Art is often used in psychotherapy to explore and process emotions. Different from art therapy, the use of art in psychotherapy is one tool that therapists often use with both children and adults. Here are some benefits of using art in therapy…
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Many parenting approaches fail to address the parent’s thoughts and feelings. By acknowledging and opening up to these experiences, parenting becomes more effective and meaningful.
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“I should be able to do this better,” thinks April. “I just can’t get this project to go well. My work is so hard!” April, like many people, is feeling frustrated and upset about a task at her workplace. As a result, she blames herself, which likely increases her stress, sadness, and job satisfaction. Some […]
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What is Yoga? Yoga is a series of physical poses that work to unify the mind and body. Also, yoga is an easy and fun for parents and children to do together. Kids benefit from yoga in many ways Yoga increases mindfulness Practicing yoga helps children to quiet their minds and better focus. By quieting […]
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In March, the Washington Post published an article called “Teaching Children Self-Compassion by Modeling it Ourselves” by Mandy Lange. The article addresses the idea that children learn how to respond to their difficulties, stressors, and mistakes through their own experiences, and through what they see their parents doing. The article, which you can […]
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“Your dog is so mindful!” my neighbor yelled across the street. Although my kind neighbor was referring to my dog’s obedience, I smirked at the literal thought of my dog’s mindfulness. Mindfulness happens when we notice everything in the present moment. In doing so, we are often more grateful and more content. Sunshine, my 7-month-old […]
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We are a culture that CONSUMES We are great consumers of food, coffee, alcohol, information, clothes, cars, concerts – if there is a thing, and that thing is good, we consume as much of it as we can. Sometimes, this tendency is harmless; then again, sometimes, it’s a pretty big problem. One of the ways […]
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Our goal-oriented mindset is deeply ingrained and persistent. But, nature can provide us with gentle reminders, to explore our lives as they unfold, in the present. As a result, we are less eager to run away from where we are, and we can find contentment and peace. Mindfulness hones our curiosity and inquisitiveness. And nature is the perfect place to do develop these skills.
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A wise friend once said to me:
“Mollie, you’d never buy a footlong sub and then tell yourself – ‘I better eat this all in one bite.’”
At the time, I had a good laugh. And now, years later, I think of this all the time. Because when you put it that way, it makes so much sense – it’s crazy to set an expectation like that. You’d choke, you’d be sick, and you’d feel really terrible about that sandwich.
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Sometimes, just coming back to the things we can reach out and touch, the things we hear, see, smell, or even taste can be helpful. Other times, it can be helpful to be prepared ahead of time, to keep a few little tokens on hand that are soothing, enjoyable, and use our physical senses.
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My alarm goes off, quietly at first, and then a little louder. I turn it off, and then start my daily practice. What do I hear? I listen. I hear the birds chirping, the dog snoring quietly, the sound of my spouse making coffee downstairs. What do I feel? I notice the cool breeze from my fan, the softness of my blanket, and the comfort of my bed. What do I see? I slowly open one eye to appreciate the soft, dappled light through my window and the blue sky on the other side. What do I smell? The scent of my laundry detergent still lingers on my pillowcase. What am I grateful for? I am grateful for this day, for my life, for meaningful work, for my family. I take 4 deep breaths and I get out of bed. Thus ends my meditation for the day.
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Sometimes, the world just moves too quickly. Sometimes, there is too much to do, or too much to think about. Sometimes there is too much noise, too much activity, too many electronics, or too many pressures. Sometimes, there is too much drama or just too much talking.
Sometimes, less is more.
But, it is tough to know how to do less. After all, we can’t just tell our bosses or teachers, “no,” when job responsibilities or homework assignments are expected. We can’t just tell our band director that we can’t do the band concert this week or we can’t tell our boss that an important project is not a priority.
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