sacred or pure that it must not be violated. 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 #anxiety #selfesteem
Want to get the most out of your life?

Want to get the most out of your life?

Whether it’s eating healthfully, staying focused at work, watching the kids, exercising, or striving toward a goal, if part of you is living with one foot in the present experience and the other foot out, distracted with past or future concerns (especially worrisome doubts, fears or negatives), then the truth is, your life is being fractured. Starting today, try some Self-coaching and work to be more “present” in whatever you do. You’ll need to step apart from congested thinking and focus on the world in front of you. This may take some practice, but if you work at it, you’ll be rewarded with a life of connectedness and purpose. #anxiety #depression
Optimism: high octane, psychological fuel for 2020

Optimism: high octane, psychological fuel for 2020

Optimism and success are intimately related. The advantage of believing in positive outcomes is motivating, sustaining, and empowering. The advantage in seeing negative outcomes is, well,…truth is there is no advantage to pessimism! Believe that you will, and you give yourself an advantage–it’s half the battle. Happy New year and beyond. #optimism #anxiety #depression
WHY 80 PERCENT OF NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FAIL

WHY 80 PERCENT OF NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FAIL

Why is it that with such good intentions, getting fit, losing weight and improving our lives seems so elusive?

By Dr. Joseph Luciani, Contributor U.S. News & World Report EVER HEAR OF holiday remorse? It’s the guilt driven-response you have to holiday excess that becomes the catalyst for those New Year’s resolutions and intentions. What happens is that we go through the holidays abandoning most – if not all – restraint, while indulging our bacchanalian impulses. Bellies full, we manage to sleep well at night clinging to the rationalization that, come the new year, we’re going to lose the weight and get in shape. Yes, and I can show you a holiday road to hell paved with New Year’s intentions. Come the first of January, the hoards of enthusiastic resolutions-ers account for the swelling number of gym, yoga and Pilates memberships as the diet books fly off the book store shelves. By the second week of February, some 80 percent of those resolution-ers are back home with a new kind of remorse staring back at them in the mirror – the remorse of disappointment. Why is it that with such good intentions, getting fit, losing weight and improving our lives seems so elusive? To answer this question, it’s important to recognize that outside-in solutions such as dieting, joining gyms and so on are doomed to fail if, other than your well-intentioned resolve to change, you’ve done nothing to enhance your capacity to either sustain motivation or handle the inevitable stress and discomfort involved in change. Saying this differently: Unless you first change your mind, don’t expect your health goals to materialize. As the saying goes, it’s not the horse that draws the cart, it’s the oats. It’s not the gym, Pilates class or diet that will change you – it’s your mind. The unfortunate truth is that change, all change, entails some degree of emotional friction, which in turn generates a “heated state” we call stress. Whether you’re feeling anxious, depressed, frustrated, fatigued, weak and out of control, or simply bored, emotional friction (stress) becomes the high-octane fuel of failure. When it comes to handling the stress involved in change, many well-adjusted, happy, overweight, out-of-shape people share the fundamental problem of self-sabotage. What exactly is the resistance that sabotages our lives and our intentions? As complex and multifaceted as the answer to this query may be, one way or another it all boils down to self-discipline. Essentially, you build self-discipline by willfully enduring the transient discomfort of changing who and what you are. You’re not born with self-discipline; you acquire it. Like a muscle, you need to develop your self-discipline muscle, one challenge at a time. Starting today, instead of reflexively feeling a need to minimize or escape the friction involved in change, recognize instead the need to endure it. Bottom line: Don’t bail! So before you focus on your biceps or belly fat, focus on training your brain with these five tips – and next year, you won’t have to make a resolution:
  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.
#newyearsresolutions #anxiety #depression
Want permanent weight loss? Here’s why you can’t have your cake and eat it too?

Want permanent weight loss? Here’s why you can’t have your cake and eat it too?

As anyone who has ever turned away from a Venetian dessert cart knows, discomfort is learning to live with the word no. Maybe you’ve been convinced by some slick advertising campaign insisting that mature, moderate, healthy eating can be accomplished effortlessly without ever having to say “no” to the foods you love. Not true! Although this ruse sells diet programs, eventually, as the saying goes, you (really) can’t have your cake and eat it, too—at least not on any regular basis! This is especially true with addictive, “trigger” foods that will reawaken and sustain old, destructive habits. If you’re still insisting that such-and-such diet guarantees that you can eat all the “cake” you want and still lose weight, then fasten your seat belt, you’ve got some traveling to do as you go down that yo-yo highway.
Stop thinking and start doing

Stop thinking and start doing

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!” Start out with a bit of Self-Coaching –Yes you can! #anxiety #depression http://self-coaching.net/wp-content/uploads/low-angle-photography-of-man-jumping-2923156-scaled.jpg
Have you ever pondered the question, “Who am I?”

Have you ever pondered the question, “Who am I?”

“Who exactly am I?” From a Self-Coaching perspective, it’s not possible to answer this question. Not because it’s illusive or complicated, but because who you are isn’t a stationary concept like a snapshot or a portrait painting. Instead of trying to pin down the “who” you are, think instead of “what” you’re becoming. Every second of every day you, your persona, is evolving, changing, adapting. The real question is what is the direction of this change? Not sure what direction your life is headed? Simply begin by taking a closer look at your here-and-now actions and the choices you make. And if you don’t like what you see, then start making better choices! One choice at a time. #anxiety #depression
Why you need to stop wasting time

Why you need to stop wasting time

In your lifetime you can expect your heart to beat 2.5 billion times, take six hundred million breaths and witness twenty-seven thousand sunrises. Yet no matter how wealthy or powerful you become, you’ll never be able to buy one extra heartbeat, one extra breath, or see one extra sunrise. The most important thing in life is time—treasure your day. If you’re looking for ways to manage depression, this is a great place to start.
Don’t let setbacks set you back

Don’t let setbacks set you back

Never underestimate the value of a setback. Keep in mind the following: 1.) in life, setbacks are inevitable, 2.) setbacks allow you to make the necessary adjustments for success, and 3.) with the proper perspective, setbacks don’t ever have to set you back! Thomas Edison said it best, “I’ve failed my way to success.” #anxiety #depression
Want a more fulfilling Start living responsively

Want a more fulfilling Start living responsively

Starting today, see if you can be more “responsive.” It can be simple things. For example, not rehearsing how you’ll tell your neighbor that his dog is using your yard as a toilet, or not worrying what “might” happen if you were to get a notice from the IRS. Instead, do nothing! Risk letting these and other situations come to you rather than you abstractly going to them mentally. Let life present itself to you and begin to find out that you won’t let yourself down. I know it will feel risky, which is why I suggest you start with simple things, low impact challenges that begin to demonstrate that, lo and behold, you really can handle life on the fly. Bottom line: self-trust and Responsive Living all comes down to a willingness to believe. #anxiety #depression #happiness
Are you avoiding life?

