Have you ever wished you had a guidebook for your child? Thanks to Dr. Alan Kazdin, you can have the next best thing. As a parent, you will get a lot of (often unsolicited!) advice, much of it conflicting. It can be difficult to know who to listen to or what to do.
Who among us hasn't had a goal they've had difficulty accomplishing? What's gotten in the way? Maybe the goal felt TOO BIG. In my previous post on setting goals, I mentioned that it can be helpful to start small when setting goals. This may seem counter-intuitive if you have a big goal in mind. So why start "low" with your goals?
Setting ambitious goals can feel good, but trying to reach those goals can feel overwhelming...especially if it requires a big time commitment. Setting small, well-defined, and easily attainable goals to start can get you on the right track working toward your goal by building confidence in your ability to achieve the goal and getting you into the habit of taking steps toward that goal. Don't start lower than where you already are, but if you're feeling overwhelmed by all that's in front of you, try adding just a little at a time.
"The What to Do" Guides are a series of books by psychologist Dr. Dawn Huebner for helping children deal with a variety of problems ranging from every day difficulties, like how to respond to anger, to diagnosable problems, like OCD.
Have you ever noticed that your mind is rarely where you are? We're usually either thinking about what we've already done, what we plan to do, or what we wish we'd done differently. This can detract from truly experiencing your life, and can result in negative emotions. Try taking some time each day to be present in the moment. During this time, try to really focus on what you are doing. Notice all of the sensations you are experiencing. Try not to judge your experience. When you find your mind wandering, gently bring it back to the present. Try not to get frustrated by your wandering mind. Just notice it and move on. The more you practice, the less you'll find your mind wandering, and the easier it will be to be present in any given moment.
This practice, also known as mindfulness, can help you to feel more centered and help to manage negative emotions such as distress about the past or anxiety about the future. Research also shows that even short periods of daily mindfulness practice may lead to positive changes in brain structure. Click here for more information about how mindfulness positively impacts your brain and mental health.
Most people carry around more tension than they realize, which can lead to physical complaints such as headaches, muscle aches, and difficulty sleeping. The neck, shoulders, and jaw are common areas of the body to hold tension. A few times a day, mentally scan your body for tension (paying particular attention to those areas that carry tension most often), and try to intentionally let go of any extra tension you're holding. Notice the difference in how you feel once the tension is released.
Anxiety makes us want to avoid things, but avoiding them makes us more anxious. Instead of feeding your fears, try taking small steps toward facing them.
Seeing a psychologist doesn't mean you're "crazy" or mentally ill; it means that there are areas of your life you'd like to improve, and that you want professional advice from someone with specialized training about how to improve them.