Posts in Self-improvement
How to Manage Anxiety

We face stressful situations on a daily basis. Starting a new school year, flying on an airplane, taking a test, maneuvering through rush hour traffic, and meeting tight office deadlines are all anxiety-provoking. Anxiety is a typical emotion that we all feel—in fact, it’s healthy in doses. However, if you regularly feel anxious and anxiety starts to prevent you from your daily activities, it may be a sign of something more serious like an anxiety disorder. How can you recognize symptoms of anxiety and better manage it? Here are some helpful tips…

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How to be a Conscious Parent

Parenting can be a struggle sometimes. When your young child is misbehaving, or your teenager’s behavior is out of control, you may naturally feel frustrated, concerned, and unsure of how to respond. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to parenting, there are ways to decrease stress (for parents and kids) and help your children grow. One option is conscious parenting. Conscious parenting is a mindful, parent-focused approach to parenting. It essentially says that in order to help our children, we must first help ourselves. For example, when your children act up, conscious parenting encourages you to think about your response and your state of mind before you react. Are you going to act on impulse or respond from a place of calm? Let’s learn more about how to be a conscious parent…

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Managing Fear

Think back to a time when you were afraid. What was happening at the time? What made you feel fearful? When you felt fear, how did you respond? Did you take control of your fear, or did you let it hold you back? Fear works like any other emotion. Everyone deals with fear—it’s a natural part of being human. While we can’t avoid fear, we can learn to cope with it. Fear has a tendency to paralyze us, and to make us feel like we’re incapable of doing something simply because we are afraid of what might happen. The problem with fear is that it can prevent us from trying new things, growing as individuals, and reaching our goals. So what can you do to manage your fears? Here are some helpful tips…

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Getting the Most Out of DBT Skills Therapy

We all face our own unique challenges, tough times, and heartache. There are various ways to deal with life’s obstacles, and one of them is DBT skills therapy. Sometimes, the decision to seek therapy is an easy one and sometimes, it takes years to reach out for support. Whether you’re considering DBT or you’re currently in DBT therapy, you should know that the process involves more than just showing up and listening. If you want to get the most out of DBT skills therapy, we’ve got some insider advice for you! Read more…

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How to Self-Soothe to Cope with Distress

Have you ever felt as though your emotions were quickly spiraling out of control? During distressing moments, you may be unsure of how to regulate yourself again. If you’re looking for a better way to deal with crises, the self-soothe skill could work for you!  It’s all about using our six senses to nurture ourselves and cope with distress. By practicing self care using the self-soothe skill, we learn to better tolerate overwhelming events. We can use vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, and movement to lower our distress and feel more relaxed. Here are some ideas to self-soothe…

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What is DBT?

Sometimes, life can be challenging. It’s not easy to keep our emotions in check during distressing times. We may have trouble communicating with others and may unintentionally cause conflicts. We might feel like we’re on an emotional roller coaster without any control of where we’re headed. What can you do if you’re feeling this way? Try DBT! Let’s learn more about DBT, as well as how it can help you manage your emotions and create a life worth living…

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Using Mindfulness to Pay Attention

Nowadays, there are many things fighting for our attention at once. We live in a world where everything is instantaneous—where there’s an excess of digital and interpersonal stimuli that pulls us from what we’re currently doing. With so many distractions, our attention is often split between multiple things at once. When our attention is divided, we’re not as focused in the moment. How do we focus on what’s right in front of us and avoid distractions? We can use mindfulness to cultivate our attention and enhance our experiences. Let’s explore how to go about this…

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How to IMPROVE the Moment

Let’s face it—life is full of curveballs. Things may be going smoothly one minute, and the next, something turns your day upside down. There’s a mix of good and bad surprises every day. How do you deal with daily challenges? Generally, people act impulsively—meaning that they put their emotions before their logic when they face unexpected and overwhelming situations. But sometimes, this is not the best option. Do you need a better way to keep your cool during surprising or frustrating circumstances? A dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skill called IMPROVE the Moment can help you manage difficult emotions during stressful situations. By reducing the intensity of emotion, you can feel more in-control when life throws you a curveball. Here’s how it works…

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Giving Yourself Credit

It’s a super busy and stressful time of year for everyone. There are many ways to deal with distressing situations. Often times, your mindset is crucial to managing stress effectively. Do you criticize yourself for not getting enough done at the end of the day? Or are you hard on yourself when things don’t go as planned? No matter what your goal is, a negative state of mind—one that’s pessimistic, self-critical, or discouraging—won’t do you any good. There’s a great DBT skill that you can apply to improve your mindset, feel less stressed, and reach your goals: “Give Myself Credit.” Let’s learn more about how it works…

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How to Ground Yourself

When you feel stressed or like life is out of control, what do you do? One way to reduce distress is through grounding yourself. The technique of “grounding” oneself is a coping strategy used to calm your state of being. When you ground yourself, you connect to the present moment, to the Earth, and to your body; it allows you to feel centered and balanced no matter what is going on around you. Here are a few ways to ground yourself…

