Are You Numbing Out On Self-Care?

woman looking stressed in bathtub

A few weeks before my wedding, I caught a nasty cold.

I remember marching into my therapy appointment — head pounding and body aching — furious that I was sick. I was frustrated that being sick was getting in the way of what I thought I had to do to feel beautiful and relaxed on my wedding day. Things like: run every day, tone my arms, double-down on my skin regimen, cook homemade meals, get a haircut, drink green juice, and meditate regularly. I was overcome with guilt that I didn’t have the energy to do any of it.

“I’m just so tired,” I blubbered to my therapist in between sobs. Continue reading Are You Numbing Out On Self-Care?

Stop Over Apologizing

young girl covering her eyes

We have all apologized at some point in our lives. We are taught from a very young age that when you do or say something wrong, you apologize.

Period.

But what if you didn’t do anything wrong? What if you are just being yourself? Sometimes we apologize too easily for things that do not need an apology or explanation, and many times we do this unconsciously without even realizing it — but it doesn’t have to be that way. Continue reading Stop Over Apologizing

How to Protect Yourself From Overthinking

kid sitting outside looking puzzled

If you overthink, you obsess about mistakes that were made yesterday and feel distress about plans in your future. It can take shape as significant worry over performance at school or at work, as well as an invasive concern about how others perceive your actions and what you say. Often, this transforms relatively harmless conversations and interactions into endless loops of thinking, leading a person to experience distress, anguish and obsession. If this compulsion to overthink sounds familiar, continue reading for ways to reduce anxiety levels and contain some of these negative thought patterns. Continue reading How to Protect Yourself From Overthinking

6 Ways to Be More Compassionate About Your Body Image

woman smelling flowers wearing a shirt that says resilience

We love summer, but we don’t love the negative messaging surrounding body image and the harm to self esteem that it typically breeds. Summer means pool parties and beach days, people wearing their swimsuits, and being a little bit more scantily clad in general. You’ll also likely see an influx of articles about the best workouts and diets for a beach body, but let me tell you a secret: if you have a body and you’re on the beach…you’ve already got a beach body.

Developing better self confidence and self esteem is something that doesn’t come easily to a lot of us. It’s easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others in the summertime, and to kick yourself for not looking exactly how you wish you looked. We have to work hard at building a better body image — and while we’re doing that, we also have to remember to be kind to ourselves.

Continue reading 6 Ways to Be More Compassionate About Your Body Image

What Role Does Physical Environment Play in Your Mental Health?

man waiting for the subway pulling his hair in stress

Mental health isn’t simply about what’s going on inside your head. What’s happening outside your head is important, too — from a cluttered bedroom to a poorly-lit office to the view from a window — it can all impact your well-being.

Physical environments directly impact our psychological health. It’s easy to see why: we spend a lot of time thinking about what’s around us. And all that external stimuli has an effect! Maybe the laundry hasn’t been folded in three days, and it bugs you every time you go to bed. Or your kitchen is dark and gloomy, and so cooking dinner makes you sad. Continue reading What Role Does Physical Environment Play in Your Mental Health?

5 Ways to Turn Your Day Around NOW

A smiling fox with his eyes closed

Science knows the secret to happiness — and it’s a lot more simple than you’d think.

That, at least, was the message of a recent New York article that summarized the scientific consensus on what makes humans happy. And, well: turns out that you could probably guess the answers. Beyond having your basic needs met, money, as your mom probably could have told you, does not buy happiness — though it can buy free time to do what you want, which does make you happier. Gratitude is good. Social connection is important. Doing things for others makes us feel better about ourselves.

This is all well and good for the long term. Sure, we all plan to incorporate more family time into our days, take up a hobby, and give back. But when you’re having a crappy day, it’s not enough to plan for the future — you want to know how can the research on happiness can make your day better now.

Continue reading 5 Ways to Turn Your Day Around NOW

How Setting Micro-goals Can Increase Happiness

Writing a list of micro-goals

It’s easy to feel pressure to make, and then meet, life-changing resolutions at the start of each year. Maybe you pledge to lose 50 pounds, get in a workout in every day or go completely sugar free. But once January wraps up, many find themselves unable to fully realize them, leaving a lingering feeling of discouragement and frustration in its wake. But there is another way — setting realistic micro-goals.

The idea is simple: For any goal you are aiming to accomplish, micro-goals break down the large task into manageable, bite-sized parts. Rather than thinking about nailing that big-picture accomplishment, stay focused on achieving small nuggets of progress and go after them one tiny increment at a time.

Continue reading How Setting Micro-goals Can Increase Happiness

What Is Happiness, Anyway?

Person sitting by the ocean

If you Google the phrase “how to be happy,” you’ll be met with about 207 million answers.

There’s the recent study that examined how much money a person needs to make to lead the happiest and most satisfied life possible ($95,000/year for overall satisfaction, and $60-75,000 for day-to-day happiness). There’s a quiz on how to be happier at work, infinite mommy blogs detailing how to find personal happiness as a mom, wellness publications offering unconventional ways to boost happiness, religious content exploring what happiness looks like as a Christian … you get the point. Everyone has something to say about what it means to be happy. As a result, happiness feels almost like a myth.

Continue reading What Is Happiness, Anyway?

Why We Can’t Wait Around for That Big Happy Moment

time to be happy written in beach sand wave behind

Why We Can’t Wait Around for That Big Happy Moment” originally appeared on Shine, a free daily text to help you thrive.

“Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness” – Pearl S. Buck

It was a chilly evening in my cramped Brooklyn apartment, so I lit a candle and rolled out a yoga mat. I got into Child’s Pose, and, out of nowhere, I started crying. It wasn’t just a few tears I could dab away with my shirtsleeve—it was a snot-induced, ugly cry. I asked myself, “Why do I feel so unhappy?”

I think about happiness a lot, and I often wonder if I think about the emotion more than I actually feel it. On my tear-stained yoga mat, I realized that I hold out for happiness. Maybe I’ll feel it momentarily, but it’s fleeting. I’m always thinking of the bigger picture and waiting to be happy. Continue reading Why We Can’t Wait Around for That Big Happy Moment