Are you avoiding life?

In my book, I refer to people who try to side-step or avoid life, as Turtles. When life becomes threatening, turtles pull themselves into their protective shells. What about you? Are you building shells right now? In order for any behavior to be considered “turtle-avoidant,” it must be an attempt to avoid some aspect of life in order to feel more in control. As a general rule, any excessive/compulsive behavior should be questioned as a possible deflection or avoidance of life. Here are a few common examples: emotional withdrawal; social isolation; shyness; Internet overuse; compulsive eating; use of alcohol and other drugs; gambling; overworking; excessive or compulsive pursuit of a hobby; excessive TV watching, listening to music, or reading; hypochondria (illness-focused withdrawal) #anxiety #depression
Are you too compulsive?

Are you too compulsive?

Whether it’s your bedtime ritual each night, your shower in the morning, or brushing your teeth, we all have repetitive habits that we might loosely call “compulsive.” These habits simply make our world feel more in sync—in control. Just try to skip taking that shower or not brushing your teeth and see if you find yourself fidgeting a bit. We are, after all, creatures of habit. Unfortunately, our inherent nature to form habits is indiscriminate, habits can be positive contributors to our lives or they can be the fuel for anxiety or depression. For our purpose of Self-Coaching, what’s important is to differentiate normal from 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, that which leaves us feeling vulnerable and helpless, looks to gain control by ritualistically repeating any behavior that quells the gnawing discomfort within. Many addictions and destructive habits fall into this category, however, there is a lot of gray. At the very least, try to differentiate the “have-tos” in your life from the “want-tos.” #anxiety #depression #compulsive
Why do we seem to delve into our worst fears at night?

Why do we seem to delve into our worst fears at night?

Patients complain about swirling, ruminative, worry-thoughts that haunt them preventing restful sleep and causing anxiety. Chet Raymo, one of my favorite authors, writes: “The night is the beginning of terror, as every child knows. Who is not afraid of the dark? The gods are creatures of daylight. The gods work nine to five. At night we are on our own.” Perhaps this is the answer. At night, “we are on our own,” meaning that 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 unresolved doubts, fears, and negatives that percolate up at night. These are the things that make us feel out of control. Relationship discord, a medical issue, or fear of losing a job, these are the demons of the night. Perhaps the best we can do, as the dawn arrives, is to recognize that these issues need to be addressed and not left buried for tomorrow night’s anxieties. #anxiety #depression #nightmares
Today is the “hump” solstice. It’s time to get through dark struggles.

Today is the “hump” solstice. It’s time to get through dark struggles.

At 11:19 PM Eastern Time today, it will be the winter solstice—the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year! From this point forward, we will be gaining almost an extra minute of sunlight each day. For this reason, I call it the “hump” solstice, because we are over the hump; the darkness begins to yield to the light. In life, it’s critical to persevere through our dark struggles. It’s this perseverance that anticipates the light— the relief from darker emotions. Starting today, just as the dark nights slowly begin to yield to the ever brightening and lengthening days, begin to reverse your slide of anxiety, depression, and emotional struggle. Rather than passively accepting the status quo, actively begin to fight off that which holds you down. How? Thought by thought as you begin to replace pessimism with optimistic, hopelessness with hope, and powerlessness with empowerment. Do this, and today will become your solstice. #anxiety #depression
How to ignore emotional discomfort

How to ignore emotional discomfort

The thermometer read twenty-three degrees this morning, which got me reminiscing. I was recalling how playing in the snow with snowball-soaked gloves, numb fingers, and frozen toes were no obstacle to building snow forts and igloos. How was it that the cold of winter never interfered with those unforgettable times? Simple answer: it all has to do with focus. If you are passionately focused on what you’re doing, any discomfort becomes…well, irrelevant. Sure, the discomfort is there, but if you’re not paying attention to it, the discomfort becomes neutralized. Whether it’s anxiety or depression, begin to recognize that focusing on your “discomfort” does one thing, it accentuates your suffering as you get caught in an endless loop of self-flagellation. Starting today, give yourself a break. Rather than clinging to ruminative doubts, fears, and negative thoughts, practice ignoring them. Once you begin to break the neurotic loop, then, like my numb fingers and toes, nothing’s going to stop you from getting out there and throwing a few snowballs. #anxiety #depression
Learning to turn a deaf ear to neurotic thinking

Learning to turn a deaf ear to neurotic thinking

Frogs are pessimists. It’s a fact. There was once a race to find the fastest frog in the swamp. Five formidable frogs lined up, along with one rather sickly frog called Ribbit. The gun went off, immediately the pessimistic crowd began yelling, “Stop, stop it’s too hard, you’re going to hurt yourselves…” One by one the frogs dropped out of the race, all except for sickly Ribbit who finished the race. How? Ribbit, you see, was deaf! You’ll be amazed what you can accomplish when you turn a deaf ear to your own pessimistic “frog-thinking.” #anxiety #depression
Are anxiety and depression inherited?

Are anxiety and depression inherited?

We know, for example, that children of parents with panic disorder are seven times more likely to be anxious themselves. . Similarly, children of parents that have suffered from a major depressive episode are 1.5 to 3 times more likely to develop depression. But you don’t need to be predisposed to anxiety or depression to develop anxiety or depression. Stressful life circumstances, especially loss, chronic pain, or ongoing struggle can initiate the same reaction. Anyone, given enough stress and insecurity, is susceptible to developing problems. Regardless of their origins, anxiety and depression can be stopped where they begin, in the insecure, stressful thoughts (doubts, fears, and negatives) that you allow to float unchecked in your mind. Thoughts that generate stress which eventually depletes the brain chemicals responsible for emotional balance. Keep in mind that adversity, loss, even a psychological disposition, aren’t necessarily life sentences, they’re ONLY tendencies toward anxiety or depression. It doesn’t matter if it’s a biological predisposition, a learned pattern of reflexive insecurity-driven thinking or unwieldy life circumstances, there’s always choice. Whether it’s alcoholism, obesity, or any other predispositions, it’s not the tendency you have to worry about, it’s whether you feed that tendency or starve it. Always keep in mind that you are not a victim and you’re NOT powerless. #depression #anxiety
Does this sound like you?

Does this sound like you?