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Reducing Conflicts with the THINK Skill

Do you find it difficult to work things out with others, but you’re not sure why? Often times, when we are interacting with others—particularly when we are disagreeing or arguing with someone else—we approach the situation with a negative mindset. Our brains naturally interpret the other person’s words and actions as negative or threatening. As a result, we jump to conclusions, quickly lash out, and become hostile or defensive. Our emotions (like anger and frustration) can take control of our actions during these situations. This clearly is not acting in an effective manner, especially if your goal is to improve your relationships and communicate in a more healthy way with others. Luckily, there’s a DBT skill which you can employ to reduce disagreements. Use the THINK skill to move from an Emotion Minded place into Wise Mind, where you are able to solve conflicts more effectively. Here’s how it works…

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Quick and Simple Self-Care Strategies

When life gets hectic, how do you practice self-care? Do you feel like there's not enough time in the day to do so? It may feel like you can't take time to de-stress because of all of the “to-do's” of the day or week. But when you neglect practicing self-care, you may feel run down or burnt out. It can certainly impact your emotional and physical well-being. Here are some easy ways to practice self-care in order to feel more refreshed, present, and productive.

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Learning About DBT

Have you ever heard of DBT? DBT is short for Dialectical Behavior Therapy, an evidence-based therapy that integrates Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with Eastern mindfulness practices. DBT is proven effective in helping people develop coping skills, reduce self-harm behaviors and improve negative patterns of thinking. It is validating and empowering as it helps people learn and apply skills to manage strong emotions and urges. Discover more about DBT here…

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How to Avoid Being Reactive

Does your teen feel overwhelmed and emotionally drained? Does your child feel like he or she doesn't have control over his or her life? One key strategy to combat these feelings is to avoid being reactive. When we are reactive, we allow events and other people to dictate how we react. We passively respond to what's going on and we struggle to keep up with life's demands. Whether it’s anger, anxiety, or sadness, our emotions can sometimes manage our actions without us even realizing it. Therefore, we must take responsibility for our actions. We must take a proactive approach, rather than a reactive one. By taking ownership of how we act, we decide what we will do—not the other way around. Here’s how you can be proactive, not reactive…

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How to Take a Brief Vacation

Life always pushes and pulls us in many directions. Between work, school, kids, friends, family, obligations to the community, etc, it’s hard to find the time to slow down in both body and mind. Do you ever feel so distressed that you have to leave the environment that’s making you stressed? By briefly removing yourself from an overwhelming environment or activity, you tend to feel better. You may not realize it, but you’re employing a DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) skill called “brief vacation.” Let’s explore how it works…

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Setting Healthy Boundaries

We all have boundaries, or limits that we establish for ourselves. Setting boundaries is the way we communicate what is okay and what is not okay in our relationships and friendships. Knowing what your boundaries are and what you are comfortable with in your life is very important for your safety and your self-respect. If you know what you are okay with, then you know to speak your mind when you don’t want to engage in something or with someone that creates uncertainty. You can assert your boundaries in a number of different ways. Here are a few examples…

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Practicing Kindness

Have you heard of the saying "A little bit of kindness goes a long way"? It's more than just an expression—it's actually true! Science proves that performing acts of kindness is beneficial for all of the people involved. It reduces anxiety, makes you feel calmer, and increases happiness too. Why not do your part to be kindhearted towards others? Try performing one random act of kindness each day. It can be something big or small—whatever you choose. Are you ready to take this challenge? We’ve got some suggestions to get you started…

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Practicing Forgiveness

Do you sometimes find it difficult to forgive other people? The ability to forgive is an important component for our own personal growth and happiness. Holding on to hurt, pain, resentment, and anger harms us far more than it harms the offender. We should all strive to better forgive others, as well as ourselves. Let’s clarify what forgiveness involves, and explore why it’s beneficial to practice forgiveness…

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Tips for Sticking to Your New Year's Resolution

Everyone sets goals for the New Year, so that we can have a better, healthier year ahead. How are you doing with your resolutions so far? Whether you’re trying to lose weight, get more sleep each night, or spend more time with family, it can be difficult to stick to your resolutions. Use these tips to help stick to your goals for 2019…

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Eating Disorder vs. Disordered Eating: How to Tell the Difference

Do you have a difficult or out-of-control relationship with food? You may potentially have an eating disorder, or it could be disordered eating. It’s often difficult for people to determine if or when their disordered eating habits develop into an eating disorder. Many wonder, “How do I know it’s really a problem?” Disordered eating habits are fairly common. Perhaps you eat when you are bored or upset (you may not actually be hungry at the time), or you eat the same thing for breakfast each morning. Disordered eating behaviors can be precursors to more alarming behaviors that fall into the “eating disorder” realm. However, you can engage in disordered eating without having a more serious eating disorder. Read more about some key differences between the two...

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