In lieu of quick-tip Tuesday, I have long-winded tip Monday. It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, I’m afraid. But I have laryngitis and since I can’t talk very well, I need to use up my apparent quota of words in written form. At any rate, I would like to espouse the virtues of giving yourself some credit. It’s time to give yourself a big pat on the back and here’s why: Positive reinforcement is the best type of motivator. This is true of faithful animal companions, spouses, school children and ourselves. Noticing what we do well gives us motivation to do more of it and to keep improving. (Examples: Sit. Good dog, Fido! Nicely done with the vacuuming, honey! Good effort with the arithmetic, Sally! Way to go me, getting the bills paid and the dishes done . . . read more
We all make mistakes. Be prepared to make amends and heal the conflict by owning your part. Here’s the recipe for a good apology. 1. State what you did wrong 2. Own that you are responsible 3. Acknowledge how this must have impacted the other person 4. Say what you will do differently in the future and/or how you will attempt to repair this wrong 5. Be sincere!
Starting something new is almost universally scary, at least a little. Therapy is no exception. In fact, everyday I come to appreciate more and more how truly brave it is to make the decision to meet with a stranger for the first time to potentially discuss the most personal of matters. There just aren’t many forums for this type of talk in our society. Frankly, there is not much encouragement to talk about deep and potentially unflattering emotional material in the “real world.” And yet, what I (and hopefully my clients too) have come to realize is that it is an absolute necessity to talk about hard stuff in a constructive way. Letting it circle our brains over and over again is generally what a lot of us do. That’s less than effective. All that spinning leaves us awake at . . . read more
Stress is a very normal part of our everyday lives. Probably everyone except especially pampered pets are subjected to some amount of stress. So becoming skilled at finding ways to knock it down a notch or two is incredibly important. We all know that chronic stress is terrible for our physical and emotional health. In the interest of your health, I’ve brainstormed some fun and easy ways to cope more effectively. Please share your ideas as well! Notice topics of interest and allow yourself some time to nurture these interests. It could be reading crime mysteries, watching documentaries on ancient cultures, or bird-watching. Having something that’s just for you because you like it is healthy! Laugh. I don’t care if you have to YouTube a funny video of a talking dog. Find something to laugh at and you’ll feel better . . . read more
There’s a new gym near where I live. I’m feeling inspired by watching the very fit people walking in and out. Lately, I’ve considered hiring a personal trainer to help me out. I want to sleep better, have more energy, and be a little stronger. These seem like reasonable goals, right? A very astute person said to me recently that therapy is like personal training: its something you do to be more fit and well, not something you do because you are unwell or somehow lacking. I think this is a great comparison. It’s perfectly wise to hire a professional to help with your physical fitness. It’s similarly prudent to hire a professional to improve your emotional and interpersonal well being. Yes, there is some hard work involved, but with support and encouragement improvement is very attainable. Fall is a . . . read more