“Today’s not a good day”? “I have to go to work.” I have to do the bills.” Before you resign yourself to just “getting through” another day, 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. Stop prejudicing yourself with a short-sighted, pessimistic attitude. Instead, open yourself up to the awareness that every day–in spite of your whining–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
Be careful what you call a “weed”

Be careful what you call a “weed”

Being a gardener, I’ll admit, when I see a dandelion’s bright, yellow flower in my lawn, I can’t wait to pluck the offending weed. And yet, what exactly is the difference between a weed and a flower? The difference is our perception. All things in life depend on our interpretation. Struggle, for example, can be seen as a curse or a cause to evolve. If stumbling teaches you to pay more attention to your path, can we say that stumbling was a bad thing? Embrace life, all life! #anxiety #depression
Can’t stop those negative thoughts? Listen to my grandmother

Can’t stop those negative thoughts? Listen to my grandmother

My grandmother used to say, “You can’t stop a bird from flying into your hair, but you don’t have to help it build a nest.” When it comes to doubts, fears, or negatives, you may not be able to stop the first thought from percolating up into your mind, but you sure as hell can stop yourself from dancing with a second, third, or fourth thought. Stay mentally disciplined–you won’t regret it! #anxiety #depression #worrying
Why you don’t have to feel guilty

Why you don’t have to feel guilty

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? The simple answer is that insecurity has introduced an element of self-distrust. This usually takes the form of a “should” statement. I “should” have gone to the gym, I should have made that phone call, and so on. But who says you “should?” If insecurity is insisting on you being a perfect person who does everything you’re “supposed to” do, then it’s inevitable that you will fail (i.e., feel guilty). Or go crazy trying to be perfect. 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 #guilt
Insecurity will ruin your life–if you let it

Insecurity will ruin your life–if you let it

No one grows up in a perfect world, everyone suffers loss, illness, separations, and so on—to some degree, insecurity is an inevitable, inescapable part of life. Insecurity—the excessive fear of vulnerability—acts as mental friction creating hesitations and doubts. From a Self-Coaching perspective, it’s insecurity that feeds the “habits” of anxiety, depression, and all emotional struggle. Security, on the other hand, is a relative term. Rather than seeing it as something you achieve; see it as an ongoing muscle-building process of living your life courageously (i.e., not yielding to insecurity’s doubt, fear, and negativity). Rather than allowing insecurity to insist on trying to over-control life, be willing to take a leap of faith and risk trusting—self and life. #anxiety #depression
Smackdown Technique for Handling Food Cravings

Smackdown Technique for Handling Food Cravings

In order to help you handle the twisted, distorted thinking involved in fighting off a compulsive urge to binge, here’s a simple technique that can save your dietary life: Take a business card and on the back write down a few clear, objective reasons why you want to resist cravings and temptations. When you find yourself buckling under with impulsive, mindless desires, simply take the card out of your purse or wallet and read the list. For instance: 1. I’m tired of feeling weak and out of control. 2. I want to look good for the wedding. 3. I will not let food rule my life. 4. Be strong! Stay strong! I am strong! It helps to keep reading the list, mantra-like, over and over until either the urge passes or your thinking once again becomes focused and rational. #anxiety #depression #weightloss
What stops you from achieving your goals?

What stops you from achieving your goals?

What exactly is the resistance that keeps us from taking charge of our lives and realizing our intentions? As complex and multifaceted as the answer to this query may be, one way or another it all boils down to self-discipline. And from a Self-Coaching perspective, what’s self-discipline? It’s the ability to willfully endure the transient discomfort of changing who and what you are. You’re not born with self-discipline, it’s acquired. Like a muscle, you need to develop your self-discipline muscle, one challenge at a time. #anxiety #depression #selfdiscipline
Want to be happy? Try the 15-15 technique.

Want to be happy? Try the 15-15 technique.

One thing I’ve learned from my studies in neuroplasticity (i.e., how learning changes the anatomy of the brain) is that in order to change a brain-habit you must practice the new behavior (for example, being happy). And if you don’t know how to be happy, simply act “as-if” you’re happy. Do this for 15 minutes a day for 15 days. Give it a shot, you’ve got nothing to lose, except your unhappiness. #anxiety #depression #happiness
Anxious? Depressed? stop feeding the pigeons.

Anxious? Depressed? stop feeding the pigeons.

Imagine that you’re on your patio trying to relax. You notice a cute little pigeon milling about, pecking and minding its own business. Innocently, you toss it a few crumbs from a leftover sandwich you’d been eating. The next day you go out to your patio and within minutes your little pigeon buddy reappears with a companion. Enthusiastically, you throw out a few more crumbs. By the end of the week you’re inundated with hundreds of pigeons leaving your once pristine patio a shamble of feathers, droppings, and a cacophony of cooing. You ask, “What should I do?” And to anyone witnessing your problem the answer is simple, “Stop feeding the pigeons!” If you allow reflexive, knee-jerk, insecure thinking to flock into your life with needless worry, fear, or negativity, then you’re feeding the pigeons of insecurity. And if you insist on feeding your insecurity, the distasteful truth is that you will suffer. From now on, keep the image of the pigeons in mind every time you find yourself spinning with insecurity-driven thinking, then remind yourself to, “Stop feeding the pigeons!”\ #anxiety #depression
What’s wrong with wanting to be perfect?

What’s wrong with wanting to be perfect?

Philosophically speaking, why would striving for such a noble and exalted goal as perfection be a problem? Simple answer: Nature abhors perfection, at least as the perfectionist defines it. Although perfectionists like to believe they’re pursuing a lofty, aesthetic ideal, in reality, they’re only looking for a tool with one mundane application–control. Neurotic control! No doubt it’s the exalted illusion of complete and perfect control that gets so many people hooked (I’ve often said that perfectionists don’t want to be perfect, they NEED to be perfect in order to avoid screwing up, criticism, or rejection!). Bettering yourself, improving, learning, moving forward–all can be seen as constructive and worthwhile ambitions. It’s okay to move toward an ideal of perfecting yourself, as long as you see this as an ideal and not a reality. When you insist on being perfect, you move from a constructive desire to improve your life to a destructive desire to control it. #anxiety #depression #ocd
Do you fear getting older?

Do you fear getting older?

Depending on your age you might, as I did in my youth, see getting older as a curse. Whatever your age, you should know that age doesn’t change you, not really. Of course, the body reacts differently to gravity as physical challenges become more common, but that’s to be expected, the mind, however, becomes more capable than ever before of soaring to new heights as we continue to consolidate and thrive from the many life lessons we’ve learned along the way—carpe vitae #anxiety #depression
Are you victimized by life’s pressures?

Are you victimized by life’s pressures?

