All posts filed under: Mental Health

5 Minute Mindfulness: Leaves on a Stream Visualization

If you haven’t read my first post describing what mindfulness is, I suggest reading it before playing the recording below. Below is an audio clip I made of one of my favorite mindfulness visualization exercises called, “Leaves on a Stream.” This exercise is designed to help individuals who struggle with racing thoughts, negative self-talk, anxiety, etc. It helps us practice not giving weight or power to the thoughts we have, but rather act as a non-judgmental observer of these thoughts. This exercise involves a high amount of visualization, so if that’s not a strong-suit for you, it might not be as impactful. If that’s you, I will be posting other mindfulness audios that are a less visualization-heavy, so stay tuned. 🙂 Give it a try, and let me know what you think!

Mindful-What?? Exploring the Practice That’s Taken the Psychology World by Storm

“Mindfulness.” It’s a buzz word, isn’t it? It’s something we throw around because we feel like we should know what it means (and at this point, we’re too afraid to ask.) Mindfulness has been the subject of countless studies, and it’s something many psychologists and therapist believe to be enormously effective in reducing the symptoms of a variety of psychological disorders. Mindfulness is firmly planting your feet in the “here and now.” It is the act of being intentional, purposeful, and present in whatever you are doing: if you are breathing, you’re focused on your breath; if you’re studying, your mind is fully occupied by what you’re learning; if you’re thinking about your emotions, you are present in what you’re feeling. If you’re like me, so far, this doesn’t sound that revolutionary Hang in there, this is where it gets good! If you think about how you go about your day, you probably think, feel, and behave almost completely on autopilot. You wake up, groggily eat breakfast, zone out as you drive to work, react …

Understanding Your Insomnia and What to Do About It

My first experience of insomnia was in college, and it was terrible. When you can’t sleep, it feels like a loss of control. You feel betrayed by a body that won’t take what it badly needs. I had no idea that I could survive on so little sleep, and no idea how to make it better. That is, until I did some research, tried out what I found, and made progress in tackling my insomnia. The first and most important question to ask yourself about your insomnia is where it might be coming from. Keep reading for different possible causes, and what to do about it. Is it Related to Mental Health? If insomnia has recently flared up, ask yourself what else has changed during that time. Have you become more stressed? Has your mental health been suffering? Anxiety, depression, and a variety of other psychological concerns can contribute to difficulty sleeping at night. If this is something you’re wondering about, perhaps now is the time to seek out psychotherapy. Finding a licensed psychologist, mental …

How to Help a Loved One Who Struggles with Depression

Many of us who try to educate ourselves in mental health/psychology have experienced that feeling of helplessness when someone we love is suffering with clinical levels of a disorder. When we see someone in pain, often times, our first instincts are to try to “fix the problem,” do something to make it better, or say the perfect thing to help. A lot of times, these efforts don’t have their intended impact. This post is dedicated to those of us who want to help our loved ones with depression, but aren’t sure where to start. First Things First: Understanding Depression While we all experience sadness, hard days, and times when we feel down, depression is something over and above just ‘having a hard time.’ This is an essential thing to understand about depression: if you don’t have it, you probably don’t understand. I am sure you’ve all seen the check list of possible symptoms of depression, so I won’t bother by listing what a quick google search can tell you. What the DSM-V doesn’t explicitly say …

Series Introduction: Wellness

The connection between mind and body has been widely studied and consistently replicated. Staying active, along with eating some certain kinds of foods, has been found to alleviate a variety of symptoms related to mental health. As a lover of exercise and former college athlete, I love being active in a way that feels good both physically and emotionally. Here, I will explore healthy eating, motivation for exercise, development of a routine that works for you, and body positivity.

Series Introduction: Relationships

My husband and I met in 2012 through college athletics. He was cute and really fast, I was a basket case, so voilà, we naturally started dating. Throughout our 5 year dating relationship and now almost 2 years of marriage, we have learned a lot about ourselves, each other, and relationships as a whole. Humble brag: I married the most genuinely kind person on the planet. In return, he got a wife that makes really good banana bread, so I’d say it’s a fair trade. In all seriousness, there have been times where our relationship has been really easy, but also times where we’ve had to work at it. I’d love to share what we’ve done to make the good times great and the hard times better. In this series of posts on intimate relationships, I’ll focus on skills we’ve learned, tricks we’ve tried, what has worked (and what hasn’t), and great advice we’ve been given to help our relationship flourish.

Series Introduction: Mental Health

Our thoughts and emotions are powerful. They dictate how we see the world and how we act on it. Having unhelpful ways of thinking, along with some deep and unaddressed hurts is so, sonormal. And yet, these are really hard to talk about. It’s all too easy to slap a smile over our struggles and pretend they aren’t there. We put that painful stuff in a dusty box in the farthest corners of our closet, and keep the new, shiny shoes up front. And that’s okay for a little while. The problem is, the longer we wait to really look at what we’ve put in that closet, the heavier our box becomes. So, let’s do some spring cleaning: let’s look at what we’ve put away and see if it’s something we really want to carry with us into our next chapter. If not, let’s work day by day to slowly set it down.