Archives for mindfulness

Coping Skills

Six Ways to Build Happiness from Within

What does it really mean to have happiness from within? Doesn't happiness come from laughing with friends, having a family you love and enjoying your work?  Certainly there are many ways that you can find happiness outside yourself. But lasting, enduring happiness comes from within and isn't so affected by whether you lose your job or a friend moves half way around the world. You can develop happiness from within in many ways. Here are a few ideas that make sense to me.

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Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Living Your Life Fully Through Mindfulness

  Emotionally Sensitive People are capable of great joy.  You are the person who lights up the room and makes any get-together a memorable event.  Your sensitivity also means that  your capacity for joy can be lost, buried under depression or fear.  Here's some ideas for how to recover your ability to live fully with all the joy and love you naturally have.

1.  Be mindful of your fears.  Are you making decisions based on fear?  Maybe you fear not being good enough, being rejected or being hurt. Those fears can keep you isolated and alone. So think about it. Really focus in a purposeful, nonjudgmental way on the decisions you are making. Do you truly want to avoid life rather than experience difficult emotions?  In ten years from now do you want to look back and say,  "I'm so glad I isolated and didn't take any chances? "  You could be dancing, planting community gardens, listening to music or playing music, singing, taking your grandchildren to the park and other pleasurable activities. You risk people not approving, talking negatively, and saying hurtful statements. You risk feeling sad and hurt for a time.  Be mindful of what you really want for your life, not just about what you fear. Pay attention, on purpose to what is your heart's desire, not your fear. If you are making decisions based on fear, then decide if you want to change that.
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Coping Skills

6 Triggers for Emotional Eating

Eating when you aren't physically hungry can be so frustrating as well as damaging to your health. Afterward, you're miserably full and bloated and upset that you overate or binged yet again despite your determination to not do so.

Overcoming emotional eating is very difficult and can be a constant challenge. Food is everywhere and tempts with immediate pleasure and relief. You can't practice abstinence from food.

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Coping Skills

Creating Hope

In 1965 Martin Seligman "discovered" learned helplessness. He found that when animals are subjected to difficult situations they cannot control, they  stop trying to escape. They become passive. Human beings are the same. If you have experienced devastating defeats, a persistent situation that you couldn't change, or experienced terror and been out of control of escape from that terror, then you may have lost hope for your ability to change your life or to change painful situations.

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Coping Skills

Your Mind is a Gifted Storyteller

Creating interesting stories is a time-honored skill and entertainment for many. A good storyteller can keep the attention of small children as well as antsy, busy businessmen. Unfortunately, your mind is also a great storyteller. Sometimes you may not realize what is truth and what is fiction created by your mind.

Your mind is always creating explanations and possibilities about the world you live in. It will interpret and make assumptions in creating its stories, about the past and the future as well as the present. It rattles on and on and is rarely even close to quiet. Your mind may have a favorite genre--suspense, drama or horror. It may also have favorite themes such as victims, persecutors or helplessness. The mind's stories are about how you see the world.

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Borderline Personality Disorder

Acting Opposite to Your Emotion

We often act consistent with how we feel. If you wake up in the morning and you don't feel like talking with people, maybe you don't answer the phone. If you don't feel like going to the grocery store, then you don't go. If you don't feel like networking then you cancel the luncheon. If you don't feel like being kind, you may talk gruffly to your friends and co-workers. Perhaps you even justify your actions, or attempt to, by saying, "I'm just in a bad mood."

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Borderline Personality Disorder

Value Your Life Contributions

We all have days that everything seems to go wrong.  We get a speeding ticket, the dishwasher stops working and your zippers splits when you're already late for a dinner engagement. Sometimes what goes wrong is bigger and more difficult. Maybe your best friend is moving away or someone you love is diagnosed with cancer. Those times are particularly tough and may lead you to wonder what life's all about.

Actually, what is your life all about? One of the most effective ways of coping with daily ups and down is to know your purpose, your contribution to the world. What is it that you contribute to the human race or to our world?  Knowing your part in the world can help you see the forest when the trees all seem negative. Every contribution to a better world counts. Every person can make a difference. Do you know what your purpose is?

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Borderline Personality Disorder

Self-Scapes of Fear

How do you see yourself and your world?  The way you view both affects the way you live your life.  You may be quite secure about who you are and your safety in the world. Or not.  Let's call the basic way you look at yourself and the world on an everyday basis your self-scape.  It's like your emotional landscape. Do you wake up in the morning and see a full, lush emotional world?  Do you focus on the people who support you?  Or do you tend to see a barren world?  Or perhaps even a landscape full of aggression and hostility, with people ready to destroy you when actually you are safe, it just doesn't feel that way?

If you are in a situation that is physically dangerous, your situation is different.  Your self-scape of fear is based on reality. A distorted self-scape is when someone feels undue fear of daily life events that most people experience.

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Borderline Personality Disorder

Four Ways to Increase Your Interpersonal Skills


Emotionally sensitive people experience more intense emotions that are more easily aroused and that last longer than those who are not emotionally sensitive. You react faster with greater emotional intensity that lasts longer. Your emotional reactions can be triggered by television shows, magazine articles, places that trigger memories, anniversaries and other events.  Interpersonal issues are one of the most challenging areas for you.

With a strong fear and sensitivity to rejection, even routine events such as a friend canceling lunch plans can bring on a tornado of emotions that are difficult to manage. With this difficulty in relationships, so much of life becomes stressful, such as attending classes, dating, participating in friendships, interacting in group activities, having roommates, and working with others. Some of you withdraw and become isolated as a way of avoiding the pain of relationships. Others experience anguish and suffering on a regular basis with little relief. Working on interpersonal skills and ways to manage emotions in relationships can help you reduce the suffering you experience on a daily basis. Improving your interpersonal resiliency and skills is complicated.  Four options for getting started (based on the work of Marsha Linehan, 1993)  include the following:

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