We all have a tendency to lose perspective in our lives. We allow ourselves to become victimized by pressures and incessant demands. Days come and days go, as we keep saying, “tomorrow I’ll relax.” Life is too precious to rationalize away with mindless compulsive striving. If you’ve never read the poem, Dust If You Must, than please take a minute to read it. Then after you’re done, take another minute and decide how you want to spend your day. Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better, To paint a picture or write a letter, Bake a cake or plant a seed, Ponder the difference between want and need? Dust if you must, but there’s not much time. With rivers to swim and mountains to climb, Music to hear and books to read, Friends to cherish and life to lead. Dust if you must, but the world’s out there With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair, A flutter of snow, a shower of rain. This day will not come ’round again. Dust if you must, but bear in mind, Old age will come and it’s not always kind. And when you go and go you must, You, yourself, will make more dust. Author unknown #anxiety #depression
Why you need to become an “active” thinker

Why you need to become an “active” thinker

Although one thought isn’t going to make a difference in your mental well-being, ruminative, negative thinking has a cumulative, mind-body effect (depleting you both emotionally as well as chemically) eventually contributing to anxiety or depression. You need to know that thoughts matter and there’s an emotional and physical price to pay for needless shabby thinking. Recognize that “shabby” negative thinking is a choice of passivity (i.e., you sit back and allow your habits of insecurity to go on and on unimpeded). Instead, start to become a more active thinker, especially when you’re feeling stressed and challenged. Choose to reject insecurity-driven thinking. Starting today, take responsibility–one thought at a time—STOP dancing with negativity. #anxiety #depression
December opportunities (a note from my wellness teacher daughter, Lauren)

December opportunities (a note from my wellness teacher daughter, Lauren)

The month of December brings with it the beginning of chilly days, early sunsets, and the chance of snow. This winter season, let’s try and find the magic that is hidden in the delicate snowflakes, the cozy warmth of a fire, and the wisdom of nature. As the seasons begin to change, let us set an intention to greet the cold winter with a warm welcome. May we bring our own light into the darkness. Happy December!
I’m a worrier, do I have an anxiety disorder?

I’m a worrier, do I have an anxiety disorder?

There are several differences between general anxiety disorder (GAD) and what we might call “normal” worry-anxiety. First, those with GAD suffer from excessive worrying that typically interferes with everyday life functioning, while those dealing with normal worry-anxiety would not classify their anxieties as “excessive,” and might even perceive their worries as manageable since they are able to step apart from these worries when required to function with day-to-day demands. Second, the worrying of those with GAD can occur without precipitant (i.e., a stressful, challenging circumstance), the quality of the worrying is more ruminative and distressing and will persist for a longer duration than normal worry-anxiety, and the range of worry-thoughts is less connected to a given circumstance and more diffuse in nature (finances, health, terrorism, etc.) Third, those with GAD are more likely to report physical symptoms resulting from their constant worrying and related difficulties with their jobs, relationships, and other significant life demands. General anxiety disorder is characterized by the following symptoms: ● Excessive worry and anxiety ● Fatigue ● Feeling irritable, testy, or grouchy much of the time ● Feeling restless, keyed up, or edgy ● Difficulty concentrating or forgetting ● Muscle tension ● Sleep difficulties (difficulty falling or staying asleep, restless, non-restorative sleep)
Worrying is a form of psychological friction

Worrying is a form of psychological friction

Worry is an anticipation that things are going to go wrong (we don’t worry about things going right). Whether you try to control your life by worrying, over-thinking, ruminating, being too cautious, fearful, or doubtful, worry isn’t the answer. If you’re stumbling emotionally in life, then incessant worrying may well be the root of your problem. Rather than worrying about an uncertain or chaotic future, stay focused on the here-and-now facts of your life. If, for example, you have high cholesterol (which would be a fact), rather than worrying about having a heart attack, address the facts by eating more healthfully, getting more exercise, medication, and so on. Dealing with facts keeps you effectively in the present with a bonus of eliminating the anxiety associated with anticipating doom and gloom.
Mind games: who are you really fooling?

Mind games: who are you really fooling?

Want to minimize or eliminate regrets in your life? If so, 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. #anxiety #depression
Are you considering taking medication for anxiety or depression?

Are you considering taking medication for anxiety or depression?

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
Be Thankful for life’s “stars”

Be Thankful for life’s “stars”

As a child I believed that stars appeared every night and disappeared each day. Now I know that stars don’t disappear, they’re merely obscured each day by the light of day. Your potential for happiness and fulfillment, like the stars in the firmament, is an ever-present possibility, but sometimes obscured, not by daylight, but by misdirected goals, insecurity and self-doubt. Your potential for happiness, like the stars, is always there. Even when obscured, if you look hard enough you’ll see life’s twinkling stars. HAPPY THANKSGIVING #anxiety #depression #Thankful
This Thanksgiving, be thankful for your “dash” years

This Thanksgiving, be thankful for your “dash” years

I saw a tombstone the other day. On the stone was inscribed the years: 1920 – 1999. To me neither the birth (1920) nor the death (1999) mattered much. What mattered 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—what is important this Thanksgiving, is to be thankful for all the opportunities and possibilities available to you in your dash years. #anxiety #depression #thanksgiving
Shorter days bumming you out?

Shorter days bumming you out?

As we approach the winter solstice the darkest day of the year, all I hear from patients, friends, and family, is a collective, “I hate how the days are getting shorter and shorter. If you’re one of these “complainers,” please read on. I’m not a “complainer,” for me, shorter days are a blessing not a curse. Why? Because I love astronomy—shorter days gives me more time to view the stars. Think about it, life doesn’t dictate our mood, how we react and interpret life’s circumstances does. Bottom line: NEVER let yourself feel victimized by your circumstances, work to change your perspective and even a dark, nighttime sky can become a blessing. #anxiety #depression
Want to feel better about yourself?

Want to feel better about yourself?

Regardless of your current belief or struggle, periodically during each day practice allowing yourself to imagine that everything you need to have a happy and successful life, you already possess. Just permit yourself to relax and accept this fundamental notion “AS-IF” it’s true. No doubt you’ll struggle with your traditional 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 and not victimized by life. As many of my patients have found, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the lasting changes in your mood and your life. #anxiety #depression #selfconfidence
Don’t become a victim of anxiety or t depression

Don’t become a victim of anxiety or t depression

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! #anxiety #depression
Are you Determined to Succeed? To be Happy?

Are you Determined to Succeed? To be Happy?

Doing something once, like going to the gym, passing up a piece of cake, or stopping negativity is great, but doing it twice, three times or for life requires determination. What is determination? It’s the ability to do what feels unnatural until it becomes the NEW natural. #anxiety #depression #selfcoaching
Is your life stagnating?

Is your life stagnating?

Motivation is a curious thing; it’s not always driven by desire. According to Anais Nin, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” This quote suggests to me that sometimes the motivation to change comes, not from grandiose plans for personal expansion, but from the pain of stagnation. Personal dissatisfaction can be transformative. Why not risk blossoming?
Doing your best

Doing your best

Whether you’re a perfectionist or simply too hard on yourself, no matter what you say or think, you can never give more than your best effort (How can you possibly do better than your best?). Therefore, if you happen to be too tunnel visioned about your goals, beware! The key to genuine happiness is learning NOT to embrace the best outcome, but to embrace your best effort. #anxiety #depression
The key to a purposeful life

The key to a purposeful life

Once while St. Francis of Assisi was hoeing his garden, he was asked, “What would you do if you were suddenly learn that you were going to die at sunset today? He replied, “I would finish hoeing my garden.” Rather than anticipating or worrying about what’s ahead, invest yourself totally in all that you do. Do this, and you will be living a purposeful, rich life. The key is being present and connecting to the life in front of you rather than disconnecting from it as you anticipate tomorrow’s life and struggles. #anxiety #depression
FACT: in the long run, diets don’t work—people do!

