Strategies

When we think of the holiday season, two thoughts might come to mind. On one side we have Hallmark’s branding of the happy family gathered around a table, breaking bread, laughing and enjoying their time together. On the other side, we have Hollywood movies portraying a constant chaotic, stressful gathering of people who just barely tolerate one another. Which is truth? Well that probably varies for each individual person...
Radical acceptance is a skill we teach in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) that aims to help you move from anger and pain to acceptance of the realities of life. It is the key to feeling more in control of your emotions. We all face situations in life that interfere with our mental health and overall happiness and learning how to radically accept them can make a profound difference in your life.
Many of us deal with stress and frustration multiple times each day. From delays on the subway to friendship or family drama, these events can interfere with your mood and create more emotional dysregulation if they are pushed away or ignored. During these times, the IMPROVE skill, developed by Marsha Linehan, can be used to reduce the intensity of their emotions in any kind of situation and feel more in control of their lives.
As a flight attendant for the last 22 years, it may surprise you to hear that I have a fear of roller coasters. I understand the anxiety that exists and how it controls my mind when I go to an amusement park. Going to an amusement park, though, is a choice. For many, avoiding flying whether for work, play, or fun, is not always an option. People who feel anxious about getting on a plane can experience  a sense of dread, panic and, at worst, paralyzing fear.
There are many reasons to seek out a therapist. From relationships to no relationships, work to no work, healthy, wealth, worries, and all the other things in between. Whether you think a therapist is right for you, it could be the key to helping you overcome some major road blocks in your life. Here are my top 10 reasons why therapy may be something you need.
No matter who you are, practicing self-care is important for your mental and physical health. It can be hard to shift the focus from family and friends to yourself, and it's necessary. In fact, if you want to be the best for everyone else, you've got to spend some time on yourself first. Self-care doesn't mean avoiding your work to go to the spa or a fancy dinner; it's more about adding in activities each day that help you feel good.
The way we speak to ourselves impacts every aspect of our lives. If we are critical and hard on ourselves, we become more stressed, depressed and insecure. Practicing self-compassion can help you become more motivated, self-assured and confident. Self-compassion research reveals that individuals who practice the core components are far less likely to suffer from mental health conditions and are more resilient.
For most of us, smartphones have become extensions of our hands. We rely on them for so much: to connect us to friends and family, to check the time, to manage our busy schedules, and if you’re in DBT therapy, to call your therapist for skills coaching. Our phones can be assets to our day, and they can also be distractions, leading us down a path of time-wasting and mindlessness. They can be reminders of all the stress in our lives, all the to-dos, and can be vehicles of jealousy and “FOMO” when on social media.
Did you know that most people don’t breathe properly? To do it properly, you must be conscious and mindful. When done correctly, breathing can relieve stress, anxiety, depression, pain, help you focus and concentrate, regulate sleep and wake cycles, and calm your central nervous system.