Have you ever tried to hold someone else’s mind in your mind? Let’s do it together right now. Imagine that one of your good friends or close family members is having a good day. Maybe they had a big success at work, maybe they got a good report from their doctor, or maybe they just had one of those days where everything seems to go smoothly—ahhh, those days are nice when they come along, right?
Experiencing Unpleasant Emotions? Invite Them In for Tea: The Counterintuitive Practice of Creating Space for Our Difficult Emotions
What do you do when you feel intense upset, anxiety, anger, or despair? Many of us want to get rid of the unpleasant emotions as soon as possible because unpleasant emotions are, well, unpleasant. We may look for a quick fix that helps turn down the volume on the unpleasantness or distracts us entirely.
Be Nice to Yourself! The Science of Self-Compassion
Will you try an experiment with me? Read the following paragraph and check back in with me afterward.
“You’re a total idiot. Why on earth would you do something like that? You’ll never amount to anything because you can’t get your s*** together. Pull yourself together and stop acting like a big baby!”
Pause As You Exhale: A Mindful Breathing Practice
Check out this video blog with another mindful breathing practice: the “pausing as you exhale” breath. I enjoy teaching this breath for a couple of reasons. First of all, there are steps to follow as you’re breathing, and the steps help keep you anchored mindfully in the current moment.
Don’t Lose Your Mind! Learn to Respond Instead of React
Orlando, St. Paul, Baton Rouge, Dallas (where I live), Nice (France). After a string of recent tragedies, I, like so many people, have been grappling with feelings of shock, outrage, sadness, and confusion. I come to you today not with any answers or direct commentary, but with a request. My request involves a call to action […]
The Mindfulness Boost for Anxiety: The Power of Letting It Be
Over the past 10 years, I think I’ve become much more adept at treating anxiety disorders and wonder if the boost is due to adding mindfulness-based therapies into my repertoire. I have read about research demonstrating that mindfulness-based therapies are at least as effective as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in treating anxiety, with some suggestive evidence […]
This Blog Is Gonna Have Typos: Reflections on Perfectionism
I often joke with my patients that there is evidence of my perfectionism hanging on my office wall in the form of my higher education degrees. You don’t have to attend graduate school, however, in order to be a perfectionist. Perfectionists tend to buy into the belief that they can always be better and do […]
“But why would I want to breathe in the bad stuff?”: A Brief Intro to Tonglen Meditation
That’s the question I often get asked when I teach a specific meditation style called Tonglen. Before I explain Tonglen meditation, think about any guided relaxation exercises you might have done in your life. Many of us have experienced guided meditations, relaxation exercises, and even yoga practices that encourage us to breathe in the “good […]