FACT: in the long run, diets don’t work—people do!

Real, lifelong weight mastery isn’t a secret you’ll find buried in a diet book; it’s to be found in the systematic, practical application of learning to flex your self-discipline muscle and living your intentions. If, in fact, your self-discipline muscle has atrophied, then like any muscle, you need to begin getting some rehab, for example, saying “no” to that second helping, handling the transient discomfort of an urge or compulsion, and so on. Work at building your self-discipline muscle you’ll begin to realize that the outcome—weight mastery—is choice, not chance. #dieting #anxiety #depression
Choosing happiness

Choosing happiness

True happiness is an incorruptible attitude that exists independent of life’s circumstances. Living a fulfilled, happy life isn’t something you wish for–it’s something you choose! Starting today, regardless of what goes on around you, recognize that you and you alone make the decision as to what kind of day it will be. You’re in charge, BE in charge! #anxiety #depression
Facing your challenges

Facing your challenges

According to Buddha, “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” When it comes to life challenges, if you’re prone to excuses or rationalizations, the truth will eventually catch up to you. Why wait for regrets? Steel yourself, face your challenges, and you’ll never have to look back and wonder, “How did I let that happen?” #anxiety #depression
Opportunities to grow

Opportunities to grow

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 our full potential. #anxiety #depression
What world do you live in?

What world do you live in?

Question: what’s the difference between an optimist and a pessimist? Answer: happiness! Neither the optimist nor the pessimist knows what tomorrow will bring, but the optimist, by embracing positive expectations, lives in a passionate world of unending possibilities while the pessimist lives in a world of unending anticipation of chaos. What world do you live in? #anxiety #depression #optimism
Choosing empowerment

Choosing empowerment

Who you are, what you are, and where you’re going in life are all choices. If you don’t already know this, then you’re probably feeling victimized by life. Next time you’re feeling trapped or stuck, choose patience, choose perseverance, but most importantly, choose not to be powerless. #anxiety #depression
How would you define success?

How would you define success?

From a Self-Coaching perspective success is measured by the degree to which your intentions and aspirations are given life. You can begin the process right now by visualizing your success. Visualizations are energy triggers. Next, grab hold of this energy and bring it into your world in the form of action. Thoughts into action–that’s the secret for success! #anxiety #depression
Growing old

Growing old

You don’t stop exercising because you grow old. You grow old because you stop exercising. www.selfcoaching.net
One thing you’ll never be able to buy

One thing you’ll never be able to buy

In your lifetime you can expect your heart to beat 2.5 billion times, take six hundred million breaths and witness twenty-seven thousand sunrises. Yet no matter how wealthy or powerful you become, you’ll never be able to buy one extra heartbeat, one extra breath, or see one extra sunrise. The most important thing in life is time—treasure your day. #anxiety #depression
Having hope

Having hope

“I can’t do this, it’s too hard.” Thus, speaks the voice of insecurity, which is the voice of despair and defeat. When everything in you is telling you to give up and quit, you have only one ally—hope. From a Self-Coaching perspective, hope is the expectation of relief and/or resolution. Granted, 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 your circumstances, if you take the leap, at the very least your struggles will no longer own you. #anxiety #depression
The value of mental discipline when it comes to worrying

The value of mental discipline when it comes to worrying

My grandmother used to say, “You can’t stop a bird from flying into your hair, but you don’t have to help it build a nest.” When it comes to doubts, fears, or negatives, you may not be able to stop the first thought from percolating up into your mind, but you sure as hell can stop yourself from dancing with a second, third, or fourth thought. Stay mentally disciplined–you won’t regret it! #anxiety #depression
Are you living correctly?

Are you living correctly?

Alas, I know that the spectacular fall color of my ginkgo tree outside my window won’t last, it will shed its brilliant yellow leaves and soon winter will prevail. If I anticipate a bare ginkgo tree with denuded, frozen branches, I grow sad. No doubt winter will come, but If I stay in this glorious October moment, where there is no winter, only my brilliant yellow ginkgo tree, then I am living correctly. The past and the future are mental abstractions, there is only now. Today, go find your ginkgo. #anxiety #depression
Feeling insecure? You’re not alone.

Feeling insecure? You’re not alone.

No one grows up in a perfect world, everyone suffers loss, illness, separations, and so on—to some degree, insecurity is an inevitable, inescapable part of life. Insecurity—the excessive fear of vulnerability—acts as mental friction creating hesitations and doubts. From a Self-Coaching perspective, it’s insecurity that feeds the “habits” of anxiety, depression, and all emotional struggle. Security, on the other hand, is a relative term. Rather than seeing it as something you achieve; see it as an ongoing muscle-building process of living your life courageously (i.e., not yielding to insecurity’s doubt, fear, and negativity). Rather than allowing insecurity to insist on trying to over-control life, be willing to take a leap of faith and risk trusting—self and life. #Anxiety #depression
Ever feel like you’re a failure?

Ever feel like you’re a failure?

If you strive toward a goal and don’t make it, are you a failure? NO! Failure is a term reserved for those apathetic souls who never try or try and quit. As long as you’re trying, you can never be a failure. I always tell my patients, in life, if you can’t get in the front door, try the side door, or the back door, or a window…” There’s always a way for those who insist! And even if you do fail to reach a specific goal, “YOU” are not a failure, your effort was. #anxiety #depression #selfhelp
The danger of living your life like a weather forecast

The danger of living your life like a weather forecast

Weather forecasting is a metaphor for our current lives. When I was growing up, you rolled out of bed only to be surprised by a rainy or sunny day, now, at least as far as our ten-day weather forecasting is concerned, there are few surprises. Like the weather forecast, we’ve come to abhor surprises. We tell ourselves that being prepared (a.k.a., worrying) is essential and that not worrying (god forbid) is a much too risky. Okay, I can see where knowing what’s coming before it comes can sound appealing, but there is a trade-off, it’s called spontaneity. Living your life in the future—regardless of the accuracy of your predictions—is, and will always be, at the expense of living your life in the moment—spontaneously. And when it comes happiness, serenity, and well-being, where do you think you have a better chance—living your life today or ten days from now? #anxiety #depression
Want to minimize or eliminate regrets in your life?

Want to minimize or eliminate regrets in your life?

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. #anxiety #depression
The best way to handle life struggles

The best way to handle life struggles

When struggling with a life challenge there’s a simple three-step, Self-Coaching strategy that will help: 1.) do the best you can 2.) never, ever, criticize your efforts 3.) learn to celebrate your efforts rather than your successes Do this and you’ll be guaranteeing ongoing, sustained motivation that will see you through whatever life throws at you. Motivation is happiness’s fuel #anxiety #depression
Why do we celebrate scary things on Halloween?

