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15 Questions to Ignite Meaningful Conversations

Posted by on 6:06 pm in Relationships | 0 comments

Powerful conversations have transformed my life for the better. I long for them. While there are no guarantees, you can create an environment where meaningful discussions are more likely to occur. Great questions are a part of creating this environment. I have a friend from college named Aaron. I remember us having meaningful talks soon after we met. They were about our hopes and dreams. They were about our problems. They were about our families. They were real. These talks ignited a friendship that remains 20 years later. There are many...

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Turn Anxiety into Hope by Answering 7 Questions

Posted by on 1:47 am in Stress | 0 comments

Anxiety focuses on what can go wrong and things outside of your control. It centers around bad things from the past happening again and the worst outcome coming true. Hope focuses on what can go right or the positive potential in every circumstance. Here are some anxious thoughts clients have shared recently. Do any seem familiar? ~ “I don’t have what it takes.” ~ “I will mess things up.” ~ “The business is going to fall apart.” ~ “They are going to think I’m incompetent.” ~...

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What to Do When Emotionally Overwhelmed

Posted by on 5:02 pm in Relationships, Stress | 0 comments

Ever had a conversation and then suddenly, out of nowhere, you become emotionally overwhelmed? Maybe this has happened with a boss, co-workers, or someone in your family. Maybe they say something you perceive as hurtful or threatening. Possibly they remind you of someone who mistreated you in the past. Do you know what triggered you? Do they know? In these emotionally flooding situations, your brain’s emotional center, called the amygdala, overrides your pre-frontal cortex, the rational part of your brain. I call this “brain-lock”,...

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How to Improve the Culture in Your Workplace

Posted by on 7:05 pm in Relationships | 0 comments

As a therapist, I’ve probably supported over a thousand families since 1999. Since 2008, I’ve helped out hundreds of companies and workplace teams as well. I’ve found many similarities between workplace teams and families that have a healthy culture. Here are three traits they have in common. 1. They Foster Healthy Connections They consistently create opportunities for relationships to form and go deeper. Members spend both quality and quantity time together. Activities are intentionally planned, and members look forward to these...

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How to Connect with Almost Anyone

Posted by on 11:48 am in Relationships | 2 comments

We are not fueled by achievement, but by connection. Loving and supportive relationships are necessary to thrive. As a result of getting this backwards, when you fail, or life stops going well, or others achieve more, you’ll feel worthless. Furthermore, you’ll end up miserable just like all victims of the comparison trap. In my experience, very few people feel deeply worthy of love and acceptance. Both your friends and your enemies, if they’re honest with themselves, struggle with feelings of inadequacy. People desperately...

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A Simple & Powerful Stress Coping Tool

Posted by on 8:36 pm in Stress | 0 comments

Clients frequently ask for help in coping with stress. Most can identify the source of the tension (e.g. health, job, money, relationship, etc.), but they CANNOT figure out how to cope with the strain. They ruminate, which basically means that their minds get stuck on the issue. This article is to show you something you CAN do about whatever is bothering you.   Stress comes from focusing our energy on things we cannot change. Stop it! It’s an act of insanity. You’re wasting energy. It’s futile!   Before I share the...

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15 Ways Adults Can Make Friends

Posted by on 6:13 pm in Relationships | 0 comments

Recently I spent 3 hours with a close friend from high school. I feared reaching out to him because it had been over 5 years since we last connected. Thoughts like “he doesn’t want to see me”, “he’s too busy with his family”, and even “he doesn’t like me any more” stuck in my mind. The time together was encouraging, and none of my anxious thoughts were true. I need my buddies to stay mentally and emotionally healthy. Friends are SO important because they can …… Help you see...

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Anyone Can Struggle With Anxiety (Part 1)

Posted by on 12:58 pm in Stress | 6 comments

In 1998 I flew from Wichita to Phoenix on America West Airlines. We hit some turbulence going over the Rocky Mountains, the most severe I’ve ever experienced. Some passengers screamed and others prayed out loud. What probably lasted 15 minutes seemed to go on for hours. Our 737 eventually landed at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. After this experience I thought I was fine, but I was wrong. A few months later, I was scheduled to fly again. Before this flight, flying was fun. However, since that experience, my excitement had...

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Anyone Can Struggle With Anxiety (Part 2)

Posted by on 8:12 pm in Stress | 3 comments

What is anxiety? It’s a confusing thing. Here’s my best effort at explaining it in understandable language. Understanding something will help you overcome it. What is Anxiety? ~ Something that stifles your intuition & creativity ~ Something that steals your ability to trust yourself ~ Being consumed by the worst outcome happening ~ Being absorbed by bad things that happened in the past ~ A false belief that intensity keeps you safe ~ A false belief that productivity keeps you safe ~ An addictive pattern of avoidance of...

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Are You Emotionally Constipated? (Part 1)

Posted by on 5:55 pm in Relationships, Stress | 0 comments

I’m a middle child from a fairly loud and emotional family. Looking back, it seems like everyone expressed how they felt, except me. I decided at a young age to live inside my head and hide my feelings. As a therapist, I see a strong correlation between a lack of healthy emotionally expression with both depression and anxiety. “Live in your head, you’re dead” – Tony Robbins From age 16 to 22, I used alcohol to handle and contain my feelings. Some of these negative coping mechanisms become bad habits I still have...

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