Why do we celebrate scary things on Halloween?

Today is Halloween, no matter where you go there are ghosts, goblins, skeletons, and witches. Why? From a psychological perspective I suspect it has to do with our primal fear of all things related to death (i.e., things we can’t control). Halloween is a day when we choose to deny our fears and mock the scary things in life. The Self-Coaching lesson is that everything that scares and frightens us, isn’t so terrifying if we choose to face them head on. Whatever your fears or insecurities, real or imagined, recognize that being frightened is a choice. And sometimes it helps to even laugh at what spooks us. Boo! #anxiety #depression
How to bring more happiness into your life

How to bring more happiness into your life

Human beings hate being out of control. That’s why getting the bills done, getting some exercise, losing weight, resolving conflicts, etc., makes us feel great. The opposite is also true, postponing our chores, harboring resentments, gaining weight, and feeling unhealthy makes us feel out of control, often contributing to ongoing stress, anxiety and even depression. Becoming more proactive with our lives doesn’t guarantee happiness, but it sure helps!
Letting go of congested thinking

Letting go of congested thinking

If you’ve followed my Self-Coaching blogs, you’ll often hear me quote adage borrowed from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), “Let go, let god.” It doesn’t matter if you interpret this in a spiritual or secular way, 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
Wish you were more secure?

Wish you were more secure?

No one grows up in a perfect world, everyone suffers loss, illness, separations, and so on—to some degree, insecurity is an inevitable, inescapable part of life. Insecurity—the excessive fear of vulnerability—acts as mental friction creating hesitations and doubts. From a Self-Coaching perspective, it’s insecurity that feeds the “habits” of anxiety, depression, and all emotional struggle. Security, on the other hand, is a relative term. Rather than seeing it as something you achieve; see it as an ongoing muscle-building process of living your life courageously (i.e., not yielding to insecurity’s doubt, fear, and negativity). Rather than allowing insecurity to insist on trying to over-control life, be willing to take a leap of faith and risk trusting—self and life. #anxiety #depression #insecurity
How to get out of a depressed mood

How to get out of a depressed mood

When caught in a depressed mood, it’s tempting to feel that life is too hard, that you can’t go on. It’s this type of thinking that winds up feeding and sustaining the mood. Consider trying this: do nothing! All too often we go to battle with our negative, spiraling thoughts. We beat ourselves up, which only adds fuel to the dark mood. Instead, next time you’re in a slump of negativity, don’t engage in debate, guilt, or self recrimination–in essence, don’t resist, simply yield. Just allow yourself to ride out the mood with the understanding and conviction that, ‘this too shall pass.’ The key is not to get caught up in a dance with your depressed thoughts. The more you ruminate, worry, or antagonize yourself, the more you feed the mood instead of starving it. By letting it go, turning away, distracting yourself and not engaging a mood with persistent doubts, fears, or negatives, the more you allow yourself to reduce psychological friction while ensuring that you don’t become a victim of your mood. #anxiety #depression #mood
Have you ever pondered the question, “Who am I?”

Have you ever pondered the question, “Who am I?”

From a Self-Coaching perspective, it’s not possible to answer this question. Not because it’s illusive or complicated, but because who you are isn’t a stationary concept like a snapshot or a portrait painting. Instead of trying to pin down the “who” you are, think instead of “what” you’re becoming. Every second of every day you, your persona, is evolving, changing, adapting. The real question is what is the direction of this change? Not sure what direction your life is headed? Simply begin by taking a closer look at your here-and-now actions and the choices you make. And if you don’t like what you see, then start making better choices! One choice at a time. #anxiety #depression
Want positive change in your life? Try this Self-Coaching technique

Want positive change in your life? Try this Self-Coaching technique

Regardless of your current belief or struggle, periodically during each day practice allowing yourself to believe that everything you need to have a happy and successful life, you already possess. Just permit yourself to relax and accept this fundamental notion—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, accept it AS-IF it’s true. The important thing in this drill is to begin feeling what it’s like to be empowered and not victimized by life. Later, as you progress with this SelfCoaching exercise, you might be surprised at the lasting changes in your mood and your life. #anxiety #depression
What happened to life’s wonder and magic?

What happened to life’s wonder and magic?

Remember when you were a child and everything seemed possible? Why do we grow up and become sober to life’s wonder and magic? If not cynical? The answer is rather straight forward: The child knows how to ‘be’ while the adult winds up ‘thinking’ about being. Is it possible to experience life’s wonder and magic again? Yes, once you realize the extraordinary power of simply being in the moment rather than mindlessly allowing yourself to become hijacked by excessive contemplation, rumination, or worry. Starting today, with awareness, begin to liberate yourself– especially from insecurity-driven thinking (i.e., doubt, fear, and negativity)—giving yourself a chance to once again experience a bit of life’s magic? Bottom line: think less, be more. #anxiety #depression
What’s holding you back?

What’s holding you back?

Bumble bees are not supposed to fly. Their body weighs too much and their wingspan is too short. Thank goodness the bumble bee doesn’t know these facts. What are the supposed “facts” that are holding you back?
Replacing your faulty mental “switches”

Replacing your faulty mental “switches”

A few years ago, I installed a light switch incorrectly. So, instead of flipping the switch up to turn on the light, 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 my new switch went against all the other switches in my house and therefore my brain was constantly being reinforced by the old, established habit of switch up, light on. If your brain is constantly being fed information that supports the insecurity-driven thinking of emotional struggle (doubts, fears, and negativity), then isolated attempts to be more hopeful or optimistic just can’t compete. Not unless you engage in a systematic process of extinguishing all the faulty thinking “switches” that reinforce and anxiety and depression. #anxiety #depression
Worry begets worry. Time to get off the treadmill

Worry begets worry. Time to get off the treadmill

Okay, so maybe you’re prone to worrying or maybe you might even call yourself a worrywart, and maybe preparing for the worst doesn’t sound so terrible to you. You may even 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, 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 a potential storm, 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. Saying this differently, worry is often an attempt to somehow—if not magically—find a way to figure out how to feel less vulnerable. www.selfcoaching.net
If you’re considering taking medication for anxiety or depression

If you’re considering taking medication for anxiety or depression

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
A good reason to look forward to winter

A good reason to look forward to winter

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to winter for one reason—solace! Interpretation: no more leaf blowers! When I was a kid there wasn’t the deafening sound of leaf blowers or gas lawn mowers. Only the occasional sound of a scratching rake or the spinning blades of a push mower. Yeah, I was spoiled. I wonder if today’s youth are as sensitive to noise pollution? I was driving through the town of Sleepy Hollow, New York this summer and noticed a sign that read, “Town Ordinance: No gas-powered equipment until after Labor Day.” Now, that’s my kind of town! Say what you will about the cold or low light of winter, but do take a moment to rejoice in the serenity of quiet. You know, the way the world is supposed to sound.
You don’t have to be fearless in order to be courageous

You don’t have to be fearless in order to be courageous

It’s a mistake to think that being courageous means you’re fearless.The courageous person doesn’t eliminate fear, he/she manages it.
Sometimes it pays to listen to frogs

Sometimes it pays to listen to frogs

It’s not life struggle that brings us to our knees, it’s our interpretation that does.
How to feel more empowered and less victimized by life

How to feel more empowered and less victimized by life

Regardless of your current belief or struggle, periodically during the day practice allowing yourself to believe that everything you need to have a happy and successful life, you already possess. Just permit yourself to relax and accept this fundamental notion—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, accept it “as-if” it’s true. The important thing in this drill is to begin feeling what it’s like to be empowered and not victimized by life. Later, as you progress with this exercise, you might be surprised at the lasting changes in your mood and your life.
The real reason you’re not more successful

The real reason you’re not more successful

You don’t quit because it’s too hard, too frustrating, or too complicated. You quit because you allow yourself to believe it’s too hard, frustrating, or complicated. The person who refuses to accept negativity is the person who will always triumph.
What keeps you from your happiness goals

What keeps you from your happiness goals

It’s been said that the distance between success and failure can only be measured by one’s desire. And yet desire alone, if not coupled with action will remain simply a yearning. Are you yearning for what you want? Or are you moving toward what you want? #anxiety #depression
How do you know when your life is sputtering?

How do you know when your life is sputtering?

When regrets begin to replace dreams, it’s time to take a look. Are you moving forward, aspiring toward self-improvement, or are you frozen with regrets? Starting today, let go of yesterday’s regrets, ignite your life by allowing yourself to believe—and dream about the happiness that awaits you. #anxiety #depression
Time to be honest with yourself

Time to be honest with yourself

Ever notice how many reasons you come up with for why you “can’t?” Not enough time…too hard…too busy…too tired. And yet, in order to figure out why you can, all you have to do is recognize that the reasons why you “couldn’t” weren’t reasons at all—just excuses! #anxiety #depression
Avoiding mental friction

Avoiding mental friction

Insecurity—the excessive fear of vulnerability—acts as mental friction creating hesitations and doubts. From a Self-Coaching perspective, it’s insecurity that feeds the “habits” of anxiety, depression, and all emotional struggle. Security, on the other hand, is a relative term. Rather than seeing it as something you achieve; see it as an ongoing muscle-building process of living your life courageously (i.e., not yielding to insecurity’s doubt, fear, and negativity). Rather than allowing insecurity to insist that you must over-control life by anticipating and worrying, be willing to take a leap of faith and risk letting life unfold naturally, in the moment. To do this you’ll need to also risk trusting—self and life.
A simple Self-Coaching exercise that can change your life

A simple Self-Coaching exercise that can change your life

Regardless of your current belief or struggle, periodically during each day practice allowing yourself to believe that everything you need to have a happy and successful life, you already possess. Just permit yourself to relax and accept this fundamental notion—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, accept it as-if it’s true. The important thing in this drill is to begin feeling what it’s like to be empowered and not victimized by life. Later, as you progress with this SelfCoaching exercise, you might be surprised at the lasting changes in your mood and your life. #anxiety #depression #selfhelp
The Key to success

The Key to success

In our pursuit of our goals, we sometimes find ourselves feeling intimidated or worse, overwhelmed. And sometimes this is because we grow impatient and leave the path of moderation, leaping too far forward. The key to success is to deconstruct every goal into reasonable, moderate and manageable steps. Nothing is impossible, even the word impossible when broken down, becomes: I’m possible.
How to make a difference in your life today

How to make a difference in your life today

How many chores will you get done today? Five? Ten? Twenty? Of those chores, how many will make a difference in your life? More precisely, how many of those chores fall into the category of mindless compulsivity? Ask yourself one question today, “What will make a difference?” Just asking this question begins to help orient you toward a less driven, compulsive lifestyle. Simply put, happiness is figuring out how to have more “want-tos” and less “have-tos” in your day-to-day life.
Are you avoiding life?

Are you avoiding life?

Overeating, inactivity, procrastination, laziness, ever wonder why you try to anesthetize yourself from life as if you’re trying to avoid something painful? Never doubt that the greatest pain is the realization of a life half-lived.
Defining successful living

Defining successful living

Without question success is a wonderful thing, but let’s not forget that success is a relative term. As anyone who has ever reached a desired goal in life knows that success is transient. You celebrate a victory today and tomorrow invariably presents new challenges. If you’re looking for something more enduring, realize that simply reaching your goals is only part of the picture. Appreciating your ongoing efforts and intentions, fighting the good fight, staying involved in your own evolution, now that’s successful living! Let’s redefine success, not only as reaching goals, but by learning to live in harmony with your intentions Do this and every day becomes a blue-ribbon day!
Thinking less, doing more

Thinking less, doing more

Do you waste much time thinking about what you should have done, might have done, or are going to do? If so, imagine how much time you’d have if you learn to think less and do more. #anxiety #depression
Life got you down? Take a lesson from the caterpillar.

Life got you down? Take a lesson from the caterpillar.

If only a caterpillar could know its butterfly potential, how easy it would be to endure its dreary caterpillar existence. You may not know what’s ahead, but you’ve got nothing to lose by acting as if one day you will fly. #depression #anxiety #hope
A happy life starts with perspective–a wide angle perspective!

A happy life starts with perspective–a wide angle perspective!

When you become victimized by anxious thoughts or depressed moods, your perspective narrows. We call this loss of perspective tunnel vision–the inability to see the bigger picture. Next time you find yourself in a tunnel vision world, recognize that there’s always an expansive, optimistic view at the end of the tunnel. Whatever it takes, you need to drive toward the light. Just because you don’t see it (yet) doesn’t mean the wide-angle perspective isn’t there. #depression #anxiety #happiness
Are you plodding or flowing through life?

Are you plodding or flowing through life?

Life is like a stream with a swift current running through it. With pessimism we plod against the force of the current, feeling the endless resistance of the water pushing against us. With optimism, we flow with the current, feeling the endless energy and buoyancy of the water. Why would anyone choose to go against the current? Why indeed! #anxiety #depression #happiness
What if you were to treat anxiety and depression as habits?

What if you were to treat anxiety and depression as habits?

If you think of anxiety and depression as habits that are driven by insecurity, then the question you need to ask yourself is, “am I feeding or starving my habit?” How do you feed a habit of anxiety or depression? With crumbs called doubt, fear, and negativity.
Life, what really matters

Life, what really matters

In our fast paced, multi-tasking, stressful lives we often lose sight of the essential need to stay focused and connected to what we do. Once while St. Francis of Assisi was hoeing his garden, he was asked what would he do it if he were suddenly to learn that he was to die at sunset? He replied, “I would finish hoeing my garden.” It’s not what you do in life that makes you feel significant, it’s the significance you invest in life that does. Whatever you do, do it with all your heart. Nothing else matters.
Stop trying to be perfect

Stop trying to be perfect

If you insist on perfection, you will fail. Why? Because perfection is a myth–no one is, or can ever be, without flaw. The key to success is to be on a path that merely points towards “perfecting” yourself. You’ll never become perfect, but you’ll always be bettering yourself. And if it were possible to become perfect, just realize how impossible the maintenance would be to remain perfect! #anxiety #OCD #compulsive
The secret to future happiness

The secret to future happiness

No one can predict the future. This is true. However, you may be able to find solace in the laws of probability. If you courageously live each day according to your intentions–rather than against them (procrastination, avoidance, impulsivity, etc.) –you can bask in the knowledge that your success in life becomes a probability. We might even say, a certainty! #anxiety #depression #happiness
The value of appreciating your “pearls”

The value of appreciating your “pearls”

Like pearls strung together on a necklace, life is ultimately the accumulation of many actions joined together by a common thread—you are that thread. Every action, every effort, every attempt toward self-improvement needs to be valued—these are your pearls.
Procrastination—the enemy of a happy life

Procrastination—the enemy of a happy life

Blink an eye, a month slips by. Blink again, a year. Procrastination is an enemy of the soul. If you are frozen with putting-off-until-tomorrow thinking, then embrace the words of Frederick Douglass, “It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.” Do it today!
Why you should embrace setbacks

Why you should embrace setbacks

According to an old proverb, “The great question is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with failure.” When it comes to past setbacks and failures, history will repeat itself if nothing changes. Rather than feeling guilt or shame over a failure, be thankful! Thankful for the opportunity to know what NOT to do next time. #anxiety #depression #selfhelp
When you were born or when you die don’t matter

When you were born or when you die don’t matter

I saw a tombstone the other day inscribed with the years, 1920 – 1999. To me neither the birth date (1920) nor the death date (1999) mattered much. What mattered was the dash inscribed between these dates. It’s the dash that represents the life that was once lived. When you were born or when you die aren’t nearly as important as what you’re doing with your dash-years! #anxiety #depression #happiness
There’s always a way

There’s always a way

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” (Pogo, 1970)

Life doesn’t stop us from reaching our goals, we stop us. Self-distrust, pessimism, negativity, fear–whatever the circumstances that frustrate you, there’s a way. If not through the front door, then the side door, the back door –there’s always a way!

#anxiety #depression #selfhelp

The Self-Coaching secret to eliminating anxiety

The Self-Coaching secret to eliminating anxiety

The “secret” is rather simple, “Be where you are.” That’s it! With anxiety you’re anywhere but where you are. You may, for example imagine yourself in the dentist’s chair or confronting your boss for a raise, in which case you’ve transported yourself to an anxious future. You need to simply accept where you are at any given moment—sitting on a chair in your living room, washing a dish, etc. Do this and you will be minimizing, if not eliminating, anxiety. Why? Because insecurity-driven, anxious thinking takes place, not where you are, but where you “might” be in the future. It’s a good idea to periodically check out where you mind is and, more importantly, where you are in time and space.This will take some practice especially if you’re prone to worry, but once you return to where you are, you’ll notice a calmer feeling as you let go of things that may never ever happen. #anxiety #depression #worrying #selfhelp
Unlearning Anxiety & Depression

Unlearning Anxiety & Depression

Coming this Fall

Unlearning Anxiety & Depression

(Now available on Amazon.com as a pre-order)

Is self-doubt ruining your life?

Is self-doubt ruining your life?

“I’m not sure I can handle that.” “I don’t think I’m good enough.” Self-doubt is a form of control intended to protect you from…life! Self-doubt can easily become a psychological cancer that erodes both confidence and motivation. It’s living life with one foot on the gas, one foot on the brake—frozen with insecurities. The solution is simple: a willingness to risk believing in yourself. #anxiety #depression #selfhelp

Positive thinking is okay, but…

  Positive thinking and positive affirmations alone are only 50% of the battle. The other 50% is positively believing. Unless you believe what you tell yourself, nothing will change. #positivethinking #selfhelp #depression
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Is life is holding you back?

  You can waste a lot of time feeling trapped, victimized and held back from the life you want. The question should never about who or what is going to allow you to have the life you want. The answer should always be the same: you don’t need permission! #anxiety #depression #selfhelp
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Why do rainy days get such a bad rap?

Why do rainy days get such a bad rap?

The only difference between a rainy day and a sunny day is that one is wet, the other isn’t. The point is that everything in life just “is.” Nature, life, sunny days and rainy days are neither good nor bad–they just are! It’s we humans that determine good, bad, positive or negative. It’s called perspective. It’s never life that brings you to your knees, it’s how you interpret life that does. #depression #anxiety #selfhelp
When it’s okay to be selfish

When it’s okay to be selfish

When it comes to putting our needs ahead of others, we often wind up feeling that we’re being selfish. If doing something restorative, like going for a walk, taking a yoga class or simply taking a time out, leaves you with a case of the “guilts,” then it’s time to realize that there needs to be a new word to describe healthy, restorative care of ourselves. The word selfish is typically used to describe egocentric, narcissistic striving, but what’s a word for healthy selfishness? The best word I can come up with is self-respect. #anxiety #depression #selfworth
Adjusting your emotions

Adjusting your emotions

As the saying goes, “We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” When challenged by the winds of adversity it makes no sense to waste time lamenting life’s difficult circumstances. Next time you’re frustrated by problems or setbacks, stop whining, make a few adjustments and then use that same wind to propel and motivate you to go forward. #anxietydepressionselfcoaching
How to live a fulfilled life

How to live a fulfilled life

The truth is that if it weren’t for sickness you wouldn’t value health. If it weren’t for evil you wouldn’t understand the value of what is good. If you never worked, do you think your free time would be as valuable? And if it weren’t for cloudy, stormy days, would not the sunshine be taken for granted? To live a full life of appreciation and perspective, you must embrace all of life.

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The diagnosis of clinical anxiety or depressive disorders requires a physician or other qualified mental health professional. The information provided is intended for informational purposes only. Please understand that the opinions shared with you are meant to be general reference information, and are not intended as a diagnosis or substitute for counseling with your physician or other qualified mental health professional. Self-Coaching.net provides access to resources and other information as a public service. Although reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that all electronic information made available is current, complete and accurate, Joseph J. Luciani, Ph.D. (Dr. Joe) does not warrant or represent that this information is current, complete and accurate. All information is subject to change on a regular basis, without notice.Joseph J. Luciani, Ph.D., assumes no responsibility for any errors in the information provided, nor assumes any liability for any damages incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of the Self-Coaching.net Website.Any electronic information or inquiries that Self-Coaching.net receives from visitors shall not be considered as or treated as, confidential. The inclusion of, or linking to, other Website URLs does not imply my endorsement of, nor responsibility for, those Websites, but has been done as a convenience to my website visitors.